The best gas air compressors have to meet some important criteria, with the top three being price, power, and portability. Portability wasn’t always a factor that came into play, but with recent innovations, having a portable air compressor can offer a lot of benefits. Heavier and bulkier gas air compressors are now in the same league as smaller ones thanks to modern technology. This list will show some of the best gas powered air compressors in the industry to consider, with a few surprises mixed in to keep the features balanced. There is no doubt you will come away with exactly what you’re looking for from this list!
Top 7 Gas Air Compressors Reviews
1. The Winner
Industrial Air Contractor CTA5090412
Packed with a strong Honda engine, the Industrial Air Contractor CTA5090412 is a high-priced option for customers that value power over portability. It is an oil-free solution that uses a two-piece cooling system to keep pump maintenance at a minimum. This is important for heavy users who don’t want to deal with the high costs associated with fixing worn-out parts. With a pump that was made for multiple years of use, this is one of the more durable options on the list.
The aforementioned Honda engine is a premium grade 5 horsepower model that looks like it has enough juice to run a small car! With a max pressure of 155 PSI, multiple tool users will spend more time working rather than waiting for it to regenerate. Construction workers will like the pontoon style model with dual 2-gallon tanks. It’s great for portability on the job and is a really great match for heavy projects. There is a 2-year limited warranty, which should be more than enough for anyone who's worried about stability. High priced but one of the stronger products on the list, this is suitable for those heavy-duty jobs.
2. The Runner Up
Second on the list is the Ingersoll-Rand SS3J5.5GH-WB, which is not just high priced but probably the most expensive on the list. While the machine won’t win any design awards, it is ridiculously feature rich and puts a lot of the other options to shame. Like all of the big time models in the industry, it uses a Honda gas engine that is surrounded by cast iron, so sturdy enough to use both inside and outside.
The big feature with this gas air compressor is the 100% continuous duty cycle, which is essential when you have a power hungry tool. This unit hasn’t met a tool it can’t take on, and with 8-gallon twin tanks, there's no concern about running out of juice in the middle of a tough job. Despite its great power, the 135 PSI unit is very lightweight and uses a wheelbarrow design to enable it to be transported from A to B. Buyers who want top of the line when it comes to gas air compressors will have no problem with this model.
3. Best High-End Option
NorthStar Gas-Powered Air Compressor
NorthStar presents their high-priced gas air compressor, using a customized Honda GX270 OHV engine. The prime feature of the engine is that it has an automated low-oil shutdown, good for those instances where the entire system will come to a dead stop and cause damage. In fact, this is the most important feature of the entire system and saves on costly repair bills over years of use. The two stage pump is made of cast iron for longevity and the pump head is made of FC35 grade cast iron.
The unit is loaded from top to bottom with important features protected from damage over the long term. The valve life is extended due to the floating type Swedish steel, which compared to other models is a one-of-a-kind design. The PSI is supreme at 175, and will be more than enough for any appliance to draw from. NorthStar has created a beast here that is made for the long haul, with some very impressive durability features. Customers will love this buy no matter what type of project they’re focusing on.
4. Ingersoll Rand Gas Air Compressor
Ingersoll Rand IRTC2475F13GH
Ingersoll Rand once again put its best into this model, and while it still suffers in the design department, the actual unit is impeccable. This is hands down one of the top three gas air compressors on the list, and as such, customers should be prepared to pay a high price. The cast iron is more than a coating and comprises much of the unit, with the usual Ingersoll Rand 100% continues duty feature already built in. In fact the company is so sure of its craftsmanship that they claim it can run over 15,000 hours without any problems. That’s a bold claim, and one that only a few companies can use.
Of course the Honda engine is built in, and while it has just been tweaked a bit for performance, those tweaks are enough to really make an immediate difference. Heavy tools will be more than capable of squeezing out that last bit of performance when using this model compared to a lesser model. An extended 2-year warranty provides the confidence needed for buyers to spend so much money, and even better customer service. One of the top 3 on the list for a reason, the Ingersoll Rand IRTC2475F13GH will become your favorite new toy.
5. Jenny Compressors Gas Powered Portable Compressor
Jenny Compressors K5HGA-17P
Jenny has become one of the more well-known gas air compressor makers in the industry for a couple of years now. With the K5HGA-17P, they introduced a Honda GX gasoline engine that could not only handle 125 PSI, but could do so with very little hiccups in operation. The high price is justified when buyers realize the quality of the product, as there are few resources wasted when running this at max PSI. For convenience there is a manual tank drain that will prove useful for maintenance reasons, or for customers that run their own tests.
The company has made it a point to fill this model with Jenny Ultimate compressor pump oil before packing it up. This has become standard in most, if not all of their compressors. With the oil customers will not only get better performance out of their units, they will also receive a higher lifetime rating if using the unit heavily. Jenny is one of the few companies that does this, and there is nothing quite like it. So where does it rank on the list of best gas air compressors? Not quite a top-three model, but still high up there and worth shelling out for!
