Air compressors are practical and convenient tools with endless uses for automotive vehicles. Auto body workshops rely on an air compressor for inflating tires, painting car body, power sanders and other tools. Without a good air compressor, you will not get a better result. But, it is challenging to find out the right air compressor that will be best for your car. In this article, we have highlighted the 5 best air compressor for auto body work in terms of the line of work, usage and advantages. The air compressors are suitable for beginners to professionals.
What Size Air Compressor Do I Need To Paint A Car?
For painting a car, an air compressor must have a minimum of 25 litres of capacity. The paint guns have lower capacity, but you can use it if your compressor can provide higher PSI level. A Compressor with a tank between 25 and 50 litres capacity can be perfect for painting the whole car and do different jobs like the use of pneumatic accessories.
The recommended capacity is between 25 and 50 litres and must have 14 to 20 CFM at 90-100 PSI pressure. Although we remember that the more compact the product, the simpler it will be to use it, we think we must move it along all the walls of a room to paint.
Note: Here, we have presented the size of a compressor that is suitable for painting a car. If you want to know more about air compressor, you can go through the article, how does an air compressor work?
Table of content
Here is the table of content for your quick overview:
- Best Air Compressor For Auto Body Work In-Depth Reviews
- What To Consider Before Buying An Air Compressor For Auto Bodywork?
- Why Should You Buy An Air Compressor For Auto Bodywork?
Do you want to see the features of our selected products at a glance? You can do it from the comparison chart below:
DEWALT Air Compressor, 225-PSI Max, Hand Carry with Wheels, 4-1/2 Gallon
Makita, MAC700, Electric Air Compressor, 2 HP, 115V
Master Airbrush Cool Runner II Dual Fan Air Compressor Professional Airbrushing System Kit with 3 Airbrushes, Gravity and Siphon Feed
California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor, Silver
PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor
Best Air Compressor For Auto Body Work In-Depth Reviews
Finding an air compressor that can be suitable for auto body works isn’t an easy task. After doing in-depth research and several tests, we have reviewed the top 5 best air compressor for auto body work that will meet your demands.
1. DEWALT Air Compressor D55146
DEWALT Air Compressor D55146 comes with 4.5 gallon tank and an oil-free motor that produce 5 SCFM at 90 PSI pressure. It can be increased 225 PSI maximum and it can recover within 22 seconds. It provides 80 percent more air pressure than others that give users better performance to do auto bodywork without facing any problems. Also, it can be used for framing, roofing and carpentry.
It has 1.8 HP motor that runs at 15 amps that keep safe the compressor from over-voltage and short circuit damage. It allows to use 50 feet hose adapter to reach remote places. You don’t take the tension of oil change that provides a maintenance free service. It makes low noise (70dB) at 1720 RPM that helps to place it inside the house.
The tank takes 1 min 22 seconds to fill up and 22 seconds to recover it after finishing charge. When the PSI level reaches 155, it will shut down automatically. Its weight is about 83 pounds and has wheels and a telescopic handle that helps to move it anywhere.
Main Key Features:
- It has a portable 4.5 gallon tank that is suitable for auto body works, roofing, carpeting, etc.
- Its 1.8 HP oil free motor delivers 225 max PSI with 15 amps power to prevent overload damage.
- The 50 feet hose adapter allows to do work with the compressor in the remote area.
- The tank takes 1.22 minutes to fill up and able to recover within 22 seconds.
- In 1720 RPM, it makes 70 dB sound, which is less than a dishwasher’s sound.
2. Makita MAC700 air compressor
Makita MAC700 comes with 2.6 gallon small tank that can be rechargeable before doing any tasks. It has big bore piston cylinder that ensures maximum power with more air. It draws 12 amp power at a maximum pressure that uses less electricity and saves your bill. The 2 HP pump runs without oil lube that keeps you tension free for changing oil.
The Makita electric air compressor runs in 1720 RPM with 78 dB less sound so that you can place it everywhere. It has cast iron cylinder that sustains 3.8 CFM at 40 PSI and 3.3 CFM at 90 PSI and maximum 130 PSI which can be powered by 120V socket. Also, its oil sight glass allows to check the compressor condition that helps to get easy and efficient maintenance.
It weighs 60 pounds and you can easily transport the compressor with a solid rubberized handle. It has four foot stands to stabilize the air compressor in a rough situation. Also, it has an air filter that intakes air and ensures efficient performance. Its tube is designed with copper that reduce heat and water from the tank.
