Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: February 24, 2021
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An air compressor is one of the most versatile tools that you can own, especially if you have a really good one. With a good air compressor, there is pretty much no limit to what you can accomplish, no matter if you want to fill tires or run tons of power tools. This is especially the case if you have the best gas air compressor you can get your hands on. Gas compressors are much more powerful than their electric counterparts and are much more portable as well.
But how do you tell one great air compressor apart from another, you might ask? There certainly is a lot that goes into it. For our reviews, we focused on how big the tank is, the running pressure and maximum pressure the compressor can deliver, as well as the engine power. We also looked at the weight of the compressor and the air delivery system, which helped us to narrow down our list to only the best of the best gas compressors out there.
Once we had our criteria whittled down, we spent hundreds of hours reading through thousands of user reviews to put together a comprehensive list of the best gas air compressors on the market. If you already know what you are looking for in a compressor, then you should check out our quick reference table and detailed product reviews. If, however, you are new to the compressor world, make sure you read through our buying guide, as this will give you everything you need to know to find the best compressor for your needs.
This is, quite possibly, the best gas air compressor out there. The first thing that stands out with this model is the engine. It is designed by Honda and provides plenty of power, performance, and reliability. Of all the different compressors that we looked into, this one got up and running the quickest, all thanks to its excellent motor.
The motor has some of the best flow rates of any compressor that we looked at. At 90 PSI, it can deliver an astounding 12.5 CFM, which is great, even if you are going to be painting only. It also has a nice high max PSI of 135.
This compressor features two large air tanks that give you a total capacity of 10 gallons. This makes it a perfect choice for running a ton of equipment at the same time, whether that be automotive tools or nailers. Therefore it can perform lots of different jobs, such as fencing, roofing, decking, or siding.
The lubrication system for this compressor uses oil. This allows the system to operate at a much cooler temperature than a non-oil system helping to extend the life of the compressor, though it can get a bit messy if you aren’t too careful. Luckily, pretty much everything about this model is nice and large, making exchanging air filters and changing oil quick and simple.
Of course, this oversized design does have its drawbacks. This model is exceedingly heavy. While it does have a large wheel and wheelbarrow style handles, it might take some practice in to move it around easily.
DeWalt has long been one of the forerunners in power tools and power tool accessories. This long and proud tradition is continued with this air compressor, which, for its size, is one of the best compressors out there. Even though it is lightweight, it’s reasonably powerful. It has a max PSI of 155, which is high enough for pretty much any tool you use.
One of the things that we were so surprised about this unit is how quiet it is. Gas compressors have a reputation for being a bit noisy. While this compressor is certainly not going to sneak up on you, it is not nearly as loud as other models, which makes it a great choice for a residential area.
The engine delivers a stellar 6 HP and runs a direct drive, oil-free pump. It means that it is easy to maintain, which is a great feature. This engine can deliver 5 CFM at 90 PSI, which should give you all the power you require.
Perhaps the best feature for this compressor is its size. It is surprisingly compact and weighs a mere 74 pounds. Of course, it might not seem that lightweight when you have to carry the compressor around your worksite. While the easy grip handles are a nice touch, it would have been better if the unit had wheels to push it from place to place. Of course, if you are only moving your compressor to short distances, then carrying it shouldn’t be too bad.
If you are in the market for a no frills type of air compressor, then this might be the right model for you. It features an oversized engine and pump, which make it easy to get right in there to change the oil or filters.
It is also a really heavy unit so that it would be best for stationary use. While it does come equipped with an oversized wheel and easy-to-use handles, moving the thing is another matter. It takes a bit of practice to get it right, so you might be better suited to pick a spot for it and keep it there as much as you possibly can.
This compressor can deliver 12.8 CFM at 90 PSI, which is one of the highest rates out there. This makes it a great choice if you are going to be using any tools that guzzle down that air, such as painters. This high air delivery rate does come at a price, however, as this is one of the more expensive compressors on our list.
Of course, this also means that this might not be a good air compressor for everyone. For instance, if you only want a gas compressor to nail some projects together outside occasionally, then this wouldn’t be a good model for you. If, however, you need a constant high-rate flow of air for all sorts of tools at the same time, then this is a great option.
Much like the Makita that we looked at earlier, this model from Hitachi uses a Honda motor to compress the air that you need for your work. This works pretty well, though it cannot deliver as much CFM as the Makita. This compressor can give you 9 CFM at 90 PSI, which, while not the best on the market, is still quite respectable.
