So you are looking for the best 10 gallon air compressor, see our in-depth guide bellow
When it comes to 10 gallon air compressors, they are perfect for executing small air tool works. Their compact size and light weight contribute to their secure storage and portability.
While it is good to have many options of compressors to consider, this can sometimes backfire without proper guidance. So, in this review article, we have shortlisted the four best 10 gallon air compressors. To arrive at this list, we went through a large number of 10 gallon air compressors by taking into account all the essential features and specifications. After a strenuous task of sifting through a multitude of products, we have finally come up with these four.
These four compressors have all the essential features and details that you require in a 10 gallon air compressor. Though you will notice some difference in their performance, this variation will suit a variety of users. After all, each user will have his preference.
Table of Contents
Best 10 Gallon Air Compressors 2020
California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor, 2 hp
WEN 2289 10-Gallon Oil-Free Vertical Air Compressor, 150 PSI
3.5HP 10-Gallon Pneumatic Portable Air Compressor With Tank
2 HP Quiet Portable Air Compressor, 125 PSI, 10 Gallon, HULK Silent Series, Model HP02P010SS by EMAX Compressor
The California Air Tools 10020C 10 gallon air compressor comes with heavy features but is unbelievably quiet. The quietness is super impressive that manufacturers call it ‘ultra quiet.’ You can also expect an increase in the duty cycle of this compressor, which translates to longer run time.
If your interest lies in a quiet compressor with sufficient power, this compressor has everything you need. The flow rate in this compressor is excellent, and the maximum pressure is also enough. There is also less dissipation of heat and less vibration, both of which contributes to the longevity of the compressor.
Considering the features, you can conveniently use this compressor inside your home or workshop. The compressor weighs around 80 pounds which is quite okay for a 10 gallon air compressor. With the wheels and supporting handles, you shouldn’t face any issue in mobility at home or job site.
· Ultra quiet operation
The California Air Tools 10020C air compressor comes with only 70 decibels. This low decibel results in low noise while operating the compressor. Air compressors are usually pretty loud while operating that you have to shout to communicate to someone near you. However, with this compressor, the noise is so low that you can hear yourself think!
There is also another contributor to the low noise in this compressor. And that is the new motor which operates at only 1680 RPM, thereby creating minimal noise.
· Easy start valve
The easy start valve is another solid feature in the California Air Tools 10020C air compressor. What this technology does is allow for an easier start by drawing lesser amp. It functions by releasing a minimal quantity of air from the pump during startup. What this does is it produces a no-load condition and allows free spinning of the motor.
This no-load feature uses less power with lower amperage and prevents your circuits from blowing up. When the motor starts and reaches its operating speed, the valves will close to allow pressure to build up slowly.
· More power
The California Air Tools 10020C air compressor operates at a maximum pressure of 125 PSI. It can deliver 5.3 CFM at 90 PSI and 6.40 CFM at 40 PSI. This 5.3 CFM at 90 PSI makes this compressor quite powerful for its class. This power should easily sustain two air tools at one go. You can use this compressor for air gun nozzle, powder coating, laser cutting air assist, air brushing, and spray guns.
· Overall performance
This oil-free California Air Tools 10020C air compressor has double piston pumps for high durability and performance. You can also use this oil-free compressor in extreme weather conditions and face no trouble. This is a huge plus point with this compressor as most compressors are sensitive to varying weather conditions.
This compressor also comes with thermal overload protector, which protects your compressor from overheating.
It is arguably one of the quietest compressors in the market
The quality of motor, tank, and compressor assembly are excellent
It reaches full pressure from empty in about 2 minutes
It has a low amp draw at 14A
It promises high durability with long longevity
No load start-up feature saves power
It has a phenomenal life cycle of 3000 plus hours between servicing
The oil-free compressor means it’ll require less maintenance and servicing
The quality of the wheels in this compressor is inferior
The price of this compressor is on the higher side
Some users may find the welding job in this compressor not as neat as one would expect
The compressor faces functionality problem in extreme weather
The small water drain is an annoyance at times
The drain valve is in close proximity to the floor, which makes it difficult to access. But then, this is the case with most other compressors
This oil-free vertical compressor is another favorite when it comes to 10 gallon air compressors. WEN’s history in power tools begins from 1951. Over the years, they have built a reputation in the industry of air compressors, amongst others.
The WEN 2289 10 gallon air compressor is suitable for nailers, staplers, spray guns, and other air tools. If you mostly utilize air tools whose requirement is
around 2 to 3 CFM at 90 PSI, this is the compressor for you. This compressor may not be as powerful as California Air Tools 10020C air compressor, but it packs a punch.
