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10 Best 20 Gallon Air Compressors in 2020

Working at home in your garage has seen an increase in recent times, meaning that people have started looking for the best air compressors available for use with their pneumatic tools and DIY projects.

There are many possibilities to choose from when you’re searching for the best 20 gallon air compressor. This can be particularly confusing due to the very similar nature of many air compressors. For this reason, we have compiled a list of the best 20 gallon air compressors, to help you narrow down your search and understand what might suit you and your projects best.

View The Best 20 Gallon Air Compressor Below

1. Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Air Compressor

Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Air Compressor

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We selected this as the best 20 gallon air compressor you can get. It’s made of cast iron and comes with a V-twin cylinder and an oil-lubricated pump. The motor is dual voltage and normally wired for the standard 120 V output. But it’s possible to convert it to be powered by a 240 V power source, in case you need to use one of them. The 20 gallon tank is stored vertically on top of 2 pneumatic tires, meaning that it’s effortlessly portable.

This 20 gallon air compressor comes with a regulator, tank and working pressure gauges, air outlets, as well as a power switch.

Pros:
+ CFM at 90 PSI: 5.3
+ CFM at 40 PSI: 6.2
+ Maximum pressure: 135 PSI
+ RHP: 1.6

Why We Like It – The dual voltage motor makes it applicable to both DIYers and professionals alike. All round, the flow rates on this cast iron 20 gallon air compressor make for a useful, great value product.


2. Campbell Hausfeld 30 gallon Air Compressor

Campbell Hausfeld 30 gallon Air Compressor

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Well, what can we say? We cheated.

This 30 gallon air compressor made by Campbell Hausfeld has an oil-lubricated 2-stage pump and has also been designed to run on either 120 V or 240 V. For the best quality, you should seriously consider this (even though, yes, it has a 30 gallon capacity). It comes with semi pneumatic tires to make it easy to transport around. You should expect this air compressor to last for about 5000 hours of use.

To seal the deal, you will get a limited warranty lasting for three years.

Pros:
+ Maximum flow rate: 5.1
+ SCFM at 90 PSI: 4.1
+ SCFM at 175 PSI: 3.9
+ Maximum pressure: 175 PSI
+ HP: 2

Why We Like It – We liked this air compressor because of its high powered induction motor and 3-year limited warranty. The dual voltage motor also means that you can use it both at home and at work, or for whatever you need it for.


3. Porter Cable PXCMF220VW 20-Gallon Air Compressor

Porter Cable PXCMF220VW 20-Gallon Air Compressor

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This is the best 20 gallon air compressor if you are looking for value.

Purchasing this product for Porter will leave you with a quality piece of kit that does everything it should do. With wheels to make it easy to move around, you will also get all the standard regulators, gauges, and quick-connect ports. It doesn’t feature any oil, which means that it doesn’t need to be checked as regularly. It also has a very low voltage start-up, which helps with any worries you may have about living in colder locations.

Pros:
+ CFM at 90 PSI: 4.0
+ CFM at 40 PSI: 5.0
+ Maximum pressure: 150 PSI
+ RHP: 1.5

Why We Like It – In our opinion, this is the best 20 gallon air compressor available for value. This is because of how its low price compares with the flow rates and pressure capabilities compared to other similar 20-gallon air compressors.


4. DeWalt DXCMPA1982054 20-Gallon Air Compressor

DeWalt DXCMPA1982054 20-Gallon Air Compressor

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DeWalt is a trusted supplier of tools and equipment and has been for many years. This DeWalt DXCMPA1982054 20 gallon air compressor is, like many products, wired to support a 120 V input but can be configured for a 240 V if necessary.

It features all the standard gauges and a regulator, but what makes this truly one of the best 20 gallon air compressors is its flow rates compared to similar models. On this air compressor, you will find some of the highest flow rates around for the 20-gallon category.

These flow rates are listed below.

Customers love this product, with great reviews all round on Amazon.

