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When you need to provide lots of air pressure, whether it’s to blow up a flat tire or to power your nail gun, having an air compressor on hand makes your home improvement tasks much easier. These 110V power tools can plug into standard outlets, allowing you to inflate anything you need from just about anywhere you happen to be. Most are lightweight and easily portable as well, so you can take them with you when you travel to various job sites. They’re also powerful enough to handle bigger jobs in a hurry, saving you from having to stand around for hours waiting for that tire to fill up. Regardless of what you use them for, though, one thing’s for certain: your days of huffing and puffing are over.
The Best 110V Air Compressor
If you need something that can handle the rigors of a professional shop, this high-quality kit has everything you need to get the job done. It has a 6-gallon tank capable of pumping out 150 PSI, giving you lots of kick. At just 29 pounds, you won’t break your back carrying the thing around.
The pump itself is oilless, which greatly reduces the amount of maintenance you’ll need to perform while also eliminating the risk of messy and potentially hazardous spills. It also boasts a high-flow regulator, which ensures you’ll have all the pressure you need when you need it.
The setup includes a 50-foot air hose and 10-piece inflation and blow-gun accessory kit
High-efficiency motor starts up quickly, even in cold weather
Dual couplers allow two users to work simultaneously
The pancake-style compressor provides a remarkably steady base
- Weight29 pounds
Included hose coils easily and is unlikely to kink
Adjusting PSI is a cinch, thanks to the clearly-designed dial
Small footprint makes it painless to move and store
Short power cord
Gets hot with extended use
Tank refills slowly
While it’s not quite powerful enough for professional contractors, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more convenient or versatile unit than this one from Teromas. It can be used with a 110V outlet, or you can plug it into your car’s cigarette lighter, as it also has a 12V adapter included. This makes it a fantastic choice for vacations, trips to the beach, or saving the day at a kid’s sporting event.
It also takes the guesswork out of pumping up tires or balls, as it has an auto-off function that lets you program in your desired PSI. The unit will then simply shut off when it reaches the target pressure, allowing you to babysit your kids instead of your compressor.
Bright digital display
Boasts a powerful LED lamp for nighttime use
Includes three hose adaptors
Shows pressure in multiple units
- Weight3.1 pounds
Ideal as part of a car emergency kit
Incredibly small and lightweight
Comes with convenient carrying bag
Pre-programmed PSI setting isn’t always accurate
Short pump hose can make placement frustrating
Not the most durable option
The two large pneumatic tires on this model make wheeling it around the shop a breeze, so you can always set it up in an area that’s convenient for you—which is good, because this is a heavy beast of a compressor. Its 20-gallon cast-iron vertical tank is extremely powerful, while also being streamlined enough to fit into tight spaces.
As you might expect, any machine designed to survive the challenges of full-time use will require periodic maintenance. This model makes the process as painless as possible, though, as the oil fill is easily accessible, and there’s an oil level sight glass that clearly shows you when it’s time for a little upkeep.
Thermally-stable cast-iron body
Can be configured for 240V use
Quick-connect air outlet
Automotive-style ball bearings
- BrandIndustrial Air
- Weight159 pounds
Produces little vibration when in use
Impressively rapid recharge
Quiet while in operation
Top heavy, which can lead to mishaps during transport if you’re not careful
Air release valve is awkwardly placed
Cooling system isn’t terribly efficient
A 120W solid metal motor allows this unit to work quickly, and it can air up a flat in just a few minutes. That translates into more time driving and less time spent waiting helplessly on the side of the road.
It’s not just for use on cars, though. If you keep it in your trunk, you’ll likely find that you’re hauling it out all the time to air up basketballs, bike tires, inflatable swimming pools, and the like. You can even use the 12V plug in your car to power it.
Built-in carrying handle
Pumps 30 liters of air per minute
Works with both AC and DC power sources
Backed by two-year warranty
- Weight5 pounds
Good for users with limited mobility
Automatic shutoff feature
Made using heavy-duty plastic
Difficult to cram hoses back into storage compartment
Air leaks out when unscrewing hose
This handy little unit offers both inflation and deflation modes, so you can break down your inflatable kayak and put it back in your car just as quickly as you aired it up. It also comes with two hoses: a high-pressure model for tires and balls, and a high-volume one for larger items like rafts and mattresses.
