The 2 gallon air compressor has become the most popular size for most general household applications, as they are almost always small, fairly light, and easy to transport, yet still generate enough pressure to be useful. In the world of air compressors, bigger generally means more powerful, which is why these little 2-gallon air compressors are the smallest compressors available that can still do more than blow up inflatable tires and toys or operate an airbrush. Depending on how you intend to use it, this compressor may be the best option available to you.
A 2 gallon air compressor is defined as such because it has a 2 gallon tank, which can be a single tank or a pair of gallon tanks connected together. The net result is the same whether there are one or two tanks, so this should not be a major concern. The tank (s) perform two main functions, both of which are very useful and are the reason why almost all serious air compressors have tanks. The first is that they accumulate a reservoir of compressed air in the tanks and once the limits of the tank are reached, the compressor stops accumulating more. This prevents the compressor, or the tool or device that receives the compressed air, from exploding and also allows the motor to periodically rest, allowing it to run longer. Second, the tanks allow the air stream from the outlet to remain stable, despite any fluctuation in engine performance.
Although there is a lot of variety, the 2 gallon air compressor is almost always small and easy to move. In fact, many 2 gallon air compressors sold are specifically sold together with a “kit” that provides all the accessories needed for a particular process. For example, you can purchase a nail gun kit or paint sprayer kit that comes with a nail gun, paint sprayer, and other accessories, as well as a 2 gallon air compressor in total as a single item. Even if purchased as a separate unit, most of the time the 2 gallon compressor is designed to operate at least one pneumatic tool, so most will generate at least 90 psi (pounds per square inch of pressure) and at least three to seven cfm (cubic feet per minute of air flow).
Most 2 gallon air compressors are designed to plug in and use an electric motor that is powered through a standard household outlet. There are portable versions available, which run on gas or with a battery pack, but these are not really practical or common. Although there are 2 gallon oil lubricated compressors available, this again is impractical for such small compressors and not very common either.
The 2 gallon air compressor is generally designed to be useful and operate at least one serious tool. As such, many people see them as an excellent compromise between the small 12-volt compressors that are too weak to power anything and the larger 6-gallon compressors that are probably too powerful for most people’s home applications. Although again there is plenty of variety, you can generally expect to spend between $ 150 and $ 250 for a new 2-gallon compressor, although obviously used and reconditioned units will cost less.