Best 20 Gallon Air Compressor of 2021

Maybe you are looking for a portable air compressor that is suitable for medium-duty tasks but don’t know which one it would be. If this is the situation you are in, it’s a 20 gallon air compressor you intend to buy.

A 20 gallon air compressor is not only powerful enough to operate most air tools without running the motor more frequently but also easily portable that you can move it around your garage and outside.

However, unlike consumable products, picking quality machinery like air compressors is a bit of a complicated process. There are mainly two reasons behind it. One is that the manufacturers incorporate technical jargon to explain the products, which confuses potential buyers. Another is there are too many models to decide on one.

Keeping all these difficulties in mind, I have brought you the 6 best 20 gallon air compressor after hours of research. Hope you will end up with picking the best 20 gallon air compressor for the money.

01. Porter Cable PXCMF220VW 20 Gallon Portable Air Compressor

Porter Cable PXCMF220VW 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor

Top 3 Features

  • Provides 5 CFM at 40 PSI and 4 CFM at 90 PSI
  • Boast up to 150 PSI
  • 1.5 horsepower motor

Coming to the top position, Porter Cable PXCMF220VW 20 Gallon Portable Air Compressor is very well built and operates flawlessly. Besides the company’s worldwide reputation for quality products, there are a few more factors that compelled me to put this model into the top-rated list. Let me tell you what they are.

To begin with, in comparison with many other models, this unit has a compact design that takes up a small space, making it perfect for home garage. Once you set your compressor into your garage, it will no longer be able to move around due to the rubber feet it possesses.

The pump features an oil-free induction motor that starts up at low voltage and reduces the current draw because of less starting torque on the motor. Instead of oil-lube, Porter Cable initiated oil-free design with a view to avoiding the extra cost associated with lubrication and maintenance.

Moving into the capacity, with a 20 gallon tank, the compressor builds up to 150 PSI pressure and delivers an airflow of 4 SCFM at 90 PSI, which keeps your air tools like air wrench, nailer, paint sprayer, tire inflator running smoothly for a longer time. 

What I Like

  • Includes off/on switch and pressure gauge for easy operation
  • Low voltage start-up motor to draw less current
  • Direct drive motor doesn’t require belts or pulleys
  • Comes in fully enclosed with shroud cover to protect moving components
  • 7-inch solid rubber wheels for easy transportation

What I Don't Like

  • Quite noisy

02. Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20 Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor with V-Twin Cylinder

Industrial Air IL1682066

Top 3 Features

  • Delivers 5.3 CFM at 90 PSI
  • Generates maximum of 135 PSI
  • Dual voltage motor

The next one I have come up with is from Industrial Air, a well-known brand that designs exclusive air compressors with heavy-duty components. Unlike previously reviewed Porter Cable PXCMF220VW, this unit is much quieter. I am sure it will please you with its real-life performance. You may think of why. Here are the reasons.

The manufacturer designed this unit with a V-twin cylinder to provide extra power that you need to operate high demanding air tools. Not only this, Industrial Air built the pump with dual-stage motor, meaning that the motor runs on household 120 volts socket and can be converted to 240 volts heavy socket as needed. 

One of the biggest advantages of this particular pump is it runs quieter and smoother. Since it’s an oil-lubricated compressor, it will naturally serve you longer than an oil-free one. In addition to this, aluminum head and valve plate dissipate heat and contribute to making the compressor last longer. 

Furthermore, on/off switch, set regulator, quick connect air outlet, tank and tool pressure gauge, all this makes it easy to operate the machine. It’s also easy to transport from one place to another due to the fact that the compressor has a pair of pneumatic wheels and front handles. 

What I Like

  • Heavy-duty dual-stage induction motor for trouble-free operation
  • ASME certified 20-gallon tank for longer run
  • Control board offers easy access to functional devices
  • Shipped with synthetic oil for smooth operation

What I Don't Like

  • Comparatively expensive

03. WEN 2202 20 Gallon Oil-Lubricated Portable Vertical Air Compressor

WEN 2202 20-Gallon Oil-Lubricated Portable Vertical Air Compressor

Top 3 Features

  • Delivers a flow rate of 3.8 CFM at 90 PSI and 5 CFM at 40 PSI
  • Boasts a maximum pressure of 135 PSI
  • Reinforced steel made vertical tank

If your primary concern is about portability and affordability, then you have no options other than WEN 2202 20 Gallon Oil-Lubricated Portable Vertical Air Compressor. It’s much more portable than anyone in my top list for this price. But despite the small size and lower price, it does most things you want it to do. It can deal with nailers, staplers, spray guns, many other air tools.

What you would like about this air compressor is its reinforced steel tank that withstands 135 PSI pressure effortlessly. The tank features a vertical design and stores 20 gallon compressed air.
One very amazing feature that differs this unit from its equivalents is that the compressor shuts down by itself when it reaches the maximum pressure for safe and reliable compressing.

Built with a 15-amp single stage motor, the pump boasts up an airflow of 3.8 CFM at 90 PSI and 5 CFM at 40 PSI and provides a maximum pressure of 135 PSI. This unit has all the functional components, including two pressure gauges; one to monitor pressure tank and another to regulate the airflow rate, ¼ inch NPT quick coupler air outlet for fast and simple hose changes.

