Can you think of an auto body repair shop without having an air compressor? No, never. An auto body technician always wants to get the most compatible air compressor for the repair shop.
Now, tell me, are the compressors for painting, and other types are the same? You know they are not the same. You also know painting a piece of metal or wood is not the same thing as painting a car. The outlook, appearance, and especially the finish of the paint of the car greatly depend on the air compressor. For getting the brand new paint finish, you should definitely have the best air compressor for painting cars if you want.
Do you have any pre-selected compressors for painting cars? We don’t know. We definitely appreciate your decision, but we just request you to review the compressor again before the final selection because it is a very significant item.
We know there are many air compressors found in the market, and many of them are good enough. But you want to get only that piece which gives you the expected result. And definitely, that has to be compatible according to your needs.
Now you need to find out the perfect match that can satisfy you. Don’t worry; you can easily get a superior quality painting air compressor from this guide. Even you may found your expected compressor as we’ve only included the best air compressor for painting here.
Table of Content:
This portion will show you all the key points that will give you an idea about the content of this post. Click on any topic and jump to the segment that interests you.
- 10 Best Air Compressor for Painting Cars Reviews 2021
- 1. NorthStar Portable Gas-Powered Air Compressor
- 2. DEWALT Air Compressor, 225-PSI Max
- 3. Campbell Hausfeld VT6271 Air Compressor, 30-Gallon Horizontal Tank
- 4. Industrial Air ILA3606056 60-Gallon Single Stage Cast Iron Twin Cylinder Air Compressor
- 5. Campbell Hausfeld HS5180 Air Compressor, 80 Gallon Vertical Two-Stage 14CFM 5HP
- 6. Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak, 1/2 hp running 1-Gallon Compressor
- 7. Master Airbrush Professional Cool Runner II Dual Fan Air Compressor
- 8. Powermate Vx PLA4708065 80-Gallon Electric Air Compressor
- 9. Rolair VT25BIG 2.5 HP Wheeled Compressor
- 10. DeWalt DXCMLA3706056 60-Gallon Stationary Air Compressor
- How to Set Up an Air Compressor with a Spray Gun (Painting Kit) For a Painting?
- What Size Air Compressor Do You Need To Paint a Car?
- What to Consider Before Buying an Air Compressor for Painting Cars?
- Why Should You Buy an Air Compressor for Painting Cars?
You should select an air compressor after knowing everything about it. But if you have a good idea, you can make a decision from this chart also.
NorthStar Portable Gas-Powered Air Compressor
DEWALT Air Compressor, 225-PSI Max
Air Compressor, 30-Gallon Horizontal Tank
Industrial Air ILA3606056 60-Gallon Single Stage Cast Iron Twin Cylinder Air Compressor
Air Compressor, 80 Gallon Vertical Two-Stage 14CFM 5HP
Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak, 1/2 hp running 1-Gallon Compressor
Master Airbrush Professional Cool Runner II Dual Fan Air Compressor
Powermate Vx PLA4708065 80-Gallon Electric Air Compressor
Rolair VT25BIG 2.5 HP Wheeled Compressor
DeWalt DXCMLA3706056 60-Gallon Stationary Air Compressor
10 Best Air Compressor for Painting Cars Reviews 2021
You have to pay more attention when you are searching for air compressors for painting cars as you know how sensitive the task is. We are pretty confident about our selected compressors as we tested them all to assess the hands-on quality & performance. If you check them, you see all of them are the top products of this time. Let’s see which are included in this list.
1. NorthStar Portable Gas-Powered Air Compressor
Our first pick is such an air compressor that has all the necessary features of an ideal painting air compressor. We don’t tell you to believe the quality and performance of this unit with closed eyes. Let’s see the offered features of this NorthStar air compressor.
First of all, the tank capacity is optimum, which is 20 gallons. And the air output rate is 13.7 CFM at 90 PSI. If you know the primary criteria of a painting air compressor, it fulfills the requirement.
Secondly, we love the low vibration technology. Most air compressors produce much vibration during operation, but it is not like those. Its low vibration technology helps to perform operation smoothly, which ensures pump balance as well as longer service life.
Thirdly, we were really satisfied with its engine performance and power. Its engine has better combustion that delivers powerful output. Not done yet, the OHV engine also increases the service life.
Then, we can tell you about its versatility and portability. Generally, these types of powerful air compressors are not portable, but it is. The built-in wheels design makes the unit portable. And if you need to move anywhere, it allows.
