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Best 12V Air Compressors 2017 – Buyer’s Guide and Reviews

Best 12V Air Compressors

If you’re like a lot of other people, you’re going to find that you could really benefit from having an air compressor in your house so that you can easily use it for any necessary projects you have. However, when it comes to buying an air compressor, you might not know exactly what you are looking for and which compressor is going to be the best for you. This review post is going to help ensure that you can easily find the best 12V air compressors.

The following information in this review post is going to help make sure that you know exactly what you need to look for when it comes to the best 12V air compressors. Additionally, you’re going to find some of the better products on the market and you’ll have no problem finding one to fit all of your needs.

Top 10 best 12V Air Compressor Comparison

PRODUCT 

IMAGE

PRODUCT

BNAME

WEIGHT

EDITOR RATTING

PRODUCT

PRICE

EPAuto-Portable-Compressor-Digital-Inflator

EPAuto 12V DC

3.8 pounds

TireTek RX-i Digital Tire Inflator Pump

TireTek RX-i Digital Tire Inflator Pump

6.5 pounds

Portable-GOOLOO-Compressor-Automatic-Basketballs

Portable Tire Inflator, GOOLOO Mini 300 PSI

1.6 pounds

Slime 40022 12-Volt Digital Tire Inflator

Slime 40022 

0.2 ounces

Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor

Viair 00088 88P

4.5 pounds

Slime Pro Power Heavy-Duty 12-Volt Tire Inflator

Slime Pro Power

5.2 pounds

MasterFlow MF-1050 Air Compressor

MasterFlow MF-1050

1 pounds

Viair 00073 70P Heavy Duty Portable Compressor

Viair 00073 70P

5 pounds

AUTO-VOX 12V DC Portable Electric Air Compressor

AUTO-VOX 12V DC

3 pounds

Viair (00077) 77P Portable Compressor Kit

Viair (00077) 77P

6 pounds

How To Choose The Best 12V Air Compressor For The Money

Portable or Stationary

When you go to buy your first air compressor, you’re going to have your choice of deciding between either a portable or a stationary type of air compressor. The portable compressors are often going to be more convenient for most people because they come in a ton of shapes and sizes and there are smaller models that make it easy to carry. Additionally, you’ll be able to select whichever tank size is appropriate for you depending on the work load. Stationary compressors are bolted and wired directly to an electrical circuit. Typically, you’ll find that they have much larger tanks and motors making them perfect for workshops or garages.

Power Source

The power source is going to be another important thing to keep in mind because you need to make sure that you are picking the right power source that is appropriate for what you are trying to accomplish. The electric compressors that you are going to find are going to run on the voltage you commonly find in a house. These are one of the better choices because they don’t produce any fumes so if you work inside, then this is going to be the one you wanna go with. Gas powered compressors are typically the choice when it comes to outside jobs since you might not have access to the power source you need for electrical compressors. These types of compressors do emit fumes, so make sure you use them outside or in a well-ventilated area.

Tank Size

The tank size on any compressor is going to determine how long the air compressor can run without being turned back on. The size of the gallon is going to be talked about in gallons and you will find that many of the tanks will run from one gallon to 80 gallons with the 80 gallon models typically reserved for stationary units. If you plan on using the compressor to use a high volume of air, then you’re going to want a larger tank but you will probably be good with a smaller tank if you don’t need to continuously use the compressor.

Pump Type

When it comes to choosing the pump type for your compressor, you’re going to find that you have the choice between a single or two-stage compressor as well as an oil-lubricated or oil-free pump. The single stage compressor can have one or more cylinders that produce compressed air at the same pressure while the two-stage compressor has at least two cylinders that work together and make it easy to use for high demand jobs. As you can probably figure out, the oil-lubricated model is going to use oil to help it operate while the oil-free doesn’t need oil. The oil-free models are going to be smaller and will require a lot less maintenance.

Certification

One of the last things that you want to keep in mind is to ensure that the product has ASME Certification because it will indicate that you are getting a high quality material and craftsmanship. There will be a certification label on the tanks and you should see it clearly marked in the description to ensure that it meets the standards of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Top 10 Best 12V portable Air Compressor For Car Tire- Recommended Product Reviews

1. EPAuto-Portable-Compressor-Digital-Inflator

If you want to find the ultimate in convenience and you want one of the easiest ways to take the power of an air compressor with you on the road, then you’re going to love everything that this compressor has to offer. You’re going to find that it can plug directly into the cigarette lighter socket of your vehicle so you can easily use the compressor on the go. Additionally, you’ll find that some of the top uses for it include inflating tires on cars, bikes or SUVs and it even comes with an attachment that allows you to incflate balls and other items.

