Air compressors are one of the most important machines that almost every worker has. It is not a machine created for one purpose. This is the best air compressor under $500 for many different applications such as carpentry, tire inflating, winterizing, spray-painting, auto-detailing, etc.
Each of these applications may require air compressors with different maximum stats. But ones with some powerful motor can tackle most of them.
For many of us, price is a big concern. It is understandable, as nobody wants to get a low-grade device after spending a lot. So, let’s introduce you to some Best air compressors under $500 that are recommended by professionals.
Review of The 7 Best Air Compressor Under 500
01. NorthStar Electric Air Compressor
We start the list with one of the classically designed vertical air compressors. Named the NorthStar Electric Air Compressor, this machine has all-around utilities from pressure and airflow to mobility. The air inside stays smoothly compressed without much oil.
You can’t call an air compressor great unless it has a proper ratio between pressure and airflow. Keeping that in mind, the manufacturers made it capable of holding 125 PSI of interior pressure.
For works like plasma cutting or winterizing, the item gives 4 CFM at 90 PSI and 5.4 CFM at 40 PSI. Both the time of filling the 8 gallon tank and your task completion will be low with these high ratings.
Featuring a strong motor capable of delivering 1.5 HP, this air compressor only needs 115 voltage with an Amp of 12. The motor has an RPM of 1750. As everyone wants an airflow consisting of oil-free air, the pump is oil-free too.
It’s a reciprocating compressor that only generates 70-decibel noise. Additionally, you get two pressure gauges with 2 inches width to spectate the pressure and airflow. Try this item as soon as you can.
02. Industrial Air IL1682066.MN Belt Driven Air Compressor
Now we have another product that kept its popularity for a long time now. The Industrial Air IL1682066.MN Belt Driven Air Compressor is the type of air compressor that everyone tries their best to find within many other products.
The two major stats of this air compressor, the pressure, and airflow, are pretty praiseworthy when looking at the 135 PSI pressure. As a powerful machine, the item can pass 6.2 CFM when the pressure is 40 PSI and 5.3 CFM when it’s 90 PSI.
The induction motor that this air compressor comes with can produce 1.6 HP with just 120 voltage electricity. Well, it can be converted to 240 volts for suitable tasks. This motor can take its energy through an electric cord.
To keep the flow of air steady for a longer time, the motor has a capacity of 20 gallons. It is created with cast iron. Its pump is oil-lubricated for extra stability. There are two wheels to let you move it around the workplace. Taking this item to your workplace will be one of the best ideas in your life.
03. California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free Air Compressor
With a convenient design that takes less space in your workplace, the California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Air Compressor is a high-grade air tool. It gives you ultimate control over the whole process, thanks to the pressure gauges and regulators.
You can’t easily find a great air compressor with enough pressure and airflow for certain jobs. However, this air compressor provides 125 PSI of max pressure for filling up the 20-gallon air tank. On the other hand, the airflow it produces is so high.
Causing less disturbance in your workplace, the machine has a noise level of 70 dB. The motor sustains 2 HP while draining only 7 Amps. With 120 voltage, it can run up to 30 to 60 minutes, based on how much the pressure and airflow is.
Powered by electricity for less repairing cost, check this air compressor quickly to enjoy its features.
04. Porter Cable PXCMF220VW Portable Air Compressor
With their innovative style, Porter Cable released some of the best air compressors on the market. The Porter-Cable PXCMF220VW Portable Air Compressor is such an awesome product that can end your troubles of not getting enough airflow for your air tool.
Since your workplace needs a machine that takes less space, the compressor is highly portable. Offering a 150 PSI max pressure, it recovers so quickly from heated stats. Your air tool can be filled with airs of 5 CFM at 40 PSI and 4 CFM at 90 PSI swiftly.
That high airflow mentioned above is possible by the 1.5 HP power that the motor creates. It is oil-free, so don’t worry about the paint mixing with the oil. Its tank contains 20 gallons, just the ideal amount.
Manufacturers added two large wheels of 7 inches, backed by two rubber wrapped feet. To deliver much control, the machine has a regulator and pressure gauge. Steel and cast iron were used on this machine. This air compressor gives 84 dB of sound. To have a steadier work with an efficient outcome, this is a suitable machine.
