Is a 20 gallon compressor sufficient and big enough to meet all your air requirements? Many large compressors have gallon range of about 60-100 which leaves many users wondering if a 20 gallon compressor will be up to the task. Well, the most important consideration here is the amount of air that you need to air your tools which is what is going to determine the size of air compressor that you need to use.
We have reviewed 6 of the best 20 gallon air compressors that will guarantee you uninterrupted performance enabling you to perform light to heavy duty tasks within a short period of time. We have also included a buying guide to help you choose the compressor that best suits you.
The comparison table below will help you get a quick overview of these top ranking 20 gallon compressors if you don’t have time to go through the entire review.
Top 6 Best 20 Gallon Air Compressors Comparison TableTable could not be displayed.
How we put together this review
It is not an easy task to look for and actually purchase a good 20 gallon air compressor that meets all requirements. It is even hard to get an affordable one and do what is expected of it uninterrupted. That’s why we are here to make your work easy.
During the survey stage, we made sure that we captured as many users’ views as possible through one on one interaction with the actual users as well as customer reviews in most e-commerce sites. We proceeded to test the products for horsepower, airflow, CFM value, lubrication among other indicators.
Guided by these indicators, we ended up with a list of 6 compressors from the best brand as highlighted below.
1. NorthStar Belt Drive Single-Stage
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This quiet and heavy-duty compressor from NorthStar comes with ASME certification and in it is made from the durable cast iron material. It is compact in size but it is tough and powerful enough to run in any garage, workshop, commercial shops, and handling some light tasks such as operating a brad nailer, air ratchet spray gun, airbrush and more.
NorthStar Belt Drive Single-Stage Key Highlights and Benefits
- 2-cylinder V-shaped Cast Iron Pump: This compressor comes with two V-styled cast iron cylinders which help to ensure that there is proper heat dissipation and that no heat transfer occurs between the two cylinders. Excessive heat is a threat to the pump lifespan which is why the cast iron material is important.
- Incredible Features: Besides being ASME certified, this compressor, comes with high-quality air filters, integrated regulator, a dual crankshaft, and regulator valves that are made of alloy steel which is heat resistant. The unit also comes with solid tires to aid when moving the compressor from one point to another. In addition, the packaging includes a sizable cord to allow easy movements in the workplace.
- Dual Voltage Induction Motor: Delivering 5 CFM @ 90 psi, its 2-horsepower dual voltage induction motor is powerful enough to power most pneumatic tools. In addition, the motor is designed to start in any weather conditions making sure that the compressor runs consistently. The motor operates at 115 volts although it can be adjusted to 230 via minor adjustments to the wiring which doubles the performance.
- Noise Level: At just 80-decibels the compressor runs quietly. This is due to the fact that the unit is belt driven and the pump is oil lubricated which also extends the lifespan of the pump. The pump life of this compressor is approximated to be about 5000 hours or more.
- It is amongst the best compressors with a duty cycle of 100%.
- It features an induction motor which has dual voltage.
- It has a vertical tank which allows for manual drain system.
- It is relatively quiet at 80dB
- Made of durable, cast iron materials
- It requires regular maintenance such as refilling and changing oil.
- It is relatively heavy and expensive when compared to similar models.
NorthStar Belt Drive Single-Stage is definitely a highly crafted and superior model with durable parts that are easy to assemble and use. This coupled with high-quality performance is what made it earn the top slot.
Pick this incredible 20 gallon air compressor and it will not disappoint.
2. Industrial Air IT20ASME
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This multi-functional compressor is normally pre-assembled, ready to use and can be used horizontally or vertically. You can never go wrong with this compressor as its high-quality tank is built for heavy-duty, to hold air for long hours and it is meant to last long. Additionally, it features top-notch couplers and gauges that works perfectly to make sure that the pump does not leak making it one of the best 20 gallon compressor in the market.
Highlights and Benefits of Industrial Air IT20ASME
- Twin Cylinder Pump: This compressor features a twin cylinder pump which makes it deliver reliable performance and power. The pump is made from cast iron with an additional aluminum head and a valve plate which helps in the dissipation of heat.
