Most air compressor noise ratings range from 40 to 92 decibels (dB), but the best ratings for quiet air compressors are close to 60 dB. To provide some context, 30 dB is equivalent to a whisper, 60 dB is the normal talk level, and the motor of a lawn mower is usually around 90 dB. This compressor is equipped with a 1 horsepower motor that can move 3.1 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air at 40 pounds per square inch (PSI) and 2.2 CFM at 90 PSI. Operates at just 60 decibels (dB); quiet enough to have a conversation right next door.
One thing we loved about this compressor was the fast fill time of just 50 seconds since it was empty. Has a 2 gallon aluminum tank with anti-rust protection. The oil pump is oil-free, eliminating the need for maintenance and has an impressive life cycle of 3000 hours before wear. All of this weighs just 35 pounds, making it easy to carry.
Like many modern compressors, this one features an oil-free, low-maintenance design. It has a 6 gallon air tank with plenty of volume so you can work without interruptions. Despite the large size of the tank, this tool weighs only 29 pounds, making it quite portable. But this compressor offers much more than just a large air tank.
You'll get six CFM of airflow at 40 PSI and 5 CFM at 90 PSI. The maximum total pressure for the system is 150 PSI. Between high pressure and airflow, there are few tools you'll have trouble running with. Compact yet capable, the DEWALT D55140 air compressor is only 9 inches wide and weighs just 24 pounds, making it one of the smallest and lightest compressors we tested.
It operates at just 69 dB, making it also one of the quietest compressors we've tested. The Makita MAC210Q Quiet Series Air Compressor is a compact compressor with a 2 gallon tank. But despite its small size, it is quite heavy and weighs 44 pounds. This doesn't mean it's not portable, but it does hinder its portability.
Much of that weight is likely to come from the roll cage that protects the entire unit and keeps it safe during transport. With 2 CFM of air flow at 90 PSI, this compressor could have trouble powering air tools. It won't feed anything big like a framing nailer. We even had some issues running finish nailers on this compressor, so it didn't rank higher on our list.
This is a super quiet compressor that works at just 59 decibels. It's also compact and portable, weighing just 25 pounds and has a handy carry handle on the top. Virtually maintenance-free thanks to oil-free pump. Finally, everything is protected by the steel roll cage that surrounds the compressor and the rubber feet keep it stable on almost any surface.
What this compressor falls short of is with quality control and airflow. This machine only handles 1.3 CFM of airflow at 40 PSI, which is not enough to operate most air tools. Even finishing nailers are too much for this compressor to handle. As for quality control, our meters didn't work when it arrived.
After doing some research, we realized that they were deformed, which prevented the needle from moving. It turns out that this is something quite common with these compressors. With an operating volume of 68 dB, the Campbell Hausfeld DC060500 portable silent air compressor sits right in the middle of the package for operating noise. However, your 6-gallon air tank is on the larger side, and it offers enough air to keep you working without having to constantly stop and wait for the tank to fill up.
You also get 2.4 CFM of airflow at 90 PSI with a maximum pressure of 125 PSI, which is enough to operate most smaller air tools, such as nail and dowel nailers. Still, this is a quiet, portable compressor, running at just 68 dB and weighing 21 pounds easily. It's a maintenance-free design with an oil-free pump, but that's not enough to compensate for its shortcomings. There were things about this machine that we liked.
For example, the maintenance-free oil-free pump. It also has decent airflow; 2.4 CFM at 90 PSI. But that's all we have to say in defense of this compressor. Finally, with an operating volume of only 68 dB, the Stealth ultra-quiet air compressor is our first choice recommendation.
Offers 6 CFM airflow at 40 PSI and 5 CFM at 90 PSI. It's also equipped with a massive 20-gallon tank that fills up in just 70 seconds. The quietest air compressor on the market today is the California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light %26 Quiet Portable Air. Portability is the main feature, as this corded electric compressor weighs only 43 pounds and has a sturdy carrying handle.
But don't let its compact size fool you into thinking it lacks power; it runs at 1.0 HP at 1680 rpm. The steel bladder contains 4.7 gallons of air that allows additional air before the engine starts operating and has a maximum pressure of 120 PSI. The MAC210Q is a 1 HP electric air compressor with reduced noise levels at its core. It has an impressive 60 dB, for context, which is the same level as a normal conversation.
