Air Compressor for Barbershop: Top 5 Picks

Are you looking for an air compressor for barbershop? Your barbershop needs an air compressor for applying hair color and using blowguns.

An air compressor is a necessary tool to help you perform your barbershop duties in a more efficient and effective way.

But what air compressor for barbershop should you buy? We will show you several options to help guide you in your buying decision. In the end, you can choose which of these models best fit your needs.

air compressor for barbershop big model

What Is the Right Size for an Air Compressor for Barbershop?

The right size for an air compressor for barbershop depends on what you will use it for. For a barbershop, the right size is 20 gallons with a CFM of at least 5. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute. It is a measurement of the airflow rate, or the amount of air that the machine can blow at a certain pressure level.

On the other hand, you also want a compressor that can yield at least 90 PSI. It refers to pressure per square inch or the amount of force the machine can produce.

These three components are the best sizes, but it does not mean you cannot buy a barbershop air compressor with lesser specs. If you are only using two blowguns at a time, then, of course, you can opt for smaller air compressors.

Best Air Compressor for Barbershop

NorthStar Single-Stage Portable Electric Check on Amazon

With 2 HP and a dual-amp induction motor, this air compressor is best for multi-uses. What makes this an ideal air compressor for barbershop is that the manufacturer seems to have made it for barbers. It has inter-coolers and after-coolers, which makes it ideal for consistent use.

While it only accommodates 20 gallons, it was built as if it would handle 80 gallons of air. The machine is ASME-certified, and it will not let you down.


  • 2 HP of motor power
  • Delivers 5.0 cubic feet per minute of air and 90 PSI
  • Maximum of 6.0 CFM at 40 PSI operation
  • Heat dissipation coolers
  • Can run for long periods of time
  • 20-gallon tank


  • Noisy at 90 decibels
  • The tank may come loose and may need some tightening

This air compressor for barbershop model is one of the best air compressors in the 20-gallon specification. The reason to buy this machine is its heavy-duty motor. It uses a two-stage cast-iron pump. The machine is solidly built, and ball bearings have a double seal.

The design of this air compressor for barbershop prevents moisture from seeping into the machine, and this helps extend the service life of the device. The belt has steel protection, a guard, and the rest of its components are also solidly built. There is even a sight glass where you can monitor your air level.

CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor Check on Amazon

This air compressor for barbershop is one of the best in the market because it is oil-free. It means that you do not have to bother about maintenance and all that. It is a 20-gallon air compressor that has wheels—it is easy to lug it around.

The power of this motor is 1.8 HP, which is enough to power a barbershop. Since the pump is oil-free, it lasts longer than compressors that use it for their engines.


  • Highly efficient machine with 175 max PSI
  • Can produce 4 CFM at 90 PSI, making it capable of fast recovery times
  • Durable build: you can use it for many processes, not just barbershop work
  • It comes with a 6-foot cord, ball drain valve, filter, and quick-connect couplers


  • Insanely loud
  • Need 10-minute intervals to ensure you do not go beyond the duty cycle

This air compressor is built for many uses. Some people buy it for inflating tires or driving nails with nail guns.

Buy this air compressor for barbershop if you are looking for a dependable product that comes under a brand that has been around for a century. It can work for up to 300 hours continuously, which means it is an ideal companion in a barbershop business.

Flexzilla Portable Air Compressor Check on Amazon

The Flexzilla air compressor for barbershop is known for its quiet compressors. Most portable and 20-gallon air compressors are noisy, so this manufacturer decided to change the game. It is a quiet compressor that will not disturb your patrons. The noise it makes is not louder than a typical conversation.


  • One of the quietest compressors in the market
  • Uses low RPM pumps and motors
  • It has an industrial-grade pump that will last long
  • The machine is oil-free and maintenance-free
  • Has ergonomic design where the controls are visible at the front
  • It uses 2 HP of power and can produce 5.8 CFM at 90 PSI


  • Costs more than other brands
  • Short power cord at 6 feet

The product comes with two universal brass couplers. It is also packed in a sturdy carrier that has two wheels. Since the controls are top-mounted, it is easy to see the gauges and make adjustments.  

Buy this air compressor for barbershop if your barbershop is small, as the power cord is only six feet in length. You must use a compatible extension cord to place it far from the shop. Then, buy long compressor hoses for your devices so you can easily serve customers in multiple areas in the shop.

WEN 2202T Electric Air Compressor Check on Amazon

If you are looking for a powerful air compressor for barbershop machine, then this model is something you have to consider. What makes it different is that despite being electric, it uses oil. As such, it combines the power of electricity with an oil-driven engine.

