Inspiring Ideas for Modern Home

7 Highest CFM Air Compressors of 2023 Reviewed

Whoever invented the air compressor must have been too lazy to work. Otherwise, who thinks of using air as a one-stop solution for all household and industrial tasks?

Highest CFM Air Compressors

And perhaps, they became active in the process of inventing this ingenious device! Jokes apart, an air compressor is an enormously versatile device. It doesn’t leave even an iota of doubt over its performance and leaves you to marvel. 

From cleaners to spray painters, and from nailers to impact drills, every other job becomes so easy with air compressors. But finding the right one of your choice is tricky, and this is where we come in.

As you scroll down, you will find some of the best high CFM air compressors and a definitive guide that details our selection process.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s jump straight into the nitty-gritty.

  • Makita MAC5200 3.0 HP Big Bore Air Compressor. Makita MAC5200 offers quiet operation and a powerful motor, enabling it to accommodate two airguns simultaneously, although it's on the pricey side.
  • California Air Tools CAT-4620AC. California Air Tools CAT-4620AC impresses with its energy efficiency and exceptionally quiet operation, offering stable performance, yet falls short in terms of portability due to the lack of wheels.
  • Powermate Vx PLA4708065. Powermate Vx PLA4708065 is excellent for heavy-duty applications with a high-capacity motor and large gas tank, but it does not include a power cord.
  • DeWalt DXCMV5048055 Two-Stage Cast Iron Industrial Air Compressor. DeWalt DXCMV5048055 leverages its two-stage design for high performance in heavy-duty tasks, but it is not portable and has a high price tag.
  • BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor BTFP02012. BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor BTFP02012 delivers value for money with high capacity and the ability to enhance connected tool performance, but it operates with a bit of noise and takes a longer time to build pressure.

To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of the 7 best highest CFM air compressors available in the market. Get ready to discover the top-notch options that offer unmatched airflow for all your compressed air needs. Here's the list of the 7 best highest CFM air compressors.

1. Makita MAC5200 3.0 HP Big Bore Air Compressor - Best for Power and Low Noise

We don’t have much to say about Makita, which is dominating the power tools industry with some of the top-notch hammer drills, OMTs, workbenches, etc. That’s why we chose the powerful Big Bore air compressor that’s engineered for increased compression, faster recovery, and almost no noise. Let’s see why this is one of the best air compressors on the market right now.

Frankly, what impressed us the most about the MAC5200 model is its Big Bore engineered pump cylinder and piston. Also, its 3 HP engine can perform exceptionally well compared to its size, and as it comes with an in-built thermal overload detector, it works as a protective shield of the internal circuit.

Moreover, the product comes with a tank of 5.2 gallons, which is adequate for a wide range of air tools, both light and heavy. But if you’re looking to jack multiple appliances at the same time, it would be pretty tough for this tool to handle it. And talking about capacity, the MAC5200 scores high with its maximum air pressure of 140 PSI. At 90 PSI, it rises to 6.5 CFM, and at 40 PSI, it delivers a decent 6.9 CFM. 

If you’re not a fan of numbers, let us tell you this is quite an impressive count as it allows you to run two air guns simultaneously, and that too without getting jammed. Makita takes care to make quiet and portable air compressors that don’t make noise above 90 dBA. Its oiled pump adds to the low-noise factor while the wheel-and-handle-kit makes the product very easy to carry around.

So, in short, this is an excellent buy for heavy-duty as well as medium-scale users.

The only factor that bothered us about the product was its price. If you have a tight budget, this is not a model to look for. But the catch is, this is a product that has earned every penny of the price tag. Yet, we believe, many won’t be able to afford it.

Maximum PSI: 140 | Horsepoewer: 3 | Tank Capacity: 5.2 gallons | CFM @ 90 PSI: 6.5 | Noise Level (dB): 90 | Oil-Free: No

2. California Air Tools CAT-4620AC - Best for Energy Efficiency and Quiet Operation

When it comes to California Air Tools, you can rest assured that all your air equipment is going to have a field day. It’s also the king of noise-free operations, as it heavily borrows from the latest trends in the industry. They have mastered the race for the best air tools by constant adaptation, improvisation, and overcoming all obstacles with excellent customer service.

