10 Best Air Compressors for Woodworking- Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Image of Makita Air Compressor in use, arguably the Best Air Compressors for WoodworkingA wood enthusiast, professional, or even a DIYer often encounters dust during different woodworking projects. It is not possible to finish a project without making a mess. As technology and computers have improved over the years, a new high computer control manufacturing technique has emerged. CNC machines are electro-mechanical devices that manipulate tools. This process acts as a subtractive process where the material is removed from the wood. The three machining technologies commonly used are drills, lathes, and routers. There is no escaping dust, but the good news is we now have the best air compressors for woodworking to help clean your job site in the blink of an eye. 

An air compressor is a tool that compresses power using an electric motor into potential energy stored in pressurized air, that is, compressed air. It is one of the most useful tools you can buy for a whole lot of different applications. The equipment is engineered in all shapes and sizes to fit an end-user needs. 

In this article, I have reviewed the very best air compressors that you can use for your woodworking projects. Additionally, I’ve provided a comprehensive buyer’s guide in a bid to help you make informed decisions with your selection. Read on for more:

1. BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor, (BTFP02012)

The Bostitch pancake air compressor is 17 inches high, 17 inches wide, and 19 inches deep. At the top of this equipment, you get a nice carry handle, a logo that shows information, and an on and off switch. There are two indicators for tank pressure; the other is for regulated pressure, which is the output to your tool. The dial knob controls the regulated pressure depending on what kind of tool you are using. You get to have two outputs, one on each side. The output means you can run two tools at the same time. 

At the side, there is a wrap-around for your AC wire that is 5-foot long. The base of this piece of equipment has a nice rubber footing. Therefore, it gives an assurance of not scratching your nice wooden floors. Underneath the front gauges, there is a pressure release valve. It allows you to pull the pin and release all the tank pressure when done with work. At the bottom, there is also a release valve that lets out any moisture. You have to do all this before you store your tank. Leaving it in can cause rust to your tank. Deals with a variety of applications like blowing up a bicycle tire, 

Summary of top features

  • Runs up to a maximum of 150 PSI
  • Eliminates risks of oil stains on surfaces
  • High flow regulator

Image of BOSTITCH BTFP02012 the best air compressor for woodworkingAdvantages 

  • It doesn’t consistently run non-stop when you are using it.
  • Ideal for quiet work environments.
  • Its lightweight makes it portable.

Disadvantages 

  • Does not include a hose or gun kit
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2. CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, (CMEC6150K)

This craftsman 6-gallon air compressor is proudly made in the USA and designed with global materials. A high pound per square inch of 150 drives more nails than a traditional 135 maximum PSI compressor. There are two outlets for connecting two hoses. It has its usual electric cable, which regulates the air pressure in the hose. A release pin helps release all the air in the tank after you have used it. The drain plug is that after you have finished your job, you should drain the air tank. Lower the pressure by using the release pin as it drops to 20 PSI, then loosen the valve. 

It is important to read the two instruction manuals, which will take you about half an hour. There is all the useful information in the manual. This kit comes with the hose and a coupler and plugs assembled, tire chuck with plug, blow gun with plug, tire gauge, OSHA safety nozzle, rubber tip, and three inflator adaptors. The compressor weighs only 32.5 pounds, which is lightweight and convenient for a woodworker to move around. 

Summary of top features

  • Has a 150 maximum PSI to ensure adequate cuts
  • It comes with a capacity of 6 gallons
  • The frequency of pressure building is quick
  • 6-gallon air tank

Image of CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K compressorAdvantages 

  • Has an accessory kit 
  • Conveniently allows maintenance-free operation
  • One year limited warranty

Disadvantage

  • The storage capacity is not as mentioned.
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3. California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet

The model runs all of your basic air tools, including inflating, blowguns, nailers, LVLP spray guns, staplers, and engravers. It works perfectly for lightweight residential construction remodeling. You get the tank pressure gauge on the left side and the regulated airline pressure gauge on the right side. The equipment is designed to be one of the quietest 2.0 HP air compressors in the industry, having only 70 decibels of sound. These new series motors have been engineered to increase the duty cycle and allow for longer continuous run times. An oil-free dual-piston pump designed to have a life cycle before wear of 3000 plus hours compared to other comparable air compressors with a life cycle of 500 hours or less. It allows for use in a variety of temperatures and uneven terrains. Pretty much, it gives you high performance and longer durability. 

