10 Best Air Compressor Under $500 in 2020 - Reviews & Top Picks

Whatever you are a homeowner, contractor, automotive technician, or a serious hobbyist, you definitely need an air compressor in order to do a lot of work with ease. Not only an air compressor is a tool by itself, but also it works as a power source for a couple of air tools, including air ratchet, air impact wrench, blow-gun, brad nailer, grinder, and many more.

Now, you are feeling confused about your purchase, as the whole market is loaded with a bunch of different models along with numerous features and prices. That’s why we’re here showing you the top 10 best air compressor under 500 on the market right now. Those all eye-popping air compressors have arrived with a ton of benefits so that you can make your job done with ease by using any of it.

Our Top 3 Recommendations

Top Pick

Makita MAC5200

Best Overall

Makita MAC2400

Great Value



Top 10 Best Air Compressor Under 500

You don’t have to expend a heap of cash in order to buy an air compressor, even you can get a good-quality air compressor at such a reasonable price. For choosing the best one, all you need to do is read the comprehensive reviews regarding the best air compressor for the money, make sure to read the buying guide as well so that you can identify the one that really suits you most.

1. Makita MAC5200 Big Bore 3.0 HP Air Compressor - Top Pick

When it comes to choosing an air compression under 500, our very first pick out is Makita MAC5200 Big Bore Air Compressor. No matter you are a newbie or a seasoned DIY-er, it can be your worth choice without a doubt! 

It is powered by a superior 3.0 HP motor that is able to deliver around 6.5 CFM at 90 PSI. Surely, there is no chance of running out of the air! The oil-lubricated pump ensures cooler operating as well as reduces the chance of wearing and tearing. It creates less noise during the operation as well.

The cylinder is constructed with cast-iron material to enhance rigidity. Plus, it is removable so that you can ensure easy maintenance. For maximizing portability, the handle comes with a foldable system so that you can fold it whenever you want. 

The 5.2 gallons of capacity is quite average compare with others. It features rugged wheels so that a user can move it with ease, even on uneven areas. Thanks for the efficiency, it is compatible with most of the power tools regarding air.

The grip is another plus that is really smooth compare with the rest. The motor is covered by a roll cage for assuring better protection. In addition, it includes a built-in thermal overload.




Makita MAC5200 Big Bore Air Compressor offers a superior motor to make the job done with ease. You don’t have to worry about the construction at all, whereas the cylinder is built with heavy-duty cast iron material. For your convenience, it features a foldable grip, which is quite smooth as well.

2. Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor - Best Overall

Here is another model of Makita that comes with a 4-pole motor of 2.5 HP. Furthermore, it is capable of producing around 4.2 CFM at 90 PSI. It runs at 1730 RPM that ensures less noise during the operation. Alongside the performance, the base is pretty much durable due to the cast-iron construction.

Like the previous, it features an oil-lubricated pump in order to make sure cooler running temperature and minimize the risk of wear and tear at the same time. It withstands extreme environments, also covered by a roll cage to ensure higher protection of the motor. 

Additionally, it features built-in thermal overload like the previous one. For your own convenience, you can remove the cylinder if you need it. The soft-coated grip is another plus that is designed for assuring more comfort while working. Due to the compact shape, it will be a piece of cake to keep it even in a tight area.




The Oil lubricated pump is designed for assuring cooler running temperatures. Plus, it is able to minimize the risk of wear and tear. The grip is rather smooth that includes only to reduce user fatigue. Makita built this particular choice as a compact shape so that you can keep it with ease wherever you want.

3. DEWALT D55146 Air Compressor - Great Value

Now, moving on to the next product, which comes with 10-inch non-flat foam tires that allows you to transport with ease around the Jobsite. For assuring better performance, it includes a 1.6 HP motor that delivers about 5.0 SCFM at 90 PSI. 

Furthermore, it offers 225 PSI so that you can run a variety of nailing guns in order to speed up your project. It just provides a minimal noise due to the 78 dBA operational noise level. The oil-free pump ensures that it doesn’t even need high maintenance.

To enhance user comfort, it includes a vertical stand along with a collapsible handle. As you can see, you can keep it in an upright position in order to store it in a tight area, thanks to the portability. The process of using is pretty much simple at the same time.




As it includes an oil-free pump, it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. Due to the vertical stand and a collapsible handle, you can keep it in an upright position so that you store it on a small surface with ease.

4. DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor

In order to complete a task by using a lightweight air compressor, our suggestion is to go with the DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor. This “pancake shape” air compressor has a lot more things to give you.

No matter you’re in a cold place, its high-efficiency motor is able to start up in any weather with ease. The 6-gallon tank is more than enough to make the job done. It comes with a noise level of 75.5 dBA to ensure the least noise during operation. 

When it comes to portability, it weighs in at 32.1 pounds, which is one of the best portable air compressor that we tested! It is able to provide an adequate amount of airflow by delivering 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI pump. Plus, it features couplers as well as a high flow regulator for increasing air tool performance.

It has got the ability to prevent marring, guess for what? Because of the rubber leg covers that it includes additionally. By using the handle, you can pick it up with ease. The way of starting-up is quite simple as well.




It is compact, yet powerful enough when you are comparing it with other similar choices. Further on, DEWALT (DWFP55126) Pancake Air Compressor comes with a lightweight design that is a big plus for those who need to go far away for work purposes.

5. PORTER-CABLE C2002 Pancake Air Compressor

Here is our budget-friendly pick that can be beneficial for doing your DIY projects, which is PORTER-CABLE C2002 Air Compressor. There are a couple of reasons why we’ve added another pancake air compressor on the list.

First thing first, it arrives with an affordable price tag so that you can purchase it with ease if you’re on a tight budget. Despite a reasonable price, it has no lack of performance. It features an average motor of 1 HP that produces around 2.6 SCFM at 90 psi.

The 6 gallons of capacity is not least at all. Even it is more than enough to accomplish your DIY task. Like the previous, it includes rubber feet on legs so that you can keep it anywhere safely.

Along with the sleek design, it comes with a durable aluminum base. Consequently, it ensures the ultimate longevity. In order to reduce the risk of running out, it stores additional air in the tank, thankfully!

Due to the low-powered motor, it doesn’t require heavy maintenance. PORTER-CABLE C2002 Air Compressor is hands down, the best option for you when you’re going to choose a lightweight air compressor. 

Furthermore, it is relatively compact to make sure that anyone can place it in a small area without facing troubles. It starts up easily, even if you’re in a cold place. There is no need to do a lot of studies to run the power tool, whereas it is comparatively easy to use.




With better maintenance, you can use it for years, as it is built with aluminum material. It is quite easy to use, so you won’t have a hard time using it. The lightweight design can help you to move this stuff with ease, wherever you want.

6. CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K Air Compressor with CMPBN18K 18GA Finish Nailer

Our number 6, we have got the CRAFTSMAN 18GA Finish Nailer with Air Compressor. The best thing is, it offers a nail gun along with the air compressor in order to drive nails into wood or other pieces of materials.

Thankfully, it features an oil-free motor so that you don’t have to burn the midnight oil in order to maintain it. Since it includes a 6-gallons of air capacity, you will be able to store an adequate amount of air with ease.

You can use a carrying case to carry the nailgun in particular. Moreover, the tool-free nailgun ensures that you can clear all the debris with ease after each uses. With the assistance of a powerful motor, it delivers 2. 6 SCFM at 90 PSI, which is quite good.

A big thanks to the Craftsman for providing us 13 kits along with the air compressor. Therefore, you don’t have to spend any extras in order to purchase those kinds of accessories.




A few persons get resentful while purchasing the necessary kits since it is a bit confusing at times to pick out those things for a particular air compressor. For instance, you can set all your worries aside, as the CRAFTSMAN 18GA Finish Nailer with Air Compressor includes around 13 pieces of accessories in order to reduce your stress at least level!

7. BOSTITCH BTFP2KIT Air Compressor

BOSTITCH BTFP2KIT Air Compressor Combo Kit may not be on the premium side, nevertheless, it has got a couple of striking things in order to stay on your preference list.

Like the previous, it is also included with a nail gun that is able to drive around 1 1/4 to 2 1/2 inch. Its high-efficiency motor can start up with ease even though you are in a cool area! Moreover, it offers 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI. It has got a universal rate when it comes to the capacity of air gallons.

78.5 dBA ensures that it will provide a minimal noise while operation, although using for hours and hours. For increasing the performance of the air tool, it features a high flow regulator along with couplers. Like our premium choices, it also requires less maintenance since it comes with an oil-free pump. 

This “pancake-shaped” air compressor has also arrived with a lightweight design to enhance user comfort, it is weighing only 31 pounds. Plus, you can move it to your worksite it in a simple way, thanks to the compact shape.




