The best 120 volt air compressor can make your life much easier on the job site. Air compressors are pumps that generate pressurized air to run air tools, inflate tires, and more.
A 120V air compressor for air tools is the standard for powering pneumatic tools. 120v is the standard household current, so you can just plug in your air compressor and have plenty of power for all your tools.
When you’re ready to buy, you need to know how much air your tools require. This is measured in both PSI and CFM. This rates how much air your unit produces. The 120V air compressor will produce as much air as your tool requires.
Quick Comparison: Best Air Compressors for 120 Volt Power System
Top 8 Best 120V Air Compressor Reviews:
1. Makita MAC700 Big Bore Air Compressor for 120 Volt Power Systems
This 120-volt air compressor uses a large-bore piston to increase output without making the unit noisier. It clocks in at only 80 decibels, which is about the same level as heavy traffic or a window air conditioner.
The construction of this large bore cylinder is cast iron, allowing for it to last longer on the job site. This unit also reaches working pressure quickly, so you can get the job started quickly.
The roll bar handle helps with transport and with keeping the unit safe on the job. Since this unit weighs over 50 pounds, a good handle is essential so you can move it easily.
This is considered a portable unit that would be good for many jobs. If you just want a small 120v tire inflator, this might be the best choice.
This 120v air compressor unit is really designed for professionals and serious hobbyists. It offers high output and decent tank size. So, long as the weight doesn’t bother you, you should be happy with this unit.
2. Campbell Hausfeld 8 Gallon 120 Volt Air Compressor
This is a great 120V air compressor option for an air compressor if you are interested in DIY. This unit has an 8-gallon capacity and offers 4.5 SCFM at 40 PSI and 3.7 SCFM at 90 PSI. Max PSI is 125.
This means it can handle most air tools and even inflating tires. This makes it a top 120v air compressor for a DIYer. You may not be able to run something like an impact wrench, but it will handle tools like a nail gun.
The 8-gallon tank should allow for plenty of use before you start running out of air. Just note that large tanks take longer to reach pressure, particularly if you are draining the tank as often as you should.
This is an oil-lubricated unit. It will function well in heat and humidity so long as you remember to drain the tank regularly. This helps prevent water buildup and rust.
Any air produced will have oil in it and it will not function well in the cold. Keep an eye on the oil level indicator. Make sure you watch for the oil level.
It has wheels, so this is a better choice if you can’t lift something this heavy. It is made with cast iron, so it will last a long time. You will pay the cost in increased weight.
This unit is placed horizontally. This makes it easier to move and use. If you are mainly using it in the house, it should be easy to get around. If you want it as a 120v tire inflator, this will be easy to take to any vehicle you have.
The gauge is placed sensibly. It has pictures to help guide you in filling things like tires and balls. It can be a bit hard to read the numbers, however.
If you want it as a 120v air compressor for air tools you may find it slightly more inconvenient than another unit.
3. Kobalt 120v Portable Air Compressor
One of the great features of this is a small 120v air compressor. It can run off of a household outlet or run off a 120v car outlet.
This means you can keep this for any tire emergencies. The cable for the 120v is long enough to reach all the tires, but the 120v is a bit short.
It has a digital display as well. This makes it easy to read. You can see what the pressure is in a tire that is connected and set the desired pressure. This makes it easy to top up your tires. Keeping your tires properly inflated can improve gas mileage.
This unit can be set to deliver a PSI of 1-120. This means you can fill a large variety of items. You can easily use this to fill up a beach ball or pool float as well as your tires. You can take it with you and run it off the car, so you can inflate all your floats at your destination.
This makes it a top 120v air compressor choice if you would like flexibility. Please note that the PSI increase is in increments of 10. This means you need to watch if you want a PSI like 36 for a car tire.
There are storage compartments for all of the included adapters. It comes with multiple adapters. These include 2 sports needles, a raft nozzle, and a Presta adapter. The sports needles and raft nozzle work well, and it functions well on standard tires.
4. Jenny Compressors 1 Phase 115-Volt Single-Stage Compressor
If you’re looking for a 120v vertical air compressor, this is a great option through the manufacturer labeled 115v. Vertical compressors allow more air storage without taking up a lot of storage space.
