Auto repair shop wonders need air compressors capable of bearing their heavy tools and equipment. Therefore, you will always need an air compressor that can cope with the requirements of an auto repair workshop. But, sometimes, you need a detailed review of an air compressor that may help you get a suitable one for you.
For your guidance, we’re here with a list of air compressors so that you can choose the best air compressor for an auto repair shop.
In addition, we will not only provide you with a list of the best air compressors for auto repair shops, but we will also give you a brief review of the benefits and disadvantages (based on user reviews) of each, which will help you determine which is best for you.
If you already know what your work entails, that’s great, but if you don’t know, we have a separate buying guide for you to decide.
- 1 Best Air Compressor for Auto Repair Shop (Top 10 Picks)
- 1.1 1. California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet
- 1.2 2. Makita MAC5200 3.0 HP* Big Bore™ Air Compressor
- 1.3 3. CRAFTSMAN Oil-Free Pump, Portable Air Compressor
- 1.4 4. BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor
- 1.5 5. California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor
- 1.6 6. California Air Tools CAT-4610AC
- 1.7 7. Rolair JC10 Plus 2.5 Gal Electric Air Compressor
- 1.8 8. Campbell Hausfeld 8 Gallon Portable Quiet Air Compressor
- 1.9 9. Industrial Air ILA1883054 30-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor
- 1.10 10. Quincy QT-54 Splash Lubricated Reciprocating Air Compressor
- 1.11 11. Ingersoll Rand SS5 5HP 60 Gallon Single Stage Air Compressor
- 2 Things to Consider While Getting an Air Compressor for Auto Repair Workshop
- 3 Conclusion
- 4 FAQ’s
Best Air Compressor for Auto Repair Shop (Top 10 Picks)
The list of best air compressors for a mobile mechanic is what you need if you own a repair shop and want to buy a compressor that will fulfill your requirements. We will give you a brief review of the specification of the compressor.
The California air tools come with the wonderful feature of being an ultra-quiet feature. The compressor is great for use because of its oil-free and 2-HP motor. The compressor is not efficient in generating sound with 70 dBA.
The compressor is great as it runs fast and has a quick recovery time. The compressor is compact and durable and is capable of working 3000 hours.
The California air tools have the following specifications:
- The compressor is ultra-quiet with 70 decibels.
- The compressor is oil-free and maintained.
- It works with 2 HP and a low amp of 7 amps.
- It works on 6.40 CFM and 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI.
- The compressor is a 10-gallon air tank.
The Makita compressor is an ideal compressor for users as it has many specifications which make it popular. It comes with a pump cylinder and two-piston nailers. Because these compressors do not produce a lot of noise, they are ideal for job sites.
The art tools come with wheels, and it is durable and comes with handles that are holdable. It works with 3 HP built-in thermal overload. The compressor has a faster recovery time and works with 140 PSI, and it is oil-lubricated.
The Makita air tool has the following specifications:
- The compressor is a 5.2-gallon air tank.
- It has a cast iron pump piston and has faster recovery.
- It works on 3.0 HP and produces 6.5 CFM at 90 PSI.
- The compressor is oil-lubricated.
- Cast iron cylinder
- It comes with folding handles and has storage for handles.
The craftsman air compressor is a small air compressor great for small tools in the repair shop. The compressor is also great for garden equipment, and it provides high-quality results.
The 3-gallon air tool is a hot-dog style tank, which comes with couplers, ball valves, rubber handles, making it easily carryable. It works great with 1.5 horsepower and provides stability and efficient preference.
The compressor is oil-free and maintenance-free, highly durable, and has maximum PSI of 125-155 PSI.
The craftsman air tool has the following specifications:
- It is a 3-gallon air compressor, which is lightweight and portable
- It works on a 1.5 HP motor and 125-155 PSI.
- It is an oil-free air compressor.
- It is one of the best portable air compressors.
The Bostitch pancake air tool is ideal for small areas and quiet places. You can easily do your work by carrying it from one place to another. It is popular because of its impressive features. It works on 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI.
When we talk about the best air compressor for a mobile mechanic, the Bostitch comes, as they are oil-free, which makes it maintenance-free. It is capable of handling equipment and tools, and it performs efficiently.
The compressor is an ideal choice for indoor and quiet places as it does not make a lot of noise because of its 78.5 dBA operation noise level. Weighing 29 lbs, this is one of the lightest compressors, making it easy to transport.
