Best 12 Volt Air Compressor Reviews [2020 Guide]

So you are looking for Best 12 Volt Air Compressor Reviews. If you want to check out more compressors for your home, shop, cars or looking for quiet compressors, pancake compressors do review my main page on portable compressors.

Okay now back to these 12v compressors that are very handy, mobile, simple to use, and can be used in regular tire inflation, sports ball inflation tasks. If you own a bike or a car there are chances that you will need 12 Volt Air Compressor for inflating flat tires.

I am sure that this guide will provide you all the information needed to finalize the Best 12v Air Compressor for your home, shop, garage etc.


Best Value Pick : If you are looking for a light weight compressor which is easy to use and can be used to inflate objects like sports balls, tires then pretty much go for Kensun 12V compressor. 

Best Of The Best Pick : If you are looking for a little more powerful option with good ratings & reviews then go for Viair 88P which is compact yet powerful enough for your day to day inflation needs.

Best Value Pick

Kensun 110V/12V AC/DC

Kensun 12 Volt Compressor

We live in a rapidly changing era. Several device manufacturers are battling to reduce huge products into small manageable devices. In the field of small air compressors, the presence of Kensun Company’s compressor is a true evidence of this advancement.

Kensun AC/DC portable air compressor weighs just 4.4 pounds and can pump pressure of up to 40 PSI. Its cable however is capable to withstand higher pressures of up to 250 PSI.

This new device is what you need in your car for emergency filling or in schools to refill deflated ball games. In simpler terms, the Kensun AC/DC air compressor is a testimony to future advancements.


  1. Electricity: can consume up to 12V on DC or 110V AC.
  2. Air Pressure: this air compressor can pump up to 40 PSI.
  3. Adaptors: comes with three different nozzle adaptors for inflating different components.
  4. Outer Casing: covered by steel.


  • Portability: the Kensun AC/DC portable compressor, is so far among the lightest air compressors in the market ever produced. Weighing just about 4.4 pounds, this device is light enough to be tied to bikes in the place of normal bike pumps.
  • Ease of use: Besides the extremely simplified weight, the Kensun portable air compressor is relatively easier to use as it comes readily assembled and requires minimal assembling by the user. Besides, it has very less buttons ensuring its efficiency and ease of use.
  • Offers a variety of application: the compressor also comes with three different air nozzles that can be used to inflate a variety of objects like sport balls, bike tires, caravans and vehicle tires. This feature makes it an unmatched compressor in the field.
  • Power Conservation: the Kensun AC/DC portable compressor only requires 12V on DC charge or 110V in AC to perform optimally.
  • It is silent: When contrasted with other air compressors, the Kensun AC/DC air compressor could gain an upper hand as it hardly produces noise during operation.


  • Less powerful: the Kensun AC/DC portable air compressor’s 40 PSI air pressure is way too low when compared to other air compressors. This means, it is limited to domestic use only.
  • Relatively slower: this pump fails to match the speeds of operation of other pumps. It takes considerably longer time to inflate objects as opposed to other pumps.
  • Less durable: though with eye catching looks and capabilities, the Kensun compressor still requires a high degree of care in order to keep it away from spoiling. This owes to the fact that its outer covering is rather slim steel that is no match for metal cage protectors in many air compressors.


When compared to other air compressors, the Kensun model may be lacking various components or may fail to match the abilities of the bigger air compressors. Nonetheless, considering the factors of size, efficiency and portability, the this air compressor deserves thumbs up from our side.

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Best of The Best Pick

VIAIR 88P Portable Air Compressor

Viair 88P Portable Compressor

The ‘VIAIR 88P Portable Air Compressor’ is well-built with mostly metal. The compressor is very rugged and has sufficient weight so that it does not bounce while it is working. The high duty cycle makes it work fast and for a longer duration at a time without the need to cool down. Between the three Viair models 88P, 85P and 70P there are certain obvious advantages which 88P enjoys over the other 2 models:

  1. Higher Duty Cycle Time (45%) vs 15% Duty Cycle of 70P
  2. 1.98 SCFM Power Output vs 1.27 SCFM Output of 70P
  3. Maximum Feat Reach of 20 Feet compared to 13 Feet Reach of 85P
  4. Can Fill Tires upto 33 Inches

The Inflator comes with the other following main features:

  • The Max Working Pressure is 120 PSI but the engine should be running while in use.
  • The Inflator is portable and is compact in size.
  • The alligator clamps direct to battery empowers it.
  • Apt for small ATVs, SUVs, Sedans, etc.
  • It comes with an LED/power indicator and features a Ft. Power Cord & 12 Ft. Air Hose.

