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Best Quiet Air Compressor: Our Top 10 Picks

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It may not initially seem important to find the best quiet air compressor, but on the worksite you'll quickly realize it's value. Let's face it, owning an air compressor gives you the ability to use a wide range of pneumatic tools. There are drills, impact wrenches, specialized air cleaners, and even airbrushes. Although all of these tools can make your job easier, there's no denying that the project can get noisy.

Air compressors are always going to generate some noise, but that doesn't mean that you can't purchase a relatively quiet air compressor which is suitable for projects around your home or garage, or even on a worksite. This article covers the ten best low noise air compressors on the market, to help you get started in choosing the right unit for your needs.


Top 3 Quiet Air Compressors: Quick Glance

Although we'll show you ten of our favorites, for those of you that simply want to jump to the bottom line, here's the three best quiet air compressors we've seen. Each of these units come in under 60-dBs and all are top performing air compressors. You can read more about each one (as well as our other top picks) in more detail in the next section.

California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor, Silver
Rolair JC10 Plus 1 HP Oil-Less Compressor
California Air Tools CAT-4610A Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free 1.0 Hp 4.6-Gallon Aluminum Twin Tank Air Compressor
California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S
Rolair JC10 Plus
California Air Tools CAT-4610A
Loudness
56 dB
60 dB
60 dB
Tank Size
1 Gallon
2.5 Gallon
4.6 Gallon Twin
CFM @ PSI
1.20 CFM @ 90 PSI
2.35 CFM @ 90 PSI
2.20 CFM @ 90 PSI
Motor
0.6 HP Oil-Free pump
1.0 HP Electric Powered
Oil-Free Dual Piston Pump System
RPM
1680 RPM
1725 RPM
1680 RPM
Price
$112.76
$272.00
Price not available
California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor, Silver
California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S
Loudness
56 dB
Tank Size
1 Gallon
CFM @ PSI
1.20 CFM @ 90 PSI
Motor
0.6 HP Oil-Free pump
RPM
1680 RPM
Price
$112.76
Rolair JC10 Plus 1 HP Oil-Less Compressor
Rolair JC10 Plus
Loudness
60 dB
Tank Size
2.5 Gallon
CFM @ PSI
2.35 CFM @ 90 PSI
Motor
1.0 HP Electric Powered
RPM
1725 RPM
Price
$272.00
California Air Tools CAT-4610A Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free 1.0 Hp 4.6-Gallon Aluminum Twin Tank Air Compressor
California Air Tools CAT-4610A
Loudness
60 dB
Tank Size
4.6 Gallon Twin
CFM @ PSI
2.20 CFM @ 90 PSI
Motor
Oil-Free Dual Piston Pump System
RPM
1680 RPM
Price
Price not available


Safety Equipment on a Table

Best Quiet Air Compressors: 10 of our Favorites

These are our ten favorite quiet air compressors. Each unit that made our list is below 76-dB and is a solid choice if you're looking to keep your workspace quiet. 

California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S

The California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S tops our list as the quietest air compressor. The surprisingly powerful 0.6 HP motor operates at only 1680 RPM, and is a single piston pump designed for at least a 3000+ hour life cycle before showing signs of wear. Far exceeding the majority of compressors in the same class which can only offer 250 hours.

California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor, Silver

Noise Level

Tank Size

HP

Weight

CFM / PSI

56 dB

1.0-gallon

0.6 HP

29.5-lbs

1.2 CFM @ 90 PSI

The oil-free motor produces only 56 dB of noise, and is so quiet you'll hardly even know it's running. The 1.0-gallon steel tank makes the CAT-1P1060S very portable and easy to take from one job site to another. Producing 1.2 CFM @ 90 PSI it can easily manage staple guns, finish nail guns, airbrushes, and blow guns.

California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S is a perfect choice for cleaning, inflating tires and sport balls, and handling other smaller projects. It is truly one of the quietest air compressors on the market today. 


Rolair JC10 Plus

The Rolair JC10 Plus is an excellent 1-HP air compressor which provides respectable performance. Weighing-in at just over 40-pounds, the solid steel frame roll cage makes this air compressor very portable and provides exceptional protection to the tank, gauges, and motor.

