It’s a time for a change of season. I want to have something new, a new car, for example. Of course, I won’t spend a large amount of money on buying a new vehicle. Instead, I will invest in one of the best air compressors for painting cars, which is sufficient to bring your car a new look for a new season
An air compressor is used to convert power into the pressurized air for a spray gun and other tools.
To paint your car, you need a spray gun, but only a good air compressor can help your gun spray even layers of paint on your vehicle. Without a compressor, it’s hard to offer the necessary amount of power to complete your task.
However, if you make a wrong decision, it may be a waste even ruining the surface of your car. In this post, I will provide you with some helpful information to choose the best one. There are top five products which have different outstanding features and drawbacks. Depending on your demands, you can purchase a suitable model for sure.
Now, follow me to find out your choice:
Top 5 Best Air Compressors for Painting Cars
- 1. Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor
- 2. Makita MAC5200 Big Bore 3.0 HP Air Compressor
- 3. California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor
- 4. California Air Tools CAT-4620AC Electric Portable Air Compressor
- 5. Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor
The Best Air Compressors for Painting Cars
In this part, I will offer you with the top five picks of air compressors for painting cars as well as how to choose the best one.
Do you want to buy a small or big one? Do you need more power or not? There will be a suitable choice for your demands:
Before starting, I want you to learn this knowledge. Depending on the size of your gun and how you adjust the pressure, the CFM you should choose may be different. However, the ideal range of CFM should be 4-19. If not, it is difficult to paint the whole car. And all products below can meet this requirement.
1. Makita MAC5200 3.0 HP – Best for Professional Use
Although the design of Makita seems to be small and compact, it uses industrial power, increasing strength.
This product is designed with rough wheels and a handle, allowing you to transport it from place to place to perform many different projects. Or you don’t need to bring it far away from your house, right? It is still a useful model because you can move it around your car to paint quickly.
Its cast press construction shows a high-level of sturdiness that means the lifespan is very long even when you use it in an extreme condition.
This air compressor is integrated with an oil-greased up pup. Thus, if you want to paint a lot of cars at the same time, it can meet your requirement of the expanded air consumption at high effectiveness.
Though its 5.2-gallon tank can support very well for two spray guns, it is smaller than others available on the market.
- Less commotion
- Console panel
- Very heavy
2. Makita MAC2400 – Best Compact Air Compressor
When it comes to power and strength, Makita MAC2400 has big bore cylinder, so it can inhale and compress a significant volume of air at one stroke.
Makita MAC5200 3.0 HP is pretty easy to move around. In case you are looking for a hand-carry model, I highly recommend this compact electric air compressor.
The air compressor is made from a metal material, especially, its component is high-quality. Therefore, you can expect using this product for a long time, even when working in an extreme condition.
This unit has an additional large pump to maximize air pressure up to 130 PSI, so it will get a quick recovery and raise productivity effectively.
The volume of air in the tank can’t run continuous use, so it’s hard to meet the demand of a professional in a garage.
- Less noise
- Easy startup
- Easy to adjust the pressure
- Easy to clean up
- One year warranty
- Hard to carry it up and down stairs
3. California Air Tools 10020C – Best Air Compressor for Quiet Operation
As you can see, the outstanding feature of this product is to produce less noise, so its motor only runs at 1680 RPM. You can’t expect more. However, it’s fine to perform small projects.
Though the small and compact design of California Air Tools 10020C allows you to use and move quickly, it leads to the lack of a reasonable CFM rate, having a pressure of 90psi.
Many people think that it is so expensive to buy an air compressor at shallow pressure.
The best air compressor is a worthy investment, so no one wants to spend an extra amount of money on buying another model after just a short time. You shouldn’t purchase a machine which builds up a lot of dust on it since it may cause many problems over time. California Air Tools 10020C is free of debris and dirt which may be on the top when you don’t maintain regularly.
The most effective point of this product is that you can work with it hours at night without disrupting neighbors because it is extremely quiet.
- Sturdy handle
- Large air tank
- Easy to use
- Easy to move with plastic wheels
- The performance hasn’t reached the standard
4. California Air Tools CAT- 4620AC – Best Air Compressor for the Commercial and Industrial Usage
Like California Air Tools 10020C, California Air Tools CAT – 4620AC also runs at 1680 RPM, leading to less noise and wear, but the later is integrated the oil-free dual piston pump system, which promotes performance.
Although this is not a lightweight model, it’s portable and compact air compressor. Thus, you can completely move it around to paint your car.
The oil-free dual piston pump system allows you to use in uneven terrains, and conditions at various temperatures, so the whole model has very high durability.
