Air compressors are versatile tools that can be used for a range of different tasks such as replacing fuel filters, running nail guns, or inflating a paddling pool.
Generally, the longer you need to run your compressor, the bigger its tank should be. A good 20-gallon air compressor is suitable for demanding DIY jobs or medium-duty commercial use.
And if that’s what you’re looking to do and what drove you to look for the best 20-gallon air compressor on the market, you’re going to find the one that suits you the most on this list.
20 Gallon Air Compressors – Comparison Table
|Air Compressor||Pressure (PSI)||Weight (lbs)|
|Campbell Hausfeld DC200000||150||92|
|Industrial Air IL1682066||135||159|
The 6 Best 20 Gallon Air Compressors
1. DeWalt DXCMPA1982054
The DeWalt DXCMPA1982054 is superior to any other 20-gallon air compressor. It has a fast and quiet performance and is very durable.
It’s the best choice you can make if you’re going to run pneumatic tools primarily. This is because it can reach a sufficient 155 PSI maximum pressure.
Moreover, this unit comes with pneumatic tires attached to the back. This makes this 166-pound tool a lot easier to move around.
And while it’s not the cheapest option that you can get, the DeWalt DXCMPA1982054 is an excellent 20-gallon air compressor for the money.
- Powerful motor
- Quiet performance
- Fast action
- Compact design
- High price level
Combining power, efficiency, and portable design, the DeWalt DXCMPA1982054 provides you with fantastic value for your money.
2. WEN 2202
The WEN 2202 is surprisingly cheap for the features that it has to offer.
While its maximum pressure (135 PSI) isn’t the highest, it’s still a pretty efficient unit.
Moreover, it’s a very portable option at only 86 pounds. This can very helpful for commercial use as you may need to work on different projects located at different places.
The only problem with the WEN 2202 is that it’s pretty loud and takes a considerable time to refill the tank.
- Great bang for your buck
- Lightweight and compact design
- Loud operation
- Not the fastest
If you’re willing to sacrifice some time to save money, the WEN 2202 is the ideal choice for you. It’s a very budget-friendly option that provides you with ample power and capacity.
3. Campbell Hausfeld DC200000
The Campbell Hausfeld DC200000 is another very portable 20-gallon air compressor. Weighing around 92 pounds and coming with wheels and a handle with an extra grip, you can move it from one place to another with no hassle.
Moreover, due to its unusual shape, the Campbell Hausfeld DC200000 could come in a very compact package. This makes it even easier to transport.
But portability isn’t the only advantage. This unit is also very easy to maneuver and consequently tackle many DIY projects or even some commercial work.
With a 150 PSI maximum pressure, there’s no tool too tough for the Campbell Hausfeld DC200000 to power.
It’ll require little to no maintenance as the pump is an oil-free one.
- Highly portable
- Suitable for both DIY projects and commercial shops
- Very easy to use
- Motor is not as powerful as rivals’
- Horizontal design may be an inconvenience
The Campbell Hausfeld DC200000 is very easy to use, portable and provides you with enough pressure to take on a variety of tasks. And the best part is that it does so at a very affordable price point.
4. Porter-Cable PXCMF220VW
To be clear, the Porter-Cable PXCMF220VW doesn’t have top-notch quality build, but it’s good for a budget 20-gallon air compressor.
With a 150 PSI maximum pressure, you can use it to run a wide variety of air tools.
Also, you should be ready for some noise.
And you shouldn’t expect to run it for as long as an average 20-gallon compressor as it is prone to overheat. When it does overheat, it stops working entirely.
Moreover, the Porter-Cable PXCMF220VW is pretty portable as it weighs 97.3 pounds and comes with wheels to enable you to move it around.
- Very affordable
- High maximum pressure
- Substandard build quality
- Stops working when hot
- Loud operation
If you have a very limited budget and want a 20-gallon compressor that won’t break the bank, the Porter-Cable PXCMF220VW is a good choice. However, you shouldn’t be expecting something too fancy.
