I’m sure you agree with me when I say:

Choosing the right small portable air compressor is difficult.

Or not?

Well, actually finding the right one for you may not be as stressful as you might have thought. All you have to do is keep reading.

Because, in this article, we made a ranking of the 5 best portable compressors that you can buy in 2021 Choose one of these and then you will thank us!

Start?

The best portable compressors

 Stanley DN200 – Best ever

Tank: Yes

We bet you are looking for a small portable air compressor and want to go safe, buying the best the market offers. Great! This product is for you.

The class of this device, working at 220v of the home electrical system and powered by a Schuko plug, is evident not only from the brand of great fame but also from the elegant design and good finishes, which communicate a feeling of robustness and quality. Demonstrating the seriousness of the brand, this small portable air compressor is equipped with a double pressure gauge, safety valve and vent tap for condensation.

The technical characteristics are also interesting: the 5-liter tank represents a good compromise between the need to reduce weight and that of avoiding the too frequent drive of the engine: you can thus move your small portable air compressor carrying it crossbody, without having to drag it and without wheels that could make the power cord fit. The range of 180 liters per minute will also allow you to inflate the wheels of your car quickly.

The maximum pressure of 145 PSI, equal to about 10 Bar, is reached effortlessly by the engine and is maintained for as long as necessary to do any household work: it is great for inflating your tires and for cleaning your air conditioner.

This product is the best small portable air compressor in its class and is very handy but the downside is in durability: for longer jobs, such as large paints, the compressor is still usable but, as in all appliances with less capacious tanks, the engine will start more often.

Pro

  • Double pressure gauge
  • The capacity of 180 liters per minute
  • Handy
  • Small portable air compressor that can be used crossbody
  • Stylish design
  • Equipped with safety valve
  • Includes vent tap
  • Notable finishes

Against

  • Not suitable for long-term work
  • Noisy while charging

 BLACK+DECKER ASI300 – The most handy

BLACK+DECKER ASI300

Tank: №

If you want an equipped and compact mini compressor that is really portable, read on this review.

This device, which can be powered by both 12v and 220v using one of the two supplied cables, stands out for its handling, thanks also to its weight of just 1 kg. You can, therefore, use it both at home and outside, transporting your compressor without effort and without having to drag it on annoying wheels such as the classic “piglets”.

The great lightness of this mini compressor is paid for with the absence of a tank, which determines a not exceptional flow rate. This lack, however, is offset by the excellent maximum pressure of 11 Bar that will allow you to inflate tires and other items quickly. Another small defect is the length of the power cord at 220v, 8m, which some customers consider insufficient.

The merits of this small portable compressor, however, are really many: starting with the electronic self-tuning system, which stops the engine when the desired pressure is reached: you can thus preset the precise pressure to inflate your tires and the compressor will turn off on its own when it is reached.

Another useful electronic function, absent in the cheapest models and confirming the class of this luminaire, is the night lighting of the display: so you will have a light source to control the work, perhaps while inflating a tire at night, and be more visible.

The equipment of this small portable air compressors enriched, in addition to the digital screen with push button to select the pressure, by various nozzles to inflate objects such as balloons and inflatable games but also car and motorcycle tires.

Pro

  • Double power supply
  • Supplied 12v and 220v cables
  • Lightweight: weighs 1 kg
  • Pressure of 11 Bar
  • Small portable air compressor with self-off function
  • Digital display with push button
  • Night lighting display

Against

  • Short 220v power cord
  • Not exceptional range

 Mannesmann – M01790 – The best-selling

Mannesmann - M01790

Tank: №

Do you need a reliable portable best small air compressor? This Mannesmann brand product is the best-selling and we are sure it will be for you.

What catches the eye in this product, which works with the car’s 12v cigar lighter grip, is the robustness of its aluminum structure, combined with its great handling: the small weight of 3 Kg and the practical handle at the top make it really compact and transportable anywhere with little effort; for example, you can store the compressor in the luggage rack of your car or on a shelf.

