Portable compressors are especially useful as emergency equipment for motorists and motorcyclists but they can also be of help in housework or for inflating equipment intended for play or bathing. The number of models available on the market is far too large, but in this guide we have examined for you those that have obtained the most satisfaction from consumers. As you can see, the most requested are two portable compressors both produced by the same company: the Oasser P1 , thanks to the ease of use and the rapid battery recharge function, and the Oasser P6 , particularly appreciated for its cheapness.
11 Best Portable Compressors – 2020 Ranking
- Oasser P1
The Oasser P1 seems to be one of the best portable compressors of 2020, at least according to the enthusiastic opinions of the numerous buyers, and by taking a close look at its characteristics and the services offered, one immediately understands why.
Its main advantage lies above all in its small size, which allows it to be transported without problems on any type of vehicle, from bicycles to cars; it is powered by an integrated lithium battery, rechargeable quickly in one and a half hours only, and can be connected to 110 and 12 Volt AC / DC adapters.
The P1 portable mini compressor is extremely versatile even in applications, it can be used as much for inflating tires as for balls or other inflatable equipment for sports or bathing use; it is equipped with a backlit LCD display where the pressure is displayed in four different selectable units of measurement, it is also complete with LEDs for emergency lighting.
Compact and versatile : The small size allows it to be transported with extreme ease and versatility of use. In fact, it is suitable for cars, motorbikes and bicycles, and for inflatable equipment of any type, from mattresses to balls.
Easy to use : The integrated digital pressure gauge allows you to set the pressure according to the type of use that you usually use of the device, the pressure measurement scale can also be selected according to the need.
Quick charge and LED : The internal battery can be fully charged in just one and a half hours, in addition, the mini compressor P1 is also equipped with LEDs and can function as an emergency torch.
Not on trucks : The only flaw is that of not being suitable for the needs of truck drivers. For that type of need a more powerful and expensive compressor is needed.
- Oasser P6 Portable Auto Air Compressor
Among the best-selling models, the P6 ranks second, this too is produced by the Oasser company. It is a portable compressor for cars and, in comparison with the other products examined in the guide, it is the cheapest.
The shape is different from the P1 but its dimensions are equally compact; the performances are also similar, both as regards the presetting functions of the pressure and the equipment, such as the LCD display and the LED lights for emergency lighting, and with regard to the performance and the maximum inflation pressure, which is 150 PSI.
Overall, Oasser compressors are appreciated above all for their excellent quality-price ratio; they are not suitable for those with big needs, such as truck drivers for example, but for non-intensive use they are ideal, have an affordable price and enjoy a good after-sales service.
Price : The P6 is the cheapest of all the portable compressors examined in our guide, therefore it is particularly recommended for savers.
Functional : The small size, lightness, ease of use and the presence of LEDs for emergency lighting make it very functional, ideal as an emergency equipment for the car.
Accessorized : The accessory kit also includes a small kit of needles for inflating balls, inflatable boats and other inflatables.
Accuracy : According to some buyers, it is somewhat inaccurate regarding the pressure measurement, and the values provided are slightly lower than the real ones.
- Sumgott Portable Air Compressor for Cars 150 PSI
Among the products at low prices currently available on the market, the 220V NC009 portable compressor was also produced, produced by the Sumgott company, which stands out for its “pistol” design designed specifically to offer maximum ease of use.
The LCD display, in fact, is located on the back and at the top of the handle, in order to facilitate reading during use. On the front, on the other hand, there is the connection for the inflation hose, compatible with the four different adapters supplied with the accessories. The latter also includes the AC charger with 220V input voltage and the instruction manual.
Although the performances are not dissimilar from those of the portable compressors examined previously, however, the Sumgott is penalized by the charging time required by the integrated battery, which requires a cycle of at least three hours, and is therefore double compared to that of the Oassers.
Practicality : Its design is similar to that of a portable hair dryer, therefore it is extremely practical and easy to use, ideal for emergency situations.
LED : Obviously it is also equipped with integrated light, to provide localized lighting during use.
Versatile : Thanks to the various adapters supplied, it is possible to use it for mattresses, balls and other inflatable sports and leisure equipment.
Charging time : The flaw, unfortunately, is given by the compressor charging time, which is double that of the models examined previously.
- Stanley DN200 / 10/5 AIRBOSS Air Compressor, 1100 W, 230 V
The Stanley portable compressor is a top-of-the-range product as regards the models belonging to the economic range, but it is a portable compressor suitable above all for hobby use and DIY.
Although it is also useful for tires and other general purpose inflatables, the dimensions and weight are greater and, consequently, it is much less suitable for transport by car and for use in emergency situations. On the contrary, on the other hand, it is equipped with a handle and a shoulder strap that facilitate manual movement during use. This is why buyers recommend it especially for housework, for hobby, DIY and for inflating tires when the car is in the garage.
