Review and Buying guide of the Best 30-Gallon Air Compressors 2019

The 30-gallon air compressor is a pretty standard type of compressor that is perfect for most small shops. This size is less portable than the 20-gallon air compressors but easy to install than the bigger 60-gallon air compressors. Also, because of their intensity and strength, they are perfect for any construction work at hand.

A 30-gallon air compressor is a technical machine that is often used at home, but also it is used for industrial applications. It provides adequate airflow to power most air tools with the capability of running more than one mechanic at a time. Also, they hold more air, allowing you to run more tools before the pressure drops, prompting the motor to refill the tank.

Also, 30-gallon air compressors are designed to have a high CFM rating, durable construction, and a powerful motor. These features are essential for powering heavy-duty pneumatic tools such as impact wrenches, grinders, or air drills. In addition, they vary based on price, type, design, and available components. However, it is crucial to choose an air compressor that is reliable, durable, and one that can supply sufficient air pressure to your tools.

Bearing that in mind, we have recommended five of the best 30-gallon air compressors in the market and a buying guide to help you pick the right air compressor for your job.

Comparison Table for the Best 30-Gallon Air Compressors

Air compressors have become a must-have in every workshop or garage thanks to their workhorse capabilities. Most compressors come with a multitude of uses, which is why it is important to choose one that is perfect for you. When buying a 30-gallon compressor, you will need to consider the quality of the motor, technical specifications, and the design of the pump. You will also need to think about the grade of materials used to ensure that you will get the best out of your compressor.

To ensure that our selection will address all questions regarding your needs, we made sure that our products differ on build, power, and capabilities. Alongside these, we factored in some personal choices such as color and style, ease of use, oil or oil-free models, among others. So without further delay, these are our recommendations for the best 30-gallon air compressors for your needs and budget.

1. Industrial Air ILA188354 ILA1883054"

Featuring heavy-duty components, Industrial Air ILA188354 is built to look as strong as it is and to last under the most demanding conditions. Also, it is easy to store due to its compact and vertical orientation, meaning that it will fit in any workspace. All the important components are located at the top enabling it to offer a great deal for its capacity.

Features and Benefits of Industrial Air ILA188354 ILA1883054"

  • Dual voltage motor: The unit's motor drives high pump performance which is wired for a standard 120-Volt but can be converted to a 240 Volt circuit for applications that require high volumes of air. The 1.9 motor delivers 5.7 CFM at 90 PSI and 7.0 CFM at 40 PSI, which ensures maximum performance and efficiency every time you use this compressor. 
  • Maximum portability: Industrial Air ILA188354 is equipped with pre-attached air-powered wheels with a small footprint for excellent mobility. Also, the front handle allows for easy transportation around the work area. The tank stands vertically, which means that you can set it out in the corner of your shop without getting in your way or taking a lot of space. 
  • Reliable power and performance: The unit's twin-cylinder cast iron pump features an aluminum head and valve plate which help in faster heat dissipation. Also, the 155 PSI max pressure helps to ensure a trouble-free operation, thus ensuring optimum tool performance. Besides, the tank can hold pressure for 24 hours, and it is rated at a 100% duty cycle, which means it can run nonstop without a problem. 
  • Easy operation: Industrial Air ILA188354 30-Gallon belt-driven air compressor is equipped with a quick-set regulator, on/off switch, and tank and working pressure gauges for user convenience and control. Also, this compressor is solidly constructed with an oil-lubricated belt-driven pump which ensures low noise levels and less setup time. Also, it comes with synthetic oil to allow for maximum performance and efficiency.

We Like and Dislike

Pros

  • Compact vertical design.
  • Works with both 120V and 240 V.
  • The twin-cylinder, oil-free design makes this compressor very efficient.
  • Comes with pre-attached air-powered tires to improve portability.
  • Onboard controls for safe, convenient operation.

Cons

  • It is a bit noisy, but it is tolerable.
  • It struggles in cold weather.

Verdict:

The Industrial Air ILA188354 is exceptionally easy to use, and it offers incredible value and versatility. It is an excellent, basic type of compressor that delivers maximum performance and efficiency for its cost and functionality.

