PCP air compressors are used where very high pressure is required as these special compressors can provide up to 4500 PSI or more. The PCP stands for Pre-Charged Pneumatics and refers to the device compressor powering. PCP compressors are commonly used to power air guns and to fill scuba diving tanks. Besides their high-pressure output capabilities, there are several things you should consider when choosing the best PCP air compressor.
Therefore, we’re here with a list of air compressors with unique features so you can select the best PCP air compressor that suits your needs.
The best thing is we will explain the features and how they can benefit you, as we’ve tested these air compressors on PCP air rifles and paintball tanks.
Best PCP Air Compressor – Quick Comparison
Best PCP Air Compressors – Reviewed Based on Our Testing
1. Yong Heng High-Pressure Air Compressor Pump
More detailed review ↴
Yong Heng air compressor is first on our list because of multiple reasons. This powerful air compressor is excellent for air guns and paintballs.
It weighs 45.4 pounds, which is on the heavier side, but still portable. It is a fast-inflating compressor that takes less than 38 minutes to fill a 6.8L tank.
You can use it for pressure-proof testing, or impermeability testing can reach up to 300 bar. The compressor has no internal cooling system, therefore, you must supply water for cooling. We recommend using a vat of water to achieve good effects.
The two-stage compressor has an oil and water separator, making it efficient and providing performance stability. It has dimensions of 19 x 18.4 x 12 inches and is made with alloy air cylinders and high-quality components.
It is ideal for scuba diving or paintballs but probably needs to be more portable for air guns for hunting purposes. We could use this compressor for up to 25-30 minutes before allowing the motor to cool down and reset. However, that’s where Its automatic shut-off system helped, as it will activate if the air compressor motor exceeds the 80-degree Celsius due to overuse or high temperatures.
2. VEVOR PCP Air Compressor
More detailed review ↴
This VEVOR home and car battery compressor came on our radar because one of our colleagues was using it already and was satisfied. This is a portable PCP compressor that can be powered with a 24V car battery and 110V and 220V sockets.
Because of its unique PSI and portable-filling ability, you can use it for paintballs, mini diving bottles, and air guns.
We could fill a 1.5L tank from 0-300 bar in 20 minutes using this 0.4-gallon air compressor.
You can also fill from 200-300 bars within 5 minutes because of its max pressure limit of 4500psi at the rating of 2700R/min. And it has a lower-than-average noise level of 75 dB compared to other PCP compressors.
You can take it with you anywhere because of its low 17-pound (8.7 KG) weight, and with its small 14.6 x 11.6 x 9.5 inch dimensions, it won’t take up a lot of space.
In terms of frequent usage, we could use it continuously for 20-25 minutes but then had to let the motor cool down for about 7 minutes. And if time flies by, its auto shut-off function switches it off after reaching the pressure limit or 70-degree temperature. Still, we suggest using it for under 20 minutes to maximize its longevity.
We loved the additional protection through the security valve and burst disc, which releases the pressure from the security valve by breaking when the pressure is overloaded with the built-in cooling fan. Therefore, you do not have to worry about overheating as well.
3. GX PUMP CS3 PCP Air Compressor
More detailed review ↴
The GX Pump is a multi-power source compressor that can run on AC 110V and 12V DC, and it has only 250W of power needed.
While testing this PCP air compressor, we liked the auto stop function, which helps avoid overheating and shut-off when it reaches the pre-set pressure limit, eliminating the need to continuously stare at the pressure gauge.
Additionally, the compressor has a built-in fan for the cooling system, which helps to avoid overheating and enhances the compressor’s life. However, the compressor has a 4500 psi output rating, which provides a 30MPA max pressure level.
It weighs just 17 pounds (7.5 kg) with dimensions of 9.4 x 5.1 x 10 inches, which means it is lightweight but is also compact and ideal for carrying for hunting or any other mobile-type use.
This GX Pump compressor does not need water or oil (less maintenance), which saves time and costs. Additionally, it has an adjustable pressure gauge, a safety valve with a burst disc for extra safety, and a bleed valve. It also has a built-in oil moisture filter to avoid moisture dust going into the air.