Main Key Features:
- It has 2.6 gallon tank and weighs 60 pounds for reliable and efficient performance.
- The 2 HP pump produces a maximum 130 PSI pressure, 3.8 CFM at 40 PSI and 3.3 CFM at 90 PSI.
- It draws 12 amp power that will save yours by using less power.
- In 1720 RPM, it makes 7 dB low noise that allows to place it everywhere.
- Its copper tube reduces heat and water level that makes the compressor long lasting.
3. Master Airbrush Cool Runner II Dual Fan Air Compressor
Master Airbrush Cool Runner II Dual Fan Air Compressor comes with 3 different air brushes that are perfect for auto body works, nail arts, auto graphics, fine art and more. It has 0.2 HP single piston engine which is combined with 2 cooling fans to extend the lifespan of the compressor. The motor can deliver 0.8 CFM and 25 liters per minute heavy airflow that will make your auto body works easier.
It has premium rotor windings that ensure the longevity of the motor by preventing overheating. The siphon bottle and 0.125 inches air inlet provides superior performance. You can easily adjust air, clean dry air with regulator and water trap filter. It has 6 colors airbrush kit that allows to choose the color that meets ASTM D-4236 standards.
The motor of the compressor runs without oil that provides maintenance-free service. It makes 47 dB low noise at high RPM, so that makes it versatile. When the pressure level reaches 57 PSI, the compressor automatically shut down with its air on-demand system. You can preset the pressure level at 43 PSI. Also, you can easily carry the compressor with hand due to its 12 pounds low weight. If you have a tight budget, it will be the best air compressor under 200 dollars.
Main Key Features:
- It has 3 different airbrushes that allow to do auto body works and other tasks like painting, carpentry etc.
- The 0.2 HP single piston compressor provides 43 PSI pressure on average and 25 liters per minute airflow.
- When the pressure level reaches 57 PSI to prevent danger, it’s shut down automatically.
- It makes 47 dB super quiet sound at high RPM that allows it to place in everywhere.
- With the regulator with gauge, you can control clean the compressor and dry air.
4. California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor
California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S comes with steel tank that weighs 29 pounds. It has 0.6 HP motor that less noise at 1680 RPM so you can take it everywhere you want. It delivers 1.2 CFM at 90 PSI that allows using airbrushes, nail guns etc. so it will be the best air compressor for automotive shop. The motor is designed with a single piston-cylinder that runs without oil up to 3 hours.
It draws 4.5 amps power that is money saving and lower than other compressors. It can produce 120 PSI maximum pressure that is perfect for painting a car. Within 15 seconds, it recovers from 90 to 120 PSI. It generated less heat during working that is comfortable to use. Also, it can deliver service up to 3000 hours lifecycle. You can use the compressor in the winter season and it will not make start problems.
It has two pressure control gauge that helps to check the pressure and you can easily adjust the pressure level with a knob. Its thermal overload protector prevents the damage of short circuit and overvoltage. Its tank takes 50 seconds to refill with full air.
Main Key Features:
- It has a 1.0 gallon steel tank that weighs 29 pounds, so it is easy to move anywhere.
- Its 0.6 HP motor provides 120 PSI maximum pressure, 1.6 CFM at 40 PSI and 1.2 CFM at 90 PSI.
- Tank refill within 50 seconds and recovery time needs 15 seconds from 90 to 120 PSI.
- Thermal overload load protector prevents damage due to the long time running and keeps the motor cool.
- It draws 4.5 amps of low power that will save your money by reducing the use of electricity.
5. PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor
Porter cable 150 psi 6 gallon air compressor can produce 150 PSI maximum pressure that helps to run it for a long time. It allows to use multiple tools at the same time that will not make any hassle. It can produce 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI that can be recovered within a short time. Also, it has dual pressure gauges and regulator that allows to check and adjust the pressure level.
It weighs 30 pounds so you can carry it anywhere you want. It starts smoothly in the winter season with an extension cord so you can use it all-time. Also, it has a water drain valve that perfectly flows water. You can stabilize it everywhere with rubber legs. It can be plugged into the wall or the car for greater convenience so that its operation is not limited to space.
The pancake designed compressor will be a great complement so that a setback will not ruin your trips and outings. It can be powered from 120V socket and draws low amps to save electricity. It is capable of inflating your tires within a few seconds that makes it the best air compressor for auto body work.
