Best 10 Gallon Air Compressors – 2021 Tell-All Review

Cody
| Last Updated: January 18, 2021

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With the right 10-gallon air compressor, you’ll easily match the needs of everyday usage. But you don’t just want the right mix of power and portability. You also want a long-lasting investment and a design you’ll enjoy using.

Let’s show you how to get all that from one of the best 10-gallon air compressors you’ll find on the market!

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below are the best 10 gallon air compressors:

  1. Crafstman CMXECXA0201041
  2. Stark 65151
  3. Husky L210VWDVP

Comparison Chart of the Best 10 Gallon Air Compressors

Product

Our Rating

Price

Crafstman CMXECXA0201041

  • 1.8 HP, 175 PSI
  • 10 gallons
  • 120 V

Stark 65151

  • 3.5 HP, 125 PSI
  • 10 gallons
  • 120 V

Husky L210VWDVP

  • 1.5 HP, 135 PSI
  • 10 gallons
  • 120 V

Craftsman CMXECXA0331042

  • 1.8 HP, 150 PSI
  • 10 gallons
  • 120 V

Central Pneumatic 2 HP Air Compressor

  • 2 HP, 125 PSI
  • 8 gallons
  • 120 V

Can You Find a Quality 10 Gallon Air Compressor That’s Affordable? 

The tank size is just one important piece of the puzzle you’re putting together in your research. Everything else can vary greatly, from a 1.8 HP motor with 175 maximum PSI to a 3.5 HP motor with 125 maximum PSI configuration.

The specs of a 10-gallon air compressor fall within a broad range. And so does the price tag. Needless to say, you can find a model that will match your needs and won’t cost an arm and a leg.

You might have to choose between aluminum vs. steel tank. Or settle for a consumer-grade model rather than a professional-grade one. But affordability is not out of reach when it comes to dependable 10-gallon air compressors. We’ll show you why in the reviews below!

How To Buy An Air Compressor 

Wondering what specs should weigh more in your final decision? We strongly advise you to think about the types of jobs you’ll mostly be doing with it. And how much you are willing to invest. Other than that, keep an eye on the following characteristics:

Power/Pressure Output

An air compressor's power output is indicated, aside from the horsepower, by the maximum PSI. A higher PSI shows that the tank can hold a larger volume of compressed air. The more air it holds, the longer you’ll be able to run your air tools with it in one cycle – meaning without waiting for the tank to refill and reach the pressure you need for the job.

Horsepower

The horsepower is a feature of the motor. The higher it is, the faster the air compressor will be able to refill its tank. In other words, you could pick a 10-gallon air compressor that has a lower power output as long as its HP is higher. That’s because running out of compressed air in the tank is something that the motor will easily fix if it has a high enough power.

Airflow Rate

The airflow rate is measured in CFM, which stands for the cubic feet per meter capacity. The reference point is measured when the compressor hits 90 PSI. And if you’re shopping for an air compressor for personal use, an average of 3.35 CFM should serve you well for most jobs.

Review of the Best 10 Gallon Air Compressors 

By now, you know you should expect an overwhelming range of options. You’ve learned why many 10-gallon air compressors have such different power outputs and what that means. Below, we’d like to share with you our findings after fiddling with some of the best-rated models from reputable manufacturers:

Best Overall:
Craftsman CMXECXA0201041

PROS

  • Relies on a sturdy steel house
  • UMC motor for strong air force
  • Starts easily at low temperatures
  • Low noise level during operation
  • Quick coupler with wide compatibility

CONS

  • Plastic drain valve
  • Only 1-year limited warranty

Our Review:

The best overall 10-gallon air compressor comes from Craftsman, and it relies on a powerful 1.8 HP motor. Built to face the toughest job site conditions, it gives you industrial power with the convenience of no maintenance.

The pump supports a maximum of 175 PSI, with 5 CFM @ 40 PSI, respectively 4 CFM @ 90 PSI. Oil-free and maintenance-free, it is designed for on-going use. Nailing, stapling, bolting, fastening, and inflation, even hobby painting, are all easily doable with this compressor.

So, for operation either at home, in a garage, or in a workshop, it’s a powerful, durable, and versatile choice. The best one you can make, considering everything it has to offer!

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

This air compressor from Craftsman stands out as the best 10-gallon unit currently on the market. It is solidly built and with a just as solid housing. It works at a low noise level and refills in a little over 60 seconds. Not to mention that its quick coupler will work with all standard connects, for compatibility with a wide range of air tools.

Best for the Money:
Stark 65151

PROS

  • Works at a low noise level
  • Features automatic shutoff
  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Perfect for a wide range of jobs
  • Solid pump facilitates faster recovery time

CONS

  • Occasional oil leaks reported
  • Oil pump requires regular maintenance

Our Review:

Here’s a portable compressor from Stark, with a 10-gallon tank and an impressive 3.5 HP power output. The solid cast iron pump recovers fast and is built to last. It boasts a maximum 125 PSI, with 7.2 CFM @ 40 PSI and 3.5 CFM @ 90 PSI.

