Inspiring Ideas for Modern Home

10 Best 20 Gallon Air Compressors Of 2023

For any DIYer worth their salt, an air compressor is a must-have in the garage or workshop. And for home use, most prefer the 20-gallon variety.

Best 20 Gallon Air Compressors

If you think about it, there are multiple reasons for doing so. 20-gallon air compressors are portable, affordable, and, most of all, versatile. Whether it’s inflating the kiddie pool or powering that nail gun, a 20-gallon air compressor can come in handy for a plethora of uses.

The trouble is, that there is a large variety of these products out there in the market, and for the layperson, it can become challenging to make the right choice. But don’t worry, we’re here to make sure you don’t fall into that bracket!

Today we’ve gone ahead and reviewed some of the best 20-gallon air compressors in the market that you can buy. What’s more, we’ve even included an informative buyers’ guide to help you make the decision.

Let’s get down to business then!

Listed below are the Best 20 Gallon Air Compressors:

  • Industrial Air IL1682066.MN: A 20-gallon air compressor notable for robustness, ideal for heavy-duty tasks. Its 1.6HP induction motor, twin-cylinder, and max 135 PSI offer optimized performance. High price positioned towards the premium segment.
  • California Air Tools 20040DC: Distinct for its ultra-quiet performance and longevity, with 4HP motor and dual-piston pump system. High prices may limit accessibility for some buyers.
  • Porter Cable PXCMF220VW: A cost-effective choice, offering oil-free operation and low maintenance. Limited by relatively low horsepower and extended air tank fill-up time.
  • Campbell Hausfeld DC200000: A low-maintenance 20-gallon air compressor with hassle-free, oil-free pump delivery. Noise levels may be higher than some comparable models.
  • DeWalt DXCMPA1982054: Distinguished for its rugged durability and optimal tool performance with a max of 155 PSI pressure. Operational endurance may be affected by occasional safety valve leaks.

From portability to power, we've got you covered. So without further ado, here's the list of the 10 best 20-gallon air compressors.

1. Industrial Air IL1682066.MN - Best for Heavy-Duty Users

The first item on our list is one of the best, and naturally among the priciest. The IL1682066.MN from Industrial Air is an air compressor that both DIY-ers and professionals swear by. A testament to the heavy-duty design of the brand, this product is not for the faint of heart.

If reliable and robust performance is what you’re looking for, then you can’t do better than this 20-gallon beast. With a 1.6HP induction motor at its heart, this air compressor is ready to deliver optimal performance with a maximum of 135 PSI.

What’s more, the motor has been designed to operate at dual voltages. This means it can be wired for standard 120-V as well as higher-level 240-volt requirements. And with a twin-cylinder, an oil-lubricated pump made of cast iron, this is a durable device.

Next, we must mention the 20-gallon vertical portable tank, which acts as the air reservoir of the device. Equipped with a quick-set regulator and pressure gauges, this device can be operated at the flick of a switch. 

And finally, we were quite impressed with the portability of the product. It comes pre-attached with pneumatic tires, which allows you to move it around the garage or workshop with immense ease.

Honestly speaking, feature-wise there’s nothing missing from the product. The only point of contention might be the price, which is indeed rather steep for the average buyer. But given the feature set that this product boasts of the high price tag is expected.

Max PSI: 135 | CFM at 90 PSI: 5.3 CFM | Horsepower: 1.6 HP | Voltage: 120V | Noise Level: 65 dB | Weight: 159 lbs

2. California Air Tools 20040DC - Best for Ultra-Quiet Performance

A stellar offering from California Air Tools, the 20040DC is an ultra-quiet model that packs a punch. With an oil-free compressor and 4HP under its hood, this product can easily make many others look pale in comparison. No wonder we were floored to see its operation.

Just think of a dual-motor, 20-gallon air compressor with a total of 4HP (two on each motor), an extremely low sound level, and oil-free operation. What’s not to like? This is one of the most powerful products on the list.

