Friday, May 26th, 2023

10 Highest CFM Air Compressors of 2022 Reviewed

Many Air compressors pressure pumps closeup photo

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

And perhaps, they became really 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 simply 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.

Top Highest CFM Air Compressors

A man pumps air wheel with a compressor on the road

  1. Makita MAC5200 3.0 HP Big Bore Air Compressor

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.

Makita MAC5200 3.0 HP* Big Bore™ Air Compressor
  • Cast iron pump with Big Bore cylinder and piston is...
  • Powerful 3.0 HP motor produces 6.5 CFM at 90 PSI for...

Why did we like it?

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, that’s 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. And 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.

What could have been better?

The only factor that bothered us about the product is 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.

  • Noise-free operation
  • High-quality motor
  • Very portable
  • Can accommodate 2 airguns at once
  • price
  1. DEWALT D55146 4-1/2-Gallon Compressor

Well, from the very inception of writing this piece, we had been looking for this brand. Previously, we have been quite impressed with their extremely durable hammer drills, table saws, bench grinders, and everything related to construction. And it seems, Dewalt isn’t far behind with its compact D55146 model either. Read on to find out what it has to offer.

DEWALT Air Compressor, 225-PSI Max, Hand Carry with Wheels,...
  • 225 PSI max tank storage pressure provides a user with 80%...
  • 5.0 SCFM at 90 PSI allows the compressor to recover quickly...

Why did we like it?

One of the best features of this air compressor as we mentioned in the intro, is its compactness. The small size of the device doesn’t mean it’s low on CFM, which we’ll get to later. But its vertical stand and collapsible handle allow one to save space by putting the compressor in an upright position, and that’s a welcoming feature to have.

As we mentioned before, Dewalt doesn’t compromise with CFM despite the size, and that’s evident with its 5 CFM air volume at 90 PSI. This is a remarkable number for the size, and it means you can crank up a heavy air tool alongside a lighter one, and this little beast will handle it all perfectly! Let’s say a combination of trailer tire inflators and some cleaning equipment will hit up a comfort zone with this compressor.

And with a 4.5-gallon gas tank, it can generate a pressure of 225 PSI, which adds to its versatility of handling more air equipment in your workshop. Moreover, with a 1.8 HP oil-free motor, Dewalt strives hard to make a compressor that requires zero maintenance and leaves your workspace without any oily mess.

Finally, if you’re looking for a noise-free compressor but within budget, the D55146 can be your perfect candidate with its 78dBA operational noise level.

What could have been better?

Well, not much to complain about here, really! But a bothering aspect of the device is the drain position, which is down beside the wheels, and that makes it difficult for the moisture to move out. That’s a bugger, in our opinion.

  • Robust motor
  • High CFM
  • Very portable
  • Low noise
  • Versatile
  • Hard for moisture to go out
  1. California Air Tools CAT-4620AC

When it comes to California Air Tools, you can rest assured that all your air equipment is going to have a field day. And 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.

  • Ultra Quiet only 70 Decibels
  • Powerful 2. 0 HP (Rated/Running) Motor

Why did we like it?

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 lesser mess) whose operational capability is 3,000 hours. And 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.

What could have been better?

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.

  • Durable pump
  • Versatile
  • Low power consumption
  • Very quiet
  • No wheels
  • Bulky
  1. Powermate Vx PLA4708065

Till now, we had talked about mid-range models that would at best qualify as a 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.

Powermate Vx PLA4708065 80-Gallon Electric Air Compressor
  • Features a Powerful 240-Volt, 15-Amp Motor that Delivers...
  • Offers a 155-PSI Maximum Pressure

Why did we like it?

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, 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. 

And 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.

What could have been better?

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.

  • Heavy-duty motor
  • Very high CFM up to 14
  • Extremely durable body
  • Gas tank of 80 gallons
  • Smooth workflow without jamming
  • No power cord included
  1. 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!

DEWALT DXCMV5048055 Two-Stage Cast Iron Industrial Air...
  • The DEWALT 2 stage air compressor is built with a 5-HP TOPS...
  • The integrated control panel has a tank and pressure gauge...

Why did we like it?

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.

What could have been better?

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 its portability. But then again, there’s only so much we can ask from a high-quality compressor such as this.

  • 5 HP high-capacity motor
  • The motor is also TOPS equipped
  • Very high CFM
  • Can handle many heavy-duty tools at hand
  • Not portable
  • Pricey
  1. Ingersoll Rand SS5L5

From the 2-stage heavy professional compressor, we move a couple of notches below. The Ingersoll SS5L5 is a single-stage model best suited for home-scale jobs, which impressed us with its durable cast iron construction and constant working capacity. Very few people need a tanked high-grade air compressor, barring professional ones. 

So, let’s check this model out.

Ingersoll Rand SS5 5HP 60 Gallon Single Stage Air Compressor...
  • Long-Life: Durable cast iron construction, long-lasting...
  • Maximum Power and Flexibilty: 100% continuous duty, high...

Why did we like it?

