- 1. California Air Tools 5510SE
- 2. Campbell Hausfeld DC080500
- 3. Briggs & Stratton 1.8-Gallon Quiet Power Technology Air Compressor
- 4. Hitachi EC28M Ultra Quiet
- 5. California Air Tools 2010A
- 6. Excell SAC22HPE
- 7. California Air Tools CAT-4620AC
- 8. Dewalt DWFP55130
- Quiet Air Compressor Buying Guide
- What are the features of noise reduction?
- Who should buy a quiet air compressor?
- Wrap Up
Many handymen give up their beloved hobbies because the tools they need are too loud to use in the home environment. However, this does not have to be a problem. In order to help you tackle this trouble, we compiled a list of best quiet air compressors which are suitable for use at home.
You don’t have to worry about bothering your neighbors or family members when you use these models – they are made to create less noise while remaining powerful and durable enough for domestic use.
In these quiet air compressor reviews, we will go through a detailed list of specifications of each model that made the cut. Furthermore, we will give you some tips to help you make an informed choice and find the right unit for you!
1. California Air Tools 5510SE
The first on our list is a solid hot dog style air compressor from California Air Tools.
This model balances the performance and noise ratio perfectly, which makes for a 60 dBA loud air compressor. Since it maxes out at 120 PSI, this machine is perfect for regular domestic use. It can power your pneumatic tools at 2.20 CFM, going at 90 PSI, or if you’re using something smaller, 3.10 CFM at 40 PSI.
Its motor has decent horsepower at 1.0 HP, but what makes California’s models so quiet is the unique 1680 revolutions per minute motor. Weighing 38 pounds, this model is quite portable. Though lightweight, this model does not lack in tank capacity – the tank can store as much as 5.5 gallons of air! With a one-year-long warranty and at a cost of less than $200, this model is a perfect choice for regular domestic use!
This model is a great choice for those who are looking for a great performance-cost balance. It has a large 5.5-gallon tank but remains lightweight at 38 pounds – even lighter than some 2-gallon models.
Overall, this is a very reliable and balanced model.
2. Campbell Hausfeld DC080500
If you’re looking for a large hot dog tank to do some bolting and tightening work, but still want a machine that won’t bother your neighbors, Campbell Hausfeld has got you covered!
Holding up to 8 gallons of air, this model is great for anyone who requires a large tank on a portable model. In fact, while relatively heavy at 67 pounds, this model has a set of wheels which make it easily transported. While being one of the louder models on our list, making 68 dB of noise, its tank size and PSI power make up for it. Holding up to 125 pounds per square inch of air, and flowing 2.4 CFM at 90 PSI, this is a great model that easily handles most home maintenance, repair, and hobby needs. It comes with a 1-year long warranty.
This is a great, powerful model for an affordable price. However, this model is also very heavy. It’s not the quietest model on the list either – while 68 dBA is tolerable for a home environment, there are quieter models available on the market.
3. Briggs & Stratton 1.8-Gallon Quiet Power Technology Air Compressor
This small model coming from Briggs & Stratton is not the most powerful, but it is the quietest model on our list.
Measured to go as low as 54 and topping at 61 dB, this model is perfect for indoor use, and you surely won’t need ear protection with it. For reference – a typical vacuum cleaner produces around 70 dB while sweeping the floors goes up to about 50. However, peace and quiet come with a price in power. This model can only produce about 1.8 CFM at 90 PSI, and it’s powered by a 0.75 HP motor. At 1.8 gallons of air held by its hot dog style tank, it’s a medium-grade sized model compared to other domestic use machines.
However, while the tank size is rather commonplace, its weight exceeds expectations, and not in a good way – the machine weighs 44 pounds. It leverages its shortages by having an easy to use control panel, storage for accessories and a simplified connecting system – making it an ideal starter model. This model is perfect for indoor hobbies and home maintenance, but it’s not created to handle heavy duty work.
This model is very quiet, making it perfect for home use. Its simplified control panel and the quick connect coupler make it very easy to use, even for first-timers.
However, it can’t handle heavy duty work as its run by a 0.75 HP motor, and only produces 1.8 cubic feet of air per minute at 90 PSI.
4. Hitachi EC28M Ultra Quiet
Hitachi’s small model comes at a small price of $150. This compact machine is both easy to use and to carry, making it a fantastic beginner model for hobbyists.
Its performances are quite low, as it only puts out 0.8 CFM at 90 PSI. Still, it does so at no more than 59 dBA, making it a perfect model for indoor use. However, the best thing about this model is how portable it is. Not only are the components put in a convenient and easy to carry cage, it only weighs 25 pounds. This makes it the lightest model on our list. It has a tank that holds 1 gallon of air, pressurizing it up to 125 PSI. Overall, this is a perfect model if you’re looking for a light-duty machine which is easy to carry around and transport.
