An air compressor is an essential tool for DIYers and professionals alike. Air compressors provide you with the power you need to work with different kinds of air tools, and they provide enough amount of power to last you all day long. However, these power tools can be extremely noisy, primarily when used in a small workshop or enclosed workspaces. The good thing is that there are quiet models out there that are designed to run silently.
The working principle of a quiet or silent air compressor is similar to that of any other compressor, but it has noise insulation features that help to provide a noiseless operation. And with technology becoming more and more advanced, most manufacturers are now not only making compressors that are efficient but also operating silently at the same time. The best quiet air compressor should have a sound output of less than 75 decibels, and it should combine high-quality build and extra noise insulation to enable the compressor to produce less noise.
The Best Quiet air compressor comparison table
When you are working on a job site where the noise level is a concern or when trying to be considerate of people around you, a quiet compressor can be a lifesaver. The idea of having a quiet compressor is still a fantasy for a lot of people, but there are silent models out there that can deliver the full performance you require to get the job done all without the noise. So when investing in an air compressor, it is important to think about why you need one and where you intend to use it.
1. California Air Tools CAT-1P1060SP
The portable CAT-1P1060SP is engineered for high performance and durability, and it is one of the quietest air compressors in the market. And despite it producing less noise, the unit has a powerful 1.2 HP motor, which is perfect for garage and inflating or cleaning tires and powering just about any tool. Besides, it runs at only 1680 RPM, which means less noise and less wear.
- Ultra-quiet air compressor: Running at only 56 decibels of sound, California Air Tools CAT-1P1060SP is designed to run silently, making it ideal for anyone working in an area where noise is a major concern. In addition, it delivers 1.2 CFM at 90 PSI, which is sufficient to run nail guns and airbrushes. The control panel is easily accessible, making this machine even more user-friendly.
- Oil-free design for less maintenance & operation costs: The 1P1060SP comes with an oil-free single-piston pump, which is designed for durability and high performance. The pump has a life cycle of about 3000 plus hours before wear as compared to other units, which may have a life cycle of 300 hours or even less. The oil-free design also allows for use in a variety of terrains and also in cold temperatures.
- The 1.0-gallon steel tank: The 1.0-gallon steel air tank is designed to be durable, and it has a quick recovery time of about 15 seconds. Also, it comes with an air filter, which only proves that this unit is designed for superior performance and toughness. Other important features include a thermal overload protector, a regulator, pressure gauges, steel frame, and a handle to make transportation easy.
- Lightweight for portability: Weighing in at only 29 pounds, this compressor is easy to move around, and you can take it with you about any job site. Besides, it is compact, and it can fit even on the most crowded workspaces, and it is an excellent choice for those looking for performance in a compact device that is quieter than a normal conversation.
- Ultra-compact quiet compressor.
- Oil-free pump for long pump life.
- Produces less heat that dissipates easily.
- It comes complete with an air filter.
- Quick recovery time.
- Not ideal for running large air tools.
- It does not include a hose.
California Air Tools CAT-1P1060SP is an air compressor for just everyone, and it is also a highly portable option. It has quick recovery time, and it is perfect for indoor job sites or offices where you need a unit that runs quieter than a normal conversation.
2. Makita MAC2400
Makita MAC2400 is designed to tackle most demanding stapling and nailing applications, including decking and sheathing. This means it is versatile enough to accommodate the needs of any remodeler or a large trim carpenter and more. The big bore pump cylinder delivers industrial power with less noise for improved durability and job site performance.
- Cast iron pump with big bore cylinder: The Makita cast iron pump with a big bore cylinder is engineered for increased compression, less noise, and faster recovery. This construction also ensures improved durability, especially under rough job site conditions. In addition, this pump runs at half the RMP of close competitors enabling the unit to run cooler, thus resulting in greater motor life.
- The Makita MAC2400 is jobsite ready: The 4.2-gallon tank delivers 90 PSI (4.2 CFM) and 40 PSI (4.8 CFM), and it has an operating pressure of 130 PSI, which is enough to run two nailers. Also, it features low AMP draw, which helps to reduce instances of voltage drop or tripped breakers that can lead to motor failure. Additional features include the roll bar handle for improved portability as well as providing extra protection in harsh job site environments.