Well, just because the company is well-renowned doesn’t mean each of its products is top-notch. But the CAT-4620AC mesmerized us with its new 2 HP motor that’s designed to draw less than 14 amps of power. 

Although not as yielding as the 3 HP Makita, this motor runs a massive oil-free pump (so less maintenance and even less mess) whose operational capability is 3,000 hours. When such a durable pump joins an air pressure of 125 PSI, the combo makes the device all the more versatile. At 90 PSI, the compressor generates an air volume of 5.3 CFM, which is pretty great for connecting more than two air tools.

And as for the quietness factor, California Air Tools always sets the bar high. Like the Dewalt model, the CAT-4620AC also performs with a whisper of not more than 70 dBA. So, you can complete all your pending garage tasks this weekend with this quiet little bird, and no one will bat an eye.

As for its weight, the machine seems a bit bulky. But the major downside of this product is its absence of wheels. Sure, you can do almost everything with this compressor with the help of a connecting cord, but it’d be bad luck for those who require it to move around. We believe CAT will improvise very soon and add a pair of wheels to this design.

Maximum PSI: 125 | Horsepoewer: 2 | Tank Capacity: 4 gallons | CFM @ 90 PSI: 5.3 | Noise Level (dB): 70 | Oil-Free: Yes

3. Powermate Vx PLA4708065 - Best for Heavy-Duty Applications

Till now, we had talked about mid-range models that would at best qualify as bridge or intermediate-level products. But here we have Powermate Vx, which is one of the largest air compressors capable of handling very heavy-duty tools and multiple applications with utmost smoothness. Let’s have a look at its features, and you’ll have an idea of all its uses.

This dude right here is one of the big bosses of the industry. Just have a look at its specs boasting of a 4.7 HP 240 V motor, but which draws a mere current of 15 amps only. This means, that despite a massive engine strength, it doesn’t crave too much energy to function. So, win-win for all! 

As for its capacity, the compressor gives out a maximum pressure of 155 PSI, and when the mark hits 90, Powermate delivers a massive air volume of 14 CFM. Needless to say, this is a higher number than most other heavy-duty compressors can achieve. 

But it can also handle a significantly more significant number of air tools such as ratchets, impact drills, spray guns, double nailers, you name it.

The best part about this compressor is each part of it complements the other to provide the user with a smooth air passage. The 80-gallon tank facilitates constant airflow, and its durable steel body is designed to last for years. 

It combines with the oil-lubricated pump, a full cast-iron body, and a crankcase to give you an air compressor that ensures a smooth workflow in all kinds of job sites.

Well, this is a top-notch model, no doubt about that! But there are two minor issues we faced with it. First, there is no power cord included in the package. And second, this is pricey with a whole lot of noise. But being a compressing monster, we can’t complain too much about its roar. Still, if you aren’t a professional, it may not suit your value-for-money quotient.

Maximum PSI: 155 | Horsepoewer: 4.7 | Tank Capacity: 80 gallons | CFM @ 90 PSI: 14 | Noise Level (dB): 55 | Oil-Free: No

4. DeWalt DXCMV5048055 Two-Stage Cast Iron Industrial Air Compressor

Well, we thought of adding another high-end model from a more renowned company. And who can score any higher than Dewalt, in terms of fame and quality of its products? Its previous model mentioned in the list lies somewhere between a semi-pro and a professional compressor. But for those looking for some heavy-duty work, the DXCMV5048055 can be your go-to!

Before getting into the nitty-gritty, let’s understand the inner mechanism of a 2-stage compressor. Everyone knows the 2-stage is so much better than the single-stage ones, but where lies the difference? 

Well, 2-stage compressors draw air into a cylinder, compress it in a single-piston stoke, and push it into a smaller piston of even higher pressure. This doubles the maximum pressure the device can generate before it’s sent to the tank. As you’ll see, this is a 471-pound stationery model that maxes out at 175 PSI air pressure to give you a 17.5 CFM of air volume at that level. 

