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The best quiet air compressor is California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor with 56 decibels noise ratings.
Air compressors play an integral role for professional or DIY enthusiasts. They enable us to accomplish specific activities such as DIY painting, filling tires, carpentry, or even auto repairs.
According to a study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) website, the use of regular air compressors (over 100 decibels) is one of the leading causes of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. (Source)
If you frequently use air compressors and want to avoid the risk of NIHL, it’s highly recommended you invest a quiet air compressor and implement other measures that will keep noise levels down.
What’s the Best Quiet Air Compressor?
The quietest air compressor on the market today is the California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor.
With 56 noise decibels rating, this unit is quieter than a normal conversation with a person 3ft away. It’s as quiet as a household refrigerator.
It’s lightweight, weighing 29.5 lbs only- for this reason, you won’t have to worry transporting it around from your garage to worksite or to your backyard.
The compressor is powered by a 0.6 horsepower motor with airflow of 1.20CFM @90 PSI. However, the maximum PSI for this unit is 120 psi.
It features a 1.0-gallon steel tank and an oil-free motor for less maintenance and reduced costs of maintenance, and it’s designed to have a 3000+ hours life cycle before wear.
It’s perfect for use with brad nail guns, staple guns, nail guns, blowguns, airbrushes, and finish nail guns. Also perfect for inflating tires, toys, beds, and sports balls.
It’s great for anyone working indoors in a neighborhood where noise is a major issue.
- Quiet operation- 56 decibels
- Lightweight- 29.5lbs
- 6 horsepower- 1.20 cfm @90psi- max 120psi
- 0-gallon steel tank
- Oil-free pump
A-List of the Best Quiet Air Compressors for Garage and Workshop
While the California Air Tools above is the quietest air compressor in this guide, there are other options to explore. However, the good news is that they all have noise ratings below 79 decibels.
DEWALT DWFP55126 produces a maximum of 75.5dBA noise level ideal for those who prefer a quiet working environment.
It’s a heavy-duty 6-gallon air compressor that delivers 165max PSI with 90 standard operating PSI. It’s powered by a 120V, 60Hz 10ampheres universal motor.
The unit is equipped with a high flow regulator and couplers for maximum performance When in use, it should be placed at least 12 inches away from the wall or any other objects that can interfere with the airflow.
It weighs 30lbs, and hence it’s easy to carry around and store. The ball drain valve will allow for quick and thorough tank draining.
It comes with protective rubber leg covers that help absorb vibrations and protect the floor against damage.
- Silent Operation- 75.5dBA
- 0 Gallon tank and 165maximum PSI
- Lightweight- 30lb
- Protective rubber legs cover
- 120V, 60Hz, 10 amps universal motor
The BOSTITCH BTFP02012 produces 78.5dBA operational noise making it great for workspaces where noise is a major concern.
It’s lightweight, weighing 29lbs, and a narrow tank diameter design that makes it easy to carry. The oil-free motor doesn’t require daily maintenance and therefore reduces maintenance costs and also eliminates the risk of oil stain on your gear and surfaces.
The high-flow regular helps maximize air tool performance. A 6.0-gallon tank helps produce 150max PSI and 2.6 SCFM at 90PSI.
In addition, it comes with a 50′ rubber/PCV blend hose that retains its flexibility even in cold temperatures. It’s also resistant to abrasion and lighter than regular rubber hoses.
The accessories included with this unit include; various inflation attachments, rubber tip, safety nozzle, blow gun, 1/4″ NPT male plugs, chuck, and gauge.
- 5dBA operational noise levels
- Lightweight- 29lbs
- 150max PSI and 2.6 SCFM at 90PSI
- 50′ rubber/PCV blend hose
The Hitachi EC28M guarantees a quiet operation at only 59 decibels. You can hold a normal conversation with your partner when this unit is cycling without any interference.
It’s powered by a 120v 2.8amps 0.451 horsepower motor that gives 0.8cfm @90PSI and 1.3cfm @40PSI.
In addition, this compressor is equipped with a quiet industrial oil-free pump that requires little to no maintenance. In the long run, it saves you on maintenance costs.
The industrial regulator and gauges allow for easy and precise PSI adjustments. Additionally, the steel roll cage with rubber grip helps protect all the important components as well as support during transport.
The rubber feet help absorb vibrations, shock, and minimize crawling. Vibrations can cause structure-borne/impact noise.
- 120v 2.8amps 0.451 horsepower motor
- Quiet operation- 59 decibels
- Industrial gauge and regulator
This unit produces just 68dBA, and it’s up to 50% quieter than regular compressors in the same class. Its quiet operation makes it great for both indoor and outdoor use.
The unit boasts a maximum PSI of 125, making it great for a variety of projects, including stapling, nailing, bolting, inflation, fastening, and hobby painting.
It features an oil-free dual-piston pump that requires little to no maintenance.
Although it’s bulky (weighing 67 pounds), the large wheels make this unit easily portable in different terrains while the rubber-grip steel handle allows for easy transportation from one workshop to another.
Even though this air compressor is powered by a 120V 1.0 horsepower motor, the dual-piston pump produces 25% more air compared to 1.0HP compressors with single-piston pumps.
- Dual-piston pumps- 25% more air
- 68 decibels- quiet operation
- 120V 1.0 horsepower motor
While no decibel ratings given for this unit, the manufacturer claims that it’s 80% quieter than standard oil-free air compressors.