This air compressor is perfect to use for commercial and industrial demands because it is so strong and powerful that the unit can deal with continuous use over a long time effectively.
When it comes to the drawback, in some cases, the packaging is insufficient, causing damage while shipping.
- Less vibration
- Less maintenance
- Easy to maintain the oil-free pump
- Not good quality control
5. Industrial Air IL1682066 – Best Air Compressor for the Most Stringent and Demanding Conditions
The heavy-duty dual voltage of the induction motor can improve the performance. Meanwhile, the cast iron and twin cylinder pump provide quicker heat dissipation.
Although four products above are portable, I a sure that Industrial air lL1682066 is the best in this aspect because it’s equipped with a vertical portable tank and the pneumatic tires for the maximum portability. What’s more, the combination of the pneumatic wheels and the small footprint offers the whole model with high mobility.
Many users said that this model is so strong and durable. If you take care of it carefully, it can last over 30 years.
The operating effectiveness of this air compressor is high thanks to the support of the working pressure gauges, a portable tank, a quick-set regulator, and other additional heavy-duty components.
Here is its disadvantage:
The air compressor is only compatible with low-pressure spray guns. So, I recommend for small projects.
- Trouble-free operation
- Easy transportation
- Less noise
- Simple to set up and use
- Nice moveable handles and wheels
How to Choose a Good Air Compressor for Painting Car
What kinds of features should you look for painting your vehicles?
This depends on your demands. Let’s consider the followings:
PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) is used to measure the air pressure of an air compressor. However, the majority of spray guns available which can combine with HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) air compressors have low PSI.
In case you want to replace HVLP with LVLP, it requires you an air compressor with low PSI output.
CFM (Cubic Feet per minute) of an air compressor is how much air is delivered per minute. If you need droplets of paint from a spray gun, you should choose a unit with a high CFM rating.
How Many CFM do You Need to Paint a Car?
Most auto body shops choose 90-100 CFM ratings for painting. That means that the range of 4-19 CFM per unit is ideal for painting cars when undercoating. Don’t select too low CFM, which would cause uneven flow of paint.
A proper-sized tank helps you complete your task in time.
How Many Gallon Air Compressor do I Need to Paint a Car?
Because I use my spray gun for continuous hours, I invest in a 50-60-gallon tank.
Some readers ask that “can you paint a car with a 30-gallon air compressor?”
I don’t strongly recommend this thing since it’s hard to paint your whole car once time.
Moisture Traps and Regulators
The moisture trap helps you prevent condensations since moisture easily causes inconsistent paint in many cars.
It’s better to buy an air compressor from a professional source. Once you make a wrong decision with a high-pressure container, it may explode. Although the government doesn’t mandate safety feature compliance for an air compressor, it is still vital to save your life.You can refer to some safety suggestions from industry body OSHA. Usually, these issues regard bad service and maintenance.
A qualifies seller always takes care of their product in routine inspection and maintenance.
A high-quality air compressor should have a good warranty as well as other services. The warranty can vary from 3, 5, 7, 10 years, depending on the different companies.It’s essential to check the parts covered under warranty. The usual ones include rings, coolers, gaskets, variable speed drives, air or fluid receivers, drive couplers and motors, suction or discharge valves.
Meanwhile, SLAs (the service-level agreements) is preventative maintenance, providing annual or monthly fee. This will take care of electrical connections, belt tension, air filters, oil levels, coolers, valves, and traps.
Only companies where produce high-quality products and provide their customers with excellent services can have a long history. Thus, when buying an air compressor, don’t forget to consider this element.Here are some famous names: Maxair, Ingersoll Rand, Sullair, Campbell Hausfeld, Husky, Kaeser, and Hitachi.
A great manufacturer should have a vast dealership network, including your country. If not, it’s hard to offer an excellent after-sale service.
In case a dealer runs very well for years, and it tends to go on receiving good reviews from their customers, you can set your mind at rest about their quality and service.
Now, It’s Time to Use Your “New” Car!
I wonder how the look of your car is after painting. Is it beautiful, something fresh or cool? Can you take a picture of it and leave in this comment? Also, I want to know your choice as well as your experience. If you have any question regarding the best air compressors for painting cars, don’t hesitate to let me know as well.
For me, I picked up Makita MAC2400 because this best compact air compressor fits my small garage. I don’t mind its drawback because I have a lot of time using several times. Moreover, I don’t need to carry it up and down stairs.
I am a licensed architect who is passionate about all things home improvement industries, I have been doing DIY painting projects and have developed lots of experience around home improvement over the 10 years.