It is equipped with a 5 liter tank and can inflate to a maximum pressure of 10 bar; the only flaw of the Stanley portable compressor, according to some buyers, is the high noise level of the appliance.
Stanley quality : The brand is known for the high quality of its products, widely used also in the professional field. The DN200 compressor, in fact, was found to be solid and very reliable.
Powerful : Its power is equivalent to 1,100 watts, so it is extremely efficient; it is also driven by an oil-free engine, so it requires no special maintenance.
Handy : Despite its 10 kilograms of weight, thanks to the integrated handle and the shoulder strap, it is very easy to handle and easy to move.
Noisy : The noise level emitted reaches 97 decibels, unfortunately, so it is nothing short of deafening. It is advisable to use it only during the day and for a short time.
- FIAC SUPER ECU FB210 Portable compressor
If you are wondering where to buy a new, less noisy professional portable compressor than the Stanley, instead, we suggest you take a look at the SUPER ECU FB210 produced by the Italian company FIAC SpA.
Its power reaches 2 HP, equivalent to approximately 1,500 watts, but otherwise is similar to Stanley in performance, indeed slightly higher as regards the flow rate of the air flow, which reaches 200 liters per minute compared to 180 liters per minute. Stanley. The pressure reaches a maximum of 10 bar and the noise level emitted, however, stops at 90 decibels.
The major limitation of the FIAC portable compressor, unfortunately, is represented by a far higher market price than that of the other models examined in the guide. Therefore the FB210 is recommended only for professional use in small mechanical workshops and craft workshops.
Made in Italy : FIAC SpA is an Italian company with more than 40 years of experience in the production of portable compressors, and is in possession of the UNI EN ISO 9001: 2008 quality certificate.
Professional : The performances offered by the portable compressor SUPER ECU are at a professional level in all aspects.
Equipped : Its facilities include the pressure reducer, the hose professional helical, the gun with integrated pressure gauge and different types of adapters.
Price : Dear, unfortunately, especially when compared to the cost of the other compressors examined in the guide.
- Tacklife ACP1C ACP1C Portable Auto Air Compressor 40L
With the Tacklife ACP1C we return to the category of models suitable for transport by car, it is in fact a portable compressor powered with 12V voltage, complete with power cable with connection for the cigarette lighter.
Compact and light, the Tacklife measures only 67 centimeters in length and is equipped with a practical carrying case; it has a power equivalent to about 120 watts and can inflate a tire from 0 to 2.4 bar in just under five minutes, with an air flow of 40 liters per minute. These characteristics make it ideal as an emergency equipment for the car.
The range of accessories, like other similar models available in the same price range, includes four adapters for nozzles, including one of the Presta brand, the nylon bag for transport, the two-year warranty, instructions and a fuse for replacement.
Economic : One of the main reasons why it is among the most popular portable compressors, is given by the economic price and therefore by the easy accessibility.
Equipped : The budget also includes a spare fuse and a handy nylon bag for easy transport, and of course the classic kit common adapters to the compressor of this kind.
Simplicity : It is also very easy to use and fairly quick to inflate, although overall it takes time to load properly.
Only for emergencies : As mentioned before, inflation requires little but loading increases the time, moreover it is barely enough for emergency interventions.
- Black & Decker ASI300-QS Compact Portable Compressor without Tank
The Black & Decker ASI300-QS portable compressor is instead recommended for home garage use, since it is a model designed to work both with the voltage of 230V and with the 12V of the car battery.
Qualitatively speaking it is at a good level, thanks to the reliability of the well-known American brand; unlike the other similar models with which we have compared it, in fact, the ASI300-QS is even equipped with an automatic shut-off system that prevents the risk of inflating the tires insufficiently or excessively.
The maximum pressure reached, on the other hand, is 11 bar instead of 10 reached by similar models produced by other companies. Obviously it is complete with adapters for inflating the wheels of motorcycles and bicycles, and cables for power supply with relative adapters.
The only flaw, in this case, is given by the slight inaccuracy of the digital pressure gauge, which is also common in this type of compressor.
Reliable : The Black & Decker brand is known for the reliability of its products, and the ASI300-QS compressor is certainly no exception to this rule.
Efficient : The maximum pressure reaches 11 bar; the inflation operations are somewhat slow, but on the other hand it is efficient and does its job without problems.
Recommended for motorcycles : The buyers found it ideal especially for motorcycles and bicycles, although there are those who have used it even with the tires of the camper.
Loud and inaccurate : The defects, however, according to some buyers, are represented by the noise and the slightly inaccurate digital pressure gauge.
Portable battery-powered compressor
- KYG 4560 Portable Auto Compressor Automatic Air Compressor
We conclude ours with a portable battery-powered compressor, in this case the model 4560 produced by the KYG brand.
