10 Best Air Compressor Under $500 (Reviews 2020)

Basically, workers might not be into fresh air as much as they would be into an air compressor.

This is such a device that you can use for a variety of applications. Starting from filling up tires, sandblasting, carpentry to simple painting, it stores air pressure into a tank where you can run tools to do the job.

You will find different kinds and designs of air compressors that can confuse you. To choose the perfect one, you need nothing but our guidance. Here, we have stacked up 10 of the best air compressor under 500 dollars to help you out. Because the price is another big factor after the performance, isn’t it?

Our Top Picks For Best Air compressor under 500 :

1. NorthStar Single-Stage 20-Gal. Portable Air compressor :

Best Air Compressor Under $500 - NorthStar Single-Stage 20-Gal. Portable Air Compressor
NorthStar Single-Stage 20-Gal. Portable Air Compressor
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This model by NorthStar is a single-stage air compressor that comes in simple powder coat finishes. If you’re planning to use one for home use heavily, then this is the best air compressor under $500 for you.

The compressor is built with V-twin pump and heads made of cast iron for durability. They are not only great for heat dissipation but also avoid heat transfer between both cylinders.

Being a belt-driven compressor, it provides you with wider flexibility so you can adjust pressure and airflow.

Moreover, it features an oil-lubed pump with 2 cylinders that helps make the compressor more long-lasting. Besides, it will also run quietly because of its low-frequency sound pulses.

Plus, you will get a 20-gallon tank size making it wonderful for running air ratchets, sandblasting, or filling up tires.

Although the brand boasts it to be portable, you may find it a bit heavy.

However, the compressor also features 2 Horse Power induction motor that will provide you with greater air pressure. As a result, it will deliver 5CFM at 90PSI or 6CFM at 40PSI. So, you can store more air to run air-tools for a longer period.

The drain valve has been positioned awkwardly to the side instead of on the bottom. So, unless you tip it towards the drain, it may not deplete the condensation fully.

However, it only takes a few minutes to charge to a full pressure from empty. And since it promises no leakage, it will hold air for long.

Pros
  • Pressure and airflow is easily adjustable.
  • Runs quietly with vibration dampener.
  • Oil-lubed offers longer life.
  • Avoids heat transfer between cylinders.
  • It can store more air.
  • It can run tools for a longer period.
  • Does not take time to charge to full pressure.
Cons
  • Heavy for its portability.
  • Drain valve positioned awkwardly.
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2. Husky C303H 30 Gallon Air compressor:

Husky C303H 30 Gallon Air Compressor
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C303H by Husky will give you project efficiency with its sufficient tank size. So, calling it the best air compressor under $500 wouldn’t be wrong.

It features a 30-gallon tank that is as big as you want it to run tools for heavy-duty use. If you want a compressor to fill up tires, woodwork, nail, spray paint or repair automotive, this makes an ideal choice.

The design also includes an oil-free pump. So, it removes the requirement for oil separators in your air delivery system. It also eliminates the need for maintaining the compressor. Contrariwise, oil-free design can also be one of the reasons for its short durability.

With the pump, you will have a motor delivering airflow at 175PSI max while providing 5.1CFM at 90PSI. So, the store for air will be more and the run time will be longer.

At 78 dBA, the air compressor promises to make lesser noise. However, some of the users complained about it to be very loud when in use.

Its easy transportation is a big plus. It comes with 9-inch wheels where you can transport it to your worksite easily. Plus, it also features dual ‘quick connect’ that you can switch easily between tools and applications.

The unit also comes with a higher flow regulator that makes sure it offers maximum airflow with higher PSI and CFM.

Coming in vertical design also lets you save floors as you can position it vertically.