Just keep in mind that these aren’t portable typically. If you are looking for a small and portable 120v air compressor, look elsewhere. This unit has a 1 horsepower engine and a cast iron construction. It is splash lubricated with oil, so it does best in hot and humid conditions.
This unit produces 6.2 CFM at 125 PSI. This makes it a great choice for most power tools. It makes it one of the top120v air compressor choices for anyone who needs good power for air tools.
It can run anything your shop requires with ease. The flywheel is large, which should help with cooling. The belt drive is also enclosed for safety.
5. Campbell Hausfeld RP410099AV 120v Home Inflation System
If you are looking for a 120v tire inflator, this is a great option. If all you need is something to inflate tires and balls, you will likely prefer this unit. A 120v electric tire inflator does not need to be complicated if it is not running tools.
This little air compressor unit can produce up to 150 PSI. This means it can handle most inflation jobs you can throw at it. Just be sure to monitor what you are inflating since high pressure can pop any inflatable.
There is an easy-to-read gauge right on the top of the unit. This makes it easier to monitor the pressure level of whatever you are inflating.
This unit is powered by a standard household plug. It makes it convenient for home use. This unit isn’t a great choice if you want a 120v tire inflator for emergencies. It could be used with an inverter, but save it for someplace with an outlet.
This unit comes with two inflation nozzles, an inflation needle, and a Schrader-to-Presta adapter. This allows you to fill a variety of items. You could fill up a soccer ball or use the adapter to fill up a racing bike tire.
This unit only weighs a pound. A lightweight unit is best so you can take it right to any vehicle you need to be filled. You do need to remember that this will not run air tools. If you are looking for a 120-volt portable air compressor for filling tires, this is a great option.
6. Slime 40045 Direct Drive 120V Tire Inflator
This little 120v tire inflator is the perfect choice for your garage. It includes a handy wall mount, so you can easily place it near where you park your car.
Just run an extension cord for the power plug and you can use this simple unit with ease. The included air hose is 29.5 inches and the power cable is 67 inches.
The display gauge is large and easy to read. This unit can read 0-150 PSI so you can easily inflate your tires and toys. It also reads in BAR in case you prefer that.
This unit includes adapters in a handy plastic case. You will get a tire tread gauge, a pencil tire gauge, 4 aluminum valve caps, red and blue air adapters, and a ball needle.
This lets you inflate everything from sports balls to an air mattress with ease.
This 120-volt air compressor unit offers the ability to fill a flat tire in under 4 minutes. This makes it a great choice for anyone who needs to keep their tires topped up. It achieves this thanks to a powerful direct-drive motor.
Other handy features include a thermal safety shut-off and a handle to make moving the unit easy.
7. Bonaire 120V Inflator Air Compressor
This is another small 120 volt air compressor unit. It goes up to 130 PSI, so it can handle the most inflating jobs you might have. It has a glow-in-the-dark gauge to make reading easier even in low lighting. It is fairly large, but it can be a bit off thanks to the hose itself.
This has a typical 120v power plug. This is the only option to power this. So while it is lightweight, it is not great for filling a tire away from home. You will need an extension cord for this unit.
This is a very quiet unit. If you need to fill a tire without waking the house, this is a good option.
This unit is very compact. It doesn’t take up much space. This is a great unit to keep around if you can’t fit a larger unit. For instance, this could be a good addition to a camper where space is limited.
8. DEWALT DWFP55130 120 Volt Air Compressor
This is one of the best household power system air compressor choices for anyone who works in construction. This particular model is meant for use with nail guns. It can drive a lot of nails quickly and reliably.
This is an oil-free pump. It will function better in the cold. It will also produce cleaner air without any oil contamination.
This unit is only 36 pounds and is only 12.5 inches wide. This makes it a great choice for tight spaces.
One great feature is that this unit can be used either horizontally or vertically. This helps save space and lets it fit in more areas with ease.
This is a very quiet unit as well. You can have a normal conversation without being drowned out by this. It makes it a bit less noisy on a job site. This also makes it better for hobbyists and home users.
Best Household Power System Air Compressor Buying Guide
When it comes to buying a compressor, you need to consider your needs. If you just want to inflate tires, it likely makes more sense to look for a dedicated tire inflator.
Most of those units are quieter and lighter. Some can even work with either 120v ACor 12v DC so you can keep your tires inflated away from an outlet.
