Best air compressor for woodworking-Reviews & Buying Guide

An air compressor makes work easier by powering multiple tools that help perform various tasks. The device has a tank that stores air under pressure which acts as the source of energy. Woodworking entails a lot of works that require different tools. This is where an air compressor comes in handy to power pneumatic tools such as brad nailers, framing nailers, cutting tools, pneumatic hammers, drilling tools, sanders, and vacuum cleaners. Therefore, this article not only gives you insights into air compressors but will also list the best air compressor for woodworking.

If you own a woodwork shop then you cannot afford to lack an air compressor. However, you must first equip yourself with knowledge on how to buy the best tool. For instance, a small workshop requires a small air compressor that is portable and powerful enough to drive small tools. Before we proceed to our in-depth buying guide, let’s first dive into the reviews. 

1. BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI (BTFP02012)

SpecificationsBest Air Compressor for Woodworking

Size: 17 x 17 x 19.25 inches

Weight: 31 pounds

Key Features

  • 6-gallon tank
  • 150 PSI maximum pressure
  • Oil-free pump
  • Delivers 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI
  • 78.5 dBA noise level
  • Two universal couplers

BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor tops our list as the best air compressor for woodworking because of multiple features. The 6-gallon tank unit weighs barely 31 pounds making it light and portable to carry and store.

Delivering a maximum pressure of 150 PSI and an airflow of 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI makes it powerful enough to run heavy-duty tasks. Moreover, the pump is oil-free and thus requires minimal maintenance for convenient use. 

The pump has an efficient motor that easily starts in cold weather or extension cord application. Besides, the noise level of 78.5 decibels is efficient for a quiet working environment. 

Additionally, the BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor has a high-flow regulator to maximize its performance. Also, the tool entails two couplers that help to support two users concurrently. 

Pros

  • Supports two users
  • Efficient motor
  • Operates quietly
  • Powerful machine
  • Requires less maintenance
  • Portable

Cons

  • Some acknowledge 78.5 decibels as loud to them

BUY ON AMAZON

2. Craftsman Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free with 13 Piece Accessory Kit (CMEC6150K)

SpecificationsBest Air Compressor for Woodworking

Size: 16.5 x 16.5 x 17.88 inches

Weight: 32.5 Pounds

Key Features

  • 6-gallon tank capacity
  • Oil0free pump
  • 150 PSI maximum pressure
  • Delivers 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI

The 6-gallon tank air compressor is built of quality in the USA with Global Materials in Jackson, Tennessee. It is lightweight and portable making it easy to move from one place to another.

The air compressor can deliver up to a maximum pressure of 150 PSI that is enough cut-inch pressure to drive multiple tools. The fact that it can offer an airflow of 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI allows quick compressor recovery time. 

Craftsman Air Compressor is a durable and oil-free pump thus demands less maintenance. Furthermore, oil is not involved and saves you extra expenses. Stains are not also involved in leaving your working surface clean. 

Pros

  • Powerful tool
  • Portable air compressor
  • Versatile tool
  • Less maintenance
  • Durable air compressor

Cons

  • A customer complaint that the safety control valve was defective and it leaks

BUY ON AMAZON

3. DEWALT Air Compressor Combo Kit with Brad Nailer (DWC1KIT-B)

SpecificationsBest Air Compressor for Woodworking

Size: 20 x 17 x 19.5 inches

Weight: 37.2 pounds

Key Features

  • The package incorporates a Brad Nailer
  • Offers 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI pump
  • 6-gallon tank
  • Low 75.5 dBA noise level
  • 165 PSI maximum pressure

DEWALT Air Compressor Combo Kit package comes with a Brad Nailer that drives 18ga nails from 5/8″ to 2″ in length. This is a good offer since buying the tools separately is costly. Furthermore, a brad nailer is an effective tool that helps in woodworking.

The air compressor works quietly at a noise level of 75.5 decibels. This allows a normal conversation to carry on without disruption. You will also not have problems with neighbors due to noise.

It can deliver an airflow of 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI and maximum air pressure of 165 PSI. This is the highest on this list making it a good choice for powering heavy-duty tasks. Grab this air compressor for both light and heavy projects.

The brad nailer has a tool-free depth-of-drive adjustment and tool-free jam release. This will save you time. If you need an efficient, powerful, durable, and quiet air compressor then DEWALT Air Compressor Combo Kit is the way to go!

