Best 30-Gallon Air Compressors in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Best 30-Gallon Air Compressors

A good 30-gallon air compressor is a must-have because it balances being powerful and portable simultaneously, but not all 30-gallon air compressors are good, of course.

This is why we have done our own research to come up with the perfect list of the best 30-gallon air compressors.

List of The Best 30-Gallon Air Compressors:

Our Top Picks:

30-Gallon Air CompressorDimensionsWeightPSICFM
Porter-Cable PXCMLC168306624 x 23.5 x 48 in165 lbs1355.3 SCFM at 90 PSI
Campbell Hausfeld XC30210059 x 27 x 26 in202 lbs1754.1 SCFM at 90 PSI
Industrial Air ILA168306625 x 24.5 x 49 in154 lbs1555.3 CFM at 90 PSI
NorthStar 459382 Gas-Powered41 x 19 x 40 in379 lbs17524.4 CFM at 90 PSI
Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM25 x 46 x 35 in185 lbs1355.7 ACFM at 90 PSI
Campbell Hausfeld VT627146 x 21 x 31 in163 lbs13510.2 CFM at 90 PSI
Campbell Hausfeld DC26000018.3 x 17.9 x 49.6 in105 lbs1504 CFM at 90 PSI

The 7 Best 30-Gallon Air Compressors in 2020

1. Porter-Cable PXCMLC1683066 – Best Overall

Porter-Cable PXCMLC1683066


The Porter-Cable PXCMLC1683066 is a compressor that knows it’s good. It has a 135 PSI, a 5.3 SCFM at 90 PSI, and horsepower of 1.6 HP. With this airflow, you can use it for airbrushing, bolting, and nailing.

Our product comes with a heavy-duty electric induction motor, which gives the compressor more long-lasting power. This dual-voltage motor is compatible with 120V and 240V, making it more versatile and convenient for DIYers and professionals alike.

This product has a well-thought design. The cylinder is cast-iron, and the reed valves are stainless steel for durability. We can’t forget how space-saving the vertical design is. Having the controls on top is very convenient, as well.

Pros
  • 1.6 HP
  • 5.3 CFM at 90 PSI
  • 120-240 volt induction motor
  • Durable cast-iron cylinder
  • Durable stainless steel reed valves
  • Pneumatic tires and a handle
  • Quiet
  • Out-of-the-box ready
  • Space-saving vertical design
  • Controls on top
Cons
  • A bit pricey

Final Verdict

This compressor has it all: performance, durability, versatility, and convenience.

Check also: Best 12V Air Compressor in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

2. Campbell Hausfeld XC302100 – Runner-Up

Campbell Hausfeld XC302100


The XC302100 is here to impress. It has a 175 PSI, a 4.1 SCFM at 90 PSI, and horsepower of 2 HP. Also, the powerful motor is compatible with 120V and 240V. Our product also has a life of 5,000 hours of use. From all small projects to heavy-duty nailing, this compressor can do it all.

If you want durability, you’ll appreciate the durable cast-iron two-cylinder pump. Also, the fully-enclosed metal belt guard protects you from the compressor’s moving parts. What about portability? It is heavy at 202 lb, but the semi-pneumatic wheels still keep it portable.

Pros
  • Fully-enclosed metal belt guard
  • 175 PSI
  • 4.1 SCFM at 90 PSI
  • 120-240 volt induction motor
  • 5000 hours of life
  • 2 HP
  • Semi-pneumatic wheels
  • Durable cast-iron two-cylinder pump
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Heavy at 202 lb

Final Verdict

The XC302100 is long-lasting, powerful, and versatile. It is a bit on the expensive side, though.

3. Industrial Air ILA1683066 – Onboard Controls

Industrial Air ILA1683066


The Industrial Air ILA1683066 is an out-of-the-box ready gem. No more wasting time setting up compressors. Also, it has the most accessible onboard controls with a quick connect air outlet, on/off switch, quick-set regulator, and more for maximum convenience and time-saving.

With 155 PSI, 5.3 CFM at 90 PSI, and 1.6 HP, you know it won’t disappoint you with more demanding jobs. Moreover, the heavy-duty dual-voltage induction motor establishes the compressor as one for home and professional use.

Don’t forget the space-saving vertical design, which makes the compressor perfect for limited working spaces. If you ever need a compressor that is powerful but also portable, look no further. This compressor comes with pneumatic wheels and a handle for easy transportation.

