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Mini air compressor

These compressors are particularly small

Air compressors are available in various designs and for a wide range of activities. A mini air compressor, for example, is well suited for use around the house and garden. Even small models can often fill balls and other leisure toys. Tyres can also be inflated quickly. The power often comes from a classic socket (220-230V) or the car’s on-board socket (12V). There are also compact compressed air devices with rechargeable batteries.

Mini air compressor

In the following, we will show you which mini air compressor is the smallest. You will also find out what you should bear in mind in this context. We hope to be able to help you with this guide.

Mini air compressor – 3 models in the presentation

Makita DMP180Z

Smallest Makita DMP180Z

Battery drives have also successfully entered the compressor segment. A high-quality mini air compressor is available in the model Makita DMP180Z .

The appliance deserves to be called mini, because even lengthwise it only takes up 26.6 cm of space. The width is a compact 8 cm. In addition, the compressor weighs a moderate 1.8 kg including the 18V battery and is therefore easy to carry. The well-known LXT series from Makita is used for the power supply. Because 4 different valve adapters are included, you can flexibly inflate car and bicycle tyres, balls and water toys.

The hose is quite short, with a length of 65 cm. So you always have to be quite close to the object. The operation of the battery compressor is very simple. First, it is switched on via the power button on the side. Then you can easily set the desired working pressure using the +/- buttons. The maximum pressure is 8.3 bar. When the desired pressure is reached, the compressor switches off automatically.

In summary, the Makita DMP180Z is a recommendable mini air compressor. It is extremely handy and can be used anywhere. Thanks to the comprehensive accessories, there is no need to purchase additional parts. Two adapters can be stored on the housing at any time. Another highlight is the LED light at the front, thanks to which even dark areas can be reliably illuminated. There is certainly no need to say anything more about the proven 18V LXT series from Makita.

Güde 50077 Airpower 180/08

230V Güde AirPower

Compressor sets that include all accessories for universal use are certainly particularly practical. A popular model in this context is the Güde Airpower 180/08 .

This compressor is supplied together with 3 valve adapters, a tyre inflator, a ball inflator, 250 cm compressed air hose and a blow-out gun. The compressor works oil-free. Therefore, you only need to provide a normal 230V mains supply (EU socket). The compressor can be transported without complications via the upper carrying handle. Admittedly, the weight of just under 5 kg is not quite as light. The footprint measures 31.5×16 cm.

This compressor perhaps no longer deserves to be called “mini”, but rather “small”. On the other hand, it offers you an output of up to 140 litres/minute. Hardly any other device in this category can achieve this, which is why you can make use of particularly universal application possibilities. The peak working pressure is 8 bar and can be read on a classic pressure gauge that can be attached to the gun.

All in all, the Güde 50077 Airpower 180/08 is a popular and small compressor. It is not quite as compact as other models. However, it promises a significantly better delivery rate of over 100 litres of air/minute. This means that you can also fill large air mattresses and the like within a very short time. Everything is included to get you started straight away. All you have to do is plug the cable into a standard socket (220-230V). Most customers are satisfied, but some complain that the device gets hot quite quickly.

Mannesmann M01790

Small 12V

There are also comparatively inexpensive versions in the mini compressor segment. Pleasantly inexpensive, for example, is the Mannesmann M01790 .

This model is supplied via the 12V on-board socket of cars and other vehicles (cigarette lighter). The compressor looks bulky at first glance, but in practice it is only 22 cm long as well as 14 cm wide. Its housing is made of durable die-cast aluminium. Nevertheless, its own weight is a light 2.2 kg. While the rubberised handle already ensures a high level of comfort during transport, a nylon carrying bag is also included.

The scope of delivery also includes 4 adapters for tyres, balls and water toys. With a sound level of 85 dB, this device can actually be described as quiet, as many compressors are beyond 90 dB. Despite the low 12V voltage, you can make use of a working pressure of up to 7 bar. In addition, it is possible to deliver 35 litres of air per minute.

Overall, the Mannesmann M01790 is a proven mini air compressor. It has actually been produced since 2006 and is characterised above all by its robust as well as splash-proof housing. Nevertheless, the device remains lightweight and can be carried effortlessly. However, one should only consider using it for small tasks. The performance data seem promising, but the 12V voltage already has a limiting effect in that the compressor is overloaded more quickly.

Mini air compressor – You should generally pay attention to the following

Selection options & mode of operation

Small compressors are offered in large numbers, which is why you can basically choose from many brand manufacturers. The term mini does not have an exact definition, but at least such a compressor should be able to be used in confined areas and carried effortlessly at all times.

Looking at the drive, you can divide the compressor into 3 categories:

  • Classic mains supply (220-230V)
  • Operation via 12V cigarette lighter in the car
  • Rechargeable battery

The majority of compressors are supplied with power via the normal mains socket. There are also very small models. In general, this category includes versatile solutions that are especially recommended for the workshop and for leisure use.

A 12V air compressor is especially suitable for filling car tyres, because it can be operated directly from the on-board socket. There are often particularly inexpensive models in this segment. The air output/time unit leaves a lot to be desired.

A battery compressor offers you maximum freedom of movement. If you have a full battery at hand, it can be used even in the most remote places. While the air pressure can be quite high, the air output is also rather low.

By the way, small compressors are almost always oil-free. Therefore, you do not have to buy any, nor do you have to dispose of any used oil. The maintenance effort is therefore reduced to a minimum.

On the other hand, the fact that there is no boiler can be seen as negative – understandably for reasons of space. Because no air is prepared, there must be permanent compression. This means that the maximum noise level is to be expected throughout.

