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Best Air Compressors For Auto Bodywork

Table of Contents

Finding the right air compressor for auto bodywork can be difficult. There are hundreds of options to choose from. But fear not, we made it easy for you and have put to a short list of the best air compressors for auto bodywork.

Each vary in style, performance, and of course budget. We are pretty sure that one of these 5 air compressors will be the right fit to complete your cars bodywork.

The models recommended are more suited to home owners, maybe side businesses or someone how likes to restore or repair cars as a hobby.

If you are looking for a commercial use air compressor that will be required to full car resprays; then maybe option 1 is your go-to.

Best Air Compressors For Auto Bodywork

Best Air Compressors For Auto Bodywork

Here are my top 5 options that I feel are the best air compressors for auto bodywork.

They vary in budget, performance, and size but there should be an option that will suit your own requirements.

Let’s get into it.

1. Powermate Vx PLA4708065 – Best Overall

Powermate Vx PLA4708065 80-Gallon Electric Air Compressor
  • Features a Powerful 240-Volt, 15-Amp Motor that Delivers 4.7-HP
  • Offers a 155-PSI Maximum Pressure
  • Provides 14-CFM at 90-PSI for Longer Air Tool Run Times on Ratchets, Impacts, Spray Guns and Hammers
  • Features a 80-Gallon Capacity Tank Durably Built from Steel
  • Includes a Oil-Lubricated Pump with a 1-Piece Cast-Iron Crankcase and a Full Cast-Iron Cylinder Body

Last update on 2024-06-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Up first we are going for something heavy duty and our best overall option when it comes to performance.

Powermate are a very well known manufacture of air compressors.

Their compressors are made in the USA using domestic and globally sourced parts.

The Powermate 80 Gallon features a powerful 240v, 15-Amp motor that boasts 4.7HP and up to a max of 155 PSI.

The standout feature here is the 80 Gallon tank built from steel and cast iron.

The build quality can be seen with the cast iron 3 cylinder pump that has an aluminum head, stainless steel valves, oil level, and the heavy-duty dual voltage induction motor.

You can easily push out 14 CFM at 90 PSI which makes this a great all rounder and one of the best air compressors for auto bodywork.

Connect spray guns, buffers, ratchets – whatever you need, the Powermade VX 80 can do power it.

A wired belt offers excellent cooling and also keep is safe from any drops or falls to protect any moving parts.

As you can probably already guess, this option is a station air compressor;

So if you are looking for an option that can move around the garage, this probably isn’t it.

Overall this is a pretty powerful and reliable air compressor but also hits the higher price bracket; coming in around $1000.

In my opinion, the Powermate Vx PLA4708065 is the best air compressor for auto bodywork.

  • High Quality
  • Made In The USA
  • 80 Gallon Tank
  • Up To 155 PSI
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • Expensive
  • Stationary
  • Might need help setting it up

2. NorthStar Single-Stage Portable Electric Air Compressor – Best Runner UP

NorthStar Single-Stage Portable Electric Air Compressor - 2 HP, 20-Gallon Vertical, 5.0 CFM
  • 2 HP 115V/230V 15/7.5 Amp dual voltage induction motor
  • 2-cylinder cast iron single-stage pump
  • Delivers 5.0 CFM @ 90 PSI; 6.0 CFM @ 40 PSI
  • Comes wired for 115V operation with a 6ft. cord and plug
  • Can be rewired for 230V by a qualified electrician

Last update on 2024-06-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Next up is our runner up option from NorthStar. This is one of the best air compressors for working on cars with its heavy-duty build, 20-gallon tank, and long pump life.

The Northstar is designed for optimal performance to allow you to keep working without any interruptions. One surprising thing is how quiet this air compressor is.

The oil-lubricated belt runs very quietly. This is great if your garage is connected to your house or if you have nagging neighbors who love to complain about the noise.

The NorthStar has a 20-gallon tank that portable and easy to move around the garage.

You get heavy-duty steel ball-bearing wheels, so you don’t need to worry about flat tires from any loose nails around the garage or anything.

Unlike many air compressors on the market, the NorthStar stands vertically making it easy to store if you are little caught for space. A great addition to a private garage or small repair garage.

One major problem with a lot of air compressors is heat; and how it affects how long a pump lasts.

The NorthStar has a V style cylinder to avoid any hotspots emerging and provides cooling for longer-lasting pumps.

Personally, I love when a company offers excellent support and goes the extra mile for its customers.

