Complete Buyer’s Guide to the Best Air Compressors in Australia 2020

Introduction

Air compressors are highly functional machines that are used for construction work. Either in and around the home or on construction and building sites. Designed to create a powerful air force for a variety of air tools such as wrenches, jackhammers, grinders, and sanders.

They come in a variety of sizes and functions suitable for home or industrial use. One thing is for sure when you invest in a high-quality air compressor,  you’ll be able to get your money’s worth.

Top 6 Air Compressors in Australia 2020

ImageBrandMax PressureFlow RateTank CapacityCheck Prices
TIREWELL 12V150 PSI2.12 CFM-Check price on Amazon AU
WEN 2281125 PSI0.6-0.8 CFM4 LCheck price on Amazon AU
Bushranger MAX AIR III150 PSI72 LPM-Check price on Amazon AU
Unimac ACM 500116 PSI212 LPM50 LCheck price on Amazon AU
BOSTITCH150 PSI2.6 CFM23 LCheck price on Amazon AU
Campbell Hausfeld 12V150 PSI--Check price on Amazon AU

Function of an Air Compressor

With the wide variety of models available, it’s important that you know exactly what kind of air compressor to purchase that will accommodate your job. Air compressors usually go hand-in-hand with air tools and other machines. Depending on which machine you want to power, you have to choose the relevant air compressor.

The main function of this device is to convert power into energy, by the means of using pressurized air.

At Home: A small air compressor can be used around the house to pump up deflated motorcycle, vehicle, and bicycle tires. It can also be used with a variety of power tools to help with building a deck, patio, or shade.

Furthermore, it can be used with a tool that has the function of spraypainting larger walls in the house.  Use it as a light-duty leaf blower system.

Contractors: For business owners and contractors, air compressors can help with painting cars, changing tires of vehicles, building structures, and cleaning. Investing in a high-quality and durable air compressor will help you save time and money.

Industrial: For manufacturing companies, industrial-grade air compressors are the way to go.  They provide serious power that speeds up production.

How Does an Air Compressor Works?

It’s a simple device that consists of a compressor pump and an air tank. When switched on, the compressor pump uses voltage from an electrical socket to pump air into a tank. Inside the tank, the air is compressed at a high level.

When the air tank reaches the maximum air pressure, the compressor shuts off. The pressurized air, found in the air tank, can be released through an output port to a pneumatic tool. These tools pneumatic tools include paint sprayers, tire inflators, jackhammers, and air wrenches among many others.

Once the pressurized air inside the tank is depleted, the compressor motor starts up again to start adding air into the tank once more. Depending on the size of the air tank, the device will run a certain amount of time before it has to restart again.

Manufacturers who operate far away from power sources need bigger tanks.

Types of Air Compressors

There are a few types of different technology systems that drives the mechanics of air compressors.

Rotary

Using a rotary screw system, air is squeezed through rotating screws into the air tank. Perfect for heavy-duty and longterm jobs. The rotary technology system doesn’t require much maintenance, as the internal parts are oil-sealed and doesn’t cause a lot of friction.

Reciprocating

Most typically used, the reciprocating piston air compressor uses similar technology to that of a car’s engine. Pistons are driven by crankshafts in a forward and backward motion. This motion creates a vacuum that pushes air into the tank when extended and sucks the air out when retracting.

Reciprocating systems are usually much louder because the cylinders inside create a lot of friction. However, dual-piston and oil-less technology reduces noise and overheating.

Scroll

Typically used in freezer and refrigerators, the scroll technology uses two pieces that are spiral-shaped. These two parts rotate around each other to create compressed air.

Perfect to be used in dentistry tools, food industry equipment, and electronics. Because they operate quietly while producing industry-standard clean air.

Gas or Electric Air Compressors

Electrical air compressors use an electrical socket as their main power source. They are also less expensive than their gas counterparts. Electrical air compressors are either fixed to a specific area or can be portable. They can’t be used with extension cords which makes the use of them in areas far away from electrical sockets difficult.

