Best Air Compressor for Automotive Air Tools

Pneumatic tools require compressed air to operate. That’s why it’s important to invest in the best air compressor for automotive air tools, one that’s powerful enough to work well with impact drivers, nail guns, air ratchets, impact drivers, paint guns, and more.

In this guide, we’ll look at some of the best air compressor units that you can use to power light and heavy-duty power tools depending on your nature of work in the automotive space.

We’ll look at air compressors from different brands, highlight their PSI and CFM, note their most essential features, and look at what could be better. 

In a hurry?  Here’s a list of the four air compressors that you should consider if you work in the automotive space:

  • CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K Air Compressor
  • Ingersoll Rand Garage Mate Air Compressor
  • DeWalt DXCMLA3706056 60
  • Industrial Air IL1682066.MN

Best Air Compressor for Automotive Air Tools

1. Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20 Gallon Air Compressor

Industrial Air IL1682066.MN is a small air compressor with decent CFM output. So except for the air tank being smaller, it’s powerful enough to power many automotive air tools, including car sprayers, nail guns and impact wrenches.

It’s also an affordable model and therefore a good option to consider if you’re on a tight budget.

This air compressor has a 1.6 HP induction motor wired for a standard 120V. Since it’s not strictly tied to the 240V standards, you can have it converted to work with 240-volt outlets as well.

The V-twin cylinder and single-stage oil-lubed pump offers a more efficient compression.

Industrial Air IL1682066.MN has a decent flow rate of kinetic energy, enough to power most automotive air tools. In practice, the unit can deliver 5.3 CFM at 90 PSI and 6.2 CFM at a pressure of 40 PSI.

These numbers make Industrial Air IL1682066.MN air compressor versatile enough to power many air tools despite having a smaller air tank.

You will love this compressor because its v-twin pump can produce more compressed air, which means it can keep up with tools that require a lot of air to operate.

So if you have a sand blaster or a die grinder in your collection of power tools, this is the right air compressor to get.

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Pros

  • Pneumatic tires help with easy transportation
  • The v-twin cylinder is outstanding because it produces air on demand
  • Shuts down on its own when the tank is full 

Cons

  • Oil lubrication means frequent maintenance
  • It’s somewhat pricey

2. DeWalt DXCMLA3706056 60-Gallon Stationary Air Compressor

Are you up for some serious projects that require you to run tools like power sanders and spray paint guns and you’re wondering which air compressor to use? Try the DeWalt DXCMLA3706056 60-gallon stationary air compressor.

Its ability to provide plenty of pressure in an instant makes it the best option to pair with air tools used for the most demanding jobs.

We like that the DeWalt DXCMLA3706056 doesn’t take up a lot of floor space. So if you don’t have enough room in your garage to accommodate an air compressor with tall horizontal tanks, this is a good one to consider.

With its 60-gallon air tank, you can reserve sufficient air for the most demanding jobs. The flow rate stands at 11.5 CFM at 90 PSI and almost twice as much at 40 SPI.

Add to this the 3.7 HP motor and what you get is a powerful tool that’s good enough to run light and heavy-duty air tools.

This model doesn’t feature wheels and you will need to bolt it to the ground before you start using. Also, keep in mind that it needs a 230V power supply to work. That means you will need to do a bit of wiring if you don’t have the right feed in your garage yet.

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Pros

  • Works with almost all automotive air tools
  • Compact enough to fit into small spaces

Cons

  • It’ a heavy air compressor
  • Installation can be tedious

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3. Ingersoll Rand Garage Mate Air Compressor

Power tools such as spray paint guns and sanders require a constant flow of compressed air to work well. And that’s the supply that you can get from the Ingersoll Rand Garage Mate air compressor.

You get enough capacity for extended use and the 2 HP motor provides the sufficient power need to supply air at a decent flow rate.

This unit has a maximum pressure of 135 PSI. Also, it has a decent flow rate of 5.5 CFM at 90 PSI, which is even higher at lower pressure. Given the 20-gallon air tank, you can be sure you have enough reserve for the most demanding projects.

Ingersoll Rand Garage Mate air compressor is heavy and bulky.

So while it has pneumatic wheels and a wide, D-shaped handle that makes it easy to move from spot to spot, its 200 lbs weight means it’s too heavy to elevate to a higher point unless with the help of another person. 

There’s nothing worse than an air compressor that makes noise when it’s in use. It can make working for an extended period rather difficult.

Ingersoll Rand solves this problem by cutting down noise level to the lowest point possible. With noise level standing at 77dB, this air compressor shouldn’t deter your performance in any way.

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Pros

  • It’ a portable air compressor with a decent flow rate
  • Ideal for heavy duty automotive air tools
  • Powder-coated for protection from elements and to increase shelf life

Cons

  • Require regular oil  changes to extend the life of the cast iron motor
  • Too heavy to load into a truck without help

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4. CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K Air Compressor

CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K isn’t the most powerful air compressor in the market. But it’s still good enough for powering some automatic air tools.

You will love it because it’s compact, lightweight, and portable. Not to mention that it comes at a lower price point compared to the bulky, heavy models.

Features and Benefits

The one thing that truly stands out about CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K air compressor is its weight. At only 30 lbs, this air compressor is the most lightweight model on this list.

So if you are up for small jobs that require frequent movement of your power tools, you should consider working with this air compressor.

Even its recovery time is shorter. In practice, it takes about 5 minutes to fill the 6-gallon tank with air. But given its overall size, CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K is only suitable for smaller automotive jobs that don’t demand a continuous flow of air supply.

This air compressor has a maximum pressure of 150 PSI, which is common across many of the brand’s models.

The flow rate is lower, though. You do get 2.6 CFM at 90 PSI, which is lower when compared to what you get from the other models discussed in this list. So unless you up for some smaller jobs, you should not consider this option.

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Pros

  • This one has a quick  recovery time that makes it convenient to use
  • Weighs only 32 lbs so it’s lightweight
  • An ideal air compressor for small jobs

Cons

  • This air compressor makes loud noise when it’s in use
  • Not ideal for big automotive projects

As you can see, these air compressors differ in terms of flow rate and maximum pressure. As such, the option you choose will depend on the type of air tool you would like to run and the type of task you would like to complete.

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