Getting conflicting advice regarding which air compressor is best for powering an air impact wrench? Not sure what features to look for in an air compressor?
The devil is in the details when it comes to air compressors.
This is why I conducted extensive research before deciding on the best air compressor to power pneumatic air impact wrenches.
In this article, I’ll show you the results.
What Air Compressor is Best for an Air Impact Wrench: 10 Options
So, before getting into the reviews, let me share with you a list of the air compressors I picked as best to power air impact wrenches:
- DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
- Makita MAC210Q Quiet Series Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
- PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
- California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
- WEN 2202T 15-Amp 20-Gallon Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
- CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
- Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
- Stealth Ultra Quiet Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
- Metabo HPT “THE TANK” Pancake Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
- BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
1. DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
- Airflow rates: 165 max PSI 6.0 gallon tank and 2.6 SCFM delivered @ 90 PSI pump
- Tank: 6 gallon tank
- Wheels: No
If you’re having trouble finding a good air compressor to power your pneumatic impact wrench, I’d like to recommend the Dewalt Pancake air compressor.
It features a 6-gallon tank, a maximum PSI of 165, and a 2.6 SCFM delivered at 90 PSI, which is impressive given its small size and weight (which is less than 30 pounds).
Even if it can be a little noisy, it offers several really convenient features to compensate, such as an oil-free pump that requires no maintenance and two universal couples that allow you to utilize multiple air-powered tools.
- 165 max PSI 6.0 gallon tank and 2.6 SCFM delivered @ 90 PSI
- Easy start up in cold weather
- 6 gallon tank which is easy to move around and provides enough air pressure
- It weighs only 30 pounds
- Oil free pump for easy maintenance
- Console cover that protects the air compressor
- 2 universal couplers for maximum convenience
- Ball drain valve
- Can be a bit loud
2. Makita MAC210Q Quiet Series Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
- Airflow rates: 2 CFM at 90 PSI with a maximum tank pressure of 135 PSI
- Tank: 2 Gallon tank
- Wheels: No
When you go to Amazon, you’ll notice there are many options for air compressors. However, only a few of them are as powerful and compact as the Makita MAC210Q.
This compressor features a 1HP motor that produces 2 CFM at 90 PSI and a maximum tank pressure of 135 PSI, which is sufficient to power most air impact wrenches, even the most power-hungry.
Even though some people grumble about the lack of wheels of this unit, it has valuable features that make up for it, such as its oil-free dual-piston, which eliminates the need for frequent oil changes.
Furthermore, it includes a 2 gallon tank that takes only 65 seconds to fill with air pressure and weighs 44 pounds, making it incredibly portable.
- 2 CFM at 90 PSI with a maximum tank pressure of 135 PSI
- It operates at only 60 dBA
- Runs at only 1,750 RPM which is substantially efficient
- Protective roll-cage construction
- Oil-free dual-piston pump
- 1 HP motor
- 2 Gallon tank takes 65 second to get full
- It only weighs 44lbs
- Can be a bit too heavy and doesn’t have wheels
3. PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
- Airflow rates: 2.0 SCFM @ 90 psi
- Tank: 1.5 gallon outputs 150 psi max tank pressure
- Wheels: No
Air compressors are designed to be powerful and portable, mainly when used to power air impact wrenches.
This is why I liked this Porter-Cable air compressor so much, because it’s made in an enclosed design that’s very easy to transport thanks to its built-in handle.
Furthermore, it includes a motor that produces 2.0 SCFM at 90 psi, which is unusual for an air compressor of this size.
Even though it is not designed for heavy-duty tasks, it is pretty dependable. In fact, it is so reliable that it starts easily even when exposed to cold conditions.
Last but not least, it is built with an oil-free pump that requires no maintenance, which is a huge benefit for tradesmen who frequently forget to do oil changes.
- 2.0 SCFM @ 90 psi
- 1.5 gallon outputs 150 psi max tank pressure
- Durable oil-free pump for no maintenance
- Easy cold start
- Extremely portably thanks to its 20 lbs of weight
- 79 dBA allows for a quiet work environment
- Fully enclosed design protects internal components
- Not for heavy applications
4. California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
Now for the good stuff: the California Air Tools 8010 air compressor is by far the most powerful option in this article.
This air compressor produces 2.20 CFM at 90 PSI and 3.10 CFM at 40 PSI thanks to its 1.0 HP motor. Of course, this is enough air pressure to power even the most powerful air impact wrenches.
But the good news doesn’t stop there.
This compressor has an 8 gallon tank that fills in only 165 seconds. In addition, this tank is very easy to transport because of its modest weight (just 58 pounds) and two wheels.
