Best 20 Gallon Air Compressor

By Delphine •  Updated: 05/28/22 •  12 min read

A portable pancake compressor may not always be strong enough to run what you need as sometimes, you may need something more portable and space saving than a  larger and permanently installed air compressor. This is why you need the best 20 gallon air compressor.

From inflating tires to running pneumatic nail guns to painting or cleaning farm equipment, investing in the best 20-gallon air compressor will do a lot of good for your at home work repertoire.

It is important to note that the 20-gallon air compressors are not strong enough to power most industrial-grade pneumatic tools and as such may deliver top quality results.  

The best 20-gallon air compressor should give you excellent performance, a lot of power and portability and this is exactly why we put this article together. 

We’ve done the legwork to bring you the best 20-gallon air compressors on the market and  in addition to a well detailed buyers guide to enable you make the best decision on when it comes to purchasing the right 20-gallon air compressor that fits your needs.





NorthStar Portable Gas-Powered Air Compressor 

This is the most affordable option when it comes to gas powered  20-gallon air compressors. In addition to this, it is portable, allowing you to take it with you anywhere you go. 

The NorthStar Portable Gas-Powered Air Compressor produces incredible high power outputs with amazing consistency. 

This 20 gallon air compressor is able to deliver over twice the CFM of comparably sized electric compressors.  This is because it comes with a 163  cc Honda engine which also features a low vibration technology.  


Notable Features : 

163cc Honda engine with low oil shutdown

Low vibration technology

Produces 13.7 CFM at 90 PSI

Features a V-style cylinder design

Weighs 217 pounds

Cast iron construction


  • Operates quietly
  • Reliable engine
  • Good CFM
  • Provides superior cooling
  • Requires constant maintenance




Campbell Hausfeld 20 Gallon Air Compressor

This Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor features an oil-free pump that any DIY enthusiast or craftsman would appreciate. There’s no need for oil changes or replacements! As a result, the maintenance procedure is shortened.

This compressor has a huge capacity of up to 20 gallons and a maximum pressure of 150 PSI. The set includes a variety of tools to assist you, including a 25-foot long hose that is ideal for long-distance operations.

The product is equipped with a 3-in-1 inflation gun that can be used for a variety of projects, as well as a chunk and a gauge, according to Campbell Hausfeld. The equipment produces sound at a decibel level of 88, which is typical for an air compressor.

The unit additionally comes with a sturdy steel handle and wheels that make it easy to move about your workspace.

The panel is incredibly user-friendly, and it delivers enough information to help the user function at their best.


  • Multiple jobs can be completed at the same time
  • Huge tank
  • Long hose
  • Durable
  • Oil-free
  • The long hose may get in the way



Read: Best Air Compressor For Impact Wrench



Industrial Air IT20ASME 20 gallon 

This Industrial Air product is for you if you want to save time. It has multiple functions. And it’s in a ready-to-use state. As a result, you can begin the operation right away at home or in the workplace.

The tank’s maximum pressure is 175 psi. Furthermore, it is easy to transport. Two handles are welded to the body. As a result, you will be able to carry it effectively.

The compressor’s direction is another noteworthy aspect. It can be used vertically or horizontally. As a result, the machine can be placed in any horizontal or vertical position.

Filling the tank is simple, and connecting the compressor is simple as well. The procedures are non-stressful.

Another appealing feature is its adaptability. It’s best to use it as a second air tank, according to experts. This tank can assist you in the event of an emergency.

This air compressor is belt-driven and contains an oil-lubricated pump, which extends its life. This compressor’s pump has a total life expectancy of about 5000 hours.


  • Pre-installed pneumatic tyres
  • Easy manipulation
  • Dual voltage
  • Can be used vertically and horizontally
  • Quite heavy




California Air Tools 10020C

This 20 gallon air compressor is a wonderful alternative if you require a strong and portable air compressor. With a 2 horsepower air compressor, it provides the purest and best balance of power and portability, as well as a fair and low dB noise level.

It is one of the best contractor-grade models available. This air compressor can be used for spray painting, nailing, and framing, among other things.

It has a maximum pressure of 125 pounds per square inch. It has a set of 70 dB very silent speakers. Thermal overload protection is included.

It is equipped with a dual filter silencer. The CAT-10020c comes with a one-year guarantee, which is a plus. The two-horsepower oil-free pump aids you in doing your daily duties.


  • Good airflow rate
  • Powerful motor
  • Operates quietly
  • Includes thermal overload protection
  • Quite heavy





This air compressor is a Wet/Dry Vac, Heavy-Duty Shop Vacuum with Attachments with a 6.5 gallon Peak HP.

It has a 6.5 peak horsepower heavy-duty motor. To get started, this number is a suitable starting point. The 6.5 Horsepower works hard to provide you with excellent service, particularly when it comes to cleaning.

Another fantastic feature of this air compressor is that it has a blowing port that allows you to acquire a high-speed exhaust with the air flowing through the hose, making even the most tough tasks, such as cleaning in the construction or blasting debris from the deck, much easier.

The wet-dry shop vac also has a wonderful and extra-large drain that makes it easy to empty the tank quickly. It comes with a huge hose extension that’s around 10 feet long.