This pump, which uses oil as its lubricant, has a super simple to read oil gauge. This gauge helps to take the guesswork out of how much oil you have left in the compressor, which, in turn, will help you take better care of your machine.
Another cool feature for this compressor is its cooling fins that it has on the tank side. One of the biggest factors in proper compressor maintenance is making sure that no condensation forms on the interior of the tank. These cooling fins help to keep condensation away, which is another feature designed to extend the life of the compressor.
Like many other gas compressors, this model is pretty heavy. Luckily, it comes with a nice large wheel and handles that make it easy to move after a bit of practice. Based on its size, this compressor would be best used for jobs where you don’t need to move the compressor very much.
If you do try to travel with this compressor, make sure that you take extra care when it comes to the pressure gauge. It, unfortunately, protrudes a bit from the main unit, which makes it susceptible to damage during transport.
If you are sick and tired of waiting for your compressor to refill over and over again, then this is going to be an excellent option for you. This compressor has a humongous tank. It can hold up to 20 gallons of compressed air, which should give you all you need for pretty much an entire working day.
Of course, the big drawback for this compressor is that it takes a long time to fill those large tanks every time you want to use the compressor. Of course, this can easily be alleviated by simply completing some other task while the compressor is filling.
Despite its large tank, this is a surprisingly quiet air compressor. This is mostly because of how it has been designed. The feet on this compressor are made to reduce any vibrations, which helps keep the machine from being overly loud during its operation.
Surprisingly, this compressor does not have a very high max PSI, which, at only 130 PSI, is one of the lowest of all the compressors that we looked into. It does, however, deliver up to 13.7 CFM, which is one of the highest other there. This would be a perfect tool for running all day, every day, no matter if you only have one tool or a whole bunch of tools running at the same time.
When you look at this compressor, the last thing that you would think is that it is quiet. On the contrary, this compressor has an industrial look about it, and yet, it is by far the quietest gas powered compressor that we looked over. This is due to a couple of factors. The first is how secure it is upon the ground. The rubber feet and tire help keep the compressor stationary, thus reducing all of the noise you would get through vibration.
The second factor that helps keep this particular compressor nice and quiet is its wide-open design. Since the gas tank, compressor, oil tank, and filters are a bit oversized, this allows them to move outside of the box, as it were. Since they are not all cluttered close to each other, the sound can escape without bouncing off of the other parts.
This is also one of the easiest compressors to start on the market. Every time that you are ready to use it, you merely have to give a pull on the cord, and it will start right up for you.
While learning to maneuver with this compressor takes a bit of practice, once you figure it out, it is quite easy to do. Of course, there are probably going to be small spills and bumps as you get the hang up moving the compressor from place to place. Not to worry! This compressor is built to last and is made out of the toughest materials possible to ensure it has a nice long life.
If you are trying to get a great compressor, but are operating on a tight budget, this might be a good choice for you. The Industrial Air compressor is low maintenance, and you won’t have to replace the oil that often. This compressor uses Teflon for its lubrication system. This will help keep the unit as clean as possible.
Aside from being one of the cheapest gas compressors around, this is also one of the smallest. It weighs in at a minuscule (for a gas compressor) 84 pounds. While you certainly wouldn’t want to be moving it all over the place, this light weight should make it possible to do so if necessary.
If you do choose to move about with this compressor, you can rest assured that you won’t be able to cause too much damage to it if you were to drop it in any way. It has a steel roll cage around it, which serves as a carrying handle when you need to move it. This cage also helps protect the different gauges and parts from being damaged during transportation.
Even though this is a cheaper model, it can still deliver a high max PSI of 155. The CFM is a bit low, but that is to be expected from a smaller compressor. This limits the types and number of tools that you can use with it, but should still give you plenty of options to choose from.
What we liked:
High maximum pressure
What could be better:
Small tank size
Things to Сonsider
In this section, we will cover everything you need to know to find the best air compressor for your needs.
What are the advantages of gas air compressors?
There are several different advantages that a gas air compressor has over an electric model. The first, and perhaps most important advantage is that they are much more powerful. Since they are powered by a gas engine, they can compress air at a much faster rate than an electric model, which is ideal if you are going to be doing a big job, like roofing or running multiple pneumatic tools.