An easy start valve releases a small amount of air from the pump at startup. It further produces a no-load condition allowing the motor to move freely. The large 10-gallon steel air tank with a wheel kit makes it extremely easy to move around the Jobsite. 

Summary of top features

  • It has only 70 decibels; therefore ultra-quiet
  • Oil-free pump
  • Powerful 2.0 HP
  • Low Amp draw of 7.0
  • 10-gallon air tank

Image of California air toolAdvantages 

  • One year limited warranty.
  • Two universal ¼ inches quick connector
  • Has a condor pressure switch
  • Designed with an easy-start valve
  • it has a cast aluminum cylinder. 

Disadvantages

  • They are designed with low-quality external pieces.
  • Overheats quickly
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4. Makita MAC2400

This Makita air compressor is equipped with a Big Bore engineered pump cylinder and piston for higher output. A perfect tool allows exceptional performance for any busy working hour. It further delivers industrial power and results with improving the durability for tough Jobsite conditions. The bore oil-lubricated pump is also more efficient because it is equipped with a large automotive style filter for increased air intake. Impressively the MAC2400 runs cooler and at half the RPM of most competitive units. It results in greater motor, pump life, and lower noise. 

The 4.2 gallon sustains an operating pressure of 130 PSI and delivers 40 PSI(4.8CFM) and 90 PSI(4.2CFM). Premature motor failure is guided by the low Amp that reduces instances of tripped breakers and voltage drop. This kit withstands harsh Jobsite environments with the help of a roll bar handle. The manufacturers further included a finned discharge tubing that dissipates heat more efficiently.

Summary of top features 

Image of Makita MAC2400 compressor

  • Powerful 2.5 HP
  • Low AMP that reduces incidences of tripped breakers at startup
  • A durable cast iron cylinder reduces wear and increases pump life.

Advantages 

  • Roll cage offers portability and additional protection.
  • The pump runs at a lower RPM of 1730, resulting in lower noise.
  • The cast-iron cylinder is removable for easy maintenance.

Disadvantage

  • It does not include a cord holder for protection.
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5. DEWALT Air Compressor Combo Kit (DWC1KIT-B)

The Dewalt air compressor combo kit comes with a brad nailer drive and sample fasteners. The nailer drives 18 gauge nails from 5/8 inches (16 mm) to 2 inches (50 mm) in length. The equipment has an oil-free motor with a tool-free depth of drive adjustment with detents for the proper nailhead setting. It is designed to offer the user a long life. The hose is long enough to give you maximum flexibility as you work. As you plug in the compressor, you will notice that it fires right up without a hitch, which is very impressive. 

The 6-gallon kit is not as heavy as people claim it to be since it comes with a nice heavy-duty handle. You have to hold it a little bit further away from your body. The tank pressure and the regulated pressure gauge is next to the two outputs for air. Unfortunately, for woodworkers who like individual cases for tools, the gun doesn’t come with a case. It’s one of the downfalls of buying a unit that’s combined. You just have to look for a toolbox to put it. The excellent part is that the magnesium body delivers a strong and lightweight design as it works simply.

