Best Gas Air Compressor – (Reviews & Buying Guide 2018)

Air compressors are very handy tools and their areas of use are vast. Whether we are talking about portable air compressors that can quickly inflate a tire in an emergency, or we are talking about heavy gas-powered machines for commercial use, air compressors have found their way into our lives and are here to stay. We will be reviewing the best gas air compressor unit that money can buy.

There are advantages and disadvantages to using gas air compressors, and we hope we will help you make your purchase decision by uncovering the pros and cons, detailed specifications and best features in our gas air compressor reviews.

Industrial Air Contractor CTA5090412 Air Compressor
  • Industrial Air Contractor CTA5090412
  • 3.7 Customer Rating
  • PRICE: $
  • Horsepower: 5
  • MAX PSI: 155
  • Tank Size (Gallons): 4
  • Size (inches): 24.5 x 21.5 x 20
  • CFM: 6,9
  • Weight (pounds): 74
  • Warranty (years): 2
Makita MAC5501G 5.5 HP Air Compressor
  • Makita MAC5501G
  • 3.5 Customer Rating
  • PRICE: $$
  • Horsepower: 5,5
  • MAX PSI: 100
  • Tank Size (Gallons): 10
  • Size (inches): 22 x 48 x 34 in
  • CFM: 12,5
  • Weight (pounds): 235
  • Warranty (years): 3
DeWalt DXCMH1393075 Air Compressor
  • DeWalt DXCMH1393075
  • 5.0 Customer Rating
  • PRICE: $$$$
  • Horsepower: 7,5
  • MAX PSI: 175
  • Tank Size (Gallons): 30
  • Size (inches): 46 x 23.8 x 50.2
  • CFM: 24
  • Weight (pounds): 427
  • Warranty (years): 2
OEMTOOLS 26105 13 HP Air Compressor
  • OEMTOOLS 26105
  • /
  • PRICE: $$$$
  • Horsepower: 13
  • MAX PSI: 175
  • Tank Size (Gallons): 30
  • Size (inches): 45 x 19 x 43
  • CFM: 23
  • Weight (pounds): 492
  • Warranty (years): 2
NorthStar Gas-Powered Air Compressor
  • NorthStar Air Compressor
  • 4.0 Customer Rating
  • PRICE: $$
  • Horsepower: /
  • MAX PSI: 90
  • Tank Size (Gallons): 8
  • Size (inches): 42 x 18 x 25
  • CFM: 14,6
  • Weight (pounds): 184
  • Warranty (years): /

Best Gas Powered Air Compressor Reviews

1. Industrial Air Contractor CTA5090412

Industrial Air Contractor CTA5090412 Air CompressorIndustrial Air Contractor is aptly named because with its power output, it’s clear that it’s best used for industrial-grade air compressor jobs. This unit comes with a Honda engine that boasts 5 horsepower. Depending on the job at hand, you can use this air compressor for residential purposes as well.

The special system in place increases cooling efficiency so that the unit doesn’t overheat with extended use. The maximum pressure output is 155 PSI, which is enough for optimum performance. The CFM at 40 PSI is 6.9, and at 90 PSI it’s 5.0. The tank design is pontoon style and has two separate 2-gallon tanks to make the unit more portable.

However, compared to other units, this isn’t a light air compressor with its 74 pounds. This model also comes with a regulator and tank and tool gauges. Oil-free pump ensures low maintenance.

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2. Makita MAC5501G 5.5 HP

Makita MAC5501G 5.5 HP Air CompressorThere is nothing that this Makita can’t do with its Twin style V pump. It’s manufactured from high-quality materials so that it can withstand industrial grade jobs. There are twin tanks with a capacity of 10 gallons total, which is enough to support multiple nailers.

Due to special manufacturing, this air compressor can provide a 12.5 CFM output at 100 PSI. Even though this is a commercial model and one of the most sold gas-powered air compressors, this model still starts easily, thanks to the ergonomic grip recoil starter.

When we tested this Makita, we can only conclude that it offers durable performance and plenty of capacity. There is also a powerful 4-stroke Honda engine with automatic control. The entire unit is propped on the 10-inch non-flat tire for easier portability. However, nothing can make it easily portable when this unit has 235 pounds.

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3. DeWalt DXCMH1393075

DeWalt DXCMH1393075 Air CompressorIf you need to bring out the big guns to a job site, you won’t find a better air compressor suited for the job than this DeWalt. It’s truly an industrial-grade model that can boast with a steady rate of 24 CFM at 100 PSI, and 22 CFM at 175 PSI.

This is a 2-stage air compressor with limited warranty – 2 years for the pump, and 1 year for the rest of the parts. The tank size is huge – 30 gallons in total. Also, this truck-mounted air compressor has a specifically designed metal belt guard that enables better cooling power and less downtime – it can improve cooling by 60 Fahrenheit degrees.