Pros:
+ CFM at 90 PSI: 5.7
+ CFM at 40 PSI: 7.0
+ Maximum pressure: 155 PSI
+ HP: 1.9

Why We Like It – We found the DeWalt DXCMPA1982054 appealing because of the high flow rates you get with this air compressor. This could be the best 20 gallon air compressor for flow rates.


5. Industrial Air IPA1882054 20-Gallon Air Compressor

Industrial Air IPA1882054 20-Gallon Air Compressor

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Here we have another cast iron V-twin cylinder oil-lubricated pump. Industrial air has made this 20-gallon tank air compressor to an impressive standard, with high statistics boasting its impressive quality. The synthetic oil needed to run this compressor gets shipped with it, so you won’t need to look around for anything extra once it arrives in the post. Oh, and it also comes with a 2-year limited warranty, supplied by Industrial Air.

Pros:
+ CFM at 90 PSI: 5.7
+ CFM at 40 PSI: 7.0
+ Maximum pressure: 155 PSI
+ RHP: 1.9

Why We Like It – We liked this air compressor from Industrial Air because of its high power and impressive flow rates. It certainly makes Industrial Air a worthy competitor to the DeWalt DXCMPA1982054.


6. WEN 2202 20-Gallon Air Compressor

WEN 2202 20-Gallon Air Compressor

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WEN truly looks after its customers. As standard, you will get this 20-gallon tank air compressor with its reinforced steel tank, gauges, quick couplers, and wheels. WEN has also included a drain valve, which is easy to reach. There’s a comfortable handle to use for wheeling the air compressor around your job site.

On top of this, you get a nice orange and black colored product that comes with a 2-year warranty. For value, this is certainly one of the best 20-gallon air compressors you can find.

Pros:
+ CFM at 90 PSI: 3.8
+ CFM at 40 PSI: 5.0
+ Maximum pressure: 135 PSI
+ HP: unknown

Why We Like It – We liked this 20-gallon tank compressor from WEN because it’s a good, portable example of an air compressor. The 2-year warranty also is hard to not notice, as well as the drain valve and color choice.


7. HUSKY 20 Gallon Portable Air Compressor

HUSKY 20 Gallon Portable Air Compressor

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The main selling point of this HUSKY 20 gallon air compressor is how quiet it is. The company market it especially as being quiet, with a noise output of 83 dBA. This is comparatively low in contrast to other 20 gallon air compressors. It comes with wheels and has an impressive maximum power output of 175 PSI. This means that it can run tools up to 80% longer than a standard 20-gallon air compressor, chucking out only about 150 PSI.

This is an oil-free product that’s primarily made of steel.

Pros:
+ SCFM at 90 PSI: 4.0
+ SCFM at 40 PSI: 5.2
+ Maximum pressure: 175 PSI
+ HP: 1.3

Why We Like It – This HUSKY air compressor, 20 gallon tank is quiet compared to similar products. Although, if you continue to read on, you will find further, even quieter models. It also has an impressive power output, which puts it ahead of other 20 gallon air compressors, due to there being more situations where you can use it.


8. STEALTH Air Compressor

STEALTH Air Compressor

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This 20-gallon air compressor comes from STEALTH and stealthy it is, creating less than 70 decibels of noise, making it one of the best available for subtlety. It’s particularly useful if you live in busy, built-up neighborhoods. The oil-free pump means that there will be less maintenance involved with this air compressor than with comparative models. The wheels and rubber handle also make it a very portable air compressor.

This 20-gallon air compressor comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Pros:
+ CFM at 90 PSI: 5.0
+ CFM at 40 PSI: 6.0
+ Maximum pressure: 150 PSI
+ HP: 1.8

Why We Like It – Quite simply – it’s quiet. This air compressor is one of the best air compressors we could find for noise output.


9. Craftsman Air Compressor

Craftsman Air Compressor

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This air compressor from Craftsman comes with a 1.8 HP induction motor and two quick couplers to support two different users at the same time. Again, it’s an oil-free product, meaning less maintenance is involved.

The wheels are 8 inches in diameter, making them slightly bigger than most air compressors, the majority of which sport wheels of 7 inches across. This means it is particularly portable. Finally, this product comes with a 1-year limited warranty. It’s also bright red so that you won’t lose it. Not that it’s easy to lose a 20 gallon air compressor in the first place.