The Bostitch air tool has the following specification:
- The compressor is portable and compact with its 29 lb weight.
- It is oil-free and maintenance-free.
- The maximum PSI of the air compressor is 150 PSI with 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI.
- The compressor is a 6-gallon air tank.
- Makes less noise at 78.5 dBA.
- It comes with regulators and couplers.
- To support two users, it comes with two universal couplers.
The California air compressor is famous for its efficient performance and capabilities. They provide a 1-horsepower motor that is capable of high and effective results. The 1-HP power enables you to work at 10.60 CFM at 90 PSI and 12.60 CFM at 40 PSI.
The compressor have a cord which you need to connect to a power outlet. Despite its powerful horsepower, it doesn’t generate much noise; it is only 60 dBA. Because the compressor is oil-free, it does not require maintenance or extra time.
The compressor can work for a long time, 3000 hours, with its piston pump. The 8010 air compressor needs 1680 RPM to work, and it is durable and portable. A lightweight 48 lb air compressor with wheels is easy to carry with an 8-gallon capacity.
The compressor is ideal for indoor and office environments.
The California air compressor has the following specifications:
- The compressor comes with an 8-gallon air tank.
- It has a package of wheel kits and air filters.
- It works on 120 V, with 2500 W, 8.5 Amps.
- The noise level of the compressor is 60 dBA.
- These compressors are oil-free.
- It has a 1 HP motor, 48 Lbs.
- Have a maximum of 125 PSI.
This model of California Air tools is also the best automotive air compressor due to its unique features. The compressor is oil-free and does not require a lot of maintenance. As the compressor is a 60 dBA, it does not produce noise, making it amongst quiet compressors
The California air compressor has a 1-horsepower motor that works at 1680 RPM, producing less noise and wear. This series is for the increase of continuous work and longer runtime.
The compressor has durability and performs high and efficiently. It has a dual-piston pump that works for 3000 hours. The 4.6-gallon air compressor has an aluminum air tank, which is lightweight, and you can effortlessly transfer it from one place to another. It is compact with its 60 lbs. This compressor is ideal if noise is a significant concern.
The California air tools have the following specifications:
- It comes with a 4.6-gallon air tank, which is aluminum-made.
- The compressor is oil-free and needs almost no maintenance.
- Generates less noise with its 60 decibels.
- Compressors work on a 1-HP, 2 HP motor.
- Its working is based on 3.10 CFM at 40 PSI and 2.20 CFM at 90 PSI.
The Rolair air compressor is ideal for indoors and in quiet locations as it does not make much noise. It is oil-free and can power air tools. However, the electronic compressor may not be ideal for heavy-duty tools.
An oil-less and portable compressor, the roller is easy to maintain, and you can easily transport one of the quietest compressors, which has a low dBA.
The compressor has 2.35 CFM at 90 PSI and is for finishing and trimming since it is small and lightweight, it is compact.
Weight and easy carrying ability make it more popular amongst buyers. It has a roll cage that prevents the compressor from being damaged. The owner can easily use a framing gun and a floor stapler.
The drain valve of the compressor is not a thumbscrew valve. It is a ball valve that makes it easier to drain.
The Rolair has the following specifications:
- It works on 2.35 CFM at 90 PSI.
- The motor of the compressor operates at 1725 RPM.
- It is an oil-less and maintenance-free compressor.
- The compressor has a 2.5-gallon tank.
- It is roll-cage construction
- The compressor comes with an unloader valve.
The brand started its work in 1836 with agricultural equipment. Campbell Hausfeld also comes in the air compressor brands list suitable for repair shops. Campbell has a complete package of compressors which comes with a nailer, inflators, air tools, and accessories.
The compressor is an 8-gallon and 2-stage. It is the best air compressor that provides support for heavy-duty projects, which includes: nailing, painting furniture, rotating wheels, grinding. It is capable of working on 230 Volts.
The efficiency of the compressor depends on the induction motor, which works on 3.7 HP and has a maximum power of 175 PSI, 6.9 SCFM. Its specification helps it complete tasks in no time, and it has a quick recovery time which saves time.
The 8-gallon horizontal air compressor is quiet and can work for 5000 hours. The compressor does not get overheated as it runs, and it is oil-free, so it does not require much time for maintenance.
