It’s no secret that a high-quality air compressor is a must-have for any serious DIYer or professional contractor. But with all of the different models and brands on the market, it can be tough to find the right one at a price you can afford.
We have done the research to save your time, and after a deep analysis of hundreds of different models, we have chosen the top 8 best air compressors under $400.
Before going over the list of air compressors under 400, we’ve included some tips on choosing the right air compressor for your needs.
Points to consider before buying air compressor under 400 dollar
Before buying any air compressor, there are several important factors you need to take into account. Here are some of the most important things to consider before making your purchase:
When it comes to air compressors, tank capacity is one of the essential aspects. The bigger the tank, the longer you can use your machine before it needs to be refilled. A tank between 6 – 10 gallons is ideal for home or garage use.
PSI & CFM
This is where you can find the most significant difference between air compressors. Most home air compressors have a psi between 70 – 120.
However, some commercial models can go up to 165 psi. If you’re using tools like impact wrenches and framing crew nailers, you should look for higher psi between 90 – 165 and CFM between 2.5 – 5 CFM.
Top 4 Picks: Best Air Compressors Under 400 Dollars
Bostitch (BTFP3KIT) Air Compressor Combo Kit – Our Top Pick
Why do we love it:
Bostitch is well known in the power tool industry, especially for its top-notch air compressors and other pneumatic tools. This air compressor combo kit is one of the best value-for-money products that the company offers.
It comes with a 6-gallon pancake style air compressor, a brad nailer, crown stapler, and a straight finish nailer. The kit also includes an 25″ inch air hose that is made of high-quality materials.
Apart from having a huge tank of 6-gallons (22.7 inches in length), this Compressor is also the best option if you’re looking for good value. You get a standard CFM of 2.6 at 90 Psi.
This figure is enough for uses like nailing, car detailing, or other home projects. The nailers that come along with this Compressor are of exceptional quality and are perfect for applications like finish work, cabinet finishing, door & window casing, baseboards, and crown molding.
It fills up real quick on a test that we conducted, resulting in the tank full at 150 PSi o just 3-5 minutes! The only shortcoming that we felt while testing this kit was noise production. It was slightly louder, but that was expected given the amount of power this machine provides.
Other than that, this is a complete package for anyone looking to get into woodworking or minor carpentry projects.
We’ve compared this air compressor to other versions in order to provide you with a clear picture of all the features and capabilities it has. Click here if you’d like to learn more about it.
WEN 20-Gallon – Best Air Compressor for Heavy-duty Usage
- Duty Cycle: 50%
- Warranty: 2 years limited
Why do we love it:
Focusing on the body and design of this WEN compressor, we found it ideal in all aspects. With 19.5 x 17.5 x 42 inches, this Compressor is compact. It weighs 86 pounds (relatively heavy) and is stuffed with extra steel.
The Compressor offers two different ranges of airflow rates. You can use them to ease the use of specific applications. Two gauges help direct the airflow swiftly by checking the flow rate. The ¼ quick coupler eases draining aided with a 23 mm drain plug.
It is oil lubricated and offers a smoother performance as compared to others. Some users feel that oil lubrication hinders the longevity of the air compressor. You will have to regularly oil the Compressor.
It can sometimes be extra-loud if you use it for too long. However, in light or medium usage, this problem is not felt. This Compressor offers a duty cycle of 50% means you can not expect industry-level usage from this WEN machine.
Along with product description, We have compared this air compressor with other models. If you want to know more please click here.
VIAIR 450P-RV Portable Air Compressor – Premium Pick
Why do we love it:
Viair 450P RV air compressor comes with 12 volts of direct current. The kit consists of a 90-degree twist-on-chuck for dual tires.
This air compressor is portable, and the tire inflating process is done quietly because the RPM on the motor is low frequency.
These features make this Viair 450P kit sufficient for any big vehicle such as a trailer to use conveniently.
This diverse nature makes this air compressor a top priority for garage owners looking for a budget setup.
Moreover, the Compressor consists of a permanent magnetic motor and can fill up proper air pressure into the tires of any truck or trailer through its 60 ft air hoses.
With a free flow air pressure of 1.80 CFM and a maximum PSi of 150 bars, this Compressor touches just the level of performance you need while at the workshop.
The air filter that comes with this Compressor is weak and doesn’t have much of a strong build.
Therefore, if not used with care, you might break it very soon. Other than that, the Compressor’s body is long-lasting and sturdy, unlike the air filter.
We compared this air compressor to other versions in addition to its description. If you’d like more information, please click here.
Makita MAC2400 Big Bore Air Compressor – Best For Home Garage
- Specific Purpose: operating paint spray guns and air-ratchets
Why do we love it:
Mac2400 has a massive tank capacity of 4.2 gallons (20 inches in length). The CFM level is 4.2, and it provides a user experience with minimal vibration.