The handling of this small compressor, really portable, derives above all from the absence of a tank that is felt in the reduced flow rate – 35 liters per minute – which is the only real mole of this device: compared to those equipped with a tank, this product needs more time to inflate the same objects. Another small note, the lack of an instruction booklet in US, available only in German.

The vocation of this device is therefore the inflation of tires, balloons and similar objects and it does so excellently: the noise is low compared to the average and the pressure of 10 Bar is excellent. You can inflate the four tires of your car comfortably, also thanks to the fairly long compressor power cord.

The good news does not end here because on the accessories front this portable mini compressor is really well stocked: in addition to a pressure gauge, a tire adaptor and several inflatable beaks such as balloons and bicycle wheels, in the package we find a pocket of fabric suitable to contain and transport the compressor with comfort.

Pro

  • Not excessive noise
  • Leggero: pesa 2,3 Kg
  • Handy
  • Does not heat
  • Small portable air compressor equipped with handle
  • Pressure of 10 Bar
  • Fabric case

Against

  • Instruction manual only in German

 BLACK+DECKER ASI500-QW – Best Value for Money

BLACK+DECKER ASI500-QW

Tank: №

Are you looking for a compressor of excellent quality, of one of the best brands, worth every penny spent? This model, produced by one of the best brands on the market, is for you.

Powered by a 12 Volts battery and rechargeable using your home’s 220v socket, this lightweight portable best small air compressor (7kg) reaches a remarkable maximum pressure of 160 PSI, equal to around 11 Bar. The lithium battery allows good power with a great lifespan, so you won’t have to stop your work due to a “on the ground” battery.

If you don’t have time to recharge between jobs, or you need better autonomy, don’t worry: this compressor is equipped with a 12 V cable, 1 meters long, which will allow you to power it through the cigar lighter socket of your car.

The excellent electrical autonomy of this small portable air compressor compensates for the lack of a tank, but this means that the engine is always on during operation, quite noisy according to some customers.

The standard equipment is very satisfactory because the compressor, also working as a vacuum cleaner, is equipped with a hose with accessories for vehicle tires and one for large volumes / low pressure with adapter. The self-off feature will also allow you to precisely dose the desired pressure, so you will not risk ruining your tires or other objects by inflating them too much and it will also be an economic advantage, allowing you to save electricity.

Pro

  • Equipped with self-ignition system
  • Lightweight: weighs 7 kg
  • Handy
  • Equipped with hose for large volumes/low pressure
  • Equipped with hose with accessories for vehicle tires
  • It also works as a vacuum cleaner
  • Can be powered by the car’s cigar lighter socket

Against

  • Not suitable for long-term work
  • Noisy during operation

 Mecafer – The most versatile

Mecafer

Tank: Yes

Do you need a powerful and robust 220v mini compressor that is not too heavy and difficult to carry at the same time? Great, read on.

This mecafer portable compressor, powered by the 220v power outlet at home, has a 6-liter tank and is a great compromise between heavy appliances with a 25 l tank and light ones, but of small capacity, without a tank. Its weight of 10 kg is comparable to that of a case of mineral water and, thanks to the wide handle on the top, it is easily moveable.

Good handling is combined with the power of the 5 HP electric motor, which allows a maximum pressure of 8 Bar. In addition to being powerful, this compressor is also easy to use: it comes with an on/off control panel and simplified pressure gauge: for this, inflating your car’s tires, cleaning your air conditioner or inflating your kids’ pool will be quick and easy.

As in the case of other compressors with tank, some customer reviews have reported insufficient power cable length, so it is recommended to use an extension cord. Apart from this small mole, however, this portable best small air compressor stands out compared to other small appliances for its excellent flow rate, around 120 liters per minute, with which you can perform small paints, use nail guns and other compressed air tools.

Pro

  • Quick Attack
  • Simplified pressure gauge
  • Control panel with on/off button
  • Flow rate of about 120 liters per minute
  • Power of 5 HP
  • Pressione di 8 Bar
  • Small portable air compressorbuilt in US
  • Low noise

Against

  • Short power cord

Factors to consider when buying a portable compressor

Tank capacity

The capacity of the tank, in the models that are equipped with it, is measured in liters and determines the time when your small portable air compressor can provide air before the engine starts again to recharge. The higher the capacity, the longer this time will be; the value in liters starts from about 5 liters and can reach up to about 300 liters. Our advice is to find the best compromise between weight and air charge life.