If you have an issue, their repair staff will come onsite and fix your air compressor for you.

The price range for this one is slightly on the higher side but still very well priced considering the quality of air compressor you are getting.

  • 20 Gallon Tank
  • Can Be Easily Moved Around The Work Area
  • Quickly Charges To Full Pressure
  • Heavy-Duty Tires
  • Good Price Considering The Performance
  • 4 Year Warranty For Consumer Use
  • 2 Year Warranty For Commercial Use
  • Can Be A Little Top Heavy
  • Does Not Ship With Oil

3. CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor – Best Budget Option

CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free with 13 Piece Accessory Kit (CMEC6150K)
  • The portable air compressor is proudly made in the USA with Global Materials in Jackson, Tennessee
  • PORTABLE: 6 gallon capacity maximizes portability and stored air for CRAFTSMAN air compressor
  • NO MAINTENANCE: Durable, oil-free pump of the 6 gallon air compressor is made for long-life and no maintenance
  • PRESSURE: 150 Max PSI to ensure adequate cut-inch pressure for a variety of applications
  • QUICK RECOVERY TIME: 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI allows for quick compressor recovery time

Last update on 2024-06-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are looking for one of the best air compressors for auto bodywork but you have a small budget; the Craftsman Air Compressor could be the one for you.

There’s two great things about this model; the 13 piece accessory kit that comes with it and the price tag.

Let’s look at the price tag first. You can pick up on the Craftsman air compressor on Amazon for about $125 or $165 if you want the additional tools.

If you are looking for an air compressor that does a bit of everything like every day work but also some body work to your car; this might be for you.

However, if you plan to do some full-body spray work; I would maybe look at the 80 Gallon Powermate instead.

The craftsman is a good fit for wrenches, ratchets and very light jobs with a spray gun.

If you want one of the best air compressors for painting cars; I would consider our first recommendation (Powermate Vx PLA4708065).

4. Stealth 12 Gallon Air Compressor – Alternative Option 1

Stealth 12 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor, 1.5 HP Oil-Free Peak 150 PSI 68 Decibel Air Compressor,5 CFM @ 40 PSI 4 CFM @ 90 PSI Silent Portable Long Life Electric Air Compressor W/Wheel for Garage
  • ❤【POWERFUL & SAVE WORRY】Powerful induction motor generates 1.5 horsepower power; 12 gallon oil-free air compressor features free of maintenance
  • ❤【ULTRA QUIET & LONG LIFE】Stealth’s innovative quiet systems features ultra quiet noise level low to 68 decibels and long-life cycle more than 1000 hours
  • ❤【QUICK RECOVERY】Peak 150 PSI, 5 CFM @ 40 PSI and 4 CFM @ 90PSI allows the compressor to recover quickly after its initial tank charge is exhausted
  • ❤【STABLE & MOBILE】Stable heavy duty Q235B steel tank body with 7 inch rubber reinforced wheels features easy mobility
  • ❤【WHAT YOU GET】Stealth SAQ-11215 Air Compressor x 1, 6’ Electric Cord x 1, User Manual x 1, Lifetime Limited Warranty

Last update on 2024-06-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are looking for an air compressor for automotive work, the Stealth 12 gallon is definitely one to consider.

What we immediately like about the Stealth 12 gallon is the design. It’s pretty nice looking with the cool dark blue finish.

The motor, gauges, and controls sit conveniently on top of the tank; so it’s easy to get to without bending down like you would have to with more horizontal type air compressors.

It’s easy to move around the garage; which is perfect for any home or small repair shop garage. You also get a 6ft cord, rubber grip handle, and heavy-duty tires for easy moving from car to car.

The Stealth 12 gallon’s peak performance is at 150 PSI but you get 4 CFM @ 90 PSI.

This is a great air compressor for working on cars; you can fill tires and connect wrenches, ratchets, and spray guns.

The oil-free induction motor means its low cost to use and requires less maintenance.

This air compressor is very quiet. With noise decibels around 68; you will have no problem having a conversation with someone in the room using this.

The Stealth 12 Gallon is nicely priced also. This will set you back around $300 and a limited lifetime warranty; which isn’t too bad.

