Stationary air compressors may not have the portability of smaller units but they make up for it with power. Some offer more than double the power to replace their lack of portability. For stationary air compressors, the biggest draw isn't where they can go, but what they can do. And if you’ve got a big job to finish and very little time, there is no other type of air compressor that can handle it better than one of these units. Here are some of the top models in the industry when it comes to stationary air compressors that get the job done.
Top Stationary Air Compressors Reviews
1. Top Pick
Ingersoll Rand Type-30 Reciprocating Air Compressor
The Ingersoll Rand Type-30 Reciprocating Air Compressor was a concept from the company that led to an impressive finished product within a couple of years. The vertical tank can hold 60 gallons and has an incredible PSI of 175. That’s the highest on the list, and one of the many reasons it got perfect ratings across the board from several customers. This is the most powerful air compressor on the list by a mile, which is why the markup for it is so high. The finned copper intercooler is so complex in its construction that it’s patented, and the inner and outer 100% cast iron construction is made to impress.
Durability won’t be a concern for any buyer, and they even sell a special maintenance kit to service the unit. If you opt to use the kit, then you can close in on an extended 2-year warranty on the pump alone. That by itself is worth the price of the kit and guarantees a long lifespan. The initial life expectancy of the pump is 10,000 hours, so even on continuous use it is a bit of a beast. Type-30 air compressors have been around for years and tend to last longer than any other models. Be prepared for the weight to come to almost half a ton. It’s heavy but makes up for it by being the best choice on the list.
2. The Runner Up
Industrial Air ILA3606056 60-Gallon Hi-Flo Single Stage Cast Iron Twin Cylinder Air Compressor
With a twin-cylinder cast iron stand-up design, it saves space both in storage and operation. This also makes it easy to move from A to B. It’s not ideal in terms of portability as this air compressor has a 60 gallon tank. The pump is oil lubricated so that it doesn’t wear out quickly over time. Using a special set of lubrication methods, this Industrial Air model can run for years with low maintenance. With less money to spend on getting the small things repaired, the high cost of the unit shouldn’t really factor in to the buying decision.
At 12 inches the crankcase itself is quite impressive. The all-in-one piece design is simplistic but does not hide its advanced features. That’s why the pressure gauge and on/off switch are easy to locate. All of the functions within the unit are up top and don’t require extensive manual consultation. Familiar users can instantly use the unit without any sort of orientation, and the 240-volt induction motor will provide all the power necessary to get tasks done. This is pretty heavy duty, and is used for service trucks, mechanic shops, and even livestock operation. As an example of the commitment to quality that keeps the unit running, it is shipped with synthetic oil. Up to 155 PSI makes this one of the best on the list and definitely worth checking out.
3. Top Pick For 80 Gallon Tank
Powermate Vx PLA4708065 80-Gallon Electric Air Compressor
Feature rich and high priced, the Powermate Vx offers a lot of cool things to be excited about. The 240-V 15-amp motor keeps humming along well even with multiple users. The 4.7 HP is fantastic when it reaches its peak, which takes very little time compared to other units on the list. And Powermate didn’t skimp on other areas of the unit, as it can be pushed to a maximum of 155 PSI. And when using with demanding tools, the setting of 14 CFM at 90 PSI can help your tools run for longer. So in many ways this air compressor is prepped for all of the upcoming tools coming out soon. Even if your new tool uses double the amount of power, this unit will be able to handle it without a problem.
Built from steel, the 80-gallon tank is both durable and large enough for any type of job. It’s not too large to fit in certain storage spaces and is the right size for more than 90% of the jobs available. The oil lubricated pump is surrounded by a cast iron cylinder body that can take years of use. This isn’t an air compressor that will break down easily, and is backed by several five star reviews. All of the reviews point to the 3-cylinder design as the final deciding factor. So is it really that big of a deal? Yes, when you compare it with the others on the list. As one of the leading brands in air compressors, Powermate knocked it out of the park with this model.
4. Single Stage Stationary Air Compressor
Porter Cable PXCMLC3706056 60-Gallon Single Stage Stationary Air Compressor
Halfway through the list is this Porter Cable model that isn’t anything revolutionary, just a straight up hard working air compressor. It is an above average model that is medium to high priced with all of the features you need to get started. At 40–90 PSI it offers pretty solid CFM, with a consistency that’s hard to find in similar models. The horsepower is huge at 3.7 HP. A good bulk of the weight went into making this one of the more powerful units on the list and it shows when you first power it on. The pressure gauge and on/off switch are in the correct places so you don’t have to constantly fumble for the controls.