NorthStar Portable Features:
- It delivers 13.7 CFM at 90 PSI that is ideal for painting.
- Low vibration technology offers smooth operation.
- As it is cast iron made, it provides longer service.
- The pressure regulator allows controlling of output pressure.
2. DEWALT Air Compressor, 225-PSI Max
The first compressor was powerful, and that was a bit bulky. If you don’t have any inconvenience with those features, the first product is very much suitable for you. But you should think of this DEWALT D55246 if you think you don’t need something bulky as the first one.
The tank capacity of this compressor is not so large, but you become surprised to know the tank storage pressure. Yes, its maximum pressure is 225 PSI, which is comparable to the other powerful compressors.
The noise is a significant issue of an air compressor. Sometimes somebody doesn’t get a noisy compressor even after the match all the other features. But it produces 78 dBA noise, which is very low as an air compressor. Don’t you love this?
Its size very standard, and at the same time, it is also easy to move anywhere. Its wheeled system makes it highly portable and allows moving anywhere. It contained foam tires that don’t need any maintenance like pneumatic tires. And it is also an oil and maintenance-free air compressor.
DEWALT Air Compressor Features:
- 5.0 SCFM at 90 PSI for quick recovery.
- Efficient high power motor.
- Its noise level is only about 78dBA, which ensures a quiet operation.
- Ehp efficient pressure technology ensures longer motor and pumps life.
3. Campbell Hausfeld VT6271 Air Compressor, 30-Gallon Horizontal Tank
This product is a mid-range air compressor that comes with almost all necessary features. It is ideal for painting cars and also very effective in some other applications, including sanding, inflation, stapling, grinding, bolting, and much more.
We just want to say that it is not a medium power air compressor. It offers reliable power, and you also can understand after see some key features of this unit. For example, 30-gallon tank capacity, 3.7 HP motor, 10.2 CFM air output at 90 PSI. If you have any idea about the air compressor, you understand what the features indicate.
If you go for a good quality air compressor, most of the time, the design doesn’t attract you. Have we said anything wrong? Perhaps, not. Anyways, you love the design of this air compressor, we’re sure. we especially appreciate the wheeled and handle design that makes the compressor ideal for moving and storage anywhere.
And finally, we say you are here for the best air compressor for painting cars. Right? If you can get something more than that, doesn’t it an extra advantage? So, how can you ignore this all-purpose air compressor?
Campbell Hausfeld VT6271 Air Compressor Features:
- It is a powerful unit and provides a stronger output.
- User-friendly design allows easy transport and storage in a small space.
- Very much perfect for any project.
- Durable and has a longer service life.
4. Industrial Air ILA3606056 60-Gallon Single Stage Cast Iron Twin Cylinder Air Compressor
Industrial Air ILA3606056 is an industrial-grade air compressor. Yes, the name of the product tells about the quality and its functional grade itself. In fact, the air compressor is designed such a way for completing the heavy-duty task smoothly. Let’s check all the other features of this unit.
First of all, we request to check the tank capacity of this compressor that is 60 gallons. It is large enough. This compressor offers longer run times with some specific air tools such as the hammer, impacts, gun spray, and ratchet. That is the reason we recommend this to use as an air compressor for painting cars.
The maximum pressure of the tank of this compressor is 155 PSI. The unit can be operated to output the airflow of 11.6 CFM at 90 PSI and 13.4 CFM at 40 PSI. That means you can regulate the outflow. Do you understand how much benefit it brings you?
It is shipped with some essential tools and synthetic oil. The synthetic oil increases the service life and also ensures a smooth run. Besides, cast iron also gives the guaranty of durability. I think you are searching for a good air compressor just like this one.
Industrial Air ILA3606056 Features:
- The 60-gallon large capacity tank provides more air.
- Synthetic oil comes with the unit.
- It is equipped with an on/off switch and pressure gauge.
- It provides an air of various amounts at different pressure.
5. Campbell Hausfeld HS5180 Air Compressor, 80 Gallon Vertical Two-Stage 14CFM 5HP
The product variety is really a good option. This option is not always available on every product. But this is such an air compressor that offers the user to choose their most compatible unit. Aren’t you happy to see this opportunity?
It contains a two-stage pump that offers to decide the users to operate the pump for producing air at different pressure. A few compressors provide this opportunity to the users. At the same time, we also appreciate choosing it because it also gives an amazing opportunity that is longer service life. It provides more than 12,000 hours of service. Isn’t it more than enough? What do you think?
