Best Air Compressor Electric Motors

Electric air compressors are quite popular devices around construction sites, automotive shops and at home.

These devices use a mechanical pump to take air from the atmosphere, compress it, and then store it for use. The compressed air is then used to power pneumatic HVAC control systems and for household applications to fill tires.

However, for this devices to function, they need an equally good and compatible electric motor. Fortunately, there are numerous electric motors you can select from in the market today.

Here we will look at some of the most outstanding electric motors for an air compressor, and some of the factors to consider when choosing the best.

Our Top 7 Picks

1. NEMA Air Compressor Motor – EM-04

NEMA Air Compressor Motor - EM-04

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The 3.7 HP is one of the most effective electric motors for an air compressor. The motor features some of the best features based on the reviews given by customers. This is why this motor tops our list of the 7 finest electric motors for air compressors.

For instance, the engine has an amperage structure that guarantees that the reduced voltage starts at the rated load. For better performance, the 3.7 HP electric engine also has a 56 frame 240 volt 3450 RPM and 5/8 “keyed shaft by 2 1⁄2” shaft length.

If you are searching for an electric motor that will assist you manage everyday tasks, the 3.7 HP air compressor electric motor is the one for you. Its non-reversible counter-clockwise rotation gives it an advantage over its rivals.

In addition, it comes with extra features such as the open drip-proof, UL approved Manual thermal overload, high-quality ball bearings, and capacitors for high starting torque.

2. SPL Compressor Motor 3455 RPM 5 HP

SPL Compressor Motor 3455 RPM 5 HP

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It’s hard to not notice the 5-HP SPL 3455 RPM electric motor. The voltage capacity of this device ranges between 208 to 230 volts.

The device also boasts an operation speed of 3455 rpm and comes with 56 frames and a 5/8″ x 1-7/8″ shaft with a rigid base to support the full-load Amp.

In addition, a replacement for any 56 frame compressor motor can always be found. The 5 HP SPL compressor electric motor also has a manual overload reset button for better performance.

The device also features a reversible rotation that helps in smooth rotation allowing it to move in any direction. Furthermore, it is efficient and easy to set up. Besides, it has its safety features in order to maintain a safe working environment.

3. SPL 3450 RPM 2-HP

SPL 3450 RPM 2-HP

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Next on our list is the 2 HP SPL 3450 RPM, NEMA air compressor motor. Weighing just about 31.5 pounds, this motor has some fantastic features that enable it to compete with the markets finest.

The electric motor has a single-phase full load amp with a current capacity of 15/7.5Amp and 2 HP SPL 3450 RPM.

The machine has a voltage capacity of 120V/240V. The default setting of the voltage wire is 120v, for it to be 240v, then you need to adjust the workshops wiring.  With these features, most of the work can be handled with complete ease whether at home or in a workshop.

Other important features of this motor include an open drip-proof, non-reversible counter-clockwise feature, and high quality working ball bearings to last a lifetime.

4. 5 HP SPL Century Motor B3

5 HP SPL Century Motor B3

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The 5HP Century Motor B3 air compressor motor is another top rated electric motor.

Some of the features that make this motor to be highly rated include its 3450 RPM, 5 HP, and the 60 Hz 208-230 Voltage capacities.

The motor also has an open drip-proof, 56 frames and a sizeable 5/8″ x 1 7/8″ keyed shaft that act as an excellent service factor.

It offers also offers high rotation due to its CW facing end opposite shaft. Its users have continued to shower the device with constant praises since its invention.

One thing that remains so clear is that this product’s manufacturer has concentrated on creating the motor specifically for air compressor loads and other comparable applications.

5. NEMA Air Compressor Motor EM-05

NEMA Air Compressor motor EM-05

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Next on the list is the NEMA Air Compressor motor EM-O5. This single-phase motor is very convenient as it can be used by most air compressors.

It is easy to install and lightweight making it a first choice motor for most customers. However, you should not fault the motor’s compactness for lack of durability. It has a frame type of 56HZ, 7/8″ Keyed shaft and a Shaft length of 2 3/8″ giving it the required strength.

In addition, the motor comes with a running speed of 5 HP and 3450 RPM which plays a considerable part in ensuring that the item is highly effective. It also provides complete protection against water dripping and cooling through its open drip-proof.

Considering the features this item has, you can concur with us that it is one of the finest. By installing your air compressor with this heavy-duty electric motor, you can rest assured that you’ll grind with total relief throughout your duties.

6. 184T Frame Weg Electric Motor

184T Frame Weg Electric Motor

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The 184T FRAME WEG comes from a trusted brand and is among one of the best electric motors for an air compressor that have rocked the market.