Pros
  • Quiet
  • 120-240 volt induction motor
  • Out-of-the-box ready
  • 155 PSI
  • 5.3 CFM at 90 PSI
  • Shipped with synthetic oil
  • 1.6 HP
  • Accessible onboard controls
  • Pneumatic wheels and a handle
  • Space-saving vertical design
  • Quick connect air outlet
Cons
  • Not affordable

Final Verdict

This compressor saves you time, energy, and space. If you can afford it, then all is well.

Read also: Best 20-Gallon Air Compressors in 2020

4. NorthStar 459382 Gas-Powered – Most Durable

NorthStar 459382


The NorthStar 459382 is a beast. With a 175 PSI, a 24.4 CFM at 90 PSI, and horsepower 12 HP, no air tool out there can stand in its way.

Thanks to its V-style cylinder design, the compressor can eliminate hotspots and provide consistent cooling, which adds more life to the pump. The FC35 Grade cast-iron pump head adds to the durability of the pump.

For your safety, the compressor has a steel belt guard and liquid-filled pressure gauges. In addition, the Low Vibration Technology keeps the pump balanced.

Note that you will be supported with a 4-year consumer warranty. 

Pros
  • 175 PSI
  • 24.4 CFM at 90 PSI
  • 12 HP
  • Cooling V-style cylinder design
  • FC35 Grade cast-iron pump head
  • Low Vibration Technology
  • Gasoline engine with electric start/recoil backup and low-oil shutdown
  • Durable steel belt guard
  • Liquid-filled pressure gauges
  • 4-year consumer warranty
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Heavy at 379 lb

Final Verdict

This is a heavy-duty compressor, made from the most durable material.

5. Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM – Heavy-Duty

Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM


If you’re a professional who needs a compressor that can handle real work, not filling up pool inflatables, this is for you. It offers you 100% continuous duty, so say goodbye to interruptions mid-work. The pressure gauge is here to give you maximum control.

At 5.7 ACFM at 90 PSI, 135 PSI, and 2 HP, this bad boy can sand, grind, spray paint, nail, and much more.

Despite being so tough, the Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM still wants to move around, which is why it has an ergonomic handle and semi-pneumatic tires. For safety, the manual overload motor protection prevents it from overheating.

Pros
  • 5.7 ACFM at 90 PSI
  • 2 HP
  • 100% continuous duty
  • Ergonomic handle and semi-pneumatic tires
  • Manual overload motor protection
  • Relatively quiet at 75 to 80 dBA
  • Pressure gauge
  • Six-foot power cord
  • 2000 hours between changeouts
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Final Verdict

The Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM is a beast that no air tool is powerful enough to shake.

6. Campbell Hausfeld VT6271 – Best Horizontal Compressor

Campbell Hausfeld VT6271


The Campbell Hausfeld VT6271 prides itself on a powerful 3.7 HP, 10.2 CFM at 90 PSI, and 135 PSI. With a regulator, you can set up the desired pressure in no time.

It also has 5000 hours of pump life. In addition, it has an 80% duty cycle. So not only is it powerful enough for heavy-duty work, but it is also here to stay.

Our product has a fully-enclosed metal belt guard for you to operate safely. If you need to move the compressor around, it has large semi-pneumatic wheels and a handle for portability.

Finally, with durable cast-iron construction, you can’t go wrong.

Pros
  • 3.7 HP
  • 10.2 CFM at 90 PSI
  • 80% duty cycle
  • 5000 hours
  • Large semi-pneumatic wheels and handle
  • Regulator
  • Fully-enclosed metal belt guard
  • Durable cast-iron
Cons
  • Unsuitable plastic packaging
  • Horizontal design takes up space

Final Verdict

If you have enough space for a horizontal compressor, what are you waiting for?

7. Campbell Hausfeld DC260000 26-Gallon Tank – Most Lightweight

Campbell Hausfeld DC260000 26-Gallon Tank


The Campbell Hausfeld DC260000 is an affordable 26-gallon compressor that is more suitable for light to medium jobs.

It has 150 PSI, 4 CFM at 90 PSI, and 1.3 HP, which establishes the compressor as a DIY one. Our product is also the most lightweight one on the list at 105 lb, and that comes in handy with work around the house. Note that it also has a space-saving vertical design for small spaces.