Once you’re done using it, all the hoses and attachments can be stored neatly on the compressor itself, ensuring you have all your tools handy the next time you need them. This also cuts down on clutter—because we all have enough of that in our trunks as it is, thank you very much.
Two metal motors
Very bright flashlight
Large, easy-to-see buttons
Includes extra nozzle adaptors
- BrandAvid Power
- Weight5.66 pounds
Attachments clamp securely onto valves
Can inflate a tire in a few minutes
Won’t tip over while in use
Will likely need an extension cord
Instructions are confusing
Not suitable for heavy-duty truck tires
This is a truly go-anywhere option, as in addition to 110V and 12V power ports, it also boasts a 20V battery. This enables you to use it cordlessly, so you can still take advantage of the compressor even if you’re in an area where there aren’t any power sources readily available.
As a result, it should be popular with campers and anyone else who likes to get away from civilization for a bit (without sacrificing creature comforts like an air mattress, of course). The onboard LED lamp can also come in handy in those situations, as it can help you set up your campsite even if you waited until long after sunset to get started.
High volume hose for rapid inflation
Compatible with other DeWalt 20V Max products
Lots of onboard accessory storage room
- Weight2.94 pounds
Accurate digital gauge
Good battery life
Rubber feet provide stability
Lacks a battery indicator
No quick-disconnect system
Deflation mode is weak
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance solution, this option from Porter-Cable should be near the top of your list. The oil-free pump shouldn’t require much upkeep, and the soft-start, low-amp motor fires up quickly and without hassle, even when the mercury drops.
If you are willing to do a little maintenance to extend the life of the product, however, you can replace the brushes on the motor as needed. This will help you wring a few more years of service out of the thing, while also ensuring that it runs smoothly and powerfully.
Spacious 6-gallon tank
13-piece accessory kit included
Quick recovery time
Factory-installed coupler and plug
- Weight34 pounds
High-Flo air regulator safeguards against pressure drops
Shroud protects vital components from accidental damage
Has multiple quick-connect couplings
Included tire gauge is poorly made
Instruction manual is of little help
Accessories aren’t labeled
While this unit is small enough to toss in your car, it also comes with a bracket for mounting it on your wall, so you can give it a permanent place in your garage. That helps keep it out of the way when not in use, as well as enabling you to find it quickly when you need it.
The hose helps you maintain a tidy workspace as well, as it’s coiled to make it easy to replace once you’re done with it. There’s no need to sit there coiling it yourself, and you won’t have to worry about tripping over it if you forget to put it back.
Thermal break feature protects against overheating
Comes with spare valve caps
Inflates standard tires in four minutes
Includes tread depth gauge
- Weight5.6 pounds
Long power cable
Very quiet while in operation
Plastic case for accessory storage
Struggles to reach higher PSIs
Pressure gauge can be a little confusing
Screw-on attachments allow some leakage when decoupling
The 2.0 HP motor on this compressor runs at 1680 RPM, which keeps it on the quieter side. It’s also been constructed to boost duty cycles, giving you longer run times without interruption. This lets you finish all your tasks as quickly as you can, with as little disruption to the workplace as possible.
It’s also quite durable, as it has an easy-start valve feature that kicks off the motor without requiring a lot of juice. This reduces the load on the motor, reducing wear and tear while prolonging the lifespan of the unit. Beyond that, the oil-free dual piston pump is hardy enough for use in extreme cold or on uneven terrain.
Rust-proof aluminum tank
Ideal for use on high-demand tools
Creates only 70 dB of noise
Can run for 3,000 hours before creating wear
- BrandCalifornia Air Tools
- Weight67.2 pounds
Excellent for mounting on trucks
Produces minimal vibration
Maintains pressure well
Lacks wheels for easy portability
Top-heavy and prone to tipping over
Easy to damage air filter housings
The large rubber wheels and pronounced handle make this unit easy to maneuver, even in a crowded shop. That’s good, because the 8-gallon tank would be quite hefty to tote around—but since that’s not your problem, you’ll likely enjoy the long charge time it provides. You can work for hours with minimal downtime.
It can reach pressures of up to 125 PSI, which is enough to power larger tools like nailers and staplers, while still being restrained enough for finer detail work. It’s well-suited for indoor use, making it a smart choice for dedicated home craftsmen as well as professional contractors.
