Best Air Compressor for Painting [2024 Review]

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Finding the best air compressor for painting is a challenging feat requiring a thorough examination of the available options. A good air compressor will work with practically all paint sprayers, giving you the freedom to use whatever sprayer you wish. That’s the versatility that you need in all your painting projects.

My Top Painting Air Compressor Reviews

You’ve come to the correct place if you’re seeking the ideal air compressor for painting. Whether you’re a professional painter or just starting, we’ll help you find the perfect air compressor for your needs.

In this post, we’ll take a look at six of the top models on the market and help you decide which one is right for your needs.

Rolair Gal Air Compressor

Rolair has created a new type of air compressor that is not only quieter than the traditional ones but also offers more power. The Rolair Air Compressor is perfect for all types of trim and finish work.

With it’s quiet operation, you can use this compressor indoors without the loud noise usually associated with oil-less units. It has 2.35cfm @ 90 PSI so that it will handle even delicate jobs easily – making sure your customers are happy from start to finish in any workspace environment.

The only areas where it falls short are weight and mobility. Unlike the California air compressor which has wheels, this compressor’s lack of wheels makes it difficult to move around. However, these are minor drawbacks when contrasted to the maximum PSI, high pressure, and run time provided by this mighty instrument.

Like the WEN air compressor, this is a highly durable product on the market, made of exceptionally robust cast aluminum. Even if you want to transport it from one job site to another, it will not be damaged because it is heavy.

A draw motor working at 1700 RPM at moderate amperage powers its cast aluminum two-cylinder pump, allowing for better cold start. It’s also incredibly silent.

Its heavy-duty structure also allows it to withstand extremely high pressure, providing you fantastic power for even the most demanding projects and a run time that no competition can match.


  • This model performs well on tasks requiring less air volume.
  • It’s an oil-free pump. Oil-free pumps are simple to maintain, durable, and environmentally friendly because no old oil needs to be disposed of.


  • It is heavy and can be pretty challenging to handle.
  • Like the DEWALT air compressor, it should be handled with extra care since it is prone to leakages.

Makita Air Compressor

Makita air compressors are the perfect choice for any professional who needs to get work done quickly and efficiently. With a higher output, less noise levels – even when running at maximum speed- these tools help you achieve greater productivity on job sites.

The two-cylinder air compressors in this equipment are stacked to achieve enhanced volume and air pressure while remaining portable and decreasing the overall footprint.

This device’s couplers allow you to swiftly connect and detach air hoses for quick changes in your painting endeavor or with whichever air tool you’ve decided to employ.

Sadly, this device is oil lubricated, which means it requires extra maintenance compared to the Rolai Gal air compressor which is oil-less and its maintenance is minimal.

Like the Rolair air compressor, this compressor’s drawback is that it’s not the lightest option. A large industrial air filter is included with the Makita Air Compressor, which helps to improve efficiency and sustain airflow.


  • Its oil lubrication pump is suitable for lower working temperatures
  • This gadget is more flexible than others because it includes two hose connections
  • This piece is equipped with a safety cage to guard against extreme environmental conditions
  • The cylinder and pump have durable cast iron, ensuring long-term performance and preventing wear


  • Oil lubrication is needed regularly, which necessitates extra maintenance. You can avoid regular maintenance by using a high-quality lubricant
  • Unlike the California air compressor, this product is not ideal for heavy tasks since it has a small tank capacity

CRAFTSMAN Pancake Air Compressor

Settle for the CRAFTSMAN air compressor if you want a pocket-friendly air compressor. This item is a great lightweight and portable compressor that is undoubtedly one of the best air compressors for minor jobs.

This easy-to-use, low-maintenance air compressor has an oil-free pump and a rapid recovery time between compressor cycles, making it ideal for minor painting applications like the WEN air compressor.

Unlike the Makita air compressor, it is compatible with various other tools. It has optional add-ons such as a brad nailer, allowing you to get started on multiple projects, including spray painting using an air compresor. This product is less durable and can easily break down in the middle of a project.

For all preferences, you’ll get a clutch, PVC airline, tire tensioner, plug, pressure gauge, gun, rubber tip, and three inflatable adapters. The air gun plug complies with OSHA regulations. As a result, you don’t have to worry about your safety when operating this compressor.


  • The CRAFTSMAN created this item with easy customization and a lightweight, adjustable facility
  • This item also comes with several accessories for more versatility. Fast compression and recovery time are provided by 2.6 SCFM, allowing you to reconnect to your color quickly


  • Due to its modest size, it has a limited capacity and cannot manage hard tasks
  • Unlike the Rolair air compressor which is very powerful, this equipment has modest power and strength, making it unsuitable for large-scale painting

DEWALT Air Compressor

The DEWALT air compressor is recommended for people looking for a lightweight air compressor for painting. It’s a beautiful alternative for that insatiable portability because it has an inbuilt carry handle and weighs only 30 pounds.