The air compressor performs well consistently, providing 2 CFM at 90 PSI, although the induction motor can deliver a maximum of 135 PSI. With a 2-gallon air storage capacity, the Makita compressor is perfect for DIYers who perform a multitude of tasks. It is ideal for powering a framing gun with its fast pressure build up and recovery times. It takes 10 to 15 seconds to reach 50 PSI and within 10 seconds to reach the 100 PSI score.
Maintains pressure well, which is clearly seen on large gauges. Airbrush sprayers may prefer the big brother, the Mac320Q; it's just as quiet but has a larger storage capacity for uniform, uninterrupted spraying. It is a small compressor with a 1 gallon steel tank that runs on 0.5 HP. Weighs just 29 pounds and measures 14 x 14 x 13.5; easy to carry and store.
Steel roll cage keeps all vital internal components protected during use and transport without adversely affecting overall weight. It has a maximum pressure of 125 PSI, 135 CFM at 40 PSI and 0.8 CFM at 90 PSI. It may not be an industrial scale air compressor, but it has many industrial quality features. The quick coupling offers the user a quick connection with one hand, and the regulator and industrial gauges allow easy reading and adjustment of pressure levels.
The release lever is substantial and requires a 90° shift to operate. Has a large storage tank that holds 12 gallons of air. It fills and builds up pressure quickly and maintains it for long periods. Unlike other models, it does not leak or leak, even with the hose and air nozzle connected.
This is the first vertical storage tank ever introduced and, although it weighs 95 pounds, it is easy to transport. Thanks to the 7 reinforced rubber wheels and the easy-grip handle, maneuvering the compressor is a breeze. The handle folds down to give the unit a total height of 28.5, ideal for storage under the bench. This corded electric air compressor is perfect for use in a workshop where it can be easily transported from one job to another.
Powered by a dual pump induction motor that is oil-free, requires zero maintenance and powerful 1.5 HP performance for extended life. Should any issues arise, Stealth offers unparalleled customer service, backed by the Limited Lifetime Warranty. It's the ideal air compressor for use in low-noise areas. It's half as loud as conventional models, it works at just 68 dB.
Inflating, finishing nailing, stapling and painting as a hobby are just some of the tasks you can successfully perform. In fact, it performs intermittent work very well, as long as the power tool's cfm rating is 3.2 or less. It has no problems with pressure, since its maximum capacity is 125 psi. The pressure gauge is easy to read and the pressure adjustment uses simple valve operation.
Once empty, the tank has a very fast recovery time. The Campbell Hausfeld air compressor is a powerful workhorse that works with a standard 120 V power outlet. Has a maintenance-free, oil-free double-piston pump, reducing costs. A nail nailer could have a rating of around 2 CFM.
Multiply the cfm requirement of tools by 1.5 to discover the minimum CFM rating an air compressor should possess. Of all the shop tools you may need, air compressors are some of the most difficult to soundproof. Because of that fact, I have decided to introduce 5 brands that do a great job of providing us with the best silent air compressors. However, before I talk about some of the products that have particularly impressed me, I'll explain the features you'll want to consider when buying silent air compressors.
Most importantly, after presenting my findings, I'll also talk about how you can make the air compressor you currently have as quiet as possible. However, I must say that not all air compressors are the same when it comes to noise levels. Most of the air compressors we will discuss are reciprocating compressors. That means they work with a piston system, which is not really the quietest option.
After all, the piston is connected to a crankshaft, so both parts produce significant movements up and down and from side to side. In addition to single-piston compressors, which have an output pressure of approximately 50 to 75 PSI, there are also multi-stage compressors. Systems that operate with two or more pistons can prevent overheating and achieve an outlet pressure of 175 PSI. However, single-piston systems are still the most common for domestic use.
Basically, if you choose a compressor that uses oil, you'll need to change it normally once a year. Air compressor oils are usually synthetic products that do not contain any of the detergents used in engine oil. Once the pump draws air into the machine, the air passes into a pressurized tank or chamber. Therefore, the next important characteristic that you should consider when buying air compressors is the volume of the tank.
The size of the tank not only affects the things you could use the compressor for, but it also affects its portability. More importantly, you need to really focus on what the machine needs before deciding on the size. The volume of a tank is usually measured in gallons, so you'll see from 1 to 200 gallon tanks if you look around. Obviously, larger units are more geared towards serious industrial uses, while smaller units are ideal for domestic use.
