This article is for the tradesman looking for a vertical air compressor to power their pneumatic tools, which doesn’t know where to start.
Most websites pick the best-selling products and list them without doing any research. That’s not what’s happening here.
This article lists the results of ours extensive research to find the best vertical air compressors, which are not only powerful but also reliable and easy to transport.
Let’s get right into it.
The Best Vertical Air Compressors
Here is the list of what we came to find are the best vertical air compressors:
- WEN 2289T 10 Gal. Oil-Free Vertical Air Compressor
- PORTER CABLE PXCMF220VW 20-Gallon Vertical Air Compressor
- Craftsman 10 Gallon Peak Vertical Air Compressor
- WEN 2202T 15-Amp 20-Gallon Vertical Air Compressor
- DEWALT DXCM271.COM 27 Gal. 200 PSI Vertical Air Compressor
- Ford Silent Series 15 Gallon Vertical Air Compressor
- California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free Vertical Air Compressor
- Stealth 20 Gallon Ultra Vertical Air Compressor
- CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor Vertical Air Compressor
- Stealth Ultra Quiet Vertical Air Compressor
1. WEN 2289T 10 Gal. Oil-Free Vertical Air Compressor
- Airflow rates: 4 CFM at 90 PSI and 5 CFM at 40 PSI
- Wheels: Two 7-inch flat-free never flat wheels
- Tank: 10 Gallon reinforced steel tank
When I initially started as a tradesman in the 2000s, there weren’t many vertical air compressors available. In reality, most of them were bulky and very pricey.
That is no longer the case. In fact, when it comes to vertical air compressors, there are various excellent options. You only need to know where to look.
In that regard, I’d like to introduce you to this 10-gallon WEN 2289T vertical air compressor, which features airflow rates of 4 CFM at 90 PSI and 5 CFM at 40 PSI, providing enough air pressure to power vital pneumatic tools.
Even though it might be a little noisy while operating, it includes an oil-free pump, which is quite helpful because it does not require any maintenance.
Lastly, it has a large rubber handle that is simple to grab and two 7-inch never-flat wheels that allow workers to move this vertical air compressor around conveniently.
- Airflow rates are 4 CFM at 90 PSI and 5 CFM at 40 PSI, respectively
- For optimal simplicity and longevity, its oil-free pump does not need any external lubrication
- 10 Gallon reinforced steel tank with 150 PSI maximum pressure
- Two pressure gauges and an easy-to-reach rapid drain valve are included
- Rubber-grip handle and feet, as well as two 7-inch flat-free never flat wheels
- Can be a bit loud
2. PORTER CABLE PXCMF220VW 20-Gallon Vertical Air Compressor
- Airflow rates: 5 CFM at 40 PSI and 4 CFM at 90 Psi
- Wheels: 7″ semi-pneumatic wheels
- Tank: 20-gallon steel tank
Excellent examples of vertical air compressors are pretty tricky to come by nowadays, regardless of the quantity available.
This Porter-Cable 20-gallon vertical air compressor differs from the norm by operating at a higher level of 5 CFM at 40 PSI and 4 CFM at 90 PSI, sufficient to power any pneumatic tool.
Furthermore, it only produces 84 dBA of noise, which is unusual for an air compressor with a maximum pressure of 150 psi.
When it comes to convenience, this vertical air compressor knocks the competition out of the water, with two 7-inch semi-pneumatic wheels and a large handle to let you move around its 97-pound body.
Last but not least, it contains a regulator and pressure gauges that make it very simple to use and manage for safe operation.
- 5 CFM at 40 PSI and 4 CFM at 90 Psi with 1.5 running horsepower
- Maintaining this air compressor is a breeze thanks to its oil-free engine
- It only weighs 97 pounds
- A UL and CSA approved 20-gallon steel tank produces a maximum pressure of 150 psi
- Cast iron twin-V pump for solid performance
- Rubber feet and 7″ semi-pneumatic wheels for easy mobility
- Regulator, gauges and fast connect are all included.
- It’s merely 84 decibels (dBA) loud.
- Fully enclosed shroud covers sensible components
- Can take a bit to build up pressure
3. Craftsman 10 Gallon Vertical Air Compressor
Do you want to acquire a portable but powerful vertical air compressor?
Allow me to introduce you to the Craftsman 10 Gallon vertical air compressor.
This air compressor has a maximum pressure of 150 PSI, 4 CFM@90psi, and 5 CFM@40psi, making it ideal for sparing workers from the agony of not being able to power their pneumatic tools (i.e. air impact wrench).
