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Best 30-Gallon Air Compressors of 2022

Updated
Lightweight and portable, find the perfect 30-gallon air compressor for you.

Air compressors make so many tasks possible, from car repairs to the aerospace industry. But what is the best size compressor to get? 20-gallon air compressors might lack the capacity, and 60-gallon models are too heavy and cumbersome.

Say hello to the best 30-gallon air compressors as we bring you top seven models currently on the market.

Our Top Picks

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Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the NorthStar Portable Gas Powered Air Compressor - Honda GX390 OHV Engine, 30-Gallon Horizontal Tank, 24.4 CFM at 90 PSI
Best Gas Powered Air Compressor
NorthStar Gas Powered Air Compressor
  • 12 horsepower
  • 244 CFM
  • Gas-powered
Product Image of the HPDAVV Gas Driven Piston Air Compressor 13HP - Two Stage - 30 Gal Tank - 24cfm @ Max 180psi - 420CC Engine for Service Trucks Fit for Ford F-150 Truck Bed
Best Industrial Air Compressor
HPDAVV Gas-Driven Air Compressor
  • 13 horsepower
  • Industrial pedigree
  • 8,000 hour service life
Product Image of the DEWALT DXCMLA1983054 30-Gallon Portable Air Compressor
Best Portable 30-Gallon Air Compressor
DeWALT Air Compressor
  • Only 190 lbs
  • Dual voltage
  • Lightweight & maneuverable
Product Image of the 2475F14G 14hp 30 gal Two-Stage Compressor (Gas)
Best Durable 30-Gallon Air Compressor
Ingersoll Rand Store Compressor
  • You can count on it
  • Easy to start
  • Up to 15,000 hours use
Product Image of the Industrial Air ILA1883054 30-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor
Best Belt Driven Air Compressor
Industrial Air Belt-Driven Air Compressor
  • Powerful 1.9 horsepower
  • Dual-voltage
  • Cast iron twin-cylinder pump
Product Image of the Industrial Air ILA1683066 30-Gallon Cast Iron Oil Lube Air Compressor
Best 30-Gallon for Home and Commercial Use
Industrial Air Lube Air Compressor
  • Pneumatic tires
  • Easy to use
  • Quiet inobstrusive volume
Product Image of the Campbell Hausfeld 30 Gallon Vertical Portable Air Compressor (XC302100)
Best Oil-Lubricated Air Compressor
Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor
  • Oil-lubricated pump
  • Quick recharge time
  • Long warranty


Product Reviews

Here are the best 30-gallon air compressors currently on the market.

1. NorthStar Gas Powered 30-Gallon Air Compressor

Best 30-Gallon Gas Powered Air Compressor

If you want an air compressor that you can transport anywhere, this gas-powered NorthStar model is the perfect choice. It gets its power from a Honda GX390 OHV engine that produces 12 horsepower and a maximum PSI of 175.

It also has an impressive 24.4 CFM at 90 PSI, making it one of the most powerful air compressors available. With this kind of punch, it can tackle almost any task. It has a one-piece cast iron crankcase with bearings on both ends for superior support and a cast iron pump for a longer life.

It has a V-style cylinder to improve cooling and Swedish floating-style valves for a longer valve life. The pump runs at 1,300 RPM, the flywheel is oversized for cooler operation, and the tank is wet-weather resistant and powder coated. The Honda motor really delivers way above the competition.

What We Like

12 Horsepower

12 horsepower puts this air compressor at the top of the power charts. It produces enough PSI and CFM to tackle any heavy-duty industrial tasks.

Built To Last

When you are spending considerable sums on an air compressor, you want to know it will last the distance. Cast iron pumps and crank casing gives this air compressor superior durability because nothing has been done cheaply to cut corners.

24.4 CFM

The airflow on this compressor takes some beating. 24.4 CFM at 90 PSI is impressive, especially when you compare it to the competition.

Gas-Powered

Gas power allows you to take this compressor anywhere without the need to plug it in. It is a truly portable device, making it a great choice for construction sites and off-grid places.

What We Don't Like

No Wheels

Ironically, this is a go-anywhere compressor, yet it has no wheels, making it harder to transport. The best way to carry this device is in the back of a flat-bed truck and drive straight onto the worksite.

