9 Best 20 Gallon Air Compressor 2023 Guide

20 gallon air compressor

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An Air compressor is a versatile tool that can be used for a range of different tasks such as replacing fuel filters, running nail guns, or inflating a paddling pool. 

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Generally, the longer you need to run your compressor, the bigger its tank should be. good 20 gallon air compressors are 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.

The 9 Best 20 Gallon Air Compressor

1. DeWalt DXCMPA1982054 – Best 20 Gallon Vertical Air Compressor 


DEWALT DXCMPA1982054 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor

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The DXCMPA1982054 is superior to any other 20 gallon air compressors. 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 is an excellent 20-gallon air compressor for the money.


  • Powerful motor
  • Quiet performance
  • Fast action
  • Compact design


  • High price level

Bottom Line

Combining power, efficiency, and portable design, this tool provides you with fantastic value for your money.

DEWALT DXCMPA1982054 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor
  • 7.0 CFM at 40 psi and 5.7 CFM at 90 psi
  • 155 PSI max pressure for optimum tool performance
  • 20 gallon ASME* portable tank with pre-attached pneumatic tires for maximum portability
  • Dual voltage motor is wired for standard 120 volt outlet and may also be converted for 240 volt application

2. WEN 2202 – Best 20 Gallon Air Compressors For Home Garage 


WEN 2289 10-Gallon Oil-Free Vertical Air Compressor, 150 PSI

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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
  • Portability


  • Loud operation
  • Not the fastest

Bottom Line

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.

WEN 2289 10-Gallon Oil-Free Vertical Air Compressor, 150 PSI
  • 10-gallon tank constructed with reinforced steel for a maximum pressure of 150 PSI
  • Provides air flow rates of 4.0 CFM at 90 PSI and 5.0 CFM at 40 PSI
  • Oil-Free pump requires no external lubrication for a longer lifespan
  • Features an easy-to-reach quick drain valve, 1/4-inch NPT quick coupler and two pressure gauges

3. Campbell Hausfeld DC200000 – Best 20 Gallon Air Compressors For The Money


Air Compressor, Portable, Horizontal, 20 Gallon, Oil-Free, 4 CFM @ 90 PSI, 150 PSI (Campbell...

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this 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 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 to power.
It’ll require little to no maintenance as the pump is an oil-free one.


  • Highly portable
  • Environmentally-friendly
  • 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

Bottom Line

this device 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.

Air Compressor, Portable, Horizontal, 20 Gallon, Oil-Free, 4 CFM @ 90 PSI, 150 PSI (Campbell...
  • 20 Gallon portable air compressor with horizontal design for easy transportation
  • Durable oil free pump provides extended, hassle-free operation
  • Max Pressure of 150 PSI and delivery of 4 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • Steel handle & large wheels provide portability

4. Porter-Cable PXCMF220VW – Quiet 20 Gallon Air Compressors


PORTER CABLE PXCMF220VW 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor

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To be clear, the PXCMF220VW doesn’t have a top-notch quality build, but it’s good for a budget 20-gallon air compressor.
With a 150 PSI pressure, you can use it to run a wide variety of 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 is pretty portable as it weighs 97.3 pounds and comes with wheels to enable you to move it around.


  • Very affordable
  • High pressure
  • Portable


  • Substandard build quality
  • Stops working when hot
  • Loud operation

Bottom Line

If you have a very limited budget and want a 20-gallon compressor that won’t break the bank, the PXCMF220VW is a good choice. However, you shouldn’t be expecting something too fancy.

PORTER CABLE PXCMF220VW 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor
  • 5.0 CFM at 40 psi and 4.0 CFM at 90 psi with 1.5 RHP
  • 150 Max PSI; Running Horsepower: 1.5 ;Lubrication: Oil-Free Motor Typ
  • 20 gallon tank/UL and CSA certified unit; Twin-V cast iron pump.Tank Material:Steel
  • 7" semi-pneumatic wheels for mobility & rubber feet for stabilization

5. NorthStar Single-Stage – Best Horizontal Air Compressor 


NorthStar Single-Stage Portable Electric Air Compressor - 2 HP, 20-Gallon Horizontal, 5.0 CFM

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This single-stage air compressor is the best for running small tools with maximum efficiency thanks to its consistent 135 PSI 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

Bottom Line

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 tools.

NorthStar Single-Stage Portable Electric Air Compressor - 2 HP, 20-Gallon Horizontal, 5.0 CFM
  • 2 HP 115V/230V 15/7.5 Amp dual voltage induction motor
  • 2-cylinder cast iron single-stage pump
  • Delivers 5.0 CFM @ 90 PSI; 6.0 CFM @ 40 PSI
  • Copper finned inter- and after-coolers provide effective heat dissipation and less moisture

6. Industrial Air IL1682066 – 20 Gallon Air Compressors


Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor with V-Twin Cylinder

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The 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 IL1682066 has a pressure of 135 PSI, which enables you to work with many 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 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


  • Expensive
  • Oil-lubricated pump makes it unsuitable for painting jobs

Bottom Line

If you want to run a variety of tools with efficiency and security, the Industrial Air IL1682066 won’t let you down. However, it comes at a very high price point.

Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor with V-Twin Cylinder
  • 1. 6 HP, dual-Voltage, induction motor wired for standard 120-Volt outlet and convertible to 240-Volt applications
  • 135 max psi
  • Delivers 6. 2 CFM at 40 psi and 5. 3 CFM at 90 PSI
  • Cast-iron, 20 Gal. vertical tank

8. California Air Tools – Cfm At 90 Psi 

California Air Tools CAT-20015HPAD Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 1.5 hp, 20 gallon 175 PSI Two Stage Air...

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CAT-20015HPAD is a perfect tool for anyone looking for an incredibly quiet compressor to control all your tools. With equipping of high pressure of 1.5 hp oil-free motor, this compressor has an improved strength and service life.

This tool also has easy to use features that make it simplified its operational process. During start-up, there is an easy-start valve on the machine that releases air from the pump. This enables a state of idling that helps to start the engine running freely on the compressor.

This needs fewer amplifiers, which makes working at colder temperatures simpler. Two meters at the top of the system are also open. A manometer is one and a controlled manometer is the other.

There is no oil in the 1.5 hp engine, this ensures that it lasts for a longer period with little or no maintenance. This is will save you money and time in general. With an oil-free motor and two-piston pump, you have 3000 hours non-stop to run the compressor. Also, at 90 PSI you get 3.80 CFM and at 40 PSI you get 4 CFM and 175 PSI is the maximum limit.


  • Great CFM and PSI
  • 1.5 High Pressure
  • Oil-free motor and 2 piston pump
  • Less noise
  • Small Drive Amps and 3000 running hours


  • Non-strong wheels

Bottom Line

A 1.5 HP engine that spins at 1750 RPM is equipped with this CAT-20015HPAD. This enables the tool to produce less noise, just like other compressors from California Air Tools, it emits just 70 decibels.

California Air Tools CAT-20015HPAD Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 1.5 hp, 20 gallon 175 PSI Two Stage Air...
  • Ultra quiet - 70 dbs
  • High pressure - 175 PSI max
  • 20 gallon steel tank with auto drain.Low Amp Draw - 12 Amps
  • 3.80 cubic feet per minute at 90

9. Briggs & Stratton – Oil Free Pump 


Briggs & Stratton 20-Gallon Air Compressor, Vertical 074064-00,Black

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Briggs & Stratton074064-00 is another oil-free model, the design of this tool reduces the rate at which there is a need for inspections and replacements, so you can start working immediately without worrying about performance problems. It might be heavier at just 83.8 lbs than other air compressors of its categories, but it still turns out to be the better portable option.

This air tool has an intuitive handle and frame layout in the Briggs & Stratton design that not only carries the tank but also protects the working sections. This holds everything in place and paves the way for a strong building that makes all employees feel comfortable.

With the thick tires that will never burst, the frame makes transporting the tool out into the yard or workplace a fantasy. Briggs & Stratton is exceptionally put together, with no scrambling or loosening elements, whether you are dragging it around a garage or a gravel yard.

The model produces a pressure of 150 PSI and, for longer operating times, it is the right tool that can withstand such demand of air instruments. The powerful 1.5-horsepower induction motor also helps to produce even more power and provides decades after the purchase with enduring efficiency. Besides, anything else is mostly a standard of the industry. It’s relatively functional and easy to use with simple access controls, airflow and gauges, and a quick-connect opening.


  • Light design
  • Easy to transport
  • Intuitive handles and framing
  • Suitable for air instrument
  • Oil-free model


  • Noisy
  • Slow air refill

Our Verdict

The Briggs & Stratton tool has outstanding air intake systems. Their system has a great feature of filtration and cooling.

This air tool offers a lower working temperature for the motor, which will prolong its service life. This Briggs & Stratton air tool can last for 25 to 30 years if it is properly maintained and operated.

Briggs & Stratton 20-Gallon Air Compressor, Vertical 074064-00,Black
  • 20-gallon vertical air tank with 150 max PSI; 4.8 CFM at 40 PSI, 3.7 CFM at 90 PSI
  • 1.5 horsepower induction motor, oil free pump
  • Reinforced handle/frame designed to protect the motor housing
  • 20-gallon vertical air tank with 150 max PSI; 4.8 CFM at 40 PSI, 3.7 CFM at 90 PSI

Is A 20 Gallon Air Compressor Big Enough?

The 20 gallon air compressor provides more power than it usually is needed for a home garage. It also provides the reliability and efficiency that professionals would expect.