It also contains two quick couplers, which allow users to utilize numerous tools simultaneously, which is vital for increasing efficiency.
In terms of convenience, this air compressor has a large regulator and a safety valve that ensures everything functions safely.
Finally, it features two 8-inch wheels and an upright handlebar, making it very easy to maneuver around the garage, which benefits mechanics.
- Air compressor with a maximum 150 PSI, 10 gallon capacity, and 1.8 Horsepower induction motor
- 4 CFM@90psi and 5 CFM@40psi
- The use of two quick couplers enables you to simultaneously operate two or more air tools
- The 8-inch wheel kit with an upright handlebar makes it very portable
- The use of two gauges enables you to simultaneously monitor tank and tool pressure
- A large regulator for simple operation
- Safe valve built in to protect your compressor
- The compressor is quite heavy (but the wheels make it easy to carry around)
4. WEN 2202T 15-Amp 20-Gallon Vertical Air Compressor
- Airflow rates: 3.8 CFM at 90 PSI and 5.0 CFM at 40 PSI
- Wheels: Two rubber wheels
- Tank: 20-gallon tank constructed with reinforced steel
You don’t want a vertical air compressor that’s too heavy to carry, or that doesn’t produce enough air pressure to operate your air-powered tools.
That’s why I’m giving you this WEN 2202T vertical air compressor, which boasts excellent power characteristics like 3.8 CFM at 90 PSI and 5.0 CFM at 40 PSI, as well as a maximum pressure of 135 PSI. Of course, this is enough air pressure to run any pneumatic tool.
Even though it may take a while to fill up owing to its 20-gallon air tank, it has several valuable functions, including:
- easy to reach drain vale
- 1/4-inch NPT quick coupler
- two pressure gauges for maximum control
Finally, it has an onboard handle and two reliable rubber wheels, allowing operators to transport this air compressor easily.
- 20-gallon tank made with reinforced steel for a maximum pressure of 135 PSI
- Provides air flow rates of 3.8 CFM at 90 PSI and 5.0 CFM at 40 PSI with a 105 PSIG cut-in pressure
- Convenient easy-to-reach quick drain valve, 1/4-inch NPT quick coupler and two pressure gauges
- Onboard handle and wheels make this air compressor very portable
- Can take a bit to fill up
5. DEWALT DXCM271 27 Gal. 200 PSI Vertical Air Compressor
- Airflow rates: 6.0 CFM at 40 PSI and 5.1 CFM while operating at 90 PSI
- Wheels: Ten-inch pneumatic tires
- Tank: 27-Gallon Steel Vertical Tank
You might be thinking, “Hell, it’s goddamn difficult to find a worthy vertical air compressor!”
That’s correct. Unless you’re talking about this Dewalt DXCM271 vertical air compressor, which has excellent features like:
- To power various types of pneumatic tools, its 1.7 HP motor produces 6.0 CFM at 40 PSI and 5.1 CFM at 90 PSI
- PSI maximum of 200
Furthermore, it boasts an oil-free single-stage pump, making maintenance of this air compressor a breeze.
In terms of convenience, it offers clean air to protect your expensive equipment from breaking and dual gauges to make monitoring air pressure a breeze.
Last but not least, it has ten-inch pneumatic tires that make transporting this vertical air compressor a pleasure.
- When it’s running, it merely produces 78 decibels (dBA)
- Oil-Free Single Stage Pump that generates 6.0 CFM at 40 PSI and 5.1 CFM while operating at 90 PSI
- Clean air is provided for the preservation of tools
- For quicker recovery times and longer tool runtimes, a maximum PSI of 200 can be delivered
- Heavy-Duty Equipment A 1.7-HP UMC low voltage motor that is oil-free and UL and CSA certified
- Portable 27-Gallon Steel Vertical Tank
- At a glance, both tool and tank pressure may be monitored thanks to dual gauges
- Ten-inch pneumatic tires make it easier to transport the air compressor
- The air filter could be more accessible
6. Ford Silent Series 15 Gallon Vertical Air Compressor
- Airflow rates: 2.9 CFM @ 90 PSI/ 3.9 CFM @ 40 PSI
- Wheels: Never-flat wheels with chrome F-150 inspired rims
- Tank: 15 gallon vertical air tank
This Ford 15 gallon vertical air compressor is worth exploring for this list because of its outstanding characteristics, such as its 2 HP engine, which produces up to 125 PSI of air pressure and can power even the most power-hungry pneumatic tools.
It produces just 59 dBA of noise, which is less than the noise produced by three individuals speaking, making this air compressor one of the quietest reviewed here.
