If you’ve ever driven a car, you know what it’s like to have a flat tire while on the road. Since you don’t have a gas station nearby, it’s going to cause you even more problems.
Fortunately, you no longer have to worry about this when you have a Best 12 volt air compressor at hand. If we’re right, that’s what you’re looking for.
That being said, this article is going to be your handy guide to finding the right one within your budget. Reviewing and hand-picking the best 12 volt air compressor from the market, we have selected 7 best portable air compressors.
To go through the whole piece, you’re welcome if that sounds promising to you.
In case you’re in a hurry, here’s a glimpse of our best pick:
Our Top Pick: Viair 00088 88P
The compressor offers a state-of-the-art design with the ability to inflate tires up to 33″. With a maximum pressure of 120psi and a maximum air flow rate of 1.47 CFM, this is a fast, convenient model within your budget.
Best 12v air compressor
1. Viair 88p portable air compressor: Best Overall
The problem with 12V air compressors is that they often cannot inflate large tires unless they are 12V. A large tire is one that is larger than 33 inches wide. Despite this, our crown-winner, the Viair 00088 88P, seems to be the best. Here are some of its important features:
- With 120psi of maximum pressure delivery, it can be one of the best portable air compressors for tires (large as 33″) and similar ones.
- The maximum amperage of the compressor is 20 amps, which is much better than most others.
- The compressed air delivery rate of 1.47 CFM is good for quick inflation.
- It is possible to cover a considerable distance between power source and tires with a 10 foot power cord and 16 foot hose.
Nowadays, inflating compressors with cigarette outlets are one of the most convenient features. The fact that this one does not use a battery is an unfortunate con.
- Perfect for large(up to 33”) tires.
- Suits tires of cars, ATVs, SUVs, etc.
- 10 ft power cord and 16 ft hose length.
- Comes with a 3-piece inflation kit.
- Bright LED indicator with intuitive units.
- Provides a good gas mileage.
- Makes the tires last longer.
- Has to be connected directly to the car battery.
2. EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump:Best for medium tires
Users who aren’t mechanics often search for a secure, trustworthy source of air for their tires. As far as we’re concerned, the EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump checks all the boxes. As the cherry on top, it’s also reasonably priced.
- One of the best air compressors for semi truck tires, it has a remarkable inflation speed of 1.06CFM.
- PSI, KPA, BAR and other recognizable pressure units are displayed on a bright LED display.
- The in-line fuse within the power cord ensures the greatest level of safety.
- The device automatically shuts off once the temperature exceeds 167 degrees Fahrenheit.
After deep analysis, we concluded that the device’s exterior isn’t all that safe. The most sensitive parts of it are openly exposed, so a single drop can ruin it totally. You might need to check this threat separately.
- 1.06 CFM inflation capacity.
- Goes with a wide variety of inflation works.
- The intuitive, 4-unit display is there.
- Auto shut off and heat protection.
- Comes with a backup fuse as well.
- CE-certified design and built quality.
- cThe max speed is only 70psi.
- Not so protected against outdoor threats.
3. Helteko Portable Air Compressor Pump: Best air compressor for car tires
When you need to meet the performance and budget requirements of 12V compressors, it’s hard to find the best products. Helteko Portable Air Compressor Pump is the best choice for those who are looking for the best 12V air compressor within their budget. Read on for more information:
- Ideally suited to tires on mid-sized cars, this compressor offers superior performance. One tire can be inflated in less than five minutes with this compressor.
- Due to its compactness, it produces very little noise (less than 50 dB) while operating.
- Unlike many other compressors, this one can work continuously for a long time. It can run continuously for 10 minutes at a time.
- With the combination of ABS plastic and metal, the built quality of this product is maintained. It is also quite durable because of this combination.
- A flow rate of 35 liters/minute might not be the best, but it’s good enough for consumer-grade use.
- The cable length is 3.5 meters, which is long enough for any application on site.
- In addition to car tires, you can also inflate the tires of bicycles, SUVs, motorbikes, etc.
The LCD display placement is one area we think needs improvement. If it were at the top of the device, it would be more convenient.
- 150psi maximum working pressure.
- Can deliver 35L/minute air flow rate.
- 3.5 meters long cable provided.
- Low noise level of <50dB.
- Can work continuously for up to 10 minutes.
- Comes with a handful of accessories.
- The placement of the display is not the best in the game.
4. FORTEM Digital Tire Inflator for Car: Best light-weight
If you aren’t a garage enthusiast but still need to inflate your car tires yourself, this is the right pick for you. A one-line complement on the FORTEM Digital Tire Inflator is: it’s so easy to use.
- This compression is easy to use. Put the hose in place, set the pressure, and you’re good to go.
- You can operate the machine at night with the LED lights on the upper half.
- You can also use it to inflate air beds, sports balls, and similar inflatables in addition to car tires.
- Compactness and lightness are the main characteristics of the design. At 1.9 lbs, it weighs just a few ounces.
- By using a hose as narrow as possible, we minimize the pressure loss.
You have to keep a few things in mind when using. One of them is that the maximum pressure of 150 psi can only be used with bicycle tires. Another limitation is that it can only run for about eight minutes.
- Max pressure of 150psi.
- 9.84 feet hose length.
- Weighs as lightly as 1.9 pounds.