- Oil-lubricated but easy to maintain: The Makita MAC2400 air compressor has an oil-lubricated pump for a cooler-running environment and reduced wear. While oil-lubricated models require more maintenance than oil-free ones, the former offers some great advantages, which makes the unit more cost-effective in the long run. Further, the inbuilt thermal overload protection provides additional motor protection.
- Flexible design for a range of applications: The MAC2400 is designed to deliver industrial power and results with greater efficiency in its versatile design. This compressor is equipped with an industrial air filter to help increase air intake and increased pump life. The design also includes a convenient oil sight glass and oil drain for easier maintenance and a finned discharge that allows for efficient heat dissipation.
- Versatile for a wide range of applications.
- The cylinder is removable for easy maintenance.
- Cast iron cylinder helps to ensure that you get the most out of this quiet air compressor.
- It is light for easy handling.
- There are no leaks and the compressor retains air pressure when not in use.
- Low tank capacity.
- Oil-lubricated design, so some maintenance is required.
The Makita MAC2400 is a true power horse and one of the best quiet air compressors for contractors who require an air compressor for tough job site performance. Besides, it provides maximum portability and additional protection to enable it to withstand harsh working conditions.
3. DEWALT DWFP55130
The DEWALT DWFP55130 is a corded electric air compressor with a compact design that is easy to carry and store. The 2.5-gallon tank can be operated or stored in either horizontal or vertical position allowing you to save space around your garage or job site. The oil-free design means little maintenance, and the compressor is ideal for supporting a variety of pneumatic tools.
- Heavy-duty 200 PSI quiet trim compressor: The 2.5-gallon tank delivers maximum pressure of 200 PSI, which makes it considerably powerful, and it is ideal for a variety of applications and pneumatic air tools. In addition, it has a pump speed of 2300 rpm, which enables it to deliver 3.0SCFM @ 90PSI for an extended tool runtime and fast recovery. Also, the steel tank and the steel roll cage make this compressor robust and very sturdy.
- Low 12 amps draw motor: Other than the heavy-duty capability, this corded air compressor draws only 12 amps when operating at full power. This means that you will be able to use a standard 110V outlet, and it provides for easy start-up while reducing breaker tripping. However, you should avoid plugging other high drain devices off the same circuit with the compressor.
- Durable oil-free pump: The oil-less pump helps to improve performance by providing an extended maintenance-free operation. Also, the 71.5 dB allows for quieter operation for improved performance and to make the compressor work smoothly. Besides, weighing in at around 36 pounds, the DWFP55130 is very portable and super lightweight so that you can carry it anywhere.
- High flow regulator: The DeWalt DWFP55130 has a high flow regulator for improved performance. There is also an attachment of two universal air couplers, and with that, you should be able to run two tools simultaneously. And just like other compressors in its class, it has a duty cycle of 50%, which more than sufficient for small trim jobs.
- A versatile compressor that can be used in both vertical and horizontal orientations.
- Apart from the quiet operation, the unit is also highly portable.
- User-friendly design which comes with ergonomic features for added comfort.
- It features easy to read controls.
- It is ideal for those who want to run more than one tool at a time.
- Most users find the short cable inconvenient.
- It is not the cheapest option.
DEWALT is one of the most trusted brands, and the DWFP55130 continues its tradition of quality and high performance. It is amazingly lightweight and has a very user-friendly design, but all this will come at a price.
4. California Air Tools 2010A
With only 60 decibels of sound, the California Air Tools 2010A is one of the quietest compressors in the industry, and it boasts of good and strong build quality. Also, the aluminum body is rust-free, allowing you to work in humid environments without worrying about corrosion. Its compact design enables you to operate in tight indoor spaces, and it is effortless to transport.
- The rust-free 2.0-gallon aluminum tank: The tank is an essential component, and the California Air Tools 2010A comes with a lightweight yet strong aluminum air tank. The no-rust 2.0-gallon tank is designed to last longer, and it can be used in wet and damp areas. Time taken to fill the tank from empty to full is 50 seconds, while the recovery time from 90- 120 PSI is about 14 seconds.