Its distinctive feature is the outward appearance, which is almost the same as that of a screwdriver or another similar cordless power tool. Like the Sumgott examined previously, therefore, this model is also recommended as an emergency equipment to be kept on board the car, due to its high practicality and ease of use. It is powered by an internal 2,000 mAh battery and is equipped with a 260 lumen LED light for emergency lighting, an LCD display and a digital pressure gauge with real-time pressure measurement.
According to the buyers, it is a discreet and functional compressor, but it tends to overheat more than it should, and therefore forces you to take frequent breaks during use to avoid the risk of burning the battery.
Design : Similar to that of a common cordless screwdriver, it makes the appliance very practical and easy to use, especially in an emergency.
Functional and versatile : The features and functionality possessed extend its range of use and make it suitable for various circumstances, including the inflation of sports and swimming pool equipment.
Good value for money : Given the characteristics possessed, buyers also recognize good value for money.
Overheating : The battery is subject to overheating easily if the use lasts too long, so you must take frequent breaks to avoid damaging it.
Oasser Portable Air Compressor Auto Mini Rechargeable
The P1 portable compressor is compact, light and the cylindrical shape makes it extremely handy and easy to use. Its main advantage, however, lies above all in the rapid charging function that allows you to recharge the battery in an hour and a half only.
Given its peculiar characteristics, this portable compressor has aroused the interest of many truck drivers. Unfortunately, however, its performance is inadequate for truck tires, which require higher power compressors.
If you need a portable compressor for your car or motorbike, this is the model that most buyers highly recommend buying.
Oasser Portable Auto Air Compressor, Mini Rechargeable Electric Pump P6
The P6 is a portable compressor with performances similar to those offered by the P1, it is functional and well-equipped but with a different shape. The feature that buyers have most appreciated in this particular model is the unquestionably competitive price compared to the average.
The digital pressure gauge, according to the testimonies of some buyers, is not very precise and therefore they recommend checking the differential of waste using the tire pressure gauge.
It is a compact and light portable compressor but penalized by the inaccuracy of the digital pressure gauge; on the other hand, however, it costs very little.
Portable Air Compressor Car Compressor
The feature that buyers have appreciated most and that they believe to be the main strength of the Sumgott portable compressor, is its “pistol” shape thanks to which it is extremely practical and easy to handle. It is especially suitable for motorcycles and bicycles.
The main flaw, however, is represented by the battery recharge time, which is more than three hours, twice as much as the Oasser portable compressors examined previously, equipped instead with fast charging.
Also in this case we find ourselves in front of a portable compressor of economic range, handy and easy to use but limited by long charging times.
Guide to buy a portable compressor
Attention to the type of compressor
Before deciding which portable compressor to buy, it is best to try to make a careful assessment of the type of needs that must be met, so as not to run the risk of spending money on an appliance that could prove to be absolutely inadequate to your needs.
Most of the portable compressors that the market offers are equally divided in the low and medium range, in a price range that goes from a minimum of 20 euros to 1,500 euros and beyond. Within these bands, then, there is a further subdivision to be made based on the type of compressor and the intended use.
The devices to be used as emergency equipment on board cars and motorcycles, for example, are available at a price of between 30 and 100 euros, depending on the model chosen and the characteristics. It is obvious, however, that any models that fall into this specific range, were also the best portable compressor, will be ideal for tires, and if necessary also for other types of inflatables, but completely inadequate for those whose needs are more specific. , such as small artisans or DIY lovers. A common limitation to almost all low-cost portable compressors, in fact, is represented by the poor precision of the digital pressure gauge, whose readings never fully correspond to the real parameters.
Applications other than inflation
If you need the portable compressor as complementary equipment for a pneumatic tool, or for spray painting, you will have to prepare yourself for a completely different expense. For this type of application, a model with a tank is required and consequently, while remaining in the category of portable compressors, the size does not make it suitable as an emergency equipment for a car or motorbike. The cost is also higher, and can range from € 100 to € 1,500, with a restricted average between € 150 and € 550 for a model that can guarantee good performance and a decent versatility of use.
The main advantage of portable compressors of this type, in fact, is given by their adaptability to a wide range of jobs, from gardening to domestic cleaning, as well as for the specific uses that we mentioned at the beginning of the paragraph.
Obviously their usefulness in inflation is similar to that of the models designed for use on board vehicles, indeed they have the additional advantage of having more precise pressure gauges, being more efficient and, consequently, reducing inflation times. The portable compressors specific for car transport, in fact, being without a tank take longer than the models that are equipped with them.