5. NorthStar Single-Stage
This single-stage air compressor is the best for running small air tools with the maximum efficiency thanks to its consistent 135 PSI maximum pressure.
What the NorthStar Single-Stage lacks in affordability it makes up for by being reliable and working relatively quietly.
Moreover, its durability and solid construction are huge advantages that hardly any other 20-gallon air compressor comes close to.
However, it takes a tad bit too long to fill up the tank.
- Durable construction
- 100% duty cycle
- Acceptable noise levels
- High price point
- Noisy operation
- Doesn’t suit bigger tools
The NorthStar Single-Stage is a good investment as its durable construction makes it last and serve you for a long time. However, it’s only suitable for lighter-duty tasks and running smaller air tools.
6. Industrial Air IL1682066
The Industrial Air IL1682066 combines power, reliability, quietness, and good value.
Its durable construction makes it stand sturdily and therefore doesn’t produce much noise with vibration.
Moreover, the Industrial Air IL1682066 has a maximum pressure of 135 PSI, which enables you to work with many air tools.
However, the oil-lubricated mechanism makes it a little inconvenient when it comes to painting jobs.
Some people might see the high price point of the Industrial Air IL1682066 as an obstacle, but it’s generally a good investment.
- Very quiet operation
- Powerful and reliable performance
- Great value
- Quality and secure
- The vertical design doesn’t take as much space
- Oil-lubricated pump makes it unsuitable for painting jobs
If you want to run a variety of air tools with efficiency and security, the Industrial Air IL1682066 won’t let you down. However, it comes at a very high price point.
How to Pick a Good 20-Gallon Air Compressor?
Whatever the size of your tank is, there are some critical aspects that you should take into consideration when you’re picking an air compressor. And here are the most important ones:
The pressure that an air compressor is capable of is measured in PSI (Pressure per Square Inch), and this number will let you know with what air tools you can work.
And the higher the number, the stronger the pressure will be and consequently the heavier-duty jobs you’ll be able to tackle.
But generally, the most important thing is to match the pressure of your compressor to the specific air tools you want to run. Otherwise, your tools won’t run as efficiently.
Oil-lubricated vs. Oil-free
Oil-free air compressors generally have low running costs because they spare you the need to buy oil. They’re also easier to handle as they don’t require as much maintenance.
However, they’re not as powerful as oil-lubricated ones and not nearly as durable.
Noise levels are important because you don’t want to get a headache every time you operate your tool.
A tool with 80 dB or less would be good enough to provide you with solid performance without causing too much commotion.
Easy Tank Drain
Draining your compressor’s tank is an essential part of extending its lifespan and durability. So the easier it is to do it, the more you’ll properly maintain your unit, and therefore, the longer it will last.
How to Drain a 20-Gallon Air Compressor?
1. Switch off your compressor and unplug it from the power source.
2. Eliminate the internal pressure by pulling the tank’s safety valve to release all the pressurized air inside.
3. Locate the tank’s drain valve. Typically, you’ll find it at the bottom of the tank.
4. Open the drain valve and make sure you get all the moisture out.
How Long Can a Tank of a 20 Gallon Air Compressor Last?
Generally, air compressors have a long life. So from an average unit, you should get around 40,000 to 60,000 hours of work.
It depends on how frequently you use your unit, but it can last anywhere from 20 to 30 years.
Still not sure which of these is the best 20-gallon air compressor? Think of the tools you want to power with your compressor and what projects you want to tackle.
I’d recommend the DeWalt DXCMPA1982054 for the ideal combination of power, reliability, and portability. Although it’s not the most affordable, it provides you with a fantastic return on investment.
For a more affordable choice, you can go for the Campbell Hausfeld DC200000 as it’s powerful, has high pressure levels, and is very compact.
But for the best budget-friendly option that still offers portability and a lightweight and compact design, you should go for the WEN 2202.