Best Quietest Air Compressor – 5 Options Under 60 Decibels

We use compressors in different ways. You can power nail guns, fill tires, airbrushes, paint sprayers, and other pneumatic equipment. Compressors are helpful but have a lot of noise, which is annoying. 

Fortunately, advanced technology has designed new models with less noise.

Key Takeaways

  • Standard air compressors have noise ranging from 80 to 90 decibels.
  • Using noisy compressors for an extended period without hearing protection can harm your ears.
  • Quiet air compressors can have a noise level of about 60 decibels.

This article is a guide to the quietest air compressors. Note that it is a well-researched review, and every product listed is the best in the given category. Read through to learn more. 

Which Are the Quietest Air Compressors?

The quietest air compressors are as follows.

Reciprocating Air Compressors

Reciprocating air compressors use pistons to power the motor, scooping air while rising and falling. These air compressors are quieter than single-stage compressors since they can create enough air with just a few revolutions.

Rotary screw Air Compressors

While a reciprocating air compressor is quiet, a rotary screw air compressor is more silent. This air compressor has two separate helical screws working in unison to get the job done. Note that the two screws do not come in contact with each other, making them quieter.

Besides having a quiet operation, the rotary screw air compressors do not overheat, thanks to their design. Also, since the screws don’t touch each other, the air compressor is quiet, and you’ll not need hearing protection when using them. Therefore, you can use this air compressor in smaller spaces.

Scroll Air Compressors

Consider a scroll air compressor if you want the quietest and most comfortable operation. Of the three, it is the quietest. Besides producing less noise, this compressor is also more efficient than other air compressors, making them more expensive than the others. 

Scroll air compressors use two spiral-shaped metal plates to compress air. The two plates rotate around each other in a circular motion to achieve the desired compression. The air compressor maintains a quiet operation all day, and they don’t overheat. Thus, you can use it for continuous operation without wearing hearing protection.

Best Quietest Air Compressors Summary:

 

How Many Decibels Is a Quiet Air Compressor?

Most air compressors have 40 decibels to 92 decibels noise level range, representing a wide margin. However, the quietest air compressors have a noise level of about 60 decibels. To make you understand better, a 30-decibel noise level is the same as whispering. A typical conversation has a 60-decibel noise level, while a lawn mower has a noise level of up to 90 decibels. 

Most rotary screw air compressors have noise levels ranging from 70 to 75 decibels. This noise level is the same as the noise a busy highway produces. On the other hand, reciprocating air compressors operate at higher noise levels. Typically, they operate at 85 decibels (dB), making them much noisier.

Scroll air compressors, being the quietest, operate at 60 decibels noise level.

 

Is Higher CFM Better Air Compressor?

CFM represents cubic feet per minute, showing the air compressor’s flow rate. In simple terms, it is the air amount an air compressor produces at a particular pressure. Air compressors with higher CMF have more air, making them ideal for demanding applications. 

Small air tools ideal for general use require less than 5 CFM with a pressure range of 70 to 90 pounds per square inch. However, large appliances require more than 10CFM at pressure levels between 100 and 120 PSI. 

However, CFM has nothing to do with the air compressor quality. A higher CFM air compressor is not any better. CFM and pressure requirements are the rating units for appliances operating on compressed air. The air compressor must produce sufficient air volume at a minimum pressure to power up operations.

  

Are Screw Compressors Quieter?

Yes, screw compressors are quieter. This air compressor has two helical screws working in unison without coming into contact with each other, making them quieter. They are quieter than reciprocating air compressors—but noisier than scroll air compressors. 

Besides having a quiet operation, the rotary screw air compressors do not overheat, thanks to their design. Also, since the screws don’t touch each other, the air compressor is quiet, and you’ll not need hearing protection when using them. Therefore, you can use this air compressor in smaller spaces.

 

What Are the Best Quietest Air Compressors?

The best quietest air compressors are as follows. 

Best Overall Quietest Air Compressor

California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor

California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor | Ultra Quiet, Oil-Free, 1.0 hp, 8 gal

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Specs

  • Volume: 8 gallons
  • Decibels: 60 dB
  • CFM: 2.2 CFM
  • Power source: coded electricity

The California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor is a quiet air compressor commonly used for blow cleaning, nailing, inflating, and airbrushing.

This air compressor has a capacity of 8 gallons. Besides, it has an oil-free dual-piston air pump and 1-hp motor, which produces 2.2 CFM at 90 psi. However, it can stretch to 120 psi for medium-duty tasks. 

It has two wheels, making it easy to transport this air compressor (48 lbs is quite a hustle transporting without wheels). 

Due to its low noise levels, you can use this air compressor indoors and outdoors.

Pros

  • It has large wheels, making it easy to transport on uneven grounds.
  • 8 gallons is sufficient to operate the air compressor for an extended duration
  • With 60 decibels, this air compressor is quieter
  • It has excellent airflow. 

Cons

  • It has a bulky design.