Pancake shape means a better facility in terms of portability. Due to the lightweight design, anyone can use it with peace. We love this particular option since it doesn’t need a lot of maintenance at all. Without a doubt, you can stay in a comfort zone by using it.

8. Campbell Hausfeld DC080500 8 Gallon Portable Quiet Air Compressor

Our favorite Campbell Hausfeld DC080500 Air Compressor earns the gold standard due to portability, affordability, and great functionality. It features 68 dBA to make sure that you can use it in both outdoor and indoor without facing excessive noises! 

Due to this feature, it is 50% quieter than the rest. It’s a maintenance-free air compressor since it comes with an oil-free pump. The overall construction and necessary accessories are rather durable and ensure ultimate longevity at the same time. Surely, they will last four times longer than the others.

Not only it’s ideal for stapling or fastening, but you can also use this compressor for both hobby painting, inflation, and bolting projects. Furthermore, it comes with an average 1 HP motor that delivers around 3.7CFM at 90PSI. Definitely, it can produce up to 25% more air compared to the rest, thanks to productivity.

The capacity is quite ideal for most of the users, which is around 8 gallons. The weight is quite average as well, but when it comes to portability, it offers dual wheels that are designed to make sure that you can move to your Jobsite with ease.

It provides a rubber grip steel handle to ensure comfort and durability at the same time. No matter how many hours you’re using it, the compressor will not make any awkward noises at all.




Despite a low-powered motor, it is able to produce up to 25% more air compared with similar air compressors. By purchasing it, you can get around 17 necessary accessories, consequently, you don’t have to expend extra amount in order to buy those things.

9. California 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor

Last but not least, we have got California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Air Compressor. Due to 70 Decibels, it ensures less noise during the operation, the name describes itself!

Alongside the quietness, it comes with a powerful 2 HP motor that is able to deliver around 6.40 CFM at 40 PSI and 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI. It can meet your demands in terms of air production, surely. Moreover, the oil-free pump needs less maintenance, which is another plus for a beginner.

It doesn’t get overheated so far we know about it. The tank capacity is enough even for a seasoned DIY-er. Due to the portable wheels, you can move this stuff to your worksite with ease. Further on, it ensures ultimate durability when it comes to the construction, whereas it is built with stiff metal.

As it contains overheating protection, you can use it anywhere with ease, even the weather is hot or cold! The process of using the compressor is pretty much simple as well. We hardly prefer to use it between 30-60 minutes in order to get the maximum benefit from it.




Thanks to the overheating protection, you can use it continuously for 30-60 minutes without facing overheating issues! The air production rate is quite higher due to the high-efficiency motor. The way of moving it is quite simple since it includes durable as well as portable wheels.

10. DEWALT DXCM271.COM 27 Gallon Portable Air Compressor

If you’re tight on cash yet wondering to purchase an air compressor that comes with higher capacity, then DEWALT DXCM271.com Portable Air Compressor is the only way to go! Alongside the affordable range, it comes with a capacity of around 27 gallons! This particular power tool provides up to 80% more air tool run time.

For assuring more productivity, it comes with a motor of 1.7 HP that generates 5.1 SCFM at 90 PSI. Like our previous choice Makita, it ensures less noise to your work environment. It is 30% quieter when you are comparing it with other similar oil-free units.

Due to the vertical shape, you can place it everywhere without facing any kinds of issues! Along with all these benefits, it features an easy start-up option, a robust dual-purpose handle, a high flow regulator, and a couple of more things. Thanks for offering us such a beneficial power tool, all credit goes to Dewalt!




Despite an affordable range, it comes with a massive air capacity. Besides, you can work for hours without facing unnecessary noise, as it is 30% quieter than the typical ones. Due to the vertical shape, you can place it anywhere with ease.

Buying Guide

You are feeling a bit confused about your final purchase, as there are so many choices in the marketplace, right? Well, don’t worry. We want to let you know about the core factors that you should highly consider while choosing the best air compressor for the money. In that case, you don’t need to burn the midnight oil in order to get the best one in your hand, just make sure reading the buying guide:

Factors to Keep In Mind before Buying the Best Air Compressor under 500


At first, you have to confirm why you are going to buy an air compressor, is it for commercial uses or household purposes? In most cases, commercial users tend to use the traditional one that can be ideal for heavy tasks, however, it offers excessive noise at times! 

