Air compressors are used to supply and constrict gases under pressure (refrigerant vapor). The 12v models are perceived as one of the most popular in today’s market. Each the best 12v air compressor frequently is a part of pneumatic equipment and tools; it’s also used in coal, oil, gas, and mining industries where the high-pressure compressed air is useful and is a part of drilling rigs.
Every single described below heavy duty 12v air compressor review shows that these devices can be used in all weather conditions. There are a few popular and widespread types of mentioned machines:
- Screw compressors. Their work is carried out with the help of two screw rotors that revolve in an oil bath. All the details have a contact line, which, by performing a translational motion in the direction of the discharge window, leads to air pressure in the chambers increasing. This type of compressor provides the users with an economical consumption of electrics, reliability, a high degree of efficiency, which is ensured by low friction of the working elements and good heat removal.
- Piston (reciprocating) compressors. An electric engine transmits energy, which causes the piston to move, and compresses the air in a cylinder. Such devices can be oil and oil-free. The first-type gadgets are characterized by impressive endurance, but they also work with oil filters that need to be constantly monitored and cleaned. The oil-free compressors are low-power, but since the air they give out doesn’t contain impurities, and the equipment itself doesn’t need special attention and complicated maintenance.
Checking out 12v air compressor reviews, it should be noted that modern compressors can be for domestic or industrial usage.
So, to make the right choice, it’s better to get acquainted with 12 volt air compressor reviews, which contain the real information about units, their pros, and cons.
12v Air Compressor Reviews
Viair 00088 88P: Waterproof Instrument with Lengthful Battery Leads
The unit’s compactness and ease of transportation allow you to carry it in the trunk of any car or keep it almost everywhere. This small 12 volt air compressor inflates 18-inch truck tires from 45 to 55 PSI in a few minutes. The set includes rather long battery leads and air hose that help get to four tires. It’s good that compressor connects to the battery directly and there’s no risk of shorting out the cigarette lighter socket appearing. The carry bag absence is really inconvenient. It’s hard to call the Viair 00088 88P the best 12v air compressor, but the instrument has a reliable assembly quality, and threaded brass chuck doesn’t look like mortality part.
- The unit has a high operating cycle due to which, low tire fills up without stopping the pump.
- The jumper cable usage can easily extend the range.
- Inbuilt flashlight and accurate gauge are pleasant and useful bonuses.
- I got the wrong pressure indicators when inflating, so it needs to turn off the unit for accurate reading getting.
- The unit gets hot so the plastic may hurt the user’s hands.
EPAuto 12V DC: Quiet and Compact Unit with LED Lights
The device has rubber legs that minimize the vibration influence; the cross-functional valve connector for Schrader valve can be used easily. I like that the hose screws on and the compressor hauls up at the predetermined pressure value, all you need to do is only wait for it to stop running. Thanks to adapters, the instrument is able to pump not only tires but other inflatable sports equipment and furniture. The unit can be probably called as the best off road air compressor, but at the same time, its sharp edges can deface the hose and user’s fingers.
- The unit works quiet and it’s easy to adjust the required pressure.
- It’s steady against the operation in the conditions of clogging (low probability of jamming from dust).
- The device doesn’t require a separate room for keeping and the foundation of a special design.
- The carrying bag is fragile, the material is very thin, and zipper skips from time to time.
- The front LED lights are always on when the device is plugged in and such a peculiarity discharges the battery.
PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003: Vibration Absorption and Oil-Free Construction
This heavy duty 12 volt air compressor weighs only 26 pounds so it can be easily replaced by hand-carry. The user has to buy the hose and connectors additionally because these elements are absent. It’s better to run the PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 for at least 15 minutes with an open air circuit before the full use. Such a manipulation will ventilate the engine and prepare the device for work.
- The construction peculiarities absorb the vibration, so the device doesn’t move during the work process.
- Its compact dimensions (18.1 x 17.2 x 18.5 inches) allow placing the unit even in a small room.
- The mentioned top rated 12 volt air compressor isn’t regarded as the unit for daily professional use (it doesn’t have enough reserve air for heavy duty nails), but for rare usage, it’s decent (it fills quickly and the pressure gauge shows the data correctly).
- There is no shut-off valve, so the tank can bleed off unless the user uncouples it after work finishing.
- The pressure line from the compressor to the tank is made of thin rubber, so can be damaged in time.
Viair 00073 70P: Quiet Unit with Long Power Cord
The 00073 70P is the youngest model in the Viair portable compressor range, but, despite its size (10.5 x 6.8 x 5.8 inches), it’s suitable for most light vehicles. The instrument connects to the cigarette lighter socket; it has a convenient storage pouch, and a pressure gauge, mounted on the compressor’s housing. The mentioned unit may be the best 12 volt air compressor for those people who value the low noise (65 dB) during the work, lightweight (5 pounds), good productivity level, and automatic overheating protection presence.
- Power cord and air hose are relatively long, so they are able to reach all the tires seamlessly.
- The screw-on nozzle adapter looks reliable and fits the air hose.
- The device works with the car battery.
- The pressure regulator is absent, so it’s better not to leave the device unattended.
- There is no wall plugin; I have to add an adapter manually.