Huge Price Tag

If you want this machine, then be prepared to spend big bucks. This compressor costs almost 5 times what the budget model does. Okay, we get that it is a quality compressor, but the price-tag is only likely to appeal to professionals.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 492
Dimensions (inches) 41 x 19 x 40
Max PSI 175
CFM at 90 PSI 24.4
Horsepower 12
Oil/Oil-free Oil
Price $$$$
Warranty 4-year limited (2-year commercial)

2. HPDAVV Gas-Driven 30-Gallon Air Compressor

Best Industrial 30-Gallon Air Compressor

Like the NorthStar model, this HPDAVV is gas-driven, so it packs a real punch when it comes to the stats. First, it trumps the NorthStar for horsepower, with the motor delivering 13 compared to 12, and second, it beats the PSI value by 5, scoring an impressive 180.

This model is equipped with high-temperature, wear-resistant piston rings that give over 8,000 hours of serviceable life. The pump is cast iron, as is the casing, and this air compressor is no stranger to industrial uses like food processing, the chemical industry, mining and the construction industry.

The CFM values on this compressor are also impressive, delivering an incredible 24 CFM at a PSI of 180, making it the most potent compressor to make the shortlist.

What We Like

13 Horsepower

This air compressor has an impressive list of statistics. The CFM is industry-leading, the engine produces 13 horsepower, and the PSI tops out at 180. All of this adds up to a compressor best suited to industrial settings and professional environments.

Industrial Pedigree

You find this type of compressor in chemical plants, construction sites, mining, and auto shops, thanks to its useability. There is nothing this compressor can’t do in environments that can be very demanding.

Go-Anywhere

Just like the NorthStar model, this compressor has no wheels, and yet being gas-powered means it can go anywhere. The best way to transport it is to bolt it to the bed of your flat-bed truck and drive it onto the site.

What We Don't Like

Very Expensive

It’s a double-whammy with the costs because you pay a high price initially when you purchase this compressor, and you also have high running costs of the gasoline needed to keep it running.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 353
Dimensions (inches) 43 x 17 x 38
Max PSI 175
CFM at 180 PSI 24
Horsepower 13
Oil/Oil-free Oil
Price $$$$
Warranty 1-year

3. DeWALT DXCMLA1983054 30-Gallon Air Compressor

Best Portable 30-Gallon Air Compressor

This DeWALT 30-gallon compressor is the ideal device for carting to and from the worksite. Thanks to the two large pneumatic wheels and the large handle, this compressor is so easy to move. Couple that with the 190 pounds of weight, and you have a portable air compressor for any occasion.

It is electrically operated, so it requires a power supply. For this reason, it isn’t anywhere near as powerful as the gas-powered models. It produces 155 pounds of pressure thanks to its cast iron V-shaped cylinders and oil-lubricated pump.

The motor is wired for dual voltage (120-volt or 240-volt supply). The CFM rating is 5.7 at 90 PSI, which is ample for tackling most jobs. It is a vertical tank model, so it is ideal for smaller spaces like home garages because it takes up less space.

What We Like

Trusted Brand

Some brands you simply trust and DeWALT is right up there on the tried and tested list. Their tools and machinery are known the world over and trusted to deliver the goods.

Great Price

While 30-gallon air compressors are not cheap, this one is in comparison to its competition. It costs just under half the price of the NorthStar compressor and a lot less than others in its class.

Lightweight and Maneuverable

You might not buy this air compressor for its power, but you might if you were looking for a lightweight and portable model. It ticks both those boxes. It weighs 190 pounds and has pneumatic wheels that allow you to maneuver this air compressor with ease.

What We Don't Like

Lacks Power

As we’ve already said, this is not the most powerful compressor to appear on the list. However, it should still have enough of a kick to power most of your air tools.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 190
Dimensions (inches) 22 x 27 x 46.5
Max PSI 155
CFM at 90 PSI 5.7
Horsepower 1.9
Oil/Oil-free Oil
Price $$
Warranty 1-year

4. Ingersoll Rand Store Two-Stage Compressor

Best Durable 30-Gallon Air Compressor

This air compressor earns its fantastic reputation due to its durability. It’s made with a cast iron construction to ensure that it will last for 15,000 hours of use. Add onto that the enclosed belt guard and weatherproof powder-coated finish, this is built to last.

It’s not lacking in power either. It has a two-stage pump that reaches 175 PSI. The 30-gallon receiver tank also packs quite the punch, even in tough conditions. You can also enjoy continuous use without interruptions.

