Best 20 Gallon Air Compressor Reviews 2022 | High CFM & PSI

Are you having a hard time moving your compressor around the garage? The usual 40 to 80 gallon compressors are hard to move after the initial installation.

There are two main reasons why everyone opts for a 20-gallon air compressor. Number one mobility and number two, sound.

A 20-gallon compressor is not only lightweight and convenient but ultra-silent as well.

However, nowadays, every other brand is labeling their compressor as the best.

That’s why, after some research, it gets hard to see which one is the best 20-gallon air compressor as compared to the rest.

I’m here to make life easier for you.

There’s no need to end up with a second-grade product simply because you didn’t have time to do the research!

I have done all the required fact-finding in this article.

I have also reviewed the 11 best 20-gallon air compressors in the stores so you can make a confident evaluation before making the purchase!

Buyer’s Guide

It’s hardly a surprise that 20-gallon compressors have some features that separate them from all the other conventional larger-size compressors.

You’ll never be fully satisfied with the choice you make unless you go over these features.

Let me tell you a trick. A really good way of making a worthwhile purchase is narrowing down your needs and requirements before viewing the products.

This helps a lot when you’re looking for any product that has a lot of competition in the market.

Here are the things that you need to keep in mind before buying a 20-gallon compressor.

Portability

Let’s face it; there’s no point in buying a 20-gallon compressor if you’re not going to move it around a lot.

So, you can meet your extra moving requirements with greater portability options.

This means that you should always look for a compressor with wheels on the bottom that gives it greater maneuverability.

It doesn’t matter if they are rubber or pneumatic. As long as there are wheels, you should be fine.

The Pressure Exerted (PSI)

As you would’ve expected, the psi values for 20-gallon compressors are lower than the 40 gallons or 80-gallon compressors.

A good max psi value for a 20-gallon compressor is 120 psi under normal conditions. You can opt for higher pressure according to your needs.

Airflow (CFM)

The CFM values in 20-gallon air compressors are much lower than the 40-gallon air compressors. Just like the psi values.

Don’t stress this compressor out. You should only expect these compressors to handle the simplest pneumatic tasks that require an airflow of up to 4.0 CFM.

If you want a higher CFM value, check in the specifications of your favorite compressor, and see if it can deliver. Only then should you go for the purchase.

Horsepower (HP)

Horsepower is an important factor, but if you’ve read other buyer’s guides that I’ve written in my other reviews, you’ll know that I don’t recommend prioritizing this factor over the PSI and CFM values.

You can get just as many tasks done with one refill of the compressor regardless of the horsepower.

However, if you’re getting a good HP value along with decent psi and cfm values, then you can go for it!

Top 20 Gallon Air Compressor Reviews

After you’ve established what you’re looking for, you can go ahead and read the reviews.

It always helps to note down your requirements and expectations before you start hunting for a compressor.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

1. Porter-Cable 20 Gallon Air Compressor

The first item on the list is a unique release by porter cable.

With the 1.5 HP motor on this compressor, you can get up to 4.0 CFM of airflow.

This is just in case you keep the pressure value at the default 90 psi.

Most small-scale pneumatic nail guns can operate at this CFM. The max psi value is also pretty good at 150 psi.

However, you should be on the lookout for bad and weak welding points that may cause leakage.

More photo & price on amazon.com

Pros

  • Starts at low voltage
  • Includes rubber wheels for mobility
  • Good CFM and PSI

Cons

  • Weak weld links cause leakage
  • Fittings not sealed properly

2. Stealth SAQ12018 20 Gallon Air Compressor

If you value some quiet time in the garage while the pneumatic tools keep operating, then this compressor is going to be a dream come true for you.

The 1.8 HP motor on this compressor will produce only a sound of 68 decibels, which means a calmer working environment. You can get a CFM value of 5 at 90 psi with this compressor.

These are some of the highest CFM and PSI values that you will find in 20-gallon air compressors.

The only downside is that the compressor has been advertised as having an auto-activated drain valve, whereas, in reality, it’s manually activated.

More photo & price on amazon.com

Pros

  • Quiet operation
  • High CFM and PSI values
  • Smooth wheels for mobility

Cons

  • Falsely advertised drain valve

3. Briggs and Stratton 074061-00

This air compressor is one of the most versatile releases by Briggs and Stratton. I really like the fact that you can get this compressor in three different shapes.