Finally, it has an oil-free pump, making it very simple to keep this air compressor functioning.
- 2.20 CFM @ 90 PSI & 3.10 CFM @ 40 PSI
- 8 gallon tank with two wheels is powerful and easy to move around
- It only weighs 58 punds which is surprising for an air compressor of this power
- 1.0 HP motor operates at only 1680 RPM makes little sound when in operation
- Oil free pump for easy maintenance
- It takes 165 seconds to fill up the tank
- Based on my experience, I have no cons to speak of!
5. WEN 2202T 15-Amp 20-Gallon Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
There are various air compressors on the market right now, but only a few of them are genuinely worth your money.
In that context, let me introduce you to this WEN 2202T air compressor, which produces 3.8 CFM at 90 PSI and 5.0 CFM at 40 PSI with a 105 PSIG cut-in pressure.
Its 20-gallon tank is made of reinforced steel and has a maximum pressure of 153 PSI.
Even though the motor is a little loud when operating, it has several excellent features that make it worth your money, such as two rubber-footed legs and wheels that make this air compressor portable.
- 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
- 20-gallon tank constructed with reinforced steel
- Maximum pressure of 135 PSI
- Easy-to-reach quick drain valve
- 1/4-inch NPT quick coupler
- Two rubber-footed legs and two wheels for maximum portability
- The motor is a bit loud
6. CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
You’ve already read about various great air compressors for air impact wrenches, but you haven’t heard about my personal favorite, the CRAFTSMAN air compressor.
It has a 1.8 HP motor that produces 4 SCFM at 90 psi and a 20 gallon tank that takes around two minutes to fill.
Furthermore, the air compressor’s two 8-inch wheels and big handle make it easy to transport.
Even though it’s a little big, it has some convenient features, such as two gauges that measure tank and tool pressure and a dual fast coupler that allows you to use multiple tools simultaneously.
- 20 gallon tank and 175 psi max tank pressure
- 1.8 HP motor
- 4 SCFM at 90 psi
- 2 x 8 inch rubber casters and large handle for easy portability
- Two gauges for tank and tool pressure
- Dual quick coupler for operating multiple tools
- Safety valve
- It’s a bit bulky
7. Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
If you need a dependable air compressor for your air impact wrench, I recommend the Makita MAC2400 air compressor.
It has a powerful 2.5 HP motor that produces 4.2 CFM at 90 PSI while operating at 1,730 RPMs. And it does it with making only 79 dB of noise, which is quite low for an air compressor of this size.
Even though some people complain that the drain valve is inconveniently positioned in the tank, it does include a 4.2 gallon twin stacked tank that fills up in roughly a minute, which is highly convenient.
Last but not least, this air compressor is built with an oil-lubricated pump, which increases durability and efficiency.
- Cast iron pump with Big Bore cylinder and piston is designed for speedier recovery time and increased performance
- 2.5 HP 4-Pole motor produces 4.2 CFM at 90 PSI
- 4.2 gallon twin-stacked tank
- Operates at 1,730 RPM at only 79dB
- Roll-cage construction provides protects internal components
- Pump is oil-lubricated for durability and efficiency
- Drain valve is inconveniently located
8. Stealth Ultra Quiet Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
The market is flooded with cheap, ineffective air compressors that are neither powerful nor dependable.
However, some excellent options are still available, such as this Stealth Ultra Quiet air compressor, which, owing to its 1.3 HP motor, produces 3 CFM at 90psi, which is sufficient to power most air impact wrenches.
It also includes an oil-free pump, which makes maintaining the compressor a breeze.
Its 4.5 gallon tank fills up in 70 seconds, which is incredibly convenient.
And even though it takes a bit to assemble, it has some significant advantages, such as its 6 inch reinforced wheels, making it very easy to move it around.
- Peak 150 psi 3 CFM @ 90psi
- 1.3 horsepower induction motor operates at only 64 decibels
- Oil-free pump for easy maintenance
- Easy start on winter conditions
- 4.5 gallon tank takes 70 seconds to fill up
- 6 inch rubber reinforced wheels
- It takes a bit to assemble
9. Metabo HPT “THE TANK” Pancake Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
Do you enjoy wasting your hard-earned cash on a low-quality air compressor? NO? Well, neither do I, which is why I’d recommend investing in an air compressor like this Metabo HPT model.
For once, it delivers 4 CFM at 90 PSI and weighs only 41 pounds, which is a remarkable quantity of air pressure for a little air compressor.
Furthermore, it includes a steel enclosing that protects interior components, ensuring that the compressor lasts for years. However, the steel does add a significant amount of weight to it.
Finally, it allows various tool operations simultaneously, which is useful when using a tool other than your air impact wrench.