The user-friendly feature of the WEN 2289 10 gallon air compressor is one of the reasons for its popularity. It is also pretty lightweight weighing only 71 pounds and has 7-inches never-flat wheels. This lightweight and wheels feature increases the mobility of this compressor, making it highly portable.
· Superior safety with auto shutdown feature
The WEN 2289 air compressor features an automatic shutdown feature for added safety measures. Once the compressor reaches the maximum PSI, this automatic shutdown feature will kick in and shut down the compressor. This feature is important because it allows for reliable and safe compressing. Conversely, when the tank starts losing pressure, the motor will kick in to start building pressure again.
This feature makes the user’s life easier and allows one to focus on the task at hand without much distraction.
· Easy portability
For storage, a vertical 10 gallon air compressor is better than a horizontal compressor. The vertical WEN 2289 10 gallon air compressor is, therefore, easy to store. This compressor also comes with non-pneumatic tires that will never go flat. To complement the tires, the handlebars come with rubber grips to make mobility easier and stress-free. Portability is a key feature when it comes to smaller air compressors. So, this WEN 2289 10 gallon air compressor fits the criteria.
· Solid CFM and PSI
The WEN 2289 10 gallon air compressor delivers a decent flow rate of 4.0 CFM at 90 PSI and 5.0 CFM at 40 PSI. It can generate a maximum pressure of 150 PSI, which eliminates any worry regarding the power output. With this compressor, you can handle the two most common jobs – metal and wood working. Depending on the utility, even professionals and contractors can make use of this compressor for better work efficiency.
· Overall performance
The oil-free WEN 2289 10 gallon air compressor requires no lubrication. However, if you want to extend the life of the compressor, you can always check it after every year. This is because the Teflon lubricator does go dry after a certain period of time.
The drain valves are easily accessible, unlike most other compressors whose drain valves are not so easy to access. This allows for easy condensation and dispersion of built-up air.
The WEN 2289 10 gallon air compressor comes with two pressure gauges. You can monitor the pressure inside the tank through one gauge and regulate the air flow rate through the other.
You can also quickly change the hose in the WEN 2289 10 gallon air compressor through the ¼” NPT air outlet.
This compressor has a compact size with thoughtful set-up
This compressor’s CFM is excellent at this price range
The auto shutdown feature in this compressor enhances safety
The compressor allows for easy dispersion of built-up air and condensation
This compressor’s decent seven inches never-flat tires increases its portability
The air breather assembly feature in this compressor delivers clean air intake
The noise in this compressor is on the louder side
It takes time to fill up the pressure in the compressor
There is no additional starter kit or attachment when you buy this compressor which requires you to make an extra purchase
Though not as powerful as the above two compressors, the Stark 3.5 HP 10 gallon air compressor beats them in portability. Even otherwise, this compressor’s target is specifically for DIY projects and weekend warriors. Besides, this compressor requires oil lubrication. So, you’ll experience the highest durability with this compressor if you maintain it properly.
This Stark 3.5 HP 10 gallon air compressor should be the one for you if you do only DIY projects. You can tackle jobs like inflation, hobby painting, fastening, stapling, bolting, and nailing, amongst others. This compressor is also relatively
lightweight. Coupled with this are the large wheels and quiet operation, which makes it excellent for DIY projects.
Even though this compressor requires oil lubrication for maintenance and operation, it shouldn’t deter you from purchasing. The reason is everyone wants a compressor that can last them for many years. They want their investment to be worthwhile. And nothing beats an oil-lubricated compressor when it comes to longevity and durability. Of course, it’ll require occasional maintenance, but it is better than buying a new compressor after one or two years.
This Stark 3.5 HP 10 gallon air compressor is also reasonably cheap, making it an affordable machine.
· Fast tank fill-up motor
The Stark 3.5 HP 10 gallon air compressor features a 3.5 HP motor. It is a highly efficient motor with cold start twin capacitor induction. This high HP compensates for the low CFM in this compressor. The high HP means that it can quickly fill up the pressure in the tank, which is faster than any other compressor in this review. The motor also features the all-important thermal overload protection to protect your compressor from overheating.
· 50% quieter than most other compressors in its class
The Stark 3.5 HP 10 gallon air compressor runs on oil lubrication. One advantage of oil lubrication is the low noise compressor produces. The belt drive in this compressor also comes with a full enclosure which contributes to reducing noise. So, we can safely say that you can operate this compressor seamlessly inside your workshop or home garage.