05. Twin-Stack P1IU-A9 Portable Air Compressor
Your air compressor hunt can potentially end as you see the specifications of the Twin-Stack P1IU-A9 Portable Air Compressor. Constructed with a unique design, this air compressor covers a wide range of utilities for your maximum comfort.
Do you want an air compressor for your heavy-duty tasks? and your budget is around $300? You got it. This air compressor generates air pressure up to 135 PSI. Filling up the 4-gallon tank will be in a prompt manner. It’s a single-stage air compressor that generates only 79 dB.
One amazing thing about this air compressor is that it can serve two air tools together, thanks to the two couplers. Most of your tasks will finish without recharging need. With the motor that creates 2 HP, it is possible.
It is reinforced with synthetic lubricants that allow start-up during winter. With a lifespan of 2000 hours, the tank is made of cast iron. For additional protection, there is a shroud in the back. The pressure gauge is easy to understand.
Rotate the regulator clockwise and reverse to increase and decrease the pressure. Professionals suggest using this machine for both your household and industrial works.
06. Senco PC1131 Compressor
Costing even lower than $400, the Senco PC1131 Compressor is like a super-powered machine. Its dual cylindrical body shape makes for an easy set-up and installation. For all duty works, this is the right compressor. It is built differently for a different experience.
Compatible with all air tools, this air compressor can sustain 4.3 CFM of airflow at 100 PSI and 4.4 CFM at 90 PSI internal air pressure. This pressure can go up to 125 PSI. The tank is medium-sized with a 4.3-gallon capacity.
Use this air compressor for winterizing, inflating, painting, plasma cutting, or any other application. Its induction motor and tank are made of cast iron. As different tasks need a different amount of airflow, the motor generates 2 HP of power.
For a convenient experience, you get a coupler that is ¼ inches and a pressure gauge to check the air stats at any moment. The regulator is universal. This machine weighs 60 lbs. only.
Using its powerful motor, the Senco PC1131 will turn your task into a swift operation. You are advised to order it quickly.
07. BOSTITCH Air Compressor Combo Kit
All of Bostitch’s air tools are believed to hold qualities exceeding people’s expectations. Their BOSTITCH Air Compressor Combo Kit is no different as it comes with every sort of necessary equipment. Even a novice can operate this machine without any difficulty.
If an air compressor allows you to set over 120 PSI, you know that it is good. Amazingly, this air compressor can let you go up to 150 PSI. A standard airflow rate, which is 2.6 CFM, will be passed into the application at 90 PSI. The tank is 6 gallons in size, allowing a steady project.
Serving people all over the states, the air compressor has a powerful motor that easily start-up in cold temps. You won’t even notice any energy drawing as it only requires 0.01 voltage of power. It operates while making only 78.5 dBA sound.
The additional items include a brad nailer with 18 GA in size. You can use it for any nails with a size between 5/8 to 2 inches. With a 25 feet air hose, you will enjoy your work time while using this compressor.
Buying Guide for The Best Air Compressor Under 500 Dollars
Air Compressors, when used on a project, need to be suitable for that task. If it has lower pressure and airflow, it cannot provide the required air, which may make the result not how you want it to be.
Most high-grade air compressors in the market are high priced. This is to be expected because the device has so much demand starting from regular household works to industrial-duty projects. But do all those air compressors are suitable for your job? Obviously not.
Finding the best air compressor under $500 can be tricky as there are lots of different stuff to check. Let’s discuss 5 of these factors that you got to look through while deciding which compressor to pick. Check out air compressor under $200 guide if need more cheaper ones.
Pressure and Airflow
If you look at the experts, their first concern in an air compressor is the pressure and airflow that the machine can create. Since these are two stats that decide the time and effectiveness of the result, they got to be checked through.
The PSI is the unit to measure the air pressure inside the tank. Higher pressure lets the tank fill up quickly. It also allows a continuous runtime. Overall, 100 PSI is required for most work types.
CFM indicates how much air passes into the application. For light-duty tasks, 2.5 CFM at 90 PSI should be generated. Depending on the task, higher pressure and airflow may be needed.
Single or Dual-Stage
Based on the compression layers, there are two types of air compressors. The single-stage ones are much energy-saving and take less space to store. They are also cheaper. These type of air compressors compresses the air in one layer. Although, they heat much.