Pros
  • Great for heavy-duty use.
  • Oil-free pump offers zero maintenance.
  • Ability to store a lot of air for running air tools longer.
  • Easy to transport with wheels.
  • Dual ‘quick connects’ provide you with a switch between tools and applications.
  • Vertical design saves floor space.
  • It comes with a higher flow regulator.
Cons
  • It makes noise.
  • Durability is short
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3. Campbell Hausfeld B07T9P3B8P 26 Gallon Air Compressor:

Campbell Hausfeld B07T9P3B8P 26 Gallon Air Compressor
Campbell Hausfeld B07T9P3B8P 26 Gallon Air Compressor
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Campbell Hausfeld has another best air compressor under $500 that you will find amazing for heavy use.

The brand boasts it to have a 26-gallon tank that stores a lot of air so you can run different tools for a longer time.

It runs at 2HP motor delivering maximum airflow with 300PSI. So, it can deal with different DIY projects. No matter what the applications are, be it painting, nailing, inflation or bolting, it’s perfect.

Besides, the unit can achieve airflow of 5CFM at 40PSI and 4CFM at 90PSI. However, some users griped that it takes a lot of time to charge fully.

Its oil-free pump will be there to save you from big cost and maintenance. Besides, it also helps eliminate negative environmental impacts.

Not just that, you will also love it for its quiet operation. So, it won’t bother you at all.

Moreover, it comes with an air hose that used PVC material for its durability. So, it can ensure temperatures even from 0°F to 130°F.

The best part is you will get an Angle Die Grinder kit comprising of 17 pieces that include a tapered and a safety nozzle, two inflation nozzles, two male couplings, two female couplings, two 1/4-in NPT female plugs, four 1/4-in. NPT male plugs, a 1/4-in. NPT female coupler, and a chuck.

The portability can be an issue since a lot of users found it very heavy. Even though it features wheels, it can be difficult to move it around easily.

Pros
  • Ability to store a lot of air for running air tools longer.
  • Great for constant use.
  • Oil-free pump offers maintenance-free.
  • Oil-free reduces negative environmental impacts.
  • Comes with durable air hose.
  • Comparatively quiet.
  • Includes a kit comprising of 17 pieces.
Cons
  • It may take time to fill completely.
  • Heavyweight to move around.
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4. EMAX HP02P020SS Hulk Series 20 Gallon Air Compressor:

EMAX HP02P020SS Hulk Series 20 Gallon Air Compressor
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Want a very quiet unit? Then EMAX Compressor HP02P020SS can be the best air compressor under $500 for you.

Named as Hulk, it has a 20-gallon tank with a 20% duty cycle where it stores a big amount of air. So, you can run your tools for a longer period be it for filling up tires or for woodworking.

Moreover, its noiseless operation also makes it very convenient. The brand boasts it to offer up to 80% quieter run-time that its rivals. Plus, they also have designed its dual intake filtration to provide you with maximum noise reduction.

There will be 2HP motor power to deliver greater air pressure. It has used industrial grade copper material that delivers performance and durability. And it comes with steel cylinders, there head and valves. At 40PSI, the airflow will be 8.39CFM while at 90PSI, it will be 5.77CFM, so it will provide faster recovery time.

Coming in an oil-free designed pump, the compressor offers a very high-quality air for your requirement. And you can dramatically decrease negative environmental impacts as well. Not just that, the oil-free makes the air compressor maintenance-free as well.

Plus, its solid copper windings also provide you with lesser wear and tear.

However, handle and over-sized wheels will be there to make transportation easier. But, users griped that the handle pulls out of the unit even with screw set tight. Plus, you may also find the wheel unstable indicating a big defect of design. 

Pros
  • It offers quiet operation.
  • Ability to store a lot of air for running air tools longer.
  • Motor is durable.
  • Ability to deliver greater air-pressure.
  • Recovery time is quick.
  • Oil-free makes it maintenance free.
  • Oil-free reduces negative environmental impacts.
Cons
  • Handle gets pulled out.
  • Wheels can be wobbly during transport.
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5. Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor:

Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor with V-Twin Cylinder
Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor
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This model by Industrial is a single-stage air compressor that comes with a 20-gallon cylinder made of cast iron which is thermally resistant. If you’re planning to use one for home use heavily, then this is the best air compressor under 500 dollars for you.

