Best 30 Gallon Air Compressors 2020 Guide

best 30 air compressor

An air compressor is a great tool to add to your arsenal at a workshop. And the special thing about 30-gallon air compressors, in particular, is that they’re strong enough to be used by professionals but also light and compact enough for home use.

But choosing a good 30-gallon air compressor may be a little tough as there are many things to take into consideration.

I’ve done some research and created this list with the best 30-gallon air compressors on the market to help you choose the one that best suits your needs.

30 Gallon Air Compressors – Comparison Table

Air compressorPressure ( CFM)Weight ( Lbs)
Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM
5.7185
DeWalt DXCMLA1983054
5.7190
Industrial Air ILA188354
5.7185
Campbell Hausfeld VT6358
5.5178
DeWalt DXCM271.COM
5.1136
Husky C301H Electric 5.1150
NorthStar 45938224.5492

The 5 Best 30 Gallon Air Compressors


1. Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM


Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM

 

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This high-capacity vertical 30-gallon air compressor is one of the best choices.

The powerful 2 HP motor produces 5.7 CFM of pressure, which makes its functionality excellent while the oil-free operation makes it easy to use and maintain.

You can use it to run anything from tools impact wrenches, nail guns, and air staplers to caulking guns and air drills.

But this means it’s powered by electricity and you’ll have to stay close to a power outlet as long as you work.

The Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM is not the most portable, but it has a compact design that doesn’t take up much space in your garage or workshop.

Pros

  • Electric design enables you to use it anywhere
  • Made from cast-iron for durability
  • Relatively quiet operation
  • Compact design doesn’t take much space

Cons

  • A little too heavy to lift off from the ground

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a very reliable and robust performance, I highly recommend the Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM. Although it’s pricey and not that portable, it provides strong and consistent pressure.


2. DeWalt DXCMLA1983054


DeWalt DXCMLA1983054

 

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DeWalt is quite popular when it comes to the power tools area and for a good reason. They make high-quality, efficient, and durable products, and the DeWalt DXCMLA1983054 is no exception.

This unit can deliver 5.7 CFM at 90 PSI and runs on a robust 1.9 HP motor. It’s suitable for both DIY jobs and commercial use alike.

I think the vertical design adds to the compactness of the unit, and its dimensions are already quite space-conscious.

And while it’s a pretty hefty unit, it comes with pneumatic tires that help you move it around from one place to another.

Moreover, the DeWalt DXCMLA1983054 has cast-iron construction and a twin-cylinder oil-lubricated pump, which makes it very strong and durable to be able to handle any work environment.

Also, while it’s wired for the standard 120V outlet, it can be used with a 240V one with no trouble.

​Pros

  • Durable cast-iron construction
  • Quiet operation
  • Effective maximum pressure
  • Good value for the money
  • Very compact design

​Cons

  • Oil-drain is inconveniently positioned
  • Needs careful handling during installation

Bottom Line

The DeWalt DXCMLA1983054 provides you with top-notch performance thanks to its robust motor. And while it’s a little too heavy to move around easily from one place to another, it has a very compact, vertical design that makes space-efficient.


3. Industrial Air ILA188354


Industrial Air ILA188354

 

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The high-performance 1.9 HP motor of the Industrial Air ILA188354 can deliver up to 5.7 CFM pressure at 90 PSI.

To be as efficient as possible, it’s equipped with a twin-cylinder oil-free system. This kind of system requires little to no maintenance and allows you to work on tasks that need clean air, such as painting.

Moreover, the cast-iron construction makes it very durable and long-lasting.

The unit comes with a 17-accessory kit that has all the necessary supplies you may need to start working. However, it does lack an essential electrical cord.

And while the Industrial Air ILA188354 is wired for 120V current, the dual voltage feature allows you to run it at 240V.

Pros

  • Comes with a 2-year warranty
  • UL and CSA-Certified
  • Equipped with a dual voltage feature
  • Motor is powerful and efficient
  • Quiet operation
  • Oil-free, maintenance-free twin-cylinder pump system

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with an electrical cord
  • Sometimes the auto shut-off can be buggy

Bottom Line

This hefty unit stands very sturdily but doesn’t take much space thanks to the vertical design. The Industrial Air ILA188354 is also pretty affordable and makes a great 30-gallon air compressor for home use.


4. Campbell Hausfeld VT6358


Campbell Hausfeld VT6358

 

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If you’re looking for a horizontal air compressor, you can’t go wrong with the Campbell Hausfeld VT6358. Once you install it, it runs very smoothly and stands sturdily on the ground.

This is part of why this unit operates with little noise.

It delivers 5.5 CFM pressure at 90 PSI and runs on a powerful 2 HP motor, which allows you to power most pneumatic tools with no issue.

Although it’s not the lightest, the Campbell Hausfeld VT6358 is pretty portable thanks to the large, air-powered wheels it comes with.

The Campbell Hausfeld VT6358’s pump crankshaft and V-belt drive enable it to perform seamlessly and efficiently.

Pros

  • Strong motor and powerful output
  • Quiet operation
  • Long lifespan and durability

Cons

  • Not very compact
  • Plastic casing doesn’t suit the tough operation of an air compressor

Bottom Line

The Campbell Hausfeld VT6358 is a powerful and durable oil-lubricated 30-gallon air compressor that has a lot to offer. Its motor helps you finish heavier-duty tasks as well as run most high-rated pneumatic tools.


5. DeWalt DXCM271


DeWalt DXCM271

 

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The most notable thing about the DeWalt DXCM271.COM is that it delivers 80% more air tool run time compared to other 200-PSI units.