Even though the pressure gauge seems simplistic, it is accurate. Even the higher brands may be a bit off if not adjusted over the years, a con that this model doesn’t seem to suffer from. It’s rock solid and offers a toll-free customer service line. However, since this air compressor is built so well, it's unlikely you'll ever need support. Pay close attention to the synthetic oil they package with the unit, as it is the one you will want to use for the lifetime of the product to guarantee a long, hassle-free life. On the downside, it is a bit hefty at almost 250 pounds. With a 60-gallon capacity, just shy of 200 pounds would have been perfect. Even with that minor flaw, this is about as consistent an air compressor that you could ever hope for, and a purchase that you won’t regret.
5. Single Stage Compressor
Ingersoll Rand SS3L3 3-Horsepower 230-Volt 60-Gallon Vertical Compressor
This Ingersoll Rand Air Compressor is a bit of a controversial pick for many reasons, and is considered to be the most polarizing pick on the list. There are those who love it and people who absolutely hate it. Even with all of the polarizing reviews many professionals swear by this model, which can be confusing for anyone considering this model. The high-priced 3-HP single-phase motor is fantastic, and comes as standard with manual reset and overload protection. That’s a great option for advanced users that have dealt with air compressors that lock up after heavy use. If you’re looking for a model that can be fixed by hand rather than needing replacements, this is the most reliable option.
The construction of the unit is cast iron with quality engineered components inside and out. To keep it short, no shortcuts were taken in building this unit. It’s a professional looking unit from top to bottom and is one of the more impressive air compressors on the list when it comes to design. Because of this, 100% continuous duty is not a problem when needed. And if you need to drain the unit, it uses a manual system which is better by default. It isn’t a ultra-quiet air compressor, but compared to the other air compressors on the list its beats them pretty substantially. A dark horse in this contest, the SS3L3 is a top-6 pick.
6. Single Phase Electric Air Compressor
NorthStar 3 HP 230V Single Phase Electric Air Compressor with Vertical Tank
Sticking with high-priced items, this Northstar model is notable for many reasons. It is a 3-horsepower 230-V model that runs at an incredible 3450 RPM with its meticulously built electric motor. The single phase motor hums along at blazing speeds without any slowdowns and is made for multiple heavy duty tasks. Even the pump is high class and runs at 920 RPM with dual modes of either 90 PSI or 40 PSI. The pump is a single-stage 2-cylinder champ that is protected in a cast iron housing. Built-in after coolers help with heat dissipation so everything stays at an average temperature while in operation. That’s probably the most important feature about this unit since it is so large.
A few cons to mention include the PSI, which is a little lower than expected. This can impact performance for users that tend to push air compressors to their limits. For others this won’t be a big deal, but be wary if you used to frequently max out your old air compressor. Another con is that this is one of the heaviest air compressors on the list. Now, since this list is all about stationary air compressors that shouldn’t be a big deal. When it comes to actually storing this hulk of an air compressor, the weight can be a deciding factor. It’s still an overall excellent unit despite some small cons. A 4-year warranty rounds out the good features of this Northstar offering and makes it a great choice for any buyer.
Type-30 vs Other Models
When money is no object then going with Ingersoll Rand type-30 reciprocating air compressor is the best option. But money is always going to factor into the buying decision, and for anyone that needs multiple air compressors. And for those that just need an normal electric air compressor around for medium to light use, getting the best of the best might be overkill. At that point, a hybrid would work wonders for both home and away use. But what about the heavy-use customers that want to go all out?
Anything other than a type-30 unit is still a great buy. There are small differences between the air compressors on the list so the decision might come down to brand at the end of the day. Purchase what is good for your home, office, work and even your hobbies. And if that turns out to be a type-30, then so be it. No, you don’t need a Ferrari to get to and from work. But it’s a lot of fun to buy one if you have the money!
Are Hybrids Worth It?
Yes and no. There are two hybrids on the list, and they both function better as emergency backups than full-time stationary air compressors. The second one on the list could actually do a pretty good job as a stationary air compressor rather than a backup, yet it still pales in comparison to the others on the list. It’s a good option but doesn't stand out for any one thing. In other words, it is a jack of all trades and a master of none.
The thought of tying yourself to a stationary air compressor if you move a lot while working might seem odd. That just means you might not need a stationary air compressor at all, and should look into bigger ones with wheels. A hybrid is the best of both worlds so that you can still maintain some of the power that makes stationary air compressors worth the buy. Where you will run into problems is if you’re a heavy user that tends to tax your units to their limits. Hybrids aren’t made for that type of workload, and that will always be a con of the design. So they’re worth the buy, but only if you understand their limitations as a main unit.
Stationary air compressors are powerful beasts that get the job done. Seeing a couple of hybrids on the list is a good thing and shows that the technology is progressing. No matter how you use a stationary air compressor, you’re guaranteed a solid unit that will last you years of hard work.
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