Air compressors can be some of the most handy pieces of equipment for any woodworker, painter, or DIYer.
They can be used to power paint sprayers, pneumatic tools, and even dust collection systems.
In this post, I’ll uncover the absolute best 80 gallon air compressor to power your equipment. Let’s dig in!
In a hurry? The DeWalt 80 Gallon Air Compressor is the best 80-gallon air compressor on my list because it can efficiently power a range of air tools and perform numerous tasks, in addition to being lighter and less expensive than competing products.
Quick Answer: Here are My Favorite 80-Gallon Air Compressors! 👇
Best 80 Gallon Air Compressor
- DeWalt 80 Gallon Air Compressor – #1 Best Overall
- Schulz L-Series 80 Gallon Air Compressor – Best Quality
- Campbell Hausfeld XC802100 80 Gallon Vertical – Best Value
- BelAire 80 Gallon Horizontal Air Compressor – Best Horizontal Air Compressor
- Schulz Single Stage 80 Gallon Air Compressor – #2 Runner Up
1. DeWalt 80 Gallon Air Compressor – #1 Best Overall
- Cast iron, 2 stage, oil lubricated pump & Heavy duty 240 volt induction motor
- 80 gallon tank is ASME certified to meet all safety standards
- Durable wire formed belt guard to protect vital components
The DeWalt 80 Gallon Air Compressor is the best all-around air compressor because it’s powerful, versatile, durable, efficient, easy to operate, and affordable when compared to models of similar quality.
This vertical, two-stage pump is made of cast iron and powered by a Baldor 240-volt, 4-pole industrial-class electric motor that can generate 1,725 RPM.
Its 80-gallon tank is ASME-certified and designed to meet all safety standards.
This corded air compressor weighs nearly 400 lbs and its air flow capacity is 13.5 cubic feet per second.
Its single-phase, 7.5 horsepower motor allows it to deliver 22.1 CFM at 100 PSI and 21.2 CFM at 175 PSI, and its sound level is 62dB.
There’s also an extra-capacity oil reservoir built in that’s designed to lower oil temperature and extend the life of the system.
And thanks to patented, deep-grove directional cooling fins—and a patented cast iron flywheel that has large, extended fins—this system stays cooler than others when operating, since less RPM are generated.
This is also one of the best air compressor for sandblasting tasks because of how powerful it is.
What I Liked:
- Relatively high max PSI (175) means it can power a wide variety of air tools
- Numerous cooling devices are used to ensure long lifespan
- Handful of safety features ensure safer operation
- Cast iron tank ensures stability when in use
What I Didn’t Like:
- Can be too powerful for some pneumatic tools
- Weight (398 lbs) makes moving this system a pain
- Bright yellow tank sticks out like a sore thumb in my workshop
2. Schulz L-Series 80 Gallon Air Compressor – Best Quality
- Powder coated ASME receivers
- Oversized check valves
- Enclosed metal belt guard
The Schulz L-Series 80 Gallon Air Compressor is a heavy-duty, two-stage air compressor that’s equipped with numerous high-end components, and its overall quality is superior to all other air compressors on this list.
This ASME-certified system runs on a powerful and highly efficient motor, and it can generate air pressure up to 175 PSI.
Its 80-gallon, cast iron tank can be used both vertically and horizontally, and it has a single-stage function as well.
And thanks to a double-supported crankshaft, this air compressor doesn’t vibrate as much.
It also utilizes a modern, reed-type valve system to ensure first-rate efficiency.
There are also mounted and wired magnetic starters to make operation safer and more convenient.
Its max displacement is 30 CFM, its horsepower is 7.5, its voltage is 230, and its pump RPM is 820.
Finally, this system weighs 565 lbs, and its dimensions are 32 x 25 x 78 inches (LxWxH).
