9 Best 12V Portable Air Compressor Reviews – Buyer Guide 2019

12 V Portable Air Compressors are a great tool for making your jobs go faster and easier. They can be used anywhere for filling a flat tire to running your favorite power tools.

Stationary professional compressors are used in gas stations and car shops, but portable air compressors are relatively common household appliances, and pumping up the football, to airing up bike tires, to doing small building projects that require a brad gun or stapler.


Best Value
VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor

VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor

SuperFlow 12V HD Air Compressor Tire Inflator Ideal for Trucks, SUVs, RVs & Tractors

SuperFlow Air Compressor Tire Inflator Ideal for Trucks, SUVs, RVs & Tractors

Here at Portable Air Compressors, you will find the best in compressors regardless the job you are trying to complete. With a portable air compressor as one of your many tools, you can finish that construction site project in no time or even use it for small jobs around the house.

In general, when shopping for the best air compressor, there are several main functions and characteristics which you should take into consideration, depending on your specific needs. Some of these include portability and size, power, discharge pressure (PSI), compressed delivery rate (CFM), price and others.

How air compressors function

Before you head to the store, I would like to give you some general guidelines about how tire inflators and portable air compressors work, the types which are being offered and what to look for when choosing the best one for you. I have also included reviews of my top picks according to their different main functions and characteristics.

The various air compressor types and designs

There is a big choice of different types, sizes, shapes and designs of air compressors. They also vary in power, discharge pressure, air flow and other functionalities.

Portability, size, CFM, and power

The power of a compressor is a combination of different factors, including the air tank size, the horsepower and its discharge pressure (CFM). So, when you are selecting one for yourself, you should be aware of the fact that it is the combination of these factors and not only the horsepower which you should take into consideration.
First, and foremost always pick your air compressor to suit your actual needs. The bigger its tank, the more work can be performed before it has to fill up with air again. But also, the more gallons the air tank is, the bigger the air compressor, and the higher the price of the unit will most likely be.
The horsepower of the motor can vary, but in general, if the compressor uses a standard 110v outlet, the actual horsepower will reach 2hp.
Along with the above characteristics, also look at the CFM and PSI values and the combination between the two.

The different power source options – gas and electricity

The ultimate benefits of air compressors which are gas powered are their mobility and their continuous operation. Obviously, they don’t need cords or a power outlet so they can be used anywhere. They are usually preferred for heavy duty jobs for outdoors since the fumes produced are rather toxic, and the gasoline is very flammable.
The electrically powered compressors are more common for home and non-professional use. They are cheaper, and usually, they are smaller and safer to use. They are more fitted for occasional, non-heavy duty use.

Buy The Best Rated Portable Air Compressor

Are you Looking for the best handheld compressors? Here is a list of some great 12v portable air compressors and tire inflators. One of them could be the one you’ve been looking for. We have 12-volt air compressors from Viair, Goodyear, Q Industries, Slime, Masterflow, etc.

1. Viair 00073 70P Heavy Duty Portable Compressor Reviews

Viair 00073 70P Heavy Duty Portable Compressor

The Viair 00073 70P portable compressor is a superb choice for daily normal tire inflating use, and for more heavy duty jobs including off-road driving and ATV racing. It works both on 12 and 24 Volts. It weighs 6.2 pounds and is 9.2 x 8.5 x 8 inches big, so it can easily be stored and carried around in its bag. The appliance works on 12 Volts and comes with 3 pieces of inflation tip kits, a 150 PSI gauge, a 15 amp inline fuse-holder, plus a 16 ft power cord and 4 ft air hose. This unit is fitted with a permanent magnetic motor, with maximum 100 PSI working pressure and a 30-minute duty cycle at 30 PSI. This sturdy 12 Volt compressor is compact and easily portable, and yet it functions well and fast. It is high quality and is suitable for light to medium weight tasks.