So, for this compressor, not just larger loads, but handling multiple pneumatic tools such as sandblasters, and hydraulic jacks, is a cakewalk. Moreover, with a TOPS (Thermal Overload Protection System) equipped motor, any heavy electrical passage is easily dismissed, and Dewalt’s patented pump design takes the overall working temperature a couple of notches down. 

Talking about the motor and the storage tank, they left us with no complaints and only high performance. A 5 HP motor and 80 gallons of air capacity add to the versatility of this device, and as mentioned above, it can handle too many heavy-duty tools at once.

Trust us, this model will last you for years without a single chance of tailback. Still, what’s gonna hurt you is its price. Yeah, 2-stage air compressors are costly, and on top of that, very few models are portable. So, one’s a huge price, and the second is portability. But then again, there’s only so much we can ask from a high-quality compressor such as this.

Maximum PSI: 175 | Horsepoewer: 5 | Tank Capacity: 80 gallons | CFM @ 90 PSI: 17.9 | Noise Level (dB): 55 | Oil-Free: No

5. BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor BTFP02012

Winning the tag of Amazon’s Choice is a prestigious title, but that’s not the only reason behind choosing this pancake air compressor. Bostitch has been producing fastening and pneumatic tools since 1896, so from a company, it has become a legacy of trust and quality. This air compressor only adds to that long line of top-notch products.

From its very first appearance, this model looks compact and tidy and also comes with a detailed manual on assembling, usage, and some FAQs. Moreover, its pancake-shaped dome comprises the storage area of the device, while for easier readings, the compression technology is located at the top.

As for its capacity, its large belly has a capacity of 6 gallons, which is unusual for pancake compressors. It maxes out at an air pressure of 150 PSI and 90 PSI, it can hit up a decent air volume of 2.7 CFM, making it suitable for operating an extensive array of power tools such as impact drills, ratchet drivers, spray guns, double nailers, etc.

Noteworthy to mention, Bostitch comes with a high-flow regulator and couplers that enhance the performance of the tool and every other device that you attach to it. Moreover, its complete package of air hose, blowgun, and nozzles of different sizes increases its versatility manifold. This is a comprehensive tool kit that will easily attach power tools of all sizes and save you the hassle of running around the market, looking for bits of specific sizes.

Well, this is one of the most compact yet high-performing compressors out there. But there are some minor faults that we’d like to point out. Despite the noise dampeners, it runs with quite a bit of noise, and that’s a complete bugger. Moreover, its pressure-building time is close to 3 minutes, and that can affect the momentum of your job.

Maximum PSI: 150 | Horsepoewer: 0.8 | Tank Capacity: 6 gallons | CFM @ 90 PSI: 2.6 | Noise Level (dB): 78.5 | Oil-Free: Yes

6. Makita MAC700 Electric Air Compressor

We just couldn’t settle with only one model from Makita. Although most of its air compressors are incredibly versatile, we feel the MAC700 hits up the highest scores in terms of all the yardsticks. Coming from one of the most reputed brands, it’s bound to have some unique features that make this product stand apart from the rest of the crowd. 

Let’s begin by explaining the adjective we used in the intro: versatile. Well, you can attach any power tool to the model for jobs such as spray painting or sanding because it comes with a tank capacity of 2.6 gallons and a maximum pressure of 130 PSI. This combination proves excellent for enhancing the versatility quotient, as at 40 PSI, it gives a decent air volume of 3.3 CFM. 

Frankly, the crux of this device’s success lies in the powerful motor that comprises a durable pump made of cast iron. What’s more, it comes with a big bore cylinder and piston that translate to better compression and far less noise emission. Added to that, the air and pressure holding capacity increase significantly with larger bores. So, Makita has got you covered with its foolproof internal mechanism.

And finally, its low current drawing feature drastically minimizes the chances of a short circuit, or tripped breakers, and protects the device from random voltage fluctuations. 

There’s no doubt that this is a brilliant, compact model that you can use in professional workspaces as well. But, and this is a difficult checkpoint to cross, its 70 lbs weight is a serious downside in terms of portability. We mean to say, that no one wants a compressor on a job site that costs them back pain, and this is precisely where the MAC700 falls short.