Pros:
+ CFM at 90 PSI: 4.0
+ CFM at 40 PSI: 5.0
+ Maximum pressure: 175 PSI
+ HP: 1.8

Why We Like It – We chose to add this air compressor to our list because it’s a bright red, high-powered 20-gallon tank product with a 1-year warranty. It’s a great all-round model.


10. EMAX Portable Air Compressor

EMAX Portable Air Compressor

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Here we have another example of a very quiet 20-gallon air compressor. Although EMAX doesn’t mention any specific values, it’s estimated to produce around 70 – 75 dBA. This, again, certainly makes it one worth considering if noise is something you need to factor in. It’s also a good example of a portable air compressor, coming with wheels and a handle. Also, it’s orange, and orange is great. You will get a 2-year limited warranty with this air compressor.

Pros:
+ SCFM at 90 PSI: 5.77
+ SCFM at 40 PSI: 8.39
+ Maximum pressure: 125 PSI
+ HP: 2

Why We Like It – We included this 20 gallon air compressor right at the end because it has an awful lot of desirable qualities for everyday use, whether in a professional or home garage, or other places of work. The low noise output makes it perfect for not disturbing neighbors whenever possible. You will also find it has one of the highest flow rates available on the market and that it’s a very portable air compressor (as most are). Finally, the 2-year warranty makes it undeniably worth telling you about.


20 Gallon Air Compressor Buyer’s Guide

What Can a 20 Gallon Air Compressor Do?

Many Air compressors pressure pumps closeup photo

A 20-gallon air compressor is used to power pneumatic (air) tools and equipment, such as impact wrenches.

They are traditionally used in the motor industry in particular, as pneumatic power was always seen to be superior to electrical power, whether from batteries or the mains supply. The reality is, though, that with today’s technology, battery power is catching up.

A 20 gallon air compressor can technically do as much as any other size of air compressor. The “20 gallons” simply refers to the size of the tank that compressed air is forced into.

What Does CFM Mean?

If you are unfamiliar with air compressors, you will notice the acronym “CFM” comes up a lot in the above products.

CFM stands for “cubic feet (per) minute”. It is a way of measuring the flow rate of air – that is, how much air is pushed out by the compressor in a given unit of time. In this case, per minute.

Why is CFM relevant? It’s relevant because different applications will be rated at different flow rates. The tool or application that you’re using your compressor to power must match the flow rate of the compressor; otherwise, you will have either a severely underpowered, or broken piece of equipment.

It’s a funny concept to get your head around, but you will notice that as the pressure, measured in PSI, increases, the flow rate (CFM) decreases. The best way to think about this is that the more air you use, the less pressure there is behind it. Likewise, if you use less air, the higher the pressure that comes out.

How Does an Air Compressor Work?

Air Compressor in a Hand. Professional Auto Service Equipment.

An air compressor works, in simple terms, by converting power (of some sort, whether that be electrical, fossil fuels, etc.) into potential energy in the form of compressed air.

An air compressor is a very broad category. There are several different ways that air compressors work. The majority of them, though, work by using rotary movements of some kind to force air into a limited area (the tank which, in our case, would be a 20 gallon tank), but not letting that air out. This is usually a form of induction motor.

This results in a pressurized environment where the air is being continually added.

The air compressor stops forcing air into the tank once a set pressure has been reached – this is the “maximum pressure” recorded. At this point, the compressor stores the pressurized air until it’s ready to be used.

When you begin to use the air compressor (for example, if you were to attach a pneumatic wrench and start working on a car), this compressed air leaving the compressor’s tank is what powers it. When the pressure level in the tank dips below a certain preset level, the air compressor will turn on again in order to force more air into the tank and replenish the pressure back up to the maximum.

Is a 20 Gallon Air Compressor Right Size for Me?

For most DIYers, a 20 gallon tank should be about right. Something of this size and weight is certainly not something you want to be lugging around after you if you have to lift it, but in general, a good, portable model on pneumatic tires will help you out with most jobs. 20 gallon compressors are around the mid-range section for this field, and therefore you are likely to find a good compressor that does both jobs: providing power and being portable.