  • Good for cleaning tasks
  • Extra accessories
  • Comes with a big container
  • Quite large




How to Choose Best 20 Gallon Air Compressor

There are a few things you have to consider when purchasing a 30 gallon air compressor. We have provided a detailed description of each factor below.


 Type Of Air Compressor

There are basically two types of air compressors. These are the single-stage and two-stage air compressor.


Single Stage Air Compressors

These types of air compressors have just one cylinder which is responsible for pumping compressed air directly into the tank.

This is suitable for simple applications, nailing and sawing as well as light work.


Two Stage Air Compressors 

These types of air compressors have 2 cylinders.  They operate by moving air from the cooling tube into another cylinder at 90 PSI and then into the tank at 175 PSI.

This is the best option for users who need high pressure. Aside from professional purposes, these air compressors can be used for some heavy-duty residential tasks as well.


Tank Capacity

The tank capacity of an air compressor is one of the most important yet confusing things you will likely come across when selecting the best 20 gallon air compressor.

It is however obvious that a 20 gallon air compressor pressure will have an air tank that has the capability to hold gallons of compressed air. The most important thing you have to look out for should be how long the air in this tank will last for.


CFM Rating

When analysing air compressors,  the CFM rating is of out most importance.

CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute.  This indicates the amount of air coming out of the air compressor.

It’s important to note that the CFM rating of any air compressor is different at different pressure or PSI levels. However, most 20-gallon air compressors offer a CFM rating of 5 or higher.

Maximum Air Pressure

The maximum air pressure of a 20 gallon air compressor provides users with nights on the air compressor’s limit and the pressure it can handle inside the tank.

This makes it very suitable to keep for people who want to use it for certain applications which require high air pressure.

Maximum air pressure is measured by pounds per square inch (PSI) Most 20 gallon air compressors have PSI of 120 and more. One benefit of purchasing a 20 gallon air compressor with a higher PSI range is the ability to power up as many tools as possible.


Read: Best Air Compressor For Impact Wrench


Motor Power

The motor power of the air compressor you intend to purchase is also very important. This is because a powerful motor of an air compressor is responsible for storing the air inside the air tank.

It’s important to note that air compressors that have higher motor power are capable of handling tanks much quicker than others.


Duty Cycle

The duty cycle of a 20 gallon air compressor is represented in percentage format.  It expresses the number of times the air compressor can run in a 10 minute duration.

It’s important to note that most industrial range compressors have at least 75% duty cycle. This simply means they can run continuously without issues like overheating.


Power Source

It’s important to consider whether you prefer a gas-powered or electric powered air compressor.


Gas-Powered Air Compressors

For people who want  portable air compressors, this is the best option to go in for.

One major advantage of using gas-powered air compressors over the electric ones is the ability to use them even when no electrical outlet is available at the site as all they require is gas.

The downside of gas-powered air compressors is that they emit fumes which are very dangerous especially when used indoors.


Power Requirements

The amperage of an air compressor is very important to always consider. Most 20 gallon air compressors have very large motors and as such, they need more power than other portable compressors.

For effective performance,  most of them require at least 120V power and 20A for providing effective performance.


Oil- Less  or Oil-Free

The best 20 gallon air compressors are available in oil-free and oiling models. This makes it a difficult task especially for beginners when choosing the one that best fits their needs.


Oil- Free Air Compressors

These are the new versions in the air compressor market.  They come with a Teflon coating.  This is used to coat the inner components of the air compressor and as a result,  they are able to last for around 2000 hours of usage.

Their downside is, as you start using the air compressor, the coating will start wearing off slowly and with time, stop working.


Oil-filling Air Compressors

These models are known for their affordable, less maintenance and lightweight models. They are less noisy which makes them suitable for use in residential or quieter environments.

For you to choose the best one, it is important to analyse the pros and cons of each type. For example, oil filling features are very durable and operate at very low noise levels. This makes them suitable for industrial purposes and long working hours.

On the other hand,  oil-free compressors are light weight in design and they require less maintenance. This makes them suitable for domestic and residential purposes.


Tank Style

Most 20 gallon air compressors come in vertical or horizontal styles.

Vertical air compressors are very stable and very easy to move around. On the other hand, the vertical ones have small footprints and as such, they don’t need to take up much  space for storage.




What can I do with a 20-gallon air compressor?

You can use a 20-gallon air compressor for multiple things ranging form business use to come rival purposes and simple, easy DIY home projects.


How Long Does a 20 Gallon Air Compressor Tank Last?

Air compressors usually have a long life. They can be used for  at least 20 to 30 years.  That is about 40,000 to 60,000 hours of continuous work.


Can a 20 gallon compressor run on an impact wrench?

A 20-gallon air compressor can run an impact wrench for up to ½ inch drive. They are basically suitable for running ratchets or inflating tires.


Read: Best Leaf Blower For Drying Cars


Final Thoughts

We believe this article will go a long way to the help you choose the right 20-gallon air compressor that best fits your needs.

We also recommend that you consider what types of projects you’re likely going to use your air compressor for before making settling on the best 20-gallon air compressor to get on for.