Maximum PSI: 130 | Horsepoewer: 2 | Tank Capacity: 2.6 gallons | CFM @ 90 PSI: 3.3 | Noise Level (dB): 80 | Oil-Free: No

7. California Air Tools 10020C

We are back with an elder brother of the CAT-4620AC, and it’s 10020C. California Air Tools do not need much introduction owing to their reputation of making some of the quietest and coolest air compressors. What’s more, they are loaded with too many features, which make these devices a complete package of convenience, power, and versatility.

Here’s a one-liner that can aptly describe what we feel about this product: A highly portable compressor that comes with a 10-gallon air tank, and that makes less than 70 dB noise with a powerful 2 HP engine. This compressor felt like it was a perfect candidate to outperform any other model within the price range. 

Talking about its construction, the compressor sports a user-friendly design that includes easy controls, twin air pressure gauges, and dual quick connectors. What’s more, everything is accessible from the control panel situated in front of the durable steel cage. 

At a rating of 90 PSI, the CFM hits as high as 5.3, which means plenty of power for various garage pneumatic tools such as ratchets, drivers, wrenches, etc. One trailblazing feature of this model is its improved motor performance. California Air Tools has introduced an efficient motor, an SP 9421 pump in the compressor that features improved heat dissipation and increased duty cycle.

That’s why the 2 HP motor allows longer compressor run times with minimum recovery periods. Finally, despite being an 80 lbs hefty device, its durable back wheels make it perfectly easy to travel all around your workspace. 

Although the cleanup system has been improved, many users have still found it cumbersome as the manual drain valve is hard to open. So, if you can, replace the manual valve with a more straightforward pull cable drain valve to further ease your waste-water cleaning mechanism.

Maximum PSI: 125 | Horsepoewer: 2 | Tank Capacity: 10 gallons | CFM @ 90 PSI: 5.3 | Noise Level (dB): 70 | Oil-Free: Yes

What is the Highest CFM Air Compressor?

Compiled beneath is a table that systematically analyzes the salient features of air compressors boasting the highest Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM). The table considers vital specifications such as maximum pressure (in PSI), horsepower, tank capacity, CFM at 90 PSI, noise level (in dB), and whether the device is oil-free.

ProductMaximum PSIHorsepowerTank CapacityCFM @ 90 PSINoise Level (dB)Oil-Free
Makita MAC5200 3.0 HP Big Bore Air Compressor14035.2 gallons6.590No
California Air Tools CAT-4620AC12524 gallons5.370Yes
Powermate Vx PLA47080651554.780 gallons1455No
DeWalt DXCMV5048055 Two-Stage Cast Iron Industrial Air Compressor175580 gallons17.955No
BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor BTFP020121500.86 gallons2.678.5Yes
Makita MAC700 Electric Air Compressor13022.6 gallons3.380No
California Air Tools 10020C125210 gallons5.370Yes

Buying Guide For The Highest CFM Air Compressor

With so many trailblazing features, it’s only normal to get confused! But what’s even more confusing is the market out there that calls you with all its fancy gimmicks the moment you step in to look for something. Although we made sure to increase everyone’s needs in this list, you just might not come across the product of your choice. Also, indeed, every other claim made by many companies doesn't stand firm in the long run, and they fail to keep their promises.

But don't worry about that! We have got you covered with our extensive buyer’s guide so that you know what elements to look for and what NOT to look for when buying an air compressor.

Let’s start with the basics, shall we?


It’s the amount of air pressure force given out by the compressor, and its abbreviation is ‘pounds per square inch.’ There will be times when you’ll need a product of higher PSI if you gotta connect more than two heavy-duty air tools. For simple air devices such as ratchet drivers, pneumatic drills, or ½ inch impact drivers, something that goes up to 130 PSI could fit just right. 

But for heavy-duty industrial-grade tools, you're gonna need something higher than the above-normal range. This is where the PSI factor comes into play. 

Understanding your requirements

‘Why should I need a compressor in the first place?’ Yeah, this is the primary question one needs to ask before even hitting the search bar with ‘10 best air compressors’. Everything depends on your choices, and it’s not advisable to start hunting for the best tools for that’d be just blind rummaging. 