In terms of operation, all compressors are very similar. First, a gas – in the form of ambient air – is needed. This is then compressed under the influence of mechanical work. Today, this is done either by pistons (piston compressor) or screws (screw compressor). During the process, additional energy is generated and the pressure increases. When the desired working pressure is reached, a modern compressor switches off automatically.


The power plays a decisive role in every type of compressor. Not only does the result depend on it, but also safety to a considerable extent. Two parameters in particular should be taken into account in this context: the air delivered/time unit and the working pressure.

You can see how much air your desired model can take in and deliver by looking at the intake capacity and the output capacity. Both are shown in the unit litre/minute. It is perfectly normal that less air is delivered than can be taken in.

Usually, a mini air compressor can deliver less than 50 litres/minute. For this reason, its range of use is limited to inflating small objects such as tyres, water toys or balls. Anything else would take too much time. Moreover, it is not possible to operate sophisticated compressed-air tools such as sandblasters.

The working pressure must also be suitable for the task at hand. It is often expressed in bar. Even a small compressor can often provide you with values of 8 bar or more. Especially when objects can burst quickly, it is essential that you adhere precisely to the specifications of the respective manufacturer.

To give you an overview of the required working pressure and the air volume for different tasks, we have created a table below:


  • Inflate ball or air mattress
  • Inflate bicycle tyre
  • Airbrush and paint
  • Inflate car tyres
  • Supply compressed air to nailers & staplers
  • Supply impact wrench or sandblaster with compressed air

Working pressure

  • 2 bar
  • 2-4 bar
  • 4 bar
  • 3-6 bar
  • 6 bar
  • 8-10 bar

Delivery volume

  • Under 50 litres/minute
  • Under 50 litres/minute
  • Up to 300 litres/minute
  • Under 50 litres/minute
  • Under 50 litres/minute
  • Up to 500 litres/minute


Handling should of course be as comfortable as possible. Then every task can be tackled in a focused and efficient manner. A mini compressor naturally has many advantages in this respect.

First of all, the weight of small models is often less than 5 kg. Therefore, transporting them is no challenge, even for senior citizens and women. The smallest models even weigh less than 1 kg.

Not infrequently, there is a handle on the top. Sometimes this can be attached to the housing away from use so that the dimensions can be kept as compact as possible. If the handle is rubberised, there is never any need to fear pressure or even calluses on the palm.

In terms of dimensions, you can expect a length between 20 and 35 cm. The width is sometimes less than 10 cm. Some mini compressors are so compact that they can be carried in the pocket of a pair of work trousers.

In addition, a mini compressor can be used and stowed in the smallest of spaces. This circumstance also increases the comfort in many a situation.

The operation is similar to the larger representatives of the guild and is usually completely uncomplicated. The working pressure can usually be regulated via + and – buttons. When the pressure is reached, it is switched off for safety reasons. A quick coupling and standardised connections allow you to get started immediately and in a variety of ways.

You can read the current working pressure either via a classic manometer or via a digital display. The latter has the advantage of often being illuminated, which is why the value can be seen even in the dark.

Conveniently, mini air compressors in particular come with accessories. For this reason, you can inflate various tyres, balls or water toys without having to make separate purchases.


The volume can have a considerable effect on the comfort during operation. The relevant sound level is expressed in dB (decibels). One should not make the mistake of dismissing a mini air compressor – due to its compact dimensions – as quiet. There can be real noisemakers here, too, which is why it is worth taking a careful look.

In this segment, models with less than 80 dB can indeed be described as very quiet. The majority of compressors are above 90 dB. If operation is to take place in a sensitive environment, such as near a hospital or a school, a quiet mini compressor is of course an indispensable choice. Quiet models are also much more pleasant indoors.

Where to buy

Mini air compressors can be bought in many different ways. They are available in local retail shops as well as in many online shops. If a large selection is important to you, you will probably be best satisfied on a large online marketplace such as Amazon or eBay. There are countless traders here, which also has a positive effect on the prices. Offline, DIY stores, but also large retailers such as Lidl and Aldi, are a good place to start.


The price should be in fair proportion to your own requirements. If this is not the case, there is a higher potential of being disappointed. While the working pressure can be high even with inexpensive models, the air output is often limited to a minimum. The more air you need per time unit and the more often the mini compressor is to be used, the more you should invest.

In general, the first mini air compressors are available for less than 30 Pounds. Such devices can usually only be operated for a short time at a time, because they quickly run hot. 12V models are particularly inexpensive. A high-quality battery compressor, on the other hand, requires a three-digit budget – excluding battery and charger.

Mini air compressor – It has advantages & disadvantages

A mini air compressor has many advantages to offer you. It can be accommodated in any equipment and is easy to transport. Despite the compact dimensions, the user usually has universal application possibilities at his disposal. Nevertheless, not everything speaks in favour of this design. So that you can quickly weigh up the pros and cons of small compressors, we have provided you with an overview below:


  • Probate choice among well-known brand manufacturers
  • Can be particularly inexpensive to purchase
  • Transport is always easy, even for women and senior citizens
  • Despite light weight and compact dimensions, a working pressure of 8 bar or more is often available
  • Can be used flexibly in the automotive and leisure segments
  • Operation is completely intuitive
  • In this category, several adapters for tyres, leisure toys, etc. are often included in the scope of delivery
  • Noise level is usually below 90 dB
  • Space-saving storage possible


  • Air output/unit of time is quite moderate, so units are not suitable for inflating large objects and not for demanding air tools
  • Because compressed air cannot be prepared via boilers, a certain amount of noise must be planned for permanently

Video: Makita DMP180 review

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