For use in pneumatic (air powered tool) equipment such as sandblasting, nail weapons, impact wrenches, and LVHP sprayers, this size of air compressor takes ambient air and exerts pressure under it.

They are also used in building construction, automobile factory, and workshops. They come in many shapes and sizes, and for your intended needs, it is important to get the right size.

It is also convenient to say “bigger is not big enough” when buying an air compressor. And some of the 60 and 80 gallon air compressors do not provide the required air for high-volume works such as car painting or grinder operation.

There is a need for a big air compressor without constantly waiting to charge/ refill to execute the job.

The choice of air compressor is greatly depending on the type of instrument that you plan to use with it. According to some completing bloggers, a 20 gallon air compressor is big enough to power a vehicle spray gun tool. While some other bloggers believe the same 20 gallon air compressors are not big enough to power impact wrench.

This is true if low volume high pressure (LVHP) is used for paint sprayer head. LVHP sprayers work slower than bigger cousins. Although, they will get the work done but not as fast as might want.

A 20 gallon air compressor is big enough to execute ranges of the task but It is advisable to go for a bigger gallon air compressor if you are purchasing it for car painting tasks.

As mentioned above 20 gallon air compressors are the smallest size you can use with most compressors, and most of these air tools will still perform excellently. Although, the use of impact wrenches up to 1/2 inch with this size of air compressor might be a little difficult but it works with it. Also, the ratchet can run with 20 gallon air compressors and 2 to 3 framing nailers can be used at once with this size. This will gives many operators to works at the same time.

So, a 20 gall air tool is one of the best choices to purchase for the home automotive workshop. Typically, it has not only the horsepower you need but also spare air, that will allows you to perform higher volume tasks, such as die-grinder or cutting equipment.

It can also be used for small-scale painting projects, such as a side panel or a new hood. To paint an entire car without hours of practice, the 20 gallon is not big enough, as it is constantly drained to prevent water from entering the system. Such long delays make it difficult to achieve a smooth finish. This is an important job for you, so a bigger gallon air compressor is worth buying in this situation.

Is A 20-Gallon Air Compressor Suitable For Business Use?


For industrial and commercial use, a 20 gallon is excellent. There are no regular starts and stops to allow the tank to be filled, thanks to the rate of air generated. And most time unplanned breaks are doing working activities.

A 20 gallon air compressor will be ideal for those that need a compressor that is more suitable for industrial use. This is because it can generate much higher air pressure than all smaller air compressors and it is a perfect tool for continuous working, without often stopping and starting, which is common to smaller air compressors. This makes a 20 gall air tool suitable for industrial, business, and even stand-alone use.

Where Are Mcgraw Air Compressors Made?

McGraw air compressors are proudly manufactured from global products in the United States. They take advantage of work opportunities and take pride in crafts back to America.

The McGraw air compressors are fitted with a wonderful motor and offer optimum pressure. For easy transport, their compressors are equipped with rubber wheels and a perfect handle. Since their compressor is not only designed to solve the most daunting tasks quickly, it is also designed to have a long service life for users.

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.

How To Use A 20 Gallon Air Compressor?

While the size of this compressor is a little on the smaller side, it will still work for small tasks around your house.

You can use this air compressor to inflate tires and sports balls as well as do minor repairs with basic tools like screwdrivers or wrenches.

The best thing about these compressors is that they are very affordable so you can start doing some DIY projects without spending too much money upfront.

They also come in both corded and cordless models which enable flexibility when using them outside since there’s no need to be near an outlet. The battery lasts long enough to get through most jobs before needing recharging (some brands have extra batteries available) but make sure you follow the instructions for charging more than one.

What Is The Average Life Span Of A 20 Gallon Air Compressor?

The 20-gallon air compressor’s life span is usually determined by how often it is in use.

Air compressors that are used for infrequent jobs like airing up a few sports balls will last longer than an air compressor with frequent use like paint.

The manufacturer may have information on the expected lifespan of their product, but most brands are designed to last about five years before needing replacement parts or service work. 

How Long Does A 20 Gallon Air Compressor Tank Last?

air compressor tank last about five years on average

Many factors affect the life of an air compressor tank. The size and type, how often it is used, whether or not you use a little or a lot in each inflate session are some examples.

If you plan to use your air compressor frequently then choose one with higher horsepower and more durable materials so that it lasts as long as possible without needing repairs.

What Size Of Generator Is Suitable For Running A 20 Gallon Air Compressor?

The size of the generator that is suitable for running a 20-gallon air compressor depends on the capacity of your air compressor.

the size that is suitable for running a 20-gallon air compressor depends on the number of hours and days you will be using it per day or week.

If you are going to use it more than a few times a month, then go with an industrial-grade model which has higher horsepower and can handle heavy-duty work. If you just need occasional fill-ups from time to time, then a smaller less expensive unit may do the trick.

Final Thoughts

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.