5 Best Air Compressor for LVLP Spray Gun for 2022

An LVLP sprayer is as good as the air compressor that supports it. Once you have the right model, you can power up more air tools and be the super (handy) man of the house!

In our pursuit of finding the best air compressor for LVLP spray gun, we also came across four amazing alternatives. One of which is religiously used by paint job contractors in the USA!

At the end of the day, a good compressor is your key to using air-powered tools at full throttle. It’s exactly what we had in mind while selecting the five compressor models below.

Scroll down to our air compressor reviews, or read our buying guide to know all about them!

5 Best Air Compressors for LVLP Spray Guns

zot sure which air compressor will fit your LVLP sprayer? Lucky for you, we researched air compressors very recently! Each model is different and suits any LVLP spray gun application you have in mind!

Without further ado, let’s look at the most powerful and reliable air compressors for Low Volume Low-Pressure guns!

CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake

Although it’s a standard compressor unit, you have no reason to think that it’s useless. The fact that it’s portable makes it a way better compressor than those heavyweight units — most homeowners who used this compressor like it for three different reasons.

Number one, its recovery time is under five minutes, which means the compressor is able to refill its air pressure from zero to 150psi in this timeframe. So, lengthy applications such as painting a car or refurbishing an old wardrobe should roughly take an hour or two.

CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake

Up next, we have its 0.8 HP motor. It’s nothing extraordinary. But as far durability is concerned, it’s one of the best air compressors you can get for the price.

The fan pattern depends on what LVLP sprayer you’re using and the size of the spray tip. Rest assured, you can expect a beefy performance from this Craftsman compressor.

The third reason is the rust-free steel tank tied with the oil-free pump. Our love for oil-free units goes all the way back to generators, but that story is for another day.

For now, if you’re from a colder climate, Craftsman has got good news for you! It’s a cold-weather-friendly unit, and therefore, it starts effortlessly in the winter seasons.

All things considered, we don’t know how good a painter you are, but we can guarantee that your air compressor will be the best of its kind! This top-notch compressor is very close to perfect. However, its 6-gallon capacity has mixed reviews from other users.

While most people liked the small size, others preferred a 10 gal. model from California Air Tools. On a similar note, its noise level is 78.5 decibels, which is pretty rowdy for Mr. Tiny Tank.

Pros

  1. Suitable for spraying acrylics, clearcoats, and lacquers
  2. A high-performance motor and an oil-free pump
  3. Lightweight and portable unit
  4. Cools down easily and recovers the max psi in a few minutes
  5. Holds the right pressure level for compressed air

Cons

  1. Compressor is a little noisy

Verdict

This pancake compressor is a perfect choice for homeowners who’ve recently taken up spray-painting as a hobby. It packs enough power to drive a couple more tools. Since it’s a portable model, you can easily use this compressor for miscellaneous jobs.

California Air Tools CAT-4710SQ Oil-Free Air Compressor

If you’re looking for a high-performance air compressor that is quiet at the same time — then this should be your pick. This compressor has a unique design that provides minimal sound as it operates at 1680 RPM.

The low RPM also means there’s a lower chance of any sort of wear, so durability is never a question with California Air Tools!

California Air Tools CAT-4710SQ Oil-Free Air Compressor

California Air Tools built this product keeping DIY and homeowners in mind. Its 1.0 HP motor is powerful, and its Oil-free dual-piston pump gives you optimum performance week in, week out. Its piston pump has a life cycle of 1000+ hours, which is almost double the number of other air compressors.

Oil-free pumps are always a great addition to air compressors because it allows the machine to work well in different temperatures or uneven terrains. Additionally, this machine has a 4.7-gallon steel air tank that is quite lightweight.

The overall setup process is quite simple with the CAT-4710SQ. All you have to do is attach the air filter and rubber fits, plug them in, and that’s all!

Its tank gets filled in within 2 minutes and doesn’t take a lot of time to recharge. Be it low-volume air tools, inflatable toys, or filling tires- this air compressor works like magic with all of them!

