Best air compressor under 500

If you’re looking for a new air compressor to add to your collection, it’s worth knowing that there are cheap and expensive models available. The more you pay, the better the performance and features likely to be available.

However, with so many models available, how do you decide which one is best for you? Well, to make your decision easier, We have done the research for you and have created a list of 8 best air compressors under $500 that we believe are worth your money.

Whether you’re looking for a small air compressor to use in your workshop or a larger model that can handle heavier-duty tasks, so read on to find the perfect addition to your tool collection.

Our Top 3 Picks: Best Air Compressors under 500





California 10020C top pick air compressor

California Air Tools 10020C

  • Tank Size: 10 Gallon
  • PSI: 125
  • Airflow: 5.30″ cfm @ 90 psi and 6.40 cfm @ 40 psi
  • Horsepower: 2 hp
  • Weight: 82.5 pounds
Makita Mac Big bore budget air compressor
  • Tank Size: 4.2 Gallon
  • PSI: 130
  • Airflow: 4.8 CFM
  • Horsepower: 2.5 hp
  • Weight: 80 pounds
Craftsman 20 gallon industrial air compressor
  • Tank Size: 20 Gallon
  • PSI: 175
  • Airflow: 5 CFM
  • Horsepower: 1.8 hp
  • Weight: 89 pounds

California Air Tools 10020C – Our Top Pick Air Compressor under 500

California 10020C Best overall air compressor under 500

Why do we like it?

  • The pump is oil-free. So, It doesn’t need any maintenance.
  • The sound level of this compressor is 70 decibels only. So, it doesn’t disturb the work environment or the neighbours.
  • The Power of this compressor is 2 HP, and the CFM of it is 5.3 at 90 PSI and 6.4 at 40 PSI. 
  • This compressor has a 15 amp outlet, 25 ft and 14 gauge cable, 40-60 minutes continuous running time, and generates a minimum of 5500 watts.
  • The air tank of this compressor comes with wheels. This helps in making the compressor portable so you can carry it around easily. 
  • The capacity of the air tank of this compressor is 10 gallons. This is a great capacity to have at such a reasonable rate.
Comparison With Other Air Compressors

As compared to other compressors that have a life cycle of 500 hours or less, this compressor comes with an oil-free piston that you can use for more than 3000 hours. It is totally durable and can be used in every kind of temperature.

The California 10020C is a lot more affordable than other air compressors that come with similar features and benefits. This compressor is more portable than the others because of its wheeled air tank.

In-depth Detail of the Product

The California air compressor is one of the most popular and bestselling air compressor on Amazon today. It’s perfect for both home and commercial use and comes with a variety of features that make it the perfect choice for most people.

It has a high CFM and PSI, making it perfect for inflating heavy-duty truck tires, painting cars and even running power tools.

How can we miss to explain this air compressor motor that is built for efficiency and long life? The motor only starts when pressurized air is needed and shuts off automatically when the pressure in the tank reaches the desired level. This not only saves energy but also extends the motor life.

When you start it, it will let out a little amount of air, which will create a no-load state which allows the motor to turn on easily.

Overall, based on our personal experience and the reviews of this product, it is proved that people love to use this compressor.


  • Noiseless.
  • Conveniently movable.
  • Oil-free durable pump
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Quick recovery time


  • A bit heavy

Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP – Big Bore Air Compressor for under $500

Makita Mac Big bore small air compressor for under dollar 500


  • Sound Level: 79 dB.
  • Color: Teal.
  • Power Source: Corded Electric.

Why Do We Love It?

  • This compressor comes with an oil lubricated pump. This helps in making sure that the compressor is working conveniently in low temperatures too.
  • It has a petcock body. This makes sure the user can maintain and clean the pump conveniently.
  • The air filter of this compressor is bulky. It will help get quick air intake and better performance.
  • This compressor comes with a kit that includes all the useful accessories. It has a pump, a big bore c cylinder, and a piston. These help in getting the most efficient performance and a quick recovery timing.
  • This compressor has 130 PSI max pressure. This allows you to do all your projects using this economical compressor.
  • It has a roll cage construction. This helps in providing total protection so this compressor can be used for all your heavy-duty projects.
Comparison With Other Air Compressors

The MAKITA Big Bore compressor is loved by people globally for all the great features it has. If you’re thinking about the size of its tank, don’t worry as it won’t require a lot of maintenance. The voltage this compressor requires is just 120 V.