But thankfully, we’ve got a better alternative that is ideal for commercial purposes and provides less noise at the same time, which is DEWALT DXCM271.com Portable Air Compressor.

Contrariwise, if you need an air compressor just for a few simple tasks or household uses, then there is no need to go with the most powerful air compressor, you can simply rely on our BOSTITCH BTFP2KIT Air Compressor Combo Kit


Hands down, it is one of the core factors that you should consider while buying an air compressor. Basically, a motor that comes with higher HP can ensure more power of a compressor. For instance, you cannot do any tough job without a high-efficiency motor, which is the only key that you really need.

We have added the best Makita MAC5200 Big Bore Air Compressor, which is mainly for those who are hungry for a superior motor that can make your task easier.

CFM Factor

If your air compressor comes with a higher CFM factor, then you’re so lucky! The higher CFM means your air compressor will be able to offer more air with ease. As you can see, it is one of the most necessary features out there. It goes hand in hand with the horsepower.

DEWALT DXCM271 Portable Air Compressor has no such competitor in this particular case, as it comes with a higher CFM factor to accomplish your task in a snap!

Noise Level

Another necessary factor that everyone should consider, especially those who are going to purchase an air compressor for household purposes. The “WHIIIIRRRR” sounds like a jet engine that irritates most of the users, your neighbors as well!

Also, if you really don’t want to get bad feedback from your family members, you should consider the one that comes with less noise. Due to this particular case, we have got Campbell Hausfeld DC080500 Air Compressor for you that ensures 50% less noise than the rest.


It is a big plus in order to move it from one place to another. As a seasoned worker, you may have to move on to different areas. For such reason, a portable air compressor has no alternatives. It can help you to move the stuff with ease, even though it is quite bulky!

For those who prefer a portable as well as a lightweight compressor, PORTER-CABLE C2002 Pancake Air Compressor can be the best choice, whereas it comes with only 32.1 pounds of weight.


It plays a vital role when you are considering buying an air compressor. Always make sure to choose the one that is constructed with stiff material so that you can use it for years without facing any issues.

California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Air Compressor is the best way to go when it comes to durability since it is built with stiff material to enhance the lifespan of the air compressor.

Maintenance Free

The compressors that we’ve added required least maintenance since they all are free from oil-taking or greasing. Maintaining an air compressor is not that easy, that’s why it will be an advantage to pick out the one that requires less maintenance!



Is it okay to use a compressor by a generator?

Not necessarily. A few compressors need a lot of power in order to run efficiently. For instance, a generator can’t provide the power that a compressor really needs. That’s the reason why we don’t recommend using a compressor by a generator.

What is the right way of using an air compressor?

Running an air compressor is not even a difficult task. However, you need a few basic ideas regarding an air compressor. For knowing the proper way of using it, make sure to read the whole write-up that is on the link below:


Which type of air compressors are better to use at home?

The air compressors that provide less noise are the best option in order to use at home. If you need an air compressor just for household purposes, then there is no need to spend a heap of cash to purchase a traditional one, as it is only used for commercial purposes.

Our suggestion is to go with the lightweight pancake if you need to buy it only for household uses. The pancake air compressor should be the best pick in that case.

For commercial uses, which one do you prefer most?

Indeed, there are a bunch of choices when it comes to choosing an air compressor for commercial purposes. Nevertheless, if we have to go with only one that is under 500, we would definitely pick out the DEWALT DXCM271.com Portable Air Compressor. Its high-efficiency motor ensures that it is one of the best choices for using commercial purposes.

Can I use an air compressor for filling tires or airbrushing?

Of course, air compressors are designed to use for a variety of applications, including spray painting, tire filling, fastening, stapling, or even for airbrushing. So, there is no big deal if you are going to use it for tire filing or airbrushing.


After researching and analyzing for a couple of hours, we have collected those top choices from the market. Hopefully, you have earned a better idea regarding our topic of the best air compressor under 500. Still any confusion about your eventual purchase? Wait, let’s do something for you! 

For those who are still feeling confused about the purchase, they can pick out the Makita MAC5200 Big Bore Air Compressor, which is one of the best air compressors under 500. Due to its 3.0 HP powerful motor, you can make your job done in a snap! During the working period, it offers less noise, which can be a plus for those who want to use it at home as well. 

We have already mentioned that choosing a specific one is a matter of choice. So, it is up to you which one you are going to purchase. But, make sure that you are picking out the air compressor from our list in order to get maximum benefit.

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