Understanding how to choose a good portable compressor is not that difficult, especially considering what was said in the previous paragraphs. If your needs are limited to transport by car, or motorbike, to deal with any emergency situations, or to inflate a mattress or a ball if necessary, then you can easily orient yourself on an economic model. The same is true for those with a limited budget and for those who prefer to save money in any case, because these devices, despite their small limitations, do the job for which they were designed in any case.
If, on the other hand, your needs are more complex, then it is better to let go of the economic question and focus attention on a model with adequate characteristics. For professionals and the most demanding, in fact, without forgetting those who pay no expense in order to ensure high quality and performance, we suggest opting for portable compressors produced by the most reliable brands in the sector, such as Stanley, Black & Decker and others, known for their high production and quality standards.
What is the portable compressor for?
The compressor is an equipment used for a wide range of uses, both in the industrial and work and domestic sectors, and it is thanks to its high utility that portable versions are also produced. The latter are especially suitable for domestic and craft applications of course, where the uses are truly manifold and diverse.
Its first utility, the main reason why most portable compressors available on the market are obviously designed, is tire inflation. These devices, in fact, are now part of the emergency equipment of every good motorist and motorcyclist since they are precious in case of puncture.
Apart from the use in emergency circumstances, moreover, having a small portable compressor will allow you to always keep the pressure of the tires under control, intervening to inflate or deflate them just enough to always keep them within the optimal parameters. The same is true for motorcyclists, of course, and for all bicycle owners, given that usually in the accessory equipment of these devices there are various inflation adapters that are also compatible with the tires of two-wheeled vehicles.
The adapters allow you to inflate not only the tires of course, but also the wheels of prams and wheelchairs for example, not to mention a whole series of other objects, such as inflatables for the beach, mattresses, life jackets, dinghies, canoes, any type of balls and balls for play, sport, fitness, exercise and physiotherapy, and more. Thanks to the portable compressor, you can inflate practically everything without the slightest effort and in no time.
Another very common home application, for which portable compressors are extremely useful, is surface cleaning. To effectively remove dust from more delicate ornaments, for example, or from the frames of larger and heavier paintings without being forced to remove them from the walls.
But not only this, in the ravines difficult to reach or for the removal of dust from the electronic boards inside household appliances, computers and other small everyday objects, in order to ensure their correct functioning, in each of these cases the compressor laptop proves to be a valuable ally.
For DIY enthusiasts and hobbyists in general, the compressor is an absolutely indispensable and irreplaceable tool, both as an aid in cleaning and removing dust and other processing residues from objects and work surfaces, and as equipment complementary for pneumatic tools, such as sandblasters for example. Furthermore, by connecting a portable compressor to an airbrush, it can also be used for the spray painting of small objects or surfaces.
How to use a portable compressor
The technical definition of the compressor is: pneumophore operating machine.
These terms indicate a machine whose sole purpose is to raise the pressure of an aeriform substance, air, gas or steam according to the case and the type of appliance. The raising takes place through the use of mechanical energy which is subsequently transformed into potential energy, or of pressure precisely, since, unlike pumps, compressors act on compressible fluids.
The types of compressors on the market are numerous and differ from each other in size and classification. There are two categories in which these devices are grouped: volumetric compressors, which compress thanks to well-defined mechanical movements, and dynamic, where compression is obtained thanks to the speed that can be imparted to the air.
The portable car compressor falls into the second category, namely that of dynamics, and its operation is based on the rotation of a small shaft to which a rotor is connected. Given the small size of these appliances, one of the main advantages they offer is precisely that of having an axial type rotors with helical screws, which are used specifically to generate pressure and air flow from medium-low values, and with motors Oil Free type, i.e. free of lubricants.
It is precisely the high rotation speed of the helical elements, therefore, that allows to increase the pressure inside the tank. The maximum pressure energy that can be generated depends on the type of compressor, of course, but in most models intended for general use it is about 10 bar.
Relationship between size and performance
Obviously, the dimensions absolutely do not affect the operating dynamics that we have just exposed, therefore the portable compressors for cars, despite their small size and the lack of a tank, are still capable of generating a pressure of 7 to 10 bar. The substantial difference between the portable and larger models is given only by the fact that the latter are equipped with a tank and therefore generate a more stable and already pressurized air flow, while the former raise the pressure directly inside the tire.
As for the power supply, however, this also depends on the type of model and the size. Usually these appliances are driven by internal combustion or electric motors, the latter are much more widespread thanks to the greater practicality of use and the fact of not requiring particular maintenance interventions, especially those with Oil Free characteristics.
Portable compressors, on the other hand, are usually powered by a rechargeable battery or by the special connection cable with which they are equipped. Some car compressors are equipped with dual power supply, that is, they can operate with a voltage of 220-230V or 12V. If they are used in the box where you park your car, therefore, they can be safely connected to the current, while in the car they can use the connection cable with a plug for the cigarette lighter.