In a nutshell, the CAT-4710SQ is a durable and reliable air compressor that you can carry around and one that will give you high performance. It uses less air and low pressure, so you can comfortably spray lacquers across the workpiece!

Pros

  1. A lightweight and portable compressor
  2. Comes with an oil-free pump
  3. Highly durable and reliable product
  4. Operates at 1680 RPM and creates low noise and wear
  5. Maintains accurate cubic feet per minute

Cons

  1. Customer service is not commendable

Verdict

If your main job with LVLP is to apply clearcoats and lacquers, you should find this product a great buy. It’s low-maintenance, oil-free, and puts out an accurate pressure level for DIY paintwork at home.

Powermate Vx PLA4708065 80-Gallon Electric Air Compressor

This is the most powerful compressor for homeowners as we speak. If your air tool applications require heavy backup, consider the Powermate Vx your one of the best air compressors for the job!
Its 80-gallon capacity beats that of many corded electric and portable units we know of.

This one is also compatible with an air ratchet, impact driver, air hammer, and an HVLP gun. Some might say it’s a bit over the top for LVLP sprayers.

Powermate Vx PLA4708065 Electric Air Compressor

Well, you never know what paint job is coming up. So, you might as well get a compressor that works with both, right? Not to mention, its cast-iron body is in for the long haul. The crankcase is a sturdy 1-piece construction.

So, the compressor will definitely outlive your low-volume, low-pressure sprayers. Did you expect anything less from a unit that costs over a thousand bucks?

We certainly did not. Therefore, we liked that it’s got a 4.7 HP motor, which is four times as powerful as those trendy pancakes. At 90 psi, it releases compressed air at 14 cubic feet per minute.

We didn’t find a similar compressor that handles compressed air as efficiently as the Powermate Vx. In fact, we were pleasantly surprised to see this unit maintaining the pressure level with zero loss.

The only downside is that it uses an oil-lubricated pump. It means you’ll have to spend a bit more time on the cleanups, which wasn’t a problem for oil-free compressors.

Pros

  1. Maximum pressure level is 155 psi
  2. Compatible with most high-powered tools
  3. A heavy-duty cast-iron body and crankcase
  4. Supports a wide fan pattern for LVLP systems

Cons

  1. Requires more maintenance

Verdict

If you hate waiting out the recovery time for using compressors, this beefy unit should be your number one choice. For one, its 80-gallon tank retains the optimal air pressure and supports a much longer duty cycle compared to other models.

Master Airbrush Professional CoolRunner II Airbrushing Kit

If you ever considered buying a full airbrushing kit, this here is a sign that you should! We never intended to review an entire compressor and airbrushing nozzle kit, but CoolRunner II was actually cool enough to change our mind!

First of all, its compressor is equipped with two cooling fans. They allow the unit to stay cool for longer periods of time. For occasional paint jobs, its 1.5 HP motor isn’t bad for a medium-size compressor.

Master Airbrush Professional CoolRunner II Airbrushing Kit

It atomizes the paint like finely-milled spray and applies it evenly across the surface. Plus, you can stay confident about the outcome, especially with fast-drying paints like enamel. You can control the fan pattern by focusing on a certain spot or covering a big area with stains.


You get a total of three sprayers — one ⅓ oz. gravity feed airbrush with a 0.3mm tip, two siphon feed airbrushes with a 0.35 mm, and a 0.8mm tip. Overspraying is out of the question when the spray tips are that fine!

For DIYers, these three types of accessories cover most airbrush applications. Let’s not forget about the 6 colors, including bright red and Sapphire blue!

As you can see, Cool Runner II features multiple spray tips of different sizes. So, you can spray lacquers, acrylics, and enamels in any fan pattern of your choice. There’s a handy water filter that cancels out undiluted water in the feed cup.