 

Pros

  • Comes with a brad nailer
  • Quiet operation
  • Portable air compressor
  • Versatile tool

Cons

  • Poor packaging as some complain that it got damaged during shipment

BUY ON AMAZON

4. California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor, 2 HP

SpecificationsBest Air Compressor for Woodworking

Size: 16 x 15.1 x 35.9 inches

Weight: 82.5 pounds

Key Features

  • 70 decibels noise level
  • Delivers 6.40 CFM at 40 PSI & 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI
  • 10-gallon air tank
  • Maximum continuous running time of 30-60 min
  • 2.0 Hp powerful motor
  • Operates at only 1680 RPM
  • Oil-free air compressor

The ultra-quiet California air compressor only produces a noise of 70 decibels which is conducive for a work environment. You can converse with your colleagues without noise disruption.

Its oil-free nature makes it demand less maintenance and saves you the extra cash you would use to buy oil. Furthermore, you will get a maximum continuous working time of between 30-60 minutes that is enough to complete your task. 

The 10-gallon tank holds more air to power your tool longer without the need for a refill. It also incorporates a powerful 2.0 HP motor with a low current draw of 7.0 Amps and operates at only 1680 RPM. The speed creates less noise and allows less wear making it durable.

The Oil-Free Dual Piston Pump System is engineered for high performance and durability. It can operate for 3000 plus hours before wear. The air compressor can operate in uneven terrains and in a variety of temperatures. Designed for the person looking for Power, Air Flow, Less Service, and Maintenance with at Least 30% Less Noise!

Pros

  • Quiet air compressor
  • Maximum and efficient performance
  • Durable machine
  • Less maintenance
  • Powerful motor
  • Longer operational time

Cons

  • Poor quality assurance period

BUY ON AMAZON

5. California Air Tools 8010A Aluminum Tank Air Compressor | Ultra Quiet, Oil-Free, 1.0 hp, 8 gal

SpecificationsBest Air Compressor for Woodworking

Size: 26 x 14 x 23 inches

Weight: 37.2 pounds

Key Features

  • Comes complete with Wheel Kit & Air Filter
  • Only 60 dBA noise level
  • Max Continuous run time of 30-60 min
  • Oil-Free Pump 
  • Powerful 1.0 HP motor running and 2.0 HP at peak
  • 8.0 Gallon Steel Air Tank

The California 8010A Air compressor is the quietest in the game with a low noise level of only 60 decibels. It is made of steel material for durability. Expect a package including a complete wheel kit and air filter. 

Its large 8.0-gallon tank holds enough air to run a big project for a more extended period without the need for a refill. Moreover, the air compressor can operate for a continuous run time of 30-60 minutes depending on the set pressure and airflow. 

Additionally, the California 8010A is oil-free thus saving you the pressure for maintenance and oil costs. However, you will need a ¼” Universal / Industrial Male Quick Connector to attach your hose to the unit. 

The unit can operate in uneven terrains and a variety of temperatures, so you’ll not worry about your work location. If you are the type for a quiet, durable, powerful, efficient, and versatile machine then you have no choice but the California 8010A Air compressor.

Pros

  • Offers a longer runtime
  • Quietest in the game
  • Durable machine
  • Large air tank
  • Less maintenance
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Poor customer service

BUY ON AMAZON

6. PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, 6-Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free (C2002)

SpecificationsBest Air Compressor for Woodworking

Size: 19 x 19 x 18 inches

Weight: 31.2 pounds

Key Features

  • 150 PSI maximum pressure
  • Delivers 2.6 SCFM @ 90 psi
  • 6-gallon tank capacity
  • Low Amp 120V motor
  • Oil-free pump
  • Incorporates two regulated, factory-installed air

If you own a wood workshop and would love to run two tools concurrently, then the PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor with two factory-installed couplers has your back. Its pancake-style makes it stable plus the rubber feet. 

The air compressor can deliver a maximum air pressure of 150 PSI for more airflow for longer tool run-times. It also has a quick recovery time since it can deliver an airflow of 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI.

The oil-free nature saves you the hassle of maintenance and extra oil expenses. Besides, it has a low Amp 120V motor that allows it to easily start in cold weather or with an extension cord. You will have a comfortable experience with the air compressor since it incorporates a shroud, handle and console cover that protects vital components. 

Pros

  • Less maintenance
  • Comfortable handle
  • High performance
  • Flexible tool
  • Durable unit

Cons

  • It is fairly loud and vibrates like crazy when running. Avoid running it when others might be sleeping.
  • The power cord is too short. 