It is also equipped with long-lasting stainless steel reed valves which make it easy to reach oil fill and a heavy balanced flywheel. Two pneumatic tires are attached with the cylinder for portability.

The compressor is built with a V-twin pump which is new in technology and gives a robust and high-efficiency performance.

Being a belt-driven compressor, it provides you with broader flexibility so you can adjust pressure and airflow.

Moreover, it features an oil-lubed pump with 2 cylinders that helps make the compressor more long-lasting. Besides, it will also run quietly because of its low-frequency sound pulses.

Plus, you will get a 20-gallon tank size making it wonderful for running air ratchets, sandblasting, or filling up tires.

However, the compressor features a 1.6 HP induction motor that will provide you with greater air pressure and has a maximum pressure of 135 PSI. As a result, it will deliver 5.3 CFM at 90PSI or 6.2 CFM at 40PSI. So, you can store more air to run air-tools for a longer period.

It has a dual voltage motor for convenience. It is primarily wired for a 120-volt outlet but can be converted to a 240-volt outlet. It only takes a few minutes to charge to a full pressure from empty and It also comes with a two-year limited warranty.

Pros
  • Cast iron, V-twin cylinder, oil-lubricated pump
  • Heavy-duty dual-voltage induction motor
  • 20-gallon vertical portable tank with pre-attached pneumatic tires
  • Equipped with a quick-set regulator, tank and working pressure gauges, and on/off switch
  • 2 year limited warranty
Cons
  • Heavy for its portability.
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6. Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor:

Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor
Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor
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MAC2400 by Makita includes twin stacked tank and oil-lubed pump with a high-quality Big Bore cylinder made of cast iron for durability and long life. The tanks together measured in 4.2 gallons.

The Big Bore cylinders and pistons are known for compressing more air so you get quicker recovery time and constant airflow. The cylinder has two outputs for two Nailers that make your life quite easy and gives improved job site performance.

The oil-lubed pump does a great job against wears and tears. It helps keep the product life longer. Plus, it also ensures quiet operation. The pump runs at 1730 rpm and produces only 79 dB noise. It also makes maintenance quite easier. Two oil sight glasses enable you to see the oil level. Changing Oil is also very easy- just open the drain valve, then close it and pour new oil inside, and you are good to go.

Moreover, this compressor has an air filter like that one of your car, so you get a clean air supply. It also has a low amp draw so that you don’t have to suffer any tripped breakers at start-up and you get better resistance against voltage drop.

It has a 2.5HP 4-pole motor which means it is powerful enough. It delivers 4.2 CFM at 90PSI or 4.8 CFM at 40 PSI whereas the maximum range is 130 PSI. So, you can store more air to run air-tools for a longer period.

So would this air compressor give you industrial performance? Oh yeah, it sure can.

Pros
  • Big Bore pump for heavy performance
  • Oil-lubed offers longer life.
  • Can store sufficient air.
  • Air filter removes contaminants.
  • It can run tools for a longer period.
  • Low maintenance.
Cons
  • Mobility can be a problem
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7. DEWALT D55146 4.5 Gallon Air Compressor:

DEWALT D55146 4.5 Gallon Air Compressor
DEWALT D55146 4.5 Gallon Air Compressor
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There’s hardly any compressor that can beat the performance of this best air compressor under 500 dollars by Dewalt, which is D55146.

There will be a 4.5-gallon tank with the compressor that you can work with any tool for heavy-duty use. The compressor is mostly made of steel so it is very strong and durable. You can also see 10-inch non-flat foam tires for easy transportation in your job site.

Plus, it comes with a vertical stand feature which allows you to keep it vertically and saves space. It also features a collapsible handle that helps you to carry it and to store vertically in small space.

The Dewalt D55146 features 1.6 HP motor that starts easily with low voltage. And as it comes oil-free, you will love its zero maintenance nature. It means, there won’t be any oil change requirements.