6. Mi-T-M Gasoline Portable Air Compressor
Mi-T-M 5 Gallon Gasoline Portable Single Stage Air Compressor
Easily the most unique design on the list, the Mi-T-M 5 gallon is a masterpiece in gas air compressors and justifies its high price by offering a solid performance. Despite the heavy-duty appearance it is only 84 pounds in weight with dimensions of 21.5 x 17.5 x 21.8 inches. This small portable unit somehow manages to be just as strong as any unit on the list with a PSI that maxes out at 100.
Yet the most impressive thing about the unit is how it looks, which is sleek, professional and top grade. There are construction workers that have used it for years and it still maintains its special look! The crankcase is lubricated with oil with the hardware comprised mostly of stainless steel. So the three big features of the unit are elegance in its design, longevity and surprising power. This is one of the sneaky units on the list that no one looks out for, yet the exact model that most people should get. Nabbing another top-three spot on the list should surprise many people.
7. DeWALT 10.5 Gallon Gas Air Compressor
DEWALT D55684 196CC 6.5 Hp, 150 PSI, 10.5 Gallon Compressor with Roll Cage
The high-priced DEWALT D55684 is the best gas air compressor on the list, and is such a knockout performer that even major professionals use it. For many this option is overkill, but what’s the fun in owning your own gas air compressor if you can’t go all the way in? It has a massive 10.5-gallon tank with a max 150 PSI, so is the most powerful and long lasting option on the list. With a 10.5-SCFM pump, it edges out the competition that offer similar 10.5-gallon units.
As a worldwide brand name, Dewalt stacked the compressor with a 6.5-HP OHV engine to crank multiple tools when needed and a built-in low-oil automatic shutoff to protect the integrity of the unit. The roll cage looks like something out of a movie, and protects all of the main components on the unit. An easy-to-use control panel requires little manual consultation, and any intermediate user will be able to recognize the dials. This is the least mobile option on the list, even with the included wheels. But it is big, strong, and the most powerful option if you want a beast of a gas air compressor.
Gas Air Compressor Buying Guide
Large vs Small
Large gas air compressors are great for big projects both in and outside the home. This is the type of air compressor you will usually see construction workers using. There is nothing special about the large gas air compressors that professionals use, so don’t assume they are out of your reach. Dewalt is a well respected brand that contractors use, and it isn’t specialized at all. So when dealing with projects that require a lot of juice, a large compressor will do the trick just fine. And portability shouldn’t be too much of a problem as long as you have room. Most come with attached wheels to roll them long distances, and if the wheels are oversized the unit can even be rolled up stairs!
Small gas air compressors are fantastic for home projects and are extremely easy to store but they do not have the same low-noise features as the normal electric air compressors units of the same size. They also work in a pinch for when you need to do something quick, and make setting everything up easy. Small and uncomplicated, these compressors have come a long way over the years and have an impressive PSI output. The only thing to keep in mind with a small compressor's PSI is to compare it to the capacity of the tank. In short, you want a small air compressor but a tank that's large enough not to compromise the size. There is a perfect balance between the two components, and will make purchasing a small gas air compressor well worth it.
Are There Any Low Priced Options?
This is a great question for many reasons, and the short answer is yes, but you won't want to buy them. The reason gas air compressors are medium to high in price is due to the handling of volatile materials at high temperatures for long periods of time. Think about the contents in a gas air compressor such as gas, oil, etc. Now imagine what would happen if the unit was poorly constructed and decided to stop protecting one component from the other. The result wouldn’t be pretty, which is why there is a premium price to even consider before getting a gas air compressor.
Great compressors are more about their construction than their output. There is enough power in these small units to run basic air tools such as impact wrenches or a paint sprayer, yet they are out in the open and doing very powerful tasks. The Honda engine is no joke and is considered the gold standard when it comes to gas air compressors. That piece alone makes it worth the money, as any good company can just build on top of that. And for companies that opt to use a different engine, it is usually created in-house so has special features, yet it maintains the high quality standard that makes the industry viable.
Low priced options are available, but they won’t be safe. They also won’t be durable, and any of the features will be questionable. So if the box says 150 PSI on a cheap unit, prepare to get a performance of 90 PSI. Pay the premium price for a great product and you’ll never look back.
Brand Name as an Option
This list is made up of several brand names and a few lesser known names. Even though the Dewalt is named the best on the list, many of the top-five units are from lesser known companies. So even though shopping by brand name is a good idea, it doesn’t mean customers should ignore the others. Mi-T-M in particular has made great strides with its compressors and has the best looking unit on the list.
Finding the appropriate gas air compressor isn’t easy if you don’t know what projects you will be handling. Even if you plan on doing small projects for life, what happens when someone needs to borrow your unit for a big job? And for those who always have big projects on the go, a bigger gas air compressor will not necessarily do the the trick for lighter tasks. In situations where you're moving around a lot, the work day can feel extremely long and tiresome. Find the compressor on this list that works best for your combined work and home style.