This electric motor comes with 5HP and runs at 1745 RPM. It’s also powered by a single phase of 208-230volt.

In terms of design, it features a Cast Iron Frame of 184T, Shaft Diameter of 1 1/8″ and a Keyed shaft Length of 1.968″ thus increasing its stability.

Apart from being an easy to install motor; it features a capacitor start that allows for high starting torque. It also enclosures an open drip-proof with a manual reset button.

7. Electric Motor For Air Compressor 56 Frame

Electric Motor For Air Compressor 56 Frame

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Aside from the fact that a reputable company manufactures the 5 HP 21 amp, it is feature-packed.

It is best for belt-driven compressors. With its single-phase voltage capacity of 208-230 v, and speed of 3450RPM, it can handle most tasks effectively.

The machine is not as lightweight as it weighs 50lbs. However, the structure design is in such a way that it has a frame of 145T, 56C Shaft Diameter, 7/8″ Keyed shaft and a Shaft Length of 2 1/16″ allowing for quite a smooth rotation.

It also has a non-reversible rotation CCW facing shaft end. Included in the package is a one-year warranty.

How to choose the best electric motor for an air compressor

Buying an electric motor requires a better understanding of the features that make up the product and the purpose of the motor. Before making any purchase decision, be sure to take some of the critical factors below.

Voltage and Horsepower

The higher the voltage, the simpler and more comfortable the motor is going to operate. But not all air compressors will benefit from a device of heavy-duty. An air compressor with a power of 3HP to 5HP that supports anything between 208-230 volts should be sufficient to glide through any task. For larger air compressors, you will need a stronger motor of up to 7.5HP 6v to 7.2v.

Any motor with a less than 3HP- 5HP and a voltage between 208-230 volts is a waste of your resources. It will not be able to perform most of the duties that require power.

Size and compatibility

Electric motor comes in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and weight. Weight matters a lot, smaller sized motors are lightweight and are easy to install. Before you purchase an electric motor, be sure to look at its size and weight that is stipulated by the manufacturer of your air compressor.  The larger your motor is, the more superior the quality of service you will get from your air compressor.

Compatibility is also an essential factor; not all electric motors are compatible with all air compressors. Hence it is crucial to look for an electric motor that can suit your air compressor. Carefully go through the manufactures instructions on your air compressor.  This will go a long way in saving on the cost of buying the wrong electric motor.

Operation speed

Speed is among the essential factor you should strive to understand before purchasing an electric motor. It is the rotation rate of the motor, and it is determined in rotations per minute (RPM).

Motors with high RPM are pricier compared to those with less RPM.  Motors running at 1750 rpms are perfect for light tasks. However, if you have an air compressor intended for more cumbersome jobs, then it is recommended that you get a motor with a higher RPM.


A brand name does not necessarily mean that you’ll be getting an excellent motor. Even reputable brands sometimes sell mediocre products at high prices due to the title. It is best if you would look at the specs you require and your budget rather than the brand.

However, if you are inexperienced, it is still correct to begin by looking for the name of the products. Consider a product from a reputable engineering company that has been in the market for some time. Other factors to consider are the price and durability of the motor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What motor is used in an air compressor?

It depends on the type of air compressor. It can either be AC or DC. Previously most air compressors were using gasoline, however, due to the advancements in technology; most air compressors today use electric motors. However in areas where there is no electricity you can opt to use an air compressor with a gasoline motor.

Why buy an air compressor?

An air compressor tool is a tool with a variety of applications. It is a useful tool around the home or workshop as it helps in several tasks including painting, DIY repairs, and pressure washers, airing up tires and drying and dusting surfaces. On the other hand, air-operated tools are long-lasting compared to cord or battery operated-tools.

Do you require a technician to install an electric motor on your air compressor?

Most electric motors on your air compressor are easy to install, and you can do it yourself without the assistance of a technician. Electric motors are safe to use; however, some motors have small parts that are hazardous to young children. One should be cautious when installing a motor at home.

Do you have to refill an air compressor?

Air compressors come with large tanks that can accommodate gallons of air. However, size is not constant. Different air compressors come in different sizes. A large tank will hold more pressure and will allow you to do various tasks until the pressure goes down.

The motor will then kick in to refill the tank.  During refilling, you will be forced to stop working until the tank is full of pressure.

Wrapping up

As you can see, there are numerous electric motors for your compressor in the market. All you need is to identify which one is compatible with your air compressor and you’ll be set.

We hope that this guide will go a long way in providing you with the relevant information you need regarding the best electric motor for your air compressor.

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