Under the hood, there’s an induction motor, with cold start and twin capacitor, plus the much-needed thermal-overload protection. The low Amp draw will spare you from unpleasant startup experiences, for sure.

Through it all, this is a highly-versatile compressor that you’ll easily pair with lots of air tools. It has more than decent power, operates quietly, and comes with safety features that you’ll be happy to have at hand.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Are you specifically looking for a 10-gallon air compressor, but you only have a limited budget? This option from Stark will give you the most bang for your buck. The powerful motor and sturdy pump work great together. Not to mention it offers a couple of special features, like the oversized, automotive-style industrial air filter and low-noise operation.

Best Husky 10 Gallon Air Compressor:
Husky L210VWDVP

PROS

  • Durable, oil-lubricated pump
  • Low voltage, hassle-free start-up
  • Great for light to medium-duty tasks
  • Dependable motor with a good power output
  • Portable, with high-density polyethylene wheels

CONS

  • Not the most affordable option out there
  • Requires extra maintenance for the oiled pump

Our Review:

As a fan of Husky Tools, this 10-gallon air compressor can easily become your favorite. It is, after all, a solid choice for passionate DIY-ers who work around the house or in a small shop. And with its 1.5 HP motor and durable pump, you should enjoy it in the long run.

Note that this is an oil-lubed air compressor, with the pump featuring an aluminum head and cast-iron cylinder sleeve. Ready to deliver a maximum of 135 PSI, it holds 3.8 SCFM @ 90 PSI. Nailing or stapling, inflation can all be done smoothly with this unit.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The L210VWDVP is Husky’s most effective 10-gallon air compressor. Built to deliver and to last, it will serve you well for various purposes. It sits on wheels, which makes it highly portable. And chances are you’ll find it available for sale along with an extra value kit.

Best Craftsman 10 Gallon Air Compressor:
Craftsman CMXECXA0331042

PROS

  • Powerful motor with high maximum PSI
  • Oil-free pump won’t require extra maintenance
  • Vertical design that takes less space in your workshop
  • Easy to maneuver, with rubber handle and rugged wheels
  • Features 2 couplers, for using two air tools simultaneously

CONS

  • A bit on the pricey side
  • Warranty is limited to only 1 year

Our Review:

A company with tradition on the power tools market, Craftsman over-delivers with this vertical 10-gallon air compressor. Equipped with a 1.8 HP motor and ready to hit 150 PSI, it has a pump that supports an airflow of 5 CFM @ 40 PSI and 4 CFM @ 90 PSI.

From keeping it in a garage or workshop to pushing it to the job site, it’s easy to work with it. The 2 couplers give you more flexibility. And the gauges are conveniently placed for you to quickly check the pressure anytime.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Craftsman’s best 10-gallon air compressor comes with 2 sensitive gauges, auto safe valve, and dual quick-coupler. It even lets you adjust the power output. And it features a design that makes it a pleasure to work with. While it’s not the cheapest option on the market, it is certainly one of the most competitive models.

Best Central Pneumatic Air Compressor 10 Gallon:
Central Pneumatic 2 HP Air Compressor

PROS

  • Practical design with oil window
  • Reliable direct-drive induction motor
  • Sits on wheels, for easy transportation
  • Equipped with thermal overload protection
  • Ensures maximum protection with high-impact ABS shroud

CONS

  • Horizontal design with a larger footprint
  • A bit louder when compared to other models

Our Review:

For either hobbyists or pros, this air compressor from Central Pneumatic delivers all the necessary power. It has a 14-amp motor that goes up to 3360 RPM and can easily reach a maximum PSI of 125. Small but robust, with practical wheels and handle, it sits anywhere you need it and performs as expected.

For easy maintenance, it comes with a clear view oil window. Under the hood, it features thermal overload protection. Speaking of which, it also comes with a high-impact ABS shroud. If you appreciate the Central Pneumatic tools, you’ll add this one to your shortlist!

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

This Central Pneumatic air compressor is not an actual 10-gallon model, but it certainly runs shoulder to shoulder with those tanks. The 2 HP motor with an oil-lubed pump will make you feel like you’re actually running a 10-gallon, with its 5.5 CFM @ 40 PSI and 4.5 CFM @ 90 PSI.

Hold up, are you interested in other topics related to air compressors? If so, these might be something to check out: 

What Does An Air Compressor Do? What Do You Use An Air Compressor For?

An air compressor is a special kind of tool. You can use it on its own, with a small accessory. But you can also pair it with dedicated air tools, to save yourself a lot of energy and time.

