10 Best Air Compressor for Impact Wrench 2021 | Reviews & Guide

If you work with impact wrenches regularly, you probably know the importance of using the right power source (air compressor).

It’s my observation that everyone likes to focus on the tasks at hand instead of worrying about the power source.

Getting the right air compressor will allow you to do just that.

However, there’s massive competition in the market these days, and choosing the best industrial tools has never been more difficult.

For that, I have compiled a list of the top 10 choices out there so you can pick the best air compressor for an impact wrench.

Before finalizing the purchase, make sure you evaluate your options by reading this article thoroughly.

Buyer’s Guide

An air compressor for impact wrench has many features that distinguish it from normal air compressors.

You may have noticed that certain impact wrenches work only with specific air compressors.

Hence it is really important that you know which features to look for when buying an air compressor for your particular impact wrench.

That way, you won’t end up wasting your precious time and money. I have listed below the crucial aspects of an air compressor for an impact wrench.

Be mindful of these factors, and you’ll thank yourself in the long run!

Portability

For most tasks that require an impact wrench, portability is a deal-breaker. If you can’t move your wrench around, then what’s the point?

Therefore, look for a compressor that has wheels. If not, then it should be lightweight so you can carry it around wherever you want.

The Pressure Exerted (PSI)

A good PSI value of an air compressor will allow your impact wrench to bolt the nuts at a greater speed and with greater precision.

Hence, look for a compressor that supplies a 90 psi pressure when maxed out. Still, I recommend that you go for a psi value of at least 120.

Airflow (CFM)

You may already know that impact wrenches operate at different CFMs. Therefore, don’t buy an air compressor that’s not compatible with your impact wrench.

If you’re not sure, then you can look at your impact wrench user manual to check the compatibility with your air compressor.

Impact wrench size

Different sizes of impact wrenches can only work with specific airflow values. If you get a lower value compressor, then your impact wrench will fail to start.

Similarly, if you get a higher value compressor, then it may cause a short circuit and equipment failure.

Therefore, keep in mind the wrench size and CFM.

Generally, impact wrench sizes and CFM values are related as follows:

  • ¼” wrench: 0.3 to 1.5 CFM
  • ¾” wrench: 2 to 3 CFM
  • ½” wrench: 4 to 5 CFM
  • 1” wrench: 10 CFM or more

Top 10 Air Compressor for Impact Wrench

If you’ve read the buyer’s guide above, there’s a good chance that you’re fully equipped to understand the reviews below and hence make an educated choice.

I have reviewed each product in terms of its pros and cons and main features.

Without further delay, let’s get started!

1. California Air Tools 10020C Oil-Free Air Compressor

The first compressor on my list is a 10-gallon release by California Air Tools. This is a great pick for someone who wants to work in an ultra-quiet environment.

I really like how the 70-decibel noise value allows this compressor to operate in extreme silence. You can also run up to ½” impact wrenches with this one since it gives you 5+ CFM at 90 psi.

However, the built-in connectors are a little weak. If you replace them for a few bucks, then you can avoid major damage to the compressor.

More photo & price on amazon.com

Pros

  • Very quiet performance
  • Sturdy design
  • Well-built motor

Cons

  • Weak built-in connectors
  • Rubber feet keep falling off

2. MAKITA MAC5200 Big Bore Air Compressor

The MAKITA MAC5200 is the ultimate pick for someone who values portability above anything else.

It’s not just that. The high CFM value of 6.5 at 90 psi makes this compressor one of the top choices on my list!

I also love the hanging supports attached to the handle. They’ll allow you to hang and store hoses and other pneumatic tools when you’re not using them.

However, make sure you only use this compressor for small-scale jobs.

Don’t be fooled by the 6.5 CFM value since the compressor motor may start fluctuating if you use it for heavy pneumatic tasks.

More photo & price on amazon.com

Pros

  • Portable unit
  • High CFM value
  • Stores equipment not being used

Cons

  • Motor fluctuates at 5+ CFM values

3. Campbell Hausfeld FP209499AV Air Compressor

If you use a ¼” impact wrench in your garage, then you should consider buying this unique release by Campbell Hausfeld.

It comes with a kit that includes all the necessary fittings and a 3ft hose pipe as well. So, you won’t have to make unnecessary extra purchases.

However, the CFM value is really low at 0.36 with 90 psi pressure. This means it barely allows ¼” impact wrenches to operate. It’s also quite noisy compared to the small size.

More photo & price on amazon.com

Pros

  • Good for ¼” impact wrench
  • Comes with an inflation kit
  • Best for tire inflation

Cons

  • Low CFM value
  • Noisy operation

4. PORTER-CABLE C2002 6-Gallon Air Compressor

PORTER-CABLE C2002 is the only air compressor on this list that’s in the shape of a pancake!

Therefore, if you’re a fan of a cute-looking design that takes up a very small amount of space, then this compressor is your best bet.

Not only does it look pretty, but this compressor performs with excellent efficiency as well.

At 90 psi, you’ll get 2.6 SCFM with this compressor, which makes it ideal for ¾” impact wrenches.

You’ll have to conduct a break-in procedure before the first use.

I’m not a fan of the fact that it is not mentioned in the manual, but it is necessary for the compressor to start working efficiently.

Break-in procedure means running the compressor with the valve open for at least 15 minutes before the first use.

More photo & price on amazon.com

Pros

  • Good looking design
  • Compact unit
  • Excellent efficiency

Cons

  • Unclear instructions
  • Break-in procedure not included in manual

5. Industrial Air IL1682066.MN Air Compressor

You may have some concerns regarding the size of this compressor, but if you’re willing to stretch your budget a little more, then this compressor will definitely pay off!