· Compressor with oil lubrication
The Stark 3.5 HP 10 gallon air compressor is an oil air compressor. The piston in the compressor determines the efficiency of the compressor. If it has a proper lubrication, you can expect maximum efficiency from your oil compressor. Though you will need to maintain the Stark 3.5 HP constantly, it is only for your own good as well as the compressor.
Oil compressors generally weigh more than oil-free compressors. But this Stark 3.5 HP is the most lightweight in this review article which speaks volume of its quality. Oil compressor like the Stark 3.5 HP will run cooler than the other three compressors. It will also be suitable for long working hours because of the 3.5 HP motor.
Oil compressors are also less noisy. So, oil lubrication is another feature in Stark 3.5 HP, which contributes to minimal noise.
· What about the CFM?
Admittedly, the Stark 3.5 HP 10 gallon air compressor does not have a high CFM. The maximum pressure in this compressor is 125 PSI, which is quite okay. But the CFM at 90 PSI only has a 3.5 rating while the CFM at 40 PSI has a 7.2 rating. This relatively low rate of air flow, however, is targeted towards a specific group of customers. So, we don’t find much reason to gripe about. If we consider the other exceptional features, this Stark 3.5 HP perfectly accomplishes what it sets out to do.
· Overall performance
The Stark 3.5 HP 10 gallon air compressor operates with a low Amp draw. The positive thing about this is that it minimizes the risk of the breakers tripping during start-up.
This compressor also features large air filters with automotive style for increasing the air intake and better efficiency. The cylinders are also of durable cast iron which reduces normal wear and tear, thereby increasing pump life.
The cast iron pump in this compressor also features big bore cylinders. The engineering in these big bore cylinders and the pump is such that it enables faster recovery time. This ultimately leads to a major improvement in the performance of the compressor.
The low noise of this compressor is impressive
It takes less than two minutes for pressure to fill up from empty in this compressor
Competitive pricing makes this compressor a striking deal not to miss out on
An excellent compressor for weekend warriors
Portability of this compressor is also easy and convenient due to its lightweight
Plastic handle quality in this compressor is of the inferior type
There are some plastic components in this compressor which may not please some users. This, however, contributes to the low weight of this compressor
This compressor is the most silent and has the highest CFM at 90 PSI in this review article. This EMAX HULK HP02P010SS 10 gallon air compressor is definitely powerful. If this compressor can fit into your shop or job site tools requirements, you should give a serious thought about it.
EMAX has over thirty-eight years of experience to deliver the latest technologies into their air compressors. With this experience, EMAX’s objective is to ensure that their air compressors meet any demanding environment.
With an aim to provide high air output power with the least noise, this HULK compressor succeeds in doing so. So, if you’re someone looking for a 10 gallon air compressor whose tools require 4 to 5 CFM at 90 PSI, then, surely, you can’t give this compressor a miss.
· Super quiet operation
The first thing that’ll strike anyone operating the EMAX HULK HP02P010SS 10 gallon air compressor is the literal silence! The engineering of the dual intake filtration is such that it functions to deliver a maximum reduction in the noise. This results in an 80% quieter operation than other compressors with the same 2 HP motor engine. It’s no surprise that the noise decibel of this compressor is a shocking 41 dBA at three feet.
This compressor undeniably has the least sound while operating amongst all the compressors in this review article.
· Impressive power
The EMAX HULK HP02P010SS 10 gallon air compressor produces a maximum pressure of 125 PSI. The powerful twin cylinders in this air compressor can provide 5.77 CFM at 90 PSI and 8.39 CFM at 40 PSI. For a 10 gallon air compressor, we don’t think you can’t ask for more than this.
· Maximum durability and reliability
The EMAX HULK HP02P010SS 10 gallon air compressor features a low amp draw which can work on most outlets. The solid copper winding in the compressor acts in reducing the normal decay and prolongs the life of the compressor.
For reliability, this compressor comes with heavy-gauge steel cylinders, valves, and cylinder head. It just feels like this compressor can’t go wrong with anything.
The compressor also comes with comparatively big wheels for easy traverse. Mobility is, therefore, not an issue with this compressor.
This compressor recovery time is impressively fast
The compressor provides cleaner air for tool operation
The oil-free compressor requires less maintenance and are more resistant to extreme weather conditions
This vertical compressor is easy to store and transport
The compressor comes with a two years warranty
The compressor’s handle does not fit securely
Buyer’s Guide – How to choose the best 10 gallon air compressor
There are factors that you need to consider first before you choose to buy the best 10 gallon air compressor. Here are some things that you can keep in mind while browsing:
· Rate of air flow: This is nothing but the CFM (cubic feet per meter) rating. The standard measurement of CFM is at 90 PSI. So, you have to first check your tools to see if their CFM corresponds with that of the air compressor. It is always advisable to have the CFM in the air compressor higher than that of the tools. This allows your air compressor to perform better.