This DEWALT product has a small air tank and might not be able to take on big projects; however, it can pack a punch thanks to its high efficiency, high RPM motor, high flow regulator, and couplers.

This compressor is built of rugged stainless steel and can withstand a lot of pressure, making it ideal for first-time painters who want something tiny and tough. Like the CRAFTSMAN air compressor, it may be utilized safely up on the roof of a house due to its portability.

Like the WEN air compressor, it gives you a long run time for your painting project, which is very useful if you’re just getting started with some DIY tasks.


  • Even when the device is turned on, you may communicate with anyone because the noise is roughly 70 decibels
  • Surprisingly, it starts up fast, even in the coldest conditions when left outside
  • This device from Dewalt comes with a superb cooling mechanism to keep it from overheating. This mechanism enables you to reach locations that are difficult to get or to cover more significant areas with less traffic


  • Because this air compressor lacks wheels, it isn’t easy to transport from one location to another, unlike the WEN air compressor
  • It would be best to use caution because it may have particular leakage concerns

California 8010 Air Compressor

California 8010 air compressor is an 8-gallon compressor with a huge tank that can handle more volume. It also has a noise level of less than 85 decibels, making it one of the quiet products on our list.

The oil-free compressor produces 3 CFM at 40 PSI, which is a significant improvement above the Makita air compressor. It is also available in stainless steel and aluminum, making it relatively more sturdy and long-lasting.

This product is not as fast as the DEWALT air compressor; however, it is still mobile and can be carried from location to location if necessary. It can also work in various temperatures so that you can put an end to your troubles over time.


  • This gadget uses less energy and efficiently distributes heat
  • California Air Tools produced this tool with an ample 8-gallon tank to handle more extensive operations
  • This device has a built-in wheel for easy transportation
  • This item has been designed with a long-lasting steel container by the company, making it more durable


  • You must purchase the hose separately, even though this device is quite portable
  • Like the Dewalt air compressor, it’s also prone to leaks, so you can’t count on it completely

WEN Vertical Air Compressor

If you want an air compressor that will serve you for a long time, the WEN vertical air compressor is your best choice. Vertical air compressors like this are differentiated from the other compressors by their upright positioning.

Instead of the extended cylinder of a hot dog, they’re usually constructed to be a little shorter, providing them a little more sturdiness in addition to the added volume and power they bring, unlike the California air compressor. It is the most powerful product we’ve reviewed.

It is highly susceptible to leakages, so you should always check for any mishaps before taking on a project.

Like the Rolair Gal air compressor, this is an oil-free item, making it simple to clean and maintain. The Wen Oil-Free Compressor is mounted on caster wheels, so you may move it easily while working on a small project.

This air compressor includes an easily accessible drain valve is one of its best features, to easily drain your air compressors. The valve makes it simple to discharge all fresh air, making it suitable for storage after you’re finished with your job.


  • For convenient maintenance, this item includes an oil-free pump
  • This air compressor has a large 10-gallon reservoir, making it excellent for more extensive operations


  • Like the Rolair Gal air compressor, it appears heavier than other air compressors, making it harder to transport
  • It is occasionally more potent for specific jobs; however, anyone can remedy the problem with good maintenance

Features to Consider for Air Compressors for Painting

Air compressors are not all created equal, and your choice will likely differ depending on whether you’re working on a professional, large-scale project or simply doing some DIY painting.

CRAFTSMAN Air CompressorDEWALT Air CompressorCalifornia Air CompressorWEN Air CompressorRolair Gal Air CompressorMakita Air Compressor
Capacity (Galons)668102.54.2
Dimensions (Inches)16.5 * 16.5 * 17.8816 * 16 * 17.526 * 14 * 2316 * 17 * 33.517 * 16 * 1520 * 18 * 18.75
BrandCraftsmanDEWALTCalifornia Air ToolsWENRolairMakita
Weight (Pounds)32.5304871.542.980.8
Airflow capacity (CFM)


The CFM measures the air compressor’s output volume. The number of cubic feet per minute (CFM) is equivalent to the pressure that the air compressor can deliver.

However, it does not provide information on the air compressor’s run time, which can vary greatly. On the other hand, the run time is almost exactly proportional to the air compressor’s capability.

Mechanical grade air compressor showing wear and tear while being used in a factory

The WEN air compressor is the best choice in our list with a CFM rating of 5.

Air Pressure

PSI, which refers to pounds per square inch, is a unit of measurement for air pressure. The pounds per square inch value of most current air compressors, such as the Rolair Gal air compressor, is around 125, which is sufficient to produce the power that runs your spray gun.