Stable horizontal tank
1.0 HP motor
- BrandCampbell Hausfeld
- Weight67 pounds
Holds pressure well
Good for cleaning and hobby painting
Difficult to find replacement parts
Doesn’t come with hose or any attachments
Gauge isn’t terribly precise
Best 110V Air Compressor Buying Guide & FAQ
Buying an air compressor isn’t as simple as you might think—and since some of them can cost hundreds of dollars, getting the wrong one can be a very expensive mistake indeed.
Before you start shopping, think about all the tasks you’ll call upon the compressor to perform. Does it need to be robust enough to power a nail gun through an entire workday, or do you just need something that will blow up an air mattress at a steady pace? The answer to this question will go a long way towards determining the best unit for your needs.
Also, keep in mind that the more powerful the compressor, the more room it will likely take up. That could mean that it’s too big to carry in your car, or too heavy to lug around easily. You should weigh the importance of portability versus power when making your decision.
Different Kinds of 110V Air Compressors
Once you have a 110V air compressor, you’ll be shocked at all the uses you find for it. Not only will it act as a tire inflator or power staple guns, but it can also run paint sprayers, help you dust off your workspace in a hurry, and much more.
Some smaller units also have 12V power ports, allowing you to keep them in your car for use in an emergency. While this is no doubt valuable, we focused on those that plug into a standard wall outlet. These tend to be brawnier, allowing you to finish large tasks in a hurry.
Without your own air compressor, your entire plans could be derailed by discovering a flat tire, or you could spend all day airing up that mattress. These little machines can save you a ton of time and effort—not to mention frequent trips to the gas station to use their compressor.
- A 110V air compressor can plug into any standard outlet, giving you plenty of options in terms of placement.
- They can provide steady and reliable pressure, allowing you to complete your tasks without interruption.
- Many are reasonably priced, keeping them well within the budgets of your average DIY specialist.
Types of 110V Air Compressors
While all 110V air compressors will fulfill the same basic functions, there are some key differences between various models that you should know about before you buy. They’re not all suitable for the same tasks, so do your due diligence before making a purchase. Otherwise, you could be stuck with a machine that’s unsuitable for the jobs you have at hand.
- Pancake Air Compressors
These units get their name because they’re shaped in a way that roughly resembles a pancake (go figure, right?). This gives them quite a bit of stability, since the tank—usually the heaviest part of the compressor—is on the bottom of the machine, giving it a low center of gravity.
Pancake compressors toe the line between being stationary and portable. They’re usually fairly hefty, weighing in around 30 pounds or so. However, many have handles or small wheels, enabling you to quickly and easily move them where you need them to be. They don’t usually take up much space, either, but you may sacrifice some tank capacity as a result.
- Hot Dog Air Compressors
We know, we know—whoever named these things must have been hungry at the time. As you might expect, these models look like hot dogs, with long, cylindrical tanks that can either be mounted vertically or horizontally.
These compressors can be quite large, and as a result, you may find that they’re more powerful than your typical pancake model. That added strength comes at a cost, however, as hot dog compressors are usually louder and less stable than their flat counterparts.
Many hot dog compressors also feature oil-lubed pumps, which can extend their lifespan but also means they require regular maintenance.
- Portable Air Compressors
Portable air compressors are usually quite small and lightweight and can be stashed in a vehicle or set on a shelf. They’re not nearly as powerful as stationary models, but that’s really beside the point—they’re designed for smaller jobs, or to bail you out in an emergency until you can get back to the shop.
Many portable compressors have other power sources available besides the 110V plug, such as a 12V plug that fits in a car’s cigarette lighter or a built-in battery pack. This makes them extremely versatile and convenient.
It’s a smart idea to have a portable compressor in your trunk in case you find yourself stranded on the side of the road, but they can also come in handy at family BBQs or picnics, as they’re fantastic for airing up balls, rafts, and more.
What to Consider When Buying a 110V Air Compressor
When choosing between various models of 110V air compressor, it’s important to understand that there aren’t many features that are “good” or “bad.” Rather, it’s often about how suitable a feature is for the task at hand, and whether you’re willing to sacrifice one benefit for the sake of another (for example, less noise often means less power). Always keep your intended use in mind, rather than looking at these features through a universal lens.
