6 Best Air Compressor Under $300 [2024 Review]

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Having an air compressor at home is pretty useful, especially for DIY enthusiasts. You can use it for tasks like spray painting, pressure washing, inflating, or watering plant.

However, most units can be expensive. Over the years, I’ve tried different compressors and found some of the best ones with cost-friendly prices. I have compiled a list of the best air compressor under 300 that can power your tools for any DIY task.

Our Top Air Compressor Under $300

No matter what your needs are, there is a compressor of air that will fit them. Topping the list is the California Air Compressor, which has a powerful horsepower and oil-free pump for drilling, airbrushing, or spraying.

Whether you need a small portable one for occasional use or something more powerful to power tools, I also prepared other options for you. I have done the research and narrowed down your choices to give you a list of our top 6 picks.

California Air Tools

The California Air Compressor has a fantastic blend of versatile and ultra-quiet functioning. It is powerful and has many features that make it stand out from other compressors in its class. 

The California Air Tools is powerful, with a 1 HP motor that spins at 1680 RPM. Additionally, it provides a strong airflow at 0-120 PSI for most jobs, although if you need more than 120 PSI, this is not the one for you as it does not have a high PSI range. 

In addition, it has an oil-free pump for longer life and less maintenance hassle. Unlike the other compressors on our list, it is the quietest, with a noise rating of 60 dB. Thus, this compressor is ideal for the home workshop or garage where you need to get work done without disturbing your family.


  • The noise level is only 60 decibels for silent operation in the neighborhood
  • It is pretty lightweight, weighing just 45.5 pounds, and great for traveling


  • It requires an inspection before usage
  • It lacks a high PSI range compared to the other compressors

Dewalt With Brad Nailer

If your priorities are less maintenance and saving space, then the Dewalt Air Compressor With Brad Nailer is your best choice. The pancake-shaped design is ideal for keeping the entire unit in one place at home or in a small area. It is also only 37.2 pounds heavy.

The compressor is powered by a 10-amp motor, making it simple to start even in the cold. If you push the maximum air pressure to its limit, it will reach a force of 165 PSI. It produces 90 PSI at 2.6 SCFM.

This compressor uses an air tank of 6 gallons, like the Craftsman Pancake, to keep working during a project.

Unlike Briggs and Stratton, this compressor is quieter, with a rating of 75.5 dBA. The Dewalt With Brad Nailer is a reliable compressor that is great for any homeowner who demands high performance.


  • The exhaust is at the top, so the unit can be placed in a vertical position if desired
  • It is incredibly quiet, with a decibel rating of 75.5 dBA, so you will not disturb the neighbor


  • Although you can use a variety of nail guns with this compressor, it can function best with some models
  • The nail gun may have performed better had the quality been more outstanding


The DEWALT Trim Air Compressor is versatile for all small tasks, from light professional jobs to large construction projects. Unlike the California Air Tools, this compressor has a maximum pressure of 200PSI.

It has a tank of 2.5-gallon capacity with pressure reaching up to 200 PSI. However, this will vary depending on the CFM. At 90 PSI, you can anticipate 3.0 SCFM, which is remarkable, unlike the 2.6 SCFM of Dewalt With Brad Nailer.

In effect, this air compressor can also handle inflating tires, blowing dust, carpenter works, and more. Anytime is a good time for an air refill. The pressure remains constant throughout the refill.

The only downside with this compressor of air is the valve. The valve may not hold up with other parts of the product, so you need to maintain it well. Else it could give up earlier than you expected.


  • Oil-free machine, requiring little maintenance
  • Because it weighs 40 pounds, transporting it is less of a burden


  • It is not ideal for large projects such as professional painting jobs
  • The power cable is a little short, making it challenging to reach the outlets

Makita MAC700

If you are a do-it-yourself enthusiast rather than a professional builder, the Makita MAC700 Air Compressor is an excellent option. Its 2.0 HP motor is more powerful than the California Air Tools compressor, which has a 1.0HP motor. The pressure can reach 90 PSI when operating at 3.3 CFM.

With that said, the Makita MAC700 is a good choice for light to medium activities. The pressure range, on the other hand, needs to be increased for professional contractors. It is not suitable for large tasks as a professional.

Surprisingly, it only gets hot even when used for a longer time. The special operation and slow RPM ensure this. It is louder than the California Air Tools compressor by 20 decibels.


  • Transporting it is made more accessible by the roll-bar
  • It has a large bore design with an oil-lubricated tank, ensuring dependable performance over time.


  • It has a low-quality pressure switch which wears out quickly
  • It is a little challenging to move it since it is the heaviest on our list

Craftsman Pancake

The Craftsman Pancake Air Compressor is an excellent option for a top-performing compressor. Despite costing less than $300, it includes a 6-gallon tank that can supply air to your project as you work on minor tasks such as painting smaller areas or nailing.