If you compare this model with other models, you’ll surely notice that other compressors have a larger capacity but they need more clean-up and maintenance too.

Also, it has a vibration control and an anti-temperature feature that won’t be found in any other budget-friendly compressor. This compressor comes with an oil-lubricated pump, a drain, and sight gas as well. 

In-depth Detail of the Product

This oil lubricated air compressor under 500 dollar has a big bore cylinder and a piston that can be used with two separate nailing guns. It has a really quiet operation for better experience at your job site. This compressor can be used for industrial projects and provides great durability during tougher jobs too.

The cylinder of this compressor is made of cast iron. It has a better bore and stroke for quicker recovery, quieter operation, and increased compression. The cast iron cylinder is made for reliability during tough projects like using it for plasma or for winterizing pipes .

It comes with an oil-lubricated pump and has an automotive style air filter for better efficiency of the compressor.

This budget-friendly compressor under 400 dollar works perfectly at lower temperatures too at half the RPM as compared to other budget-friendly compressors. This allows it to have a more efficient pump, better pump life, and lower noise level. 


  • The roll cage design protects the compressor.
  • Easy cleanup.
  • Efficient motor.
  • Fast recovery timing.
  • Vibration-free.


  • A little heavy
  • Tank should be bigger

CRAFTSMAN – 20 Gallon Air Compressor under $500

Craftsman 20 gallon air compressor for under 500


  • Sound Level: 80 dB
  • Power Source: AC
  • Voltage: 110 Volts
  • Length: 447mm.
  • Width: 599.4mm.
  • Height: 1054mm.

Why do we like it?

  • The performance of this compressor is great. The capacity of it is 20 gallons and it has a 175 PSI max pressure. 
  • It has larger tank capacity for longer running time of the compressor.
  • The pressure of this compressor is enough to work conveniently in industries and homes.
  • This air compressor is made of steel and has rubber feet. The rubber feet help in keeping the compressor stable.
  • This compressor is oil-free, so it doesn’t require any maintenance as often as other compressors do.
  • It can be used for cleaning, inflating, finishing nailer, roofing nailer, spraying paint, and other tools too.
  • This compressor comes with a 6 ft cord, a ball drain valve, a plastic filter, two rubber wheels, two couplers, and a 1-year warranty.
Comparison With Other Air Compressors

This air compressor has a large tank as well as some accessories alone with it. It is oil-free, so it makes sure the compressor works for a long time without the need for maintenance. This helps in not spending any extra penny. This is what makes it better than other compressors at this price range.

It is light on the pocket and extra efficient. Not only is it lightweight but it also has a portable design. This compressor has a quick recovery time and a longer running time.

In-Depth Details

This economical compressor has a 20-gallon tank which is huge at this price range. It is portable and has 150 PSI max air pressure. This helps in making sure the pressure is precise while you’re using the compressor. It is one of the best compressors that you can use to work with various tools.

This best air compressor under 500 is durable and reliable. You can use this compressor in the lowest temperatures too as it starts conveniently at any temperature. It also comes with a 1 year warranty for better experience.


  • Well built.
  • Quick and great performance.
  • Compact but powerful.
  • Perfect for inflating car and bike tires.
  • Doesn’t have to be assembled.


  • Noisy
  • Expensive

California Air Tools CAT-4620AC-22060 – Quietest Air Compressor under dollar 500

California 4620AC-22060 twin stack air compressor under 500


  • Dimension: 20.7 x 18 x 21 inches
  • Horsepower:  2.0 Hp
  • Sound level: 70 dB
  • Tank Size: 4.6 Gallons
  • Voltage: 110V/ 60HZ
  • CFM: 5.30 – 6.40 
  • Max PSI: 125 
  • Weight: 64 pounds

Why do we love it

  • The best part about this compressor is that it is ultra-quiet. It has a noise level of only 70 dB. This makes it a great choice for people looking for a silent compressor to be used in well-insulated rooms. It is suitable for home workshops or garages where you need to work at night.
  • It also has a 4-gallon twin tank which reduces the running time and provides you with smooth and convenient work.
  • This air compressor has a powerful motor and the oil-free pump makes it durable and saves money for more long term use.
  • It weight only 64 pounds which makes it easy to carry around.
  • This compressor also comes with a 1-year warranty and so you can contact the manufacturers of this product if any problem arises.
Comparison With Other Air Compressors

When i compare this California air compressor to other compressors that have a 2 hp or even 1.5 hp motor this compressor comes out on top because it is ultra-quiet and saves up to 70% in sound energy.