The larger and more expensive air compressors have a higher PSI rating, allowing you to scale up projects, extend runtime, and work more effectively.


The item’s portability is determined by its weight. The DEWALT air compressor is an ideal choice because it’s lightweight. If you’re dealing with a large painting project and need to transfer your spray gun from location to location, you may not want anything too heavy to tote around.

However, a larger air compressor may be preferable due to its long operating time. Weight is a more personal issue because it will impact how easy and pleasant it is to use.


Examine the many styles, such as pancake compressors like the Rolair Gal air compressor, hot dog compressors, pontoon compressors, and other options, because each style has different features compared to the others.

The most potent compressors are pontoon compressors, with a higher CFM rating and run time. However, they aren’t very portable, so you’ll need to plan for what you’ll require for your various projects.

Presence of Oil in the Air Compressors

Oil-free air compressors have recently acquired popularity among both hobbyists and professional operators. Users once expected regular oil filling of piston chambers, which necessitated a strict maintenance schedule.

Manufacturers began producing pre-lubricated air compressors to avoid this need. So, which is more beneficial to you? Oiled compressors are bulkier, more expensive, and have a longer lifespan.

The oil-free equivalent will be lighter and require less maintenance — at least until the Teflon or comparable coating wears out. Previously, oiled compressors were always quieter; however, technological advancements have virtually negated noise disparities between similar models.

If you’re a casual or one-time user, go for an oil-free air compressor like the California Air Tools air compressor. Industry demands mean that enormous, heavy, lubricated tanks will continue to exist.

Large metal compressor inside a factory

Noise and Noise Reduction

Compressor noise is a significant consideration, particularly if you plan to work in small, enclosed spaces. Check to determine if specific accessories can be purchased and fitted in addition to choosing air compressors with the lowest decibel (dB) rating:

  • Mufflers for expansion chambers can be used to mute the sound of an air compressor. They are effective at blocking low frequencies, much like ordinary automotive mufflers.
  • You can silence air intake activity into inlet holes with intake silencer filters.

There are soundless compressors like the DEWALT air compressor, although they are rather pricey and out of reach for most people – even corporations. Sound dampers (e.g., fiberglass insulation, mineral wool, packed fiber) can be used in your work area to filter sound and prevent it from spreading outward.


There are numerous brands of air compressors on the market, each with its own reputation. Each brand has products with nearly the same, if not identical, features.

Regardless of the overall characteristics, you’ll want an air compressor from a well-known brand with a reliable warranty like the CRAFTSMAN air compressor.

Furthermore, larger suppliers tend to have a more extensive retail network, allowing them to supply replacement parts and accessories to you more quickly.

Tank Size

Painting is a job that takes a long time to complete. Consider the time it takes to paint a car or a massive piece of furniture from beginning to end. If you have a low-capacity tank, it will take considerably longer.

It is recommended that you purchase an air compressor with a large tank unless you do touch-up jobs solely.

How big is it, exactly? That depends on a lot of factors. It would be best if you got an air compressor with a tank capacity of at least 60 or 80 gallons, such as the Rolair Gal air compressor.

You might be able to get away with 30 gallons, although 80 gallons is ideal.


The motor drives your compressor’s efficiency. When the tank empties, you need it to fill quickly, which is what your engine accomplishes. The majority of compressors have a horsepower rating of 1 to 5.

The more horsepower the compressor has, the more efficient it is and the larger the capacity of the tank. The motor allows you to go longer between recharges, although it also raises the amount of money you must pay. This function is well-suited to the Makita air compressor.

Safety Cage

The cylindrical cage can protect the air compressor’s critical components. If you do not want to purchase again and have a great deal of experience, make sure the air compressor you choose matches these characteristics, such as the WEN air compressor.

Operating Considerations

Because air compressors are motor-driven, they generate friction and heat while in use. It is especially true for oil-free compressors like the Rolair Gal air compressor, which are becoming increasingly popular among amateurs and DIYers.

Ensure that the working environment is well-ventilated to avoid compromising the quality of your paint job or your safety, especially in a confined area.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a 30-Gallon Air Compressor Sufficient for Commercial Use?

Yes, a 30-gallon air compressor is sufficient for commercial use. The higher the rating, the better the efficiency, and since this compressor pumps thirty gallons of air per minute, it is enough for commercial use.

Is It Safe to Leave Air in My Air Compressor?

Yes, it is safe to leave your compressor with some air or full of air. Whereas a full air compressor is typical during regular duty cycles, an air compressor should be emptied and deactivated throughout extended periods of non-use.

Final Thoughts

Painting is already a difficult task. It’s challenging to make sure you’re doing everything correctly to obtain the perfect finishing coat. Everyone’s needs are met by the choices accessible here, so you’ll be able to select the proper air compressor for your next painting project.