2. DeWalt DXCMLA1983054

The DEWALT 30 Gallon air compressor offers a classic cast-iron design that is very portable and lightweight. This compact design helps with light construction needs at the job site while also allowing for longer air tool run time. It delivers up to 155 PSI maximum operating pressure, which is perfect for high consumption air tools from nail guns to paint sprayers.

Features and Benefits of DeWalt DXCMLA1983054

  • The high flow regulator: DeWalt DXCMLA1983054 features a high flow regulator which supplies up to 20% more torque to accommodate stubborn projects like removing bolts and nuts. Also, this 30-gallon air compressor delivers up to 155 PSI to accommodate the highest demand and more extended tool run times. Also, the pump features a 12-inch flywheel and belt guard which allows for proper balance and quiet operation.
  • Efficient and reliable: This single-stage, vertical compressor offers automotive style ball bearings, oil level sight glass, and easily accessible oil refill for maximum performance, easy maintenance, and convenience. Also, the cast iron, V-twin cylinder pump features an aluminum head and valve construction that helps in heat dissipation and ensuring rigidity during extended use.
  • Adequate air capacity:The 30-gallon tank holds enough air to handle an average workshop's tasks for several days in an ultra-durable construction. Also, the machine powerful 120V motor can supply 5.7 CFM at 90PSI or even 7 CFM at 40PSI. These numbers are powerful enough to handle spray painting, grinding applications among other applications.
  • Portability: Equipped with the pre-attached pneumatic wheels, you don't have to worry about transporting your compressor from one location to the other. It also features a convenient handle to help with the same. Another important aspect is that it comes with synthetic oil and as such, you will be able to use your compressor right from the box. The oil also helps to improve the overall performance while extending the compressor lifespan. 

We Like and Dislike

Pros

  • It is designed with a high flow regulator allowing it to provide more air to your tools.
  • Fairly quiet operation.
  • Synthetic oil improves general performance
  • The tank is ASME certified.
  • It requires low maintenance thanks to the oil-free feature.

Cons

  • The oil drain is not easily accessible.
  • Wheel placement design is not the best.

Verdict:

This DeWalt 30 gallon air compressor fits well into any workspace, and it is a crucial equipment to any serious DIYer or professional. It holds enough air to handle average workshop air needs in an ultra-durable construction.

3. Campbell Hausfeld VT6271

Campbell Hausfeld VT6271 offers a sturdy single-stage air compressor that takes advantage of a strong engine to provide highly pressurized air for your pneumatic tools. With its powerful 3.7 HP motor, it can fill up its 30-gallon tank within minutes, allowing you to finish work quickly and with no wasted time. Also, it boasts of a quiet operation for comfort and convenience.

Features and Benefits of Campbell Hausfeld VT6271

  • Reliable power: The VT6271 boasts of 10.2 CFM at 90 PSI and a maximum of 135 PSI maximum operating pressure to power high demand air tools. The 30-gallon tank capacity is designed to provide a pump life of up to 5,000 hours. Also, the tank is made of cast iron, enabling it to withstand harsh conditions while also providing incredible accessibility to the tank for refilling.
  • User-friendly design and features: The horizontal design makes it possible to carry a large engine on top of the power it provides. Although this makes it a bit heavy, it makes up for this through the power it delivers. Also, the frame is made with cast iron for durability and portability. Besides, it features inflatable wheels and handles, making it ideal for storage in a garage environment.
  • The Dual-stage motor: The dual-stage motor lets Campbell Hausfeld VT6271 run on both 120 V and 240 V to suit different applications. Also, the superior crankshaft and V-belt drive perform perfectly to keep your air tools in peak performance at all times. The belt pump is also designed for heavy-duty use which allows you to run most orbital sanders and impact wrenches.
  • Strong ASME-approved tank: The VT6271 uses a durable ASME-certified tank to store air. The tank is oil-lubricated, which may require more maintenance, but this translates in full capacity performance. With 80% duty cycle, the tank delivers powerful air to help in both household tasks and construction. Besides, this compressor can be used in less spacious workspaces.