The device comes equipped with a dual-piston pump system that promises longevity, high performance, and durability. California Air Tools is known to be pretty thorough with its product testing, and this device has been tested to give at least 3,000 hours of service.

Storage of air compressors is usually a pain point, but the compact yet horizontal build of this product ensures that you can use it in any location. What’s more, the product is also equipped with air dryers that are designed to remove water vapor from the air. 

Finally, we must mention the after-cooler, which is used for cooling the discharged air from the compressor. Overall, with so many features, this one is well worth the price tag.

While we are on the price, the price could’ve been lower! In keeping with the well-packed feature set of this product, the price tag is still pretty high. But this was something we expected, so it really didn’t come as a surprise.

Max PSI: 165 | CFM at 90 PSI: 6.4 CFM | Horsepower: 4.0 HP | Voltage: 220V | Noise Level: 75 dB | Weight: 100 lbs

3. Porter Cable PXCMF220VW - Best for Value-Conscious Buyers

The Porter Cable PXCMF220VW 20-gallon air compressor makes the fourth spot on this list on sheer merit. Affordable, great looking, and above all of impeccable quality, this product is known for providing continuous and dependable performance during all tooling operations. Interested by now? Time to take a closer look.

The first thing that stands out among the features of this value-for-money device is the oil-free motor that delivers 150 psi of air pressure. Seeing as the motor is oil-free, this translates to low-maintenance operation.

Further, the device boasts a low startup voltage. This means that, unlike other devices in its class, this motor doesn’t have to deal with much power impact. Coupled with the low-maintenance engine, this gives the device a longer operational life.

The 20-gallon air tank of the device is UL and CSA certified, and along with the Twin-V cast-iron pump, makes the perfect combination of quality and power. The device also comes with 7-inch semi-pneumatic wheels that give the device mobility. 

Finally, we need to mention the low decibel rating of the device, which at 84 dBA is low enough for ensuring noiseless operation. Together with the Quick-Connect feature, built-in regulators, and pressure gauges, this is a product for the pros. So whether you’re bolting or hobby painting, this is the one.

The only fly in our ointment about this device is that due to the relatively low horsepower of 1.5HP, the air tank takes considerable time to fill. For those looking for faster operation, this can be considered as a letdown.

Max PSI: 150 | CFM at 90 PSI: 4.0 CFM | Horsepower: 1.5 HP | Voltage: 120V | Noise Level: 84 dB | Weight: 97 lbs

4. Campbell Hausfeld DC200000 - Best for Low-Maintenance Requirement

Three of the first four on our list were vertical tank air compressors. So we decided to change the style and go for a horizontal one again for the fifth. The DC200000 from Campbell Hausfeld represents the company’s over 150 years of experience. Sleek, stylish, and portable, this is a device that any DIY-er would love in their workshop.

As we mentioned before, the horizontal design of the device makes for easy portability, although storage does require more space. The oil-free pump has a durable construction and provides extended and hassle-free operation.

Due to its oil-free nature, the pump requires very little maintenance and has superior longevity. At 150 PSI pressure and a 1.3HP motor, the product is enough to get you through any home-based or DIY projects.

The optimally placed control panel further enhances the usability of the device. This allows the user to read the pressure settings easily and thus control the airflow. Plus, the delivery of 4CFM at 90 PSI ensures that all your projects are completed on time. 

We began our description of this product with the portability factor, so it’s only natural that we end with another aspect of its portability. This time, we need to mention the steel handle and large trolley wheels that allow the device to be quickly taken from one place to another. Talk about ease of use!

Despite its great features, we found the device to be quite noisy. So don’t expect as quiet an operation as the previous product. Plus, there have been reports of the device working up after a few weeks of use, though till now, we’ve faced nothing of the sort. 