The Campbell Hausfeld has the following specifications:
- It has a maximum of 125-175 PSI.
- Comes with an induction motor.
- It is an oil-less and maintenance-free compressor.
- It has a quick recovery time, which saves time.
- It is a quiet compressor with 68 dBA.
As far as the best air compressor for a mobile mechanic is concerned, the industrial air compressor is the most efficient one. It is capable of the toughest jobs and delivers high performance. The compressor is reasonable in price and is not expensive.
The compressor is oil-lubricated and comes with a cast iron and two cylinders. The heavy induction motor helps the compressor stay at work for hours and perform efficiently. The compressor is a 30-gallon vertical air compressor with pneumatic tires that provide portability.
The industrial compressor works on 120V and can also work on 240V. It has a maximum of 155 PSI, with 3.7 Horsepower. The compressor is affordable and still has a two-year warranty.
The ideal thing about the compressor is it has 13.4 CFM at 40 PSI and 11.5 CFM at 90 PSI. Its capabilities are similar to many expensive and powerful compressors. Although it is strong, it still comes with safety valves and standards to protect it.
The industrial air compressor has the following specifications:
- It comes with cast iron and 2-cylinders.
- It is oil-lubricated.
- The induction motor, which helps in heavy working
- The compressors have a max PSI of 155
- It has a 30-gallon air tank, which is vertical and has pre-attached pneumatic tires.
- It has the capacity of working on both 120 and 240 Volts.
- 3.7 HP Horspower.
Quincy is a 60-gallon air compressor ideal for an automotive shop, as it is one of the best performing and efficient compressors. The QT-54 is an oil-lubricated air compressor, which means it needs maintenance.
The compressor is expensive, but the price is worth it as it helps the user in many ways. It is the best 60-gallon air compressor for automotive shops. It works great for heavy tasks, and you can easily attach heavy-duty tools and equipment to the compressor.
The compressor has the highest air pressure, which makes pressure building easy. It has powerful HP, which helps pressure the tank efficiently, and readily. The 175 PSI, 5HP motor, 60-gallon tank, 15.7 CFM at 90 PSI, and 15.2 CFM at 175 PSI make it the most efficient and impact-full compressor.
The compressor has a US-made motor, capable of spinning at 1310 RPM, comes with a 2-year warranty, and is a vertical air compressor.
The specifications of the Quincy QT-54 are as follows:
- It has the highest pressure of 145-175 working PSI.
- It has a 5 HP powerful motor.
- The compressors come with an industrial-grade motor.
- Has 1310 RPM motor speed.
- The capacitor motor has built-in thermal overload.
- Includes a four-cylinder pump.
- Solid cast iron cylinder with 2-stage belt pump.
- It has an aluminum head for heat reduction, an extra capacity oil reservoir, a finned tube,
Splash lubricated, steel tanks, relief valves.
- Works on 50 Amps.
The Ingersoll Rand air compressors are ideal for either you will use it for yourself, or it is going to be used on professional levels. The Rand SS5 is a single-stage compressor, and it can provide 360-degree cooling for heat reduction by utilizing a cast iron piston.
The cast iron reduces temperature by forcing a cyclone air blast which provides cooling. The compressor is best for automatic shops as it has a bigger tank and can handle heavy-duty tasks.
The compressors have 3-piston rings, a Taper compression ring, an oil scraper ring, and an oil control ring. The oil control ring maintains the compressors by properly lubricating them.
The motor and pump are installed on 60-gallon. It is the best 60-gallon air compressor for an automotive shop because of its capacity, and a vertical receiver. The compressor is ASME certified and has a pre-installed pressure gauge, safety valves, ball valves, and belt guard.
The specification of the best 60-gallon air compressor for automotive shops is following:
- It has a 230V single phase motor.
- Motor bearings are greased.
- It has a cast iron piston.
- The capability of working for 5000 hours without trouble.
- It is a 60-gallon air compressor with 135 PSI.
- It has a vertical receiver tank.
- It is easy to filter and easy to maintain.
- It has advanced safety: manual thermal overload protection of the motor and enclosed belt guard.
Things to Consider While Getting an Air Compressor for Auto Repair Workshop
While selecting the best air compressor for an automotive shop, there are some things you need to consider. These will help you choose the right and suitable compressor for your use.