Summary of top features 

  • 18 GA brad nailer
  • Removable non-marring nose tip with on tool storage
  • Durable oil-free pump
  • Low 10 Amp draw motor

Image of DEWALT DWC1KIT air compressorAdvantages 

  • The motor starts easily in cold weather
  • Includes a heavy-duty handle
  • Only 13.6 kg for easy portability
  • 165 PSI provides a longer run time

Disadvantage

  • Some users seem to experience problems with air leakage
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6. PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, (C2002)

The porter compressor is exceptionally easy to use and packs a big punch in a small package. You can hook up a brad nailer to an air compressor, but you can also do a couple of other things, from filling tires to firing nails and blowing off the dust in your workbench. It is a really handy tool to have. Additionally, it features an induction motor that provides long life and optimum performance. This unit runs off of normal household circuits and offers mess-free operation for convenience. The pancake-style tank enables optimal stability with a low Amp 120V motor that easily starts in cold weather. 

At just 34 pounds, the compressor is lightweight and portable enough for Jobsite, workshop, or around the house use. It straight forward means that it is a great choice for a range of jobs. Complete with built-in automatic thermal overload protection, the C2002 runs at 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI and 3.7 SCFM at 40 PSI. This capability enables a faster recharge of its 6-gallon tank. Likewise, a high-flow air regulator allows for more work at a higher pressure giving you the flexibility you need. It is with no doubt one of the best air compressors for woodworking.

Summary of top features 

  • 150 PSI maximum pressure
  • Gallon pancake style tank
  • Durable oil-free pump
  • Low Amp 120 V motor

Image of PORTER CABLE C2002 CompressorAdvantages 

  • User-friendly design 
  • Has a portable weight of 34 pounds
  • It starts easily in cold weather 
  • One year limited warranty

Disadvantages 

  • Some users complain of air leakage
  • A little bit too loud
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7. Campbell Hausfeld 8 Gallon Portable Quiet Air Compressor (AC080510)

The ACo8o510 air compressor is ideal for inflation, hobby painting, stapling, nailing, and bolting projects. It is also super compact and portable enough to be taken to job sites and in the home area for various do it yourself projects. Designed to be one of the quietest in the industry, it offers a quiet work environment for indoor and outdoor use. Let us not forget how lightweight it is; weighing only 54.9 pounds; you cannot leave it behind as you leave for work.

This Campbell Hausfeld comes 8 gallon comes with a fully covered shroud design that offers protection during use. Wheel and handle placement also offers convenient portability. The oil-free maintenance-free pump is among the important areas designed to last up to 4 four times longer than those of a conventional oil-free air compressor. It all together makes it easier for you as it is equal to no maintenance at a lower cost. Campbell is not just a big name, but they deliver quality tools for woodworkers all together. 

Summary of top features

  • 8-gallon quiet compressor 
  • Oil-free maintenance-free pump
  • The compressor boasts 72 dBa
  • Maximum of 125 PSI

Image of Campbell AC080510 air compressorAdvantages 

  • Shroud design that offers protection during use
  • Greatly reduced noise
  • Wheel and handles offer convenient portability
  • Safe to be used indoors and outdoors
  • Has a one-year limited warranty

Disadvantages 

  • Some users complained about the product not being up to standards
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8. California Air Tools 8010A

This pancake compressor is one of the newer models for the company. The one hose power air compressor comes with an 8-gallon aluminum tank. Aluminum air tan is designed to weigh and not rust inside. As this California tool comes with a powerful 1.0 HP motor, it operates at 1680 RPM to create less noise and less wear. Its compatibility and portability allow it to be taken to a job site and in the home for various DIY tasks. It is designed to fill tires, brad nail guns, finish nailers, clean, airbrushing, engraving, and more.

As one of the largest aluminum products in the company, the tool weighs 37 pounds, which is very lightweight. Easy to move around, plus it has two handles and wheels if you like to wheel it around. It is ideal for anyone working inside where noise is a major issue. Some of the other benefits are an industrial female quick connector, two pressure gauges, and an on and off switch. This compressor has only 60 decibels, which is less than a normal conversation. 

