8 Best Quiet Portable Air Compressors Of 2022

Last update: 2022-06-27

During the last several years, our experts have tested dozens of the best quiet portable air compressors on the market, and bought some of this year’s top models for our 2021-updated analysis. Finally, here are our latest picks:

Here are the best quiet portable air compressors you can buy in 2022:

  • Best For Trim Jobs: Makita MAC100Q
  • Best For Small Shops: Metabo HPT Air Compressor
  • Best For Airbrushing: California Air Tools 2010ALFC
  • Best For Stapling: EMAX Model HP01P006SS
  • Best For Bolting: Campbell Hausfeld DC060500
  • Best For Inflating Tires: Stealth 12 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor
  • Best For Sandblasting: California Air Tools 20020
  • Best For Nail Guns: Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM
8 Best Quiet Portable Air Compressors
Best For Trim Jobs
Makita MAC100Q
    Best For Small Shops
    Metabo HPT Air Compressor
      Best For Airbrushing
      California Air Tools 2010ALFC
        Best For Stapling
        EMAX Model HP01P006SS
          Best For Bolting
          Campbell Hausfeld DC060500
            Best For Inflating Tires
            Stealth 12 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor
              Best For Sandblasting
              California Air Tools 20020
                Best For Nail Guns
                Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM

                  Best For Trim Jobs: Makita MAC100Q

                  Makita MAC100Q
                  Makita MAC100Q
                  9.8Outstanding
                  Pros
                  • Ideal for trim jobs – lightweight design
                  • Able to work in different job-site environments - complete roll-cage construction
                  • Longer pump life - the low-amp draw construction and the induction motor
                  Cons
                  • No complaint

                  Our favorite air compressor is quiet and decently lightweight, and among the models we tested, it’s the most useful for small projects. You can easily grab and throw it in the front seat for attic trim jobs, airbrushing, or cabinet installs.

                  The Makita MAC100Q features low-amp draw construction and an induction motor, which allows for longer pump life than our other picks.

                  Its steel roll cage, besides, provides extra protection to all critical components and easy transport in different job-site conditions.

                  Makita MAC100Q Specifications

                  Size

                  1 Gallon

                  Horsepower

                  1/2 HP

                  Noise Rating

                  58 dB

                  CFM @ 90 PSI

                  0.7

                  CFM @ 40 PSI

                  0.25

                  Highlight Features

                  lightweight design

                  complete roll-cage construction

                  the low-amp draw construction and the induction motor

                  Verdict

                  If you want a quiet and lightweight portable air compressor for trim jobs, then get the Makita MAC100Q

                  Best For Small Shops: Metabo HPT Air Compressor

                  Metabo HPT Air Compressor
                  Metabo HPT Air Compressor
                  9.6Outstanding
                  Pros
                  • Ideal for small shops – the 59-decibel noise level
                  • Able to adjust the air pressure precisely and easily - industrial gauges and regulator
                  Cons
                  • The hose is a bit difficult to be attached to the unit

                  Noise is the biggest matter for people who have a small shop in the basement and a baby in the house, and the Metabo HPT Air Compressor is one of the quietest models we tested.

                  Compared it side-by-side with other brands (such as Craftsman) which always required us to put on hearing protection, this one didn't. It works consistently at 59 decibels - so quiet that a regular two-person conversation can take place.

                  Similar to the Makita MAC100Q, this model features a steel roll cage. It also has industrial gauges and regulators, allowing for adjusting PSI more precisely and easily.

                  Metabo HPT Air Compressor Specifications

                  Size

                  1 Gallon

                  Horsepower

                  0.5 HP

                  Noise Rating

                  59 dB

                  CFM @ 90 PSI

                  0.8

                  CFM @ 40 PSI

                  1.3

                  Highlight Features

                  the 59-decibel noise level

                  industrial gauges and regulator

                  Verdict

                  If you are in need of an ultra-quiet, portable air compressor for small shops, consider the Metabo HPT Air Compressor

                  Best For Airbrushing: California Air Tools 2010ALFC

                  California Air Tools 2010ALFC
                  California Air Tools 2010ALFC
                  9.4Outstanding
                  Pros
                  • Ideal for airbrushing – 1400RPM
                  • Long-lasting - Dual Piston Pump System
                  Cons
                  • Require dedicated extension cords

                  This 1HP portable air compressor operates at only 1400 RPM, which makes it an excellent choice for indoor use and for small needs, such as airbrushing without having to wear ear protection.

