Best Quiet Air Compressors 2018 – Buyer’s Guide and Reviews
Owning your own air compressor for home improvement and hobby projects has numerous benefits, whether you are finishing trim with a pneumatic nail gun, using a low volume paint sprayer for finishing models, or running a small scale engraving tool for fine detail work. Above all though, if you are planning to use an air compressor in your home, you want it one that is as quiet as possible.
Some air compressors allow you to do professional and industrial grade work in your own home, but the fact that you need to wear hearing protection when working in enclosed spaces is a major drawback for you and those who live near you. Fortunately, there are numerous air compressors on the market that are rated for far less noise than their standard counterparts. Let’s take a look at how to choose the best quiet/ low noise air compressor, and then we’ll examine seven of the top silent air compressors diy to give you some good options to choose from right away.
5 Best Quiet Air Compressor Review comparison
California Air Tools 5510SE
California Air Tools CAT-6310
Hitachi EC28M Ultra Quiet
How To Choose the Super Quietest Air Compressors
Know The Difference Between -dB Noise Ratings
This is probably the most important question to ask if you are unfamiliar with how decibel ratings work. Fortunately, the decibel rating system is very simple: the noise level doubles for every 10 -dB increase between two comparable models. That means that a compressor rated for 70 -dB is twice as loud as one rated for 60 -dB, and a comparable machine rated at 80 -dB is going to be four times louder than the 60 -dB model. Clearly, a little bit goes a long way, and if you are comparing based on noise level, you need to understand what those noise ratings actually mean for operation.
CFM Rating Tells You What Tools You Can Use
Cubic feet per minute is the rating that tells you how fast the compressor can supply air to a tool. Next to noise level, this is the most important buying consideration you are going to make. You can only use tools that have a CFM rating that is less than or equal to the total CFM of the air compressor. Otherwise, your compressor will not be able to keep up with the airflow demands of the tool and it will not function properly. PSI pressure is somewhat of a factor in terms of what pressure level the compressor can maintain, but without that volume of airflow required PSI doesn’t really make much of a difference.
Know What Tank Size You Need
Fortunately, tank size needs are much easier to determine. Larger tanks hold more air and allow more usage time between pressure drops that require the motor to refill the tank. This is especially important when using tools like pneumatic nail guns, engraving tools, or small scale air brushes. The bigger the tank, the more uses you can get out of your tools before pressure loss and a a recharge delay force you to halt work for a few minutes. If you aren’t the patient type, higher capacity tanks are going to be your friend. If you are only using your tools in short bursts and don’t mind the recharge delay, a smaller tank will more than likely be just fine.
Know The Portability Features You Want
While the overall carrying weight of a compressor is going to affect your buying decision, keep in mind that it is not the be all end all when it comes to picking the right noiseless compressor for you. Some have integrated carry handles that make moving your compressor a breeze. Others have built in wheels and push handles to make shifting them around the garage or the work site a breeze despite their weight. You also want to consider shape and overall footprint dimensions of a compressor as well, since both of those are a factor when working with limited space. There are air compressors that fit perfectly on a workbench, and then there are air compressors that occupy as much space as the average push lawnmower. Be sure to factor theses variables in during your buying process.
Horsepower and Oil-Less Operation are Not a Factor
The ability to run tools and the recharge delay between pressure drops is not affected by horsepower. CFM and PSI will tell you all you need to know regardless of the motor’s power rating. Also, oil-free operation is the norm for just about all air compressors anymore. There may be a variance in overall lifetime for unlubricated models, but generally this will not affect the average home user in the lifetime of their air compressor.
Top 7 Best quietest air compressor Reviews
1. DeWalt D55140 Air Compressor Review
For those in need of compact quietest air compressor for quick punch-out work or low-demand tools, DeWalt has the DD 55140. With a 1 gallon tank and .75 CFM output this little compressor can make those quick punch-out jobs on trim or flooring, and is an ideal choice for woodworker or carpenters.
The frame is durable stainless steel coated in a scratch resistant high visibility yellow finish and shrouded to protect the controls from accidental damage.
The low draw 2.6 amp motor is designed to cause fewer breaker trips, and the overall noise rating is a very quiet 69 dB. Best of all, this unit is only 9” thick and weighs 24 lbs., which means less effort carrying it around the job site or up and down stairs.
- Small footprint means better portability
- 0.75 CFM airflow at 90 PSI
- 2.6 amp motor less likely to trip breakers
- Ideal for pneumatic nailgun chores
- 1 gallon capacity means faster recharge times
- Lower CFM may not be compatible with all pneumatic low-demand tools
- 90 PSI rating means longer refill delays
- Oil-less operation still needs factory/service center maintenance at some point in its lifetime
- Not intended for high demand/high volume air tools
2. California Air Tools 5510SE Air Compressor Review
If you need a high capacity compressor for big jobs around the house or in the garage, the California Air Tools 5510SE has you covered This unit is ultra-quiet at 60 -dB, and provides 3.10 CFM at 40 PSi or 2.2 CFM at 90 PSI, making it a good choice for extended pneumatic hammer use or low demand tool use.
