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Last updated: 24 January 2017

Portable air compressors are useful for the avid 4WD bush basher and the city driver who wants to look after their tyres. We lab test and review the latest models to help you find the best air compressor for you. Our buying guide will help you understand their features.

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Our expert tester gives every air compressor a thorough workout to help find the models that:

  • are the most accurate
  • inflate tyres quickly
  • are easiest to use
  • are the quietest.

Our interactive comparison tool helps you find out which compressors also have a tyre gauge, and which can plug into your car cigarette lighter. Our Recommended list will help you see quickly which models come out on top.

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List of brands we tested in this review.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 70 and 349

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Hands free tyre deflator

Inflation score

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The inflation score is calculated as a percentage based on the amount of time taken to inflate the test tyre from 0 psi to 40 psi. Size of test tyre was 245 70/R16.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

Over pressure safety cut-out


Can operate when not connected to tyre valve

Air filter

Pressure gauge


Length of hose (m)

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Length of power cord (m)

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 2.3 and 3

Weight (kg)

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 2.2 and 8.7

Included in this review

Members-only access
  • Overall score
  • Recommended
  • Inflation score
  • Ease of use score
  • Noise (dBA)
  • Time to inflate tyre from 0 to 40psi (min:s)
  • Accuracy at 40psi
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Price
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Sand tray
  • Can operate from cigarette lighter
  • Hands free tyre deflator
  • Can operate when not connected to tyre valve
  • On/off switch
  • Air filter
  • Carry bag
  • Pressure gauge
  • Thermal safety cut-out
  • Over pressure safety cut-out
  • Length of hose (m)
  • Length of power cord (m)
  • Weight (kg)
  • Dimensions (HxWxD)
  • Contact
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