Having 78 dB noise levels this air compressor does provide a quiet working environment. Plus the belt-driven pump runs only at 1750 rpm which is really a low speed; that also gives a very low noise.

That said, the air compressor offers amazing performance with 225PSI maximum delivery. With 5 CFM at 90PSI, it offers quicker recovery time.

You will also have couplers and regulators that deliver maximum airflow so it can run greatly with the tool. Plus, it also comes with 2-inch gauges so it can provide you with easy to read surface.

Pros
  • Ideal for heavy-duty and constant use.
  • Oil-free provides zero maintenance.
  • Able to store air for a longer time.
  • The operation will be smooth and long with different air tools.
  • Recovery times will be faster.
  • It comes with 2-inch easy-to-read gauges.
Cons
  • Drain valve should be more conveniently positioned.
  • May need to buy extra couplets for high airflow
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8. California Air Tools CAT-4620AC-22060 Portable Air Compressor:


California Air Tools CAT-4620AC-22060 Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 2.0 hp 4.0 gallon Aluminum Twin Tank Electric Portable Air Compressor, Silver
California Air Tools CAT-4620AC-22060 Portable Air Compressor
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The first thing you will notice about the unit CAT-4620AC-22060 is its ultra-quiet nature.

At 70dB, you will get to experience its super-silent nature due to its low vibration. Hence, the operation will be peaceful.

The compressor comes with a 2HP motor that operates at only 1680 RPM. So the noise and wear and tear will be less. Plus, it offers a great amount of air pressure with maximum delivery of 125PSI. At 40PSI, the delivery of airflow will be 6.40CFM while at 90PSI, it will be 5.30CFM. Hence, you can enjoy fast recovery time with longer runtime and sufficient air storage.

Speaking of storage, the unit comes with a 4.6-gallon tank. It is not very big for constant-use but ideal for intermittent use. The tank used aluminum material that warrants you to never get corroded.

Its oil-free pump deserves a big thumbs up as it will present you with low maintenance at a low cost. Besides, it also has a life cycle of 3000 plus hours of service before wear. Not only that, the pump will also let you use it at different temperatures and uneven surfaces. But, such a factor also comes with shorter durability, so that can be a con.

The unit also features an Easy start valve that will enable you to start it up with ease using lesser amps. In the beginning, it will release a smaller amount of air from the pump so it can generate a no-load condition. As a result, the motor will spin freely.

Although the compressor comes in a compact design with weighing 67.2 pounds, the users felt it very heavy to carry.

Pros
  • Ultra-silent operation.
  • Great amount of air pressure.
  • Recovery time will be quick.
  • Great for intermittent use.
  • High-quality tank and pump that won’t get corroded.
  • Oil-free offers maintenance-free.
  • Compact design does not use much space.
Cons
  • Short-durability.
  • Very heavy.
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9. California Air Tools 10020C Air Compressor:

California Air Tools 10020C Air Compressor
California Air Tools 10020C Air Compressor
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Next product of our review of best air compressor under 500 is California Air Tools 10020C air compressor. Having a 10 gallon tank, this air compressor is built for power, less maintenance and noise free operation. Above the tank situated the entire control panel with switches and control gauges which are easily visible.

The tank is made of steel and there is a wheel kit attached to it so that you can move it easily around your shop, garage or job site. The 10 gallon tank contains enough air for longer period of time and provides air supply for any pneumatic tools.

This air compressor runs on a new 2 horse power SP series air compressor motor which has been designed for increased duty cycle and allows longer continuous run time. The 4 pole motor runs on only 1680 RPM which mean less noise. In fact it is one of the quietest air compressors that produce only 70 dB sound.

The CAT-10020C air compressor comes with an oil free dual piston pump and cast aluminum cylinder. Because of dual piston system, it gives you faster air delivery.

The air compressor run on an oil free pump cylinder which is engineered for durability and high performance; that means it needs less maintenance job and lesser cost.