Integrated wheels and a pull handle make maneuvering this unit easy despite its larger tank and heavier overall weight, and the 1HP motor is oil-free for longer maintenance free operation cycles. I’d recommend this for users that need to complete frequent pneumatic nail gun work such as contractors or woodworkers and carpenters that want to cut down on their assembly and turnaround time.
- Massive 5.5 gallon capacity tank
- Variable CFM for greater tool versatility
- 120 Max PSI means shorter recharge cycles
- Convenient pull handle and wheels for optimum portability
- -Ultra-quiet 60 -dB operation
- The size and weight make this compressor occupy more storage or workspace and reduce its overall portability
- Not intended for high demand tool use like impact drivers or pneumatic sanders
- Oil-free pumps still require long term maintenance at some point in their lifetime
3. Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak Air Compressor
When you need a compact air compressor that can handle even the toughest home improvement chores, you need look no further than the Senco PC1010 1-HP Peak Air Compressor. This lightweight compact compressor can crank out between 20 and 44 drives per minute, and with a 35 second recovery time you will be back knocking out those nail gun jobs in almost no time at all.
Additionally, this quietest air compressor ultra portable thanks to its 24.1 lb. carry weight and integrated carrying handle that also acts as a shroud for the motor and controls to protect them from accidental damage. Best of all though, with a noise rating of 69 dB, it is one of the quietest compact air compressors available.
- Lightweight with integrated carry handle
- 20-44 drives per minute with most nail guns
- 128 second charge up time, 35 second recharge time
- Small footprint for easy storage and portability
- Quiet 69 -dB operating noise level
- Does not handle high volume tools like paint sprayers or air sanders
- Tank capacity is somewhat limited compared to other small portable compressors
- Noise level higher than many comparable models with similar capabilities
4. Rolair JC10 1 HP Oil-Less Compressor
One of the most difficult combinations to find with portable quiet air compressors seems to be finding unit that is highly mobile, easy to carry, quiet, and with sufficient CFM and PSI to get the job done. In my opinion, Rolair has accomplished just that with their incomparable JC10 model.
This unit has an ultra quiet operation noise level of 60 -dB, a full shroud and carry handle to protect it from accidents on the job, and a 2.5 gallon capacity tank to keep you working longer between recharges. Better still, the all metal construction, fittings, hoses, and cast aluminum tank are clearly built to last a lifetime, and with the oil-less motor will give you years of reliable service.
- All steel and brass fittings, hose shrouds, and frame
- High capacity 2.5 gallon tank menas longer runs between recharges
- Non-marking rubber feet keep floors clean and help reduce noise and vibration
- 60 -db ultra quiet operation means no waking the neighbors or sleeping babies
- 2.35 CFM at 90 PSI for longer continuous operation
- Heavy weight at nearly 43 lbs.
- Larger footprint due to higher capacity tank
- Oil-free motors still need long term maintenance during their lifetime
5. California Air Tools CAT-6310 Air Compressor Review
Another monster size compressor from California Air Tools, the CAT -6310 is designed for those home users looking to maximise what they can do with their air compressor in DIY or hobbyist scenarios. With dual CFM rating of 3.80 CFM/40 PSi and 2.35 CFM/ 90 PSI, this quietest air compressor offers impressive versatility
when choosing and using most air tools, and the massive 6.3 gallon capacity steel tank means you will not be pausing often whether you are driving nails for finish work or running and engraving tool or artists airbrush. Despite its capabilities, the CAT-6310 is also surprisingly light for such a large air compressor, tipping the cales at 49 lbs.
This is comparable to compressors as small as half its size, and it is noise rated at a quiet 60 -dB . I’d recommend this quiet air compressor for anyone who will be completing extensive pneumatic nail gun work, or who needs the high capacity for extended engraving jobs.
- Higher CFM and PSI than many portable models
- Quiet 60 -dB operation
- Massive 6.3 gallon air tank
- Integrated wheels and handle for easier portability
- Low recharge time thanks to powerful compressor
- Very bulky, which cuts down on maneuverability or storage in tight spaces.
- No shroud protecting controls or motor
- High amperage draw means more frequent breaker trips in home use settings
6. Makita MAC2400 Air Compressor Review
With their longstanding reputation for high quality tools, it’s no wonder that the Makita MAC2400 super portable quiet air compressor is such a workhorse. The pump assembly is cast iron, giving the unit faster recovery time and improved overall performance. Its low-amperage draw goes a long way to preventing tripped breakers on startup, and the pump is also oil-lubricated for cooler operating temperatures and significant wear reduction over its lifetime.
A built in roll cage protects vital components from accidental damage, and both cylinders are cast iron for increased durability. This is clearly a small quiet air compressor built for extended continuous use and ready to endure even the toughest work conditions.