We also appreciate the two-year warranty and the included start-up kit. Considering the high price, this is good to have.

What We Like

You Can Count On It (Wherever)

This air compressor provides the air you need wherever, whenever. It’s designed for remote pneumatic applications. But it’s also ideal for emergency product line needs, or basically, any instance where you don’t have a good amount of electric power.

Easy to Start — Two Ways

Get the engine up and running with an electrical start and fuel-efficient idle control. The double system allows you to get it running one way or another.

On that note, the engine is a 13 HP Honda or Kohler engine. Talk about power!

Up to 15,000 Hours Use

Even if you used this eight hours a day every day, it would last five years. That’s incredible. With up to 15,000 hours of use, you’re getting your money’s worth. Just remember to operate a changeout every 2,000 hours of service.

Another top tip is to use petroleum-based lubricants. This prolongs the lifespan.

What We Don't Like

Might Have Loose Fittings

Some customers have reported a few loose fittings. Thankfully, there’s a warranty to cover any issues within the first two years. But it’s still frustrating that this can happen. Although keep in mind, it’s rare!

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 469
Dimensions (inches) 5.1 x 22 x 40.6
Max PSI 175
CFM at 90 PSI 24.3
Horsepower 14
Oil/Oil-free Oil
Price $$$$
Warranty 2-year

5. Industrial Air ILA1883054 Belt-Driven 30-Gallon Air Compressor

Best 30-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor

This Industrial Air compressor is the same as the DeWALT in that it is wired for dual-voltage systems. It operates on the domestic 120-volt supply, but it can also run on a 240-volt supply with some minor adjustments.

It produces 1.9 horsepower, equalling the power output of the DeWALT, and the maximum PSI rating is 155. The CFM performance also matches the DeWALT at 5.7 at 90 PSI. They even weigh the same, at 190 pounds.

There isn’t much to divide them in cost either. The DeWALT is slightly more expensive than the Industrial Air, but not so much that it would put you off buying one. Across the board, this 30-gallon air compressor is identical in every way to the DeWALT.

What We Like

Excellent Value for Money

For a fraction of the price of the NorthStar compressor, this would be an ideal candidate for a starter model. It may not set the world alight for performance, but it is plenty powerful enough to power most air tools, as well as tackling the majority of jobs.

Dual-Voltage

Some industrial and commercial settings have a higher voltage electrical system to support heavy-duty machines. This compressor can be converted to either 120 or 240-volt supplies with ease.

Reliable Power and Performance

The cast iron twin-cylinder pump comes with an aluminum head and valve plate, ensuring faster heat dissipation. It ensures that the compressor stays cool and keeps working.

What We Don't Like

Weak Motor

You probably won’t want this compressor in a professional or commercial environment, especially as the motor only generates 1 horsepower. That’s the weakest motor of any of the compressors to make the review.

Poor Quality

In many ways, the price you pay reflects the quality of the compressor. Compromises have to be made to keep costs down. This reflects in the quality of some of the components and the performance of the compressor.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 190
Dimensions (inches) 24.75 x 24.75 x 49.75
Max PSI 155
CFM at 90 PSI 5.7
Horsepower 1.9
Oil/Oil-free Oil
Price $$
Warranty 2-year limited

6. Industrial Air ILA1683066 Lube Air Compressor

Best 30-Gallon Air Compressor for Home and Commercial Use

This versatile air compressor is an excellent option if you’re looking for something you can use at work but also at home. Whether you have a business or just need this for personal use, we can recommend this for pretty much all circumstances.

The reason it’s so good for commercial use is because of its optimum power. At 155 PSI, this is one of the most powerful on our list. Thanks to the hefty motor and pump performance, it works seamlessly and effortlessly.

We also admire the durable, heavy-duty construction. Made with cast iron, aluminum, and other high-quality materials, this is built to last.

What We Like

Pneumatic Tires

Transport this around easily thanks to the pneumatic tires. These heavy-duty and capable tires make it easy to move it from place to place. This is a must-have feature if you’re going to be taking it from work to home and vice versa.

It also comes with a front handle so you can lift and carry it easily.

Easy to Use

The user-friendly design is another reason this is so popular amongst customers. It comes fully assembled, so you don’t need to put in the effort. It has a quick-set regulator, a 30-gallon tank, and working pressure gauges. The air outlet is also quick and easy to set up, too.