Rolair JC10 Plus 1 HP Oil-Less Compressor

Noise Level

Tank Size

HP

Weight

CFM / PSI

60 dB

2.5-gallon

1.0 HP

42.9-lbs

2.35 CFM @ 90 PSI

The JC10 is engineered with a single stage air compressor, and the oil-less design means less maintenance. The unit runs quiet at only 60 dB and is an excellent choice for operating inflation devices, staplers, nail guns and cleaning air guns. It drives 2.35 CFM @ 90 PSI. Read our full review HERE.


DeWalt DWFP55130

DeWalt is one of the most trusted names in power tools and accessories, and the DWFP55130 is no exception. It's a heavy-duty air compressor that strikes an excellent balance between price, performance, and low noise (just 71.5 dB).

DEWALT Air Compressor for Trim, 200-PSI Max, Quiet Operation (DWFP55130)

Noise Level

Tank Size

HP

Weight

CFM / PSI

71.5 dB

2.5-gallon

1.1 HP

36-lbs

3.0 SCFM @ 90 PSI

Built with a 2.5-gallon tank and an oil-free pump, the DeWalt DWFP55130 has the ability of driving a max of 200 PSI, in other words, this air compressor means business. At just 36-lbs, it's lightweight enough to carry from job-to-job, but the integrated handle and well-balanced design makes the DWFP55130 especially portable.

Rated at driving 3.0 CFM @ 90 PSI, this is a great quiet air compressor for anyone working with pneumatic tools for trim work, light carpentry, flooring, or other job site or home DIY projects. Read our full review HERE.


DeWalt D55140

The DeWalt D55140 is not just dependable and efficient, but it's also compact and lightweight (just 24-lbs). It's a good choice for onsite jobs, and the protective roll cage adds an additional level of security from damage.

DEWALT Air Compressor, 135-PSI Max, 1 Gallon (D55140)

Noise Level

Tank Size

HP

Weight

CFM / PSI

69 dB

1.0-gallon

0.3 HP

24-lbs

0.75 SCFM @ 90 PSI

The D55140 is an oil-free, hand-carry compressor with a one-gallon tank. It can drive a maximum of 135-PSI, and is ideal for finish carpenters and woodworkers, testing plumbing lines or tackling a remodeling project. It runs quiet at a 69-dB sound level, and is equipped with an oil-free, long-life pump. 

If you're looking for power, you'll be better suited with the DeWalt DWFP55130, but if you need a portable compressor for lightweight tasks, this is an excellent choice. 


Campbell Hausfeld DC060500

You may have noticed that some of the quietest air compressors are also the smallest, and they work great for performing intermittent work such as nailing or stapling. However, if you run continuous flow tools, such as inflators or an airbrush, then you're going to need a bigger tank. The Campbell Hausfeld offers the best of both worlds. The DC060500 produces just 68 dB of noise, yet it delivers 2.4 CFM @ 90 PSI.

Campbell Hausfeld 6 Gallon Portable Quiet Air Compressor (DC060500)

Noise Level

Tank Size

HP

Weight

CFM / PSI

68 dB

6.0-gallon

1.0 HP

62-lbs

2.4 CFM @ 90 PSI

Outfitted with a Dual Piston Pump System which is designed for durability and high performance, the DC060500 can deliver 25% more air than other 1.0 HP air compressors. In addition, to superior motor performance, the oil-free pump is engineered to provide maintenance-free operation for extended periods of time.

Campbell Hausfeld began building horse-drawn wagons and agricultural equipment in 1836 which makes them a true pioneer in the manufacturing world. Today, they are considered "The Air Power Expert" because of their complete line of air compressors, air tools, nailers, staplers, paint sprayers and pressure washers. 


DeWalt Pancake DWFP55126

The DeWalt Pancake DWFP55126 offers a noise level of 75.5 dB, which is one of the louder compressors on our top ten list. Even so, it falls into the ultra-quiet category of quiet air compressors, and you can expect a peaceful work setting.

DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, 165 PSI (DWFP55126)

Noise Level

Tank Size

HP

Weight

CFM / PSI

75.5 dB

6.0-gallon

0.9 HP

30-lbs

2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI

The DeWalt DWFP55126 is built with a long-life, oil free pump which requires little to no maintenance, and the 6.0 gallon tank allows the user to enjoy a long tool run time with rapid recovery. Because this unit can produce 2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI it can outperform many other air compressors in its category.

