Top Rated Air Compressor Hoses That Won’t Kink

Think that any air hose will do for your new compressor? Think again. With the amount of time most people spend researching and reading air compressor reviews, the air hose usually isn’t given much thought. Most good compressors do not include an air hose and some of the lower end models include a low quality coiled air hose (typically cheap PVC).

Instead of being frustrated because you bought the cheapest air compressor hose that your local big box home improvement store carries, just get a high quality hose off the bat. Fortunately, the best air compressor hose really won’t cost much and will be frustration-free for the most part.


Goodyear 12674 3/8-inch Rubber Air Hose

Goodyear air hoses are by far the most popular and they simply make the best rubber air hose out there. 100% made in the USA out of high-quality, industrial grade reinforced rubber, this hose comes with a 10-year guarantee, allows for up to 250 PSI, and has been tested to function in -40 to 190 degree F temperatures (so basically it will work well anywhere on EARTH).

This newer model comes with bend restrictors on each end to prevent any kinks so it’s a slight improvement from previous versions. The hose will stay soft and flexible even in the coldest days of the year. Rubber hoses are usually preferred when working on cars. A good match to that pneumatic ratchet or impact wrench, or auto tire inflator.

top-rated-rubber-air-hoseYes, it’s a sturdy rubber hose so it will be heavier than others and the surface will attract dirt due to its “stickiness” but you’ll quickly appreciate how easy it is to work with. It comes in the standard Goodyear yellow, which not only makes it easy to see, it won’t leave marks on your hands like many of the darker colored rubber hoses. (Update: Goodyear now offers their latest model in red but it doesn’t have the common issue of color rubbing off on your hands like other brands’ rubber air hoses.)

This Goodyear air hose is available in 25, 50, and 100 ft lengths but we highly recommend sticking with a 50 ft max unless absolutely necessary, you have a hose reel, or plan on using it in a Crossfit workout or something.

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Flexzilla Hybrid Air Hose

Many Flexzilla hose owners will tell you it’s the best thing since sliced bread. And to tell you the truth, it’s fantastic air hose. Made of a hybrid polymer, the hose is lighter than rubber by almost 50% (a 50-foot reel weighs about 5 lbs), stays flexible even in the coldest temperatures, and works well in tighter spaces than a rubber air hose. The lime green (actually referred to as “venom” green) is Flexzilla’s trademark and quite noticable.

Rated up to 300 PSI, the Flexzilla air hose is available in 25′, 50′, and 100′ lengths (in 1/4″, 3/8″, and 1/2″ hose diameters). Users love its ability to stay flexible even in the middle of a Minnesota winter. The standard end fittings (you can easily add quick-connect plugs later) are made of anodized aircraft aluminum which Flexzilla says is more durable than typical brass fittings.

While the company is based in the US, their air hoses now seem to be made in Taiwan. This isn’t necessarily a negative, but we just wanted to point that out.

While the manufacturer claims the hose is designed to lay flat and not have a memory, many users claim they have a problem with it getting twisted up fairly easily and the hose has a tendency to recoil itself. This is unfortunately the tradeoff with many hoses of this type. But for flexibility, light weight, and durability, Flexzilla is hard to beat. They’re a favorite with homeowners and pros alike and worth considering (especially if you live in cooler climates).

>> Check current price <<


Rubber vs PVC vs Polyurethane Air Hoses

All compressors use a hose to channel the air through, which can be made of either rubber, PVC, polyurethane, or some type of combination. Before choosing any ordinary air hose, you need to ask yourself what type of jobs you’ll most often be doing and under what conditions they’ll be performed. Factors like temperature and pressure must be taken into consideration in order for you to make the right decision.

Rubber and polyurethane hoses are similar in some ways, but for the most part each of them works best on different tasks. PVC hoses are the economy choice and typically come with cheap air compressors but they’re usually not recommended for regular use. It’s a good idea to take a look at the air hose material that the best air hose reels use. More often than not, these are the hoses which professionals will recommend.

Types of Air Hose Material

rubber-hoseRubber air hoses are what we believe to be the best air compressor hose for the garage. They’ve been around for a long time and are made of synthetic rubber and braided or spiraled yarn rubber both inside and out.

While heavy, they are the most flexible out of all the materials (even in the coldest temps), extremely durable, will never kink, are easy to coil and uncoil, and simple to fix in the slight chance a leak develops.

The only downside is that rubber tends to pick up a lot of dirt as it’s dragged along the floor. Match up a good rubber air hose with a wall or ceiling mounted hose reel and you have a winning combination.

pvc-hosePVC (polyvinyl chloride) air hoses are normally the most economical choice but the material is more stiff that the others and using it in cooler temperatures makes it even worse.