CFM stands for cubic feet per minute, and it gives the flow rate of the air in the compressor. The CFM measures the rate of flow of air that a compressor can produce at the given pressure.
The general purpose air compressor can work on 1-5 CFM at 90 PSI. However, the heavy tools need more CFM in the repair shop (up to 10-20 CFM).
CFM measurement represents the volumetric flow in the compressor. If selecting an air compressor, look for a standard CFM. The average CFM is 14.5 PSI, calculated at 68 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 degrees Celsius with 0% relative humidity.
PSI stands for pounds per square, and it is the amount of pressure that the compressors can produce. In auto repair shops, the compressors need a lot of pressure since they attach a lot of heavy or light tools and equipment to the compressor.
So the maximum pressure of the compressor should be enough to use tools in repair shop work. Most compressors have a max of 90 PSI, spray painting needs 30-6- PSI, inflating tires machines need more than 135 PSI, mechanic workshop air compressors usually have 115-175 PSI.
The compressors produce CFM according to PSI. Higher the PSI, less the CFM. As CFM is the factor of the compressors it drives, you should choose pressure according to that only.
3. Tank size
The tank size of the compressors is also essential, as you can do a lot of work without wasting your time waiting. The tank size depends on how long you want to use the compressor for auto repair.
If you need to use an air compressor briefly, you can get a small tank. The gallon size of the compressor should be sufficient if you need to use an air compressor for an extended time so that your compressor can store more compressed air.
4. Single or Two-Stage
The piston air compressors are single and two-stage. They are different in terms of PSI. The PSI of the single can reach up to 150 PSI, and the two-stage can reach up to 200 PSI. The single-stage works by compressing the air in a single piston stroke.
By compressing air by stroking two pistons. So, it compresses the air in two stages. The CFM of the single is higher compared to the two-stage. Two-stage can use the air pressure and does not lose pressure.
Most air compressors have a range of HP from 1.5-6.5. Industries use higher HP air compressors. To determine the CFM of the air compressors, the HP of the compressor is necessary. For small-scale use, one HP is enough. Decide according to your needs.
Most compressors are noise-making, and they are designed loud. Oil-free compressors mostly make louder noises than oil-lubricated ones.
It is because the piston of the oil-free compressors runs faster as they are small. You can buy a low RPM motor if you want to reduce the noise of the air compressor.
7. Space at the Auto Repair Shop
It is not only the size of the compressor but also its shape that determines its portability. The fixed compressors will require long hoses. You need to consider the usage of the compressors, the temperature of the area, ventilation if it is indoors, and maintenance accessibility.
The compressors can get damaged if there is no exhaust system, as it increases the temperature while running. The temperature of the place should be 104-degree Fahrenheit
The best air compressor for an auto repair shop is the one that can fulfil car mechanics’ demands and will be capable of handling heavy projects and the heavy-duty tools and equipment of the shop. Here, we have discussed a list of the best air compressors for auto repair shops keeping in mind the requirements of automotive jobs.
In this article, we have mentioned 11 air compressors that can handle repair shop work and will perform it efficiently. The compressors are efficient, compact, durable, and have powerful gallon tanks with ideal CFM.
There are some factors you need to consider while selecting an air compressor: CFM and PSI work alternatively. The higher the PSI, the low CFM. CFM is the primary factor of the compressor as it drives the compressor. Also, look for other factors according to your needs.
What type of compressor is best for professional auto bodywork?
Piston compressors are ideal for irregular work in the automatic garage ( workers will use the compressors for the time of their duty) rotary air compressors will be too much for these kinds of tasks.
What air compressors do mechanics use?
As mechanical shops need a lot of pressure to inflate, they rely on 5-30 HP compressors with at least 80-240 gallons in the compressor. The pressure at which pneumatic tools and equipment can effectively work.
What kind of air compressor do tire shops use?
Gas-driven air compressors are the most used type of compressor that tire shop owners use. On tire technicians’ trucks, the gas compressors work the best. The compressors are affordable, durable, simple, and easy to operate.
For portable use, people also consider portable tire inflator type air compressors to keep in the car. For the home garage, small, portable and oil-free air compressors are used.
Hamza is a founder of Compressors Insights. He is an Electrical Engineer having strong experience in Technical and Power tools. He has been helping electricians, and HVAC technicians regarding tool selection, and how to use power tools (Compressors, Pressure Washers, Multimeters, etc)