The compressor’s most appealing feature is the oil-free pump, which requires little maintenance. If you follow the instructions carefully, it will work well. The small size makes storing the entire unit in your garage or shop easy.

The Craftsman Pancake has less maximum pressure capacity of 150 PSI than the DEWALT Trim compressor. It has a powerful motor ensuring the power never runs out. Although this depends on the CFM of an air compressor, you can still anticipate a stable performance.


  • It is very durable and reliable because the power never runs out
  • Oil-free pump, so upkeep of maintenance is significantly reduced


  • This is not the machine for heavy-duty tasks because it has a hard time reaching 150 PSI
  • There might be an occurrence of leaks

Briggs and Stratton

The Briggs and Stratton Compressor can give you both portability and power. The powerful 1.5-horsepower induction motor and the two 2-gallon tanks ensure long-lasting operation. It also comes with ratchets, impact wrenches, nailers, and more.

This compressor has large, robust wheels and handles, making traveling over rugged surroundings easy. It has a reinforced frame that protects the motor housing and extends its lifespan. Furthermore, it is the lightest on our list for its power and size at only 20.3 pounds.

However, power does come with noise. So I suggest you should prepare yourself for ear protection when you have to work near the compressor. Overall, it is a solid twin-stack compressor of air.


  • Its built-in oil-free pump demands no oil changes or checks.
  • It is compelling and robust, with a maximum pressure of 100 PSI


  • Not for running power tools continually or handling big projects
  • It is quite noisy, with noise levels of up to 87 dBA

Features to Consider for an Air Compressor Under 300

Compressors of air operate with the usage of air and some mechanical stuff. So, the best air compressor under 300 should have features to make these processes and mechanisms work more efficiently. Here are the essential components to help you choose a suitable compressor for your DIY project needs.

CompressorWeightNoise LevelMaximum Pressure
California Air Tools 45.5 pounds60 dB120 PSI
Dewalt With Brad Nailer37.2 pounds75.5 dBA165 PSI
DEWALT Trim 40 pounds71.5 dBA200 PSI
Makita MAC700 59.6 pounds80 dB130 PSI
Craftsman Pancake 32.5 pounds82 dBA150 PSI
Briggs and Stratton 20.3 pounds87 dBA100 PSI

Tank Capacity

The tank capacity determines how long your machine can run before it runs out of compressed air. A good number for a portable compressor unit is around six gallons. In contrast, ten-gallon tanks are generally used in stationary units or large machines that will only be moved sometimes.

  • In general, the bigger the tank capacity of a machine is, the more expensive it will get. California Air Tools is the best option if you want to buy a compressor with a large tank to stay within jobs or while working.
  • You want a machine that can produce the right amount of power for your needs. Typically, an average homeowner will only need 100 PSI if they are into heavy-duty work such as sandblasting and cutting metal.
  • If your job requires even higher pressure, such as sandblasting and working on heavy equipment like construction machinery, get yourself a DEWALT Trim compressor.
Black and white image of a rusty air compressor


No matter how powerful a machine is, it will only help you if it is light and bulky. A compressor of air designed for portability can make your work easier in the long run because of its convenience.

When choosing an air compressor on this basis, consider the device’s weight, size, and shape. This will help you to determine whether it would be easy for you to take it with you in your car or not.

The Briggs and Stratton Compressor is the best convenient since it weighs 20.3 lbs.

Noise Levels

A compressor can be pretty loud, and if you want to work with it for long periods, it may cause strain on your ears. Look for a machine with an acceptable noise level to not damage your hearing throughout extended use.

California Air Tools compressor is the best in this feature since it has low noise levels of 60db.

Close up of an air compressor control valve


Some air compressors are designed to run at a specific horsepower which can also be called wattage. You must consider this factor when making your purchase.

This will determine the amount of power the machine generates and how much work it can handle in one go. The Makita MAC700 is the best choice when it comes to horsepower.

Related Questions

What Is a Dual-Stack Air Compressor?

A dual-stack compressor is a type of compressor that features two air tanks, or “stacks,” that are connected in parallel to provide compressed air. These stacks are usually vertical and cylindrical and mounted on each other. The design increases air storage capacity and a more stable compressed air supply.

What Are the Benefits of Having an Oil-Free Pump?

With an oil-free pump, there is no need to change or add oil, which makes it more convenient and cost-effective to maintain. It has no movable parts, so there are no leaks, and it provides cleaner compressed air, which is essential for applications where contaminants can cause problems.

What Safety Precautions Should I Take When Using an Air Compressor?

Wear appropriate safety gear, such as eye and ear protection, when using a compressor. You must also follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and never exceed the maximum pressure rating of the compressor. Additionally, ensure that the compressor is properly grounded and that all hoses and connections are secure.


There are many different types of compressors of air to choose from in the under 300. With any of the compressors I’ve shared, you can power through any DIY or home improvement job with ease.