You’re likely to see a few different power specifications on any model you’re considering, as the term can mean different things at different times. The first specification is the output of the motor, which is often described in units of horsepower. More horsepower means greater air pressure, which is usually measured in PSI. This allows you to store more air in the tank, so you can work longer between refills.
Other measurements you’re likely to see are cubic feet per minute (CFM) and standard cubic feet per minute (SCFM). These terms relate to the volume of pressure the machine can deliver, and they go up as PSI goes down. High CFM ratings are ideal for heavy-duty applications like frame nailing, but they might be overkill for smaller jobs.
The size of the air tank will vary from compressor to compressor. The larger the tank, the more pressure it will be able to provide, and the longer it’ll be able to provide it. However, don’t automatically assume that a bigger tank is better for you, as most jobs can be performed perfectly well with smaller tanks.
If you’re expecting to use the machine constantly, or if you have a job that requires massive, sustained air flow (like painting a car), then springing for a larger tank is probably a good idea. However, keep in mind that big tanks are, well, big. They’ll take up more space in your shop and be harder to move around, so be sure you need all that space before you put your credit card down.
This is closely related to capacity, as larger tanks are harder to move around as a rule. That being said, many bigger models get around this by adding large handles and wheels, letting you easily move them from point A to point B without throwing your back out along the way.
If you need to take your compressor to various job sites, however, portability becomes even more important. Some are easy enough to load in the back of a truck or van, while others can be permanently mounted to a vehicle.
Just remember that all the power and capacity in the world won’t help you if you can’t get the compressor where you need it to be.
Tips for Buying and Using a 110V Air Compressor
When shopping for a 110V air compressor, the most important thing is to be realistic about what you’ll use it for. Don’t just default to buying the biggest and most powerful model on the market, as this could actually work against you if you often need to do finer detail work.
These machines are relatively low-maintenance, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore yours. If it’s oil-lubed, check the levels before each use, and be sure to keep all vents clean. Regularly check screws, nuts, hoses, and other couplings to make sure they’re tight, and drain any moisture that may have pooled. If you don’t plan on using the unit for some time, be sure to drain the tank and discharge all the air inside. This can prevent condensation from accumulating, which can lead to rust and corrosion—and rusty tanks are more likely to combust.
Pay attention to vibration and stability as well. Many compressors rattle quite a bit while in use, which can cause them to fall off shelves or tip over. Try to make sure it’s stable before you begin, and be very careful when moving it.
- Pay attention to how long the power cords and air hoses are, as this will go a long way towards determining how convenient the unit is to use.
- Try to avoid using extension cords, as these can lead to overheating. Instead, connect multiple air hoses if you have to.
- Use the right pressure for the job at hand, as some tasks benefit more from low, steady volume, while others require blasts of maximum pressure.
Best 110V Air Compressor FAQ:
While air compressors aren’t terribly complex machines, there’s still quite a bit of jargon and technical mumbo-jumbo that goes along with buying one, so it’s easy to get confused if you’ve never done it before. Below, we’ve listed some common questions that many buyers have, so you can make the most informed buying decision possible.
Q. What’s the difference between a stop-start motor and a constant run?
A stop-start motor powers off when not in use, putting less wear and tear on the machine but also slowing down work a bit. Constant run units never power off. Unless you run a professional shop, a stop-start motor should be perfectly fine for your needs.
Q. Do I need to “break-in” my compressor before using it?
No. Modern compressors are designed to be used right out of the box, so as long as all the connections are tight and there are no leaks or malfunctions, feel free to run it as needed.
Q. How much pressure do I really need to get the job done?
This will be determined by the tools you’re using. Always go by the highest minimum tool requirement, meaning if you have a nailer that requires 125 PSI and a stapler that needs 100 PSI, get a compressor capable of 125 PSI.
Our Top Pick
We like the Bostitch BTFP02012-WPK Air Compressor Kit, as it comes with everything you need to get up and running in one compact package. Its pancake design makes it stable, and it’s extremely user-friendly. Plus, it boasts a high flow regulator and dual couplers, making it capable of taking advantage of every bit of its available 150 PSI. Despite its formidable power, it’s actually rather quiet, so you can use it indoors without ear protection.