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Finding the Best Electric Air Compressor for You

Electric Air Compressor

The portable air compressor has proven to be one of the most effective tools to save you in all kinds of emergencies, whether it is powering up a tool or filling your truck’s tires. Many electric air compressors can even power up several air tools simultaneously, which is a great idea for those who want to get results fast.

Unfortunately, there are many electric compressors on the market, so choosing one can be hard for you, especially if you’ve never purchased one before. Thankfully, this guide aims to give you a thorough overview of electric air compressors so that you know how to find the best one for your needs.

We are the Air Compressor Club, and our goal is to teach you everything there is to know about air compressors and how you can use them to power up any air tool you want. If you’re eager to know what air compressors can do for you, keep reading!

What Is the Use of an Electric Air Compressor?


Generally speaking, an air compressor is a pneumatic tool that converts power into energy in the form of pressurized air. In other words, air compressors are tools that use power to provide compressed air to pneumatic tools.

There are two main air compressor types you can currently find on the market, and these are the following:

Gas Air Compressors


The gas air compressor works by drawing atmospheric air into the product’s compression chamber. There, the gas engine converts gasoline so that it forces the air to work and keeps compressing air to power up air tools.

While they may seem complicated, gas air compressors are straightforward to use. However, the primary downside is that you need to continually get gas into the machine so that it keeps working as intended. Still, these are great options for many users.

Electric Air Compressors

Electric Air Compressor

Electric air compressors work with an electric pump and an air storage tank. These products are also known as ‘portable air compressors.’ In essence, the electric pump delivers air into the tank until the machine reaches the air pressure you want (which is measured in PSI). Once it’s done, the motor shuts off to let the compressor deliver the air to your air tools.

It’s important to note that most air tools tend to make the air compressor lose pressure over time. However, these machines were developed so that when the machine starts losing pressure, the compressor gets back to work right away.

Most electric air compressors work with an air volume of 90 PSI, which is expressed in (cubic feet per minute) CFM or SCFM. Keep in mind that portable air compressors may not be as powerful as stationary compressors. Still, these products are good enough to deliver compressed air to most of your tools without any problems.

Generally speaking, you may use an electric air compressor to power up tools like framing nailers, paint sprayers, and more.

Benefits of the Electric Air Compressor

The primary benefit of these compressors is that they’re much quieter and lighter to use. If you’re traveling, for example, you can easily take your air compressor with you in case one of your wheels loses air.

Typically, traditional compressors with larger tanks tend to be much more difficult to move. In the case of trucks, it usually needs the help of two people to move the product into a truck unless there’s a liftgate. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen with electric compressors since they’re much easier to move.

In case your goal is regular usage, this air compressor type is more than enough for the job. On the other hand, if you’re a professional contractor that aims to power up heavy-duty tools, you may look elsewhere.

Is the Electric Air Compressor Also a Portable Air Compressor?

This is a common misconception about these compressor types. While there are many portable, electric air compressors, not all electric compressors are portable. One of the most popular compressor brands is Ingersoll Rand, and most of its popular electric products are 80-gallon compressors, which are huge.

How Long Do Electric Air Compressors Last?

Day Month Year cube

It mostly depends on what you’re using your air compressor for. Several people claim they’ve used their air compressors for decades and they’re still up and running!

On average, you may expect your portable air compressor to operate for over 10 years. Still, keep in mind you must provide proper maintenance if you want it to keep working for a considerable amount of time.

Electric air compressors may begin showing some signs of wear over the years, and if you take care of those promptly, you may expect the machine to work correctly for quite some time.

Signs of Damage

Some of the early signs of early machine damage may include the following:

  • Rusted exterior components
  • Excessive noise
  • Worn rings, seals, or piping
  • Extreme working temperatures
  • Poor quality of compressed air

While some of these signs may be harder to notice than others, the most obvious one is that the machine is not delivering enough air pressure as before. In those cases, you must give the machine maintenance with a professional. Otherwise, you may have to look for a replacement sooner than later.

Can You Use an Electric Air Compressor Indoors?

indoor illustration

Absolutely! Electric air compressors can be used indoors to power up one or two air tools without any problems. On the contrary, gas air compressors cannot be used indoors since they produce toxic fumes (carbon monoxide), which, in considerable quantities, can be mortal for anyone living there.

That problem doesn’t happen with electric compressors since, logically, they’re powered up electrically. Moreover, these compressors tend to be much smaller in size and are used for small jobs, such as inflating tires or pools and powering up small power tools.

Electric Air Compressor for Home Use

In case you’re looking to use your air compressor at home, there are some measures you must take to ensure you’re not going to have any problems with the machine.

First, make sure you’re not having any electricity problems at the moment. In case you notice any voltage problems with your machine, make sure to unplug it right away to avoid any accidents. Moreover, make sure the outlet is grounded correctly. Otherwise, the machine could cause electrical shocks for the operator or even severe damage to the product.

In case you’re working with a portable compressor that makes a lot of noise, you may use some headphones to mitigate the issue. Otherwise, you may experience hearing loss. Finally, make sure you’re using the machine correctly as per its instructions. Don’t try to inject pressurized air into your body since you could experience mortal health issues.

What Are the Best Electric Compressors You Can Purchase Today?

Now that you know what the electricity-powered compressor can do for you, you may be wondering what the most optimal options on the market are. Thankfully, there are dozens of reviews online that can help you find the right brands for your purchase.

Still, if you don’t want to look much further, here’s a small list of the most reputable brands you can purchase from (and their products).

Campbell Hausfeld

Campbell Hausfeld is probably one of the best options you can have for compressors. In this case, the DC080500 model can be a great alternative if you have the budget for it.

In essence, this product comes with a stylish design at 67Lbs, making it decent for transportation without needing a lift gate or other things of the sort. Moreover, it provides a maximum power of 125 PSI and 2.4 CFM. However, the best thing about this compressor is its 8-gallon tank, which makes it perfect for most users.

Ingersoll Rand

If you don’t mind working with a large product, the Ingersoll Rand 7100E15-P may be the right fit for you. It works at 50 CFM at 175 PSI, which is a lot of power for all of the tools you may have. While this product is fully-packaged, keep in mind that it’s heavy, and therefore, harder to move than other products.

Chicago Pneumatic

Finally, we have the Chicago Pneumatic WALLAIR, which is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a lower price for your compressor. Overall, it comes with a 32-inch hose, 130 PSI in compressing power, and an easy maintenance procedure. In case you want something simple but effective, this may be the right option to go for.

Bottom Line

Whether you want to power up a paint sprayer or fill a pool with air, an electric compressor can do a great job. However, make sure you review all your options carefully before choosing something from your local store.

Picture of Daniel Lewis

Daniel Lewis

Live in Chicago Illinois.
A contractor with10 years of experience.
Works with air compressors for various uses.

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