Even though it’s made in China, it has several clever and valuable features, such as thermal overload protection and a quick attach coupler.
Finally, it includes an ergonomic handle and two never-flat wheels with chrome F-150 inspired wheels that look great and allow it to be moved easily.
- The 15 gallon vertical air tank and tough 2 HP motor have a maximum pressure of 125 PSI and require no further maintenance
- It produces just 59 dBA of noise and has easy-to-read pressure gauges for optimal control.
- Thermal overload prevention for a worry-free mind
- This air compressor is highly portable and stylish thanks to its ergonomic handle and never-flat wheels with chrome F-150 inspired rims.
- For maximum convenience, one universal quick connect coupler is provided.
- Manufactured overseas
7. California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free Vertical Air Compressor
- Airflow rates: 5.30 CFM @ 90 PSI & 6.40 CFM @ 40 PSI
- Wheels: Wheel Kit
- Tank: 10 gallon steel air tank
This California Air Tools 10020C air compressor is definitely above the competition as far as vertical air compressors go.
For once, it features a 2 horsepower motor that produces 5.30 CFM @ 90 PSI and 6.40 CFM @ 40 PSI, preventing workers from running out of power when operating pneumatic tools. And it does it at a noise level of only 70 decibels, which is extremely low for an air compressor of this size.
It also contains oil-free dual pistons that don’t require oil changes, which is a great convenience for anyone that loves efficiency and productivity.
You can take advantage of its wheel kit to move it around, which is a lifesaver regarding portability.
Lastly, It has overheating protection, which is ideal for keeping the air compressor and your equipment in proper working order.
- The quiet 2HP motor produces just 70 dBA of noise when working at up to 1680 RPM.
- Oil-Free Dual Piston Pump System that requires nearly little maintenance (with a lifespan of 3000 plus hours)
- At startup, the easy start valve releases a tiny quantity of air from the pump to create a no-load condition, enabling the motor to spin freely, which is ideal for cold temperatures since it uses less amps.
- The 10 gallon steel air tank with wheel kit makes this air compressor incredibly portable.
- Features protection against overheating
- 5.30 CFM @ 90 PSI & 6.40 CFM @ 40 PSI
- Welds are not neat & clean (I’m a neat freak)
8. Stealth 20 Gallon Ultra Vertical Air Compressor
- Airflow rates: 6 CFM @ 40 PSI and 5 CFM @ 90PSI
- Wheels: Two 8-inch rubber-reinforced wheels
- Tank: 20-gallon alloy metal tank
Most vertical air compressors are just OK. However, only a few of them are really good.
I recommend this Stealth 20-gallon vertical air compressor for those searching for the latter, which has attributes that set it apart from the competition.
For example, it features a 1.8 HP engine that produces 6 CFM at 40 PSI and 5 CFM at 90 PSI with a maximum PSI of 150, which is uncommon in vertical air compressors at this price point.
It takes only 70 seconds to fill its 20-gallon tank and has a low voltage start, making it ideal for cold climates.
Finally, its tank is made of a robust alloy metal, and it has two 8-inch rubber-reinforced wheels that allow it to withstand for years and be reasonably portable.
- 1.8 HP motor with twin piston pump that runs at 86 dBA
- Filling the tank from empty to full takes only 70 seconds.
- 20-gallon alloy metal tank with two 8-inch rubber-reinforced wheels for easy transportation.
- Low voltage start and easy cold weather start
- Peak 150 PSI
- 6 CFM @ 40 PSI and 5 CFM @ 90PSI support most pneumatic tools
- The box was damaged in transit, but everything was fine
9. CRAFTSMAN 20 gallon Vertical Air Compressor
- Airflow rates: 145-175 PSI (Max 175 PSI) CFM @ 40 PSI: 5 CFM @ 90 PSI
- Wheels: 2 x rubber wheels
- Tank: 20 gallon capacity tank
This CRAFTSMAN 20-gallon air compressor is the most affordable vertical air compressor on the market.
It includes a 1.8 HP engine that produces 175 PSI and 145-175 PSI CFM @ 40 PSI: 5 CFM @ 90 PSI, which is enough air pressure to run your most essential pneumatic tools.
Furthermore, it has two gauges that monitor tank pressure and tool pressure, which is essential if you want to ensure that everything is operating correctly.
It also contains a quick dual coupler, which enables the user to utilize several pneumatic tools at the same time.
Finally, I like how easy it is to move around thanks to its two 8-inch rubber wheels and large rubber handle.