The Pros:

  • The battery connection cable and the hose are long enough so as to easily reach the rear Tire on the opposite side of the car.
  • The Unit connects directly to your vehicle battery and is much easy to use than the clamp type of connection.
  • It is fast in operation and is quiet in functioning.
  • Has a built in replaceable fuse of 20amp for protection.

 The Cons:

  • The unit must be turned off to correctly read the Tire pressure; the gauge is inaccurate during inflation.
  • The battery clips are too small to fit on the terminals.


Overall it works well if you figure out the few problems listed above. The Compressor comes with hefty wires and is fused so your battery won’t boil or explode. Though a little high on price yet is a good choice to make.

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Other Popular Models

VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor

Viair 85P Review

The ‘VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor’ is great for the small pump that it is. It is a bit quiet and doesn’t bounce around when you’re using it making it more stable and durable for a longer time.

The Inflator comes with the other following main features:

  • 12-volt portable air compressor with a built-in LED work light.
  • Tire pressure can be monitored using the gauge incorporated into the top of the unit.
  • Portable air compressor powered by auxiliary power outlet. (The 85P can only be used if your outlet is rated to 15 AMPS/180 Volts or more)
  • Easy to read Tire pressure gauge mounted on the compressor.
  • Engine must be running when in use.
  • The brass screw-on Tire chuck makes for almost no air loss.

The Pros:

  • The brass screw-on Tire chuck makes for almost no air loss.
  • It is easy to read Tire pressure on the gauge.
  • The inflator is relatively quiet and does not bounce around while working.
  • It has a built-in LED work light which is a nice touch.

The Cons:

  • Gauge is inaccurate during inflation. Compressor must be turned off to get true reading.


It’s small, quiet, compact, fast and doesn’t bounce around. In my opinion, this Tire Inflator is by far a cut above the rest if compared to other air compressors within the same price range.

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Viair 00073 70P Review

Viair 0073 ReviewThere is very little to choose between above Kensun model and Viair 00073 model.

VIAIR is a known company that excels in creating 12 and 24 Volt compressors for all kinds of vehicles tires. Some of the key features of Viair 00073 70P is it can support maximum working pressure of 100 PSI, very lightweight only 5 lbs, comes integrated with 150 PSI Gauge so that you can monitor the tire pressure, comes in a stylish deluxe carry bag.


  • Small and Very Light, can be packed very easily inside the bag which comes free with it. Due to the small size it can be kept in the car trunk so that you can use it during emergencies.
  • Fast Operation: To inflate a tire from zero to 32 lbs the compressor takes on an average 4-5 minutes which is very fast considering the size and portability advantages the device offers.
  • Good Build Quality:The device draws lower current ratings during operation, produces low sound output and also runs at a low temperature meaning comfortable working environment conditions. This also means a better return on investment than the cheaper 20,25 dollars compressors which end up breaking with a year.


  • Few issues are there with the cigarette lighter plug as it is meant to work with deep cigarette lighter outlets. So there might be instances that the plug keeps popping out.
  • Also built in gauge might be little off sometimes in the readings so it is advisable to keep a digital pressure gauge handy with you to check if the default gauge on the unit is accurate.
  • Also some customers feel that the bag that comes with it should have some extra pockets so that the extra valves that come with it do not stay loose.


Despite these few shortcomings we feel that this unit is highly in demand as it has garnered great reviews on Amazon.

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12 Volt Tire Inflator vs 12 Volt Air Compressor?

These two are distinct categories as the tire inflators are specifically used for inflating tires, balls, boats etc. as they come with a plug which can be inserted into the socket so that tires can be inflated.

The 12 V compressor is more powerful than the inflators. These can be used to inflate 35 inch tires of tractors, power air tools like air sanders, small impact wrenches etc.

The next product we review comes in category of Inflator pumps. You can check out more Tire Inflators Reviews here.

Our Favorite Tire Inflator

Slime 40022 12-Volt Digital Tire Inflator

Slime 40022 12-Volt Inflator Review

If you are looking for a digital inflator then we suggest you to have a look at this model from Slime. It comes with automatic shutoff which means the device will shut down when the set pressure is reached avoiding over inflation. Also it comes with a digital display which is fairly accurate when compared with a quality manual gauge reading. Also it is least expensive of the above 3 models we have recommended and is more or less equal in terms of features. The display is lighted which means you can use the unit in low light conditions.

It has a very high noise output which might be a deterrent for some. The noise can also be attributed to the light plastic body which vibrates when the device is switched on. But again noise is a relative term and what might appear loud to some may be fine for others.Some customers also complained about the auto shut off feature which does not work as advertised and the inflator basically does not stop after reaching the set pressure.

It is relatively cheaper than other models and is available at Amazon.

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