The tank is made of commercial-duty cast iron, which is the trademark of the durability of this compressor. It lasts longer and doesn’t get damaged quickly. And I think there is nobody who likes short lifespan products.
I don’t have enough ideas about you, but I love the multi-functioning air compressor. That is why this one really attracts me. It is not only ideal for auto painting air compressors, but also it is good for some other purposes, including sanding, DIY users, grinding, and metal sheet cutting.
Campbell Hausfeld HS5180 Air Compressor Features:
- It comes with reliable power and a large tank.
- It also comes with a longer service life of more than 12,000 hours.
- This multipurpose compressor is ideal for any other project, including painting.
- Delivers 14 CFM at 90 PSI.
6. Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak, 1/2 hp running 1-Gallon Compressor
Before selecting a product, we usually review all necessary features and all other important sights. But sometimes we want to know the price of the product without reviewing that. Right? It means, at that time, we have a tight budget. If you also don’t have enough money on your card, don’t worry, we will give you an amazing air compressor at a very affordable price. Just check all the features of this unit; don’t worry about the price tag.
It is a small air compressor in which tank capacity is only one gallon. And the air output rate is 1.4 CFM. You can easily understand it is not recommended for heavy-duty tasks. The manufacturer mainly makes this unit for home improvement and renovation tasks such as crafts and hobbies.
The unit is not only small in size but also lightweight in weight. It is as lightweight you can carry it by the hands. Yes, it weighs is about 20 lbs. That means it is highly lightweight and portable also.
Most of the compressors are made for doing the tasks in low noise. But most of them produce the noise more than they should. But this unit is different from the other compressors. It operates as noiseless you cannot wonder a tool is performing just near you.
Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Features:
- An ideal air compressor for home improvement and renovation.
- The air outflow rate is 1.4 CFM, and the maximum pressure is 125 PSI.
- It performs a noiseless operation.
- Easy to carry anywhere.
7. Master Airbrush Professional Cool Runner II Dual Fan Air Compressor
This piece is different from the other previous air compressors. All the previous compressors are only air compressors individually. But it is more than an air compressor because some important kits are supplied with this unit, which is very effective for you.
It is a high-performance, powerful air compressor that comes with 2 built-in cooling fans. That is why it can run longer without being overheated. This cooling technology also increases the lifespan of this compressor.
It delivers 0.8 CFM air, and the delivered airflow per minute is 25 liter. It is also a portable and lightweight compressor, just like the immediate last model. It is also an air compressor that doesn’t require any noticeable maintenance. Definitely, all these are highly benefitted features, aren’t they all?
We told you some important tools are supplied, did you forget that? However, you should know which tools are coming with it, right? It includes a cleaner, mixing wheel, cleaning brush set, and airbrushing system kit. And all these tools are essential, you know.
Master Airbrush Features:
- The built-in cooling fans keep the motor cool.
- The motor cooling technology also increases lifespan.
- Comes with a carrying handle and easy to transport.
- Maintenance-free air compressor.
8. Powermate Vx PLA4708065 80-Gallon Electric Air Compressor
The type of application everywhere might not the same. That is why all air compressors are not ideal for all types of painting. But if you have a powerful and ideal compressor that is really perfect for car painting, then you can use that for other purposes also. If you need something like that, you should consider this.
If you just know some features, you can understand how much power the air compressor is! It has a 240 volt, 15 amp motor that can deliver 4.7 horsepower. And its highest pressure level is 155 PSI. All these tell it is really a powerful air compressor.
You know the ideal CFM range for spray painting is around 14 CFM. It delivers the air at this rate at 90 PSI. If you use the air compressor with a spray gun, you get an excellent paint finish.
Then just think about the tank size. It is for 80 gallons. Can you imagine how large it is! It means the compressor doesn’t need to run more and more like an air compressor containing a small tank. That is why it provides longer performance. Furthermore, steel made tank and cast iron made crankcase ensures its durability.
Powermate Vx PLA4708065 Features:
- 15 amp motor that is powerful enough.
- The tank is very much durable and has a large capacity.
- Wire formed a belt guard for safe operation.
- It requires synthetic oil, which is supplied with it.
9. Rolair VT25BIG 2.5 HP Wheeled Compressor
If you compare this Rolair air compressor with the previous product, you can’t judge its quality. Let us clear this. The price of the previous product is more than double of this unit. So, how can you compare them?
You should know its cylinder is made of cast iron. It also indicates the strength of the air compressor. And the tank is also capable of withstanding high pressure.