The air compressor delivers 6.40 CFM at 40 PSI and 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI with a maximum pressure of 125 PSI.

The motor runs on 110v which means less heat which dissipates more efficiently. It also provides two universal 1/4″ quick connector so that you can run two tools at the same time.

The air compressor also comes with one year limited warranty.

Pros
  • It offers sufficient air pressure.
  • Run time will be longer and recovery time will be quicker.
  • Oil-free motor needs no maintenance.
  • Pressure gauges offer precise pressure adjustment.
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Drain valve position is not convenient.
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10. Cambell Hausfeld HL433000DI 20 Gallon Air Compressor:

CAMPBELL HAUSFELD HL433000DI Air Compressor, 20 gallon air compressor
CAMPBELL HAUSFELD HL433000DI Air Compressor
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Its design and use mainly make it the best air compressor under 500 by CAMPBELL HAUSFELD.

Coming in a vertical style, the air compressor lets you save space by storing it vertically. So, if you have limited floors, it will be a great pick.

Besides, it also features wheels so you can move it around frequently and position it in a corner or closet.

The unit includes a 20-gallon tank. As a result, you can store as much air as you wish to run air ratchets, sandblast, or air up tires.

Albeit the brand boasts it to have 2HP induction motor, but people griped about its misinformation by getting 1.6HP power. However, it still does a great job by providing you delivery pressure of 125PSI maximum. Its airflow is rated at 40PSI for 5.5CFM and at 90PSI for 4.5 SCFM.

With 5.1CFM at 90 PSI, it offers quicker recovery time. And with 6.8CFM at 40PSI, it offers smooth operation by an HVLP spray gun. Hence, the recovery time is super short.

You will have an oil-lubed pump that helps extend its life expectancy. Plus, it’s a great pick for heavy-duty industrial applications because of its direct-drive design. The only issue is that it makes an annoying noise.

That said, the air compressor is amazing for offering easy installation and operation. You will also get an oil bottle and air filter that add more convenience.

Pros
  • Vertical style saves space by positioning the compressor vertically.
  • Wheels offer easy portability.
  • You can store a lot of air to run air tools for long.
  • It offers quicker recovery time.
  • Oil-lubed pump provides longer life-expectancy.
  • It’s easy to install.
  • It comes with an oil bottle and air filter.
Cons
  • Noise is annoying.
  • Wrong information about motor power can disappoint you.
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Not happy? Then, you should check our 10 best 30-gallon air compressor reviews.

Buying Guide: What to keep in your mind while buying an air compressor?

Suitable tank size:

The size of the air compressor tank is measured in gallons. There are different sizes range from 1 gallon to 80 gallons that affect the tool usage differently.

Although there isn’t any rule of thumb for the tool-ratings to settle on the tank’s suitable size, we advise you to get a bigger-sized one. Make sure that such size comes reasonable and available in PSI and CFM requirements for the usage.

However, you’ll still need to figure out what kind of work you’ll do before determining size. Also, consider the motor size and tool-type you will power.

Continuous-use air tools such as grinder or sander will need a larger tank. The larger the size of the tank, the longer the unit will run and the more air you can store. Here, you will also require a bigger sized pump and motor to utilize the air and never run out of it. In fact, the bigger tank will exhaust less frequently as its pump and motor won’t be working often. However, the cons are that the bigger tanks are expensive, difficult to maintain and use up more space.

Alternatively, intermittent-use air tools such as brad gun, nailer or stapler can work great with smaller tanks. As they run through small bursts of air, they use lesser air from the allotment of the total tank. Hence, the compressor can manage to refill the tank by then. As for the cons, they are not suitable for tools that require constant air.  

Purpose of buying air compressor:

Out of several purposes, here are 6 of them mentioned below:

Carpentry:

If you are into building things or carpentry and use a nail gun regularly, then you’ll need an air compressor. Basically, the nailer run by the compressor gets the carpentry job done easily.