- Easy to use by even amateurs.
- Automatic shut-off enabled.
- It doesn’t reduce pressure through the hose.
- Can’t run for more than 8 minutes.
5. P.I. AUTO STORE Premium Air Compressor: Best air flow rate
P.I. AUTO STORE
In the event that you are concerned about fast-inflating your car tire, we are confident you will enjoy the P.I. Automotive Premium Air Compressor. With it, you can easily inflate a tire in a short period of time, it’s compact and reliable.
- A 38L/min air flow rate results in very quick inflation of the inflatable subject.
- A compact and storable design is evident in this device. It’s well built body also makes it a great option.
- In addition to the main device itself, you will receive four spare dust caps. Taking the device with you will be no problem.
- It will automatically stop over-inflation of a tire if you accidentally do so.
- This cable has a total reach of 13 feet, which is ideal for covering long automobiles.
- LED display with 100 lumens is good for working both day and night.
It might be a good idea to mention the valve stem connector here. After quite some time of use, some consumers have found the connector to be problematic.
- Very compact footprint.
- Can inflate at 38L/min rate.
- 13 feet long cable coverage.
- Comes with 4 spare dust caps.
- 100 lumen bright LED display.
- Easily storable.
- The valve stem connector is a bit troublesome.
6. AstroAI Portable Air Compressor Pump: Best for accuracy
Sometimes, it’s more important than anything to inflate a tire as precisely as possible. If you are concerned with small deviations in car tire pressure, then the AstroAI Portable Air Compressor Pump is for you. Here are the details:
- Precision is maintained as close to 1% for inflation (as set by preset value).
- With a pressure range of 0-100 psi, it is possible to control the outcome accurately.
- There is an inline fuse that prevents damages from voltage and amperage fluctuation.
- This device has an inflation capacity of 35L/min, which is the basic industry standard.
- The device automatically shuts off when it overheats. It has a temperature limit of 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
With the most talked about precise inflation technology, it only works within 100psi. In the case of car tires, however, the pressure is usually above the upper limit of this range. The display is not LED, so it might be difficult to use at night.
- 1-100 psi precision pressure control.
- Only 1% fluctuation is allowed.
- In-line fuse for protection.
- Auto shut off due to overheating.
- A complete inflating solution for automotives.
- Top-embedded display.
- The display is a non-LED one, hard to use at night.
- 100psi precision doesn’t go with large tires.
7. DEWALT DCC020IB 20V Max Inflator
The best thing about our last pick on the list is that it can go with multiple power sources, unlike other models. Specifically, this compressor can be powered by either a 20V Max battery or a 110V AC outlet, as well as 12V DC. It can be used at home and on the go.
Having said that, here are the other specs:
- Runs on any power source, including 20V Max DC, 12V DC, or 110V AC outlets.
- In the box are onboard accessories. In this way, anyone can inflate in 360 degrees.
- With the gauge, it is easy to check and monitor the pressure level.
The weight of this compressor makes it difficult to use on the go. About 3 pounds makes it difficult to carry around.
- 3 power sources are compatible.
- Comes with inflation accessories.
- On board LED display.
- Quick and easy to use.
- Rubber feet on the bottom.
- Not so light to carry around.
- Extremely costly compared to other models.
Best 12 Volt Air Compressor: buying guide
If you want to get the best portable air compressor for rv tires and other automotive tires, you need to look for a few specific features. We will discuss these in this section of the article.
- The Pressure
Tires come with a specific range of inflation pressure measured in pounds per square inch. As a result, you should eventually reach the psi range that your air compressor will work at. The tire will be almost impossible to inflate if this is not the case.
Moreover, larger tires have a higher psi requirement, which is why car tires are so big.
- Inflating Speed
You definitely want to juggle the inflation job as quickly as possible while making sure everything else goes well. That’s where the speed of inflation comes into play.
As long as the inflating speed of 12V compressors is taken into consideration, it’s usually between 1.0 and 1.47 CFM. Use a larger compressor when inflating larger tires. Or vice versa.
- The Power Compatibility
Because we’re limited to 12 volt air compressors, it is imperative that all these picks are equipped with 12 volt DC outlets. You need to check for AC-power compatibility(110V) as well if you want to use the compressor at home or in the garage.
- The Hose and Cable Length
We’re talking about two different cables/pipes, and the length of each counts for different reasons. The length of the hose will allow you to reach distant car tires without moving the compressor. On the other hand, the length of the power cord allows you to be close to the compressor when working on inflation.
Make sure that there is no pressure distortion by selecting a decent hose length. Also, stay away from short power cords.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
What is the best 12 volt tire inflator?
The Viair 00088 88P is our hand-picked best 12V tire inflator based on quality and price.
How does a 12 volt air compressor work?
A 12V air compressor draws its power from a 12V battery and delivers compressed air to inflate tires.
How much psi do I need to fill tires?
For example, if you want to inflate tires, you would require a pressure range between 30-150psi.
What size air compressor Do I need to fill car tires?
When it comes to the size of the compressor, it is best to keep it as small as possible.
We have now concluded our review of the top 12 volt air compressors. We conclude by saying that we found Viair’s 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor to be the best bang for the buck. If you are looking for a portable air compressor pump within your budget, the Helteko Portable Air Compressor Pump is our recommendation.