Just like any cost conscious buyer, you want to get the best deal for your money on a portable air compressor. Right? OK! So to help you get the best deal for your money, here are the features you should be looking for.
1. Air Tank Capacity
The portable air compressor you choose will have an air tank(s) to store the compressed air the engine creates. Generally, between 4 and 6 gallons is the norm for portable air compressors. You usually won't need more than this. Most portable air compressors you find in the marketplace will be within this air gallon range.
2. PSI Rating
A PSI rating of 100-150 is the industry standard for electric portable air compressors. This is enough to satisfy the needs of all household and worksite needs. Whether you're in the garage or using a portable air compressor for work, this is usually enough PSI to get the job done.
3. CFM Rating
The CFM rating determines how long it will take to recharge the air tanks. Between 3 and 5 CFM is average for a portable air compressor. This allows the air tank(s) to be recharged relatively quickly.
4. Electric Or Gas Powered?
Although gasoline air compressors can be more powerful, an electric portable air compressor is a safer bet. Electric air compressors run more dependably and don't require an oil/gas mix. They also usually cost less and will offer you a higher level of performance for your money. They do require an outlet, so they're perfect for areas where electricity is always available. Most people agree, an electric powered air compressor is a better overall deal.
5. Dolly Compatibility
Being able to take the portable air compressor anywhere you want it to go can be accomplished with the use of a dolly. The compressor can sit in the dolly and be rolled to wherever you need it to go. You can make your own holder for the portable air compressor you buy. As long as it's small enough to fit in the dolly holder, it'll work.
Some portable air compressors will come with accessories that will allow you to do more with your air compressor than you might expect. Many people are forced to buy additional accessories themselves, but some portable air compressors will come with them. These accessories aren't very expensive, but it's convenient to have them as part of the purchase.
7. Manufacturer, Warranty, and Amazon Review Score
When you're shopping for a portable air compressor, you should remember that the manufacturer has a lot to do with how long it will last and the performance you'll receive. Some high quality manufacturers of electric portable air compressors these days are DeWalt, Makita, Porter-Cable, Black and Decker, Stanley Bostitch, Senco, and Campbell Hausfeld. The warranty you receive with your purchase can keep you safe from factory defects and ensure that if anything goes wrong, you can return the compressor for a refund.