Hitachi’s model is surprisingly lightweight at only 25 lbs. It’s also very affordable.
On the other hand, it’s not very powerful – at only 0.8 CFM at 90 PSI, and running on a motor of about 0.45 HP, this machine is only suitable for hobby work.
5. California Air Tools 2010A
This well-balanced California model comes with a 2-gallon aluminum tank and it weighs 36 pounds. Producing 60 dB of noise while working, it can be used inside without a problem – a normal conversation can be carried out over this noise level.
The leverage of this simple hot dog model? The horsepower of its motor. At peak performance, the motor can create up to 2 HP, and it runs at 1680 revolutions per minute, which is exactly what allows it to stay so non-intrusive sound wise. Its performance is quite solid as well – it can put out up to 3.10 CFM at 40, and 2.20 at 90 PSI. Coming with a 1-year long warranty, this model is great to have around!
This model gives great performance at a reasonable price. It has a 2-gallon air tank, and only weighs 36 pounds. However, it does not have a clear benefit over other models. It can be a perfect match if you’re looking for a well-balanced domestic use machine.
6. Excell SAC22HPE
Starting at less than $150, this is by far the cheapest air compressor on our list. Excell’s well-balanced model has very similar performances to our last pick, but it’s a tiny bit heavier, weighing about 45 pounds. This hot dog style tank can hold up to 2 gallons of air, pressurizing it to 125 PSI.
Its output does not lag much behind our previous pick, outputting 3.0 CFM at 40 PSI, and 2.0 CFM at 90 PSI. The noise rating is estimated at 61 dBA, this model is suitable for indoor use – even if you need to use it in an apartment block.
It can easily start in very cold temperatures – the proprietary cold weather starts as low as 14° F.
It’s the most affordable model on our list, and it provides great value for such a low price. On the other hand, it’s a little bit too heavy for such a small machine.
7. California Air Tools CAT-4620AC
This model is by far the most powerful one – and for a reason. This is the only twin stack model.
Twin stack models feature two hot dog tanks, usually on top of each other. Of course, this means double the capacity, but double the weight as well.
Twin stack models aren’t typically very portable – at 68 pounds, this model is not lightweight. However, it comes with a 4.6-gallon capacity in its two tanks. The model can put out up to 6.40 at 40, and 5.30 at 90 PSI, which makes it the strongest air compressor featured on this list. You can run pneumatic drills, chisels, and even some orbital sanders with this compressor. Its 2 HP and 1760 RPM motor can handle most garage work!
The surprising thing is – the noise levels it produces remain reasonable throughout – it produces no more than 70 dBA while working.
This is a very powerful machine with 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI – and considering its performances, it’s quite affordable. However, it’s not very portable, weighing 68 pounds.
8. Dewalt DWFP55130
The most expensive, but also the most powerful hot dog style model on our list comes from Dewalt.
This impressive home-use model features a 2.5-gallon tank that can pressurize up to 200 PSI. In the output, this pressure translates to 3.0 CFM at 90 PSI. With a 1.1 horsepower strong motor, this is also the loudest machine on this list. It creates 71.5 dB of noise while working.
This noise level is very similar to a regular noncommercial vacuum cleaner, so you probably don’t want to keep working next to it for extended periods of time. Still, this noise level isn’t unbearable and you don’t have to use protective gear like you must with regular air compressors.
Weighing about 40 pounds, this machine is reasonably portable as well. It comes with a 1-year warranty – just like other models on our list, which is not ideal considering it costs twice as much.
This is the most powerful hot dog style machine on our list, running up to 3.0 CFM at 90 PSI. This means it can even handle powering some ratchets and drills. However, the power comes with a price – this model is the most expensive and the loudest one on our list.
Quiet Air Compressor Buying Guide
Whether you need to get an air compressor that’s suitable for use inside an apartment building, or you simply want to protect your hearing, in the long run, getting a quiet air compressor is a great decision! The idea of a machine as powerful as an air compressor being near-silent was unimaginable a few years back, but today it’s reality – and an affordable one as well.
Machines made for domestic use are not as powerful as industrial-grade, but they offer us benefits in terms of noise control and portability. And just as portable air compressors need to balance portability and output power, so do quiet ones.
If you’re running an artistic hobby shop or a jewelry store, the small, quiet option might be a dream come true, but if your goals depend on strong CFM output, it might be a better option to get a larger, louder machine. Still, the models that made the cut and ended up on our list offer the best power-silence balance available on the market.
How Quiet is Quiet?
So, what exactly does the dB measurement mean? How loud is a quiet air compressor, and how do these numbers compare to other sounds you know?
A decibel (dB), the measurement unit we use here is not as easy to understand as pounds or inches. It actually represents a ratio between two numbers. Measuring the intensity of sound is not as simple as measuring length, so we will also use a comparison to illustrate the noise that listed air compressors make.
