Anyone who has been to an auto mechanic’s workshop will instantly recognize the rumble of an air compressor. Whether it is powering the tools in the shop, driving an airbrush or being a reservoir for tire fillers, these machines make their presence known every time they are running. Since you are already looking for a quiet air compressor, we reckon you know a fair bit about them.
While not every industry needs a silent air compressor, maybe you need one as a hobbyist or a professional who uses pneumatic tools every day. It’s especially useful if you are a tattoo artist who needs to keep it quiet in the studio or a trim job contractor working on repairs at a client’s office or home without feeling embarrassed at how loud your machinery is.
Buying the quiet air compressor guide
- Noise Levels
Your air compressor’s loudness is the first parameter you need to look for before you settle on the model. While terms such as “noiseless”, “ultra-quiet” or “silent” are often used to describe the compressors, your best judge will be the decibel level (dB) of a compressor.
This logarithmic scale goes from 0 to 140 where the ticking of a watch is 20 dB, a quiet library is at 40 dB, a normal conversation is between 55-65 dB, and the sound of a lawnmower is 90 dB. Any noise going over 85 dB requires you to wear hearing protection and 140 dB which is the sound of a jet aircraft at take-off can damage your hearing instantly!
With that said, air compressors operate between 40 and 92 decibels. What you need is a compressor that’s between 40 – 70 dB to truly call it quiet.
- Sound dampening
Regular air compressors have exposed pistons, motors and fans. A quiet compressor will have enclosed components with steel or aluminum sound-dampening covering over the noisy components.
- Rubber Padding
Vibrations transmitted to the ground can amplify noise; the same holds true for joints between components. Look for rubber dampening pads at the base and the mount.
We understand your need for this equipment therefore here’s a list of our top recommendations for the quietest air compressors in each category and why we’re sure you would like it.
10 Quietest Air Compressor in the market 2020
HULK Silent Series Quiet Air Compressor
The HULK Silent series is exactly what you would expect going by its name; a compressor with powerful performance and a noiseless operation which barely makes its presence felt whether you’re using it in the machine shop or your garage.
Going straight to its most important feature- quiet operation; it’s rated at 41 dB at a distance of 3ft! Yes, you read that right. This compressor is so quiet it won’t even wake your dog when you turn it on!
It’s the perfect consumer-grade air compressor that comes from a company with a 38-year-old reputation for making robust and reliable air compressors. It fits the bill for every application you can think of at home, be it for inflating your car tires, using it for an airbrush to paint anything from small works of art to an entire automobile or to hose down your garage to keep it free of dust.
With 5.77 CFM @ 90 PSI, you get plenty of steady airflow for any application that you use it for. We love the design of the wheels, and it is 8 inches in diameter with a good rubber lining that helps it stay in place and absorb any vibration to eliminate noise even on a wooden floor.
- Hushed operation at 41 dB
- Accessible to store and transport
- Very little to no maintenance
- The clean and steady airflow
- You may have to upgrade the air regulator for highly specific applications
We recommend this for homes and small workshops.
DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Quiet Portable Air Compressor
If you’ve always pictured air compressors with big cylindrical tanks for the best output, then this one by DEWALT might pleasantly surprise you. There are only a few other models out there in this class that come close to matching this one in size, portability, and quiet operation.
The pancake air tank design, although unconventional is quite pleasing to look at while giving plenty of volume at 6 gallons. It’s rated at 165 psi therefore suited for a wide range of applications starting from tire inflation to operating most of the hand-held pneumatic tools used in everyday work.
If you are an interior décor contractor or a carpenter, this quiet portable air compressor is a blessing weighing at 30 pounds and easy to carry around. Its quiet operation at 75 dB will only make you love it so much more as it does its job reliably while not raising its noise over the site’s ambient sounds. This is especially useful if you’re at a client’s place working on a refurbishing or repair task that requires you to keep it as quiet as possible.
The compressor is also perfect for small hobby tasks such as airbrushing and running small pneumatic tools such as nailers and staplers.
- Highly compact perfect for use at home or job sites
- Lightweight at 30 pounds and it can be carried around easily in a small car
- Quiet operation at 75 dB
- It is only suitable for small and intermittent tools
Buy it mostly for quiet operation and high portability to operate small tools.
DEWALT Trim Air Compressor
Hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts sometimes don’t need the high capacity that comes with big compressors, and that’s when they need to look for a compact trim compressor with specific task handling capabilities such as DEWALT DWFP55130.
It has all the necessary qualities; lightweight, compact, portable and super quiet during operation. Note that the compressor doesn’t have the required volume to drive multiple tools, but it can act as a supplement wherever you need a little extra power to drive just one more tool. Or maybe if you’re out in the field on a small job that doesn’t require too big of a compressor to run a trim tool, this works just fine.