To begin with, despite being a single-stage compressor, its CFM rating is as good as the 2-stage ones. While it can rise to a maximum of 135 PSI, it scores quite high with its delivery of 18.1 CFM of air volume at 90 PSI. So, not just high numbers, but you can connect a variety of devices such as ratchet drivers, drills, sandblasters, etc. 

However, you gotta keep in mind that this isn’t as equipped as its 2-stage counterparts, so a combination of light and heavy tools is best to keep the machine running smoothly. Talking about its motor, Ingersoll features a silent but vigorous motor of 5 HP, and with a tank size of 60 gallons, you can rest assured with no stalling of the device midway. 

Our money’s on this compressor for its smooth operation as well. Handling this tool is child’s play with its easy-to-fill oil port, easy-to-change filter, and automatic start pressure switch control. Also, you don’t gotta worry about any random short circuits inside because the motor is TOPS enabled. 

Last but not least, it would suit most household jobs due to its large belt wheel that works great in lower temperatures. And what adds to this quality are the durable stainless steel valves inside the motor that can withstand high pressure and are also easy to maintain.

What could have been better?

There are two things that we didn’t like about this model. One is the fact that the compressor doesn’t come with a pressure gauge, and you gotta buy it separately. And second, even compared to the 2-stage models, it draws a lot of power, let’s say, up to 30 amps. 

  • Very high CFM for single stage models
  • Highly durable motor
  • High CFM
  • Silent operation
  • Consumes a lot of electricity
  • Doesn’t come with pressure gauge
  1. Sun Joe IONAIR-CT 40V 4.0-Ah Cordless 1.6-Gallon Air Compressor

We have seen the magic of Sun Joe in their beautiful cordless snow blowers that score the highest in terms of convenience. This 1.6-gallon air compressor is another excellent addition to this cordless series that best suits home-scale needs or passionate DIY projects. 

And apart from the convenience quotient, Sun Joe takes the greatest care for the user’s safety. So, let’s check out this model, shall we?

Sun Joe IONAIR-CT 40V 4.0-Ah Cordless 1.6-Gallon Air...
  • Core tool Only - I on max batteries/chargers Sold Separately
  • Battery runtime (max): 65 min

Why did we like it?

One thing that we would want to declare right off the bat here is this is NOT a professional model. It’s a convenient model that has spared us the hassle of cords and wires. We prefer to call it the precursor of the next-generation compressors because these battery-powered models are just evolving now.

Talking about its features, the device can deliver up to 115 PSI of pressurized power, and at 90 PSI, it has a CFM of about 2. This is the reason we claim this product will suit light-duty home applications such as airbrushing, stapling, brad nailing, etc. 

Moreover, its cordless feature serves great with a battery runtime of 65 minutes. Most household jobs don’t take any more than 5 minutes of constant runtime, so this is gonna last for long. And once the battery is exhausted, after its 3-hour charging time, you can again resume all your air pressure jobs. 

What’s more, its iONMax eco-sharp technology helps deliver maximum performance without any kind of lagging, making it one of the most desired household air compressors on the market.

What could have been better?

Although we know this is a pretty basic household appliance and fares well in that range, its body could have been much more durable. Also, its low CFM prevents this product of immense potential to competing with some of the mid-range models.

  • Cordless
  • Decent pressurized power
  • Best suited for household jobs
  • Good battery backup
  • Low CFM
  1. 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.

BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI...
  • The portable air compressor has a long-life oil-free,...
  • 150 max PSI 6.0 gallon tank (22.7 L) and 2.6 SCFM* delivered...

Why did we like it?

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 at 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 saves you the hassle of running around the market, looking for bits of specific sizes.

What could have been better?

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.

  • Best value for money
  • Large capacity tank
  • Versatile
  • Slow device
  1. 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. And coming from one of the most reputed brands, it’s bound to have some unique features which make this product stand apart from the rest of the crowd. 

Makita MAC700 2.0 HP* Big Bore™ Air Compressor
  • Cast iron pump with big bore cylinder and piston, combined...
  • Substantially lower noise levels with a large 1,720 RPM...

Why did we like it?

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. 

What could have been better?

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, no one wants a compressor in a job site that costs them back pain, and this is precisely where the MAC700 falls short.

  • Very versatile
  • Low risk of short circuit
  • Cast iron build of gas tank
  • Quiet operation
  • Heavy
  1. 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.

California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and...
  • Ultra Quiet, only 70 Decibels
  • Oil-Free Pump for Less Maintenance & Costs

Why did we like it?

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. And 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. 

What could have been better?

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.

  • Very quiet
  • High CFM
  • Easy to use
  • Improved heat dissipation of tank
  • Cleanup mechanism

Highest CFM Air Compressor Buyer’s Guide

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 not to 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’d 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 definitely 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’. Obviously, 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. 

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


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.

Another decent model within the budget best suited for household jobs is the D55146 model from Dewalt. The thing about choosing Dewalt is you don’t have to worry about its durability and customer service.

And for high-end models, the clear winner from this list is DeWalt DXCMV5048055. It’s a 2-stage air compressor with the most top-notch features, and the very high SCFM 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. 

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

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