The display area on this compressor is also going to be easy for you to read no matter where you are so you will never have to worry about having trouble reading what the display says and it displays four different units including KPA, BAR, KG/CM and PSI. you’re also going to get a bright torch LED flashlight that makes it easy to see what you are doing and the auto shut off is great to help ensure that you don’t exceed the desired tire pressure.

Pros:

Cons

1. Plugs right into your cigarette lighter socket

​2. Inflates tires

​3. Easy to read display

​4. LED flashlight

​5. Over-inflation protection

1. Not as strong or durable as some

​2. Little slow in working

Highlighted Features

  • Displays four units (KPA, BAR, KG/CM and PSI)
  • Includes plenty of adaptors
  • ​Works via cigarette lighter so there’s no need for AC power

2. TireTek RX-i Digital Tire Inflator Pump

If you want to find one of the most convenient and portable options you are going to find when it comes to an air compressor, this is going to be the one you want to go with. The high quality pump is the perfect option to keep in your car in case of an emergency and it helps to deliver nearly 40 liters of air per minute. This means that you can easily inflate an average sized car tire in less than three minutes. In addition, you’re going to get a free 11.5 foot hose extension along with four nozzle adapters so you can fill anything you need to fill.

Perhaps one of the nicest features you are going to find when it comes to this compressor is the noise eliminating technology that works to reduce the noise and vibration and also ensure that your compressor will stay where it needs to when it is in use. Additionally, the bright LED safety light makes it an excellent option for you are night. Last but not least, the safety features of this compressor will help to ensure you have no problems using it thanks to the automatic shut off once you have reached the desired PSI level of the tires or other material you are filling.

Pros:

Cons

1. Convenient travel size at all times

​2. Multiple attachments

​3. Simple to use and operate

1. Poorly designed case

​2. Slow operation

Highlighted Features

  • 11.5 foot hose extension
  • 40 liters of air per minute
  • Bright LED safe light
  • Automatic shutoff to prevent overfilling tires

3. Portable-GOOLOO-Compressor-Automatic-Basketballs

If you’re looking for one of the more affordable options on the list because you don’t know how often you are going to use it so you don’t want to spend a ton of money on it, then this is going to be one of the better options that you will find. The lower price point comes with some solid features still and the 300 PSI air compressor will be able to inflate a variety of tires as well as basketballs, footballs, volleyballs and other items thanks to the attachments included with the purchase of the compressor.

Furthermore, you’re going to find that this compressor is incredibly simple to use because of the three different attachments it has in order to accommodate just about anything you need. You’ll also appreciate having high quality construction and a built-in pressure gauge so that you get a durable and accurate compressor at all times. This compressor isn’t going to be the fastest one you find on the market but it is going to inflate a standard size tire in 10 minutes and the the 10 foot long power cord gives you the freedom to move where you need to be.

Pros:

Cons

1. Versatile

​2. Simple to use

​3. Premium quality

​4. Powerful and strong

1. Little slow for filling a tire

​2. Loud

Highlighted Features

  • 300 PSI
  • Inflates both tires and sport equipment with ease
  • ​Plenty of useful attachments
  • ​Built-in pressure gauge
  • 10 foot long power cord

4. Slime 40022 12-Volt Digital Tire Inflator

This is going to be another great option if you’re looking to find one of the more affordable compressors on the market and it does an excellent job at delivering great results with the technology it has on board. For example, you’re going to find that this compressor has the ability to inflate a standard mid-sized car tire in just six minutes, which is excellent when you consider the price. This compressor also has inflate right technology that will automatically turn the compressor off when the desired pressure is reached in the tire or other item.

This compressor also comes equipped with a bright and long-lasting LED light that can be used for nighttime use, making it a safe and easy experience when you use it at night. This compressor will plug directly into your car cigarette lighter so that you always have the power you need on the go. Last but not least, it is powerful and compact and has rubberized feet on the bottom for added stability at all times.