It comes with a 5.3-gallon tank capacity and a 3400 rpm motor. Besides, it also delivers 6.5 CFM. How far is discussed yet, all are really good features for painting a car? Just add the necessary tools with this compressor and start painting.
In the end, I just request to review the overall design. It has 2 wheels for making the air compressor easy to transport. And there is also a handle to move the compressor comfortably.
Rolair VT25BIG Features:
- Splash lubrication ensures a longer pump life.
- 3,400 rpm motor is powerful enough for an air compressor.
- The compressor is compatible with multiple sprayers.
- It has overload protection technology.
10. DeWalt DXCMLA3706056 60-Gallon Stationary Air Compressor
It is the last performer on this list, but it is a strong competitor of the best air compressor for painting cars. It comes from reputed manufacture and also it has all the important features which make this air compressor a good performer.
The tank size is 60 gallons, which is large enough. And the air compressor can deliver 13.4 CFM at 40 PSI and 11.5 CFM at 90 PSI. You don’t get this option on every good quality air compressor. So, it is definitely a plus point for you.
It provides easier and faster results, even in industrial use. I hope you can understand many things from the previous line. We just want to make sure; if an air compressor gives faster and easier results in industrial use, it gives much better results on painting cars. You can definitely get it to get the best air compressor for automotive painting.
It is not only a good performer but also it comes with some added features for providing you added comfort. It is equipped with an on/off switch, pressure gauge, and high flow port. All are included for giving you added control and comfort.
DeWalt DXCMLA3706056 Features:
- The large tank provides much air and long run times.
- It is equipped with a pressure gauge and a high flow port.
- Premium quality oil is also provided for optimum performance.
- It offers more run times with some tools, including spray guns.
How to Set Up an Air Compressor with a Spray Gun (Painting Kit) For a Painting?
Painting a car using a spray gun is really easy when you know how to set up the kit properly and how to use that. The setup process is also a very easy task, but you just need to do step by step. And definitely, you should follow the proper method as described below.
What Accessories You May Need
- Teflon Tape.
- A short air hose.
- A long air hose.
- Water trap.
- Pressure regulator.
- Air filter.
- A drill.
- Spray gun.
- Adjustable wrench.
First of all, place the air compressor in the proper place and make sure you have all other necessary accessories such as hose, and fittings
Secondly, use Teflon tape to cover both ends of the hose. You should wrap them properly as it doesn’t block the opening. You should also have to warm the tape tightly and nicely.
Thirdly, connect any end of the hose with the air compressor. At this time, you may need to take the help of an adjustable wrench. Ensure the hose is attached to the compressor securely.
Then, mount the desiccant system, air filter, and pressure regulator. You should mount these instruments with a fixed object such as a wall. Place the pressure regulator first, then the water trap, and finally the desiccant system. This helps you to deliver dry and oil-free air.
Now, connect the other end of the hose to the pressure regulator. In this case, you also need an adjustable wrench. After connecting the other end of the hose to the pressure regulator, you have to connect the air hose to the desiccant system using Teflon tape.
And finally, connect the spray gun to the other end of the air hose. Don’t forget to connect an air filter to the spray gun end. That’s all the process.
What Size Air Compressor Do You Need To Paint a Car?
The size is also a significant matter, especially when you use that on painting a car. It mainly indicates the tank size. Always keep in mind, the bigger the tank, the better the performance.
Usually, a small tank cannot provide more CFM. And you will fall in trouble while painting the whole car. That is why I advise painting the car part by part. If you go following this method, you can do the job.
On the other hand, you don’t think about the CFM, pressure, and other factors when you have a large tank. I recommend using such an air compressor that has more than 20-gallon capacity, and then you can complete the painting 2-3 pass.
What to Consider Before Buying an Air Compressor for Painting Cars?
Buying the best air compressor for painting cars is very important if you want to paint cars evenly and perfectly. But before knowing some important factors, it is quite impossible to get the best air compressor for the job. That is why review the following things at least to get good quality and perfect air compressor.
There are various air compressors, and most of them are electrically powered. And you should definitely check the volt power of the air compressor. If you want to know the electrical grade of the USA, they have 110-120 volt. And many countries also have the same. On the other hand, some other countries have 220-240 volt electrical grade. So, the air compressor should come within 120-240 volt.
Besides, if you can check the horsepower rating, that will be much better. Remember, the higher the power, the better. It mainly indicates the power of the motor. And definitely, the best air compressor for painting cars comes with a powerful motor.