The dual-stage air compressors are usually used for tasks that require a high amount of PSI. To sustain that, their bodies are built more resistant to heating. They are usually bulkier and make much noise. Also, dual-stage ones cost much in comparison.
Oil-Free or Oil-Lubricated
If it comes to the motor of the air compressor, there are the oil-free and the oil-lubricated ones. Oil-Lubricated air compressors need lubrication once a while. By doing that, their friction lessens up, reducing damage and noise. They have a longer lifespan.
Oil-free ones are reinforced with smoother components like Teflon to reduce friction. So, preventing the additional lubricating saves some money. They are cheaper in comparison and provides cleaner air. But they make much noise.
Comparing both, if your prime concern is the price, get an oil-free one. If you want more lifespan, oil-lubricated ones are for you.
Electric Cord, Battery, or Gas
An air compressor motor gets its energy from different sources, including corded electricity, battery, or gas. You should pick one depending on your workplace and taste.
Electric-powered air compressors take so low cost to operate. These air compressors are also mostly less risky to work with. But you can’t use them in a place with much load-shedding problem.
Battery-powered air compressors are mostly for light-duty tasks and smaller in size. If you do get one, make sure that it has a DRO to indicate the battery power.
Gas-powered air compressors are the most suited to be used in marine or damp areas. They are environmental-friendly and are usually much portable.
Rotary or Piston
Depending on how the air compressor work, there can be two major types of air compressors, the rotary, and the reciprocating ones.
The rotary air compressors work by taking the air inside the machine first. Then they are forced to get in a rotary motion by the impeller. Afterward, the airs pass to the exit.
The piston, also known as the reciprocating air compressors, work by compressing the air via a piston. It contains additional cylinders and valves to pass the air through.
Where to Use High Price Air Compressor?
Air compressors can come in many different forms and shapes. The best ones feature many epic facilities along with some high ratings. With that being said, those best air compressors are usually in the low-end price range. One thing you should know is that air compressors that are suitable for heavy-duty tasks can also be used on light-duty ones.
What size air compressor is best for home use?
For best results, use a small, 5-6 CFM compressor and keep the tank large, 10-gallons. This will ensure that you won't have to refill your tank too frequently which is important because if you are painting the car you'll not want any long pauses in between each spray can going dry.
Does tank size matter air compressor?
The tank size matters only in the sense that a larger compressor can run longer with the same power. The tank size just gives you a larger buffer for longer duration tasks. But for most people, the tank size does not make a big difference.
Cutting material using a plasma cutter requires air compressors. To do the work, an air compressor with at least 80 PSI is needed. Plasma cutting also needs a high amount of airflow for the air tool to function properly.
To paint furniture, car body, or other surfaces, an air compressor with high air pressure should be used. For breaking down the internal painting, you need to provide airflow of more than 4 CFM to the sprayer.
As a result, the dual-stage air compressors are much suitable for the job. Well, they are expensive though.
Sandblasting is a job that requires more airflow and pressure than any of the tasks mentioned above. Whether for household usage or industry, it requires highly expensive air compressors. Even for the small sandblasting tasks, an airflow of over 10 CFM is needed.
Even with the dual-stage air compressor, that will be around 3 HP of motor power. So, you can understand why they are pricy.
While many carpentry jobs may need air compressors with low airflow, some can even need so much of it. So, depending on the job, the price can be high.
That was a lot of discussions and advice. One thing that we may have forgotten to tell you that the main thing you got to notice is the pressure and airflow requirement of your task while buying an air compressor. Based on those requirements, you can choose a suitable air compressor for your needs.
Do not forget that an air compressor must be also designed to match the surrounding environment. For instance, you must not use an electric air compressor in a wet place Or a large-shaped air compressor in household tasks. In addition to this, you can use air compressor under $100 for home use.
Olivia Archer provides in-depth coverage of air compressors, air compressor accessories, tire inflators and all things related to air compressors. She is a mechanical engineer and air compressor expert with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the industry.
Olivia’s articles are informative, well-researched and provide readers with valuable insights and information to help them make informed decisions when purchasing air compressors and accessories. She is passionate about the industry and is always looking for new ways to share her knowledge and expertise with readers. When she’s not writing for the website, Olivia can be found working on her own DIY projects, experimenting with different tools and techniques, and expanding her knowledge of the industry.