The DWFP55126 is an excellent choice for artists and anyone performing hobby painting, automotive work, or other paintwork.  It's lightweight design makes it easily transported from one location to another, and since it's outfitted with two universal couplers, it can easily support two users at the same time!

Even construction professionals enjoy using the DWFP55126. The 6-gallon tank provides a decent amount of air storage for pneumatic tools, and the high flow regulator and couplers maximize the air tool's performance. Read our full review HERE.


Senco PC1010N

The Senco PC1010N Hot Dog Air Compressor is the upgraded version of Senco's popular PC1010 unit. The biggest change between the two is the max PSI increase. The older version was set at 125 PSI, and the new PC1010N is now 135 PSI. But Senco also upgraded the roll cage to provide better protection to the gauges and added an integrated control panel. 

Senco PC1010N 1/2 Hp Finish & Trim Portable Hot Dog Compressor, Grey

Noise Level

Tank Size

HP

Weight

CFM / PSI

68 dB

1.0-gallon

.50 HP

21-lbs

.70 SCFM @ 90 PSI

Engineered with an oil-free pump and a long-life induction motor, the need for regular maintenance is virtually eliminated. The 1-gallon tank can fill in under 2-minutes and recover in roughly 30-seconds, which makes this a perfect air compressor for light duty and punch list work among professionals, it's also loved by DIYer's and hobbyists.

The PC1010N compressor is ultra-quiet and delivers 68 dB of noise. The 1/4" coupler is a universal design which makes it compatible with a variety of top manufacturer air tools.


California Air Tools CAT-4610A

The California Air Tools CAT-4610A weighs-in at 44-pounds, despite it's two tank design. The aluminum twin tanks can store up to 4.6 gallons. The CAT-4610A is considered an Ultra-Quiet Air Compressor because it delivers only 60 dBs of sound. It's among the quietest of compressors on the market today.

California Air Tools CAT-4610A Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free 1.0 Hp 4.6-Gallon Aluminum Twin Tank Air Compressor

Noise Level

Tank Size

HP

Weight

CFM / PSI

60 dB

4.6-gallon

1.0 HP

44-lbs

2.20 CFM @ 90 PSI

Equipped with a powerful 1.0 HP motor that operates at only 1680 RPM, and an Oil-Free Dual Piston Pump, the CAT-4610A is ideal for onsite use on uneven surfaces and in cold temperatures. It's a good choice for operating staplers, nail guns, cleaning guns and inflation devices. The control panel provides two 1/4-inch quick release connectors, which allows two tools to be used simultaneously.


California Air Tools 15020C

Just because you want to buy a quiet air compressor doesn't mean you have to compromise on heavy duty performance. The California Air Tools 15020C is a good example of a powerful air compressor that can still maintain a quiet workplace.

California Air Tools 15020C Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 2.0 Hp 15.0 gallon Steel Tank Air Compressor

Noise Level

Tank Size

HP

Weight

CFM / PSI

70 dB

15-gallon

2.0 HP

90-lbs

5.30 CFM @ 90 PSI

California Air Tools has built one of the quietest 2.0 HP air compressors on the market. At 70 dB, this ultra-quiet air compressor is equipped with a powerful motor which operates at only 1680 RPM. The oil-free dual Piston Pump System is designed for 3000+ hours of operation before wear, which is a huge advancement above other comparable air compressors with a life cycle of 500 hours or less. You can even expect easy starts in cold weather.

But with all the additional power this air compressor brings to the table, it is also larger and heavier. The large 15-gallon air tank and 90-pound overall weight, makes the 15020C less mobile. However, the wheel kit allows you to easily move it from one position to another. If you're looking for a powerful and quiet air compressor, the California Air Tools 15020C should be on your shortlist!


Campbell Hausfeld DC080500

Similar in design to the California Air Tools 15020C, the Campbell Hausfeld Portable Quiet Air Compressor DC080500 features a large 8-gallon hot-dog style tank, an electric motor, and delivers just 68 dB of noise. This is the ideal compressor for continuous flow work, or for tools which require a significant amount of compressed air.