Summary of top features

  • Has a maximum pressure of 120 PSI
  • Continuous run time is 30 to 60 minutes
  • Powerful 1.0 HP (rated/running) 2.0 HP peak motor
  • 8.0-gallon steel air tank
  • An oil-free pump allows for use in a variety of temperatures and uneven terrains

Image of California 8010A compressorAdvantages 

  • Fewer maintenance costs
  • The wheel kit makes it easier to transport.
  • The tank does not rust.
  • Included is an ultra-quiet feature.
  • It comes with a one-year limited warranty.

Disadvantages 

  • The hose is not included.
  • Motor gets hot even when not in use.
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9. Campbell Hausfeld FP2028

Whether you are a DIY working around the house or in your garage, you will complete work faster and less expensively with the FP2028. The lightweight design and sturdy handle make it easy and comfortable to carry from one project to the next. A conveniently placed gauge allows at a glance air pressure monitoring. Its compact design allows easy storage and the oil pump for maintenance-free ownership. With this air compressor, you will be able to reap the benefits of inflation tools and air-powered fastening tools. 

Compared to an electrically powered tool, air tools have significantly lower initial costs and notably longer lifespans. They also deliver more torque and higher RPM than their electric counterparts. It means they will help you get your work done more efficiently, and this model is not an exception. Delivering 100 maximum PSI, the model is ideal for over 25 inflations and fastening projects. It includes inflating cars and bike tires, inflating sports balls, cleaning upholstery, airbrushing, and cleaning your workbench area.

The air compressor is designed to be user-friendly, easy to store and move. It arrives with a five-piece accessory kit and hose that has everything you need to get started. An easy to read gauge is conveniently located on the compressor body for a quick and accurate reading for further convenience.

Summary of top features

  • Operates on 120 Volt household current 
  • 110 maximum PSI to tackle your DIY needs
  • There is a conveniently placed gauge
  • Oil-less pump for maintenance-free ownership 

Image of Campbell FP2028-1 air compressorAdvantages

  • Easy and comfortable to carry
  • Ideal for several applications
  • It is very accurate
  • Appropriate for indoor tasks

Disadvantages 

  • It takes a lot of time to fill the tank.
  • A little bit too loud
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10. ARB (CKMTP12)

This product from ARB is the twin portable air compressor. This company has earned the reputation of being very rugged, durable, and dependable with unique features. The case is waterproof constructed from a durable impact-resistant polymer. It has convenient compartments for storing the air hose and other compressor accessories.  Most of the ARB products are designed to use inside a jeep but can also be used out, around the home or garage. You can simply grab your ARB portable compressor and head out on your next adventure. 

The kit includes a 24-foot-long air hose and power leads that come in like 7 feet long, with the appropriately sized alligator clips and inline fuse holders. You will not have a problem reaching all four corners of your jeep. This tool is a 100 percent duty cycle continuous use air compressor. It uses a built-in fan to help keep the motor cool. That’s what allows it to be used for jobs like inflating our tires, amongst other things. The aluminum air tank and pressure switch regulate pressure between 135 PSI and 150 PSI, suited to most air-powered tools. 

Summary of top features 

  • Ultra-compact twin motor
  • Integrated aluminum air tank
  • Ducted IP55 sealed brushed DC cooling fan.
  • Anodized aluminum motor mounting brackets

Image of ARB-CKMTP12 air compressorAdvantages

  • Has a waterproof carry case 
  • Allows 100% duty cycle under room temperature conditions
  • It comes with a twin compressor.

Disadvantage 

  • Sometimes the package is not up to standards.
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Best Air Compressors For Woodworking Buyers’ Guide

An air compressor is versatile equipment, and one of the most useful tools a garage or a professional workshop would require. This appliance is essential in saving you time and money. A high percentage of any project requires power drills and impact drivers. There are multiple benefits of completing a job or operating handy tools with an air compressor. 

The equipment is a great tool with a variety of applications. It is of utmost importance to consider the best option for your business and, if needed, for the industry. Now that it has become necessary in the automotive industry as an effective and valuable tool. 

However, picking an air compressor can be hectic. You will come across a list of reasons and factors to consider when buying the best air compressor for woodworking as you read. 