Main Key Features:
- It has 6 gallon pancake look tank that can produce 150 PSI maximum pressure.
- Water drain valve helps to flow water into the compressor tank that improves performance.
- It produces 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI with quick recovery that makes it durable for a long time.
- It draws low amps and runs with 120V socket that will save you money.
- Don’t need oil lube and you will get maintenance free service.
What To Consider Before Buying An Air Compressor For Auto Bodywork?
Choosing an air compressor for auto bodywork is not an easy task and needs lots of time. So, we have presented some important actors that should be considered to get the best one.
- Air volume:
This value is expressed in cubic meters per minute and is generally indicated in the technical data sheet of the appliance. It tells you how fast the compressor will supply air. The CFM must be a minimum 1.6 and pressure must be minimum 40 PSI.
Even if the main purpose of a portable car compressor is to inflate the tires, always consider the additional features and accessories carefully, since the more versatile an air compressor is, the faster it pays for itself.
- Tank size:
A smaller compressor can hold up to 6 gallons, while larger ones can handle even double, reaching 20 gallons. When the air compressor discharges, the engine will stop blowing air to store it in the tank. This can be not very pleasant if you have a lot of tires to inflate. So, make sure your tank is large enough to avoid having to stop working continuously.
Depending on the intended use of the appliance, consider its portability. The models you also find in online sales can be fixed and portable. If the size isn’t a binding factor, and you know your air compressor will stay in the same area, be sure to choose one with a good length hose and power cord. If you want to always carry it with you in the car trunk, portability plays a decisive role.
- Power source:
This aspect depends on personal preferences. A portable compressor for auto body works can usually be connected to the vehicle battery or the 120V socket. If you need a small and simple compact model, the connection to the cigarette lighter socket works well. If you need a bigger and heavier air compressor, better choose one that works with your vehicle’s battery connection or 240V wall outlet.
Note: In the above section, we have discussed the factors before buying an air compressor for auto bodywork. If you want to discover more about the air compressor, you can read how to use air compressor?
Why Should You Buy An Air Compressor For Auto Bodywork?
You should buy an air compressor for auto bodywork for several reasons that will help to do lots of automotive works within a short time. They are
- Air compressor for auto bodywork is compact and comes better capacity rotating elements, thus avoiding the vibration and friction caused by the pistons and thus achieving greater mechanical efficiency.
- It has greater efficiency because the compressor has idle RPM, CFM and HP. You can achieve 4 to 5 CFM per HP outpacing the piston compressor by 30 percent.
- Pneumatic energy activation eliminates the need for tools to have their motor. So, they will be smaller and can be used in different activities and that can be used in very small spaces and require a high power drive.
- The compressor has windings and other components that wear out naturally with use. Meanwhile, pneumatic tools should only be greased regularly to function optimally for many years.
- The compressor provides higher quality compressed air with less oil flow, and they work at lower temperatures.
- It is very easy to use, without complications of any kind. Also, it allows you to measure the tire pressure, as well as raise or lower it according to your needs.
For these reasons, you should own an air compressor for auto body work. So, choose the best one from the above reviewed article that best suits you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we have given answers to some frequently asked questions about an air compressor for auto bodywork.
How many CFM do you need to paint a car?
You require a higher CFM to paint a car. The CFM level should be 4 to 20 for painting a whole car.
What CFM is required for spray painting?
You will need 5-7 SCFM at 40-50 PSI for spray painting.
Can I use my air compressor for painting?
If your compressor can produce 4-20 CFM at 40-100 PSI, you can use the compressor for painting.
When to change air compressor oil?
You should change compressor oil after every 70 to 90 days or every 1000 to 1500 hours of service to keep its condition good.
Can air compressor drain battery?
No. If your compressor runs at higher voltages, it will drain your battery very soon.
Having an air compressor can help you to do many works like painting, inflating, cleaning and more with saving times. From the best air compressor for auto body work, I would like to recommend PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor small and easy to transport, perfect to have at home. It has a motor that provides 90 to 150 PSI that can recover within a short time. Also, it is ideal for inflating tires, painting a whole car, power up sanders and other tools. It has a pancake look designed 6 gallon tank that allows to use many tools at a time. It doesn’t require to change oil because it is oil free compressor and maintenance-free.