The biggest (pun intended) con is the size and weight. When we said that this unit is big we meant it – it weighs 427 pounds.  But durability and faster recovery come at a price of mobility.

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4. OEMTOOLS 26105 13 HP

OEMTOOLS 26105 13 HP Air CompressorOEMTOOLS unit is a gas-powered air compressor that packs a punch. With 175 bar maximum pressure, and 23 CFM rate at 100 PSI, even the most demanding jobs will be a breeze. This unit can easily power sanders, grinders, drills, nailers, rachets and the rest of the tools.

Best of all, this model comes with enough oil and air filters so that you can start it and use it as soon as you unpack. Even though this air compressor is manufactured with high-quality materials, breaking probably won’t be an issue, but it’s good to know that you are covered with a 2-year warranty.

The 13-horsepower Honda motor is propped up on cast iron stands, but lack of wheels is impacting its mobility, which is already decreased due to the fact that the whole unit weighs 492 pounds.

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5. NorthStar Gas-Powered Air Compressor

NorthStar Gas-Powered Air CompressorNorthStar is a smaller gas-powered unit on this list and comes with an 8-gallon twin tank – 16 gallons in total. It’s oil-lubricated, so maintenance won’t be that easy as it is with oil-less pumps. It has a rate of 13.7 CFM at 90 PSI, which is enough for medium to heavy-duty tasks. This model is powered by a reliable Honda gas engine and has a single-stage pump with V-type cylinders.

This unit excels at tasks that are oriented to longevity. Features include engine idle control, bearings on crankshafts, and easy portability. It weighs under 180 pounds. During our tests, we used it for a successful bead lasting and we were pleased to see that there was no lag time whatsoever. The unit didn’t overheat at all. Compared to other heavy-duty, industrial-grade units, this air compressor if fairly quiet.

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Gas Air Compressor Buying Guide

With air compressors, there usually aren’t bad units, meaning that they aren’t badly manufactured, but there are units that are better suited for certain jobs. For example, ratchet wrenches can’t be powered by a portable, compact air compressor. Heavy-duty jobs are best performed with the help of industrial-grade, gas-powered units. The best gas powered air compressor for you might just be on this list.

We have taken the time to review each unit and explain everything there is to these models, going into detail about the features. This air compressor buying guide can be used as the main authority on gas-powered units when it comes to research before making a purchase decision.

Who Needs a Gas Air Compressor?

Gas-powered air compressors are intended for people who need a lot of power to use various tools on a job site but don’t have access to electric energy. Gas air compressors can power a variety of tools like sanders, ratchet wrenches, nailers, sprayers, grinders, roofing guns, framing guns, and more. These heavy-duty tasks simply cannot be completed with regular, residential air compressors used for mostly inflating tires and pool equipment.

Gas air compressors are best used on construction sites without electricity where they can be most useful to handymen with power tools. These units are especially great for jobs that require a steady pressure output over prolonged periods of time – some tools and add-ons require a non-stop connection. Gas compressors don’t have problems with providing a steady flow while electric ones shut themselves off and cannot withstand prolonged use.

Gas vs Electric?

Gas or ElectricThe two main types of air compressors are gas powered and electric ones. The differences are very clear. Electric air compressors are great for tasks around the house where you have power outlets easily accessible. When it comes to similarities, the performance between electric and gas air compressors is virtually the same. The tasks differ, and when you need continuous power, it’s better to use gas air compressors.

Electric air compressors are budget-friendly and great for indoor use. But, they cannot perform heavy tasks and cannot run continuously. They overheat and that’s why electric air compressors have a shut-off valve when the pressure gets low or even high.

Gas air compressors can’t be used indoors. They emit gas substances that are dangerous inside, so that is why they are usually used outdoors on various job sites. They can really be a health hazard, and not only that – we are dealing here with compressed gas that can be flammable inside. To alleviate the risks, just choose the right unit for the task at hand.

Noise is also a factor and a major difference point between electric and gas-powered air compressors. These units are generally considered to be quite noisy. Naturally, noise is resonating in closed spaces so even if it weren’t for the fact that gases are a hazard, the noise would be another issue. In the opposite of quiet air compressors, gas air compressors are very loud, but that is okay on job sites.

When it comes to portability, electric air compressors win in this round. It makes sense, though, because electric compressors are generally smaller, more compact and can only be used near power outlets. Industrial grade units, on the other hand, cannot be easily transportable and often have around 200 to 500 pounds – requiring more hands on deck to get it into position. There are gas units that can be mounted on trucks so that makes them portable at least around the construction site.

The larger the unit and the more powerful it is, the louder it will get. It’s more cost efficient to run an electric air compressor than the gas one – you only need a power outlet, and they are usually maintenance free. Gas compressors run on gas and you need to refill the tanks often.

Of course, if you need a unit that has to run continuously and that will power a variety of heavy tools on the outside construction site, you need a gas model. Also, since they have to be durable, gas air compressors need to be manufactured from high-quality materials and that is reflected in their price. On the other hand, gas air compressors have longer and better warranties.