Quiet Inobstrusive Volume

We don’t know about you, but loud power tools should be a thing of the past! Cause of headaches and distraction, they’re not our favorite. Another reason why we love this one. It’s quiet! Customers love the volume on this machine.

What We Don't Like

Not Best for Sandblasting

Customers say this isn’t the ideal option for sand or soda blasting. The horsepower, at 1.6, isn’t quite suitable for that task.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 154
Dimensions (inches) ‎25 x 24.5 x 49
Max PSI 155
CFM at 90 PSI 5.3
Horsepower 1.6
Oil/Oil-free Oil
Price $
Warranty 2-year limited

7. Campbell Hausfeld 2-Stage 30-Gallon Air Compressor

Best 30-Gallon Oil-Lubricated Air Compressor

This compressor features an oil-lubricated pump for better performance and increased longevity. It can tackle a long list of tasks, from upholstery to nailing, and like the DeWALT, it benefits from a dual-voltage motor.

The enclosed metal belt guard protects the motor’s working parts, and it produces a maximum of 175 PSI and 4.1 SCFM at 90 PSI. It’s lightweight, at just 178 pounds, and the vertical design makes it easy to maneuver and store away.

It has a 2 horsepower engine, and the makers claim you will get 5,000 hours of use from this compressor. Not bad when you consider that it costs a fraction of the price compared to some.

What We Like

Dual-Voltage Motor

It can switch from 120 volts to 240 volts with some minor adjustments. It makes this Campbell Hausfeld a domestic and commercial compressor.

Quick Recharge Time

Unlike other compressors, this model takes very little time to refill the air tank when it empties. It keeps you working faster, and when time is money, that’s a real bonus.

Lightweight and Portable

Weighing just 178 pounds and being equipped with large wheels makes this vertical compressor easy to maneuver and simple to stow away at the end of the day.

Long Warranty

The warranty is very generous, especially when most compressors come with a 1-year guarantee. Campbell Hausfeld has excelled with their 3-year limited warranty.

What We Don't Like

Build Quality Issues

Some have reported that the tank leaks and the motor drips oil. Others are unhappy with the compressor’s quality on delivery, stating that it arrived damaged and dented.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 178
Dimensions (inches) 55 x 28 x 26
Max PSI 135
CFM at 90 PSI 4.1
Horsepower 2
Oil/Oil-free Oil
Price $$
Warranty 3-year limited

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Weight Dimensions Max PSI CFM at 90 PSI Horsepower Oil/Oil-free Warranty
NorthStar Gas Air Compressor Gas Powered 492 lbs 41 x 19 x 40″ 175 24.4 $12 Oil 4-year limited
HPDAVV Gas Air Compressor Industrial 353 lbs 43 x 17 x 38″ 175 24 13 Oil 1-year
DeWALT Air Compressor Portable 190 lbs 22 x 27 x 46.5″ 155 6 1.9 Oil 1-year
Ingersoll Rand Durable 469 lbs 5.1 x 22 x 40.6″ 175 24.3 14 Oil 2-year
Industrial Air Belt Air Compressor Belt Driven 190 lbs 24.75 x 24.75 x 49.75″ 155 5.7 1.9 Oil 2-year limited
Industrial Air Lube Air Compressor Home and Commercial Use 154 lbs 25 x 24.5 x 49″ 155 5.3 1.6 Oil 2-year limited
Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor Oil-Lubricated 178 lbs 55 x 28 x 26″ 135 4.1 2 Oil 3-year limited

What Can I Do With a 30-Gallon Air Compressor?

The beauty of a 30-gallon air compressor is that it fills the gap between 20-gallon and 60-gallon, enabling you to take on commercial and home repair jobs. If you operate air tools, if you are restoring a classic car and need the back-up that a 30-gallon compressor gives, if you are working in a paint spray shop, all these tasks and many more benefit from using a 30-gallon air compressor.

Here are a few more uses to ponder:

  • Auto repairs.
  • Construction.
  • Metal fabrication.
  • Plasma cutting.
  • Aerospace industry.
  • Spray painting.
  • Home repairs.
  • Sculpting.
  • Hobby use.
  • Farm repairs.
  • Commercial and industrial uses.
  • Sandblasting.
  • Waterblasting.

How to Choose (Buying Guide)

When selecting the 30-gallon air compressor that’s right for you, there are specific things you should be looking for. Here are a few considerations to bear in mind.