- The Two air Access Assemblies: The compressor has 2 air access assemblies which depends on the compressor is assembled. When the compressor is connected to the air line shut off valve, you end up with an auxiliary air tank to the compressor. When the compressor is connected to the coupler, the air tank can now be used as a portable carry tank.
- Ease of Operation: Industrial Air IT20ASME comes while fully assembled meaning that it is ready to use right from the shipping box.Additionally, it features a quarter-turn drain valve which allows for easy and quick draining making it easy to maintain.
- Carry Handles: This compressor has two carry handles, welded together to help in the transportation of the equipment to different work sites. It also has an auxiliary storage tank that you can take it along with you whenever you are on the go.
- Completely Versatile: The compressor tank is completely versatile and you can use it either vertically or horizontally. The ring base allows for easy storage and it has vibration isolators to help protect the pump against mechanical vibrations.
- Has pre-attached pneumatic tires for easy installation and transportation.
- Its motor has dual voltage induction enabling it to deliver a stress-free performance.
- It features onboard controls for easy manipulation.
- This compressor has front handles for easy transportation to various working sites.
- Its dual voltage of 120-volts can be converted into 240-volts which mean double performance.
- It can be quite heavy should the wheels become faulty.
- The main belt pulley may become misaligned affecting its performance.
This 20 gallon compressor from Industrial Air is built to work under extreme conditions as it comes with extra heavy duty features making it a must-have tool for every DIYer.
Check out this compressor on Amazon for the latest prices.
3. Porter Cable PXCMF220VW
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This vertical unit has all that you have been looking for in a portable air compressor with enough capacity to extensively air various tools for different jobs. This inexpensive unit boasts of minimal maintenance thanks to its oil-free pump. The maintenance is limited to draining the tank of air and condensed water which is facilitated by the pressure relieve valve.
Porter Cable PXCMF220VW Key Highlights and Benefits
- Quality Performance: Delivering 4 CFM @ 90 psi this compressor only needs 15 amp of power to get the job done. Its oil-free design means minimal interruption during operation as you don’t need to make stops to change or refill the oil.
- Compact Design: Weighing only 97 pounds, this compressor is lightweights compared to other similar models and has a small footprint. The 7 pre-attached wheels at the base of the unit allow you to move it from one place to the other with ease. These wheels are made of rubber which helps to keep the unit in an upright position making it more stable.
- Sufficient Horsepower: The motor delivers 1.5 HP which means that it is temperate enough to enable this compressor to run with consistency eliminating any likelihood of fluctuations that’s the air is being drawn in and out of the compressor.
- The controls: The compressor features various control functions which includes; The regulator pressure gauge which displays pressure level, pressure regulator knob which regulates the amount of air being discharged from the compressor to the tool and the thermal overload switch which shuts the compressor when the temperature limit is exceeded.
- Low Voltage Start-up: The compressor uses an electric power of 120 volts to start up, which is low enough to prevent any tripped breakers that might result when the start-up pressure is above the limit.
- This compressor features gauges, regulators and a faster connect coupler.
- It is oil-free design meaning minimal maintenance and a longer.
- It has wheels allowing easy transportation to different working sites.
- The model is CSA and ASME certified.
- Very versatile as it can work with a number of tools for various jobs.
- It is somehow loud so may require some ear protection.
- It is large and looks bulk.
- It is a bit expensive.
Porter Cable PXCMF220VW is appropriate for both home and industrial uses thanks to its cutting-edge features and benefits which is why you should not look anywhere else.
Don’t let this rare chance slip away. Buy this compressor today and say goodbye to tedious operations.
4. Campbell Hausfeld DC200000
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Hausfeld DC200000 from Campbell comes with a high-quality induction motor and it is one of the compressor that you can assemble and use on your own with ease. One of the best features of this model is its oil-free design which means that it does not require regular maintenance. It is built keeping both the average user and large-scale consumer in mind enabling your get the job done professionally.
Key Features and Benefits of Campbell Hausfeld DC200000
- Reliable Performance: This compressor comes with a 1.3 HP motor which delivers 4CFM @ 90 psi at a maximum pressure of 150 PSI which is sufficient enough to help you perform a wide range of DIY tasks. This 20 Gallon portable air compressor comes in a horizontal design which allows for easy transportation.