Thanks to the large, easy-to-read gauges, you won’t have to strain to read or control the pressure. The Induction motor is fully-enclosed for your own safety. For maximum portability, the compressor comes with a sturdy steel handle and wheels.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Most lightweight at 105 lb
  • Low maintenance
  • 150 PSI
  • 4 CFM at 90 PSI
  • Easy-read gauges
  • Sturdy steel handle and wheels
  • Fully-enclosed induction motor
  • Space-saving vertical design
Cons
  • Loud
  • Not powerful enough for heavy-duty work

Final Verdict

If you are a hobbyist, painter, or someone who needs to do light projects around the house, this is your compressor.

What Can You Use a 30-Gallon Air Compressor For

There are 1-gallon air compressors and 80-gallon air compressors. 

The best thing about a 30-gallon air compressor is that it lies in the middle of air compressor capacities, which gives it advantages not found in air compressors that lie in the extremes.

An air compressor with a capacity of less than 10 gallons will probably be extremely lightweight and portable, but it won’t be powerful enough for jobs that require high CFM or PSI.

What about an air compressor with a capacity of more than 60 gallons? Most probably, it will be powerful and faster than smaller compressors, but it will take so much space, and it will be much harder to move.

Every compressor differs in its air requirements. However, many 30-gallon compressors have enough air requirements to use for cleaning, inflating, airbrushing, bolting, nailing, grinding, and sanding.

At the same time, a wheeled 30-gallon compressor with a handle is still very portable and convenient. 

What to Look for When Buying a 30-Gallon Air Compressor

1. PSI and CFM

PSI, or Pounds per Square Inch, refers to the air pressure a compressor can generate. The minimum PSI rating needed to power most air tools is 90 PSI. However, the tougher the job you’ll use the compressor for, the higher the PSI needs to go.

CFM, or Cubic Feet per Minute, refers to the air refill rate or how fast a compressor can supply air. It is the most important number to look out for in the air requirements. CFM is mostly measured at 90 PSI. Like PSI, a higher CFM is always better for demanding jobs.

2. Oil vs. Oil-Free Compressors

Both types have their pros and cons. Oil compressors are ones that require regular lubrication to avoid friction, so they need maintenance and running costs. Oil compressors, however, are more durable and powerful than oil-free ones. They are also heavier and need more space.

Oil-free compressors aren’t exactly oil-free; they come with their pre-lubrication with an internal filter that keeps the lubrication clean, which means no running costs or regular maintenance. However, if the Teflon coating of the filter wears out, the performance will gradually deteriorate.

3. Size and Portability

The size of a compressor matters if you have limited working or storage space. Check the dimensions and weight of the unit.

Also, the design of a compressor matters. Vertical compressors are more space-saving if you have wall space, while horizontal compressors can be handy if you want to store them under a workbench.

The portability of a compressor is decided by their weight and features, such as handles and wheels. 

4. Noise

Noise levels affect the experience of the user dramatically. If you’ll use the compressor in an area where quietness is vital, you need to pay attention to the compressor’s noise level.

The noise a compressor makes is measured by decibels or dBs. The average noise level ranges from 60 to 75 dBs. You’ll need ear protection for anything from 80 dBs and up.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Much Does a 30-Gallon Air Compressor Weigh?

You can find 30-gallon air compressors as lightweight as 105 lbs and as heavyweight as 490 lbs. 

The dramatic difference in weight depends on the power source and maintenance level. Electric compressors weigh less than their gas-powered counterparts. In addition, oil-free compressors weigh less than oil-lubricated ones.

How Much Horsepower Does a 30-Gallon Air Compressor Need?

You can find 30-gallon compressors with horsepower ranging from 1 to 14 HP or more. For electric air compressors, horsepower of less than 2 HP is adequate, and 2 HP is ideal. Gas-powered ones tend to perform best at higher horsepower such as 5 HP.

Note that horsepower won’t matter if CFM and PSI aren’t high enough for your tools.

How Much Oil Does a 30-Gallon Air Compressor Take?

The amount of oil needed changes from one compressor to another, mostly depending on the size.

A compressor tells you exactly how much through an oil level sight glass or an oil dipstick. The oil level sight glass tells you the required level with a dot or a circle, while the oil dipstick shows you through markings or holes.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have all the information needed let’s go over some highlights one more time.

If you need a heavy-duty beast that can take any air tool, consider the NorthStar 459382 and the Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM.

However, if DIYs are your cup of tea, make sure to check out the Campbell Hausfeld DC260000.

If you don’t have much wall space and you want a compressor, you can store under a workbench, give the Campbell Hausfeld VT6271 a look.

A good vertical compressor, on the other hand, would be the Porter-Cable PXCMLC1683066.

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