Hobbyists working out of their room or garage will find its 71.5 dB noise rating a welcoming feature. The compressor sits in a corner operating silently without interrupting the music while supplying a steady output of high-pressure air.
It’s perfect for airbrushes, pneumatic staplers, Brad Nailers, Framing Nailers, and Tyre inflators. Since the tank is only 2.5 gallons, it gets to the 200 PSI operating pressure in no time and maintains it throughout.
- Portable and lightweight design
- Quiet operation at 71.5 dB
- Low amp efficient performance
- The heavy-duty design suited for all kinds of job sites
- The power cable is a bit on the short side for some users
We recommend this for low power tasks for home use and medium workload sites.
Campbell Hausfeld DC060500 Portable Quiet Air Compressor
How would you like it if we take down the noise levels by a couple of notches? At 68 dB this pancake compressor is no louder than a conversation with your work pal at the job site. This model by Campbell Hausfeld balances it all; noiseless operation, good volume to handle all the small tasks and enough pressure to run power tools reliably.
It also features robust construction with a roll cage around the motor and the key components which also act to dampen some of the noise coming off. Additionally, the tank features three dense rubber feet that help to absorption any vibration that makes it to the floor and avoids more noise while keeping the compressor in place.
The 6-gallon tank capacity is good enough for you to run small power tools, airbrushes and take care of little blowing tasks. What’s cooler is that it has an 80% duty cycle, so you can keep it running for close to 48 minutes forever hour of work done. Therefore you can use it intermittently throughout the day without overworking it.
- Quiet operation at 68 dB suitable for home and interior job locations
- Steady flow at rated pressure to reliably operate power tools
- Robust construction and ease of operation
- At 62 pounds, the compressor is a bit on the heavy side.
We recommend this for your garage or any professional contracted jobs requiring noiseless environments.
California Air Tools 2010A Ultra Quiet Air Compressor
Now before you go judging this one on its unassuming looks, we need to tell you that this is one of the most reliable and highly rated ultra-quiet air compressors in its category. The company has put in a lot of thought and innovation to ensure that the air compressor is lightweight, has a steady and reliable output and maintenance-free operation while keeping the noise level all the way down.
The tank and the frame are made out of aluminum, keeping it light and rust-free while the components are firmly balanced to keep the vibration noise at a minimum.
The noise level is only 60 dB which is quieter than the average conversation! This is especially useful if you like working in quiet environments requiring a steady focus where the sudden restart of the pump shouldn’t interrupt your attention.
You will also love this design if you are a fan of all things retro in appearance as it would well-complement your workshop or garage. You get to go about your task while the compressor sits quietly in its place, offering a steady supply of air.
- Ultra-quiet air compressor for low-noise environments
- Lightweight design that’s easy to carry around
- Long durability
- The thermal overload protector is known to have issues.
What will also impress you is the compressor’s low maintenance as it is oil-free and its surprisingly long life cycle of over 3000 hours!
Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Small Quiet Air Compressor
The Senco PC1010 is a petite and highly purpose-built small quiet air compressor with a 1-gallon capacity that is suitable for some niche applications. Before you go any further, this one is mainly for finishing work with small nail guns used on the cabinet and furniture trim, blowing out dust in electronics repair or manufacture and light airbrushing for hobbyists, tattoo artists, and other crafts to run low-power pneumatic tools.
It’s ideal for light-tool use if you are someone who works on wood trim at client offices or homes or if you are a tattoo artist or a beautician using spray guns. The compressor barely puts out 65 dB at a distance of three feet, so if you are at a client’s location, you won’t have to worry about the noise or hauling around a heavy pancake compressor which might be an overkill for the job.
As a tattoo artist or a beautician, you can keep the environment calm. At the same time, you work on the customer and even have a friendly conversation throughout while the air compressor sits at a distance silently doing its job! Weighing barely 20 pounds, it’s so light you won’t even feel its presence in the tool stash while carrying to an offsite location.
- Extremely compact and easy to carry around
- Works quietly while giving steady output
- Lightweight with the excellent build quality
- Not designed for continuous use throughout the day
We recommend this for home, electronic repair shops and small trim jobs off-site.
Makita MAC2400 Silent Air Compressor
Coming from a brand known for its premium range of industrial products, the MAC2400 is a compressor that lives up to the legacy of the company. If you are willing to shell some extra bucks to get your hands on the top-of-the-line air compressor in the category, then this one is just what you are looking for.