- An oil-free dual-piston pump system: The dual-piston design ensures faster air delivery, and it is engineered for durability and high performance. Also, the system is oil-free, which means no lubrication, less clean-up, and less frequent maintenance, but it will still last for many years. The oil-free design is also much less expensive and less troublesome.
- Motor output: The powerful 2.0(peak) 1.0(rated) motor is designed to increase the duty cycle, thus ensuring continuous run times. The motor packs a powerful punch to enable you to handle a couple of projects, and it only operates at only 1680 rpm to ensure quiet operation. Also, this compressor delivers a maximum pressure of 120 PSI, making it a great choice if you are looking for a high-performance portable air compressor.
- Thermal overload protector for safety: Another great feature in this compressor is the high-end safety thermal overload protector that protects this unit against overheating. Besides, this compressor produces less amount of heat that is dissipated efficiently and quickly. This means it is safe for household applications, and it is ETL, and UL certified, so if you prioritize safety over other features, you should definitely go for this model.
- Oil-free design for high performance and durability.
- The high power motor is designed to offer longer runtime.
- The aluminum tank that is rust-free and very durable.
- The unit feature universal connectors which can be used with almost any tool.
- The pump produces less heat, and it requires minimal maintenance.
- Occasional leaky fittings
- The 2-gallon tank is not for heavy-duty assignments.
Overall, California Air Tools 2010A is a great, quiet option, and it has one of the most powerful motors on the market to offer you an exceptional and smooth performance. The only downside is low air volume, but you will still be able to tackle light to medium-duty tasks around your home.
5. Campbell Hausfeld DC080500
If you are looking for an air compressor for light to medium tasks in a small shop or home use, the Campbell Hausfeld DC080500 is the right choice. At just 68 dB, the DC080500 provides a quiet work environment, and it is perfect in home environments. Besides, it has the capacity to deliver enough air to run various air tools, including pinners, finish nailers, staplers, and others.
- Extra versatile and reliable power: This compressor is ideal for various projects, and with a maximum PSI of 125 and 2.4 SCFM air at 90 PSI, you can use it for nailing, stapling, bolting, fastening, and inflation applications. Its 1.0 HP motor is engineered for high performance, and it delivers 25% more air when compared with comparable units. Also, despite its size, the compressor fills pretty fast thanks to the dual-piston design.
- Durable, dual-piston design: With an oil-free pump, the Campbell Hausfeld DC080500 is designed for durability, and it is ready for long life. The dual-piston pump and other vital components are maintenance-free, and they can last up to four times longer than a conventional oil-free air compressor. In addition, the sound output is up to 50% less than comparable designs, but it still delivers the power required to complete the job.
- Highly portable: The Campbell Hausfeld DC080500 comes with large wheels for improved durability and a durable, comfortable rubber-grip that makes it easy for you to transport the unit from project to project. Besides, the suitcase-like tank is perfectly built to protect the motor and other internal components when you store it in an upright position, and it is designed for a user-friendly experience.
- Ready to go: With the 17 piece accessory kit and the Campbell 25 ft. air hose, you should be able to start your projects right away. Besides, it only needs 120 V, which a typical extension cord should be able to provide. Also, the air filter is of standard size, easily accessible, and also it is easy to replace if needed.
- The DC080500 boasts of a solid yet low profile design.
- This compressor is 50% quieter when compared with other compressors in the same power range.
- It has large wheels for moving the unit from one place to another conveniently.
- Fast recovery time.
- The unit lasts four times longer.
- The 125 max PSI is pretty average.
- Overheating issues.
For any technician that wants to do work in the field or yard, the Campbell Hausfeld DC080500 will serve as an excellent addition for added productivity. It provides you extra power and peace of mind to help you get your job done perfectly.
6. Senco PC1010
The Senco PC1010 is a compact yet powerful compressor, and it is one of those units that can be used for both DIYer and professional tasks. It is very useful in powering just any air tool, and having it at home makes things much easier as it comes in handy when filling air in bicycles, and it works perfectly with airbrushes and nailers or pinners.