Power supply

There are two types of power supply for compressors: some are electric and can be powered at 12 Volts, usually with the car’s cigar lighter socket, or from the 230 Volts power grid, then from a normal home power outlet. This type of small portable air compressor is less powerful but is the most suitable for household work, because it does not produce smoke and makes less noise, and does not need fuel to operate.

Others are driven by a petrol or Diesel engine: usually, this type of power supply is for higher power compressors, suitable for work outside the home because they produce exhaust fumes and are bulkier and noisier. For heavier and professional jobs, however, this type of compressor is better because of its power.

From this description, it is evident that for unprofessional use, therefore, the best compromise is a small portable air compressor working with electricity.

Power in CV

The number of Steam Horses of a portable compressor, usually varying from 5 to 6, simply indicates the power developed by its engine and does not refer to the air supplied. It can only give you an indicative estimate of the intensity of work you can get from your device. One magnitude that can give you a better estimate of the type of use you can get is the range.

Pressure

The pneumatic pressure that the compressor produces is measured, for Anglo-Saxon countries, in PSI, or pound per square inch. In US the unit of measurement is the Bar. 1 Bar corresponds to just under 15 PSI. the best medium-power appliances reach 6 Bars, enough for the small DIY, such as painting and using nail guns. The most powerful compressors measure from 11 bar up, and the choice will depend on the intensity of your use, footprint and weight.

Size

The first thing you will notice comparing various compressors, even before turning them on, is their size. It is clear that it would be desirable to buy the least bulky and lightest appliance possible. On the other hand, a small portable air compressors typically less powerful. Smaller models are easy to carry by hand in their case, while larger ones have wheels on which you can move them.

Choosing the best compressor for you will depend on the type of work you will do: if for the inflation of tires, balloons and various inflatables, smaller mini compressors are enough, for heavier jobs such as the use of nailers and other pneumatic tools you will have to orient yourself on a larger portable compressor, equipped with wheels.

With or without tank?

The best type of small portable air compressor in use to date is equipped with a tank and takes advantage of the engine power indirectly: the engine turns on when the tank drops under the established pressure. In this way the engine does not overheat, lasting longer over time. In addition, the presence of the tank makes the pressure constant, as well as the airflow. For professional use, this type of compressor is indispensable.

Nowadays, however, mini compressors without tanks are increasingly widespread: these are extremely light and compact, ideal to be stored, for example, in the luggage rack of your car. The absence of a tank also makes them cheaper. These undoubted advantages, however, have the price of stressing the engine a lot, which remains on for as long as the compressor is used, with less stable pressure, and which over time will tend to be less reliable.

The type of small portable air compressoryou are going to buy, therefore, depends on the use you want to make of it: if you need a really “mini” device, so light that you can store it in the trunk of your car to inflate the wheels, the advice is to buy a compressor without a tank. If, on the other hand, you have more space and weight is not a problem but you need more power for more heavy work, we recommend buying one with tank.

Flow rate

The flow rate, measured for Anglo-Saxon countries in SCFM (square feet per minute under standard conditions) and for US in cubic meters per minute, indicates how much air the compressor is able to move in the cylinder in one minute, and depends on the pressure at which it is measured.

For our needs, however, manufacturers declare the flow rate in liters per minute: knowing this data you can immediately get an idea of the actual power of your device; for example, a typical small portable air compressorwith a 25 l tank and pressure of 8 bar provides a capacity of about 170 liters per minute, enough to inflate the tires of your car and also for painting jobs and small pneumatic tools such as nail guns.

Accessories

Manufacturers usually provide various accessories along with the device, such as nozzles of various sizes to inflate, for example, bicycle wheels rather than cars and motorcycles. Our advice is to buy a small portable air compressor will equipped by the house or for which you can easily find accessories in the area where you live.

 

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