Campbell Hausfeld 8 Gallon Portable Quiet Air Compressor (DC080500)

Noise Level

Tank Size

HP

Weight

CFM / PSI

68 dB

8-gallon

1.0 HP

67-lbs

2.40 SCFM @ 90 PSI

The dual Piston Pump System delivers 25% more compressed air than other single horsepower compressors in it's class. The oil-free pump is virtually maintenance-free and provides excellent performance and durability. Painting, inflating, stapling, and nailing are just a few of the ideal uses for this air compressor. 


dB sound meter

How to Buy the Best Quiet Air Compressor

When shopping for the best quiet air compressor there are a few factors to consider as you begin your research.

Purpose: Why are you purchasing an air compressor? The kind of work you do will play a big role in the type of air compressor you need. Including the noise level of the air compressor. It's also important to note that quiet air compressors tend to be more expensive. 

Noise Level: The amount of noise an air compressor makes is measured in decibels (dB), which is non-linear. With each 10-decibels of sound pressure, the noise level actually doubles. So in other words, moving from 20-dB to 30-dB will double the noise level, since 30-dB is twice the amount of noise as 20-dB. Move from 20-dB to 40-dB is now four times the noise level of 20-dB. 

When the sound pressure reaches 85-dB or above, permanent hearing loss can occur, especially when the noise is ongoing. Wearing protective hearing gear can help. As a general rule, air compressors fall into the 70 to 90-dB noise level range, so finding a quiet air compressor can not only protect your hearing, but also provide you a more enjoyable work experience.

Tank Size: The size of tank you'll need depends on the tools you'll be using. Tank sizes are frequently measured in gallons, but you'll also need to factor in the compressor's pressure. These two measurements will give you the amount of compressed air the tank can store. Most tanks range between 1-gallon and 30-gallons, with the average tank size being 6-gallons.

Maintenance: Most people are looking for an air compressor that's relatively easy to maintain, so putting a little extra effort on this topic can save you hours of time in the future. An oil-free air compressor is one example that requires minimal maintenance. 

Man looking at an air compressor

What Makes an Air Compressor Quiet

You might be wondering what sets quiet air compressors apart from their noisy cousins. To be honest, they operate the same. But there are modifications made to the compressor that allows it to run quiet. The top three things that make an air compressor quiet are:

  • Power Source - Buy an electric powered air compressor instead of gas powered.
  • Low-RPM - Look for a compressor pump with low-RPM's.
  • Rubber Isolation Pads - Rubber is an excellent material to absorb sound and vibrations.

How to Reduce Air Compressor Noise

If you currently own a noisy air compressor, you'll be happy to know that there are a few things you can do to help quiet it down. Read our comprehensive article on how to reduce your air compressor's noise to learn more.

PSI tire gauge

Understanding Air Compressor PSI & CFM

We're not going to get too technical here, but you should be familiar with the performance metrics of PSI and CFM.

Pounds per Square Inch (PSI) indicates the amount of force in a particular area. The higher the PSI, the more pressure the air compressor can deliver. Since the majority of tools need at least 90 PSI to operate, the average air compressor has at least 90 PSI.

Generally speaking, it's best to purchase an air compressor where the PSI can be adjusted through regulation valves or gauges, rather than simply buying a unit with a high PSI.

Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) indicates the volume of air the compressor can release per minute. This metric is important because it determines how your air tools perform. Air tools have different CFM requirements and the air compressor needs to be able to meet these needs.

An air compressor with a high CFM can be used for industrial applications, where one with a low CFM may be ideal for inflating tires.

Striking the right PSI and CFM rating balance to your needs is the best way to buy the quietest air compressor that isn't overkill when it comes to power.

stethoscope on a book

Quiet Air Compressors' and Your Health

Using an air compressor that produces low amounts of noise is about more than just convenience. Loud power tools can cause hearing fatigue which can lead to headaches, or even temporary ringing in your ears. With prolonged exposure, particularly over longer working days, permanent hearing damage can occur.

A quiet air compressor should always be your first line of defense when it comes to protecting your hearing. Although we do recommend wearing ear protection, there are always times when you can't find your ear plugs or ear muffs. Simply put, having a quiet air compressor will not only help you protect your hearing, but it'll also provide an overall better job experience. 

Last update on 2020-10-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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