Best 3 Gallon Air Compressor-2021 Review And Buyer Guide

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Written By Scott Angel

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Air compressors can serve a variety of functions and applications. For this reason, they are a vital tool in many job sites. In many cases, people get torn between the many brands and models of air compressors in the market. There are so many things to consider. However, everybody just wants a reliable and durable air compressor. Another thing is that these machines come in a variety of sizes. A 3 gallon air compressor is suitable for medium-duty tasks that don’t really require so much power.

I have come up with the highly recommended best 3 gallon air compressor so that you can easily able to find the top one. This list is also applicable to professionals who need a small but powerful unit that they can carry from site to site. Keep in mind, an air compressor may look small, but it may have enough power to run almost all air tools.

The Best 3 Gallon Air Compressor Reviews

1. Excell L23HPE 3 Gallon Air Compressor

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This Excell L23HPE 3 gallon air compressor offers a compact and rigid model that is more powerful than the listed air compressor. Recovery time is kept to a minimum with a CFM of 3.8 at 90 PSI, with longer run times guaranteed with max 135 PSI. The large 3-gallon tank weighs only 54 pounds, making it one of the lightest on the list.

The water drain plug is easy to access.The unit is equipped with a 1.5 HP motor and it works just as well in cold weather (- 20-degree centigrade).

The noise level is tolerable, but can be a little disturbing depending on the environment.

Fortunately for the beginner in the field of air compressors application like tire inflation, nailing, roofing, farming, trimming, and blowing. This will undoubtedly save costs and reduce user frustration. It’s is a reasonably well-built unit. Accessories, however, suffer from being of inferior quality.

In the near future, the purchase of higher quality accessories may be necessary to maintain full functionality. And as stupid as it may seem, the winding of the cord is very intuitive and works as it should.

A minor feature that usually works against some of the air compressors on this exam list is actually very well done in this case. It is surprisingly one of the best compressors on the list, even if it lacks some functions of the most expensive compressors.

What We Liked

  • Well-built, thus all connectors, fittings can be easily configured.
  • Faster filling capability on the list of other air compressor.
  • Drain plug is quickly reachable.
  • Average quite air compressor.

What We Did’t Like

  • Oil air compressor, so it cant be used in some cases.
  • No hoses provided with this air compressor.

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2. Campbell Hausfeld FP209499AV 3 Gallon Air Compressor

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There may be giant brands in the industry, but this air compressor means business. It is not only small and portable but also powerful enough for optimum performance. It can handle multiple tasks, including airbrushing, nailing, stapling, and decking.

Its durable 3 gallon air tank holds enough compressed air to complete your projects faster. Furthermore, the tank is horizontally positioned to get rid of pulsations from the piston.

Also, it is made of lightweight material that makes it extremely portable, and you can take it with you everywhere you go. It weighs only 21 pounds. The unit consists of a strong and sturdy handle to make transportation convenient and a comfortable process.A trend that is catching on quite first in this industry is the need for air compressor accessories.

This is because most people want a complete package so that they can start working on their various projects right away. Fortunately, this air compressor unit comes with some useful accessories such as a blowgun, 25 ft recoil hose, air chuck, and inflation needles.

This machine delivers at a maximum pressure of 110 psi and airflow of 0.36 CFM at 90 psi. This is more than enough power to handle all DIY projects and many other tasks. It also guarantees a faster recovery time. Furthermore, the unit runs at the household current and will be just fine with a house outlet of 120 volts.

All the pressure gauges are placed at a convenient location, and they are easy to read. Therefore, pressure control is definitely a simple and easy task. Besides, you don’t have to stress about maintenance since this unit uses an oil-free pump. More time will be spent on completing your tasks and less on maintenance.

This air compressor gets all the small and medium-duty tasks perfectly done. It’s also quite affordable. I would recommend it to someone looking for a compact and reliable compressor.

What We Liked

  • Oil-free pump for less maintenance.
  • Maximum pressure of 110 psi.
  • Easy to read pressure gauges.
  • 10 piece accessory kit.

What We Did’t Like

  • Noisy motor.

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3. Pro-Force VPF1080318 3 Gallon Air Compressor kit

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This Pro-Force air compressor boasts of a sleek design and a better performance than some other similar units in the industry. It features an oil-free long life pump that requires less maintenance. It will also save you additional costs on buying oil for lubricating the pump.

The air tank is lightweight and comes at a weight of only 36 pounds. This makes it portable and you can take it everywhere you go.

Furthermore, it consists of a convenient grip handle for you to lift the unit with ease. At maximum pressure of 125 psi you can be sure this machine will deliver nothing but the very best.

This particular unit comes with an accessory kit that includes a blow gun, inflation needle, adapter fitting, dual tire chuck, male and female thread connectors and a sealant. The accessory kit contains almost everything that you will need to get all tasks well-done.

It has a pressure gauge, pressure regulator and quick connect air outlet. There is even an on and off switch. The gauges are located conveniently so that you don’t have a hard time with controlling pressure.