Makita Mac2400 has a duty cycle of 50% and a motor capacity of 2.5 HP. It supplies a good amount of airflow at high pressure and can be the best fit for using power tools on home-centric projects, including DIY.
This Air compressor comes with no wheeled frame and can bore up to 51 mm. It can produce a maximum pressure of 130 psi and has an oil-lubricated pump.
Makita Mac2400 provides great pump and motor life due to its low RPM (1730). Oil drain and oil sight glass are conveniently located for easy maintenance. It has a ¼-inch universal quick coupler that connects hoses using 1/4″ Automotive and Industrial fittings.
We looked at this air compressor in comparison to other versions as well as its description. Please visit here for further information.
Campbell Hausfeld – Best 8 Gallon Portable Quiet Air Compressor
- Dimensions: 11 x 23 x 26 inches
- Sound Level: 68 dB
- HP: 1 horsepower
- Max PSI: 125 PSi
- Weight: 66.46
- Tank capacity: 8 Gallon
- Material: Alloy Steel
- Warranty: One year
- Specific Purpose: operating nail guns, car detailing, staplers and more.
Why do we love it:
Campbell Hausfeld has been manufacturing air tools since 1836. The DC080500 is one of the most powerful air compressors that Campbell Hausfeld offers.
It has a max pressure of 125 PSI, which is enough to handle most power tools. The tank capacity is 8 gallons, larger than most portable air compressors. But it takes a long time to fill the tank.
Recently we tested the running time of this air compressor by spraying our garage walls and found that it can run for a longer time without any issues.
We tested this by setting the Compressor at around 40 – 60 psi and continuously spraying for around 30 minutes.
This Compressor didn’t heat up too much, which is great. Another thing we want to add is, that we can’t believe how quiet this machine is. It’s only 68 dB, while most air compressors are around 80 – 90 dB.
If you’re looking for an air compressor to power your air tools, such as a paint sprayer or an impact wrench, this Campbell Hausfeld air compressor under 400 is great.
However, if you are looking for a more powerful air compressor, you should consider other models, such as the Makita Mac 2400.
We evaluated this air compressor against other versions as well as the description. For additional information, please go here.
Rolair FC2002 2 HP Twin Stack Compressor with Overload Protection and Manual Reset
- Dimensions: 20 x 15 x 17 inches
- Air Flow: 4.1 CFM
- Sound Level: 79 dB
- Weight: 62 pounds
- HP: 2 Horsepower
- Tank capacity: 4.3 Gallons
- Specific Purpose: Best air compressor for automotive
Why do we love it:
This Compressor has many features that make it a great choice for anyone looking for a portable air compressor. It is potent, with a 2 HP motor designed for a 100% duty cycle.
This means that you can use it for extended periods without worrying about overloading the motor. This compressor pump is made of cast iron, which is very durable and will last a long time.
The unit also comes with a regulator and two gauges, which is nice. The regulator controls the air pressure coming out of the tank, and the gauges show you the current pressure in the tank and the pressure coming out of the regulator. The unit also has stainless steel reed valves and splash lubrication to ensure longer life.
During testing this product the main downside was that it doesn’t start up when it’s cold outside, you need to wait for it to warm up a bit. Maybe it’s happened because of the large current draw.
Apart from that, this is a great air compressor perfect for anyone who needs a lot of power in a small space.
We also compare this product with other air compressors, if you wish to know about then check this.
Stealth 12 Gallon Power Air Compressor – Best for workshop
- Dimensions: 20 x 18 x 29 inches
- Sound Level: 68 dB
- HP: 2 Horsepower
- Max PSI: 150 PSi
- Weight: 95 pounds
- Tank capacity: 12 Gallon
- Warranty: Limited Lifetime warranty
- Specific Purpose: operating most small to heavy-duty tasks.
Why Do We Love It:
Stealth is a trusted name in the air compressor industry, and this unit is their top-of-the-line model. The Stealth 12 Gallon Air Compressor is one of the best workshop air compressors under 400 dollars because it is powerful, silent, and portable.
It comes with twin outlet ports to run two air tools simultaneously without any issues. We love Stealth because they offer a lifetime warranty on this unit, which is extremely rare in the air compressor industry.
As for performance, the Stealth 12 Gallon Air Compressor can fill up a 12-gallon tank in just over 3 -5 minutes.
When you see the manufacturer specification, it shows this Compressor’s sound level is just 68 decibels, but personally we tested it and the sound was not as low as they claim. Also, the wheels are a bit flimsy and might need to be replaced.
If you are looking for a powerful and portable air compressor for your workshop, then the Stealth 12 Gallon Air Compressor is great. The lifetime warranty is a nice touch, and the price is unbeatable for what you get.