So, sort out your needs first. Here are some basic questions to begin with:

  1. Am I using a compressor to power pneumatic tools or some heavy machinery?
  2. Am I going to need something low-key just for household purposes?
  3. How much tank capacity am I going to need, and how long am I gonna use it each day?

This is just the beginning of the list to help you get sorted, but you get a rough idea of what to ask yourself, and how to.

Knowing the different types of compressors

Once you are sure that you DO need a compressor, it’s time to get into a bit of serious research. Don’t worry, we’ll help you out here. 

Compressors can be mainly of two types: reciprocating and rotary screws. And most of the ones we covered here are reciprocating piston types. Here the piston moves up and down and also comprises a one-way valve on its top. Rotary screws work differently as they’re designed for continuous use and can run consistently for up to several minutes.

Now, piston compressors come in single-stage and dual-stage. Single-stage compressors max out at 150 PSI, whereas 2-stage models can go much higher over 200 PSI. And do not confuse all dual-piston compressors with being 2-stage compressors. To differentiate between these 2 kinds, look at the size of the pistons. If one is significantly smaller than the other, it’s a dual-stage model. 

Single-stage compressors work great for most pneumatic tools, spray guns, glue guns, caulk guns, inflating tires, etc. In contrast, dual-stage compressors are best suited for industrial-grade work, which includes a combination of some of these devices alongside heavy-duty air tools.

To be more specific: Defining CFM

For those that don’t know, CFM is Cubic Feet per Minute, but there are certain angles to this denominator that we’re going to discuss now. 

Always look for the Standard CFM (SCFM) number, which is measured at 14.5 PSIA in 0% relative humidity, at 68 degrees F. 

If you need to know how much CFM you require, add up all the SCFM of the air tools that you’re likely to use regularly. And then add 30% of that sum to it for a buffer. This would be the perfect guessing of how much CFM you need, and without looking for the SCFM, just going by the numbers written under product info won’t be of much help.

How do I determine the CFM requirements for my tools?

To determine the CFM requirements for your tools, you need to check the tool’s documentation or consult the manufacturer. Most tools specify their CFM requirements, which will help you choose an air compressor with a suitable CFM rating.

Can I use multiple tools simultaneously with a high CFM air compressor?

Yes, a high CFM air compressor is capable of running multiple tools simultaneously, provided that the combined CFM requirements of the tools do not exceed the CFM rating of the compressor.

Are high CFM air compressors suitable for home use?

High CFM air compressors are generally more suitable for professional or industrial applications rather than typical home use. However, if you have specific high-demand tasks or extensive DIY projects that require increased airflow, a high CFM compressor may be beneficial.

What maintenance is required for high CFM air compressors?

Maintenance requirements for high CFM air compressors typically include regular oil changes, filter replacements, checking and adjusting the belt tension (if applicable), and ensuring proper ventilation and cooling to prevent overheating.

Can I upgrade the CFM rating of my existing air compressor?

No, you cannot significantly upgrade the CFM rating of an existing air compressor. The CFM rating is determined by the design and specifications of the compressor pump and motor. If you require a higher CFM, you would need to invest in a compressor with a higher CFM rating.

We believe you’ll find the perfect compressor of your choice among these products. But don’t get disheartened if you get confused midway, and now you have a tie of around 3 to 4 products at hand. 

We all have been here at some point in our lives when choosing between the best of the best products. So, to make your life a bit easier, here’s our final selection of the top 1% of the top 1%.

There’s fierce competition between the 2 models of Makita and California Air Tools. If you’re hoping for top-notch performance from a mid-range model, which also caters to your budget, you can go for anyone between MAC5200 and CAT-4620AC.

And for high-end models, the clear winner from this list is the DeWalt DXCMV5048055. It’s a 2-stage air compressor with the most top-notch features, and the very high CFM count fits all kinds of industrial air tools. But while thinking about it, the Powermate model is also befitting for most heavy-duty jobs.

We hope we answered all your questions today. 

We welcome your comments to improve this list and also to know what we are missing from the current industry trends