Basically, smaller 1 to 6 gallon tanks should be able to inflate things, staple and nail a little, and do small paint projects. However, models that offer more than 8 gallons and more will be able to perform more strenuous tasks, such as screwing, painting large surfaces, cutting, grinding and sanding. And if the tank rusts, it will be structurally weak, which, in combination with high air pressure, can lead to ruptures and even explosions. Let's say knowing how to properly maintain an air compressor would be in your best interest.
Most 1 to 6 gallon compressors on the market are designed with portability in mind. Basically, you can pick them up and take them with you wherever you go. However, if you choose a unit with a larger tank, for example, a 60-gallon tank, you'll need to have it bolted into place in your shop. The appearance of an air compressor can also be an important factor in producing noise.
For example, types of compressors that need to be bolted to the ground usually have metal feet. In that case, I recommend buying anti-vibration pads to prevent the unit from causing an uproar against your garage's hard cement floor. The CAT 1610SQ measures just under 14 inches and is approximately 16 inches wide, as well as 13 inches deep. It's supposed to only produce 65 decibels of noise, which is quite reasonable, in my opinion.
However, the amount of noise it makes is closer to 30 decibels from about a foot away. So it's the quietest thing an engine can be. Speaking of which, this machine runs on an oil-free electric motor, so it will require less maintenance. As I said before, you'll need to release condensation after use, but not much else.
This product has a 1.6 gallon tank and weighs about 35 pounds. The design incorporates a padded handle, which should make it quite easy to carry it from room to room if you are doing home repairs. The motor is powerful enough with 1 horsepower induction while running and 2 horsepower at peak performance. Under optimal conditions, you should get approximately 3 cubic feet per minute at 40 PSI of pressure.
However, if you need to power a 90 PSI tool, you will only have 2 CFM. The maximum pressure you can get is 120 PSI, and the tank only takes about a minute to fill thanks to the double piston pump. California Air Tools certainly has some of the quietest air compressors on the market, which is largely due to the brushless induction motors they use. When I was researching their product list, I decided that it would be best to include one of the smaller units they offer.
After all, smaller devices usually have smaller motors, so they tend to be quieter. However, the company has plenty of other options to choose from. If you're working with a tool that requires continuous, highly pressurized air, such as a sander, you'll want to use a device with more impressive specifications. Depending on your needs, you can purchase this 4.6 gallon double tank unit or even a 10 gallon one if you really need it.
In fact, the 10-gallon compressor actually has large wheels and a handle that makes it very easy to carry. There's even a 15-gallon unit that makes only 70 decibels of noise. On the other hand, if you're looking for the smallest compressor in the line, they have a 1 gallon unit. Even if you need to use it frequently, the 56 decibels of noise this little one makes shouldn't bother you at all.
But if you often need a more powerful air compressor, I'd say go for the 8-gallon one. Everyone knows the DeWalt brand, they make some of my favorite electrical tools and equipment. I have even recommended some of their tools in my article on how to make a soundproof generator box. So it should come as no surprise that they are also behind some of my favorite air compressors.
For the sake of fairness, I have decided to review the product that is most similar to the 1.6 gallon CAT compressor. The smallest compressor in the DeWalt line is the 1 gallon oil-free unit, so let's take a look at that. This product is very compact, measuring approximately 15 inches wide, 8 inches high and 19 inches deep. Everything weighs just 24 pounds and has a convenient carrying handle right next to the tank.
In addition, this machine can achieve an air flow of approximately 0.75 CFM at 90 PSI. The maximum pressure you can get is 135 PSI, which is more than the CAT compressor can handle. Despite its small size, this model is quite powerful, so it makes a little noise. However, it should not exceed 71 decibels.
If you plan to use your air compressor to power even more demanding tools, you can also purchase a 6-gallon unit. DeWalt manufactures two types of products of this size. The first is a pancake compressor, which looks like a flattened ball, while the second has a horizontal tank with wheels and a handle. In addition, the horizontal version also has an oil lubricated pump, so you'll have to keep that in mind if you decide to buy it.
For example, they have a horizontal 20-gallon oil-free unit, as well as an oil-lubricated vertical model with a 20-gallon tank. Similarly, they have a 30-gallon vertical oil-free compressor and an oil compressor of that size. Even though these machines are very large and weigh up to 190 pounds, you can still transport them thanks to the large wheels and comfortable handles. I can't talk about quiet air compressors without mentioning some of the ones Makita makes.