- Oil lubricated operation for greater long term wear and cooler operation
- Integrated roll cage and carry handle
- Non-slip rubber feet do not leave marks and reduce vibration
- Massive 4.5 gallon capacity in a compact package
- Cast iron construction means this unit is built to last
- Very heavy at 81 lbs. compared to most portable air compressors
- Very loud at 79 -dB compared to most compact air compressors
- You must remember to add oil from time to time to ensure smooth operation and prevent damage
7. Porter Cable PCFP02003 Air Compressor Review
This little pancake compressor is fast becoming a modern classic. Delivering 2.0 CFM at 90 PSI with a 3.5 gallon tank, the Porter-Cable PCFP02003 is a great choice for chores as simple as balancing your tire pressure to running a pneumatic nail gun for chores around the house. With its quick recovery time and excellent portability, this is an excellent choice for DIYers and hobbyists who want a compressor that provides longer operation cycles and takes up a minimum amount of space. It is also an excellent portable quiet air compressor for roofing jobs and trim finishing, and is the first choice for many contractors and home carpenters and woodworkers.
- Ultra-compact size
- Lightweight at 26 lbs.
- High pressure and CFM means faster recharges and longer operation times
- Motor is shrouded by integrated carry handle.
- Small footprint makes it ideal for keeping around the shop or in the garage.
- One of the loudest small air compressors available at 82 -db
- Tank shape can make it somewhat awkward to carry due to the position of the handle.
- Oil-free motor will require some type of service during its lifetime to maintain optimum operation
Important benefits of a quiet air compressor
Air compressors are something that we all need for working in a workshop. But the only downside to having portable air compressors is the amount of noise they produce. Exposure to loud noise not only makes the work environment extremely uncomfortable to deal with, it can also lead to loss of hearing.
However, the betterment of technology over the years has produced much better air compressors which are quiet in nature. These compressors get the job done, improve your speed of work, and also cause no permanent damage to your ears in the long run.
Here are the most important benefits of a quiet air compressor
Reduction in noise levels
The biggest advantage of getting a quiet air compressor is the reduction in noise levels in your area of work. Some of the air compressors are so loud that even hearing protections are not enough to save you from it. Scientifically, the sound level of more than 85 decibels can cause discomfort and hearing damage as well. The damage can be permanent as well, leading to a loss of hearing.
Therefore, 85 decibel must be the cut-off level for your compressors as well. However, only air compressors, which are quiet follow this rule and thus, protect your ears from any kind of damage. They also make the working environment more comfortable as the noise doesn’t disturb the people around you.
Complete your tasks faster
The reduced levels of noise make you more comfortable in your working area. Since you are not distracted by the loud noise all the time, you are able to concentrate on your task better. This results in faster work completion and thus, more productivity at work. It is important to note that despite being labeled as quiet, the quiet air compressors do produce some level of noise. However, this noise is bare minimum and can be barely be heard. On the addition of hearing protection, the noise diminishes completely and allows you to concentrate better.
Increased durability of the materials
The material used in most of the quiet air compressors are high quality equipment. Since the compressors are labeled as quiet, the manufacturers try to find the materials that are high in quality and don’t wear easily. Thus, the materials used last a lot longer, and give you value for the money spent on the compressor.
Lower maintenance needs
The first way to get whether anything has gone wrong with the air compressor is its reduction of pressure and increase in noise levels. But the difference in noise levels of a quiet air compressor is more apparent and therefore, helps you understand its maintenance needs better.
However, since the materials used by the manufacturers are always high quality when it comes to quiet air compressors, it rarely requires any maintenance work. Therefore, one doesn’t have to spend too much money on the wear and tear of this equipment and therefore, will save you a ton of money.
There are so many questions to ask when choosing the best quiet air compressor for garage: how easy is it to move? Does it balance well when carried? How much tank capacity do I need? Will it work with the air tools I want to use? How loud is it really? All of these are valid questions, and through research I’ve chosen the one air compressor that is likely to meet every DIY or small scale contractors needs: the Rolair JC10.
The capacity and recovery time are more than sufficient to make pneumatic nailing jobs a breeze, and while the overall carry weight may be heavier than some models it balances will with the integrated roll cage/carry handle. The Rolair JC10 is also one of the best built and quietest air compressors you can buy, and their customer service is reputed to be second to none if you have an issue or a question regarding your compressor or its operation.
Personally, I also like that all fittings and hoses are made of metal or protected by metal. It often feels like so few tools are made to last anymore, but that is definitely not the feeling I get with the Rolair JC10. One look at those metal hose shrouds and brass fittings, and it is easy to see that this quietest air compressor is going to be a workhorse that gives you years of faithful service.
If you need a portable quiet air compressor that is easy to shift and gets the job done without waking the neighbors, get the Rolair JC10. Save yourself time and money by investing in a high quality portable air compressor, and rest easy in the knowledge that when you need it to work and work well, your Rolair JC10 will always come through for your.