BUY ON AMAZON

7. Campbell Hausfeld 6 Gallon Portable Quiet Air Compressor (DC060500)

SpecificationsBest Air Compressor for Woodworking

Size: 16 x 23 x 16 inches

Weight: ‎62 pounds

Key Features

  • Produces only 68 dBA noise
  • Delivers 2.4 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • Offers a maximum pressure of 124 PSI
  • Oil-free pump
  • 6.0-gallon tank
  • Pancake design
  • Soft-grip steel handle

Finish your projects faster and easier with the Campbell Hausfeld air compressor. This is one of the best air compressor for woodworking that helps you kick your task right away. The package is compatible with a Campbell Hausfeld impact wrench, paint sprayer, and a hose. 

The air compressor lasts four times longer than normal units because it is made of durable steel material. It is oil-free meaning less maintenance from your side and no additional costs on oil.

With a noise level of only 68 decibels, the unit proves to be 50% quieter compared to its peers. Expect a maximum pressure of 125 PSI and an airflow of 2.4 SCFM at 90 PSI from this Campbell Hausfeld air compressor. 

When it comes to comfortability you’ll love the soft-grip handle and pancake design that allows easy movement from one job to the other. Indeed, this is the real deal for air tools experts who loves their work done well. 

Pros

  • Quiet operation
  • Durable tool
  • Comfortable to handle
  • High performance
  • Powerful tool

Cons

  • Packaged poorly

BUY ON AMAZON

8. Campbell Hausfeld FP2028 Air Compressor, 1 Gallon, Pancake, Oilless Pump, 110 PSI w/ Recoil Air Hose & Inflation Kit 

SpecificationsBest Air Compressor for Woodworking

Size: 12 x 12 x 16 inches 

Weight: 14.7 pounds

Key Features

  • Lightweight pancake design
  • Includes 25-foot recoil hose
  • Operates on 120-volt household current
  • 110 PSI maximum pressure
  • Delivers 0.36 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • Oil-less pump

The Campbell Hausfeld FP2028 Air Compressor is only 1-gallon in size making it fill up quickly. Its 14.7 pounds weight is light to handle and carry from one job site to another. The pancake shape makes it attractive and stable.

If you want to avoid extra expenses and maintenance then the unit is the best choice since it does not use oil. You will also have an easy time during a refill since the unit operates on a 120-volt household current. 

The gauge is conveniently placed to allow easy monitoring at a glance. Besides, the unit includes a 25-foot recoil hose, needle, needle adapter, 2 inflator nozzles, air chuck, plus onboard storage to keep all the accessories organized.

Woodworking entails many tasks and the Campbell Hausfeld FP2028 Air Compressor multitasks from airbrushing, stapling, brad nailing, etc. 

Pros

  • Versatile air compressor
  • Easy to fill up
  • Includes other accessories
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Less maintenance

Cons

  • The motor is loud

BUY ON AMAZON

9. Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor

SpecificationsBest Air Compressor for Woodworking

Size: 20 x 18 x 18.75 inches

Weight: 80.8 pounds

Key Features

  • Cast iron pump with big bore cylinder
  • Low AMP draw
  • 4.2-gallon twin stacked tank
  • Operates at a pressure of 130 PSI
  • Delivers 40 PSI at 4.8 CFM and 90 PSI at 4.2 CFM
  • Oil-lubricated pump

The Makita MAC2400 Big Bore is made of a powerful 2.5 HP motor with a low ampere draw to reduce cases of tripped breakers at start-up. Moreover, the 4.2-gallon twin tank can sustain a maximum pressure of 130 PSI.

Its cast-iron cylinder is durable and the piston is engineered to provide faster recovery time for enhanced performance. Besides, the pump can deliver an airflow of 4.8 SCFM at 40PSI and 4.2 SCFM at 90 PSI which is enough to run two nailers.

The oil-lubricated mature makes it runs smoothly with a quiet sound and for an extended service life due to reduced wear. It also has a built-in thermal overload for additional motor protection. To withstand an extreme working environment, the air compressor is built with a roll cage. 

Additionally, it incorporates a large automotive-style industrial air filter for increased air intake and greater efficiency. You will also enjoy the fast, easy, and efficient maintenance due to the oil sight glass. 