Max PSI: 150 | CFM at 90 PSI: 4.0 CFM | Horsepower: 1.3 HP | Voltage: 120V | Noise Level: 65 dB | Weight: 92 lbs

5. DeWalt DXCMPA1982054 - Best for Rugged Durability

Nothing extra needs to be said about DeWalt, the all-American brand that has made waves around the world. DeWalt air compressors are designed for tough and durable operation, and this 20-gallon model has all the bells and whistles of the first product on our list, only a bit pricier. Just check it out below.

Being an oil-lubricated air compressor, this is a device that promises extended operational endurance. The model boasts a 155 PSI maximum pressure, which allows for optimal tool performance.

As regards portability, this device scores high on that account as well. With a 20-gallon ASME portable air tank and horizontal design, this product is as stylish as it looks. Further, it even comes with pneumatic tires for enabling maximum portability.

For most air compressors, the main problem area remains the motor, which often gives out due to regular use. This product, however, has a durable dual-voltage motor that is wired for both 120V as well as 240V operation. This ensures that you get prolonged service even with regular use. 

Finally, we must mention the quick-set regulator, which makes operating the device a simple task. Together with the pressure gauges and easy-flip on/off switch, this is a product that certainly isn’t all air.

Even though this is a rather well-equipped device, the problem lies in the safety valve. We’ve found the faucet to spring a tiny leak from time to time. However, this is sporadic and can be fixed pretty quickly. So don’t let it deter you from buying the product.

Max PSI: 155 | CFM at 90 PSI: 5.7 CFM | Horsepower: 1.9 HP | Voltage: 120V | Noise Level: 78 dB | Weight: 166 lbs

6. North Star Single Stage 20-Gallon Air Compressor

If portability is your prime criterion for selecting an air compressor, then this is the one you should settle with. One of the most portable ones around, this 20-gallon air compressor from North Star, makes it easy to take the work away from the workshop. Ideal for pressurizing smaller tools, this is a product worth looking into.

As mentioned, this is one of the most portable devices there is, even though it’s weightier than the previous products on the list. 

Equipped with ball-bearing wheels and no-flat tires, this device can be wheeled wherever your need takes you. Further, the vertical design means the storage footprint of the device is small, which allows it to be stored with bulker instruments easily.

One of the greatest enemies of air compressors is heat, which can destroy the pump and render it inoperative. Thankfully, this is not the case with this North Star product. Equipped with a V-style cylinder that provides consistent cooling, this product offers a longer pump life. 

Finally, we must mention the cast-iron build, superior crankshaft support, and superb customer service that the product comes with. And to top it all off, it even boasts a 2HP induction motor, one of the higher ones on our list.

Our only pain point about this device is the cost, which seems a bit too high for average buyers. Other than that, the noise levels on this device are rather high. But if you can overlook these two factors, then this is a good choice.

Max PSI: 135 | CFM at 90 PSI: 5.0 CFM | Horsepower: 2 HP | Voltage: Dual Volt | Noise Level: 80 dB | Weight: 205 lbs

7. California Air Tools CAT-20015 HPAD

This product by California Air Tools is yet another noiseless product on our list. At just 70 dBA, this product has one of the lowest noise levels that you can ever hope for. We were glad that we took time out to experience this product; otherwise, we’d have missed out on a lot.

For those of you looking for an ultra-quiet product, this is the one to go with. Similar to the EA-6500, this device also offers very low noise levels. However, a lack of sound is not the only thing this product has going in its favor.

The two-stage compressor of this device has 1.5 HP of power, which is comparable to some of the best products in the market. Plus, the motor operates at only 1750 RPM, which contributes to the low noise of the product.

An exciting feature of the device’s motor is that it has been designed to increase the duty cycle of the product. This allows for continuous operation over prolonged periods. 

Finally, we’d like to mention the dual piston pump system and oil-free design that improve the usability of this device. Overall, one of the better products available in the market.

