Consumer Single-Stage Portable Compressor Buyer's Guide

Consumer Single-Stage Portable Compressor Buyer's Guide

How to Pick the Perfect Portable Single-Stage Compressor

We've all heard that Rome wasn't built in a day, but then again the Romans didn't have air tools.

So, why settle for ancient technology when you can power through tasks using compressed air?

A portable air compressor is ideal for most DIYers and home-improvement enthusiasts to breeze through projects like never before!

Here's what to consider when looking for a portable single-stage compressor.


Fuse Box

For single-stage compressors there are two voltage options: 120/240v or 230v. The most important factor in your decision will be what type of electricity you are already wired for.

Standard homes have 120/240v wiring. Choosing a compressor with this capability will be easiest because you will not have to install any new electrical wiring. If you don't already have 230v wiring installed in your home or garage, you'll need an electrician to set it up to support the higher voltage.

Horizontal vs Vertical

Portable Single Stage Compressor

Two-stage air compressors come in two styles: horizontal or vertical.

Your space requirements or limitations will determine which style to buy. If you don't have a wide area to run one in, get a vertical compressor. Likewise, if you are storing the compressor up high and have height limitations, choose a horizontal model.

There is no difference in performance and utility of horizontal vs. vertical compressors of equal power. They are the same machines, just built in different styles.

Direct-Drive vs Belt-Drive

Direct Drive Air Compressor

Direct drive compressors require a fraction of the maintenance of belt-drive compressors. You won't have to worry about performing routine maintenance such as oil changes and belt replacements.

However, belt drive compressors tend to be more powerful than direct drive units and are quieter because they feature an oiled pump. The added oil lubrication keeps the pump performing better for longer so the compressor or pump won't need to be replaced as soon.

NEXT: Shop All Portable Air Compressors

Melissa, the Air Compressor Expert
Air Compressor Expert
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