They are made of a black PVC compound that is used on the inner tube with a high strength polyester spiral for reinforcement. They are also difficult to uncoil, hard to fix, and almost impossible to lay flat while in use. Simply put, stay away from 100% PVC air compressor hoses.

Now, many companies are introducing hybrid PVC/Rubber air hoses and these are completely different. They take the best properties of PVC (lightweight) and rubber (easy to coil/uncoil) to cancel out the negatives of each type. The Bostitch air hose is a great example.

best-polyurethane-air-hosePolyurethane air hoses may look similar to PVC but perform much better. They are light, flexible (even in cooler temps), and easy to fix if a leak due to puncture develops. Because of their light weight and low drag from the smooth surface, they’re a great choice if you plan on using your compressor outdoors such as for framing or working on a roof where they can slide along easier.

You’ll also need to determine the hose diameter and length you’ll need. 3/8″ air hoses are the most popular as you are future proofing in case you’ll need some air-hungry tools down the road. 1/4″ hoses still have their uses though, especially on lower-end compressors or airbrushing, using a brad nailer or blowgun. Unless you have a very large shop or garage or working outside a lot, a 25 or 50 ft air hose will be what you’ll probably want.

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  1. It’s really helpful to know the hoses that are the best for this type of thing. My air compressor hasn’t very well lately, and I figured that it might be an issue with the hose. I’ll definitely look into buying one of these if this turns out to be the issue, but it also might be the compressor itself. Do you have any tips for finding a qualified professional to inspect and repair this type of thing?

  2. I didn’t realize that rubber air hoses are believed to be the best air compressor hose for the garage. I can see why this would be good to know for someone who is looking for quality. This is definitely something to keep in mind when shopping for a hose.

  3. Thanks for sharing some options in picking an air hose! I’m thinking of purchasing one to replace my air compressor’s once it comes. It’s good to learn that these air hoses have different qualities since that means I have a range of better choices than the one they will send with the package as you’ve mentioned. I’ll try to look more around the internet to see if there are other advisable air hoses to purchase. Thanks!

  4. Looking to get a 1/2″ ID hose for maximum flow, but all the quick connect fittings and couplers for standard air tools seem to use the 1/4″ NPT threaded size.

    Are adapters commonly used to downsize the 1/2″ NPT threaded hoses down to the 1/4″ NPT or are there specific quick couplers that provide compatibility with the industrial or automotive male couplers for the air tools?

    • The 1/4″ NPT is the size of the coupler, is still used on standard equipment with a 1/2″ hose. Whether you want a quick coupler depends on how fast you want to disconnect one tool to connect a different one, but no additional adapter is needed to use the hose as you would a 3/8″ otherwise.

  5. I have a love/hate relationship with rubber air hoses (same goes for rubber garden hoses). So much better quality wise but a pain to move when you have 100ft of it.

  6. I recently upgraded the cheapo 20 ft hose that came with my compressor to a 100 ft Goodyear hose (I have a large shop). Why does it seem I’m getting less air pressure (CFM?) at the air tool?
    Edit: both hoses are the same inside diameter.

    • Restriction exists based on size (inside hose diameter) or hose length. When you make a big jump say from 20 –> 100 feet in hose, there is simply more friction over that length of hose. Going to a 50 foot hose instead would give you a less noticeable pressure drop.

    • If you are using 3/8″ hose, let alone 1/4″, move up to 1/2″ hose, although in a larger shop it is common to use metal pipe to make runs to various work areas then use a shorter hose at each work station.

      A compressor with a higher working pressure would also help. Best results involve combining all 3 factors, though if you have the metal pipe distribution system you usually won’t need the 1/2″ hose except on the largest of impacts and misc other high volume tools.

  7. You won’t get less air pressure, but you can have less available cfm depending on the air consumption of the tool that you are using. 1/4 hose vs 3/8 hose, and any restrictions, will make a big difference if the tool you are using gobbles up air. We see this all the time with Pneumatic Nailers and Staplers. It’s a common occurance to see framers complain that their tool is leaving a nail proud when shooting off a floor. Back in the day the tough old boys all used 3/8 hose with the bigger tools and used bigger compressors with 6.5 CFM on average at 90 Psi. Today, the Millennial Framers all want 1/4 inch hose because its lighter and they typically run a smaller portable compressor. THEY RUN OUT OF VOLUME, not pressure. Think of your hose as storage, the pressure drop is nill, its all about available CFM at the tool. I have seen end users with the mindset that you crank up the pressure all the way, because by the time it gets to the tool, the pressure has dropped. When you tear apart their tools, the piston bumper is disintegrating from high pressure. Rule of thumb (Not always true because of offshore manufacturers) If the hole that is threaded in the tool is 1/4 or 3/8, use that size hose hose and fittings. Engineers are not stupid, the tools are designed that way for a reason.

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