Air compressors are a great tool to own since they have more torque and power than electrical tools.
They come in handy for many uses around the home and are a must for any workshop.
But the biggest issue you will face with an air compressor is the sound that it produces.
In a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information(NCBI), it showed that air compressors producing noise levels over 100 decibels can lead to noise-induced hearing loss, a big problem a lot of loud appliances like air compressors and non-quiet shop vacs can have.
This is why it is important to find the best quiet air compressor on the market so you can reduce the risk of noise-induced hearing loss.
Continue reading this article to find the quietest air compressor review and if you’re interested, check out our best quiet portable air compressor reviews as well.
Best Quiet Air Compressors Reviewed In-Depth
- Noise level: 79 dB
- Dimension: 19.38 x 18.75 x 18 inches
- Weight: 77 lbs
The Makita Big Bore Air Compressor pump runs at lower RPM which significantly reduces the level of noise that this machine produces.
This compressor noise level is only 79 dB which will not cause noise-induced hearing loss if you use it regularly.
It can sustain operation pressures up to 130 PSI and delivers air at 40 PSI (4.8 CFM) and 90 PSI (4.2 CFM) respectively, thanks to its 4.2 twin gallon tank.
The built-in thermal overload protector is a nice addition and assures you that the motor is well protected.
If you are worried about maintenance, don’t be as the Makita Big Bore is designed to make maintenance easy with its tank drain valve and oil sight glass.
It features a roll cage construction that keeps the unit protected at all times even in the harsh environments of workshops.
All these great features combined put the Makita Big Bore air compressor as the best on our list due to operation power, noise level, ease of use, and maintenance.
- Noise level: 68 dB
- Dimension: 18.9 x 17.3 x 22.6 inches
- Weight: 67 pounds
If you are trying to save a few bucks then, the budget-friendly Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor is the one for you.
Ideal for indoor and outdoor use, this quiet air compressor produces less than 50% of noise levels when compared to other models.
The noise level that the Campbell Hausfeld air compressor produces only goes up to 68dB.
It comes with a 6-gallon tank and is designed vertically to save space which makes it great for home use.
Equipped with large wheels and a rubber grip handle, this unit can be easily moved from place to place without a fuss.
The Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor has a maximum PSI of 125 which is suitable for nailing, bolting, stapling, fastening, hobby painting, and inflation.
Being an oil-free unit, this quiet air compressor is quite easy to maintain and does not require you to check it before using which can save a ton of time.
- Noise level: 60 dB
- Dimension: 18.5 x 14 x 13.5 inches
- Weight: 35.3 pounds
The California Air Tools Air Compressor is a very portable unit, weighing in at just 35.3 pounds.
Despite its small and lightweight nature, the output rate is 3.10 CFM at 40 PSI and 2.20 CFM at 90 PSI.
The powerful 1.0 HP (SP-9413) motor operates at only 1680 RPM which makes this model the ultra-quiet air compressor.
The sound levels that this ultra-quiet air compressor emits are at a rate of 60 dB.
The dual-piston pump allows the life cycle of the unit to extend by 3000+hours before when compared to other units with a life cycle of 500+ hours or less.
The 2-gallon tank is made from aluminum which means it’s virtually rust-free and it fills up in less than a minute.
Not only is the California Ultra-Quiet air compressor oil-free but it is perfect for working in environments where the temperature changes consistently and uneven terrain.
- Noise level: 65 dB
- Dimension: 12 x 26 x 21 inches
- Weight: 61.7 Pounds
The best thing about the Kobalt Quiet Tech Air Compressor is how easy it is to operate.
The control panel features some pretty big gauges, knobs, and buttons and is ideal for those with less than perfect eyesight.
The regulator and one-hand push quick-coupler and gauges allow you to monitor tank pressure and outlet pressure.
This way you can keep an eye on the amount of air left in the tanks or being used.
The maximum PSI is 125 with a CFM of 3.3 at 40 PSI which is great for staple nailers, finish nailers, and framing nailers.
The twin tanks can hold a combined total of 4.3 gallons of air and are stacked on top of each other to conserve space.
The Kobalt Quiet Tech Air Compressor is also an oil-free unit so maintenance is easy while the rubber wheels and handle help in the maneuverability of the unit.
- Noise level: 60 dB
- Dimension: 17 x 16 x 15 inches
- Weight: 42.9 pounds
Rolair gives us the Rolair JC Air Compressor because they knew how notorious these machines are for creating a ruckus.
This particular model noise level reaches no more than what a normal conversion level is.
The sound level produced by the machine comes in around 60 dB making it another quiet air compressor on our list.
While the tank capacity can be considered small at just 2.5 gallons, the recovery time is just 11 seconds which means you get more done faster.
Don’t let the small size deter you since it is a powerful unit with 2.35 CFM at 90 PSI.
It is also built to last and withstand the tough environment of any workshop.
However, Rolair JC Air Compressor is not able to withstand drastic temperature changes.
- Noise level: 56 dB
- Dimension: 12.5 x 14.7 x 14.75 inches
- Weight: 29 pounds
We have yet another air compressor from California Air Tools that is ultra-light and ultra-quiet.
The CAT-IP1060S air compressor noise level produced comes in around 56 dB which is less than a normal conversation.
The tank capacity is just 1 gallon which makes the unit the ultimate lightweight machine at just 29 pounds.
The 0.6 HP motor operates at 1680 RPM, the same as the previous model mentioned earlier in our list.