Although the company claims that you can run this air compressor for 50 minutes, we had to put it to rest after 30 minutes. That said, this air compressor also is quieter than the average PCP compressor with a noise level of 75 decibels.
4. TOAUTO A3 PCP Air Compressor
More detailed review ↴
We tested another TOAUTO portable AC and DC compressor that is ideal for both paintballs and air guns. The best thing is that it is only 21.2 pounds in weight and 15.1 x 13 x 10.7 inches in size, so you can carry it very easily.
Additionally, you do not need to use a water bucket or anything to cool it down as it has a fan cooling system.
The inflation pressure is almost 30 MPA which means a 4500 PSI charging time of 20 minutes (from 0-300 bar – 0.5L tank). It should be used to work more than 30CC (0.5L) for 25 minutes max, then rest it for 10-15 min. Also, it has a burst disc for extra safety.
One feature we liked was the ability to directly connect its 8mm foster female connectors directly to the male nozzle connectors of riffles or paintball cylinders.
The compressor has a rubber handle with a metal side to secure it, which means it is easy to carry. We recommend avoiding placing this compressor on the carpets because it will conduct and transfer heat to them. Also, do not cover the cooling fan vents (watch when placing it next to a wall.
You can pre-set the pressure and it will shut down once the level is reached; we pre-set it to 3000 bar, and it turned off as soon as it reached that point.
5. GX PUMP CS2 Portable PCP Air Compressor
More detailed review ↴
A sister compressor from GX Pump, we liked their CS2 model because it draws air and has an inside filter to filter out moisture or dust. Like other air compressors, this compressor also features a built-in cooling fan, which definitely helps to keep the compressor temperature as low as possible and avoid overheating.
The maximum pressure output is 4500 PSI, which means it can pressurize an air gun. Being that this is one of the more affordable compressors, we recommend using it mainly at lower pressure levels if possible. According to reviews, constant use at 4500 PSI will wear it out quickly.
Another feature we liked is that besides being to power from your car battery, this compressor comes with a power supply that can plug into a home outlet and has clamps to keep the plug in place
The CS2 compressor has a power requirement of 250W with an inflation pressure of 300 Bar and with inflation speed of 2700R/min. It is ideal to be used at 200 Bar to 250 Bar, which works under 5-6 minutes with a 0.5L container. At the same time, it will take 20 minutes to reach 300 bars from 0.
This GX Pump compressor has a 1-year warranty and 75 decibels noise level, which is bearable in the field. Since it does not have an auto shut-off system, it must be stopped manually. However, we found that you can run this compressor for 20-30 minutes straight before needing to shut it off.
This is a very portable compressor with only 14.7 pounds of weight and does not take much space as it has an 8.46 x 4.92 x 9.64-inch size.
6. Air Venturi Nomad II – Same as VEVOR
More detailed review ↴
The Air Venturi Nomad II is another excellent working PCP air compressor with no water needed and can run on 110V, 220V, and 12V. Our testing confirmed that this compressor is good for air guns. It can fill a 65CC piston within 3min from 0-3000 psi and even fill a 490CC piston within 17 min from 0-3000 psi due to its 4500 psi capacity
This is a larger compressor with a size of 16.7 x 15.9 x 13.4 inches and a weight of 19.6 pounds. While its lower weight keeps it portable, it is somewhat bulky. However, it comes with handles to make it easier to carry around.
A key characteristic of this Air Venturi compressor is its reliability and durability. It can be used for many years with proper maintenance. As this compressor has an auto shut-off, you don’t need to worry about over-pressurizing your air guns. It will shut down as soon as it reaches its pressure level.
One thing to note, this is a loud compressor, therefore, we recommend outside settings with ambient noise already. If you’re working in a very quiet place, choose another compressor.
The Air Venturi compressor comes with coupler fittings, filters, an extra fuse, and an empty bottle of oil. Plus, it has LED lights for use in low-light and dark settings.
7. TOAUTO A2X Upgraded PCP Air Compressor
More detailed review ↴
We reviewed a third TOAUTO air compressor and decided to try this portable compressor on the hunting air rifle.