Buy From Amazon

2. Kensun D1001 AC/DC Heavy Duty Multi-Function Air Compressor Tire Inflator Review

Kensun D1001 AC/DC Heavy Duty Multi-Function Air Compressor Tire Inflator

Another favorite of mine, the Kensun D1002 tire inflator can operate under 12 Volts as well as 110 Volts, which makes it great and versatile for both at home or when enjoying time outdoors or on the road. This compressor has a quite sufficient 21.7 inch air hose and a long AC electrical cord of 9 feet and 10 inches, as well as a 6 ft 7in DC 12 Volt cord. It can be used for effective tire pumping of tires up to 33 inches. It is offered with three different nozzles which fit any type of vehicle as well as for pumping up camping, beach and sports equipment and inflatable toys. Its main pros are that it is of very high quality, with a professional build, also it is super portable and compact and yet a powerful appliance for the home or the car.Buy From Amazon

3. The Slime 40022 digital tire inflator Review

Slime 40022 12-Volt Digital Tire Inflator

The Slime 40022 digital tire inflator features a useful LED light perfect for night use. This tire inflator has a 12 ft reach and easily can be plugged into the lighter socket of your car. Also, it weighs only one pound and is just 2.8 x 8.5 x 6.5 inches big.
It is a low-cost 12V appliance, which has a screw-on inflation tip for easy attachment to the valve and better compatibility to the different types of tire rims, plus it has an auto shut-off function for regulating the amount of air to be discharged.
True, it can be somewhat noisy, and it does take more time to pump the tires than a professional compressor, but at this price and size. It is a great choice when choosing the best-valued air compressor, especially with its useful bright LED display, the auto-shutoff and the accurate gauge measurement it offers.Buy From Amazon

4. VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor Review

VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor

VIAIR knows how to make high-quality compressors and the VIAIR 85P is just one of them. The VIAIR 85P is a great portable compressor for emergency situations. Even though it doesn’t come with its carry case, you can quickly put it in the back of your car in its original box. It is very portable and doesn’t take much space anyway. Build quality is much much better than those $ plastic compressors that you often see in stores. The cord is long enough so you can reach all four tires from the cigarette lighter power socket on the dashboard.

This small air compressor is small but powerful, fast and not too noisy. The VIAIR 85P is almost twice as fast as the 70P, and it doesn’t move around when pumping. The built-in gauge is pretty accurate though you do have to turn off the switch first to get a reading. The brass screw-on tire chuck is also nice since it makes for almost no air loss


  • Three-piece inflation tips kit included
  •  Solid brass twist-on tire chuck
  • Super bright LED work light included
  • Easy to read tire pressure gauge mounted at top rear of unit
  • Accessory power port plug uses power directly from cigarette or power port

5. Goodyear 12-Volt Direct Drive Heavy-Duty Tire Inflator Review

Goodyear Heavy Duty 120 Volt Direct Drive Electric Tire Inflator, Plugs Into Any Standard 120V Wall Outlet [su_box title=”Pros” box_color=”#d1fe97″ title_color=”#040404″]

  • Fast and powerful. The i7000 can inflate a completely flat car tire in minutes
  • Very stable. It doesn’t jump around when working
  • Fairly quiet for a such a powerful tire inflator.
  • Long 12-volt cord and air hose too.
  • Comes with a built-in flashlight
  • Screws-on hose attachment. Fits perfectly yet easy to turn.
  • Comes with a nice carrying case
  • Reasonable power draw. You don’t need to worry if this thing will blow a fuse on your car or truck.
  • Accurate built-in gauge.
  • Good build quality. The Goodyear i7000 is made to last.
  • The pump and plug get a little warm after ten or more minutes[/su_box]


  •  High pressure 12 Volt portable inflator
  • Heavy duty with fast air delivery%u202630Buy From Amazon

6. Q Industries MV50 SuperFlow Hi-Volume Air Compressor Review

[su_box title=”Pros” box_color=”#d1fe97″ title_color=”#040404″]

