Quick Summary: We have picked the Porter Cable PXCMF220VW 20 Gallon Portable Air Compressor as the top 20-gallon air compressor as it has low maintenance, an oil-free motor, and is both environmentally friendly and budget-friendly. It is an easily portable unit that puts out enough power for most projects and comes with both a regulator and a gauge.
Finding the best 20-gallon air compressors to help you along with projects at home or for use on smaller work projects can be challenging. However, there are many top 20-gallon air compressors out there to choose from.
When considering options such as portability, power, run time, speed, and reliability, some models stand out above others. Larger air tanks let you do more at one time, and there are other factors to consider when choosing the best 20-gallon air compressors.
Choosing between gas or electric powered compressors depends on whether you plan to use the unit indoors, outdoors, or both, as electric is safer for inside use and tend to be quieter. Another consideration is whether you prefer a traditional horizontal unit or a space-saving vertically designed compressor.
While it’s important, be careful about judging the best 20-gallon air compressors by pounds per square inch (PSI) alone, as having a higher cubic foot per minute (CFM) rating means getting the job done faster.
Based on these factors, we have discovered which models account for the top 20-gallon air compressors on the market today so you can quickly find out which one is right for your DIY projects.
- 10 Best 20 Gallon Air Compressors Comparison
- Reviews of Top 20 Gallon Air Compressors
- How to Choose the Right 20 Gallon Air Compressor?
- Final Verdict
Reviews of 10 Best 20 Gallon Air Compressors
Here’s a list of the top 20 gallon air compressors we found on the market:
What You Will Love: It is both environmentally friendly and budget friendly.
The Porter Cable PXCMF220vw comes from a well known and trusted company.
It requires little to no maintenance from you, is portable, and at a little over $250, it is a more economical price than many other options. It comes equipped with a regulator and gauges.
It puts out some decent power- 5.0 CFM at 40 PSI and 4.0 CFM 90 PSI- and has an oil free motor. However, it turns off when it gets hot, starts breaking down kind of quickly, and puts out about 84 db- which is kind of noisy.
Porter Cable PXCMF220vw is great for tight budgets, but you probably want to upgrade as soon as you can. It would also make a good back up, or one for those who would not use it often.
- Low maintenance
- 150 PSI
- CSA certified- more environmentally friendly
- Fair price
- 5.0 CFM 40 PSI
- 4.0 CFM 90 PSI
- Comes with regulator and gauges
- Cuts off when hot
- Nkind of slow
What You Will Love: It is quiet, slim, durable, and stable, and it comes with a 2 year warranty- all at a great price.
This WEN 2202 air compressor is the best 20 gallon vertical air compressor if you are on a tight budget. It is durable and has rubber feet to make it even more stable.
It is quieter than most of its competitors, has a slim design, and comes with a 2-year warranty. At a little over $200, it is a very budget friendly option.
However, when you are getting such a low price, you can expect to give up some quality somewhere. In this case, the air flow rate is lower than its higher priced counterparts, and it requires regular maintenance since it is oil lubricated.
- It is durable
- Quieter than many of its competitors
- Very budget friendly option
- 2 year warranty
- Slim design
- Rubber feet for added stability
- Provides a low air flow rate compared to many others
- Requires regular maintenance
Best Gas Powered Compressor
What You Will Love: This 20 gallon gas powered compressor is built for durability and requires no electricity.
The North Star Portable Gas Powered Air Compressor is pretty impressive. Its pump is made from durable cast iron, the V style cylinder provides excellent cooling, and the floating steel valves all work to provide a longer lasting product.
You can get up to 13.7 CFM at 90 PSI, which outperforms many others. Additionally, it is equipped with a Honda GX160 OHV 5.5 HP engine, which is one of the most reliable gas engines for common air tools, max pressure washers, and some more heavy duty power tools.
With this excellent and long lasting design comes a high price tag. At over $1,000, it is definitely more expensive than many other options.
However, North Star Air Compressor is also more durable than many others. With great buyer ratings, this is one of the best air compressor 20 gallon options if you can afford it.
- V style cylinder design provides excellent cooling
- Durable cast iron pump for long service life
- Floating Swedish steel valves for longer valve life
- Low oil shutdown
- Provides a handle for easy transport
- Very expensive
Best Gas Powered Compressor with Twin Motor
What You Will Love: This is a very powerful gas powered air compressor that is easy to transport.
The Dewalt DXCMPA 1982054 Air Compressor is equipped with a dual voltage motor, which makes it a more powerful option than some of its competitors.
At about $700, it is more affordable than the North Star gas powered option, but it is still pretty expensive compared to most electric options.