Without a doubt, the price; considering the features, this device has one of the highest price tags on the list. This makes it well beyond the means of the average householder. We wish it were a bit cheaper, but if wishes were horses…

Max PSI: 175 | CFM at 90 PSI: 4.0 CFM | Horsepower: 1.5 HP | Voltage: 110V | Noise Level: 70 dB | Weight: 114 lbs

8. Ingersoll-Rand P1.5IU

Created with durability and dependability in mind, the Ingersoll-Rand P1.5IU has been dubbed the Garage Mate, and rightly so. Equally handy in any work location, this vertical compressor more than lives up to its name. The following are some of the reasons to go for this model.

An ideal device for portability and durability, the Garage Mate single-stage portable compressor can be easily wheeled anywhere you desire. No more dragging or lugging around a cumbersome device.

The product comes equipped with a 2HP air compressor that offers a maximum of 135 PSI operating pressure. This makes it the perfect fit for nail guns, drills, and other air-powered instruments.

The next highlight of this product is the durable cast iron build that promises a long operating life. Further, the device sports a belt-driven design that ensures noiseless operation, which is a plus if you’re using the device at home. 

Finally, we must mention the easily accessible side-drain valve, automatic start-stop pressure control switch, and manual overload motor protection, which lend superior operational efficiency to the product.

There have been complaints from certain sections of the user base that the capacitors in the compressor tend to fail a bit early. Aside from this claim, there isn’t anything else to find fault with this device.

Max PSI: 135 | CFM at 90 PSI: 4.3 CFM | Horsepower: 2.0 HP | Voltage: 115V | Noise Level: 80 dB | Weight: 200 lbs

9. Industrial Air IPA1882054

We’ve already presented you with one Industrial Air product, and now we’re here with yet another. The IPA1882054 has one of the best compressors around, is relatively noiseless, and provides plenty of air as and when required. The following is a detailed look into the device.

Industrial Air products are known for their heavy-duty operation, and this device is no exception. Built from high-quality cast iron material that ensures superior and long-lasting performance, this is a product with several nifty features.

First off, we’d like to mention the heavy-duty induction motor that ensures a steady pressure of air. The maximum air pressure is 155 PSI, which promises optimal tool performance. Also, the device is UL and CSA certified, which speaks to the level of quality that the device embodies.

Continuing about the motor, we’d like to mention that the motor is wired for dual-voltage operation, which means it can operate for 120V as well as 240V applications. Further, the onboard controls allow easy manipulation of the device. 

Coming to the portability factor, the device is extremely portable with pre-attached pneumatic wheels and a compact horizontal tank design. And though a 20-gallon tank, the design has been optimized to have a minimum footprint. This allows it to be stored anywhere with other tools.

Just as this product sticks to the brand’s best quality benchmarks, it also ensures that the price tag that it comes with is on the higher side of the spectrum. We’d have really preferred it if the device had been a little less costly.

Max PSI: 155 | CFM at 90 PSI: 5.7 CFM | Horsepower: 1.9 HP | Voltage: 120V | Noise Level: 83 dB | Weight: 154 lbs

10. DeWalt DXCMLA1682066

We end our list with another quality product from the house of DeWalt, the all-American brand we all know and love. As we know, DeWalt is considered a specialist in small to mid-range air compressors, and this vertical 20-gallon unit is a prime example of their engineering prowess.

Equipped with a 1.6HP air compressor, this device provides power enough for the professional handyman or domestic DIY-er. Featuring a single-stage oil-lubricated cast iron pump, the device sports a twin-V design that ensures distributed heat dissipation.

Along with that, the product features a one-piece cast-iron crankcase and iron cylinder body that promises durability and lasting performance. Plus, the device is thermally stable, which adds an extra layer of security. 

We were also pretty impressed with the full-size metal belt guard that enhances the motor’s protective capacity. Add to that the friction-lowering ball bearings, stainless steel reed valves, and oil lubrication, and you’ve got a device that’s meant to provide smooth and efficient operation.