                  Compared to some other brands that we tested, the California Air Tools 2010ALFC can last 25 to 30% longer (working up to 4000 hours), thanks to the Dual Piston Pump System.

                  Its 2-gallon air tank is another notable feature. It is made of aluminum, which is lightweight, easy to transport, and rust-resistant.

                  California Air Tools 2010ALFC Specifications

                  Size

                  2 Gallons

                  Horsepower

                  1.0 HP

                  Noise Rating

                  60 decibels

                  CFM @ 90 PSI

                  3.00

                  CFM @ 40 PSI

                  4.00

                  Highlight Features

                  1400RPM

                  Dual Piston Pump System

                  Verdict

                  The California Air Tools 2010ALFC is our top pick for small needs indoors, such as airbrushing.

                  Best For Stapling: EMAX Model HP01P006SS

                  EMAX Model HP01P006SS
                  EMAX Model HP01P006SS
                  9.4Outstanding
                  Pros
                  • Able to handle staple guns – the 6-gallon size & low-RPM industrial-grade copper wound motor
                  • 80% quieter than other 1HP air compressors - dual intake filtration
                  Cons
                  • A bit hard to assemble it

                  The EMAX HP01P006SS' low-RPM industrial-grade copper wound motor delivers quite impressive power output - 3.14 CFM at 90 PSI and 4.87 CFM at 40 PSI.

                  At the 6-gallon size, it has enough air volume to handle small nails and staple guns like a breeze but you might have to give it time to recharge between bolts/nuts.

                  When compared to other 1HP air compressors we tested, it is surprisingly 80% quieter.

                  EMAX Model HP01P006SS Specifications

                  Size

                  6 Gallons

                  Horsepower

                  1 HP

                  Noise Rating

                  36db @ 10 ft.

                  CFM @ 90 PSI

                  3.14

                  CFM @ 40 PSI

                  4.8

                  Highlight Features

                  the 6-gallon size

                  low-RPM industrial-grade copper wound motor

                  dual intake filtration

                  Verdict

                  The EMAX Model HP01P006SS comes with a low-RPM industrial-grade copper wound motor at a 6-gallon size, making it a great pick for stapling.

                  Best For Bolting: Campbell Hausfeld DC060500

                  Campbell Hausfeld DC060500
                  Campbell Hausfeld DC060500
                  9.2Outstanding
                  Pros
                  • Perfect for bolting - a maximum air pressure of 125 PSI
                  • Long-lasting - a portable 8-gallon pancake tank
                  • Protect you against hot and moving parts - one-piece shroud
                  Cons
                  • The wheel design needs improvement
                  • The handle is really short

                  The brilliant combination of a portable 8-gallon pancake tank and a heavy-duty motor boasting a maximum air pressure of 125 PSI makes this unit do great for bolting and many other projects.

                  Recovery is fast and really painless.

                  We also appreciate the sturdy one-piece shroud which saves you from getting burnt by hot and moving parts.

                  Campbell Hausfeld DC060500 Specifications

                  Size

                  6 Gallons

                  Horsepower

                  ‎1 Horsepower

                  Noise Rating

                  68 dBA

                  CFM @ 90 PSI

                  2.4

                  CFM @ 40 PSI

                  2.8

                  Highlight Features

                  maximum air pressure of 125 PSI

                  a portable 8-gallon pancake tank

                  one-piece shroud

                  Verdict

                  For projects like bolting, the Campbell Hausfeld DC060500 is worth considering.