It’s equipped with a four-pole1HP induction motor that operates at 1700RPM and two pumps that ensure that airflow is evenly distributed, resulting in quieter operation.
Produces 2.4CFM at 90PSI. Additionally, the large regulator knobs help you regulate the air pressure.
For portability, this unit is equipped with an adjustable sliding control panel and large solid wheels.
The Quiet Power Technology (QPT) utilized in this unit not only makes it quieter but makes the unit last 3times longer than a regular air compressor.
- 4CFM at 90PSI
- Quiet Power Technology motor- 3X longer lifespan
- Four pole induction motor
- 80% quieter than regular compressors
As the name suggests, this unit delivers a quiet operation producing 65 decibels max noise. It’s equipped with a 2horsepower induction motor with a life cycle of up to 1000 hours.
This 12-gallon compressor produces 4cfm @40PSI and 3cfm at 90PSI with a peak of 150PSI, and this allows the unit to recover quickly after the first tank charge is exhausted.
For portability, its equipped with an adjustable handlebar with a rubber grip and 6-inch rubber reinforced wheels designed to handle different terrains.
In addition, its compact enough, measuring (20 inches/ 16 inch/ 22 inch), and its upright design takes less workspace- making it a great space saver. Like all other air compressors in this guide, this unit is oil-free and requires little to no maintenance.
Inside the package, you get Stealth SAQ-1413 Air Compressor x 1, User Manual x 1, 6′ and Electric Cord x 1.
- 4cfm @40PSI and 3cfm at 90PSI
- 65 decibels
- 2horsepower induction motor
The Makita MAC2400 is fitted with a 2.5 horsepower 4-pole motor that produces 90PSI for increased performance and quieter operation.
The compressor is designed to run at lower RPM resulting in a quieter operation and improved pump durability. It produces 79 decibels. The tank is made of sturdy cast iron that reduces wear and tear and prolongs pump life.
The low AMP draw eliminates the cases of tripped breakers during startup. Roll cage design provides protection for the compressor to survive in different job site environments.
The 4.2-gallon twin tank can sustain projects at an operating pressure of 130PSI and delivers 90PSI (4.2CFM) and 40PSI (4.8cfm) enough for two nailers.
Unlike the other air compressors in this guide, this unit is equipped with an oil-lubricated pump for reduced wear and cooler running temperatures.
- 5Hp 4-Pole motor
- 79-decibel quiet operation
- Durable iron cast cylinder
- 40 PSI (4.8 CFM) and 90 PSI (4.2 CFM) and 130 max PSI
Best Quiet Air Compressor Buyer Guide
There are factors to consider when investing in the best quiet air compressor. It’s essential to take these factors into consideration to get a compressor that meets your specific requirements.
It’s obvious you want a quiet air compressor- for this reason, the decibel levels play an important role.
As earlier mentioned, something below 79 decibels is considered quiet to avoid the risk of induced hearing loss and noise pollution to your next-door neighbors, a quiet compressor is a must.
The quietest air compressor in this guide is California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor rated 56 decibels. However, other options are considered quiet, with all below 79 decibels.
PSI CFM ratings and HP
Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) ratings are important when buying an air compressor. They tell the amount of air the unit will supply during a cycle.
Compressors with higher CFM ratings will provide more air, making them best for larger applications.
Your best would be something with a range of 0.6 to 5 CFM at 90PSI. If you’ll be using the unit as a supplementary compressor for a larger one, consider a range between 0.6-2cfm.
A compressor with 3CFM is excellent for powering light tools and other DIY projects, while 4-5CFM is perfect for a busy workshop.
Another important factor is pounds per square inch (PSI), which measures the amount of pressure per square inch of space. It’s the amount of force your compressor can deliver.
Horsepower (HP) is the amount of power a motor can perform. This factor is not as crucial as CFM and PSI because newer models work just fine even with less HP. Less HP will help save energy bills.
The bigger the tank capacity, the more air it will hold. Large tanks are great, especially if you will be undertaking major projects and can handle two or more tools simultaneously.
However, for simple DIY projects, you’ll do fine with a medium-sized tank.
Oil-Free or Oil Lubricated
Oil-free air compressors require little to no maintenance. They are mostly preferred over oil-lubricated counterparts.
Lubricated ones require regular maintenance checks and you to continually check that oil doesn’t drip into the air tank.
For example, Makita MAC2400 Big Bore is the only air compressor in this guide that requires oil lubrication.
Simple Ways on How to Quiet an Air Compressor
For some reason, you may find investing in a new quiet air compressor a costlier option or want to make the already purchased one a little quieter.
Below are some different ways to quiet an air compressor.
- Wrap the air compressor using an old carpet or using a sound deadening mat.
- Try to make the intake longer and then move the compressor outside your garage or far from the work area.
- Invest in a quiet muffler and place it on the intake of your compressor
These are just but remedies to keep the noise down as possible. However, note that they may not be as effective investing in a quiet compressor.
Final Thoughts on Best Quiet Air Compressor
Above are some of the best quiet compressors. While these units quieter than traditional compressors, they aren’t 100% dead silent.
Above all, they’ll still produce some noises, but the good thing is that the noise levels for this model is something even a toddler can tolerate. You’ll be able to converse with your partner without having to shout.
In conclusion, if you’re still stuck on which models to choose from, then consider these favorite picks:
- California CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor.
- Hitachi EC28M