The size of the tank of an air compressor will determine how evenly it is possible to paint the car entirely. The primary role is the bigger, the better. But the question is how much bigger, right? Usually, the small tank air compressor cannot provide optimum pressure, and that is why the paint is not applied evenly. This is why I always recommend a large tank. I recommend more than 50 gallons. If you have more than 50-gallon capacity, you can paint most of the vehicle in a single pass evenly.
The full meaning of CFM is cubic feet per minute. It indicates the rate of air outflow at the specific pressure. You should confirm the air compressor has the minimum CFM rating. The higher rating is always better for painting a car. Almost all the air compressors in this list come with standard CFM rating. You just need to confirm your compressor has more CFM than the requirement of the spray gun.
After the CFM rating, the most important factor is air pressure. Remember, all air compressors need a certain pressure to work. Most of our selected air compressors come having 90 PSI that is definitely good. But remember more pressure makes the air pressure compatible with other tools such as the hammer, ratchets, and many more.
Usually, the air compressors for car painting are really heavy tools. And most of the cases, their weight is also heavy. That is why they are also difficult to move around. I don’t think the matter is important. But it matters when you need a portable compressor. If you need to frequently move the air compressor, then you should definitely look for those units which have a handle and wheels.
Why Should You Buy an Air Compressor for Painting Cars?
If you search for the answer to this question yourself, you also will get some replies, I believe. However, there are many reasons but want to represent some important only.
The best air compressor for painting cars can give the guarantee of even painting. Yes, the paint will fall on the body of the car evenly. And it is almost not possible to get such, even painting by the other tools.
The car has some tight and narrow spaces where it is not possible to reach with the roller or other tools. But the area can easily be painted using an air compressor.
And finally, we want to tell you about the finish of the paint. Have you ever seen such a wonderful finish and appearance just like car paint? Perhaps not. Yes, an air compressor can make an attractive and glossy finish that cannot be obtained from other tools.
Frequently Asked Questions
We hope, this article has by far provided you with all the information you should know about choosing the best air compressor for car painting. Still, some points might be a little confusing for you. And that is why we’re answering some of the most asked questions about this product to clear out the confusion-
✅ Can you paint a car with a 30-gallon air compressor?
Why not. You can definitely paint a car with a 30-gallon compressor if the CFM rating is more than the CFM rating of the spray gun. But you may need 2 rounds to pain the car entirely.
✅ How many CFM do you need to paint a car?
It is very difficult to say the CFM rating directly without clearing the spray gun matter. Some guns require 9-15 CFM, and some other requires 14-18 CFM to paint a car. But if you have around 12 CFM, that is enough.
✅ What size compressor do you need for spray painting?
Don’t go for a small air compressor for painting a car. The larger the compressor, the better will be the painting quality.
✅ What is the difference between SCFM and CFM?
CFM means cubic feet per minute. On the other hand, SCFM stands for standard cubic feet per minute. CFM doesn’t have any standard, but the volumetric flow rate against a standard is SCFM. Just it.
✅ Which compressor is better between a “constant” and “stop and start”?
There are many advantages and disadvantages of both air compressors. Even that, the stop and start air compressor is a good option because it doesn’t run constantly. It runs only when the pressure level falls below the standard.
✅ How often should I change the oil in an air compressor?
Usually, once a year is ideal. And you don’t need to change the oil before the time, but if you open the compressor, change the oil every time.
✅ How often should I change the filter in an air compressor?
The air filter also needs to change after a particular time. You should change the air filter within the time 1,000 to 2,000 hours of use.
✅ Can I use a generator to power an electric compressor?
Definitely. You can use the generator to power up an air compressor. But you should use the power generator as a proportion to the power of the air compressor.
We already said, if you have a powerful air compressor, you will don’t need to think furthermore to do different tasks. And I also said more pressure makes the air compressor ideal for multi-tasking. In this post, there has one more high powerful air compressor, but all you will not get. If you ask us personally, what would we buy? Powermate Vx PLA4708065 will be our first choice. The massive 80-gallon tank and unbelievable PSI & CFM configuration have truly made this product the number 1 choice of ours.
If you just read the frequently asked section, you can get enough knowledge of the best air compressor for painting cars. Now think, does this unit lacks any features? Rather, it is compatible with other tools such as impacts, hammer, ratchets, and also spray guns. That means it is ideal for car painting as well as equally effective for other tasks. Happy painting!