Their teal products are not only instantly recognizable, but they are also quite quiet. However, as always, the smallest of the group will probably have the quietest engine. So I've decided to write my close-up review of your 1 gallon oil-free air compressor. Unlike DeWalt, Makita doesn't really make air compressors that are too big.
However, the ones that do have tend to be well designed and thought out. It only offers a slightly larger tank than the product I just reviewed, but it's completely different than the 1 gallon unit. Even though the Campbell Hausfeld company makes many different shop tools, I would say that they are constantly outperforming themselves with their air compressors. Their Quiet Compressor product series has been one of my favorites for several years now.
I'll talk about the whole series in a minute, but for now, let's look at the 1.3 gallon unit. This suitcase type compressor is perfectly built to protect the tank and engine inside the frame. It is 24 inches long, 14 inches wide and approximately 8.5 inches thick. If you can use a 2 or 4 gallon compressor instead of a 1 gallon unit, you should definitely.
Only in the Quiet series, Campbell Hausfeld has only 4 models. Just above the 1 gallon one, you have the 4.6 gallon dual tank version that also has two connectors so you can connect two tools. Finally, the last brand I want to include in my list is Senco. They don't have a wide range of air compressors, but the ones they do have are generally quite quiet and affordable.
As always, the first product I'll review is the smallest on their list, the 1-gallon compressor. The unit's noise measures at approximately 68 dBA, which is ideal for home use. When it comes to portability, there's nothing better than these small devices. This one has a 10-inch wide horizontal tank and a sturdy handle that will allow you to easily carry the 20-pound machine.
Comes with everything you need to have, including pressure gauges, regulator knob and universal coupler. In addition, it also has small rubber feet that can absorb some of the vibrations. In general, the oil-free pump is powerful enough to produce a maximum of 125 PSI of pressurized air. The engine normally works.
As I mentioned earlier, Senco doesn't have many air compressor models in its lineup. However, the ones they have are generally quite good. Take, for example, your 2.5 gallon oil-free twin tank model. 1.5-horsepower motor allows machine to produce a maximum of 135 PSI of pressurized air.
Again, the unit is small and light enough (weighs about 40 pounds) to carry from room to room. And it even has the familiar handle and rubber foot construction. Like its 2.5-gallon unit, its 4.3-gallon model also has twin tanks, although it is an oil-lubricated compressor. Best of all, the machine can deliver 4.3 CFM air volume at 100 PSI pressure.
Finally, the largest model in the Senco air compressor line is the 6-gallon pancake model. This is one of my favorites because of its clean design and general ease of use. It even has two couplers, so you can use it to power two tools at the same time. It's also quite affordable for the size of the unit.
Most of the air compressors I mentioned are specifically designed to work quietly. However, some of them can never be as calm as you need them to be. Instead of risking the anger of your neighbors, you should do everything in your power to keep noise to a minimum. So let's talk about some of the ways you could do it.
This video showed me another interesting use of rubber to dampen air compressor noise. In it, one guy used an automotive muffler and two air hoses to silence the inlet of his compressor. However, that technique would practically only work on large stationary compressors. Constant flow is ensured through a pair of screws that rotate in opposite directions to operate the sealed air in the chamber.
You won't have to worry about changing oils, replacing oil filters responsible for cleaning compressed air in simple terms. Fortunately, if you only use a compressor to fix things around the house or for projects in your garage workshop, you don't need a high-powered product anyway. Before you think about the amount of airflow or pressure you need, you need to decide what size of compressor is acceptable for you. These older compressors didn't have anything to cover their pumps, allowing all that volume to spread quickly and easily throughout the workspace.
The compressor is designed to operate at lower RPM, resulting in quieter operation and longer pump durability. Some large, commercial-grade air compressors use diesel fuel, gasoline, or wired electrical service as a power source. On the other hand, if you're going to run your compressor all the time in an industrial environment, you'll want to get a larger capacity tank to meet your needs. If you're looking for a compressor that's nice, quiet and light enough to take with you while you work, this could be the right compressor for you.
This ultra-quiet compressor runs at only 60 dB, weighs only 35 pounds and only takes 50 seconds to fill the tank since it is empty. When buying the best silent compressor, it's important to think about the ways in which it could be used to know which model has the right combination of specifications. The amount of volume you need depends entirely on the type of work you intend to do with your compressor. In general, this compressor has everything you need to have, between the tank gauge and the control knob and the pressure gauge.