Think of a calm fall afternoon in a remote, rural area. You’re in a tranquil room, so silent that you can hear yourself breathing while the fire crackling. This happens at around 10 dB. Somebody enters the room and sits next to you, but doesn’t speak. You can hear a bird singing outside. The sound levels reach 40 dB. If your friend starts talking to you in a normal conversational tone, the sound levels in the room are likely to reach 60 dB. About 10 ft away from you, somebody starts vacuuming. The noise levels go up to about 70 dB. If you decide to go outside and mow the lawn with your gas mower – it will likely produce a noise of about 100 dB.
Typically, air compressors create anywhere between 70 and 90 dB. If you’re exposed to sound levels of above 85 dB for prolonged periods of time, you might want to consider using hearing protection gear.
While the sound that the quiet air compressor models create is constant, it’s not an easy task to handle sounds above 70 dB. The best thing about getting the quiet version is that a normal conversation can be carried out over it – making cooperation while working easier than ever.
What makes quiet air compressors different?
So, what are the features that make the decibel measurements so low on these machines compared to other, regular air compressors? There are many different aspects tweaked to design these models and make them produce less noise, so we will only list the most crucial ones. These are the things that set the quiet models apart from the regular ones:
- RPM, or revolutions per minute
- Rubber isolation pads to absorb vibrations
- Electric power supply compared to gas-powered
What are the features of noise reduction?
As you might have noticed, we listed a measurement unit RPM, talking about how many revolutions the unit’s motors make while doing their job. As with most machines, starting with a simple cooling fan, the rotary motor is the component that creates by far the most noise and vibrations. With motors that keep their revolution per minute on an average low, you get less vibration, meaning – less noise.
Another way to cancel out some of the noise made by the machine is by minimizing the number of vibrations that reach the floor or the table they sit on. Improving the unit’s stability and giving it additional parts like rubber feet make less sound that is produced by slight shaking. Whether in a form of feet or full-surface stand, rubber helps to absorb most of the vibrations that the machine produces, making it much less noisy.
Finally, units that are powered by electricity create far less noise than their gas-powered counterparts. In short, the models that use gas as a source of power need to utilize an engine to convert that gas. These engines are often very loud, so picking an electricity-powered unit is perfect for domestic work. By the way – all of our picks in this topic use electricity, so you don’t have to worry about that!
Who should buy a quiet air compressor?
Whether you’re just looking for a tool to speed up fixing the good, old deflated tire or you have a big spray painting project for your kitchen elements, chances are – you’ll find a good use for an air compressor. While it could be interesting to try doing these tasks manually, painting by hand or using a simple air pump is tiring. Many people will soon find that it’s not nearly as easy as it might seem at first. Most of the time, using the air powered version is just more enjoyable, easier, less tiring and less time-consuming.
Pneumatic (air powered) tools are a joy to work with, as they require very little strength, and very often spare you the frustration of an empty battery. This can be attested by both the hobbyists who enjoy an occasional DIY spree, and workshop professionals who utilize these tools for their daily jobs – pneumatic tools are easier to use and maintain, and they have a very long life-span.
Professionals who need to use pneumatic tools at their workshops often prefer to get quiet air compressor units since they need to be around them for a prolonged time span. Using a standard, loud air compressor can cause permanent hearing damage, and anything that creates over 85 dB of noise requires safety noise-reducing equipment like noise-canceling headphones, earplugs, and ear muffs.
This equipment is effective for reducing the damage made by the noisy environment, but it also means that people cannot hear anything. As communication is key in most workshops where more than one person works, this solution is often less than ideal for handymen who need to work with pneumatic tools. As there are even professional-grade air compressors that have some noise-reduction properties, it’s always the best to check out if there are suitable quiet unit versions available.
On the other hand, crafty people often wish they could tackle some DIY projects at home but shy away from starting them as they don’t want to bother their family members, pets, and neighbors by using loud machines. Whether you want to repaint your kitchen but don’t want to make a mess doing it with a brush, or use the nail gun to fix up your garden fence, having an air compressor is no longer the luxury reserved for people with a garage. The quiet models are now available to everyone!
Air compressors are not heavy machinery reserved for professional handymen and industrial settings anymore. You should consider what’s important for you. If what worries you is the noise that these machines often make, consider some of the models described above, in our quiet air compressor reviews.
Anyone can get one and utilize it in many ways, from home renovations through DIY projects. Portability, noise control, output pressure and tank capacity are all important things to consider when choosing the right machine to get.
If you’re thinking of getting one for yourself, we strongly encourage you to get one of these best quiet air compressors for home use. Considering the vast variety of fantastic units available, why not get one that won’t damage your hearing?