Hotdog, twin stack, or pancake.

You can buy just one compressor to try things out, and if you need to, get two more in the other two shapes so that everything doesn’t look the same in your garage.

However, the compressor has a short lifespan, and it’s not as durable as I’d hoped it to be.

More photo & price on amazon.com

Pros

  • Three different shapes
  • Wheels included for portability
  • Shrouded motor protection

Cons

  • Low durability

4. HUSKY C201H 20-Gallon Air Compressor

The HUSKY 20-gallon air compressor is the best choice for someone who wants the psi of a 40-gallon compressor in a smaller tank.

You can get as much as 175 psi of pressure from this compressor.

Its motor also operates at a low decibel of 83. This is a higher value than the 63-decibel porter cable compressor, but it’s still a competitive choice.

However, I’m not a fan of the aluminum tube that connects the tank to the compressor.

It heats up during operation, which is a major inconvenience.

More photo & price on amazon.com

Pros

  • High psi and CFM output
  • Quiet motor
  • Versatile tool connections

Cons

  • Bad aluminum tube design

5. Industrial Air IL1682066.MN Air Compressor

Like always, industrial air has released another great commercial design.

With this unit, you get a CFM of 5.3 at 90 psi, which is even higher than the STEALTH air compressor mentioned above (No. 2).

There’s also a twin cast iron pump that gives maximum efficiency for your daily pneumatic tasks.

Just make sure that you don’t use the compressor for too long at once since it heats up really quickly.

More photo & price on amazon.com

Pros

  • Efficient motor
  • Pneumatic tires for mobility
  • Better CFM than STEALTH compressor

Cons

  • Overheating problems

6. CAMPBELL HAUSFELD DC200000 Air Compressor

If you’re a fan of the horizontal air compressors and you don’t mind bending down a little every time you put the compressor down, then go for the CAMPBELL HAUSFEL air compressor.

This horizontal placement allows you to easily read the values on the pressure gauges.

The pump on this compressor is also oil-free, so you can steer clear of the lubricating hassle.

You can get a max pressure of 150 psi with four cfm at 90 psi. These are some really decent values when added with the other features.

More photo & price on amazon.com

Pros

  • Easy readability of gauges
  • Decent psi and cfm values
  • 88 decibel sound performance

Cons

  • Poor packaging

7. PULSAR PCE6200 20 Gallon Air Compressor

The PULSAR air compressor is a competitive underdog in the pneumatic air tools category.

It’s surprising to see that this compressor is not that famous because it gives off a really good CFM value of 5.2 at 90 psi.

The pressure gauges are also maneuvered both horizontally and vertically so you can take easy pressure readings no matter where you’re working from.

Nonetheless, I don’t like the fact that the compressor is not durable, and it contains some substandard plastic parts.

More photo & price on amazon.com

Pros

  • Oil-lubricated pump
  • Dual pressure gauges

Cons

  • Low durability
  • Doesn’t work well with high CFM tools

8. Northstar Honda 163-cc Gas-Powered Air Compressor

This air compressor is the prime pick for anyone who wants a high CFM value for different tasks. This is because the 163-cc Honda engine provides a CFM of as much as 13.7 at 90 psi!

This is the greatest CFM value compared to any other 20-gallon compressor on my list. Its cylinder is also designed specially to provide maximum cooling to the motor.

Just make sure you read the manual properly on how to start the Honda engine on this compressor, as it’s hard to start it sometimes.

More photo & price on amazon.com

Pros

  • Highest CFM value
  • Cool operation
  • Weather-resistant tank

Cons

  • Hard to start the motor

9. DEWALT DXCMPA1982054 Portable Air Compressor

In case you haven’t set your heart on a compressor yet, then don’t worry.

You’ll definitely like this Dewalt release as it is my top pick in this list of the best 20-gallon air compressors.

If a unit is performing as it should, then there’s no need to opt for an alternative brand that can’t be trusted.

Since DEWALT is a famous manufacturer of pneumatic tools, a good performance easily gives it the top spot on my list.

The CFM values for this unit are 5.7 at 90 psi, which is the greatest after the NorthStar compressor (Reviewed above).