What I Liked:
- Extremely powerful air compressor that can deliver 175 PSI
- Its top-tier pistons and motor allow it to efficiently power multiple air tools which can be extremely convenient
- Less vibrating means less noise and more stability during operation
- Easy-to-adjust belt tension and pressure gauge ensure smoother operation
What I Didn’t Like:
- More expensive than other compressors
- Heaviness makes it very difficult to move around
3. Campbell Hausfeld XC802100 80 Gallon Vertical – Best Value
- Features an Oil-Lubricated, two stage pump to increase the compressor’s longevity and reduced noise
- Designed to tackle a wide variety of jobs, from rotating wheels, painting furniture, grinding welds and heavy…
- 230 volt, 5-running Horsepower, heavy-duty induction motor creates maximum pressure to operate a wider range…
If quality at a low cost is what you’re after, then the Campbell Hausfeld 80 Gallon Vertical is what you need.
This oil-lubricated, two-stage air compressor is made of solid cast iron and equipped with a heavy-duty, 230-volt induction motor.
Its 80-gallon, ASME-certified vertical tank doesn’t take up much space, so it’s ideal for garages and residential workshops.
As far as air pressure goes, this system can deliver 11.9 SCFM at 90 PSI and 11.3 SCM at 175 PSI; its max PSI is 175.
It weighs 410 lbs, so it’s on the lighter side (but still not as light as the DeWalt system discussed above).
In addition to being much more affordable, this air compressor is also less noisy, which in part explains why it’s a preferred system for homeowners, hobbyists, etc.
Its dimensions are 31 x 43 x 81 (LxWxH), and it comes with a three-year limited warranty if purchased directly from Campbell Hausfeld.
What I Liked:
- Much less expensive than competing models
- Its power and efficiency make it great for repairing engines, rotating tires, grinding, sanding, painting, and nailing
- The sturdy cast iron tank ensures less vibrating and allows for smoother operation
- Compact and therefore easier to store and transport
What I Didn’t Like:
- Not as durable or long lasting as other air compressors
- Can only be used vertically
- Doesn’t have as many safety features or system safeguards
4. BelAire 80 Gallon Horizontal Air Compressor – Best Horizontal Air Compressor
As far as two-stage horizontal industrial air compressors go, the BelAire 80 Gallon Horizontal Air Compressor is a superior air compressor that’s ideal for tight spaces.
Its single-phase motor generates 5 horsepower and it can be wired for either 203V or 230V.
Like other systems on this list, it has a cast iron 80-gallon ASME-certified tank, except it’s designed for horizontal placement (whereas most air compressor tanks are vertical).
Its high-flow belt guard is fully enclosed to ensure longevity.
The oil level is easy to read and it utilizes a start-stop pressure switch.
It weighs 491 lbs and measures 71 x 24 x49 inches (LxWxH), and its air flow capacity is 22.4 CFPM.
Like all the other systems on this list, its max PSI is 175, and it’s oil-lubricated.
Lastly, this horizontal air compressor comes with a two-year limited warranty if purchased directly from BelAire.
What I Liked:
- The horizontal air tank is sturdier so you don’t have to worry as much about it tipping over
- Pretty good cost to value when compared to air compressors of similar quality and grade
- Much quieter than other air compressors
- Safety features and system safeguards ensure smooth operation and longevity
What I Didn’t Like:
- The oil-lubricated pump can leak and inhibit essential components, so you have to watch out for it
- Tank’s shape can make certain tasks somewhat challenging and it takes up more horizontal space in your shop
5. Schulz Single Phase 80 Gallon Air Compressor – #2 Overall Runner Up
- Cast iron construction
- Auto start/stop pressure switch operation
- Pressure gauge
The Schulz Single Stage 80 Gallon Air Compressor is the runner-up on this list because it’s a terrific overall system with much to offer, but in a couple key respects the DeWalt product (the best 80-gallon air compressor) is better.
Since it can power both residential and commercial pneumatic tools, it can efficiently perform a range of air-related tasks, like drilling, air brushing, spraying, and nailing.
Its noise output is 70 dB, making it the loudest air compressor on this list.
When it comes to power, it runs on a five-horsepower, 230V single-phase induction motor.
Its max PSI is 175, and it delivers 20 CFPM.