Straight out of the box, the product comes with a loose belt that requires some adjustment at the beginning. Also, after getting a taste of the massive 4HP behemoth that is the 20040DC, 1.6HP seems a little too low for a compressor. But it gets the job done, and we’re not complaining.

Max PSI: 155 | CFM at 90 PSI: 4.0 CFM | Horsepower: 1.6 HP | Voltage: 120V | Noise Level: 78 dB | Weight: 159 lbs

What Are the Best 20-Gallon Air Compressors?

The following table presents a comparative review of the top 20-gallon air compressors, ranked according to key performance and specification parameters. Each entry is evaluated against its maximum pounds per square inch (Max PSI) output, cubic feet per minute (CFM) at 90 PSI, horsepower (HP), operating voltage, noise level in decibels (dB), and weight in pounds (lbs).

ProductMax PSICFM at 90 PSIHorsepowerVoltageNoise LevelWeight
Industrial Air IL1682066.MN1355.3 CFM1.6 HP120V65 dB159 lbs
California Air Tools 20040DC1656.4 CFM4.0 HP220V75 dB100 lbs
Porter Cable PXCMF220VW1504.0 CFM1.5 HP120V84 dB97 lbs
Campbell Hausfeld DC2000001504.0 CFM1.3 HP120V65 dB92 lbs
DeWalt DXCMPA19820541555.7 CFM1.9 HP120V78 dB166 lbs
North Star Single Stage 20-Gallon Air Compressor1355.0 CFM2 HPDual Volt80 dB205 lbs
California Air Tools CAT-20015 HPAD1754.0 CFM1.5 HP110V70 dB114 lbs
Ingersoll-Rand P1.5IU1354.3 CFM2.0 HP115V80 dB200 lbs
Industrial Air IPA18820541555.7 CFM1.9 HP120V83 dB154 lbs
DeWalt DXCMLA16820661554.0 CFM1.6 HP120V78 dB159 lbs

Buying Guide For The Best 20-Gallon Air Compressor

Now that you know all about the 10 best 20-gallon air compressors right now, we’re sure you’re ready to go out and get one.

But don’t; at least, not until you’ve finished reading this entire resource. That’s because merely knowing about the best air compressors doesn’t equip you with enough information to make the right choice.

To make the right decision, you need to have an idea about the different facets that need to be considered while evaluating the performance of air compressors. And to help you do just that, we’ve compiled this comprehensive buyers’ guide that’s meant to help you out.

Once you’ve gone through all the finer points of this guide, then will you be ready to choose the air compressor that can fulfill all essential needs. 

Let’s get to it then.

The Motor

Your compressor motor is the most crucial part of the device, and rightly so. It is the motor that is responsible for compressing air into the tank and also refilling it. So you can realize that it’s the motor that undergoes the greatest amount of use in a compressor.

As a result, you need to look for units that have a powerful and high-quality compressor. This is essential to ensure that you don’t end up spending too much time and money on repair work and maintenance. For best results, settle with a motor that connects to the compressor via a belt. And make sure of any lubrication requirements of the motor.


These are two very important metrics to look after when you’re choosing the right air compressor. PSI and CFM are the numbers that define the power and speed of your compressor.

PSI stands for Pounds-Per-Square-Inch, and CFM denotes Cubic-Feet-per-Minute. CFM is essentially the rate at which air is pumped out of the compressor. Naturally, the higher the CFM, the faster the tank will be depleted.

PSI, on the other hand, represents the amount of force per unit area that the compressor can deliver. Naturally, CFM and PSI are inversely related to each other: the more air that you let out, the lesser will be the pressure of the device, and vice-versa.

You can find PSI and CFM readings on the manufacturers’ websites or on the packaging for each model. Many units even have the metrics printed against the air tank.

Tank Capacity

When it comes to air compressors, the most noticeable aspect is the tank. In our guide, we’ve focused on 20-gallon models, but there can be compressors with lesser or greater capacity. 

Understandably compressors that have a larger tank will be able to hold a more significant amount of air. This allows them to work for more extended periods without the need for refilling. Plus, they are also able to maintain their peak PSI for more extended periods.