  • Able to inflate a completely flat tire in about four minute
  • Pretty quiet and does not vibrate too much
  • Excellent build quality
  • Compact and easy to store
  • Comes with a storage bag
  • 16-foot coiled hose. Long enough for full-size vehicles such as trucks, SUVs, and RVs[/su_box]

[su_box title=”Cons” box_color=”#fe6c78″ title_color=”#040404″]

  • Draws a lot of currents so you SHOULD NOT plug it into your cigarette lighter sockets.
  • It comes with clips to attach the compressor to the 12V battery.
  • So unless your 12V socket is rated and fused for 30 amps or more just be safe and clip it directly to the battery[/su_box]


  •  Inflate tire in less than 2 1/2 minutes
  • 120 PSI air compressor
  • 16-foot coiled hose
  • Storage bag included
  • Ideal for off-road vehiclesBuy From Amazon

7. Slime COMP06 Pro Power Heavy-Duty Tire Inflator Review

The Slime COMP06 portable air compressor is a nice mix of portability, durability, and affordability. It has excellent build quality exceeding those in the same price range.


  • 12-volt, 15-amps, 150 psi compressor
  • Built-in pressure gauge and light
  • 16′ coiled air hose
  • Canvas bag and adapters for inflatablesBuy From Amazon

8. Master Flow MF-1050 Tsunami High Volume Portable Air Compressor Review

Master Flow MF-1050 Tire Inflator


  • Dual cylinder/piston for 4×4 applications
  • 12V unit with gauge
  • Alligator clip connection
  • Storage bag with accessories included
  • Max. 150 PSI

[su_box title=”Pros” box_color=”#d1fe97″ title_color=”#040404″]

Solid construction on mine, no loose cords or fittings. Runs great — fast and not too loud. Nice little carry bag. Does have on/off switch (earlier reviewer said it didn’t).[/su_box] [su_box title=”Cons” box_color=”#fe6c78″ title_color=”#040404″]Screw-on valve is a little annoying — not as much of an issue for vehicle tires since you can unscrew it before losing too much air, but not so good for bike tires. Non-standard coupler doesn’t fit standard accessories. (If I manage to break it or get tired of the valve, I’ll rethread the hole and put in new fittings.) The pressure gauge is a little off, but easy to replace with a $ one.[/su_box]

Other: Don’t bother with cigarette lighter air compressors–my Campbell Hausfeld one crapped out when I needed it most. Get one like this that can clip onto the battery. +1 on checking the 4×4 forums for modifications and such.Buy From Amazon

9. Master Flow MF-1040 Cyclone High Volume Portable Air Compressor Review

12 Volt Air Compressor, Portable Air Pump 12 Volt, Tire Inflator 140 PSI, Air Compressor by MasterFlow for Cars, Trucks, and Bikes.
The Master Flow MF-1040 Cyclone is powered via a 12 Volt cigarette lighter car socket. It delivers an impressive 150 PSI inflation, which is a suitable air compression for all standard sized vehicles. It has a pressure gauge, a coiling hose, and inflating nozzle for outdoors, beach equipment and toys. It also is sold with a great storage bag for easy storing in the car trunk. The tire inflation tip is of the screw-on type which is recommended for tires with non-standard rims. This product is an excellent choice for those who want a sturdy, quiet and efficient tire inflator for their car or another vehicle.Buy From Amazon

10. PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 3.5-Gallon 135 PSI Pancake Compressor Review

PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 3.5-Gallon 135 PSI Pancake Compressor

The powerful PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 pancake compressor is a high-power, low-maintenance and durable air compressor, which you can use for years to come. With a 135 maximum PSI and 2 SCFM delivered at 90 PSI, it has a longer runtime, and a faster recovery than most other air compressors offered at the market. Its low amperage 120 Volt motor is reliable even in very cold weather. The appliance weighs 25 lbs, which allows for easy portability when necessary. It has the perfect dimensions for such a powerful and robust air compressor.Buy From Amazon

Further notes and information

Main features of the air compressor

Always look for the type of motor, the power and the type of maintenance it requires when choosing the best portable air compressor.