What to Look for in a Gas-Powered Air Compressor?

Gas air compressors are powerful units created for heavy-duty, industrial-grade jobs around massive construction sites where electricity is scarce. There is some difference from unit to unit and from brand to brand, but mostly these models on the list can withstand heavy use. They are selected because they are durable enough and have good warranties.

These models are manufactured from cast iron, so they are also heavy because they aren’t supposed to move while operating. The power they provide already makes them noisy and shaky, no use for the units to be running around the construction site.

The most important thing you need to look for in the gas-powered air compressor is its strength, and strength is seen in the total PSI output, CFM air flow rate, and overall horsepower.

1. Horsepower

Horsepower is the unit that determines the strength of the air compressor. When you are trying to determine which unit to buy, you have to decide based on the task at hand and the power you will need. If you plan to use heavier drills, powerful saws, and other tools that require a lot of power than you should invest in a unit with a larger horsepower. Anything above 5 HP should do the job.

Luckily, all gas air compressors on our list are industrial-grade and can withstand any task you put in front of them.

2. PSI

PSI – pressure per square inch is a unit used to measure the pressure output of gasses and liquids. It is the measurement of the exerted pressure’s strength. The larger the PSI number, the more powerful the unit. If your air compressor has a low PSI output, then it won’t be able to power your tools.

3. Air Flow – CFM

CFM is another important measurement in air compressors and it stands for cubic feet per minute of the intake air. Basically, it’s the power of the air flow in the unit. Lower CFM (around 2) is perfect for inflating jobs, in occurrences when you want to inflate a tire, pool equipment, or use a brad nailer. However, if you need more strength for power tools, you will need CFM output larger than 6. That is enough for ratchet wrenches and similar heavy-duty equipment.

4. Tank Capacity

When you have a gas-powered air compressor, you naturally have a tank where you store the gas it needs for running. Also, if you have a unit with a smaller tank capacity, you might need to pause the job, refill the unit and then continue. That might be a deal-breaker for some people (units with larger tanks are generally a bit more expensive), but on the other hand, some take it as the necessary evil.

Some people argue that an air compressor should have a tank that’s able to fulfill a task at hand. A 9-gallon tank should be enough for any hard job on the construction site.

5. Weight and Portability

Gas air compressors are generally a bit on the heavier side. Makes sense because they are industry-grade units manufactured from steel components. Also, they need to be durable and heavy enough so they don’t move during the job. Some gas air compressors have wheels to make them more portable, but chances are you will need more than a single pair of hands if you want to roll the unit out to the construction site. Some compressors are designed with a wheelbarrow frame, some need to be carried, and some can be mounted on trucks and moved around like that.

Electric air compressors are lighter and easier to transport, but they often don’t provide enough power for heavy tasks.

6. Noise

Every air compressor is noisy, it’s just the question of how noisy it is. Gas air compressors are generally much noisier due to their powerful motors, pressure outputs and air intake, and the strength they supply. That is why you can’t use them indoors – they can damage one’s health with the noise, and they exude dangerous gasses. It is advised to use the noise canceling headphones when working around power tools and air compressors. Loud noises like these, that last for hours, can damage your hearing.

7. Fuel Efficiency

Gas Air Compressor ReviewsGas air compressors run on the gas of course, but when it comes to fuel efficiency, electric-powered compressors are better. However, electric air compressors cannot be used on construction sites without electricity, not to mention the fact that they can’t power most of the power tools used there.

Luckily, newer engines are manufactured in such a manner that increases the power output for less fuel, making them economical to use. They are even less noisy than their predecessors. All you need is enough fuel to get the job done and keep them running.

There are some maintenance and lubricant required for gas air compressors, for example, you need to prepare them for the winter at the end of the season.

ProductHorsepowerMAX PSITank Size
(Gallons)
Size
(inches)
CFMWeight
(pounds)
Warranty
(years)
Industrial Air Contractor CTA50904125155424.5 x 21.5 x 206.9742
Makita MAC5501G 5.51001022 x 48 x 3412.52353
DeWalt DXCMH1393075 7.51753046 x 23.8 x 50.2244272
OEMTOOLS 26105 131753045 x 19 x 43234922
NorthStar Air Compressor/90842 x 18 x 2514.6184/

Wrap Up

It’s hard to pick just one, but we are certain that your next best gas air compressor is on this list. We have taken the time to review the best-selling units, delve into their strengths and weaknesses, and provide their specifications. You can even compare all units at once just by glancing at our air compressor buying guide chart.

With our unbiased gas air compressor reviews, it’s easy to find just the right unit for your needs. You can’t go wrong no matter what model you select from our list. We hope we have answered all your questions about gas air compressors, but even if we didn’t, you can always leave a comment below and we will promptly get back to you.