  • Quick Delivery
  • Oil-Free Compressor
  • Ultra Quiet
  • Heavy Duty Quality
  • 7inch Reinforced Wheels
  • Easy To Move From Car To Car
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Not The Best Choice For A Full Body Spray

5. California 8010 Air Compressor – Alternative Option 2

California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor | Ultra Quiet, Oil-Free, 1.0 hp, 8 gal
  • Comes complete with Wheel Kit & Air Filter | No hose included | Consider you will need a ¼” Universal / Industrial Male Quick Connector to attach your hose to the air compressor
  • Product dimensions – 26" L x 14" W x 23” H | Max Pressure – 120 PSI | Voltage – 110V / 60 Hz | Min running watts – 2500 | Noise level – 60 dBA | Max Continuous run time – 30-60 min (depending on PSI & CFM) | Low Amp Draw – 8.5 Amps
  • Oil-Free Pump for Less Maintenance & Costs | Powerful 1.0 HP (Rated / Running) 2.0 HP (Peak) Motor
  • The large 8.0 Gallon Steel Air Tank is Lightweight (48 lbs) and the wheel kit makes it very easy to transport
  • The Oil-Free pump allows for use in a variety of temperatures and uneven terrains | This air compressor is ideal for anyone working inside where noise is a major issue

Last update on 2024-06-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The California 8010 is designed to be externally quiet and one of the quietest available on the market with its low noise level 1.0 HP motor producing only 60 decibels.

If you live in an area where noise could be an issue or maybe your garage is connected to the house; this one could be the one for you.

The 8010 performs very well and is also very durable using an oil-free dual-piston pump system with over 3000 hours lifecycle.

You get a max pressure of 120 PSI with the

The California 8010 is low weight and portable with an 8-gallon tank, back wheels and pull handle makes it easy to move around the garage.

Since the 8010 is oil-free, it’s easy to maintain, low cost, and can be used in colder conditions.

  • Extremely Quiet
  • Great For Using In Private Garages
  • Low Weight
  • Back Wheels & Tow Handle
  • Oil-Free
  • Low Maintenance
  • Fast Filling
  • Attractive Price
  • Has A Tendency To Get Warm


best air compressors for auto bodywork

Here are some popular FAQ’s that buyers often have that might be of some help to you.

What Size Air Compressors Do You Need to Work on Cars?

This can be a little hard to answer; but largely depends on what work you plan to do on your car and is it for commercial or private use.

There are also a few things to consider like the PSI, HP, and also CFM.

If you are buying an air compressor for doing some bodywork on your car, you should only focus on PSI and CFM when making your buying decision and I explain why below.

If you would like to know some more about the specifics behind PSI, CFM, and HP for air compressors, you can check out the Compressor Air Blog.

What Does PSI Mean?

Pounds per square inch (PSI), is one of the most important part of know what air compressor you should be for your car.

PSI measures the amount of pressure placed on a square inch of space.

For impact wrenches, ratchets, buffers and spray guns; you will likely need an air compressor with about 90 PSI

What Does HP Mean?

Horse Power is often incorrectly looked at when purchasing an air compressor for auto bodywork.

The highest horsepower air compressor doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best one; even though its often looked at that way due to marketing.

HP (Horse Power) is the amount of work a motor can do. As I mentioned, HP is not as important as it’s often let on.

Modern-day air compressors can perform quiet well now with quiet low HP. The pressure and flow of the compressor is more important; the lower HP will also use up less energy.

What Does CFM Mean?

Cubic feet per minute (CPM) is the flow of your air compressor. The higher CFM allows for more airflow that allows you to use a higher range of tools.

PSI is still the most important factor when buying an air compressor for auto bodywork, but CFM is also good to consider.

If you are buying an air compressor to work on cars; and plan to do some spray painting, CFM is very important as they need more airflow but with a generally low PSI.

Final Thoughts – Best Air Compressor For Auto Bodywork

Best Air Compressors For Auto Bodywork

Choosing the right air compressor for you is all down to what you need to use it for.

If you plan to do a lot of spray painting and buffing for example; you will need a compressor with a good CFM like the Powermate and NorthStar air compressors.

If you plan on doing small jobs and auto bodywork; then I would definitely consider the Stealth 12 Gallon and California 8010.

If you are tight on budget or do not want to spend a whole of money, the Craftsman is a great option.

The reason being is you get the option to add an accessory and tool kit that makes it to the perfect for an all-round compressor for doing everyday jobs. A great addition to any personal garage.

I hope you enjoyed my post discussing the best air compressors for auto bodywork and it helps you make the right decision.


Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission.

Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases.

The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

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