We compared this air compressor to other versions as well as the product description to determine whether it was worth your money. To discover more about this item, please go here.
Craftsman 1.8 Horsepower, 10 Gallon Peak Air Compressor
- Made by: CHINA
- Dimensions: 13 x 18 x 28 inches
- Sound Level: 80 dB
- Air Flow: 5 CFM
- HP: 1.8 Horsepower
- Weight: 65 pounds
- Tank capacity: 10 Gallons
- Warranty: One Year
- Specific Purpose: Perfect for home garage u
Why do we love it:
Craftsman is famous in the USA for its high-quality tools, and this air compressor is no exception. It is a powerful unit that is designed for easy portability.
It delivers 4.0 CFM at 90 PSI, sufficient for most needs. The unit is also very quiet, which is a definite plus.
The tank on this unit is 10 gallons, which is significantly larger than most portable air compressors.
It is a definite advantage for those who need to do a lot of work or have large projects. The larger tank also makes the unit heavier, but it is still manageable.
This unit also comes with a regulator and two gauges, which is nice. The regulator controls the air pressure coming out of the tank, and the gauges show you the current pressure in the tank and the pressure coming out of the regulator.
The 10 gallon tank gives you enough air to work with for extended periods. This unit also comes with an automatic shut-off feature, a nice safety feature.
A 1-year warranty also backs it, so you can be confident in its quality. The 10-gallon tank is large enough to handle most projects, and the unit comes with a regulator so that you can control the pressure.
We have done a little comparison of this product. If you want to know, check below link
Buying Guide for Best air compressor under $400
Choosing the right size air compressor for your needs is critical for getting the best one for your money. It doesn’t just depend on the price tag of the air compressor.
Like some peoples do, they only check the price tag. If they find such a cheap price product, they are happy with it. But it is not perfect for your needs. You need to look at various factors before buying the suitable air compressor for your work.
The amount of power
The amount of power that the Compressor has is measured in horsepower. Generally, you should choose an air compressor with at least 2 horsepower for it to be able to run a range of power tools.
This would include sanders, drills, nail guns, and other heavy duty power tools that you might use regularly.
The tank size of the air compressor
You should never buy an air compressor without knowing about its tank capacity. Bigger tank size is always better than a smaller one.
You can use the extra capacity to take care of more power tools during your work. The tank size also defines how long you can work with the air compressor before it needs to be refilled.
The air compressor pump
A rotary screw air compressor has a lot of benefits that you can benefit from. Rotary screw air compressors generate less heat while they are in operation.
This leads to better performance of the motor and the machine itself. if you run both screw and piston pump air compressor simultaneously, the rotary screw one will be more efficient and better than the piston pump one.
The maximum number of tools that can be connected to the air compressor
It is always good to keep one or two extra inflating nozzles and accessories like quick-connect couplers to attach the hose with other tools.
If you are buying an air compressor with multiple outlets for other tools, make sure that all of them can operate simultaneously. This would allow you to work on all your power tools at the same time without any interruption.
If you need a portable air compressor
When you need to use your air compressor at a different place and time, like if you need to go on any road trip and want to take your air compressor with you, then a portable air compressor is needed.
The best thing about using a portable air compressor is that it does not require any complex installation. It comes in a compact size that you can easily carry when you want to move around.
The air compressor noise levels
It’s no secret that being exposed to high noise levels can be risky to your hearing. It is common for power tools to produce high-decibel sounds.
Some air compressors are much noisier than others, which may cause a problem if the noise level is above 85 decibels. So always put the dBa level of the air compressor on its specification sheet. Keep this in mind when you are shopping for an air compressor.
The warranty of the Compressor
It is always good to choose an air compressor with a comprehensive warranty. That way, you are covered in case of any breakdown or defect.
Be sure to determine whether the warranty covers any damages caused by third-party elements. Most reputable companies offer a warranty for at least one year.
What kind of power source you need
There are different kinds of air compressors available in the market. Some of them are gas-powered and others run on electric-powered or battery power.
You should choose an air compressor that suits your requirement and the tools you plan to use.
The air compressor PSI ratings
PSI is an acronym that stands for “Pound per Square Inch”. This is the amount of pressure an air compressor can put out. To measure how powerful your air compressor is, look at the PSI rating.
If you work in a shop or with power tools that require fast cycling to complete jobs, you’ll need a powerful compressor to keep up. If you mostly use your air compressor to inflate tires, balls, etc., you can go for the less powerful one.
Now that you know what factors to look for when choosing an air compressor under 400, it’s time to decide which one is right for you. If you need a powerful and durable air compressor for your shop or garage, the Bostitch air compressor is great.
If you need a portable air compressor for home garage use, for small jobs, then the Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP is the best air compressor under 400. One thing to keep in mind is don’t only rely on our opinion, So, do your research and choose wisely.