Gas-powered air compressors can be used independently using a gas tank as a power source. The main difference between the two, is that electrical air compressors have a generic on and off switch and a gas type doesn’t. This allows the power compressor to switch off automatically, once the maximum air pressure has been reached.

Gas air compressors are much more functional for heavy-duty jobs, whereas electrical air compressors are better for low to medium-duty jobs. It’s recommended that gas air compressors are used outside and never inside. Because they create indoor noise and gas fumes that can be hazardous to your health.

Best Brands

When you want your air compressor to last a long time, you need to consider investing in a well-known, high-quality brand. Here are our top three choices:

Tirewell

Tirewell is a China-based company that has reached high ratings over the last few years. They have a team of thirty highly qualified and dedicated designers and engineers, who help develop high-quality air compressor tire inflators.

Tirewell’s goal is to stay relevant by following automotive trends while creating ergonomically charged products. They focus on health and safety elements to create user-friendly devices.

Bushranger

Bushranger is known for its groundbreaking 4×4 gear. They’ve created a variety of portable air compressors that can be transported to the camping grounds while traveling.

The Australian based company is 4 decades old and cater for Australians who like to explore off-road to test their vehicle’s limits. Their main aim is to create quality equipment that can assist explorers on their journeys through harsh landscapes.

Bostitch

Bostitch is an internationally renowned brand that designs and manufacturers of power tools, accessories, and air compressors. They pride themselves in creating high-quality and durable products with unique technology that holds patents.

The company was found in 1896 by Thomas Briggs. At first, it created machines that stitched books together using coil wire. It soon turned its attention to other products. Today, they are one of the leaders in the industry manufacturing a variety of reliable and powerful machines.

Other high-quality brands include: Porter-Cable, Senco, Makita, and Dewalt.

Factors to Consider Before Buying an Air Compressor

It is clear that there are a lot of different kinds of technology that goes into an air compressor design. It’s important that you consider a few key factors before purchasing one. This will ensure that you buy the right air compressor for the job.

Here is a list of things you have to consider:

Horsepower (HP)

The more power the air compressor creates, the more powerful your tools can be. Horsepower is the indicator that determines the strength of the device. Regular house owned air compressors can produce 5 HP drawing 24 amps on a single-phase power outlet of 220 voltages.  Or on a 15 amp with a 110 voltage circuit.

When you look at HP, you have to consider the amp and voltages too. Also whether it’s gas or electric. A gas air compressor of 10 HP can produce as much compressed air as an electrical air compressor of 5 HP.

Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM)

The volume of air that’s produced by an air compressor is rated in CFM. Certain tools need higher CFMs to function to their maximum capacity. Depending on which tool you want to use, you need a high CFM.

It’s recommended that you purchase an air compressor that produces 3-4 CFM per 1 HP at 90 PSI.

Air Pressure (PSI)

Air pressure is measured in PSI (Per Square Inch).  Common air tools need 90 PSI to run to maximum capacity. It’s important that you check the shut-off pressure. It should be high enough in order for the PSI to remain at 90. The first stage will build up to 90 PSI and the second to 175 PSI.

Small air compressors that are used for airbrush painting or other small hobbies, will have two-stage shut-off pressure of 125 PSI – 135 PSI.

Size of Air Tank

The air tank’s function is to store air not produce it. Therefore, it’s more important that you consider the size of the compressor motor and pump. If you have a big enough pump, you’ll never run out of compressed air.

Pump Power Drive (Direct or Belt)

Refer to the air compressor types mentioned above, the type is something you have to consider as this influences the noise, durability, and power.  Then you can decide between a direct or belt-driven pump.

Direct Drive: Is directly fastened to the motor itself. It turns at the exact same speed, spinning between 1,700-3400 RPM.

Belt Drive: Has a pulley system and drives between 900-1400 RPM. It has a larger oil capacity than that of a direct-driven pump. Because the belt is made from elastic, it can wear out over time and needs to be replaced.