                  Best For Inflating Tires: Stealth 12 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor

                  Stealth 12 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor
                  Stealth 12 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor
                  9.2Outstanding
                  Pros
                  • Ideal for inflating tires - 150PSI peak pressure cutout
                  • Provide top-notch durability and reliability - Q235B steel material
                  • 1000+ hours of life cycle
                  Cons
                  • Wheels are a bit cheaply made

                  The Stealth 12-Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor is a powerful beast for many kinds of woodworking and pneumatic tools.

                  Aside from the 12-gallon pancake tank, it stands out for the newest 1.5-horsepower induction motor offering 150PSI peak pressure cutout with quick recovery time, allowing it to easily handle those projects like inflating tires.

                  The unit can work constantly in 1000+ hours with no problem and its Q235B steel material provides top-notch durability and reliability.

                  Regardless of the powerful performance, its max noise rating is just under 70 decibels.

                  Stealth 12 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor Specifications

                  Size

                  12 Gallons

                  Horsepower

                  1.5 HP

                  Noise Rating

                  68 Decibels

                  CFM @ 90 PSI

                  4

                  CFM @ 40 PSI

                  5

                  Highlight Features

                  150PSI peak pressure cutout

                  Q235B steel material

                  1000+ hours of life cycle

                  Verdict

                  We recommend the Stealth 12 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor for its outstandingly powerful performance, which is able to handle a variety of projects, including inflating tires.

                  Best For Sandblasting: California Air Tools 20020

                  California Air Tools 20020
                  California Air Tools 20020
                  9.2Outstanding
                  Pros
                  • Perfect for sandblasting – featuring a 20-gallon tank, a 2HP motor, and 125 max PSI
                  • Consistency & long-lasting - 3000+ hours of runtime
                  • Easy to start at no-load conditions in cold temperatures - Easy Start Valve
                  Cons
                  • Heavy
                  • The couplers are too small

                  For heavy-duty projects like sandblasting, we have got this option – the California Air Tools 20020 with a 20-gallon tank, a 2HP motor, and 125 max PSI.

                  It is capable of constantly running for 3000+ hours, which is a lot longer than the competition that only lasts 500 hours or less. It also can work at uneven terrains and in various temperature ranges excellently.

                  One notable feature is the Easy Start Valve - which is a no-load startup requiring fewer amps as well as releasing a smaller amount of air from the pump for an easy startup in cold temperatures.

                  California Air Tools 20020 Specifications

                  Size

                  20.0 Gal.

                  Horsepower

                  2.0 HP

                  Noise Rating

                  70 Decibels

                  CFM @ 90 PSI

                  5.30

                  Highlight Features

                  a 20-gallon tank

                  a 2HP motor

                  3000+ hours of runtime

                  Verdict

                  Of the dozens of quiet portable air compressors that we’ve tested, our team thinks the California Air Tools 20020 is the best choice for sandblasting.

                  Best For Nail Guns: Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM

                  Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM
                  Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM
                  9Outstanding
                  Pros
                  • Able to run nail guns – a 30-gallon tank & a 2HP motor
                  • Easy to maneuver - semi-pneumatic tires and ergonomic handle
                  • Durable - cylinder construction and the cast iron frame
                  Cons
                  • Bulky
                  • Wish it came with compressor oil.

                  The Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM meets all of our requirements in a good air compressor. It fills air fairly fast, works well for running air ratchets, nail guns, sanders, etc., and makes lower noise than similar counterparts.

                  Although it's not lightweight, the added semi-pneumatic tires and ergonomic handle provide great portability.

                  We also liked the cylinder construction and the cast iron frame, which makes the product last longer regardless of various outer impacts.

                  Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM Specifications

                  Size

                  30 gallons

                  Horsepower

                  2 Horsepower

                  Noise Rating

                  80 dBA

                  CFM @ 90 PSI

                  5.7

                  Highlight Features

                  a 30-gallon tank & a 2HP motor

                  semi-pneumatic tires and ergonomic handle

                  cylinder construction and the cast iron frame

                  Verdict

                  The Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM is our favorite pick for nail guns, according to its powerful performance and a 30-gallon tank.