Pros:

Cons

1. Inflates a tire in just six minutes

​2. Bright and long-lasting LED

​3. Powerful and compact

1. Could be better materials

​2. Very loud

Highlighted Features

  • Inflate Right technology for a perfect fit
  • Operates via cigarette lighter
  • ​Rubberized feet
  • ​LED light for safety

5. Viair-00088-88P-Portable-Compressor

Viair is going to be one of the more well-known brands when it comes to finding a compressor so you are going to find great satisfaction in knowing that this compressor is highly rated. It comes with a max working pressure of around 120 PSI, meaning that the engine must be running when the product is in use. Additionally, you’ll find that this particular compressor is powered using alligator clamps directly on the battery rather than the cigarette lighter as you see in some other cases.

This is going to be one of the better options if you need something that will work for small ATVs, trucks, SUVs, sedans or any other vehicle that has tires around 33 inches. With your purchase, you get an LED power indicator, a 10 foot power cord, a 16 foot air hose and a three piece inflation tip kit so that you can easily inflate anything that needs to be inflated.

Pros:

Cons

1. Perfect for smaller vehicles

​2. LED power indicator

1. Air leaks out too easily

​2. Not great for heavy duty projects

Highlighted Features

  • 120 PSI working pressure
  • Works via alligator clamps
  • ​10 foot power cord
  • 16 foot air hose
  • Three piece tip kit

6. Slime Pro Power Heavy-Duty 12-Volt Tire Inflator

One of the biggest problems you are going to find with some of the compressors on this list is that they use oil to run, which can be a pain when it comes to the overall maintenance of the compressor. However, with this particular option, you’re going to find that it is oil free and is one of the more heavy duty options that plugs right into your cigarette lighter in the car, making it a breeze to power up the compressor no matter where you might be. In just three minutes, this compressor is capable of inflating a standard car tire.

This compressor also comes with a built-in pressure gauge and a bright LED light so that you always know how you are inflating the tires and you can easily be spotted if you need to use this compressor at night. There is a 16 foot coiled air hose that makes it easy for you to reach anywhere you need to while also keeping the entire unit small when it is not in use. With your purchase, you’ll get a canvas bag and plenty of adapters so you can inflate anything that needs it.

Pros:

Cons

1. Plugs right into your cigarette lighter

​2. Inflates standard tire in three minutes

​3. Bright LED light

1. Way too loud

​2. Not as much pressure

Highlighted Features

  • Uses no oil
  • 16 foot coiled air hose
  • Built-in gauge

7. Viair-00073-Heavy-Portable-Compressor

This is going to be yet another compressor from Viair and you’re going to find that it offers a lot of great features to enjoy including the 12 volt operation that can keep a maximum working pressure of 100 PSI assuming that the engine and compressor are running while the product is in use. Additionally, you’re going to find that it is capable of a 1.06CFM Free Floor @ 0 PSI and when it comes time to move with the compressor, it will be a breeze thanks to the deluxe carrying bag that is included.

You’re also going to enjoy a brass twist-on tire chuck that makes it even easier to use this unit at all times. The simple operation behind the compressor might be the best feature that it offers. If you want to inflate something, simply turn the unit on. If you want to check the pressure, then you need to just turn the unit off and use the on board pressure gauge. That’s it. Nothing more to it.

Pros:

Cons

1. 100 PSI max working pressure

​2. Brass twist-on tire chuck

​3. Easy to use at all times

1. Slow

​2. Overall poor construction

Highlighted Features

  • 12 volt operation
  • Bullet Point 2
  • ​On board pressure gauge
  • Includes a carrying bag
  • Simple operation

8. Flow-MF-1050-MasterFlow-Compressor

If you want to find a dependable compressor that can still put air in your tires in a fast and efficient way, this might be a great compressor option for you to consider. This powerful 12 volt motor is specifically designed to inflate the tires quickly. You’re going to find that this compressor can inflate a full size truck tire in just under four minutes and it can inflate a passenger car tire in just under one minute.

The power from this compressor comes directly from the car battery so you don’t really have to worry about any external power source or anything like that. Lastly, you’re going to get everything you need with your purchase, including an air compressor, carrying bag, air filter and plenty of needle adapters that will work best for your needs.

Pros:

Cons

1. Powerful 12 volt motor

​2. Inflates full size truck tire in under four minutes

​3. Inflates passenger car tire in under one minute

1. Runs hot

​2. Pretty loud

Highlighted Features

  • Designed to inflate tires quickly
  • Powered from a car battery
  • ​Multiple accessories included
  • ​Carrying bag included

9. AUTO-VOX-Portable-Electric-Compressor-Inflatables

Just because something comes with one of the more simple designs that you are going to find, doesn’t mean that it isn’t capable of being one of the better compressor choices on the list. This comes with plenty of features to make your experience easier included four different nozzle adapters for different size inputs that give you the flexibility to inflate just about anything. Additionally, the small and compact size makes it the perfect choice for home or travel and even for camping!

