You can use an air compressor perform all manners of work. They can inflate tyres, spray paint, supply air to nail guns, and even use jets of pressurised air to clear grime from delicate materials.
But this piece of equipment is more than just a sprayer, a blower, or an inflator.
In fact, it should be viewed as a portable mini power plant. That’s because it can power pneumatic tools, including impact wrenches, jackhammers, pneumatic drills, sandblasters, orbital sanders, die grinders, and brad nail guns, just to name a few.
Aside from home or job site use, air compressors can be used for large-scale industrial purposes. For example, they can be used in food production for tasks like packing, power pneumatic tools, and even supply high-pressure clean air to fill petrol cylinders.
If you are ready to cash in on all the benefits offered by this piece of equipment, the next logical step is to make a purchase. There are several different types of air compressors to choose from in the market. And, while this offers something to suit every buyer’s needs, it can make the selection process a bit daunting. So, how do you know which one is the best air compressor for you?
Well, some of the most important things to consider when buying an air compressor, whether for home or business use, are their power output, maximum pressure, flow rate, and tank size.
To help further, we’ve put together 6 of the best air compressors in the UK in terms of features, specifications, and cost to help you get started on shopping for an air compressor.
Stanley is known for manufacturing a range of air compressors that are ideal for the most demanding handicraft and hobby workers, as well as professionals. Their products stand out for their complete reliability and innovative technical solutions. The DN200/10/5 model, for starters, may not be Stanley’s biggest air compressor but it’s one of the most convenient. It is a small unit designed to help you get all the basic tasks at home completed. You can use it to clean with air, inflate your tyres, and even run a range of basic air tools.
This air compressor weighs about 9kg and comes equipped with shoulder straps for easy portability. It has an ergonomic design so your hands feel comfortable during use. Its maximum pressure is 145 Psi/10 bar with a flow rate of 180 L/minute.
Given its specifications, this 230V air compressor is usually limited for minor functions like powering pneumatic tools that run at a low pressure. The 5L capacity is also inadequate when performing larger applications, in which case you will need a bigger model like the D200/10/24V. Ultimately, this is the way to go if you are after an air compressor that is convenient, efficient, lightweight, and most importantly, doesn’t cost much.
- Compact and lightweight for easy portability and storage
- Has a storage compartment for accessories
- Has an ergonomic design
- Low maintenance
- Ideal for lots of home and hobby applications
- Has a small tank that limits its uses
Our Rating: 4.3/5
Hyundai is another big manufacturer of high-quality air compressors in the UK. And, their HY3050V model offers virtually everything you would want from an air compressor. It’s designed for both basic DIY tasks at home and also for trade applications.
First off, it produces 2.2 kilowatts of power. This is more than adequate to inflate inflatables, run air tools, and spray paint. This piece of equipment weighs about 40 kg, which is a bit too heavy for one to operate on-the-go. Luckily, manoeuvrability is made easier with the addition of two rear wheels and a sturdy transportation handle.
The item is well-built and has durable components as evidenced by its 3hp V-twin pump that has sturdy cast-iron cylinders, as well as aluminium cylinder heads to ensure enhanced cooling.
As if that wasn’t enough, the package features a 5-piece tool kit, all of which provide essential tools to get you started on a variety of tasks. These tools include a paint spray gun, degreaser, air duster, tyre inflator, and a 2m coiled hose.
The Hyundai HY3050V has a 50-litre tank capacity, which provides adequate supply of air for your pneumatic tools. If you want one with a much larger tank capacity without spending thousands, go for the Hyundai HY30100V. The dual quick-release connectors allow users to connect two air tools simultaneously while the pressure regulator lets you control the pressure accordingly.
- Has a large tank capacity
- Easy to manoeuvre
- Compact, yet powerful
- Comes with a 5-piece tool kit for increased functionality
- Has a pressure control system
- Quite heavy
Our Rating: 4.9/5
Black+Decker is another leading brand for the best air compressor in the UK. One of their top-selling air compressors is the 195/6 NK model. This piece of equipment is pretty compact, making it ideal for both hobby and semi-professional applications. It also features a built-in metal handle for easy handling and manoeuvrability. It weighs about 10kg, which compared to the above Hyundai model is far too easy to carry.
With a tank capacity of only 6 litres, this machine can store compressed air that’s only useful for light tasks like pumping your tyre. Other specifications include 1,100 watts of power, 230 volts, and 8 bars of maximum pressure.