It goes without saying, but make sure that you have pneumatic tools and equipment for your air compressor to power! Otherwise, all you end up with is an air compressor and nothing for it to do. It’s a bit like having an air conditioning system in the North Pole – useless.

Are There Any Maintenance Costs Involved?

Family Examining Air Compressor In S

Different products will have different levels of how much they need to be looked after. For example, an oil-lubricated induction motor has to be regularly checked for leaks and occasionally to top the oil level up. Belt driven motors need to have the belt serviced, and so on. Check how much it’s likely to cost you if any moving part breaks and how easy it is to fix. You may also like to check all the warranties on these air compressors to make sure that they will cover you if it was to break.

In general, motors with no oil lubrication require less maintenance but can be more prone to breaking if they’re not engineered or built properly.

What are the Different Categories of Air Compressor?

There are different ways to classify them. You could define them in terms of the amount of pressure they put into their tank. There are three options for this:

  1. High-pressure air compressors (discharge pressure > 1000 PSI)
  2. Medium-pressure air compressors (1000 PSI > discharge pressure > 151 PSI)
  3. Low-pressure air compressors (150 PSI > discharge pressure)
  4. You could also classify air compressors in terms of the type of air compressor and how it compresses the air. There are many different types of these.

Do I Need to Get a Portable Air Compressor?

No, not necessarily, but it’s probably a good idea. All of the products we have listed above are portable air compressors. A portable air compressor is important because, obviously, it’s portable. You can take it with you, move it around, get it out the way, and so on. There are other air compressors which are not portable – think of those huge tanks you might have seen hidden away in a corner of your local garage – but they add to the basic issue of you only being able to use it in certain locations. With a portable air compressor, you can wheel it around and use it wherever you want.

How Strong of an Air Compressor Do I Need?

Pressure meters and compresser safety valve closeup

Look at the flow rates. It’s generally recommended that you take the rating of the most powerful tool you have and multiply it by 1.5 to be safe. So, if you have an air gun that requires 5 CFM, find a compressor that is capable of putting out 7.5 CFM.

In short, you usually could do with the highest flow rate possible. Although this is often a trade-out for the pressure in the tank, your tools will operate at a higher rate. If you would rather get an air compressor, which will only have to repressurize once or twice during the time you’re using it, and don’t mind trading out the power output, you should look at those 20-gallon air compressors with a higher maximum pressure.

Air compressors with bigger tanks tend to have a larger amount of horsepower and, therefore, higher flow rates. Of course, they trade this off with how portable the product will be.

What Else Do I Need to Consider?

Well, after reading the buyer’s guide up to here, it simply comes down to:

  • What you will use it for: how portable do you need it to be? How big does the tank need to be? What pressures and flow rates do you need from it? You can find all of this information on the pneumatic tools you can plan to use the air compressor to power.
  • Cost – we’re sure you would rather spend less than more, but sometimes that involves making a larger initial investment. If you need to use your air compressor more than once or twice, it’s worth getting something that will last and won’t cost you a bomb in maintenance costs or devaluation.
  • Noise level – it’s important to consider your neighbors and those around you when you’re working, as well as yourself. Occasionally, large air compressors can make a huge amount of noise that can become amplified if you are working in an enclosed space. Once your hearing has gone, it’s gone, so it’s important to watch out for that and wear ear protection if you need to.
  • Appearance (as irrelevant as it might be) – we know it doesn’t mean much, but if you are stuck between two different air compressors and don’t know how you’re going to choose between them, why not go for which one looks the best?
  • You will find there are many different sizes of tanks as well – some made from cast iron, some from steel, among others. 20-gallon air compressors will probably be big enough for your personal use, but don’t be afraid to upgrade or downgrade the tank size if you need to.

Conclusion

There are many different 20 gallon air compressors available, and we hope to have helped narrow down your search a little with this guide.

We sincerely hope you find the best 20 gallon (or otherwise) air compressor for your use. Thank you for taking the time to read this guide.

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