In order to work in the unit, you simply need to plug it into the cigarette lighter in your car and click start. From there, it will begin to inflate the tires or whatever it is you need to have inflated. The compressor works at a decent pace and will inflate and adult air mattress in just five minutes. Best of all, you are protected by a one year warranty in case anything happens to go wrong.

Pros:

Cons

1. Four nozzle adapters

​2. Small and portable

​3. One year warranty

1. Works at a slow pace

​2. Not great for large items

Highlighted Features

  • Compact design
  • Different size inputs
  • ​Powered with a cigarette lighter outlet
  • ​Protected under warranty

10. Viair (00077) 77P Portable Compressor Kit

Last but certainly not least when it comes to the compressors on this list, you’re going to find that this compressor from Viair is going to help solve all of your needs thanks to a max working pressure of 80 PSI while the engine is running during use. Additionally, the compressor is powered by an auxiliary power outlet to give you greater flexibility in terms of what the compressor can do for you.

The tire pressure gauge is mounted right onto the compressor and makes it simple for you to read at all times. In addition, the super bright LED work light makes it easy and safe for you to use this product at night time. Lastly, you’ll get a deluxe carrying bag with your purchase that is outlined in a bright orange lining to help increase your visibility wherever you are.

Pros

Cons

1. Deluxe carrying bag included

​2. Auxiliary power outlet

​3. Tire pressure gauge

1. Materials could be stronger and more durable

Highlighted Features

  • 80 PSI working pressure
  • Bright LED safe light
  • ​Orange lining for visibility

Final Verdict

When it comes to buying the best 12V air compressor that you are going to be able to find on the market, you won’t go wrong if you choose one of the products that was reviewed above. Those are some of the best products that you will find and additionally, there are plenty of tips and tricks to follow so that you know exactly what you should look for if you want to look for a compressor on your own. After reading the review post in its entirety, you’ll find that buying the best 12V air compressor will be no problem for you.

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Mary T. White
 

Hello all, this is Mary White, a trained AC service technician who also doubles up as a blogger. On my website, I majorly discuss issues related to the working, specifications, pros and cons of the various tools that are needed for home and professional use. I understand many homeowners and commercial operators need essential tips and professional advice before they can invest in any tools such as air compressors, socket sets and many others. As a result, I have dedicated my time to provide insightful information about these devices and at the same time provide a platform where users can share their experience. I update my website from time to time and you can follow me for the latest news and trends regarding different tools.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 8 comments
Paul - August 10, 2017

The Viair-00088-88P-Portable-Compressor is my favorite. I like it since it is portable and you will always find it in my car, so far it has been serving well in the past three months without any breakage.

Reply
    Mary T. White - August 11, 2017

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I’m sure you have given other readers a greenlight of what to expect should they purchase the product.Thanks again

    Reply
Lnet - August 11, 2017

I have been looking for such an informative list that compares different types of air compressors. Definitely this will be of much help and I will be buying one soon. I love your approach and I will be reading your posts onwards.

Reply
    Mary T. White - August 11, 2017

    Lint, we are happy to know that we have enlightened you in this area. In case you need more information and professional advice on the same, feel free to contact us any time. Regards.Thanks

    Reply
Elijah - August 12, 2017

Though I have always wished to own an air compressor, I have never known whconsider when buying one. Definitely your informative review will be of much help since I will be buying one soon. Expect to hear from me soon.

Reply
    Mary T. White - August 12, 2017

    Welcome Elijah, we are humbled to learn that we have been of much help to you. We will be waiting to hear from you anytime. All the best!

    Reply
Patrick Ngolo - August 13, 2017

I like your posts so far, but I will like you to outline the common things which I should look at when buying an air compressor. What matters most? Kindly guide me on this.

Reply
    Mary T. White - August 13, 2017

    Hello Patrick, Thank you for trusting us with your air compressor needs. Normally, your needs determine the kind of air compressor you’re going for. Then you can look at whether you need a piston type or portable compressors. The specs, power type and pricing can also be considered. We will be sharing with you a guideline on that shortly.Thanks

    Reply

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