The Black+Decker 195/6 NK comes with an oil-free motor and aluminium die-cast pumps that don’t need maintenance. There’s an ON/OFF knob placed on top of the machine for convenient reach. It also has an automatic shut-off feature that activates automatically to stop the machine from running when it gets to the desired pressure. This means that you don’t have to closely monitor the machine during operation, thus allowing you to do other things while the air compressor completes its job.
- Outfitted with an oil-free pump
- Exhibits solid and sturdy build
- Compact, lightweight, and has a metal carry handle, thus easy to carry
- Ergonomic structure
- Has an innovative design
- Small tank capacity
- Noisy compared to others in the same class
Our Rating: 4.3/5
Black + Decker air compressors are quite affordable without compromising on quality, functionality, and efficiency, which is why this review covers another great product they offer. This multicoloured model features a 230-watt motor. While it can obviously be powered via an outlet, there’s an optional supply via 12V DC with a 12V socket in the car. Another impressive feature is its oil-less motor, meaning it is maintenance-free.
It is very lightweight, weighing about 2kg. This, together with its compact design makes it easy to manoeuvre during work, transport it to where it is needed for work, and even store.
With a maximum pressure of 11 bars/160 PSI, this small air compressor is powerful enough to perform at-home functions like inflating tyres and filling air mattresses, as well as running pneumatic tools at job sites. And, with a noise output of 84 dB, the operating volume is quite limited. Last, but not least, it has a backlight digital display that allows users to operate easily in the dark.
This product has the highest number of reviews of all those mentioned in this text. And, with over 2,000 reviews and a 4-star rating, this air compressor is, without a doubt, worth considering.
- Easy to maintain
- Easy to use
- Offers the convenience of AC power
- Compact and lightweight for portability and easy storage
- Some users feel that the connector is a bit flimsy and cheap
- It takes time to inflate inflatables
Our Rating: 4.2/5
While the above air compressors will get the job done, their noise levels are a bit too high, which could be distracting during work, not to mention too much noise is quite unhealthy. This is not the case with this Orazio air compressor. With a noise output of 65 dB, this machine is designed to operate silently, making it ideal for home garages.
Another big draw of this Orazio’s air compressor is its oil-less motor, which makes it much easier to maintain in the long haul. It comes with a handlebar and wheels for easy manoeuvrability. The tank capacity is at 24L, which is plenty of airflow for most at-home applications. There are also 9L and 45L tank options with different price points to suit different needs.
Other features include an air-flow rate of 95L/min with the maximum pressure being 8 bars/116 PSI and a power supply of 750W. At this modest flow-rate and power supply, this air compressor is best used around the home for cleaning and inflating tyres, as well as running light-duty air tools like brad guns, blowguns, and staple guns. Its net weight is 22kg, which is fairly lightweight and therefore easier to use on the go.
- Quiet operation
- Comes with a pressure regulator that offers convenience during operation
- Compact and lightweight for mobility
- The oil-less motor means less maintenance
- Easy to assemble
- The modest flow-rate means it can only run light-duty air tools
- It’s not particularly robust as some components may break easily
Our Rating: 4.1/5
If you want an air compressor that offers the best value for money, look no further than the Richmond air compressor. At a pocket-friendly price, it affords you a reasonable level of features and capabilities. For starters, it has a 24L tank capacity that provides users with sufficient volume of air for DIY applications. It may, however, require recharging for industrial applications. It features a powerful 2.5hp motor with a 9.6 CFM air displacement and an estimated maximum pressure of 115 PSI. This is enough pressure to work on different functions, including running some air tools.
This air compressor weighs about 25kg, which is not very light. The good news is it is integrated with a comfortable handle and wheels for easy handling and manoeuvrability. It also has a pressure regulator for adjusting pressure according to the task at hand and generally making operation easier. It is fitted with twin air outlets, allowing users to perform two tasks simultaneously.
Unlike other machines in this review with an oil-free motor, this one uses oil to lubricate its working parts. In that case, it will require a little more monitoring and maintenance than its oil-free counterparts. On the plus side, air compressors that use oil generally have a quieter operation.
- Has fully automatic on/off control functions
- Easy to assemble and use
- Built from high-quality materials
- Comes with a one-year warranty
- Takes up more space
- The spanners you’ll need to fix the wheel have to be purchased separately
- Some users found the handle a bit short, thus leading to slouching
Our Rating: 4.3/5
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