Makita has gone with a brilliant design that uses a big bore compressor to do the job. The two main advantages of it are that it can compress more air in a shorter time without overworking the components, and, the compressor runs at a lower RPM which decreases the noise. This means you have a highly durable air compressor with a life cycle of over 2000 hours and it works quietly at 79dB @ a distance of 3ft.
The compressor is ideal for use in garages, basements, and workshops. If you are a woodworker or a crafter, there’s enough output to run most of your air tools such as nailers, staplets, impact wrenches, airbrushes and hammers.
- Robust construction with roll cage making it suitable for most job sites
- Quiet operation with an oil-lubricated motor
- Dual hose connectivity
- Long life
- At 81 pounds, some might find the weight to be a bit much for a compressor of this size
We recommend using this for home DIY projects, carpentry, automotive and semi-professional use.
Eagle EA-4000 Air Compressor
A classic space-saver design, ultra-quiet operation in the true sense of the word, the reliable output of air and highly portable; what more can you ask for from a small professional-grade compressor? It’s so quiet; it is 47 dB at a distance of 25 ft!
So you won’t even hear it unless you’re paying attention or if you have music playing in the background. Eagle has put some clever engineering into making it quiet, such as the spacing of components and rubber dampening pads to absorb vibrations.
Coming to the usage, the air compressor is a blessing for any job site as it can power most of the pneumatic tools while operating with almost no noise. It’s also a wonderful addition to your garage or basement as not only is it quiet but also has a space-saving design with dual tanks mounted one on top of another.
You will also come to love its control panel, which, unlike other models is quite intuitive to use so anyone who is unfamiliar with the compressor can still quickly grasp it. This means you will have fewer errors on your job site, especially when you hire a rookie for a task.
- Ultra-quiet operation at 47 dB @ 25 ft
- Top-mounted control panel for easy gage readings and pressure control
- Space-saving design that is light and easy to carry
- Roll cage protects from damage
- Motor mounts are prone to damage during shipping
This is ideal for contract work at job sites requiring a low-noise environment.
Makita- MAC700, Electric Air Compressor
The MAC700 is another air compressor like the previous Makita model we talked about in the premium range of equipment, except this is of a 2.6-gallon capacity. Being on the lower end, it’s designed mostly for DIY home projects and low power pneumatic tool applications.
The compressor weighs about 60 pounds, however, it is built with a pretty big handle to apply the right leverage to move it around easily. Therefore if you are into construction, this isn’t too much of a challenge if you are a person who likes to work with premium quality equipment.
You will also like that it works silently at around 80 dB at the closest. The compressor components are covered with a protective cage that not only keeps the debris away but also dampens the noise. So if you are in a heavy construction site, it won’t feel odd to haul it around. Its rubber mounting pads are also in on noise reduction while keeping it firmly on the ground.
Using it at home, or in the garage to run nailers, staplers or airbrushes is a near-ideal application for this compressor. It does its job outstandingly, and you are sure to be pleased with the output.
- Premium quality construction suitable for use even in tough job sites
- Steady air supply to run most small power tools
- Builds pressure in seconds quickly from a cut in
- Works at low RMP hence it is quiet
- Some might find the compressor to be heavy for its volume
We recommend using this for any trim jobs in carpentry, interior trims, and paint jobs.
NorthStar Electric Air Compressor – 1.5 HP Vertical Tank
Apart from its slick looks, this 8-gallon quiet air compressor from Northstar has all the features you would expect from equipment in its category. The vertically mounted tank on a can be easily maneuvered around with its smooth wheels and handle so you can haul it around construction sites, over inclines paths and even stairs in a building.
The control panel is straight forward with pressure gages clearly visible and controlled by a knob just underneath. You can also connect two tools at the same time as there’s plenty of air to go around or use one large pneumatic tool.
When it comes to noise, Northstar has done an amazing job using lower pump speeds to keep the noise below 70 dB. For a compressor, if its height, it is surprisingly well balanced to keep the vibration at the minimum so you can work peacefully even in your basement while it operates silently.
With CFM’s ranging between 4 to 5.4 there are a number of pneumatic equipment you can run with this starting from nailers, automotive airbrushes, impact wrenches and low power grinders and sanders
- Quiet operation suitable for home and interior trim operations
- Robust construction and easy to haul around
- Dual tool connectors
- Cannot be used continuously throughout the day
- Personally, we love this model and recommend it for construction sites, garages, workshops, and wherever you need a medium-range air compressor!
This should give you plenty of detail to make a decision on which quiet air compressor type it is that you need for your specific application. All of the compressors are quiet, so you won’t have to worry about any of them drilling a hole in your eardrums while you are at work! If you know your set of tools and the working hours you pull out of them, we’re pretty sure there’s a compressor here that matches your needs.`