Not only you can operate the biggest impact wrenches (up to 1/2 inch) with this compressor, but also you can use it for countless other pneumatic tasks as well.

That’s because the CFM value is 5.2 at 90 psi.

If you have a full tank, you may not have to worry about refilling for an entire day!

More photo & price on amazon.com

Pros

  • Versatile voltage range
  • Pneumatic tires give mobility.
  • Ideal for impact wrenching

Cons

  • Overheating problems

6. DEWALT DXCMPA1982054 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor

Let’s not forget about one of the most famous brands in the pneumatic industry. DEWALT has come up with yet another great product.

At 90 psi, this air compressor will give you a CFM of 5.7, which is enough to run almost any impact wrench efficiently.

The pressure gauge on this one is also really efficient.

However, this compressor is not as quiet as the other DEWALT releases, and that’s a bummer!

More photo & price on amazon.com

Pros

  • Portable wheels
  • Good CFM and PSI values
  • Efficient gauges

Cons

  • Noisy

7. Powermate Vx PLA4708065 Electric Air Compressor

The POWERMATE air compressor is my top choice for anyone who wants an air compressor for impact wrenching.

The reason is simply that this air compressor provides an exceptional CFM of 14.0.

At this CFM, you can even run an impact wrench of 1-inch size.

No other air compressor on this list can do that!

The motor is also really efficient, with a horsepower of 4.7. If you can manage to move an 80-gallon compressor, then get your hands on this unit as soon as you can!

More photo & price on amazon.com

Pros

  • Ideal compressor for impact wrenching
  • Highest CFM value
  • Efficient 4.7 HP motor

Cons

  • None

8. QUINCY QT-54 2V41C60VC Reciprocating Air Compressor

If an 80-gallon compressor is too much for you, then the QUINCY QT-54 should be your prime pick.

The 60-gallon size of this compressor is optimal for someone who needs mobility in their daily impact wrenching.

It’s really easy to oil the motor of this compressor.

You can just throw the lubricant on top while the motor runs, and it won’t splash as long as the pump is running at 5 RPM.

However, it would’ve been great if this compressor had wheels and was portable.

No one wants to mount the compressor when the task at hand requires using an impact wrench.

More photo & price on amazon.com

Pros

  • Optimal tank size
  • Easy lubrication
  • High CFM of 15.2 at 175 psi

Cons

  • Not portable

9. EAGLE EA5000 Silent Air Compressor

I don’t usually review EAGLE products, but this one demanded immediate attention.

That’s because this is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to use the impact wrench on the go.

The portability of this compressor is unmatched! It also provides a decent CFM of 5 at 90 psi.

Its design is really durable and sturdy as well, which allows it to last for a long time.

However, you may want to view other options if you have a problem with a noisy operation because this unit is not at all silent as advertised!

More photo & price on amazon.com

Pros

  • Great portability
  • Decent CFM output
  • Durable design

Cons

  • Noisy operation

10. NORTHSTAR Single Stage Electric Air Compressor

The last product on my list is another great NORTHSTAR rendition. I have never seen an air compressor as quiet as this one.

Due to the electric power source, this compressor is an excellent choice for someone who wants to work at night without disturbing the neighbors.

The built-in voltage is low, but you can use it for industrial use as well by rewiring the source to a 230 Volt input. I like the CFM output as well. It’s 5.0 at 90 psi.

However, you’ll need to swap the original pressure regulator if you need higher CFM output so you can reduce the pressure according to your choice.

Get a 3/8” regulator instead of the stock ½” that comes with this compressor.

I also don’t like the position of the drain valve. Since it’s on the side, it doesn’t allow the compressor to drain completely.

More photo & price on amazon.com

Pros

  • Very quiet operation
  • Good CFM output
  • Can be rewired for industrial use

Cons

  • Pressure regulator not effective
  • Wrong drain valve position

Frequently Asked Questions

What size air compressor do I need for an impact wrench?

Air compressor size doesn’t really matter for an impact wrench. What matters is the CFM value.

However, any air compressor with a tank size of more than 3 gallons can run an impact wrench, but it’s advised to get a compressor of at least 20 gallons.

How much is PSI needed to run an impact wrench?

Most impact wrenches operate at 90 psi; therefore, buy an air compressor that provides at least 120 psi of pressure before shutting off.

Keep in mind that some pressure is lost in the hose too.

Can a 6-gallon air compressor run an impact wrench?

Yes, it can but for a short amount of time. You can only work for a few minutes with your impact wrench if your compressor size is only 6 gallons.

Hence get a 6-gallon compressor if you can easily refill the air whenever you want.

How many gallons of air compressor do I need?

For typical daily pneumatic tasks, at least a 20-gallon compressor is recommended.

However, for tasks that require extra mobility, a smaller tank-sized compressor from 3-8 gallons will suffice as well. Choose the tank size according to the tasks at hand.

What CFM is needed for an impact wrench?

An airflow of 4.0 to 5.0 is more than enough for most kinds of impact wrenches. These values can change according to the size of the impact wrench.

Refer to the buyer’s guide above to compare CFM and wrench size.

Should I get an air compressor for the impact wrench without wheels?

It is not recommended. Usually, the tasks that require the use of an impact wrench require the user to move around a lot.

This is difficult if the compressor is mounted on the wall. However, you can always get a long-sized hose as well. It’s your call whichever route you want to take!

Conclusion

It’s always a good idea to select an air compressor according to a specific task.

For you, if that specific task is using an impact wrench, then I’m hoping that these reviews helped you out.

Make sure you don’t skip over anything. A nice trick is to make a list of everything you require and then look at what the manufacturer is offering. I use this method all the time!

Do you have any questions or recommendations? Would you like to share your personal experience with one of the products above? Let us know in the comment section below!

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