We Like and Dislike

Pros

  • The strong engine delivers powerful air to both household and industrial work.
  • Belt-driven superior pump performs excellently.
  • Includes easy-to-read gauges.
  • Dual-voltage induction motor which runs on both 120V and 240V.
  • It delivers 10.2 CFM at 90PSI to keep your pneumatic tools at peak performance.
     

Cons

  • The plastic casing is not suited for the compressor’s tough use.
  • It can be a bit bulky due to its horizontal design.
  • The tank is oil-lubricated, which means more maintenance. 

Verdict:

Finish your projects faster and easier with the Campbell Hausfeld VT6271. Built for functionality, it does a great job of providing more than enough air with its safe ASME certified tank.

4. Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM

Combining power and ideal portability, Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM provides ease of use while maintaining its great functionality. It is an excellent choice for people who like DIY construction, and the good thing is it operates quietly. Although it is bulky, it makes it up with the power and duty cycle it delivers. Also, the cast iron frame is highly durable, making it withstands the majority of work environments.

Features and Benefits of Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM

  • Maximum power and reliable operation: The SS3F2 offers 100% continuous duty along with a 2H engine that delivers up to 135 psi maximum operating pressure for tough applications. At only 80 dB, this unit is designed for quiet, belt-driven operation with an automatic start/stop switch and on/off lever for easy and reliable operation. It also includes a manual thermal overload motor protection to protect the unit against power surges.
  • Safe and easy operation: This electric compressor is designed with cast-iron cylinders and frame for durability and long-lasting use. Also, its 30-gallon ASME-coded receiver tank comes with a pressure gauge, a relief valve, a discharge-mounted check valve, and an easily accessible side drain valve. These provisions allow for smooth operation as well as added safety while the unit is in use.
  • Long-life: Durable cast iron cylinder and frame provides excellent longevity with a high capacity. This horizontal air compressor carries with it a powerful tank and engine, usually placed at the top of the unit. The included all season select synthetic lubricant improves the efficiency with up to 2000 hours between change-outs. Also, it performs four times longer than ordinary lubricants providing a superior user experience.
  • Convenient features: Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM is equipped with premium components that will ensure improved performance, and durability. These include the oil-lubricated pump that allows for cooler running temperatures, less wear and increased pump life. There is also a conveniently built-in storage compartment which is used to store air fittings and accessories while making sure that the unit will deliver for years to come.

We Like and Dislike

Pros

  •  Semi-pneumatic tires and ergonomic handle ensures maximum portability at the job site.
  • 100% duty-cycle ensures uninterrupted performance.
  • It is electric so that you can take it anywhere.
  • Durable cast iron construction.
  • Easily accessible side drain valve.

Cons

  • The horizontal design takes a lot of space.
  • You will be required to purchase the oil separately.
  • It comes with a weak oil drain plug.

Verdict:

Boasting of an ergonomic and quiet compressor, Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM delivers maximum air to do the job right, in less time. Perfect for home or on-site use, it can power grinders, impact guns, paint sprayers, and more.

5. NorthStar GX390

Breaking down in the middle of a task is the last thing you want to worry when using your compressor. NorthStar GX390 has been engineered with a dynamically balanced pump that keeps you working without interruptions. Besides, the Honda GX OHV engine delivers better fuel efficiency for greater power output, which also contributes to increased engine service life.

Features and Benefits of NorthStar GX390

  • Extended pump life: Overheating can be a treat to the longevity of your air compressor pump. NorthStar GX390 is designed with a V-style cylinder orientation which provides consistent cooling by eliminating hotspots leading in longer pump life. Also, the pump utilizes superior Swedish steel valves, which ensures trouble free-operation and extra-long service life.
  • Low Vibration Technology (LVT): The NorthStar GX390 is equipped with the innovative Low Vibration Technology (LVT) to keep you working with very minimal interruptions if any. This technology gives you a dynamically balanced pump, thus ensuring a smooth operation and extended life span. Also, it has incorporated a liquid filled pressure gauge for protection against pressure spikes and improving accuracy as well.
  • Greater power output: The GX390 is powered by a massive Honda GX (OHV) gasoline engine with 3 Amp charging system. This engine layout allows for quicker and smoother fuel intake while also facilitating complete exhaust. Also, this engine has better fuel efficiency, which translates in excellent power output and improved service life. This engine is the perfect definition of superior performance when it comes to smoother operation and quiet performance.
  • Highly portable and versatile: The NorthStar 30-Gallon horizontal air compressor is engineered to fit in your truck or any other vehicle for use in remote areas with no electricity. You can take with you on the job whether it is performing roofing work or working on construction equipment. You will also like the bearings that are placed on crankshaft both end for superior support and less wearing.