The rubber feet protect the floor and work surfaces from damage caused by vibration and pulsation. They also keep the unit extra stable. This air compressor runs at 120 volts which is the standard current for most residential outlets. For this reason, you can comfortably use it for home renovations.

Many of the prior customers are satisfied and happy about this air compressor. Its service is impressive and it can actually power almost all air tools in the industry. It works well with nail guns and inflating tires among other applications. It has a 1 year limited warranty.

What We Liked

  • Maximum operating pressure of 125 psi.
  • Oil-free long maintenance pump.
  • Rubber feet for stabilization.
  • Functions at household voltage of 120 volts.
  • Extra accessory kit to get you started.

What We Did’t Like

  • It is a bit loud.

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4. Craftsman 3 Gallon Air Compressor

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As I always say, the lesser-known air compressor brands are usually the best in the market. For its price, this craftsman air compressor performs exceptionally well. It may not be powerful enough to handle industrial applications, but it’s perfect for your garage, workshop, and even residential use. If you take good care of it, this unit can last longer than any other air compressor you have owned in the past.

It has a maximum operating pressure of 135 psi, and this is higher than any other similar air compressor on this list. With this, you can be sure this machine will take on almost everything and guarantee and longer run time as well as faster recovery.

The air compressor comprises of a 1 HP powerful motor and an oil-lubricated pump. Another feature that is sure many buyers will like is the sight glass. Unlike some standard oil-lubricated units, this one has a sight glass that you can use to check on the oil level. You no longer have to go the old-fashioned way of dipping a stick to determine the oil level. This is one thing that will make you so happy about this particular unit.

Buyers will also appreciate the three-piece accessory kit. It includes a ball tire chuck, male plug, and seal tape. This may not be much, especially if you compare with other units that come with a 10-11 piece accessory kit, but it’s more than enough to get you started on a few things. Besides, a small bottle of oil is added in the package.

Those people looking out for portability in a compressor will be impressed by this unit. It is made of lightweight materials and weighs only 47 pounds for increased portability. Owners also like the strong and sturdy handle that makes lifting and carrying easy.

It features a universal quick connect for faster connections and swaps between tools and projects. The steel housing guarantees durability. This air compressor can survive the harsh conditions of the outdoor job sites with little scratches.

Aside from inflating tires, this unit is excellent at filling balls, air mattresses, and the bike tires. Also, it can power various pneumatic tools such as nail guns, air ratchets, and paint sprayers.

What We Liked

  • Steel housing for durability.
  • Oil sight glass.
  • Universal quick connect.
  • Powerful 1 HP direct drive motor.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Low oil shutdown feature for safety purposes.

What We Did’t Like

  • It is a bit loud.

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5. Briggs and Stratton Hotdog 3 Gallon Air Compressor

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This Briggs and Stratton air compressor will take on almost every job at hand. It is engineered to provide better performance than standard units. The maximum pressure of 100 psi is not only ideal for a variety of air tools but also for increased functionality. Its airflow is at 0.7 cfm at 40 psi and 0.5 cfm at 90 psi.

The oil-free pump offers less maintenance. It also saves you any additional costs that come with oil-lubricated compressors. On top of it all is a powerful long life motor.

Unlike other units that only have rubber covered feet, this air compressor has a different approach. The rubber covered feet actually move the compressor as it vibrates. On the other hand, this units suction cut foot mounts guarantee firmer stability.

This air compressor is way lighter than most on this list and it weighs only 21 pounds. It is an excellent equipment for avid DIY who are a looking for something portable and lightweight. It’s also great for professional who want a reliable back up air compressor. It comes with a flip-up handle for easy lifting and carrying.

The Briggs and Stratton Hotdog air compressor is a remarkable unit that will be helpful in all your projects. It may be small but don’t undermine its functionality.

What We Liked

  • Flip-up handle for comfortable carrying and storage.
  • Maximum pressure of 100 psi.
  • Oil-free pump.
  • Suction cup foot mounts for increased stability.

What We Did’t Like

  • Works just fine but it has questionable quality.

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How To Choose The Best Rated 3 Gallon Air Compressor

The Motor

Look at the product description for information about the motor. It should be strong enough to meet your project’s needs.

Ease Of Use

The machine should be user friendly to avoid wasting a lot of time trying to figure it out. For instance, the control panel should be easy to reach and use.


This is another important factor. The unit should not only be lightweight and compact but also have a strong handle for lifting. Portability is crucial for some job sites.


We all look at cost first however it should not be the only thing that you consider. The price tag should go hand in hand with quality. Don’t go for a cheap but low quality compressor that will keep breaking down.

Final Verdict

All these air compressors have a 3 gallon tank size but they are different in one way or the other. It all depends on your specific needs and preferences which one you should buy. But here we recommend Excell L23HPE 3 Gallon Air Compressor for its robust built.

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