Last but not least, the compressor is equipped with two large wheels and onboard handle, making it easier for you to transport it from one job site to another. This makes the compressor more versatile than any other model.

What I Like

  • Includes 2-pressure gauges
  • Comes with ¼ inch quick coupler for easy hose changes
  • Air lubricated pump for longer life
  • Equipped with 2-large wheels and onboard handle for easy transportation
  • Backed by a 2-year warranty

What I Don't Like

  • Not suitable for high consuming air tools

04. California Air Tools 15020C Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 

California Air Tools 15020C Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 2

Top 3 Features

  • Boasts up to 130 PSI
  • Maximum airflow rate 6.40 CFM at 40 PSI and 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI
  • Powerful 2-horsepower motor

California Air Tools 15020C is a must-have for those looking for a powerful compressor with less noise. As the name suggests, this is an ultra-quiet pump with only 70 decibels of the noise level. It’s so quiet that you can have a conversation while running.

This is not a 20 gallon air compressor, but a 15-gallon. I have intentionally chosen it over a 20 gallon because it does more than one over 20 gallon can do. Designed with oil-free dual piston pump, the compressor provides more than 3000 hours of life cycle before wear, whereas others in the same range have only 500 more or less life cycles.

The powerful 2-horsepower motor along with a 15 gallon steel tank helps generate a pressure of 130 PSI at any temperature. While many compressors have trouble with the start-up in cold temperatures, this unit has no issue with this circumstance.

It incredibly offers an air delivery of 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI, which is sufficient for most pneumatic tools. What is more about this compressor is it has 2 large wheels and a sturdy handle wrapped with rubber for easy transportation.

What I Like

  • Ultra-quiet operation
  • Easy to move around the job sites
  • No extra cost and maintenance because of oil-free pump
  • Most suitable for home and quiet environment

What I Don't Like

  • Requires frequent motor on/off due to small capacity tank

05. NorthStar Single-Stage Portable Electric Air Compressor

NorthStar Single-Stage Portable Electric Air Compressor - 2 HP, 20-Gallon Vertical, 5

Top 3 Features

  • 2-horsepower dual voltage induction motor
  • Delivers an airflow rate of 5 CFM at 90 PSI
  • 135 PSI maximum pressure

If you are afraid of your compressor breaking down in the middle of the job, you can rely on this compressor. NorthStar engineered it with superior technology to ensure uninterrupted operation. All the components the compressor consists of are of good quality. The durable cast iron v-twin pump features oil-lubrication and has cast iron heads for very long life service.

Bearings placed on both sides of the crankshaft provide optimum support and protect the compressor from wear and tear. The compressor itself is belt-driven, and the vertical style tank is made of high-quality steel certified by ASME. All this together contributes to making the compressor more dependable.

A wide variety of air tools that the pump has the capacity to operate are air ratchet, impact wrench, nailer, spray gun, sandblaster, airbrush and mane more. You may think such a powerful machine must make intolerable noise. To your surprise, it runs quieter and smoother. The vertical style tank, no-flat tire, and handle allow you to take it wherever the Jobsite is. 

What I Like

  • Belt drive and oil lubrication for quiet operation
  • Cast iron cylinder, heads, and crankcase for extra-long life
  • Easy start valve to reduce strain on the motor
  • Built-in regulator controls airflow to the air tools
  • No-flat solid tires for easy portability

What I Don't Like

  • Expensive

06. DeWalt DXCMPA1982054

DeWalt DXCMPA1982054 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor

Top 3 Features

  • Delivers up to 155 PSI pressure
  • Airflow rate 7 CFM at 40 PSI and 5.7 CFM at 90 PSI
  • Heavy-duty dual-voltage induction motor

DeWalt DXCMPA1982054 is designed for serious DIY users, professionals or contractors. This is an industry-leading air compressor that can handle most of the air projects, even high consumption air tools like paint sprayers, sanders, and nail guns. Projects like removing stubborn nuts and bolts can also be handled with the DeWalt 20 gallon horizontal air compressor thanks to a high flow regulator providing 20% more torque.

What make it one of the leading air compressors on the present market are its functional parts, including automotive style ball bearings, durable stainless steel reed valves, oil-level sight glass, cast iron balanced flywheel. The control board offering quick access to flow regulator, tank and tool pressure gauge, and on/off switch makes it easier to operate the compressor.

One of the most significant advantages of this unit is that the dual voltage motor allows you to use both 120 volts standard outlet and 240 volts socket. If you have a couple of tasks around the house and in the workshop, DeWalt is the permanent solution for you because it comes with pneumatic tools and has a footprint for excellent mobility.

What I Like

  • Oil-lubricated pump with cast iron cylinder body for added longevity and durability
  • Control board for smooth operation
  • Dual voltage motor allows both 120 volts and 240 volts
  • High flow regulator to control air delivery rate to the tools

What I Don't Like

  • None

Conclusion

Most 20 gallon air compressors can take on most jobs except those too large and heavy projects. But not are all suitable for the same situation. For example, while California Air Tools 15020C is the best option for those who are more concerned about the noise, WEN 2202 would be a great choice if portability is your priority.

On the other hand, DeWalt DXCMPA1982054 would work wonder for professionals. Since I have done a deep digging to discover the best air compressors, leave the quality issue on me. All that you need is to consider your situation. And then select one that goes with your needs.

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