We Like and Dislike

Pros

  • Low vibrations and longer pump life.
  • Liquid filled pressure gauges for protection against pressure spikes.
  • User-friendly design.
  • Cast-iron construction improves durability.
  • The Honda GX390 OHV engine delivers better fuel efficiency.
     

Cons

  • The battery is not included.
  • Quite bulky to lift off the ground.
  • It is quite expensive. 

Verdict:

NorthStar GX390 is a combination of brute power and portability, and it is worth considering if you are a professional user. It will rise to any challenge, and the result is a reliable and dependable operation year after year.

What to look for when buying 30-gallon air compressor

i. Airflow

One of the most important considerations when purchasing a 30-gallon compressor is the amount of airflow required for most common pneumatic tools. This is expressed in terms of CFM (cubic feet per minute), and as of thumb, the CFM of your air compressor should be higher than that of the power tool that needs to be powered. This will ensure that your equipment will be able to provide optimal airflow without straining. 

If your tools use pressurized air faster than your unit can supply, you will be required to stop now and then to refill. The CFM is often rated at 90 psi, which is the average setting of a nail gun.

ii. Horsepower

Although most air compressor will require about 5/7 horsepower to function correctly, a 30-gallon compressor will only require about 2 to 4 horsepower. Though this may seem at the low end of the scale, it is perfectly adequate to fill up the tank with compressed air. However, horsepower is not directly connected to the delivery of compressed air to air tools. As such, you may want to consider the CFM that you require before you pay attention to the horsepower rating.

iii. Voltage requirements

Most 30-gallon compressors are capable of operating at 120 V which can then be to a 240 V circuit to get the best performance out of the unit. The increased voltage leads to less stress-strain on the unit at startup and also increased air pressure. Units that can run on 120 V or 240 V are a good option, especially when you need a machine that can last longer and one that requires far less startup time.

iv. Portable vs. truck mount air compressor

Choosing a truck-mounted air compressor will make a world difference when offering roadside services and other outdoor activities. This will give you the ability to carry a variety of air tools that you require to work on-site. A 30-gallon air compressor is designed to be installed directly on a service truck, and they are mostly gas-powered. Also, they are mainly used for outdoor applications, and they provide compressed air at a very high CFM.

Portable air compressors, on the other hand, have a lower CFM than truck-mounted versions and they are mostly electric-powered, which means that they require less maintenance. Also, they can be used for both indoor and outdoor applications, and they run quieter than their truck-mounted counterparts.

v. Vertical or horizontal tank compressor

Ideally, the shape of the tank does not in any way affect how a compressor performs. However, vertical compressors will come in handy if you have limited working space, or if the workshop that can offer a dedicated wall space for the machine. Horizontal compressors, on the other hand, tend to occupy more space, but you can fit them underneath a workbench to allow you to maximize your workspace.

Why Industrial Air ILA188354 ILA1883054"is our top pick

Now that you are well educated on the best available options when it comes to 30-gallon air compressors, you should be able to make an informed decision on your purchase. Although it was a close contest, the Industrial Air ILA188354 30 Gallon air compressor was our top pick for, among other reasons, the level of convenience and ease of use that other products don't have.

Also, it boasts of having the best pump on the market and industrial grade materials. Other features that set it apart from the rest include its great quick-set regulator, its quiet operation, and compatibility with both 120V and 240 V wiring.

In conclusion, when thinking about the best 30-gallon air compressor, it is important to start by determining what your needs are. Consider your future projects and what you need to do them efficiently. Finally, figure out which features on a compressor will meet those needs and those that will provide a satisfying experience.

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