Whether you’re a beginner DIY-er or a seasoned pro, you’ll find plenty of applications for a 10-gallon air compressor. Here are the most common ones:

Inflation

From adding air to a deflated tire on your car or bike to blowing up balloons or other inflatable products, an air compressor is quite handy. Think of it as the perfect alternative to a hand pump, and you’ll instantly see what kind of value it provides.

Cleaning & Painting

Directing its air pressure to clean tight spaces or crevices, or just any solid surface with a thick coat of dirt, is extremely easy with a compressor. What’s more, once your item is clean, you can use an airbrush to paint it effortlessly.

Using Pneumatic Tools

Last but not least, coupling your 10-gallon air compressor with a wide range of pneumatic tools will give you valuable help for any home project. Think of all the air tools you can hook up on the air compressor. And don’t ignore the option of running two of them at the same time!         

Pros and Cons of 10 Gallon Air Compressors 

Knowing you need an air compressor is one thing. Deciding if you really need a 10-gallon model, or one with a larger (or even smaller) tank, however, is a different story. Let’s jot down its specific pros and cons:

Pro: Higher Power For Average Chores

Tank size indicates how long an air tool can run before the compressor will have to turn on its motor again and start pumping in more compressed air.

Blow guns, brad nailers, air hammers, drills, framing nailers, grease guns, impact drivers and wrenches, along with other tools, will get just enough power from a 10-gallon air compressor that can keep up to 4 CFM @ 90 PSI.

Pro: Moderately Heavy Yet Quite Portable

Pros want larger tanks and more power output, but these come at the cost of a heavier, more difficult to maneuver unit.

With a 10-gallon air compressor, however, you’ll hit a kind of a sweet spot between a high capacity and a relatively good portability.

Pro: Increased Versatility

The size of the air compressor will dictate the type of projects you’ll be able to work on with it. Even if you’re running air tools with lower requirements, you can often get the job done more efficiently.

Larger tanks like the ones of 10 gallons, when paired with an effective motor and pump, will allow you to work with many different tools without worrying if the compressor will handle it.

Con: Typically Designed With Horizontal Tank

Nothing bad about a horizontal tank, other than that it has a larger footprint. You’ll need a bit more storage space for such a design, compared to the air compressors with a vertical tank.

As you’ve seen, plenty of the best 10-gallon air compressors feature this positioning. If storage space is not a problem for you, this shouldn’t be much of an inconvenience.

Conclusion 

With a 10-gallon air compressor, you can get a lot more than from the widely popular 6-gallon units. The added benefits, however, are hard to ignore. Not only that it brings extra power without being too heavy or too bulky, but it’s also giving you more options without you having to break the bank.

People Also Ask

Almost ready to put your finger on your favorite 10-gallon air compressor? If there’s anything left on your mind, chances are it’s one of the following questions that first-time buyers often ask:

10 Gallon vs 20 Gallon Air Compressor - What’s The Difference Aside From 10 Gallons?

The smaller size makes the compressor run a shorter period of time to refill its tank. Also, the motor will stay idle for a shorter time while the tank unloads. Another difference could be given by the amp draw – since a smaller tank will require the motor to start working more often, it will also take up more current in the process.

How Much CFM Do I Need Air Compressor?

The answer will very much depend on what type of air tool you’re going to couple with the air compressor. As mentioned, for the most home chores, an average of 3.5 – 4 CFM @ 90 PSI is more than enough.

For example, a brad nailer needs 0.5 CFM @ 90 PSI, a tire inflator about 2 CFM, and a paint spray gun anything from 4 to 8 CFM. When in doubt, check an air tool CFM chart!

How Heavy Is A 10 Gallon Air Compressor?

The average weight of a 10-gallon air compressor can be 50 to 60 lbs or so. Note, however, that most units are designed with wheels and ergonomic handles for easier maneuvering.

How Many Amps Does An Air Compressor Use?

Again, the answer depends on what type of compressor you choose and its intended use. If it’s a small to mid-sized air compressor, designed for enhanced portability and with a low amp draw, it can actually use about 12 A under full load. This is the average for a typical 1 HP motor.

How Big Of An Air Compressor Do I Need? Is 10 Gallons Enough?

First, ask yourself what do you need the air compressor for. And then, you’ll be able to answer if 10 gallons is enough for most of your projects.

Usually, a 10-gallon unit with a motor of up to 2 HP can easily tackle the mid-sized chores. But as we’ve mentioned throughout this best 10-gallon air compressor buying guide, it also matters what air tools you’ll be using with it.

Cody

My name is Cody and I've been a writer for Tool Tango for quite some time now. I've always had a knack for building things with my hands and creative writing, so being able to combine the two has been great. I love being able to give back to the DIY-community, while also learning a thing or two along the way. When I'm not writing, I enjoy watching Netflix with my girlfriend, fishing, and working in the shop.