- More budget friendly gas powered option
- Easily portable
- Easy to use
- Provides maximum performance
- Dual voltage motor for extra power
- Still a bit high
Best Horizontal Electric Air Compressor
What You Will Love: It is equipped with a twin cylinder that provides extra power and a quick set regulator for ease of use, making it one of the best oiled air compressor options available.
The Industrial Air IP1682066 MN Electric is a great 20 gallon air compressor.
It is oil lubricated which does require some maintenance, but it also extends the life of the motor and makes the machine more powerful.
With the v twin cylinder providing even more power, you can expect good performance results from this model.
The cast iron compressor pump adds to the already durable machine, and Industrial Air Electric Air Compressor is equipped with a quick set regulator and tool pressure gauges.
The attached handle and wheels make it easy to transport when needed. At nearly $500, it is a bit expensive, but users say it is worth the investment.
- Oil lubricated for more power and longer life
- Twin cylinder for even more power
- Easy to transport with the attached wheels and handle
- Quick set regulator
- Pretty quiet compared to others
- Requires maintenance due to oil
- Expensive option though not the most expensive
Best Vertical Electric Air Compressor
What You Will Love: It is a very portable 20 gallon upright air compressor- one of the most portable ones, in fact.
The North Star Single Stage Portable Electric Compressor is, indeed, a very portable compressor. If you only need light work and extreme portability, this is a great option for you.
It is a quieter air compressor than most of its oil free competitors. It does provide some decent power. However, the tank does not fill up fast enough to work on heavy duty items.
At over $500, it would seem reasonable to expect it to act as a heavy duty option, but that may be relative to each individual’s expectations.
North Star Air Compressor is definitely not the most impressive as far as performance goes, but its level of portability makes up for some of that.
And it comes with a 4 year warranty, so it should not hurt to try it out and see if it performs as well as you need it to.
- Very easily portable
- Quieter than most other options
- 4 year warranty
- Expensive option
- May not perform well as a heavy duty tool
Best User Friendly
What You Will Love: It is great for both home and commercial use, and it comes with an easy to read and see panel that tells you how to operate it.
The Campbell Hausfeld dc200000 Portable compressor is both environmentally friendly and user friendly. It is oil free so it requires little to no maintenance from you.
Campbell Hausfeld dc200000 is easily portable with a steel handle and large wheels. With the optimally placed instruction channel, you do not have to keep an instruction manual on hand.
Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor only provides 1.3 HP, which is low compared to many other options, but still okay for home and small projects.
The price is set to around $300, meaning Campbell Hausfeld dc200000 is not as cheap as the budget friendly options mentioned, but there are definitely more expensive ones. The quality, performance, and portability make the price seem very fair.
- User friendly
- Low to no maintenance
- Excellent portability- steel handle and large wheels
- Good for commercial use
- Environmentally friendly pump
- Easy to read panel tells you how to operate it
- Price is okay
- Only 1.3 HP- slightly low
Best Oil Free Air Compressor
What You Will Love: This unit provides a longer run time than other at a very budget friendly price.
The Husky 20 Gallon 175 PSI Portable Air Compressor provides up to 175 PSI max pressure for a longer running time, yet is still fairly quiet at around 83 db. It has an oil free pump, meaning less work for you.
The built on handle and 7 inch wheels make it easy to transport, and the sleek slim design means it will not take up a lot of space.
The biggest concern I have is that it only provides 1.3 HP, while most others provide at least 1.5 HP and up. Regularly around $250, Husky Air compressor is budget friendly, and it comes with a two year warranty.
- Runs pretty quiet at 83 db
- Can handle some big jobs
- Long running time- provides up to 175 PSI
- Very easily portable
- Oil free pump
- Handle and 7 inch wheels make it easily transportable
- Two year warranty
- Slim vertical design
- Budget friendly
- Slightly low 1.3 HP
Best Oil Lubricated Electric Compressor
What You Will Love: It has v twin cylinders for increased power, and dual voltage allows for versatile applications.
The Industrial Air IL1682066 MN Air Compressor is a belt driven compressor with dual voltage for versatility, and twin cylinders for power.
It is oil lubricated so there is a little maintenance on your part. However, oil lubricated pumps tend to last much longer than the oil free ones. It has two very sturdy wheels to transport it on.
The belt pulley may be uneven, which could cause some issues. However, there is a two year warranty, so that will probably be taken care of.
At around $500, Industrial Air IL1682066 is a bit high priced, but there are more expensive choices. If you need a budget friendly air compressor, this one is probably not a good idea.
- Oil lubricated
- Twin cylinder gives it extra power
- Dual voltage makes it versatile
- Portable with two very sturdy wheels
- Quick set regulator
- 2 year warranty
- Expensive option
- Belt pulley may be uneven
Best Single Stage Compressor
What You Will Love: Do more of what you want when you want with one of these Ingersoll Rand air compressors. Also known as the “Garage Mate,” this high-end air compressor is the best in its class and is ideal for home use with plenty of power to handle home jobs and larger construction projects.