Also, it has a rust-resistant aluminum tank that provides the best in durability and that’s why this compressor is the best pick if you want to work quietly. Along with benefits, i also notice some problems in this compressor.

Many consumers complained that this compressor is not suitable for heavy duty work. So if you are planning to use it for heavy duty tasks then this compressor is not what you are looking for. This compressor scored 4.2 out of 5 stars at Amazon.

In-depth Detail of the Product

The air flow capacity of this air compressor is 6.4 cubic feet per minute (CFM). If you are not familiar with this rating, it is the rating which tells you how much air the compressor can produce in one minute.

When operating this air compressor on 40 psi it will produce a capacity of 5.3 cfm and it will go up to 6.4 CFM at 125 psi.

This means that the air compressor has a good enough power to handle most household jobs. When it comes to powering tools , it works well with brad nailers and other small pneumatic tools. It has a powerful motor and aluminum twin tank which makes it durable and lasts for a few years if not more than that.

But it’s important to be aware of the fact that this air compressor has a tank size of 4.6 gallons. So if you want a compressor that can work for heavy duty tasks, this will not be the best pick for you.

This air compressor has a voltage rating of 110 volts and 60 Hertz. This basically means that you can use it anywhere in the world as its voltage rating is universal.

One of the lovable feature of this air compressor is that it is ultra-quiet. It has a noise level of only 70 dB which makes it great for working in well-insulated rooms or garages.

All of these features makes it one of the best quiet air compressor under 500 dollar.


  • Oil free pump, so it saves a lot of money.
  • Compact and durable.
  • Ultra-quiet and smooth work.
  • Comes with extra accessory
  • 1-year warranty for hassle-free buying experience.


  • Tank size is low (If you want a compressor for heavy duty task)

PORTER CABLE PXCMF220VW 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor

Industrial air compressor under $500


  • Dimensions: 17 x 18 x 43 inches
  • Horsepower: 1.50 hp, 120” – 240 volt motor
  • Tank capacity: 20 gallons
  • Sound level: 84 dB
  • Weight: 97 pounds

Why do we love it:

  • This compressor is very portable. It comes with pneumatic wheels that will help you to move it easily. Also, this compressor comes with rubber feet which will help you to stabilize it.
  • It has a 20 gallon tank that can withstand a lot of pressure. Because it is manufactured from steel, it is extremely durable and heavy-duty.
  • This compressor has a twin-V cast iron pump that is oil-free. This pump will increase the durability of this compressor making it one of the most efficient compressors available.
  • The motor of this compressor is oil-free. The super quiet and efficient motor will always help you to work without any disturbance or discomfort caused by noise.
Comparison With Other Air Compressors

It has a slightly higher price than others but it offers so many amazing features that it is totally worth the price.

It comes with 20 gallon tank which make it suitable for commercial use. It consists of a motor which is capable of producing 150 max psi, this makes it one of the most powerful air compressor under 500$.

In-depth Details

Porter-cable brand famous as a manufacturer of trusted and efficient compressors . This is the reason that every product of this brand is so popular among customers.

This compressor comes with a cast iron pump which has a lot of benefits. The main benefit of cost iron pump is that it will last longer than usual pumps. It has a long life and requires low maintenance for its smooth operation.

The motor of this compressor is oil free and has a 1.5 horsepower, which starts quickly and produce an ample amount of power to run even the most difficult tasks.

As you can see in the specification, the sound level of this product is 84dB which is low enough but when you operate this air compressor continue on high pressure it will start the sound level of 97dB which seems to be high for a compressor. This might create an uncomfortable situation and disturb your concentration while working.


  • High pressure to run all air powered tools.
  • Large tank size (fast recovery)
  • Oil free long lasting pump
  • Less Maintenance
  • Easily movable wheels


  • The noise level is relatively high in comparison to the others.
  • Higher price

Campbell Hausfeld, pancake style air compressor

campbell hausfeld quietest air compressor


  • Horsepower: 1 hp
  • Sound Level: 68 dB
  • Max PSI: 125
  • CFM Rating: 2.4
  • Tank Size: 6 Gallons
  • Weight: 62 Pounds
  • Power Source: AC
  • Duty Cycle: 0.8
  • Warranty: One year

Why do we love it?