- A maximum of 175 PSI, a 1.8HP motor, and a 20 gallon capacity can run pneumatic equipment for an extended period of time (It can work over 300 hours continuously)
- The air compressor can be easily moved around the garage thanks to its two 8-inch rubber wheels and big handle.
- Features two gauges, one for monitoring tank pressure and the other for measuring tool pressure.
- Dual fast coupler for simultaneously operating multiple pneumatic tools
- Maximum safety is provided by an air tank pressure safe valve.
- It’s a bit loud
10. Stealth Ultra Quiet Vertical Air Compressor
A strong and long-lasting vertical air compressor that is also portable is challenging to come by these days. At least the ones that are worth it.
In such case, I thought it would be appropriate to recommend one of the best available under my view: the Stealth Ultra Quiet air compressor.
With its 4.5 gallon tank and 6-inch wheels, it is by far the most portable, making it easy to carry about the garage or workplace.
It also has a dual pressure gauge and a regulator knob for better control, allowing the worker to regulate air pressure effortlessly.
Last but not least, it includes an oil-free twin-piston, which is important for those who hate replacing oil.
- Small 4.5 gallon tank, 1.5Hp motor and 150 PSI power pneumatic tools making only 65 dBA of noise
- The use of an oil-free twin piston pump eliminates the need for maintenance.
- Quick couplers make it easy to use pneumatic tools.
- Regulator knob that makes adjusting air pressure easier
- Dual pressure gauge
- Drainage valve for sucking moisture away
- It comes with a huge rubber grip and large rubber wheels for transportation.
- The air filter needs a lock nut which is a bit inconvenient
What’s The Best Vertical Air Compressor Overall?
California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free Vertical Air Compressor
I chose this California Air Tools 10020C vertical air compressor as the best of its class based on the following features:
- Quiet two-horsepower motor that produces just 70 decibels of noise when fully operational, which is ideal if you have long-term hearing difficulties (a common issue amongst tradesmen)
- Oil-free dual piston pump system that demands virtually minimal no maintenance.
- 10 gallon tank constructed of very robust steel that can be simply moved about the garage because to its set of wheels.
Anyway, if you want to read the complete review, just click the button down below.Review
Quick Comparison Table
|1. WEN 2289T 10 Gal. Oil-Free Vertical Air Compressor|
|4 CFM at 90 PSI and 5 CFM at 40 PSI||Two 7-inch flat-free never flat wheels||10 Gallon reinforced steel tank|
|2. PORTER CABLE PXCMF220VW 20-Gallon Vertical Air Compressor|
|5 CFM at 40 PSI and 4 CFM at 90 Psi||7″ semi-pneumatic wheels||20-gallon steel tank|
|3. Craftsman 10 Gallon Peak Vertical Air Compressor |
|4 CFM@90psi and 5 CFM@40psi||8-inch wheel kit||10 gallon tank|
|4. WEN 2202T 15-Amp 20-Gallon Vertical Air Compressor|
|3.8 CFM at 90 PSI and 5.0 CFM at 40 PSI||Two rubber wheels||20-gallon tank constructed with reinforced steel|
|5. DEWALT DXCM271.COM 27 Gal. 200 PSI Vertical Air Compressor |
|6.0 CFM at 40 PSI and 5.1 CFM while operating at 90 PSI||Ten-inch pneumatic tires||27-Gallon Steel Vertical Tank|
|6. Ford Silent Series 15 Gallon Vertical Air Compressor|
|2.9 CFM @ 90 PSI/ 3.9 CFM @ 40 PSI||Never-flat wheels with chrome F-150 inspired rims||15 gallon vertical air tank|
|7. California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free Vertical Air Compressor|
|5.30 CFM @ 90 PSI & 6.40 CFM @ 40 PSI||Wheel Kit||10 gallon steel air tank|
|8. Stealth 20 Gallon Ultra Vertical Air Compressor |
|6 CFM @ 40 PSI and 5 CFM @ 90PSI||Two 8-inch rubber-reinforced wheels||20-gallon alloy metal tank|
|9. CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor Vertical Air Compressor|
|145-175 PSI (Max 175 PSI) CFM @ 40 PSI: 5 CFM @ 90 PSI||2 x rubber wheels||20 gallon capacity tank|
|10. Stealth Ultra Quiet Vertical Air Compressor|
|Peak 150 psi 3 CFM @ 90psi||6 inch rubber wheels||4.5 gallon tank|
Must Have Features of The Best Vertical Air Compressor
This is a list of attributes that I feel all vertical air compressors should have to be regarded as “the best”.