You can also convert the standard 120 voltage to commercial 240-volt usage. I couldn’t find any flaw in this compressor.

This is why I chose it as the prime pick out of all the 20-gallon compressors.

More photo & price on amazon.com

Pros

  • Efficient performance
  • Convertible voltage outlets
  • Good psi and CFM values
  • Contains accurate pressure gauges

Cons

  • None

10. INGERSOLL RAND P1.5IU-A9 Single-Stage Compressor

Ingersoll Rand has been an amazing industrial tool provider for more than a century. This air compressor is no exception.

Delivering on their promise of convenience, IR has integrated an 80-decibel noise operation into this compressor.

This means that the motor will run at low speeds without heating up or making any noise.

You can maximize the pressure up to 135 psi with this compressor. However, the motor and its capacitors sometimes cause misfires, so you may have to replace them.

More photo & price on amazon.com

Pros

  • Quiet motor operation
  • Pneumatic tires and a well-designed handle for easy transportation
  • High horsepower of 2

Cons

  • Motor and capacitors misfire sometimes

11. California Air Tools 20020 Oil-Free Air Compressor

The last compressor on this list is another underappreciated product. This unit has an operating noise level even lower than the IR compressor. i.e., 70 decibels.

You can also get a decent CFM of 5.3 at 90 psi. You should be able to accomplish most small-scale pneumatic tasks in this pressure and airflow range.

However, it was a major turnoff to see the compressor bending towards one side.

The welding of tires to the unit has been done rather poorly, but that’s the only downside of this compressor.

More photo & price on amazon.com

Pros

  • 70-decibel quiet operation
  • Decent CFM and PSI values
  • 2 HP motor gives extra power

Cons

  • Not the best design quality

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a 20-gallon air compressor big enough?

It depends on the task that you want to accomplish.

If you require high mobility in your daily tasks and if you can refill your compressor regularly, then a 20-gallon compressor will be big enough for your tasks.

However, if you want to attach multiple tools and don’t want to move the compressor a lot, then go for a bigger tank size.

Will a 20-gallon air compressor run an impact wrench?

Yes, most 20-gallon air compressors can run impact wrenches.

Impact wrenches require a CFM of 4 or 5, so if the CFM requirement of your impact wrench matches that of your air compressor, that means that your 20-gallon air compressor will run your impact wrench.

What can a 20-gallon air compressor do?

A 20-gallon air compressor can provide you with the necessary air pressure needed to operate everyday pneumatic tasks such as nailing, framing, sanding, etc.

You shouldn’t use a 20-gallon compressor for large-scale jobs.

How does a 20-gallon air compressor work?

The compressor work by moving the piston in the cylinder that releases air out into the outlet valve.

This air gets pushed through the valve into the tank, where it leads to the outlet fitting.

You can connect your pneumatic tools to the outlet fitting to use the air compressor.

Are 20-gallon air compressors loud?

Most 20-gallon air compressors are quieter than the usual 30 to 80-gallon air compressors.

This is because 20-gallon compressors have motors that operate at low speeds and RPM.

This contributes to minimizing noise pollution in your garage.

What psi 20-gallon compressor should I get?

For a 20 gallon compressor, any maximum psi value above 120 psi should be more than enough.

However, if you plan on doing tasks that require 120 or above psi value regularly, then you should opt for an air compressor with a bigger tank size than the 20-gallon air compressor.

Does horsepower matter in 20-gallon air compressors?

Yes, horsepower lets you know the amount of power the motor will exert while providing you the air pressure.

However, CFM and PSI values are more important than horsepower, so make sure you don’t prioritize HP over CFM and PSI.

Should I get a 20-gallon air compressor that doesn’t have wheels?

You can, if you want to, but it’s not recommended. 20-gallon air compressors are best known for their mobility and soundproofing.

If you’re going to keep your compressor in just one place, then it’s worthwhile to go for a bigger air compressor instead.

Conclusion

All of these products have been bought, used, and reviewed carefully. If you have not found the perfect pick for yourself, then there’s a chance that you’re looking for a compressor with a larger tank size.

You can check out my other reviews if you want a compressor in the 30-80 gallon range.

Do you want to share your personal experience with any of the above air compressors?

Let us know in the comment section below!

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