Pros

  • Safety precaution ensured
  • Durable tool
  • Easy to maintain
  • Runs smoothly and quietly
  • Faster recovery time

Cons

  • The pressure on this model drops fairly quickly 

BUY ON AMAZON

10. ARB (CKMTP12) 12V Twin Motor High-Performance Portable Air Compressor

Specifications

Size: 19.5 x 14.5 x 7.75 inches

Weight: 33 pounds

Key Features

  • Ultra-compact twin motor
  • Delivers 4.65 CFM at 29 PSI
  • 100 percent duty cycle 
  • Dual cylinder design
  • 150 PSI maximum air pressure
  • Integrated aluminum air tank

The ultra-quiet twin motor can deliver up to a maximum air pressure of 150 PSI, which is enough to run multiple air tools in your woodwork shop. It can also deliver an airflow of 4.65 CFM at 29 PSI. 

Its tank is made of aluminum material for durability. Moreover, the pump has a 100% duty cycle. The aluminum motor mounting brackets helps to effectively dissipate heat from the motors. 

The package comes in a convenient waterproof case with compartments to store the air hose and other accessories efficiently. You will also receive a canvas organizer, blow gun, inflator, and a 20-feet air hose in the kit. 

Pros

  • Comes with a convenient case
  • Includes additional accessories
  • Durable air compressor
  • Powerful machine
  • Versatile tool
  • 100% duty-cycle

Cons

  • The one BIG drawback is with the alligator clips

BUY ON AMAZON

Best Air Compressor for Woodworking Buyers’ Guide

Obviously, everyone would always want to get value for money in any kind of investment. It means every product that you settle on should meet your expectations. In this section we will look into the important points to consider before buying the best air compressor for woodworking:

Noise Level

Most of the air compressors in the market are loud. If you own a woodwork shop around the neighborhood you’ll have trouble with your neighbors because of the noise. Furthermore, working around your house at night will wake up your kids. 

However, our list includes some quiet air compressors with a rating as low as 60 decibels. Therefore, you should go for a lower rating air compressor that allows a normal conversation to continue without disruption. Besides, persistent loud noise can lead to hearing loss. 

Size Matters

The size of your air compressor will depend on the kind of task you have at hand. Size is measured in gallons. A small woodwork shop means you will deal with light-duty tools that can operate on small size air compressors. 

If the floor space is small, I’ll advise you to go for a vertical posture air compressor that can fit in tight spaces. Bigger tank air compressors are important if you want to avoid time-wasting while breaking for a refill. They can run for a longer period without the need for a refill. 

Air Pressure & Airflow

The air pressure delivered by an air compressor is a vital factor to consider. Air compressors with higher pressure can drive powerful heavy-duty tools in your workshop. Pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). 

Another important factor is the airflow that is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). This is the amount of air an air compressor can deliver within a specified time. The air compressor you choose should deliver a CFM that is higher than the CFM required by your tool. If it is lower the tool will not run. Tools like an impact wrench or paint sprayers will demand a higher CFM air compressor of 4 and above while small tools like brad nailers require less CFM ratings. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Best Air Compressors for Woodworking

Which Air Compressor is the best for a Woodworking Shop? 

A smaller workshop requires a pancake unit that fits in a small space. The pancake air compressor is portable, has a compact design, and requires less maintenance too. An oil-free unit is also advisable since it is light, easy to maintain, and does not require additional expenses on oil. You will need a larger tank air compressor if the workshop is big since you’ll have to drive powerful tools. 

Do you need an air compressor for woodworking?

Definitely yes! An air compressor is used to run multiple tools in a workshop such as vacuum cleaners, champs and jigs, brad nailers, impact wrenches, spray guns, staple guns, and framing nailers. Furthermore, it is a cheaper and most powerful source of energy that is found in the atmosphere for free. 

Why do some air compressors have 2 tanks?

Two tanks mean more air and therefore you can run your project for a longer time without the need for a refill. Having two tanks thus makes you save time while running projects continuously. 

What’s the difference between a single-stage and a two-stage air compressor?

The difference in the stages is determined by the number of times air gets compressed between the tool nozzle and the inlet valve. Air is compressed once in a single-stage air compressor and twice in a two-stage air compressor. When air is compressed twice it means it develops double the pressure. 

Wrap Up

If you follow our review keenly plus the buying guide you’ll definitely make the right decision when shopping for the best air compressor for woodworking. Remember to settle on the unit that satisfies your requirements. All the factors listed above are important but you’ll have to make a decision based on your needs and preferences. 

For a small workshop, our team settles on BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI (BTFP02012). This is an outstanding air compressor that is powerful, portable, efficient, and requires less maintenanceLastly, we would love to wish you happy shopping!