Possible extra features

Some air compressors come with wheels, roll cages, handles for carrying, air filters and other extras which can be very convenient both at home and when on a trip.

Safe use

You should get to know the safety requirements for using the air compressor, to stay safe, avoid injuries and also to help keep the appliance working efficiently for longer.

Power Tools attached to air compressors

There are different power tools which are most commonly used along with air compressors, some of the main ones include:

  • Impact Wrenches
  • Nail guns
  • Tire inflators

In conclusion

Now that you are done reading the information which I have summed up for you, I truly hope that I have helped you develop a clearer understanding of what to look for when picking the best portable air compressor and the most suitable one to fit your specific needs.

12 Volt Compressor Safety Tips

Being safe is no joke.Taking the time to do things right is worth it in the long run.Here are some safety tips and hints that will go a long way towards keeping you from harm.12 Volt Compressor Safety Tips

Always wear safety glasses whenever using a compressor!

It may seem obvious, but never attempt to disassemble your compressor to make repairs or modifications.Take it or send it to a qualified service center.

Another obvious one, don’t use your compressor where it could accidentally fall into the water.And most definitely do not reach for the compressor if it does fall in.After all, it does run on electric.

Operate your compressor with the correct power.If it runs on 12-volt dc, then run it on 12-volt dc, not 120 ac.

Like any piece of equipment, never run it unattended.Stay with your compressor at all times.

Never allow children, especially little kids, to operate your compressor.As much as they will want to help you with whatever project you are working on, it is too easy for them to be hurt.

Compressors get hot when they run.Avoid touching the cylinder area especially as this is where the heat is generated from.If you need to move the compressor before it has cooled sufficiently use the handle if it has one.If it doesn’t have one, you might want to use a clean towel or shop rag.Just be sure the towel or rag is clean and not covered in grease or oil which could potentially catch on fire.An alternative is to wear heat resistant gloves.

Speaking of heat, don’t use your compressor near anything that is flammable or explosive.Heat and aerosol products don’t mix.

Never point air guns or nozzles at yourself or someone else.The force of the air coming out is at a high velocity.That could easily shoot something like a gun does a bullet.I think you get the idea.

If your compressor has an automatic reset, it could start up unexpectedly.Just something to keep in mind.

Don’t pull the compressor by the power cord or air hose.I know we all tend to do stuff like that, but doing so tends to loosen either the cord or air hose which of course could lead to an electrical short or hose blow out.

Before hooking the compressor up to whatever power source you are using, make sure that the compressor is in the off position.

Using a little common sense goes a long way.When in doubt, play it safe with your 12 v air compressor.

How To Fix A Flat Tire With An Air Compressor

An air compressor is a great way to fix a flat tire. We all have those days when something at the last minute goes wrong and needs a quick fix, such as a flat tire. And most likely you have a spare one on hand, but if you don’t here are a few easy steps to inflate your flat tire.

What you will need:

  • Tire chuck
  • Air compressor
  • Air gauge
  1. First, check your tire to see how many pounds of pressure per square inch that it holds.
  2. Use your tire gauge to see how much air is already inside your tire, and how much needs to be added.
  3. Attach tire chuck to the end of the air compressor hose, insert tire chuck into your tire valve and inflate.

* Things to be cautious about are making sure air is not leaking out from around the valve and tire chuck while inflating the tire. Be sure not to over inflate or under in flat tire.

A flat or depleted tired usually indicates that there is something defective with the tire itself or the tube within the tire, and should be replaced as soon as possible. Using an air compressor is a way to make a quick fix if you have no spare tire available.


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