At 90 PSI, it can deliver 5.1 CFM to power various air tools smoothly and efficiently.

With the DeWalt DXCM271.COM, you shouldn’t worry about either noise or maintenance. The 78 dB level makes its operation very quiet while the oil-free pump spares you the need for maintenance.

Moreover, the DeWalt DXCM271.COM is very lightweight compared to other options on the list, so you can easily move it around if you need to change your workplace.

Pros

  • Super quiet performance
  • Fast-start motor boasts low voltage start
  • Delivers high pressure
  • Equipped with couplers and high flow regulators
  • Oil-free, maintenance-free system
  • Super affordable price
  • Bang for the buck

Cons

  • Can’t be wired up to run on a 240V circuit
  • Motor isn’t as powerful as other options
  • Actually a 27-gallon compressor

Bottom Line

The DeWalt DXCM271.COM is a great upright 20-30-gallon compressor. While it doesn’t hit the 30-gallon mark, it still deserves to be on the list of the best of them as it delivers reliable performance at a highly affordable price.


6. Husky C301H Electric Air Compressor


Husky C301H Electric Air Compressor

 

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The Husky C301H is a reliable, single-stage 30-gallon air compressor.

It has a 1.6 HP motor that produces ample power for reaching 5.1 CFM pressures and a 135 maximum PSI. This makes it an excellent choice for medium-duty jobs.

And while it’s not the most durable, its aluminum pump with cast-iron sleeve is bound to last long without any wear or tear.

Being oil-lubricated means that you’re going to have to provide the unit with maintenance, but it also means that its performance is robust and reliable.

Generally, it’s quite lightweight and portable. It also has a moderately-sized footprint, yet it needs wide space for operation as it requires extra ventilation.

Finally, the Husky C301H comes with 2 years of warranty to guarantee its efficiency.

Pros

  • Very affordable price
  • 2-year warranty
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Quiet and efficient performance

Cons

  • Local stores aren’t as available
  • Not the most durable
  • Need a wide area for ventilation

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a portable, light, and affordable 30-gallon air compressor, then the Husky C301H is the one for you. It’s not the most durable or powerful, but it’ll definitely help you tackle all your medium-duty projects.


7. NorthStar 459382


NorthStar 459382

 

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This 30-gallon air compressor is one of the best powerful choices.

It has an impressive 12 HP motor that enables it to produce 24.4 CFM at 90 PSI and a maximum pressure of 175 PSI. This makes it well-suited for heavy-duty jobs and professional use.

For the efficiency and what it has to offer, it’s reasonably-prices. However, it is a lot more expensive than the average 30-gallon compressors on the market.

But the durable cast-iron construction and premium-quality components make it worth the money.

Moreover, the NorthStar 459382 is definitely not the most portable unit, but it’s versatile. But it does come with a V-style cylinder that provides it with cooling, an electric start, and a 4-year warranty.

It also has multiple outputs that make it both functional and practical.

Pros

  • Super high output pressure
  • Very powerful motor
  • Long warranty
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • Quite hefty
  • Very expensive

Bottom Line

The NorthStar 459382 is a durable and powerful 30-gallon air compressor with multiple output options, which makes it a great addition to your workshop arsenal. It’s a suitable choice for professionals that want to tackle heavy-duty work.

How to Pick a 30-Gallon Air Compressors?

Single Stage vs Dual Stage

If you’re looking for more efficient operation in terms of higher PSI, go for a dual-stage compressor. These have more storage for air, don’t generate as much heat, and have a longer lifespan.

However, if you don’t need that much pressure anyway, go for a single-stage on as it’s more affordable.

Horsepower

The horsepower on your 30-gallon air compressor will control how long it takes for the tank to be filled. It’s not a detrimental factor, but it can make a difference.

CFM

CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) is an indicator of how fast your compressor can supply air. You should get a unit with enough CFM to run the tool you intend to use. Otherwise, you’ll have to take breaks to let the compressor catch up.

Oil-lubricated vs. Oil-free

Oil-lubricated air compressors are usually stronger in terms of performance and a lot more durable.

However, they’re not the best if you’re looking to minimize running costs or maintenance efforts.

Noise

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

A big part of keeping your air compressor healthy and good as new is to drain the tank frequently.

The easier it is to do that, the more often you’ll do it, and the longer your unit will last.

How to Drain a 30 Gallon Air Compressor?

  1. Begin by switching off the compressor and unplugging it from its power source.
  2. Release all the pressurized air inside by pulling the tank’s safety valve.
  3. Find the drain valve on the bottom of the tank.
  4. Open the drain valve and double-check that you’ve let all the moisture out before you close it.

How Much Horsepower Does a 30 Gallon Air Compressor Need?

The horsepower required to operate an air compressor depends on the model you choose. Generally, a 30-gallon pump would need around 2 HP to function efficiently.

Final Thoughts

While the five options I’ve listed above can easily pass as the best 30-gallon air compressor for different reasons, I think some of them do a better job of combining a set of features together.

Take, for example, the Ingersoll-Rand SS3F2-GM. Despite being a little pricey and heavy, it is super sturdy and delivers enough pressure to power most tools. You can use it to take on almost any DIY job and some heavy-duty ones.

If you’re looking for something more affordable, however, you should go for the DeWalt DXCMLA1983054. While it’s not the most affordable, it’s very reasonably priced. It’s a great bang for the buck when you consider its powerful motor and high pressure levels as well as the compact design.

Finally, if you’re looking for the most portable option and also the most budget-friendly, opt for the DEWALT DXCM271.

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