If you want to assess the performance of a vertical air compressor, you need consider the following parameters:
- Per square inch pressure (PSI)
- Cubic feet per minute (CFM)
After you have these two measurements, you must compare them to the tools you attach to the vertical air compressor to check if they can provide enough air pressure. If you don’t do this, you risk damaging the tools and the air compressor.
If you were to ask me about the ideal vertical air compressor, I’d say it should deliver at least 3 CFM at 90 PSI since I believe this is adequate air pressure to power your most important pneumatic tools (i.e. air ratchet, air impact wrench, etc.).
Otherwise, a vertical air compressor with less than 3 CFM will only help you inflate tires rather than power your most power-hungry air tools.
The tank size of a vertical air compressor is an important measure that indicates how large the tank size of the air compressor is. The rule of thumb is that the larger the tank, the more air pressure it can retain and the longer it can run your air equipment.
Do you get the picture?
However, the “bigger is better” rule is not entirely applicable here because a larger tank entails a bulkier vertical air compressor that is heavier and more difficult to maneuver.
So… what’s my advice?
The ideal vertical air compressor, in my opinion, should have a tank capacity of at least 5 gallons and up to 30 gallons. Otherwise, you risk having to cope with an air compressor that is either too weak to power air tools or too large to handle.
Well, this is pretty obvious, right?
The best air compressor should be small and portable enough to be moved about your garage or workplace. This will be critical in helping you to access those difficult-to-reach areas where compactness is vital. This is why finding an air compressor with a vertical design is key.
Also, moving the vertical air compressor around with ease is another critical factor to get the most out of it.
For that reason, I believe vertical air compressors must have wheels at least 6 inches wide, as this is the sweet spot in terms of how moving around a vertical air compressor is simplified.
Every guy can drop hundreds of dollars on an expensive vertical air compressor. But the question remains: will it last?
If you want to ensure that the answer is a resounding YES, then make sure your future air compressor includes several of the following features:
- Metal components used in essential areas of the vertical air compressor that suffer the most abuse (tank, fittings, etc)
- Sturdy wheels and handles, as they must bear the weight of the air compressor when being moved and might quickly fracture if made of lousy materials (i.e. plastic)
- Solid warranty that will answer if anything goes wrong
If you don’t do this, you risk ending with a $200 to $300 vertical air compressor that breaks after less than a year.
This is another obvious one.
Electricity or air pressure can be used to power air compressors. The decision between the two depends on the needs of the users. Some have access to power outlets, while others must rely on air compressors to power their tools (i.e. farmers).
When looking for the best vertical air compressor, you must ensure it’s powered by air pressure.
But, is that all? No, there are other considerations you must have in mind.
As previously said, you must consider specific factors (such as PSI, CFM, horsepower, and so on) to ensure that your next vertical air compressor can produce adequate air pressure to power your most important pneumatic tools.
Frequently Asked Questions
These are the most frequent questions regarding the best vertical air compressors and my subsequent attempt at answering most of them.
How do vertical air compressors work?
A vertical air compressor operates in a simple manner.
When the air compressor starts up, its engine builds up air pressure in the tank until the maximum PSI (per square inch pressure) is reached. Depending on the vertical air compressor, this might take less than two minutes.
When this occurs, the air compressor stops producing air pressure and waits for it to be released using a pneumatic tool.
As soon as you start using your air-powered tools, the air compressor begins to build up pressure again.
Now, how long does it take to release the air pressure?
This will be defined by the tank size and air pressure requirements of the tool (or tools) in question. However, the rule of thumb is that the larger the tank, the longer you’ll be able to use your air tools.
If you’d like to watch what I’ve just explained to you in a visual form, I invite you to watch this video:
What’s a vertical air compressor good for?
I’d say a vertical air compressor excels at:
- Providing a consistent supply of air pressure to air-powered equipment (obvious!
- Being portable and compact enough to move it around garage or workplace, which is essential for tradesmen who are continuously on the go.
The negative is that they have smaller air tanks, but I don’t believe it’s a significant disadvantage. Particularly when you consider how portable vertical air compressors are.
How much air pressure does your vertical air compressor need?
The answer to this question is heavily dependent on the air-pressure requirements of your pneumatic tools.
So, I’d recommend that you write down the air pressure required for powering your pneumatic tools. After that, make a note of which of those you’ll be utilizing simultaneously and total up their PSI requirements.
After you’ve done this, you’ll have a decent notion of the maximum PSI your next vertical air compressor should offer.
If you asked me, the ideal vertical air compressor for powering air-powered equipment should deliver at least 90 to 150 PSI; that’s the sweet spot for me.