Check the California Air Tools 8010’s latest prices on Amazon

Best Quietest Air Compressor for Garage

California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor

California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor

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Specs

  • Volume: 20 gallons
  • Decibels: 70 dB
  • CFM: 5.3 CFM
  • Weight: 115 lbs

The California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor is the best you can use in your home garage. This air compressor has sufficient airflow and more power with constant maintenance.

The air compressor has a 2-hp dual-piston pump ideal for heavy-duty air power. It has a 20-gallon steel air tank, enough to last longer. It fills the tank with a pressure of 125 psi. 

This air compressor is highly efficient and energy-saving. It saves energy because its Easy Start function lowers starting amps.

The air compressor has a quiet operation with 70 decibels noise level. It produces 5.3 CFM at 90 psi to power demanding air appliances. 

Its hand truck style ensures easy transportation around the garage. 

Pros

  • Large gallon air tank
  • Easy to transport
  • High CFM at 90 psi
  • Easy Start system saves energy

Cons

  • This air compressor takes up a lot of storage space.

Best Quietest Pancake Air Compressor

Campbell Hausfeld 6 Gallon Portable Quiet Air Compressor

Campbell Hausfeld 6 Gallon Portable Quiet Air Compressor (DC060500)

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Specs

  • Volume: 6 gallons
  • Decibels:68dB
  • CFM: 2.4Cfm
  • Power source: AC

Pancake air compressor got their name from their flattened tank design. Campbell Hausfeld 6 Gallon Portable Quiet Air Compressor is the best quietest air compressor if you want a pancake air compressor. 

It has a dual-piston oil-free pump with fewer maintenance requirements. Besides, it has a 1750 RPM single phase 1-hp motor that delivers 2.4 CFM at 90 psi, more than what California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor offers. Its maximum pressure is 125 psi, meant for heavy-duty applications. 

You can use this air compressor for light household use, including powering staplers, nailers, air dusting, and tire inflation, among other uses.

Pros

  • Quiet operation
  • Has minimal maintenance requirements
  • Highly efficient for small household applications
  • Has a low current requirement

Cons

  • This air compressor has no wheels and might be challenging to transport on uneven ground.

Check the Campbell Hausfeld 6 Gallon’s latest prices on Amazon

Best Portable Quiet Air Compressor (Super Light Weight)

California Air Tools 2010A Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free Air Compressor

California Air Tools 2010A Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free 1.0 HP 2.0-Gallon Aluminum Tank Air Compressor,Silver & Hybrider Flex 1:4in 25ft Hybrid Air Hose

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Specs

  • Volume: 2 gallons
  • Decibels: 60dB
  • CFM: 2.2 CFM
  • Weight: 35.3 lbs

California Air Tools 2010A Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free Air Compressor is a high-efficiency air compressor you can rely on for several applications. It has a unique design that makes it highly portable. Besides, it weighs only 35.3 lbs, making it lightweight to carry. 

This air compressor has only one tank, but its 2-hp motor has enough working power for several appliances. The 2-hp motor is powerful but only produces noise levels amounting to 60 decibels, the same as a regular conversation.

Its quiet operation makes it ideal to use for continuous operations, both indoors and outdoors. You won’t need to worry about hearing protection.

Pros

  • Highly efficient for light-duty operations
  • Lightweight for enhanced portability
  • The aluminum tank is rust-resistant
  • 60dB ensures a quiet working environment

Cons

  • The motor and pump are exposed, thus, may damage when transporting. 

Check the California Air Tools 2010A’s latest prices on Amazon

Best Quietest Air Compressor 80 Gallon

Emax Industrial 7.5 HP 80 Gal. Silent Air Compressor

Emax Industrial 7.5 HP 80 Gal. Silent Air Compressor

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Specs

  • Volume: 80 gallons
  • CFM: 28 CFM
  • Weight: 743 lbs

Large air compressors are resourceful in powering large air appliances. Emax Industrial 7.5 HP 80 Gal. Silent Air Compressor is the best, quietest air compressor if you want an 80-gallon compressor. 

The air compressor has a 7.5-hp oil-lubricated compressor that produces 28Cfm at 90psi, the highest in our review of the quietest air compressors. Its maximum pressure is 175 psi, meant for heavy-duty tasks. 

Its features include magnetic starters, ODP electric motors, powder-coated ASME tanks, and manual ball valve tank drain. 

Pros

  • Highest CFM at 90 psi
  • Large storage tank to last longer
  • It reduces noise by over 30%.
  • High power for large air appliances

Cons

  • This air compressor is too heavy and doesn’t have wheels; transporting it might be a problem.

Conclusion

The California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor is the best overall quietest air compressor on the market. It offers a powerful 2.0 HP motor and a large 8-gallon steel tank while still maintaining a noise level of just 70 decibels. Its durable construction and oil-free pump make it a reliable choice for professionals and DIY enthusiasts. Additionally, its lightweight and portable design makes it easy to move around the job site or workshop. The California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor is an excellent choice for those needing a quiet and efficient air compressor.

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