Why You Should Buy An Air Compressor For Woodworking

  • Easy to maintain than power tools
  • It offers you flexibility at your workshop or job site.
  • You experience less fatigue when you use the appliance.
  • Low weight to power ratio
  • Ability to operate long periods without overheating
  • It can be used for cleaning purposes.
  • Does assist with small and simple auto repairs
  • Useful in fastening bolts, nuts, and belts together with opening clamps
  • It can be used to remove existing rust and old paint from a vehicle.
  • Plays a role in the agriculture industry by being effective in fertilization, production, and sprays.
  • You can use the tool for numerous applications.

Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Air Compressors For Woodworking

  • Space

Technology has a way of coming up with different designs, which further advise size. The overall outward appearance has nothing to do with how effective a machine can be. All this rests on the end-user and what you need the tool for. Be honest with yourself and get equipment to suit your needs and fit in your garage or workshop. 

  • Noise 

How much noise can you make before your neighbors get angered?  A lot of compressors make a lot of noise. In general, an oil-less compressor or a single-stage one can make up to 90 to 100 decibels. That is a lot of noise, like a loud car going by. When you plan to work late at night, you need to be sure you can position the tool where it can be muffled a little bit. Just make sure there is still enough air around it for keeping it cool. 

  • Portability 

Suppose you have jobs in front of the house, a mile away, or just helping out a neighbor. You might want to look at compressors with wheels on them. There are compressors out there that you can buy that have wheels on them, making them very portable. The one thing you need to think about it, if it has wheels, it is portable but not as large as the one that’s meant to be bolted on the ground. An example is the Campbell Hausfeld that has a 60-gallon air tank. It is perfect for running high volume tools like a grinder. The kind that you will use for long periods eats up a lot of air and is not portable. You need to set it down, bolt it and position it properly, and it will do anything you need in your workshop. 

  • Applications 

It has to do with how you will use the piece of equipment. You may be working all the time on cars and use a lot of air. Therefore, it means you need a reserved tank and as much compressor power as you can afford. If you are at home and probably fill up tires, kids pool toys, or you have a monk’s patience. You will not need a big compressor because you will wait for the compressor to fill up the air tank as you work.  If you are super patient, you don’t need a monster compressor. But if you have to hurry or work efficiently, then you require as much tank or compressor as you a afford. 

  • Specifications 

As of now, you know what tools you will be running and how much air you will consume. To choose the right compressor, you should add up the CFM requirement of each of those tools. You then assume you and your colleague/friend will be working simultaneously and then add 30% to that number. That will tell you exactly how much compressor you need.

When shopping for a compressor, there are two specs you want to focus on. The first one is PSI (pound per square inch), a measurement of air force coming out of a compressor. That is important but not nearly as this next one, CFM (cubic feet per minute). This the measurement of the volume of air coming out of the compressor. The higher the CFM, the more efficient your compressor is, and the better your air tools will operate. Get as much CFM as you possibly can when buying this equipment. 

Conclusion 

Compressors are one of the most popular sources of energy in today’s work environment. We have just confirmed that it powers a variety of tools and equipment as well as large machines. The dangers of using compressed air are compared to the use of electricity. The air can be deadly if not treated with respect and used properly. Safety is the number one concern when working with this equipment. To keep your work environment safe for you and all employees, always follow proper protocol for correctly using air compressors.  Do not forget to read the user manual after purchasing the best air compressors for woodworking. You can now confidently walk to a woodworking shop and get that work done.

Well, having taken an extensive look at different air compressors that you can consider for your different woodworking projects. It should be a lot easier for you to select the one that suits your projects. Even so, I still find CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, (CMEC6150K) as the overall best air compressor for woodworking that you can use in your woodworking shop. It has all the necessary features you’d want in an air compressor and above all, it’s top performance.

I hope you found this article helpful to your quest of finding the very best air compressor in the market. In case you have a question or suggestion, kindly share it with me in the comment section below. Meanwhile, happy shopping!