- Oil-free Design: The unit’s oil-free design provides a stress-free operation with very minimal maintenance which helps to ensure quality motor performance and extended lifespan.
- Control Panel: The control panel is optimally placed and it is very easy to read and interpret various control functions which helps you manipulate and be in full control of the entire compression process.
- Large Wheels and Steel Handles: The compressor is designed to allow for maximum portability provided by the steel handles and large wheels for easy transportation to different sites allowing you to complete all your tasks on time.
- It saves a lot of time as the tanks fills up faster as compared with other models in this category.
- It is relatively quiet providing a conducive working environment.
- Easy to maintain as it comes with an oil-free pump and motor.
- This 20 gallon compressor is easy to use and quite reliable in terms of performance and safety.
- Relatively cheap and delivers value for money for its capacity.
- Relatively low horsepower
- It is quite loud
- The packaging is not quite appealing as the protective covers are not durable.
This portable Campbell Hausfeld DC200000 is highly dependable and it has proved to be effective in handling most light-duty tasks making it a good choice for people who enjoy DIY projects.
Order Campbell Hausfeld DC200000 today and we assure you that its price is justified.
5. DeWalt DXCMPA1982054
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The DXCMPA1982054 from Dewalt is designed to perform tough duties, thanks to its high flow regulator which boosts its capacity and volume delivering quality and professional performance. It is made to hold pressure for long hours making it a good choice for extended use. In addition, its horizontal tank is designed to fit even in limited spaces so you don’t have to worry especially when you are required to work in tight spaces.
DeWalt DXCMPA1982054 Key Highlights and Benefits
- Durable Construction: Just like a majority of our 20 gallon compressors, this compressor also features a cast iron pump with a valve plate and aluminum head to aid in heat dissipation. It also has a flow regulator with 20% more air supply for tasks such as removing tight nuts and other tough tasks that require more air. The regulator has a gauge that allows you set the appropriate pressure level in order to prevent any tool damage.
- Dual Voltage Induction Motor: This dual voltage motor which is connected to a 120 volts outlet which can be converted to fit applications with 240 volts delivering twice the performance ensuring a smooth and hassle-free operation.
- Ease of Operation: DXCMPA1982054 features onboard control functions that helps to control the air flow, tank pressure, tool pressure, as well as the on/off switch button which makes it easy to operate this unit.
- Excellent Mobility: This unit comes with 10 attached pneumatic tools and the fact it has a small footprint make it highly mobile. It also has a handle to make it easy for you to move around with it.
- The model comes in a sturdy, durable and leak-proof design.
- At 76 decibels it is quiet enough for even home environment.
- The featured flow regulator supplies more torque for tasks like removing tight bolts.
- It has Pneumatic wheels which have a small footprint for easy mobility.
- It has front handle enabling you to move it to various work sites with ease.
- It does not come with water filter accessory.
- It requires a lot of power for it to function properly about 15 A circuit.
- Sometimes some leaks occur at the safety valves but it can be fixed easily.
DeWalt DXCMPA1982054 is a highly rated 20 gallon air compressor on Amazon due to the fact that it builds pressure really fast and it also works quietly in its sleek and attractive design.
Check DeWalt DXCMPA1982054 on Amazon and see what other users have to say about it.
6. Industrial Air IL1682066.MN
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Industrial Air IL1682066.MN is a heavyweight which is designed to handle massive tasks for both professional and personal needs. It is meant to withstand extreme conditions and the featured quick-set regulator is easy to manipulate. However, its high on the price spectrum but its performance is worth every buck.
Features and Benefits of Industrial Air IL1682066.MN
- Maximum Portability: This 20-Gallon ASME vertical compressor is designed for maximum portability with pneumatic tires, front handles and a small footprint making it easy for you to use this compressor anywhere you want.
- Cast Iron and V-shaped Twin Cylinder: The Lubricated pump features cast iron and V-shaped twin cylinder for durability and faster heat dissipation. This also helps to increase the CFM. The included aluminum head and reed valves further aids in the dissipation of heat making it thermally stable.