                  How To Choose The Best Quiet Portable Air Compressor?

                  Determine Your Power Needs

                  No matter how silent a portable air compressor is, it definitely is junk if not meeting your power needs. Therefore, determine how much power you need your air compressor to produce by considering:

                  • The size of your air tools
                  • How are these tools used - working in short bursts or continuous use?
                  • How is the portable air compressor going to be used – to supplement a larger unit or to be your primary compressor?

                  Pro tips: Utilizing the CFM ratings on your air tools will help you determine your power needs easily and accurately.

                  Where Can The Portable Air Compressor Be Used?

                  Finding the answer to that question helps you easily judge the noise rating of your portable air compressor.

                  In detail, the noise isolation of a model used outdoors and separated from your neighbors and your house will not be as a huge concern as that of a model used indoors and close to your family’s living quarters or neighbors.

                  You should also consider if you’re willing to wear ear protection when working with your air compressor.

                  If yes, then a model with a 60-80 decibels’ noise rating is fine. If not, then choose a quieter model (around 50 to under 60 decibels).

                  Noise Ratings

                  We think the noise rating ranges from 50 to 80 decibels are “quiet” for portable air compressors.

                  Why 80 decibels? It’s because this is the threshold for utilizing ear protection.

                  According to the models that our team tested, powerful 2.5-5 CFM portable units make noise close to 80 decibels while smaller 0.5-2.5 CFM portable units make noise from 50-60 decibels.

                  Important notes: Every 10 decibels added roughly double the noise level.

                  Noise-Dampening Features

                  When considering a given quiet portable air compressor, you should look for specific design features available that soften the operation noise. Here are some typical examples:

                  • Oil lubrication
                  • Rubber noise isolation components on control dials or hand grips
                  • Mufflers which are commonly found on higher-end air compressors

                  Which Brands Make The Best Quiet Portable Air Compressor?

                  Makita

                  After over 100 years of continuous development, Makita has now been a reliable global brand of motor tools leading in innovation, durability, and unmatched quality in over 40 countries.

                  Metabo HPT

                  Portable air compressors of Metabo HPT are known for offering unrivaled power, durability, and can tackle a wide range of jobs.

                  For your information, Metabo HPT is the new brand name of Koki Holdings America – formerly part of the Hitachi group with over 70 years of engineering experience.

                  EMAX

                  EMAX has been the leading brand in industrial air technology since 1977 for patented breakthrough solutions, the world-class USA-based manufacturing operation, and instant service support.

                  Campbell Hausfeld

                  This is a MAT Industries LLC brand, which has been in the industry for over 180 years (since 1836). They started manufacturing air compressors in 1940 and then have become the most dependable American brands since then.

                  FAQs

                  What does a bad air compressor sound like?

                  A bad air compressor produces loud, high-pitched grinding or squealing sound.

                  Why is my compressor so loud?

                  If you find your compressor runs loudly, the noise might be caused by the friction of metal sliding or hitting against metal inside the unit. A basic rule of thumb is the more moving parts inside an air compressor, the noisier it is while operating.

                  How can I make my air compressor quieter?

                  There are several ways to make an air compressor quieter:

                  • Cover it with a soundproof blanket
                  • Add a soundproof box to it
                  • Install sound padding on the compressor walls
                  • Place the machine outside and far away from your living area
                  • Lubricate the bearings
                  • Install rubber grommets on the machine

                  Are oiled air compressors quieter?

                  Yes, they are. The more well-lubricated the air compressor bearings, the more quietly it runs.

                  How often should you change air compressor oil?

                  You should change your air compressor oil every 4,000 operating hours.

                  Conclusion

                  We understand that selecting the best quiet portable air compressor from this advanced market is a challenging task, and our team is here to help. We’ve comparatively tested all the important features of a portable air compressor to refine your buying choice and pick the right one.

                  Eugene Williams
                  Eugene Williams

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