JACO JSP-008: Small Unit with Useful Accessories and Bright Screen
The unit’s air hose (24 inches) and the 12v cable length are enough for domestic usage. Manifold set contains all the useful accessories and even the ball needle. The manual reflects the information in an easy-to-understand way and describes even small care procedures. Adverted digital air gauge can be used at night because the screen has bright colors and additional illumination. The case itself is solid because the JACO JSP-008 survived the falling and the body doesn’t have any scratches.
- The device is lightweight and compact, moreover, it goes with a solid carrying/storage bag.
- There is an opportunity to set the required inflation value and after reaching it, the pump turns off.
- The vibration is very low so the user can keep the JACO JSP-008 in hand while using it.
- I can’t recharge the compressor via the AC plug, so I have to connect it to lighter port each time.
- The air pumping capability is slow.
PORTER-CABLE CMB15: Quick Recharge and Pressure Regulation
The device is compact (15.5 x 13.2 x 20.5 inches) and fits only low SCFM air tools. The mentioned device is able to reach 150 PSI rather quickly and you can regulate such a level pressure easily. It’s simple to mount the PORTER-CABLE CMB15 on the wall or place it on the shelf. The oil-free pump helps prolong a device’s life without the maintenance necessity.
- Recharge rate is rather quick.
- Rubber insulators prevent the device from shaking during the work.
- The set contains enough amount of thread tape.
- The hose and accessories are very thin and it’s better to buy new ones.
- Too loud work process makes some inconvenience.
Master Flow MF-1040: Quick Tire Inflating and Metal Body
The device is a good choice for home usage and can be transported to different distances. It’s small but powerful, so is nice for filling up the tires, soccer balls, and bicycles. The cord is strong and long enough to reach each tire. It seems that the gauge doesn’t show the 100% real data because there are small errors in performance.
- A tire inflating takes nearly three minutes.
- The metal body protects the basic elements from injuries.
- Small but firm carrying bag is reliable.
- The unit gets hot very quickly.
- The nozzle has to be transformed with the help of electrical tape in order to become the normal size and tightly fit into the hole on the tube.
12v Air Compressor Use Peculiarities
If you want to find out how to use a 12v air compressor, you should get acquainted with the basic instruction that appropriates for all-type compressors:
- Plug in the unit. Put the device on a flat surface and hook up the power cord into an earthed (3-pronged) electrical outlet.
- Control the oil. Make sure that the oil level is enough for work (the sight gauge is usually placed at the bottom of the compressor’s engine) and by perforce add the liquid up to the full mark.
- Flush the air tank. Make certain that the drain valve is closed at the bottom of the air tank. Turn the power on and permit the device to work for a few minutes. Look at the air gauge and check out whether the compressor stops working after air pressure obtains 100 to 115 PSI.
- Adjust the air control valve. Turn it in either direction until the air pressure gauge shows the right air pressure index for the instrument.
- Plug in the air hose. Connect it and wrap the threaded end of the air hose with two layers of Teflon tape and then screw on the hose onto the compressor fitting.
- Connect the air device itself. The quick-connect fitting may help conjoin the hose end and the compressor. Pull back on the spring-loaded collar on the hose, and consistently slip onto the air intake on the tool. Release the collar in order to secure the connection.
- Dewater the air tank. Do such a process periodically. Don’t forget to change the drain valve and draw tight it in a clockwise direction.
Air Compressors Operating Principles
The piston air compressor functionality can be described as follows:
- When the engine starts, the crankshaft begins to rotate, passing to-and-fro motions through the connecting rod to the piston.
- The forcer, moving down, creates a vacuum in the cylinder, under the influence of which the intake valve opens. Due to the difference in air pressure, it begins to be sucked into the cylinder; but before entering the compression chamber, the air passes through the cleaning filter.
- Further, the piston starts moving upwards. In this case, both valves are in the closed state. At the moment of compression in the cylinder, the pressure starts rising and when it reaches a certain level, the exhaust valve opens.
- After opening the exhaust valve, the compressed air goes to the receiver.
- When the receiver reaches a certain pressure level, the special devices (pressure switch) becomes activated, and the air compression stops.
The screw air compressor has the following working principles.
- The engine drives a screw pair (through the drive system), into which the already purified air enters.
- Next, the air is mixed with oil, which is necessary to create an oil wedge between the rotors.
- While rotors spinning, it appears the air compression and the pressure increasing. In this process, the oil lubricates the compressor’s working mechanisms.
- After compression, the mixture of oil and air enters a special container, where air separates from the oil, then cools down, and leaves the unit.
- When the cooling process is over, the oil undergoes additional filtration and then refeed to the unit with screws.
12v Air Compressor: Price Issue and Factors
Most people are curious about how much is an air compressor for a car because they want to buy a reliable device and know price points. You have to figure out important specifications and pay special attention to noise (low-price units don’t have required isolation and it is quite possible that while working with them you’ll need protective headphones); maximum pressure level (modern models can reach 115 PSI, while old ones are weaker); maximum air flow (the 12v devices aren’t able to produce a great power flow, so most of them have the same performance); size, and electrical connection type (low-power units allow plugging into the cigarette lighter and the bigger ones don’t have such a plug but are supplemented by two clamps that can be hooked up straight to the car’s battery).