PSI

PSI or Pound Per Square Inch is the measure of pressure your compressor produces. Smaller air compressors have a weaker PSI, so when you switch to a 30-gallon model, you should expect enough PSI to perform commercial as well as home tasks.

You should expect your pressure levels to range between 125 and 155. When you consider that most air tools are rated at 80 PSI, that is ample pressure to power even the most hard-core tools.

When pairing tools to your compressor, a good rule of thumb is to leave a 20 percent gap in the PSI of the tool and the compressor. So, if your air tool has a PSI of 80 and the compressor has a PSI of 100, you should be fine.

Horsepower

This is the power rating of your motor. Smaller compressors produce 1 or 2 horsepower, but you should expect your 30-gallon compressor to function with 2 or 3 horsepower. Some models do go as high as 5, but that is the exception rather than the rule.

The motor’s horsepower is vital because it tells you how much pressure the compressor will create. It directly influences the tasks you can do, especially if you are working in a heavy-duty capacity in the commercial sector.

In the home, horsepower is still important but less of a concern as the compressor’s duties will be lighter and less demanding.

CFM

CFM, or Cubic Feet Per Minute, is the airflow rating of the compressor. A high CFM is crucial because there is little point in having an air compressor that produces a PSI of 155 and yet allows the compressed air to trickle out. It will seriously hinder your chances of a good outcome and struggle to power your air tools.

The CFM in 30-gallon air compressors should be between 5 and 10 CFM, although some models will produce more and some less. CFM is vital for jobs like sandblasting, where a high amount of pressure is required to deliver impact.

Loudness

It’s worth noting that whatever air compressor you get, it will be noisy. The best advice is to wear ear defenders when operating one. However, not all compressors are created equal. Volume levels range in decibels from the high 80s to as low as 70.

To give you an idea of equivalence, 70 dB is about the same volume as a normal conversation or office noise, whereas 80 dB is as noisy as a car doing 60 MPH with the windows open.

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Portability

30-gallon air compressors are typically mounted on wheels and have large handles for added maneuverability. While they are heavy, they are portable and can be transported to the worksite. Because they are commercial-grade air compressors, 30-gallon models are a much better option than the heavier 60-gallon varieties.

60-gallon compressors are not portable and rarely come with wheels. So, if you are looking for maximum power as well as maneuverability, a 30-gallon air compressor is the best bet.

Price

The budget is a great leveler because no matter how badly you might want a particular model of air compressor, your finances will constrain you. Our best advice is to plumb for a compressor in the mid-price range. That way, it isn’t cheap and poorly constructed, or it won’t break the bank.


30-Gallon Air Compressor FAQs

Can You Paint a Car With a 30-Gallon Air Compressor?

A 30-gallon air compressor will cope just fine with painting a car, as long as the PSI of the spray gun matches the PSI of the compressor. And remember to leave a 20 percent difference in the tool’s pressure rating than the compressor.

You also need to consider the CFM values of the gun and the compressor, making sure they match as well.

How Much HP Does a 30-Gallon Air Compressor Need?

The horsepower needed varies between models and makes. Generally, for a 30-gallon air compressor to function properly, you will need a minimum of 2 horsepower, although some models can be as much as 5 horsepower, which increases your capabilities.

How To Drain a 30-Gallon Air Compressor?

The first thing you need to do is switch off the compressor and unplug it from the power supply. Ensure you remove all the attachments like air compressor hoses and tools and set the air pressure outlet to zero.

Place a drain pan under the valve and tilt the compressor so that when you open the valve, the water begins to flow out. Now open the valve, but be careful because pressurized air will escape rapidly before the moisture starts to drain away. When the fluid stops flowing, close the valve and store the compressor in a dry, flat location.


30-Gallon Compressors Really Impress

When 20 gallons is too small and 60 gallons is too large, you need to consider the benefits of a 30-gallon compressor. They offer that middle option where you can scale up the projects you take on while maintaining all the advantages of portability.

The next time you take a trip to the construction site or workshop, load a 30-gallon air compressor in your truck. You won’t regret it.

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Headshot of Mark Weir

About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark spent 24 years working in real estate, so he knows his way around a home. He also worked with contractors and experts, advising them on issues of planning, investments, and renovations. Mark is no stranger to hands-on experience, having renovated his own home and many properties for resale. He likes nothing better than seeing a project through to completion.