Choosing Your Air Compressor


Let’s face it. The air compressor has wiggled its way to become one of the most necessary tools in every technician’s arsenal. But even for personal or home use, the air compressor has much to offer every DIY enthusiast and aspiring handy man. From servicing pneumatic tools to inflating tires, air compressors have become an essential in every shop and household. It becomes imperative then, that every able shop or home owner be in possession of a compressor. But before buying anything sleek, consider your options and what you’ll be using it for. The tips below should give you a clue.

Choosing Your Air Compressor

1. Check for CFM Rating

CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute which is the volume of air flow that the air compressor. The max required CFM per tool is an imperative factor in the buying process. Know what you will be using the compressor for. If it’s for tools, what type of tools and how many. Remember that each tool has a CFM requirement at a certain PSI. So if the compressor can only give 2.0 CFM at 90 psi, expect it to service smaller tools such as brad nailers, framing nailers and impact wrenches but only one at a time.

Pressure gauge to provide CFM readings

 2. Determine Its Purpose

The air compressor you purchase will depend on either use it for household purposes or for shop use. And even if it is for shop use, the type of compressor you will get will again depend the tools you will use it for. Sanders and grinders will require continuous air flow for about 20 to 30 minutes at a time. The compressor must be powerful and large enough to provide that much air pressure or else it will keep recycling to compensate and build up pressure. For continuous air flow, a compressor with a larger tank is crucial.

A framing nailer uses requires less output pressure

 3. Think of Portability

You must decide whether you will bring the compressor around the worksite or if it will be stationary in a given area. For mobility, a smaller model is preferable for small to medium jobs. However units with larger tanks and stronger motors also give the same type of portability and mobility through semi-pneumatic wheels. Do not forget about storage and where you plan to keep the compressor when not in use.

Semi-pneumatic wheels help with mobility

 4. Choose Your Power Source

There are two main power sources for air compressors:

Think of the location you will be operating the machine in. Where will you be working the machine? If you have the access to an electrical outlet at all times or even an extension cord, then an electrical air compressor is ideal. However, if you will need the machine for your car or even on-the-go operations, a gas-powered should suit your needs.

A larger gas-powered compressor


The tips above are just a few of the many advice that experts in the field will offer. But do take caution and do not trust what is advertised easily. Manufacturers do lie for their product to get sold on the market. So before you’re about to purchase the air compressor that has the most features, do your research. Tips like these and online unbiased product reviews will definitely help you with that.

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