- Ideal for a range of home renovation projects: If you do a lot of trim work at home and you don’t want to drag around a heavy or loud compressor, the Senco PC1010 is ideal for you. This compressor packs 1 HP and ½ HP peak and rated power, respectively, enabling you to perform all the tasks without interruptions. Besides, the motor delivers up to 44 or more drives per minute.
- Lightweight and highly portable: If you have a tough job at hand already, you’ll want your compressor to be easy to operate and be as light as possible. The Senco PC1010 is small and lightweight, and it is easy to carry from site to site as well as maneuvering around the home, and as long as you don’t require a heavy-duty machine, this air compressor has plenty of uses.
- Ultra-quiet operation: While working with the Senco PC1010, you don’t have to worry about the earsplitting noise that comes with air compressors. This compressor is designed to be one of the best silent air compressors to ensure that your daily activities do not take a hit. In fact, it is so quiet such that your neighbors wouldn’t even realize there is an air compressor running so close.
- Power requirements: Being a small compressor, the Senco PC1010 has low amperage, and it only draws 4amps@ 115V. What’s more, this compressor is able to achieve maximum pressure of 125 PSI from such a low power draw, which is quite impressive, especially for those running the compressor from inverters. Besides, it features individual gauges for output pressure and the tank.
- It is lightweight and portable; easy to carry around jobsite.
- It is also compact, so it requires less space.
- Oil-free operation makes it safe for home companion.
- Exceptional build quality offers you great value for money.
- It is relatively affordable.
- Low air volume.
- It can only power one air tool at a time.
If you are looking to get your hands on an efficient air compressor without breaking a bank, Senco PC1010 is a perfect solution. This compressor is versatile, and you can carry it with you anywhere that the job requires.
7. Excell SAC22HPE
Designed to last, the SAC22HPE comes with an efficient oil-free pump design that runs at significantly low speeds, resulting in low noise levels and less wear and tear of moving parts. Also, with its 2-gallon air tank, this compressor allows you to run several air tools without having to refill the tank. In addition, the low voltage start-up capability makes it perfect for use in areas where power supply may be deficient.
- Heavy-duty direct drive induction motor: Although the motor of this compressor is not the most powerful, it does not require you to adjust or change belts or pulleys, thus offering you a maintenance-free operation. Also, the oil-less pump means fewer costs and better tool performance. In addition, this compressor runs at a very low sound level of 61 dB, which translates to less noise in your work environment.
- Conveniently placed control panel: The control panel is conveniently located, allowing you to access various gauges, quick connects, and regulators right at your fingertips. Also, this compressor is fitted with huge rubber feet for increased stability and to help dampen vibrations while in operation. However, it is not designed for heavy-duty applications, but it will deliver the performance you need without noise.
- Proprietary cold weather start: Excell SAC22HPE is able to start as low as -10° C, which means you can easily start your compressor in cold temperatures, so you don’t need to worry about the season of the year. Filling the 2-gallon tank requires about 60 seconds, and it delivers 2.0 SCFM at 90 PSI to allow you to perform different tasks from home repairs to hobbies and crafts.
- The compact roll cage design: This compressor comes in a compact yet sturdy roll cage construction with a comfortable and convenient handle for easy transportation and storage. The compact design allows you to carry your compressor to and from job site effortlessly, and it is versatile for both DIYers and professionals and in work areas where quiet operation is needed.
- It uses an oil-free pump to minimize maintenance.
- The SAC22HPE is 80% quieter than a standard oil-free compressor.
- It starts quickly, even in cold temperatures.
- There is very minimal assembly needed to have this machine up and running.
- It features a heavy-duty pump, which is ideal for trim and finish work.
- No fittings or hoses come with this compressor, so you’ll need to purchase them separately.
- It is not the most powerful option out there.
Excell SAC22HPE is specially designed for trim and finish work as well as a variety of hobbies, and the good thing is that it has a small footprint. It also requires minimal assembly, making it ideal for even novice users.
How to choose a quiet compressor
Now you may be asking yourself, how exactly do I choose the best quiet compressor? A lot of people tend to look at the price tag when trying to get good value. Sometimes this may work, but it is important to understand that getting a product you don’t like leads to overall poor value no matter the price. The best idea is to keep in mind the features you’ll need to have a good experience and, in this case, a quiet operation.