  • We love it because it is convenient and comfortable to use. It has a heavy-duty construction so it’ll be great for the long run.
  • This compressor is one of the quietest available in the market. The noise level for this compressor is 68 db.
  • This compressor has a pancake style that helps it to fit into tight places easily.
  • This air compressor has a 6 gallon tank that allows it to go for longer periods without the need of refilling.
  • This compressor doesn’t just stop there; it has an oil-free pump so there is no need for any kind of maintenance.
Comparison With Other Air Compressors

According to our comparison of Campbell Hausfeld with other air compressors under dollar 500, it is one of the quietest on the market. It has just a 68 dB noise level.

This compressor has a 6-gallon tank which is quite low as compared to the PORTER-CABLE PXCMF220VW air compressor. But still, it is one of the best quality air compressors under 500 dollar.

Features and Technical Details

For those who are looking for a lightweight and best portable air compressor under $500, the Campbell Hausfeld air compressor is a good option. This pancake style air compressor has a dual purpose. Not only is it one of the quietest compressor, but also space-efficient.

The duty cycle of this portable air compressor is 0.8 so it can provide you with continuous performance, which makes it suitable for multiple tasks, such as inflation or powering tools.

This compressor only weighs 62 pounds and has a dimension of 16 x 23 x 16 inches which makes it easy to move around and store when you’re not using it.

The most important feature is the oil-lubricated pump that creates a longer life span and prevents wear and tear of the motor at the same time. The air compressor has a 6-gallon tank which provides enough power to handle most jobs.    

This compressor has a 1 horsepower motor that can generate 125 PSI and 2.4 CFM at 90 PSI. So Nailing, stapling, sanding and all other day-to-day tasks will be a lot easier with this air compressor.

If you want to buy an pancake air compressor under 500 which provides continuous performance and is easy to carry around, then the “Campbell Hausfeld Pancake Compressor” is a great choice.


  • Quietest air compressor
  • Oil-free piston
  • Easy to operate
  • Portable and lightweight


  • Comes disassembled
  • Wheels aren’t designed well

Rolair FC2002 2 HP Twin Stack Compressor

Powerful air compressor under budget person


  • Horsepower: 2 hp
  • Air flow: 4.1” cfm
  • Sound Level: 79 dB
  • PSI: 125
  • Pump: 3400 RPM
  • Tank Size: 4.3 Gallons
  • Weight: 62 Pounds

Why do we love it

  • The Rolair air compressor is one of the most compact continuous-duty air compressor.
  • It has a twin stack that maximizes the efficiency of the compressor. So you can power tools with no problem.
  • This compressor has overload protection, it will shut down automatically if the motor is working too hard. So, it will give you more reliable performance from the motor itself.
  • The pump of this machine is also designed in a way that there are no moving parts. So, it doesn’t require any lubrication and
Comparison With Other Air Compressors

When it comes to air compressors, Rolair is extremely different. It is the only compressor in this price range that has a twin stack and no moving parts. This means it does not require lubrication, service, or oil changes.

Furthermore, it is made up of all metal and has a 4.3-gallon tank. Furthermore, It provides 4.1 cfm at 90 psi, which is more than enough for framing nailer or blowing out sprinkle system.

When it comes to noise level this compressor is not too good for home usage because of its pretty high-level noise for a small compressor.

In-depth Detail of the Product

The Rolair has 45 years of experience in making air compressors. They are an American company that designs all their products in the United States.

This compressor from Rolair has a twin stack that maximizes efficiency. Do you know the advantages of a twin stack compressor?

Twin stack compressors have two air tanks, that are connected to a common head and motor, which means there is no waiting for the air.

The twin stack compressor can store a lot of air because there are two tanks instead of one resulting in doubling the tank capacity. The compressor pumps air from both the tanks simultaneously which gives you a quick recovery time.

Another advantage of running two tanks side by side is that they are smaller than a single tank would be. Since the tank is smaller your machine will be much more compact for its power.

The Rolair compressor has a cast-iron cylinder that is protected by an overload protection system. A cast-iron cylinder is longer lasting than aluminum, so you’ll get more out of the compressor in the long run.

The overload protection system will be able to detect when the motor is too hard at work and will automatically shut off. This protects your machine from damage if something should go wrong.