Lastly, it weighs 524 lbs and it measures 56 x 23 x 42 inches (LxWxH).
What I Liked:
- Its compact shape makes it ideal for tight spaces and areas
- Affordable when compared to industrial air compressors of similar quality
- System is safer and more durable thanks to a handful of components
- Easy-to-read and -adjust pressure gauge allows for precision operation
What I Didn’t Like:
- Shouldn’t be used in certain locations because of how loud it is
- Heavier than most air compressors so it’s a pain to move around
- Pump is prone to oil leaks so you have to watch it
What to Consider When Purchasing an 80 Gallon Air Compressor
PSI & CFM
Pound per square inch (PSI) is a unit of pressure, and this is one of the most important factors to consider when shopping for air compressors. Cubic feet per minute (CFM) is just as important.
Essentially, these metrics collectively determine the degree to which air in the tanks is pressurized and the strength at which it’s released.
Therefore, a system with a higher max PSI can compress air to a greater extent, and if its CFM is similarly high this compressed air will be released with considerable force.
Low-noise-level air compressors are preferred because operating them doesn’t cause as much of a disturbance.
The loud noise is mostly the result of the system’s motor running. That said, an air compressor can also make a lot of noise when it’s releasing compressed air.
Generally speaking, the more powerful the system’s motor is, the louder it will be overall. However, the BelAire 80 Gallon Horizontal Air Compressor proves this isn’t always the case, as it’s an industrial air compressor yet its noise level is near the very bottom of the dB scale.
Single Stage vs Two Stage
Most commercial-grade air compressors are two-stage systems, meaning the air in the tank gets pressurized twice.
And two-stage systems don’t just achieve greater air pressure—they also run longer and are less prone to overheating.
But these benefits come at a price, which is why two-stage air compressors are often hundreds more than their single-stage counterparts.
Just because you’re paying top dollar doesn’t mean you’re getting the best air compressor.
Take the DeWalt 80 Gallon Air Compressor, for example. It possesses a lot of the features that a typical compressor has, yet it’s hundreds, even thousands of dollars cheaper than models which are just as good.
That said, the cost of an air compressor is in large part determined by the components it has. There are tons of different safety features for air compressors that can increase the production costs.
Therefore, a system with an integrated control panel, multiple air outlets, reed valves, and a metal belt guard is going to fetch a higher price than a compressor which lacks these components.
At the low end, an 80 gallon air compressor is going to run you $850-$1,200. Quality systems start at $2,200 and can go for as much as $4,400.
Most air compressors, especially those that are used for industrial applications, come with a multi-year limited warranty if you purchase the system directly from the dealer or a seller that’s licensed by them.
In most cases, warranties go for 2-3 years, but you can get an extended warranty with many models.
Air compressor warranties tend to cover defects related to components or workmanship, and usually they’re voided if repairs are attempted by the owner or an unauthorized party.
If you’re going to invest thousands in a high-grade air compressor, it makes sense to get an extensive warranty.
All 80-gallon air compressors are corded, and most are 230V systems.
Since they’re so powerful, and since voltage fluctuations can occur, they’re often equipped with some kind of thermal overload protection system.
It’s best to only plug 80-gallon air compressors into outlets that can handle high power demand.
And even though the air compressors discussed above can be used in tight spaces, this shouldn’t be done unless there’s no other option, since these systems heat up fast and require open space for cooler running.
Need some help using your air compressor? Check out the video below!
To recap, the DeWalt 80 Gallon Air Compressor is the best 80-gallon air compressor overall because it’s powerful, compact, versatile, sturdy, and efficient when delivering compressed air. It’s also priced much lower than competing air compressors of similar quality.
The Schulz L-Series 80 Gallon Air Compressor is the most powerful 80-gallon air compressor, and it’s equipped with numerous features that collectively ensure smooth operation. Its only downsides are its high price and heaviness.
And when it comes to quality at a low cost, no system outdoes the Campbell Hausfeld XC802100 80 Gallon Vertical. It’s less than $1,000, compact, and able to power multiple air tools.