Overall, it’s everything we ever wanted in the coolest compressor under 150 bucks. To top it all off, the product comes with a 6-foot-long air hose and two airbrush holders for a neat job. We don’t know what will if that doesn’t make it one of the best air compressors.

Pros

  1. Comes with 3 types of airbrushes
  2. Dual fan cooling system for longer duty cycles
  3. Includes six 1oz. acrylic paint bottles
  4. Fast, noise-free operation

Cons

  1. Nozzle tips require cleaning after every use

Verdict

Cool Runner II seems to be a pretty good deal for the average artist because you’re getting airbrushes, paint materials, thinners, and cleaners alongside the compressor. The 1.5 HP motor is impressive, and airbrushing justifies its low CFM output.

California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Air Compressor

Previously, we liked the CAT-4710SQ model from California Air Tools. While it had a 1 HP motor and a decent 4.7-gallon tank, the brand pulled out all the stops in their CAT-10020C air compressor. It’s got twice the capacity and horsepower and allows you to take your paint jobs to the next level.

For example, if you enjoyed using an HVLP gun, there’s a high chance you liked its speedy application! With this compressor, you can have the same level of speed in your LVLP system. This particular one features an incredible 5.3 CFM at maximum pressure, whereas most portable compressors max out at 2-3 CFM.

California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Air Compressor

Its dual piston design is similar to the one we reviewed earlier, but these are better in terms of power and capacity. To make the most of its 10 gal steel tank, California Air Tools included two universal ¼-inch quick connectors. This way, you can share the painting experience with another person.

As if the CAT-10020C wasn’t cool enough, the brand hits you with the fastest recovery time of only 25 seconds! We also like its extended duty cycle that covers lengthy paint jobs at home and garage. Plus, this compressor is one of the most noiseless 2HP units available right now at only 70 decibels.

This compressor features an Easy Start Valve, which allows the unit to use fewer starting amps. So, it’s not going to freeze when the temperature drops.

In our opinion, the CAT-10020C can easily be one of the best air compressors if you don’t mind the weight. Thanks to its two wheels, you can easily transport the unit from one site to another.

Pros

  1. Fills the empty tank under 2 minutes
  2. Comes with thermal overload protection
  3. A generous 10-gallon air capacity
  4. Delivers 5.3 CFM at 90 psi

Cons

  1. A bit expensive for low-pressure power tools

Verdict

Since it’s an oil-free unit, the air is much cleaner, and the compressor itself requires little maintenance. Its duty cycle is generous considering the overload protection and Easy Start Valve. Overall, this is one of the best compressors for people with high noise levels.

How to Buy the Best Air Compressor for LVLP Spray Guns?

When it comes to spray-painting, you need an air compressor that supports your sprayer’s maximum pressure. But to buy the best-in-class compressor for an LVLP gun, you need to consider a bunch of things.

Factors such as durability, noise, pump, and materials also come into play starting from the pressure levels. If you want to make the most out of a compressor, give the following guide a read!

Air Pressure

We always get the question — “how do you compare air compressors?” Just look at their air consumption at a fixed pressure level, and that’s your answer! Most pneumatic tools require a starter pressure for operating, even when they can dial down the psi level later on.

The compressor’s maximum pressure level will give you an idea of its coverage, runtime, and speed. In most cases, the pressure at the tip of an LVLP system is around 30 psi. Anything greater is considered high but still okay for LVLP systems.

Tank Size

If you’re going to paint trim works, the last thing you want is a compressor with a whopping tank. For general use, a 10 gal. compressor is a good place to start. You can look at 5-gallon models for painting small projects.

Moving forward, you may use the same compressor for both an HVLP and an LVLP system. But at times like these, we personally prefer beefy compressor models like the 80 gal. Powermate Vx and corded electric units from California Air Tools.

Weight

Unless you entertain the idea of dragging a 50-pound compressor up the stairs, pay attention to its weight. If the applications are minimum, a portable air compressor should be enough. And if it’s going to sit in your tool shed, you can look into heavy-duty dual-piston pump units.

