Pneumatic tools are some of the most versatile and dependable tools available.
They are able to tackle a wide range of applications and they are highly functional but they all have one thing in common.
They rely on compressed air to get the job done. This requires an air compressor.
Of course, air compressors are good for other things than just powering pneumatic tools.
Airing tires, blowing work areas and more, are all part of the workload for the air compressor.
Starting from large static units to the now more portable units, air compressors are a vital part of any tool kit, workshop, or job site equipment list.
Getting to Know the Compressor
Many people are familiar with the small compact, compressors that plug into the lighter socket in their car.
Primarily used to air tires for a flat these small compressors do not produce enough power or compressed air to use larger tools and they take a while to get the air pressure up in the tire.
Best Air Compressor under $200-3Larger compressors uses either a rotary device called an impeller or a piston to compress the air and store this air under pressure in a small storage tank.
Compressors use the fact that energy is stored in the air by compressing it and that when the air transitions to normal pressures it transfers this kinetic energy allowing it to do work.
This is how it relates to pneumatic tools. This transition causes the tool to function.
One of the more common examples is the jackhammer.
However, many workshops, auto shops, and more use pneumatic tools because they are less expensive to use over the life of the tool and can handle a wide range of different tasks depending on the tool.
Regardless of any specific tool, air compressors are an important appliance to have in the home or job site, as it has many different uses.
List of 5 Best Air Compressors under $200 Reviews
Campbell Hausfeld FP209499AV Air Compressor
Campbell Hausfeld Model FP209499 Air Compressor is designed to eliminate pulses by the piston, making this one of the quieter compressors.
It uses a three-gallon tank and it has a user-friendly control panel and motor.
It has two mounted gauges for precise control and it comes with a full accessory kit to fit a variety of connections.
This is an electric power compressor and as such it has a cooler running motor.
Designed for home or workshop use, this is a great compressor for handling light to medium-duty tasks including pneumatic tool use.
PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 3.5-Gallon 135 PSI Pancake Compressor
This pancake style compressor is compact and portable weighing less than 27 pounds.
The PORTER-CABLE Model #PCFP02003 Air Compressor has a 3.5-gallon tank and produces a maximum pressure of 135 psi.
It has a quick recovery and uses an oil-free pump, thereby requiring less maintenance over other models.
Air delivery is 2 square cubic feet per minute at 90 psi.
It has two gauges for precise monitoring and it comes with a dual quick connect rig.
It produces 82 dB of sound and uses an electric connection. It is also designed for quick starting even in cold weather.
Overall, a great compressor for home or construction work.
BOSTITCH CAP1512-OF Air Compressor for Trim
This super portable air compressor has a 1.2-gallon tank that weighs less than 24 pounds.
The BOSTITCH Model #CAP1512-OF Air Compressor has a roll cage to prevent workplace damage and uses a high output compression system for high-pressure tools.
Max operating pressure is 150 psi and has 2.8 cubic feet per minute at 90 psi.
It is designed with a max 12 amp motor to prevent breaker tripping and it is easy to start in cold weather.
It has dual gauges for precise air monitoring and it uses a LED switch to indicate on and off to prevent low-pressure misfires.
This is a great workplace or workshop air compressor that would be equally in place in the home garage.
The oil-free pump means longer life and that translates into a longer tool life.
DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor
DeWalt is a leading tool manufacturer and this compressor is designed to handle all pneumatic tools.
Portable, coming in at 30 pounds, this pancake style compressor has a 6-gallon tank for longer work time per charge.
The DEWALT Model #DWFP55126 Air Compressor has a maximum operating pressure of 165 pounds and produces 2.6 cubic feet of air per minute at 90 psi.
Designed to easily start in cold weather, it is also relatively quiet running with less than 76db.
It has dual gauges and has a high-pressure regulator for maximum tool work.
This is a great compressor for the construction site, ranch, or even the home workshop.
Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor
Makita is a leading tool manufacturer and it is a recognized leader in that field.