- Heavy-duty and Reliable Induction Motor: The heavy duty motor is what gives this compressor a cutting edge amongst its competitors. Additionally, the control functions which include pressure gauges, air outlet,convenient on/off button and, set regulator make this compressor deliver maximum performance.
- The 120 volts can be converted into 240 volts delivering twice the performance. This means that IL1682066.MN is stable enough to power your nail guns, spray painter among other DIY projects.
- The dual voltage makes it appropriate for a number of applications.
- It is suitable for both private and industrial demands.
- It is easy to assemble and use.
- Quite convenient with 135 psi maximum air flow.
- It comes with a certified ASME cast iron tank.
- It is pricey; not for budget users.
- The main belt is aligned unevenly.
- Relatively heavyweight.
IL1682066.MN from Industrial Air is a heavyweight both in terms of physical weight and great performance. Users of this product have reported positive feedback which is why we can confidently recommend this product to you.
Why not try this top rated unit and get value for your money.
How to Choose the Best 20 Gallon Air Compressor; Factors to Consider
The CFM Value
The CFM (cubic feet per minute) is the measure of how fast an air compressor supplies air to pneumatic tools. A good compressor should be able to supply air at the same rate that the tool is consuming the air so that you don’t have to stop working and refill the compressor. It is recommended that you choose compressor that delivers 50% more performance than one stated by the tool manufacturer. For example, if it is indicated that a tool requires 4CFM at 90 psi, choose a compressor that can deliver about 6CFM at the same pressure.
Electric or Gas-Powered Compressor
The compressor should match with your work environment. This involves whether the compressor is electric or operates on a gasoline engine. The electric powered ones are generally inexpensive and require minimal maintenance. If you are however looking for a portable machine, then the gasoline engine is the way to go.
Oil Free or Oil Air Compressor
It is quite a task when it comes to deciding whether to go with oiled compressor or the oil-free one. Most compressors draw and compress air using a piston which requires regular lubrication to increase efficiency and its lifespan as well. This means that they require regular maintenance, tends to be costly but ofcourse, they are quite durable. Oil-free compressors, on the other hand, compressors are pre-lubricated, usually with Teflon and no additional lubrication is required. This Teflon protects the tank and other moving parts against friction. As such they require very minimal maintenance but the Teflon wears out after a period of time exposing the area underneath.
The bottom line is that you need to weigh the strong and weak points of each type before settling on one.
Consider the Control Systems
A system that incorporate the start and stop systems will give you an upper hand especially when you are not working for long hours. Other control mechanism includes the constant speed control for compressors with frequent starts within an hour of operation
Is it a Vertical or Horizontal Compressor
A 20-gallon air compressors come in either horizontal or vertical style. The vertical compressor has a very small footprint which will come in handy especially if you will be working in a tight space. Horizontal compressors, on the other hand, are easy to carry from one place to the other meaning that they are very portable. However, both style are very stable and performs optimally.
Air Compressor Horsepower
Look out for the horsepower needed: This will ensure that you end up with a compressor that delivers enough air. A good compressor should be able to should be able to fill it tank within the shortest period possible and deliver the same without getting excessively heated.
Consider the Safety of the Equipment
You should consider ways of protecting the equipment from harsh weather conditions especially it will be used in an open place. Consider a cast-iron construction for more durability. Our list of 20-gallon compressors has compressors that are constructed with cast-iron.
We believe that you have been well informed about selecting the right 20-gallon air compressor and everything that you need to put into consideration before you head to the shop.
Remember that these portable, 20-gallon air compressors are very important tools in any workshop or for basic home projects. They are generally cost-effective, highly versatile with a number of applications ranging from inflating tires, spray painting to nailing. Choose any of our 20-gallon compressors highlighted in this article and be sure to accomplish the tasks that you need to perform.
William Phillips was born and raised in Keller, Texas. He is a licensed general contractor, and he has been a home improvement specialist for two decades. His passion for the trade led him to freelance writing to share his life experiences with his readers. Phillips enjoys thoroughly researching DIY tools and writing guides at ToolsHaunt as a way of giving back to the community.