The second big advantage for gas air compressors is how portable they are. Even if you have the longest extension cord known to man, you will eventually come to the end of the line with an electric compressor, which just won’t cut it in certain situations. A gas compressor, on the other hand, can go pretty much anywhere, as long as you have its tank full, that is.
Features to consider while choosing a gas air compressor
The tank capacity, to put it as simply as possible, will tell you how much air your compressor is able to hold at any one time. The larger the tank, the more air it can hold, which means the more tools you can use without the compressor’s engine kicking on. If you are someone who has a big job to do and you are going to be in constant need of tons of air, then you should look for a larger capacity tank.
On the other hand, if you only need a little bit of air at a time, then you can probably get by with a smaller capacity tank. A smaller tank will also be more portable.
Depending on the tools that you are going to be running off of your air compressor, you will need varying levels of pressure. If you want to run lots of tools at the same time, you will need a higher level of pressure than if you only intend to run one tool for little bits at a time.
The pressure is shown as PSI (pounds per square inch). The higher the number, the higher the maximum pressure will be for your compressor. It is usually a good idea to get a compressor that has a higher maximum PSI than you think that you are going to need. That way, you will be covered if you choose to use a larger, more air-gobbling tool in the future.
The type of engine that you get on your compressor is very much up to your personal needs. If you are going to be running your compressor all the time, then you don’t have time to wait around for a weaker engine to get up and running. On the other hand, smaller engines are much cheaper, and if you are only going to be using your compressor occasionally, a smaller engine will probably do the job.
No matter what type of engine you decide upon, you need to make sure that it is well maintained. In some models, particularly larger ones, you will need to use engine oil as a lubricant. Some smaller models have a Teflon lubricant band. While these bands do not last forever, they are much cleaner to deal with than oil.
The free air delivery, FAD for short, is a unit of measure that is associated with pressure. It is the amount of flow that you get from the compressor at whatever pressure you are working in standard conditions. This is usually expressed in CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute).
These two measurements will help you to understand and figure out how long it will take you to power up your compressor, and how long the air should last once it has been compressed. By factoring these numbers in, you can be sure that you get the correct compressor for whatever work you have in mind.
Weight and dimensions
How much your compressor weighs and how much space it takes up is, once again, completely up to you and what you intend to use your compressor for. If you need to complete a job where you are going to be moving from place to place, such as painting, then you should probably go with a more portable model that isn’t quite as large and doesn’t weigh as much.
On the other hand, if you are going to be using your gas compressor in one location and you need a ton of air, as in the case of installing a new roof or running a ton of pneumatic tools, you can go for a heavier, larger model.
Air compressors have a ton of moving parts. Even in the best models, something can, and probably will go wrong. That is why you need to be sure that you get a good warranty. But, please be careful to read the fine print. Some companies will offer what sounds like a great warranty but will hide some sneaky terms that exclude the most vital parts of the machine.
As with any tool, gas-powered air compressors come with some extra features to try and separate them from the rest of the pack. We highly recommend that you look for models with wheels and handles. That way, you can easily move your compressor around your worksite with little to no effort.
PSI is the amount of pressure that can be created by a compressor. Each air-powered tool will use a different amount of pressure, so it is best to get a compressor with a wide range. That way, you will be covered for any tool you can think of. The user’s manual for your tool of choice will give you a better idea of what pressure you need to get your work done.
If you are looking for a lighter model, then you should check out the Hitachi EC2510E. It is a lightweight compressor, which is very easy to move around.
Of course, if you want to get a really light model, you could also consider an electric compressor. While these are not as powerful as gas models, they can be used indoors, and are usually quite small.
A larger tank is a good thing to have on hand if you are going to be using your compressor often. That way, you won’t ever be without the air you need to get the job done. Of course, a larger tank will make your unit harder to move around, so you need to consider that too.
Of all the different models that we looked at, we conclude that the best gas air compressor available today has to be the Makita MAC5501G. Its combination of power, reliability, and fast airflow makes it a great option for anyone who needs to utilize a lot of tools at the same time without a loss in air pressure.
The DeWalt DXCMTA5090412 is another excellent option if you are looking for a decent gas air compressor. While it is a bit on the smaller side, it can still provide plenty of power for pretty much whatever kind of project you have in mind. Its small size makes it very portable, as long as you don’t need to carry it too far.
One of the toughest parts of owning a gas air compressor is the maintenance. This is, however, not the case for the Rol-Air Air Compressor GX200. It has oversized gauges and air filters, which make changing the oil and air filters as simple as it possibly can be.