This compressor – Makita Model #MAC700 Air Compressor has a 2.0 horsepower motor with a big bore piston to produce excellent results in both longevity and compression.
The cast iron pump has a longer stroke for maximum performance.
The pump is oil-lubricated which translates to a cooler running pump and thus less wear on the overall unit.
The pump strokes are 1,720 RPM and it has significantly less noise generation than other compressors at the same size.
It uses a low amp draw to protect breakers from tripping and it uses a 2.6-gallon tank for storage.
It is heavier than other portable compressors with a weight of fewer than 57 pounds and it is a roll bar protected from damage at a construction site.
It has two gauges for precise monitoring of both the hose and tank pressures.
It has a maximum operating pressure of 135 psi.
This is an excellent compressor that offers both good pressure and longevity in terms of the pump and use.
Great for either home use, in the workshop, or on the job site.
How to Buy an Air Compressor under $200
Air compressors are an expensive investment that many shops make for power supply.
There is a large variety to choose from and the one that you buy depends on what you need it for.
A few things need to be kept in mind when you are buying an air compressor on Amazon since there are so many different types on the market.
What you intend to use it for is one of the main factors that need to be taken into consideration while selecting one.
The source of power, size, and how affordable it is are some of the other things that need to be kept in mind as well.
Here are a few of the factors that you will need to keep in mind when you are thinking about how to buy an air compressor:
This is an important factor when it comes to air compressors. There are two main types-portable and stationary and you can opt for either depending on which type is best suited for your needs.
- Portable air compressors come in a number of sizes and shapes. While some are light, making them easy to be carried around, there are those that are larger in size and bulkier but come with wheels to make it easy for you to move them around from place to place.
- The application you have in mind will determine how much power you need. For example, if you need an air compressor for inflating tires, you should get a light-weight one. For more intense applications like power for a nail gun for frames, you will need one that supplies more power and will be more heavy-weight.
- Stationary air compressors are designed in such a way that they need to be bolted to the area that you work in. They are wired directly to the work area’s electrical circuit. They come up with 60 to 80-gallon tanks and motors of 4 to 10 horsepower or HP. They suit workshops and garages the best as they make it easier to work with tools and give high performance.
Source of Power
Choosing the power or fuel source is the next step. Air compressors either use electricity or gasoline as their source of power.
- Electric air compressors run on a voltage that is between 110V to 120V. You need to keep in mind that air compressors exceed 2HP (horsepower) need an outlet of about 220V to 240V. For applications that are done indoors, this type of compressor makes a better choice as it does not give out harmful fumes.
- Air compressors that run on gas are used mainly by remodelers and builders due to the high performance that they provide. They are best used outdoors or in work-areas that are very well-ventilated as they emit fumes.
It is extremely important to consider the performance of the air compressor that you are looking to purchase.
The amount of air that the compressor delivers is measured in Standard Cubic Feet per Minute, also known as SCFM.
The pressure of the air in the compressor, which is measured in Pounds per Square Inch or PSI, determines the changes in SCFM.
- Tools that are smaller require up to 5 SCFM.
- Larger tools require 10 or more SCFM.
- For use in the household, compressors that are light-duty and have about 90PSI are sufficient.
- For more heavy-duty tasks, powerful compressors that have about 150 PSI and above are ideal.
Size of the Tank
This is an important factor when it comes to buying an air compressor as it is the tank that determines how long you can use your air tools.
You can find tanks of different sizes holding anywhere from 1 gallon to 80 gallons.
- For air tools that need high volumes of air to perform continuously, you will need a tank that is large in size.
- For tools that do not need a lot of air, you can get a tank that holds 2 to 6 gallons.
Other features that you need to keep in mind are the pump type, air-cooling system, overload switch, roll cage, etc.
Once all these are considered and checked, you can buy an air compressor that is ideal for the work that you have in mind.
See some of the best selling air compressors on Amazon and remember, with Amazon Prime membership, you can get heavier items than these rapidly shipped for free.