For instance, a framing nailer may only need a minimum of 1.1 CFM at 90 PSI. An impact wrench may need 4.0 CFM at 90 PSI. Some tools may take even more than this.
If you need to run air tools, you will need to know how strong of a unit you need. Check your air tools to see what they recommend as a minimum. Pick your compressor based on what the highest rating is.
Be sure you read the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you want to run multiple tools at once, make sure you go for something that can handle that additional load.
If you will be working at job sites or up ladders, you will want something lightweight. Tight areas will also require a smaller unit. A smaller unit will also be good if you will need to transport it in the back of a work truck or van.
Any compressor that will be on a job site will need to be tough. It will need to stand up to transport and all the dust and impact that any tool onsite may take.
The size of the unit and the shape are important. A horizontal tank is typically easier to transport. A 120v vertical air compressor is typically better for a shop setting where you don’t need to move it.
You will also want to consider how much air it can store. Larger tanks will let you run a tool for a long time before the motor needs to cycle back on. However, larger tanks can take a long time to reach working pressure.
If you just want to inflate a tire, you don’t need a unit with a tank. A unit with a tank is better for air tools. If you will be using a sprayer or want to use it to help blow dust away from your work area, even a small tank is fine.
Another thing to consider is how the engine is lubricated. An oil-lubricated system uses oil to reduce friction in the piston. Oil functions well in hot and humid conditions. The downside is that there will be oil in the air produced.
You will also need to keep an eye on the oil levels. They will also function poorly in the cold as the oil turns into sludge. If you will be working during a cold winter, an oil-free compressor may be better.
Oil-free compressors have a coating to reduce friction for the life of the motor. They are typically quiet and can be lightweight. They function better in the cold.
One thing to note is that this kind of compressor is prone to overheating. You need to run them less often to keep the heat from building up. They require less maintenance, but can’t run for long periods in the heat.
Also, check our complete guides on:
How to Maintain a Household Power System Air Compressor
You need to take a few steps to keep your air compressor in the best shape. This will make sure it functions well for years to come.
1. Change the Oil
- Run your compressor for a few minutes to thin out the oil.
- Remove the fill cap for the oil.
- Remove the drain plug for the oil and drain out the old oil into a container.
- Replace the drain plug once this is done.
- Fill your machine with either a compressor oil or the oil your manufacturer recommends. Check to make sure it is at the right level.
- Replace the fill cap and you are done.
2. Change the Air Filte
- Check what air filter your compressor uses and have a fresh one ready.
- Remove the old one, and swap in the new one. Some filters can be removed with your fingers, others may be held in with screws.
3. Replace the Belt
- Locate your belt and pulleys. Some compressors have cover over them, so be sure to remove it. Check this for signs of wear and cracking. It may not be needed, but you should check it yearly.
- If it needs to be replaced, get a firm grip and pull it over the largest wheel while rotating the pulleys. It should come right off.
- Put the new belt over the smallest wheel and rotate the largest wheel forward. This should get the new belt on quickly. Then just replace the cover.
How to Use a 120V Air Compressor for Car Tires
If you want to use a standard air compressor to fill a tire, you will need a few things. Remember, if you have one meant for filling tires, it is simple. You just need to plug it in and get the tire to the right pressure.
For an air compressor that can also run tools, you will need a few things. First is a regulator so your tire isn’t instantly over-inflated. This can make the tire burst. You also need a tire gauge to check the pressure. You also need a tire chuck that connects to an airline.
Remove the cap and set it aside. Be sure you don’t lose it.
Connect the airline to the regulator.
Connect the tire chuck to the regulator and attach it to the tire.
Fill slowly and check the pressure. A car tire typically needs about 36 PSI. Be sure to replace the cap so you don’t lose air. If you overfill, just press down on the valve stem.
So, What is the Best Air Compressor for 120 Volt Power System?
The right air compressor can make your jobs easier. Picking the right option for your tools will help you in the long run. Each of these compressors is a great option. Keep your needs in mind when you select.
If you want the best 120v air compressor, The Makita MAC700 is a great choice for most jobs. While it is a bit heavier, it is sturdy. Most owners find that it lasts for years, so you don’t need to replace it often.
With a regulator, you can use it for filling tires and other inflatables. It has plenty of air for most basic jobs as well. If you just want to fill a tire, you can opt for one of the tire inflators on the list.