Motor Quality

Want to use the air compressor all year round? Then the motor should start in cold weather easily. Plus, the equation here is quite simple. The higher the horsepower, the more coverage you get at any pressure level. For homeowners and DIYers, compressors with a 2HP motor should seal the deal.

But if you happen to be refurbishing an old car, pick a dependable unit. The motor should support a long runtime and replenish the air pressure quickly. Craftsman, California Air Tools, and Powermate are great American brands to consider.

Paint Medium

Usually, LVLP sprayers are good for applying acrylics and water-based paints. They’re easy to atomize and don’t require a high-volume output to get the desired finish. Spraying high-viscosity paints like enamel and latex is a bit of a stretch for compressors.

So, before you buy an air compressor, consider the paint medium. Chances are you’ll be working with more than one type of paint. Atomizing lacquers, stains and sealants won’t take up too much air pressure. The same goes for automotive paints.

What Size Air Compressor Do You Need for LVLP Sprayers?

The size of the compressor depends on your intended use, medium, and the capacity of the spray gun itself. For example, if you’re painting a car, you cannot use a 6-gallon air compressor. You’ll likely need a 50-gallon corded-electric model for the job.

To apply the base coat with an LVLP gun, you’ll need a minimum 10-gallon capacity inside the compressor. We’re not saying lower models are downright unfit. It’s just that the paint job could take up hours of your time.

As you can see, a medium-size air compressor works with most low-pressure pneumatic tools. So, it’s best to point out your usual necessities (painting, inflating tires, DIY woodworking) and pick a compressor depending on those applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good air pressure for spray painting with an LVLP spray gun?

10 to 30 psi is a good air pressure range for spray painting with an LVLP spray gun. It actually depends on the surface area and what type of paint you’re using.

Either way, you can expect a 150-psi maximum pressure ceiling from most LVLP sprayers for home use. The trick here is to pick an air compressor with a higher CFM rate than the spray gun itself.

What CFM is good for LVLP sprayers?

4 to 18 CFM is good coverage for LVLP guns. They use less air volume compared to HVLP sprayers. They finely atomize most types of paints and leave no spot behind.

By turning the CFM further down, you can get even coverage and decrease product waste. This is why pancake air compressors are so efficient when it comes to painting.

What type of air compressor do I need for an LVLP spray gun?

You need a pancake air compressor for an LVLP spray gun. First of all, they are lightweight and portable. Secondly, these oil-free compressors require little to no maintenance.

It’s true that they aren’t as high-powered as corded electric models. But they deliver a decent CFM for regular painting projects that require low pressure.

Is the Master Airbrush Cool Runner II worth it?

The Cool Runner II from Master Airbrush is definitely worth considering. First, you get 3 high-quality airbrushes and 6 water-based acrylic colors in the box. It supports a wide range of color media, from low viscosity to high viscosity paints.

Moreover, the durable air compressor is backed by two cooling fans and a pressure regulator for accurate application! See? Plenty of things to like!

What is the best pancake air compressor for homeowners?

If you’re new to LVLP sprayers, consider CRAFTSMAN’s 6-gallon air compressor with the 13-piece accessory kit. You get about 2.6 CFM at 90 psi from this particular model. It comes with two couplers so that another person can use this compressor at the same time.

The compressor fills up in 5 minutes, and there’s no considerable pressure loss once the valve is in position.

Conclusion

The five air compressors we reviewed today are standard units for the average person. However, there are two models that push the envelope with their incredible capacity and psi levels.

First off, the best air compressor for LVLP spray gun is no other than the CAT-4710SQ by California Air Tools! It’s a beefy compressor with an ample 4.7-gallon capacity. You can use it to spray-paint cars and furniture.

We like its overall performance and its ability to hold air pressure for long periods of time. Although, it’s every DIYer’s dream to own a versatile painter’s set like the CoolRunner II. So, if you like that model from Master Airbrush, go for it!

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