Obviously, the noise level is the first consideration when shopping for a quiet compressor. First, it is important to note that there nothing like a completely noiseless air compressor. However, manufacturers are now working hard to create units that produce as little noise as possible.
Sound output is given in decibel, and generally, you should invest in a compressor that produces between 65 to 75 decibels range as anything louder than that is not a quiet machine. The decibel rating is measured 10-20 feet away from the compressor when it is running. The noise level may, however, be affected by the settings of your compressor or the acoustics of the room the compressor is placed.
Build material plays a significant role in noise reduction in a compressor is concerned. Luckily build quality is easy to spot from just looking at the product. If your machine is made from thin and roughly connected material, it will definitely produce more noise. Always look for a model with thick and heavily welded parts to help as much vibrations as possible.
Secondly, rubber is usually used to absorb vibrations from the ground when the compressor is running, so the more the rubber, the better. Also, you can get a soundproof box to help trap the noise, thus making your unit quieter.
Oil-lubricated vs. Oil-free
All engines require some form of lubrication, and so is an air compressor pump. Typically, you’ll have the option of choosing an oil-lubricated option that uses oil to lubricate various parts or an oil-free model that uses a specialized type of lubricant such as Teflon.
If you choose an air compressor that uses oil for its lubrication, you’ll need to ensure that you add some now and then to ensure optimal performance. Oil-lubricated models usually operate much quieter, and they are best suited for heavy-duty applications. However, this will cost you a bit more in terms of maintenance since you’ll need to keep them well lubricated.
Oil-free models, on the other hand, are louder than oiled compressors, but there units that are still pretty quiet. The good thing about oil-free pumps is that you don’t need to change oil, which can save you time and money in terms of replacement oil.
Type of piston
When it comes to piston pump air compressors, you” either have a single-piston pump or a dual-piston pump. Dual-piston pumps produce pressurized air with few revolutions, and fewer revolutions mean less noise. This also means they run cooler, and they are more efficient than single-piston air compressors. Most of the compressors we have reviewed have dual-piston pumps meaning they operate with much less noise.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Question 1: How loud is a compressor?
Answer: Air compressors have a sound range of between 40 and 90 decibels, and the higher the rating, the louder the air compressor. Sound level below 75 dB is generally considered safe, especially if the compressor is for domestic use. Anything above that is likely to cause hearing damage or hearing loss over time.
Question 2: What makes an air compressor so loud?
Answer: There many factors that make an air compressor so loud, but generally, most noise is attributed to friction. Typically, when metals slide or hit against each other, the action can produce some sounds—the more the moving parts, the louder the air compressor.
Question 3: How can I make an air compressor quieter?
Answer: If you don’t want to invest in a quiet compressor, you can still try and apply several techniques to make your compressor quieter. This includes covering your unit with rubber to reduce vibrations, modifying the intake and exhaust system, getting a soundproof box, among others. However, the best solution is getting a quieter one.
Question 4: How does a quiet compressor work?
Answer: Just like any other compressor, a quiet compressor uses an electric motor or engine to convert power into potential energy stored as compressed air. However, a quiet compressor features noise-reducing features to help prevent sound transmission between different parts of the compressor.
Question 5: Do quiet compressors last longer?
Answer: Generally, air compressors are highly durable machines, but if you are looking for something that will last longer, then you can depend on an oiled compressor, specially designed to run quietly. Oil-lubricated models are generally durable, and with regular maintenance, they have a life expectancy of about 15 years.
There are tons of quiet air compressors on the market today, so you shouldn’t find it hard to find the best one for your job. We have presented you with a review of top-rated brands on the market, and we hope you find the one appropriate for individual needs and preferences. We choose the California Air Tools CAT-1P1060SP as the overall best quiet air compressor in our review due to its lightweight, fast recovery time and oil-free design. However, it has a small air tank, but it is still powerful enough for day to day use. It is, however, important to weigh the pros and cons of each of the models to help you make the correct choice. If your application does not require a lot of power, then it is best to purchase a machine with the least noise level.