This AC and DC compressor has a noise level of around 75 decibels which is on the medium to louder side but was bearable since we were outside. As the compressor has an auto shut-off system at 4300 PSI, we started the timing.
Its size is 14.5 x 11.4 x 9.4 inches and its weight is 19.16 pounds, which makes for a portable and easy-to-carry compressor.
You can run it on 220V (UK and Europe region) and 110V (USA region) and it draws 350W power. It takes about 8 minutes to go from 200 to 300 bars and 20 minutes from 0 to 300 bars with this 500CC tank.
It also comes with an adjustable pressure gauge and safety valve, and to make the pump safe, it has a burst disc, a 1.5-meter cord length, and a 750-millimeter hose length.
As far as our testing, we connected our truck’s battery to the compressor and attached it to the air gun to see what this compressor has. Within 2 min and 20 secs, it was about 3000 PSI. And in under 5 minutes, it filled the air gun to 4300 PSI. We were concerned about overheating, but to our surprise, it did not overheat due to its built-in cooling system. Looks like another winner.
Things to Consider When Looking for the Best PCP Air Compressor
1. Pressure Requirements
You need high-pressure output when looking for an air gun or paintball tank compressor. In this article, we have enlisted compressors that can output 4500 PSI in pressure. They will be ideal for air guns but might not be suitable for scuba diving, so you may need even higher PSI output for that purpose.
2. Air Flow (CFM)
The CFM of the compressor should be higher because it relates to the pressure capacity. It will be helpful while pressuring the air guns or paintball tanks.
3. Power Source
Besides pressure and airflow, the compatible power source is the next most crucial factor to consider. If you want to take your air compressor for your air gun on your hunting trip, the power source should be a car battery. If you plan on using it in your home, you can go ahead with 110V (For the US region) or 220V (For the UK or Europe region).
4. Size & Weight
This is essential when considering the PCP air compressor for air gun-using purposes as you will also want to ensure it is compact and has average or lighter weight. You will have to carry it around and it will feel heavy if it is more than 20-25 pounds.
5. Oiled or Oil-less
Most PCP air compressors are portable and oil-free, so they might not need oil or even water in the future, which is convenient. For the ones that require oil or water, ensure that you have either readily available during use.
We recommend considering a manufacturer warranty for 1-3 years, as users have been able to have issues covered as they come up. Since all air compressors have electronic components, these can get damaged due to voltage fluctuations, moisture accumulation, and other factors.
8. Future Maintenance cost
Selecting a compressor that can be easily repaired or for which parts can be quickly ordered will reduce future maintenance costs. A high-quality compressor should last for years, especially if a part or two can be easily replaced.
Can I use other home garage air compressors for PCP air guns?
Due to the high-pressure requirements of air guns, a typical home air compressor is insufficient and cannot output those pressure levels. Thus, the special class of PCP air compressors.
We don’t recommend trying to use a regular home air compressor to operate air guns!
How to Fill your PCP air gun with an air compressor?
We used a GX PUMP CS2 Portable PCP Air Compressor to document this process. Follow these steps to quickly and effectively fill your PCP air gun with an air compressor.
- First, connect the male and female connectors from the gun and the compressor together
- Then connect the pump to the power of the car battery
- The cooling fans will start running. Let it run for a moment.
- Then, flip the compressor’s power switch to ON, and the compressor’s noise will tell you it started.
- Open the bleed valve to ensure it doesn’t already run on the pressure (for a moment only). Then close it.
- Then check the pressure gauge and the pressure rating. It takes less than 5 minutes to fill forms 1000 to 3000
- Now if your compressor has an auto shut-off, it will stop when it reaches the limit; Since the GX pump does not have that feature, we monitored the pressure gauge and stopped it once the desired pressure was reached.
Related Read: How to Fill An HPA Tank With an Air Compressor? 7 Steps Guide
The compressor needed to fill the PCP air guns has to have high-pressure output and running capacity to be able to inflate at high pressure for a longer time; it is not a regular compressor.
For this purpose, we enlisted some of the compressors in this article with high-pressure output, and high inflation speed, rate, and running time.
The portable ones are ideal for hunting air guns (you can carry them while hunting), while the non-portable ones will also be great for paintball guns.