Electrically powered for optimal inside or outside use, this low volume model provides reliability and overload protection that outshines petroleum-based versions.
This single stage air compressor uses an all-season synthetic lubricant for greater efficiency that can outperform petroleum-based lubes with four times the longevity.
The Ingersoll Rand is lightweight and easy to port around work sites thanks to semi-pneumatic tires and an ergonomic handle. With automatic stop and start options, the Ingersoll Rand P1.5IU-A9 20 gallon compressor is easy to use even for beginners.
Handle even the toughest applications with 100% continuous duty operation and a large 20-gallon receiver air tank that ensures you never run out of air, even when using it for long periods.
Users will have a quiet, continuous supply of pressurized air with this model that offers low 80 dBA noise levels far below comparable air compressors.
The durable cast iron air tank and frame have features that include an easy-access side drain valve and a quick start/stop switch control for an optimal user experience.
- No gas needed with this corded electric model
- 2000+ hours between servicing
- Cast iron cylinder protects moving parts for less lubrication needs
- Extra-quiet model with less than 90 dBA levels
- May be more expensive than comparable models in the $600 plus a range
- Max PSI of 135 is lower than some comparable compressors
How to Choose the Right 20 Gallon Air Compressor?
In order to choose the top 20 gallon air compressor, you should be familiar with the following facts:
Electric or Gas-Powered Compressor
Choosing between gas-powered air compressors and electric powered air compressors depends on a couple of things: Do you have an electric outlet at your work site?
Will you be working indoors or outdoors? If there is no electric outlet, you will either need to go with gas-powered or purchase a generator. If you are working indoors, go electric so you are not breathing in those harmful fumes.
Oil Free or Oiled Air Compressor
Oil free versions require less work and maintenance from you. Oiled air compressors require more maintenance, but they also tend to last longer.
Vertical or Horizontal Compressor
Horizontal air compressors are typically easier to move around but vertical air compressors take up less space. The vertical ones also tend to be more stable.
What Size Generator Do I Need to run a 20 gallon air compressor?
The generator will need 4,000 starting watts to get it going. The least amount of running watts it will need is 2,000 watts, but 3,000 watts would be a better option
CFM is the Key – PSI usually isn’t a Factor
Many people go judge an air compressor based solely on the PSI (pounds per square inch). The more important measurement, though, is CFM (cubic feet per minute). This refers to the speed at which the compressor can put out air, which is important to how fast you get your work done.
The tank of an air compressor is much like the gas tank in a car: the size of the air tank determines how much of the desired product you have in the tank at once- in this case, compressed air. The smaller the tank, the more often you have to stop and refill.
In general, if you use an air compressor, you will have to deal with some level of noise, which is measured in decibels (db). However, some are much quieter than others.
Make the right investment
A 20 gallon air compressor is going to take up a decent amount of space. They also are not something that you can just pick up and carry around. Instead, you would need to purchase one with a good carriage or wheel base.
To choose the best air compressor for you, determine the amount of space you have to store it and how portable you need it to be.
Is a 20-Gallon Air Compressor Suitable for Business Use?
A 20 gallon is excellent for business and commercial use. Thanks to the amount of air it produces, there is no frequent starts and stops to let the tank refill. In fact, for most cases, there may not need to be any unplanned breaks.
How long can a 20-Gallon Air Compressor Tank Last?
While there can be no full guarantees, most air compressors will last for two to three decades. That can give you anywhere between 40,000 and 60,000 hours of work. Because of this, most air compressors pay for themselves many times over.
How much is a 20 gallon air compressor?
Depending on the features and capabilities of the air compressor, the prices will vary. You can find some for a couple hundred bucks and they can go beyond $1,000. Determine your budget before shopping so you will know which price range to look at.
How big is a 20 gallon air compressor
Like other features, the exact measurements will vary according to the design you choose. You can expect many of them to be about 4 ft high and a couple of feet wide, but again, those numbers can vary.
How good is a 20 gallon air compressor
This will depend on the brand and model you choose, but overall they all rank pretty well for personal and commercial use.
Why do I need 20 gallon air compressor?
An air compressor can be used for pretty much anything: tire and toy inflation, painting, pneumatic tools, and so on. They are useful for anything you can use a compressor on. They just hold 20 gallons of compressed air whereas other compressors hold more or less.
Final Verdict: Best 20 Gallon Air Compressors
We have discussed the different characteristics of 20 gallon air compressors and then reviewed nine great options. It is important to get the right air compressor for your needs and your wallet. With this buying guide, you can be confident in your choice.
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