So if you are going to use the compressor with a tool that requires a large amount of power, then go for one with a large tank. However, for low-powered applications, a smaller tank will suffice.

Oil-Free Or Lubricated

When going through compressor listings, you’re bound to notice that some air compressors are oil-free while others are oil-lubricated. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages, and which one you go with depends on your needs and preferences.

Oil-free compressors are generally cheaper to maintain. They don’t need periodic oil replacements and are also better for the environment.

But don’t think that means oil-lubricated ones are out for the count! Oil-lubricated compressors undergo less frictional wear and tear and hence last longer than oil-free compressors.

Noise Levels

Let’s face it: air compressors are not meant to be quiet pieces of equipment. They are designed to operate under industrial conditions; hence noise dampening may not be considered necessary.

Nevertheless, if you’re looking for quieter compressors, then you won’t be disappointed. In general, electric motors are designed to be quieter than ones that run on gas. On the flip side, gas motors are more powerful.

Also important to understand is where you’re going to use the product. In case you’re planning on using it in an open space such as a construction site, a louder one will do. But for closed workspaces, it’s best you get a quieter one.

What can I use a 20-gallon air compressor for?

A 20-gallon air compressor can be used for a variety of tasks, such as powering air tools like nail guns, spray guns, and impact wrenches, inflating tires, and operating pneumatic equipment like sanders and grinders.

How much power do I need for a 20-gallon air compressor?

The power needed for a 20-gallon air compressor depends on the type of tools or equipment you plan to use. Generally, a 20-gallon air compressor with a horsepower (HP) rating of 2-3.5 is sufficient for most DIY and light-duty professional tasks.

How loud are 20-gallon air compressors?

The noise level of a 20-gallon air compressor varies depending on the model and brand. Most 20-gallon air compressors produce noise levels between 60-90 decibels (dB). However, some models are designed to operate more quietly than others.

Can I transport a 20-gallon air compressor?

Yes, most 20-gallon air compressors are designed with portability in mind. They often come with wheels and handles, making them easy to move from one location to another. However, it’s important to ensure that the compressor is securely mounted before transporting it.

How do I maintain a 20-gallon air compressor?

Proper maintenance is crucial to ensure the longevity and performance of your 20-gallon air compressor. This includes regularly checking and changing the oil, cleaning or replacing the air filter, draining the tank, and checking for leaks in the hoses and connections. It’s also important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for specific maintenance tasks.

Thank you for reading our comprehensive review of the 10 best 20-gallon air compressors available on the market. We understand the importance of having a versatile and robust air compressor that suits your needs, whether you are a DIY enthusiast, hobbyist, or professional. With so many options to choose from, we wanted to make the selection process a breeze, allowing you to make the perfect choice.

Out of these 10 best 20-gallon air compressors, here are our top three recommendations:

Best for heavy-duty users: Industrial Air IL1682066.MN is an ideal option. With a 1.6HP induction motor, dual-voltage operation, and excellent portability, it justifies its higher price tag for those who need a top-of-the-line compressor for demanding work.

Best for ultra-quiet performance: California Air Tools 20040DC is a good option. This model offers a powerful 4HP motor, an oil-free twin-cylinder pump for maintenance-free operation, and an air-drying system that ensures better air quality for your tools. It's perfect for those who need a quiet and powerful solution.

Best for value-conscious buyers: Porter Cable PXCMF220VW is the right choice. It offers an oil-free motor, low-noise operation, and a fully enclosed design with a slim and portable build. The Porter Cable compressor is ideal for users looking for a balance of quality and affordability.

At the end of the day, the best air compressor for you will depend on your specific requirements and preferences. Our review provides a wide range of options suitable for different uses, budgets, and performance characteristics. We hope this review has helped you identify the perfect air compressor for your needs. Happy shopping and may your next project be a breeze with the right 20-gallon air compressor!