There are commonly two types of nailers.

The battery-operated ones cost from $200 to $500. It is close to the price of a compressor itself.

And the pneumatic ones cost from $50 to $300. They are used with air compressors basically. Not only you will find them easier to use but lighter as well. Plus, air pressure will also last longer than the other type.

Painting:

DIY painting different-sized cabinets and furniture will be much easier once you use a spray gun powered by an air compressor. It helps give your woodwork a smooth and stunning finish.

Auto-repairing:

Air compressor also helps you take the bolts out easily that are located in tight spaces. For this, you will need an air ratchet tool to attach it to the compressor and use it. It will take seconds to do the job.

Moreover, you can also use air compressors for a variety of automotive works such as spark plugs removal, spray cleanup of spinning parts and so on.

Sandblasting:

You may also need an air compressor to sandblast particular materials such as metal or wood. Plus, you can also use it as an air sander. It will not only smoothen items but also do the job without head that is generated by an electrical sander.

However, keep the type of material in mind because compressors are able to ruin some materials as well.

Dust removing and drying:

If you want to dust off your shelving, keyboard or even computer screen, then an air compressor is a must-have. It is able to shoo away all the dust ingrained in your equipment’s cracks and crevices.

Not just that, it can also eliminate excess water from surfaces like bikes, quads, machinery, vehicles and so on.

Airing-up tires:

When its air-pressure is low, the compressor can come handy since you can use it to air-up tires. You will need some tools with the compressor to complete the job successfully and safely.

But beware of overfilling the tires or it will explode in the middle of the pavement.

Make sure to get a regulator, it will keep the compressor from overfilling. Also, make sure to know the correct PSI (pounds per square inch).

You can also get a pressure gauge that can help in monitoring the tire’s pressure when it airs-up.

Direct driven air compressor or belt-driven air compressor?

Direct driven:

The drive is designed with an engine and pump directly connected together. You’ll find a crankshaft inside the engine lock that is affixed to the motor directly.

Piston and the rod are mounted to the crankshaft which enables the piston to move up when the motor rotates. 

The pump runs about 3800RPM equal to the speed of the engine due to its direct connection.

Advantages:

  • No belts to adjust.
  • Less moving parts.
  • Output pressure is adjustable so perfect for pneumatic tools.
  • Compact, lightweight and easy to transport.

Disadvantages:

  • Dies quickly due to extreme heat caused by extensive run-time.
  • Noisy.

Belt Drive:

The designs are separated by a system of belt and pulley.

The pump can spin very slower than the motor that makes it more efficient and less relapse. With its belts and pulleys, it runs lower with speed around 1400RPM to 1800RPM.

Advantages:

  • Higher industrial output.
  • Efficient and long-lasting.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Creates lesser friction.

Disadvantages:

  • More maintenance with belt and pulley adjustment.
  • Draws huge power.

Maintenance of compressor:

It is very vital to maintain an air compressor. Because this is what will help extend its life expectancy.

Here is the checklist that has included everything you need to check for maintaining the compressor-

  • Level of pump oil: Daily
  • Air leakage: Daily
  • Oil leakage: Daily
  • Noise and vibration: Daily
  • Drain water in tank: Daily
  • Belt inspection: Daily
  • Air filter, cleanup or replacement: Weekly
  • Connection for leaks: Monthly
  • Tightening bolts: Monthly
  • Safety relieve valve: Monthly
  • Pump and engine servicing: Yearly

Conclusion :

Now its up to you which air compressor you want to buy. More or less most of the air compressors that are described above are good enough to serve your purpose.

Hope you find what you came for and enjoyed our reviews of best air compressor under 500.

How to choose an air compressor:

1 thought on “10 Best Air Compressor Under $500 (Reviews 2020)”

  1. Absolutely not. Holding of air depends on tank size. Horizontal compressors takes a bit more space than vertical air compressor, if you consider other technical aspects constant. Now the choice is yours.

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