Consider whether the motor is oiled or oil-free. Oiled devices are designed to run continuously and needs more maintenance. Whereas, oil-free devices are easier to maintain.

Durability and Longevity

Do check with the manufacturer what the life expectancy of an air compressor is. Investing in a high-quality brand that is durable will allow you to use the device for many years to come.

Consider the cost per use. If you are going to use the device on a regular basis, you should invest in a higher HP device than recommended by the tools you are going to use. An air compressor with a higher HP will most likely run 2 times longer as a lower HP device.

Noise

If you’ve ever been in an area where there is an air compressor, you’ll know that they can produce quite a bit of noise. Noise is measured in dBA (Decibels). Modern air compressors have a dBA of 40-90.  Small air compressors that are used by homeowners can produce as little as 40 dBA, whereas industrial-sized air compressors produce up to 90 dBA.

For hobbyists, a low dBA is recommended in the form of a quiet air compressor.  Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a completely silent air compressor. There are external measures you can apply to deafen most noise. You can install an intake silencer, isolate the compressor, and put a soundproof box around the compressor.

It’s important that users wear ear protection when they operate the device, as long exposure to high dBA can cause permanent ear damage.

Running Time

The running time is usually indicated in percentage. When a compressor has a 50% running time, it refers to the amount of time it can run within a 10-minute timeframe. Household compressors have a 50% duty cycle; Industrial compressors have at least a 75% duty cycle, with some heavy-duty industrial air compressors running at 100%.

Motor pumps can overheat when the percentage exceeds the duty cycle’s running time.

Top Reviews of the Best Air Compressors in Australia

We’ve located the best air compressors available on Amazon AU, saving you some time. Here is a list of our favorites:

TIREWELL 12V Air Compressor

Overview:  This Tirewell air compressor tire inflator has a double cylinder. It uses a direct drive power motor that allows for a high-efficiency pump. This ensures the inflation of tires while they have a leak, or when the tire pressure is under par. 

It can be plugged into a vehicle’s cigarette lighter holder. Measuring only 27×18.8×18 cm and weighing 3.58 kilograms, the portable air compressor is easily portable. The power extension coil 5 meters long, the inflation tube is 50 centimeters in length, allowing for an easy maneuver around the car.

With an airflow of 150PSI and 2.12 CFM, the air compressor is the perfect size for inflating vehicle tires, sports equipment, and inflatable pool toys.  The unit comes with added accessories including a battery clamp, 3 inflation tube adaptors, carry-bag, and carry handle.

Tirewell’s air compressor is designed for on and off-road use, focused on safety and durability.  It uses a four-rod design that reduces noise and vibration. Added rubber feet allow the unit to stay in place during operation.


Cost: $50
Key Features:
150 PSI, stability technology, double cylinder direct drive, 12 Voltage power outlet, dial gauge, screwed connector, 5-meter extension coil.
Best For:
Tire inflation, portable use

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WEN 2281 Portable Air Compressor

Overview: The WEN 1-Gallon portable air compressor is an oil-free model that is designed with a hot dog-style tank. It has stability technology that includes rubber legs for ultimate stable operation.

The air tank is made from durable reinforced steel that has a max pressure of 125 PSI. The motor is 3.5 amps and it has an auto on/off function for safety. The WEN 1-Gallon uses a single-stage compressor airflow of 0.6 CFM at 90 PSI and 0.8 CFM at 40 PSI.

It features an easy-to-drain valve that releases condensation and built-up air. An onboard handle to lift and transport the 11 kilograms unit. WEN prides itself in creating durable air compressors with a long lifespan. This unit comes with a 2-year warranty.