- 4 CFM at 90 PSI
- Allows for multiple tool operation
- It only weighs 41 pounds
- 6 gallon tank
- Oil free maintenance
- Steel enclosing
- It’s a bit bulky due to its steel structure
10. BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
- Airflow rates: 150 max PSI 6.0 gallon tank and 2.6 SCFM* delivered @ 90 PSI
- Tank: 6 gallon tank
- Wheels: No
If you purchase this BOSTITCH pancake air compressor, you will receive a dependable compressor that operates at 78.5 dB and generates 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI, making it ideal for powering air impact wrenches quietly and powerfully.
It features a 6 gallon tank and weighs only 29 pounds, which is unusual for an air compressor of this size.
And, even though its cable is a little cheap, it does deliver a maximum of 150 PSI, which speaks much about the power of this air compressor.
- 150 max PSI
- 6.0 gallon tank
- 2.6 SCFM* delivered @ 90 PSI
- 6 gallon tank
- It operates at 78.5 dB which is very low for an air compressor of this power
- 29 pound total weight
- The cord is a bit cheapish
What is the Best Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench?
California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
I selected this California Air Tools 8010 air compressor as the best one for powering an air impact wrench overall due to the following features:
- 1.0 HP motor that’s efficient and powerful enough to deliver 2.20 CFM @ 90 PSI & 3.10 CFM @ 40 PSI
- Oil free pump which gets rid of the need of doing oil changes
- 8 gallon tanks that only weighs 58 pounds and takes a quick 165 seconds to fill up
Anyways, if you’d like to read the entire review of this air compressor you can do so by clicking the button below.
Quick Comparison Table
Must Have Features of the Best Air Compressor for an Air Impact Wrench
If you don’t want to waste weeks of your life going around trying different air compressors, I’d recommend you read the following section of the post, where I’ll go over all of the qualities I believe the best air compressor for air impact wrench must-have.
When it comes to air compressors and measuring performance, there are two crucial indicators.
These measurements are pressure per square inch (PSI) and cubic feet per minute (CFM) (CFM).
When it comes to powering an air impact wrench, I feel the ideal combination of these measures is 3 CFM at 90 PSI, as this is the sweet spot for powering pneumatic impact wrenches.
I believe the size of an air compressor’s tank is a convenience factor.
We all know that a larger tank produces more air pressure, which can run pneumatic tools for longer periods of time, which is ideal for workers that prioritize productivity.
So, what is the best air compressor tank size for powering an air impact wrench?
Well, I’d guess the sweet spot is anywhere between 5 and 20 gallons. I realize that’s not a very helpful response, but bear with me as I explain.
If you plan on using many air tools at the same time while doing heavy labor, I’d recommend getting a 20-gallon air compressor. The sole disadvantage is that these air compressors are likely to be big and heavy to transport.
However, if you think you will only occasionally use your air impact wrench, a 2-gallon air compressor will suffice (especially if you prioritize portability).
Every tradesman wants to invest their hard-earned money in tools that will last for years. But, unfortunately, due to globalization and all that jazz, brands have not improved their manufacturing procedures over the last few decades.
As a result, it isn’t easy to find long-lasting air compressors. However, some are still worth your money, and you can find them by looking for air compressors with the following features:
- Durable wheels and handles that won’t break after a few months of heavy use
- Metal enclosures that provide long-term endurance
- Solid warranty
This is an often not popular feature. However, I feel it is critical in all air compressors intended to power air impact wrenches.
A drain valve is in charge of removing condensed water accumulated at the bottom of the tank and could cause rust and corrosion to the air compressor.
This is why, to ensure that your air compressor lasts for years, I believe you should seek one with a drain valve that’s conveniently located in the tank.
Frequently Asked Questions
These are the most frequent questions regarding the best air compressors for air impact wrenches and my subsequent attempt at answering most of them.
How do air compressors work?
All air compressors have motors that range between 1 and 5 horsepower and, when turned on, build up air pressure inside their tanks.
Once the tank has been filled with this air pressure (which takes about a minute or two depending on tank size), the compressor waits until an air-powered tool begins to use it. As soon as there is space in the tank, the air compressor begins to rebuild air pressure again.
The critical thing to remember here is that a larger tank equals more air pressure, which means you’ll be able to use your air impact wrench for a more extended period of time.
How much air pressure does an air impact wrench?
This will be determined by the air impact wrench you intend to use.
Most air impact wrenches, in my experience, require roughly 100 PSI to operate; but some more power-hungry wrenches may require up to 135 PSI.
Anyways, most of the air compressors listed in this article are equipped with the features needed to power any kind of air impact wrench, so you could start taking a look at them.