This is what allows the low operating noise level and extends the life of the unit with a life cycle of 3000 hours.
The oil-free pump is easy to clean and maintain while being able to work on uneven surfaces and different temperature ranges.
This quietest air compressor produces 1.2 CFM at a pressure of 90 PSI which is good for garage use as well as a small workshop.
- Noise level: 59 dB
- Dimension: 14 x 14 x 13.5 inches
- Weight: 25.2 pounds
Don’t worry if you have never heard of the Metabo HPT brand since it is simply the new name for Hitachi Power Tools.
The Metabo air compressor is of the same standard and quality as the brand’s previous models and line of power tools.
It is so quiet that at 59 dB that two people can have a normal conversation when the air compressor is in operation.
This is because of its rubber feet that absorb shock and reduce vibrations which are known to be the main source of the noise.
The oil-free pump and 2.8 Amp direct drive induction motor make this a very durable and low maintenance machine.
What is more, is the overload protection circuit which ensures that the motor is protected in situations where there is a power overload.
It is outfitted with industrial gauges and regulators to easily and accurately adjust PSI pressure.
CFM is 0.8 at 90 PSI which is not too much but can work for home use.
This quiet air compressor is a breeze to set up and features an industrial quick coupler.
The one-handed hose connection allows you to use this unit right out of the box.
- Noise level: 71 dB
- Dimension: 48 x 40 x 41 inches
- Weight: 24 pounds
The Dewalt Air Compressor D55140 features a 1-gallon tank with a durable and oil-free pump.
The oil-free pump leads to less stress when performing any maintenance to the machine and eliminates the need to check or refill the pump frequently.
It comes with a low 2.6 amp motor that delivers 0.75 CFM which is considered low but at 135 PSI, it offers great performance and fast recovery time.
The best advantage of this unit is its weight and size which makes it the best portable unit.
It weighs 24 pounds and is compact enough to be carried around easily or stored in your car to always be handy.
The Dewalt Air Compressor is made from heavy-duty cast iron that ensures longevity and durability.
The roll cage and protective design shields the unit from normal wear and tear or accidental damage.
Moreover, it comes with a wrap-around control panel that offers further protection to some of the key compressor components.
Why Choose a quiet air compressor?
As we’ve mentioned before, the constant use of an air compressor that produces over 100 dB of sounds can lead to Noise-Induced Hearing Loss.
If you are working in a workshop or if you are the owner of a workshop, investing in a quiet air compressor is the best thing to do for yourself and your employees.
You do not have to worry that quiet air compressors will not perform as well as their louder counterparts.
In some cases, they are far better thanks to newer technology being integrated into these smaller and quieter units.
If you already have an exceptionally loud air compressor, then read this tutorial on how to build a generator quiet box that can also quieten a loud compressor.
You can also seal your garage door to quiet a noisy air compressor, read how to seal a garage door from the inside.
For quieter operations all around, you may want to read up on the best quiet garage door opener so that early mornings don’t start with a ruckus.
Read this toilet gurgling how-to guide to learn how an air compressor can be helpful in this situation.
What to look for in the quietest air compressor
Before you jump on the internet and purchase the first quiet air compressor you see, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Let us take a look at what you need to look for in the quietest air compressor.
The first thing would be the level of noise that the machine produces.
Look for the decibel level that is stated in the manufacturer’s specifications.
The lower the decibel level the better for you and any around you when the air compressor is in use.
Anything below 79 dB should be good enough although you want to aim a little bit low to maybe 60 dB which allows you to have a normal conversation without raising your voice or shouting.
Cubic Feet Per Minute(CFM) and Pressure Per Square Inch(PSI)
CFM tells you how fast your air compressor can supply air when it is in operation.
Low CFM ratings means it won’t work for certain big jobs because it will take forever.
Too high means you may end up causing damage.
This is why it is important to find that balance.
Remember CFM and Pressure Per Square Inch(PSI) go hand in hand so the higher CFM at a good PSI count, the better the machine is.
The ideal quiet air compressor can be anywhere from 0.6 to 5 CFM at 90 PSI.
Tank size may not matter in some instances, for example when using your quiet air compressor for little jobs at home.
However, for industrial purposes, tank capacity plays an important role and can save precious time.
It’s simple really, the bigger the tank the more it holds and the smaller the tank the less air it holds.
Smaller tanks will have to refill air after a very short period while a larger tank can keep going for a long time without pausing to refill.
If you need a lot of air, a twin-tank air compressor is what you will need.
You may find instances where you want to move the air compressor or take it with you.
If that is the case then you will have to watch the weight, build, and dimensions of the machine.
Go for a lightweight option and try to choose one that is specifically advertised as being easily portable.
Those are the ones that will be designed to ensure you have no trouble moving the air compressor from place to place.
Some of those units come with large wheels and handles which lends to their portability.
That being said, if you require lots of air, you will need an air compressor with a large tank so your unit may not be easily transported.
Oil Lubricated or Oil-free
They both have their advantages and disadvantages which makes the decision a bit harder.
Oil-lubricated air compressors lubricate various parts of the device which helps to quieten the sounds and ensure the longevity of your unit.
However, maintaining an oil-lubricated air compressor can be tedious with regular check-ups and cleaning.
Oil-free on the other hand requires very little maintenance but may not be as quiet as an oil-lubricated air compressor.
This all comes down to personal preference so feel free to make your own choice.