Cost: $173
Key Features:
125 PSI, Oil-free pump, stability technology, single-stage compression system, easy-to-drain valve, 2 pressure gauges, 4 liter air tank
Best For: Powering air tools

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Bushranger 55X23 Max Air III

Overview: Bushranger’s MAX AIR III is the number one bestseller in its category. The compact design packs a punch when it comes to air compression creating 150 PSI. Measuring 34x29x24.5 cm and weighing only 7 kilograms, the MAX AIR III is the perfect on and off-road air compressor.

The stability technology includes a removable rubber-mounted base-plate that absorbs vibrations. It can deflate and inflate tires in a jiffy and on-board air systems. You can hard-mount the device to a tank with the easy use of the pressure switch.

Bushranger is so confident in their product’s durability, that it comes with a 5-year warranty. With loads of added accessories including jumping cables, inflation nozzles, heavy-duty carry bag, and a gauge.

Cost:
$315
Key Features:
150PSI, battery-operated, 72 LPM, 2.5 metre power cord, 9 metre reinforced air hose, pre-installed pressure switch
Best For:
Inflation, powering air tools, portable use

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Unimac ACM-500

Overview: The hot dog-style Unimac ACM-500 air compressor is perfect for heavy-duty pneumatic tool use. It has a 50 Liter air tank capacity and a fitted pressure regulator with fully auto stop/start pressure control.

With a direct drive motor, it powers 3.5 HP at maximum 116 PSI. An added ventilation installation, the motor won’t overheat creating optimal power. The model includes a blowing gun, tire inflator, paraffin gun, 12 meter hose, and spray gun, making it great value for money.

The design is extremely durable, manufactured from high-quality metal that’s semi-enclosed. Stability technology is installed by means of rubber feet to allow for anti-vibration.

Cost: $370
Key Features:
116 PSI, 3.5 HP, stability technology, direct-drive, 50 liter air tank, includes additional air tools
Best For:
Powering air tools

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BOSTITCH Air Compressor

Overview: The Bostitch pancake air compressor features an oil-free pump design. It’s a compact compressor with a 23 liter air tank that weighs only 13 kilograms. Making it easy to store and transport around.

With a high flow regulator, it can support two air tools at the same time. With an air tank storage of 150 PSI and a pump that produces 2.6 CFM per 90 PSI. Designed to produce only 78.5 dBA, the noise production is ideal for a working environment.

The unit includes a 10 piece accessory kit.

Cost: $330
Key Features:
150 PSI, Oil-free pump design, 23 liter tank, 2 gauges, on/off switch, stability technology
Best For:
Powering air tools

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Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor

Overview: The Campbell Hausfeld 12 Voltage portable air compressor, is an extremely lightweight (2 kg) portable air compressor. Perfect for inflating vehicle tires and to take along with you on the road.

Using the 150 PSI powerful motor, the device can inflate tires within only 4 minutes. It features a leak-proof threaded air hose valve that provides consistent results with each inflation.

Easily powered through the vehicle’s cigarette lighter as well as easily portable with the durable carrying handle. For nighttime use, the device has a built-in LED lighting system that provides ultimate safety.

The unit includes a 3-piece inflation nozzle kit, that allows for the inflation of not only vehicle tires, but also sports equipment and pool toys.

Cost: $206
Key Features:
150 PSI, threaded air hose, LED light feature, 12 Volt, lightweight
Best For:
Tire inflation, portable use

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Conclusion

Whether you want to purchase an air compressor for domestic or industrial use, you’ll be able to choose the right unit if you keep the key factors in mind. A small air compressor is a perfect addition to your vehicle, especially if you’re planning on driving through the outback any time soon. Having a powerful air compressor inflation pump at hand, instead of a hand pump, will help you through any tire emergencies.

Furthermore, if you are a hobbyist or a DIY kinda man or woman, then a high-quality air compressor will be a perfect addition to your home. It opens up the world to using pneumatic tools to create amazing DIY building or painting projects at your home.

An air compressor can also speed up production and results if you want to purchase one for business use.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t compromise quality and power over price. Rather spend a few extra dollars on a highly rated product with a longer life expectancy, than opting for a lower quality that will only last a few years.

 

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