A multi-purpose air compressor works perfectly for a barbershop, but it can also be a versatile companion for other uses such as nail guns, painting, and woodworking.


  • It has a 20-gallon tank that is made of reinforced steel
  • Maximum pressure is 135 PSI
  • It has a valve for quickly draining air
  • It comes with a quick coupling design
  • Easy to move around with the handle and wheels
  • Two years of warranty


  • Airflow rate is only at 3.8 CFM at 90 PSI
  • Uses a lot of oil
  • Does not come with attachments

Although the airflow rate is low, you can increase it if you reduce the PSI. It is capable of delivering 5.0 CFM at 40 PSI.

Buy this if you are looking for an air compressor that can do a lot of work. It is heavy-duty, yet you can use it for delicate jobs requiring airpower, such as tattoos and blow-drying of hair.

California Air Tools 20020AD Check on Amazon

What makes this model different from the others is that it is a combination of silence and an oil-free machine. It is rare for manufacturers to do both. This is a suitable air compressor for barbershop if quiet operation is a priority.

This air compressor uses 2.0 HP and can produce sounds as quiet as 70 decibels. It is like a usual conversation. It is also oil-free, and yet the machine uses a dual-piston system for better performance.


  • Ultra-quiet at 70 decibels
  • Oil-free machine
  • 2.0 horsepower
  • 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI
  • Steel tank that can accommodate 20 gallons
  • Has an automatic drain valve


  • Too costly
  • The automatic valve is not nearly of any practical use

Buy this air compressor for barbershop if you are looking for a product that lasts. It will take 3,000 hours of work before you see signs of wear and tear. Unfortunately, most compressors only have a lifecycle of 500 hours.

It also comes with an easy start feature, making it easy to operate even in cold climates. In addition to this, no load is required before you start using the machine.

Things to Consider When Buying Air Compressor for Barbershop

barber air compressor big motor

Before you buy a compressor, there are some important things you must consider. Below is a guide that will help you.

Tank Size

The suitable tank size is 20 gallons. This should do for basic work in a barbershop where your tools require air. However, big barbershops need more air, so an 80-gallon compressor is a better choice.

A bigger tank size is obviously better. However, it also requires more power and maintenance. In addition to that, air compressors with big tanks are noisy, and they also need a lot of time for recovery.

Noise Rating

Most compressors are noisy—that is just how they are. There are, however, compressors that can produce lesser noise than their counterparts. These are the compressors that you want to buy.

In case you need a powerful compressor, you must place it away from the lobby or away from where your customers sit. Then, use a long hose. This way, you can use the compressor even if it is far from the work area. You can make a noise-reducing box if you want.


PSI is the amount of force that the air compressor can give. It is the power of the air. High PSI is great for cleanup work or for woodworking. Low PSI is excellent for barbershop work.

CFM refers to the amount of air that the compressor delivers. Think of it as the amount of water a faucet can give. The higher the CFM, the more air will come out. As a barber, you want a balance between the two.

A compressor at 90 PSI will do just fine. For CFM, those that deliver 5 cubic feet per minute as the best options. However, you can also use lower CFMs. Again, it all depends on the devices that you will use.

barbershop air compressor icon

Frequently Asked Questions About an Air Compressor for Barbershop

Why buy an air compressor for barbershop?

Air compressors are excellent companions for barbers because of the air pressure they produce. It is easier to blow a person’s hair dry with air pressure instead of the usual blow dryer that gets hot easily.

What air compressor for barbershop should one buy?

For hair color, nail art, and tattoos, a cordless air compressor will do. For cleanup jobs like blowguns and clipping, corded ones are the best ones to buy because they are sturdier.

Is it a good idea to buy a portable air compressor for barbershop?

If you are doing home service, then yes, it is a good idea to buy one. It also makes sense to have one of these around in a barbershop. If your heavy-duty compressor stops working, you have a backup. Portable air compressors are also excellent for light work.

What are the best specs for an air compressor for barbershop?

The best specs are 90 PSI and 5 CFM. At best, you should get at least a 20-gallon air compressor. The tank has a lot of reserves when in use. The last thing you want is to have an air compressor that runs out of air.

Conclusion: Air Compressor for Barbershop

Before you buy an air compressor for barbershop, understand what you need and how you will use it. Take a good look at your shop and think about how you will put the compressor there. It takes a lot of fo planning and visualization to get it done.

Once you have these details, you can start choosing from the best air compressors that we shared here. All of these are guaranteed to last and work well in your business!

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