  • Has twin-stack
  • Good power
  • Cast iron cylinder
  • Overload protection system


  • Heavy to carry

Buying Guide Best Air Compressor Under 500

Capacity and air flow

The capacity and air flow of the compressor decides how efficient it is. The higher the capacity and air flow, the better it is for inflating tires, doing paint jobs, etc.

It should have enough power and capacity to do your work and shouldn’t leave you waiting for a long time. The best compressors under $500 will be those that have a great air flow and a higher capacity.

Pump and motor

The pump is the main part of a compressor. The better the pump, the longer it will last you. The longer the pump lasts, the better your experience will be.

The motor should be high torque. The compressor you buy always check it must have oil free pump or a pump that has a maintenance free design, which reduces the risk of it breaking down.

Size and weight

It should be portable and easy to move around.  If it is heavier, it will be harder for you to transport and carry. You shouldn’t go too light either, as the lighter ones also tend to have a less durable motor. You need something that’s easy to move but not too light that it will break easily.

Engine size

This refers to the horsepower (HP) of the air compressor. This is usually measured as a fraction such as 4/3.7 (4 HP, 3.7 AMP). A larger number will be better for big scale uses such as painting your house.

If you are looking to use it for smaller things like pumping up a tire, you should go with a lower number. The recommended size by professional is one that has at least 4 – 10 HP.

Tank size

It refers to how much air the tank can hold before it needs to be refilled. A larger tank will make your compressor run longer without the need to be refilled, which also means that it will be able to do more work in a single session.

That’s why you should get one with at least 8 – 20 gallon, although you may want to go with a higher tank if you are planning on using it for long periods of time.


The brand of the compressor plays an important role in making sure you get a good quality one. There are brands out there that provide some of the best air compressors on the market, so it is always better to go for a brand that suits your needs.

A brand like PORTER-CABLE and CRAFTSMAN is a good choice as they make only durable tools. You can check out the reviews and feedback of the customer to know whether the brand is good or not.

Noise level

The noise of an air compressor is also an important factor to look when purchasing one. You always need to find one that has a low noise level so that you can use it without being disturbed. In order to get a quieter air compressor, look for one that uses rotary screw pumps as opposed to piston pumps.

Some of the best compressors have a noise level of around 70 decibels or less, which is relatively quiet. If you are looking for something that is even quieter, you can find models that have a noise level of around 60 decibels.


This is another important factor that people tend to overlook. The warranty of the product tells you how reliable it is and how long it will last you. You want something that has a warranty of at least 2 – 5 years, although you may want to choose one with a longer warranty if possible. This will ensure that your equipment is repaired or replaced in case it breaks down.

Customer reviews

Checking out the customer reviews of the air compressor you want to buy is another good idea before buying one. From customer reviews, you can identify the advantages and disadvantages of product. You can also read about the experience that other people have with it and how helpful was the air compressor.

Conclusion for air compressor under 500

We hope you found this article helpful in understanding the factors to consider when purchasing an air compressor under $500. Make sure that you get one with all the features that you want so it can serve your needs properly.

The compressors i have reviewed are some of the best ones that you can find. They are built with quality materials to ensure that your air compressor will work for a long time without breaking down.

They are also light-weighted with a lot of features that will make your work easier. If you have still any questions or need help deciding what type of compressor would work best in your situation, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Our team of experts will listen carefully to your needs and offer insight into which model might suit them best.

FAQs related to Best air compressor under $500

Which is the best air compressor for heavy duty work under $500?

PORTER CABLE PXCMF220VW is one of the best air compressor for heavy duty work under 500. It has 20 gallon tank which is larger, 150 PSI max pressure and 5.0 CFM for continuous air flow to handle the toughest of jobs.

Which is quietest air compressor under 500$?

Campbell Hausfeld comes with very low noise level. It has only 68 decibels to ensure that you can work in peace without being disturbed. It has powerful motor which provides high volume of air flow.

Which brand makes the best air compressor?

There are several brands out there that are known for making high-quality and durable air compressors. a These include: CALIFORNIA, PORTER-CABLE, CRAFTSMAN,, MAKITA, DEWALT.

Which is the cheap air compressor to buy ?

Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP is one of the cheapest high-quality air compressor available in the market. it has oil lubricated pump which provides longer service life. It can generate air pressure of 130 psi and provide 4.8 CFM @ 90 PSI which is perfect for most of the DIY jobs.

By Matthew