In this review article, the compressor with the highest CFM at 90 PSI is undoubtedly EMAX HULK HP02P010SS 10 gallon air compressor. It can crunch a 5.77 CFM at 90 PSI. So, if a high CFM is what you want, then you can settle for this compressor.
· Portability: This is another crucial factor. As you have seen from the above products, all of them vary in weight. What determines the portability of a 10 gallon air compressor is its weight, size, and shape. If you’re in need of high portability, you’ll definitely need a lightweight compressor and vice versa.
As you have already seen in this review article, the Stark 3.5 HP 10 gallon air compressor is the lightest weighing only 62 pounds. If your preference tilts towards this factor, this Stark 3.5 HP is an ideal choice.
· Shape of the tank: In this review, all the 10 gallon air compressors are of vertical shape. You can also go for the horizontal shape depending on preference. If you work in a tight space, you’ll definitely want a vertical
air compressor as horizontal compressors take up more space. As a general application, users who utilize 10 gallon air compressors require less space to work. So, it is natural to consider having a vertical compressor.
· Power source: Most of the modern air compressors feature electric power source. This is because they are more convenient than the power source from gas. Gas power source, however, offers more power. But for a 10 gallon air compressor, there is no need to trouble yourself with a gas power source. An electric air compressor with long hose pipe can simply do the trick for maximum portability. Air compressors with gas power source are a strict no-no for use indoors because of the fumes they produce.
· Horsepower: The horsepower (HP) essentially determines how fast your tank can refill. A higher HP will refill faster than a lower HP. So, if you want a high HP air compressor, then the Stark 3.5 HP 10 gallon air compressor is your go to option.
· Sound level: If you’re working from home, the level of noise your air compressor produces becomes important. In this review article, the EMAX HULK HP02P010SS 10 gallon air compressor produces the least noise at only 41 decibels. This is an excellent feature not found in many compressors.
· Usage: You’ll also have to consider for what purpose you’re going to use the compressor. The jobs and tasks that you’re going to be doing will give you the right answer. For the 10 gallon air compressors in this review article, the tasks that you’ll be engaging with your tools should be such
that the tools’ CFM limit is at 4-5. If you have tools whose CFM rating is beyond that, you may want to consider going for larger tank size.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What amount of pressure do I require?
In order to answer this, you’ll have to first check your tools. Inspect how much volume of air your devices require. Once you are done with that, check which tool requires the most amount of pressure. After you get the highest pressure in your tools, choose a compressor with a maximum PSI that exceeds the requirement of that tool.
What other features should I look for in an air compressor?
Other features like a cast iron body is an essential factor you must consider. Cast iron body is crucial if you’re working in extreme weather conditions like snow, heavy rain, hot, humid, etc. because it can provide more durability.
How do I proctect my air compressor?
Corrosion is one of the worst enemies of an air compressor because of the moisture in and around the tank. To help protect your compressor from this, stainless steel valves are also an important consideration as they help in preventing corrosion.
Thermal protection is another feature that your compressor must possess. What it does is it cuts the motor during any overload to protect the machine from any damage.
What amount of electrical output do I require for a 10 gallon air compressor?
For a 10 gallon air compressor whose requirements aren’t that huge, a standard household 110V will do. But, do note that this voltage can only support up to a maximum of 4 HP. The products in this review article are all manageable with a 110V-120V.
Where should I put my compressor?
If you’re planning to put the compressor outdoor, it needs to be away from any water source because of moisture which leads to corrosion. If you’re planning to keep it indoors, then you’ll want to make sure that your compressor receives adequate ventilation.
We hope this review of the best 10 gallon air compressor has been educational and helpful. As you know by now, though an air compressor is a simple tool, purchasing it requires many considerations. This is because you’re investing the right amount of your money on a machine.
There are many instances where customers buy compressors without proper knowledge or on some wrong information. If this happens to you, it is most likely that you’ll soon be in requirement of another new one. To avoid this unfortunate predicament, therefore, it is better to understand the essential details though it may become tedious sometime.
When it comes to choosing the best 10 gallon air compressor, it’s hard not to settle for EMAX HULK HP02P010SS air compressor. This compressor has an all round excellent feature that you’d want in a 10 gallon air compressor.