Air compressors are very handy equipments to have at hand when you need some construction done. It simplifies various processes by providing the power necessary for most power tools. However, choosing the right air compressor can be quite tricky as picking the first thing you see is a recipe for miscalculation and would just be counter-productive.
In order to assure you get the best product for your needs and budget, you need to understand what you need an air compressor for and the first question that comes to mind is its size. How big is the Air Compressor that you need for your home?
Determining the Size of your Air Compressor
1. Identify what you’ll use the air compressor for
Choosing a big air compressor will definitely meet all the minimum requirements of most power tools in the market, and will surely be helpful in a lot of circumstances. However, this is not the most cost efficient way and unless you have a large budget for the equipment, you might reconsider your intended use for the air compressor.
Usually, homes need small and compact air compressors that would help around when the need for small-scale constructions come. These are for repairs, renovations, or for small additions to the house. In this case, using a small and efficiently designed air compressor will suit the best. 80-gallon air compressors are not necessary and would just mean overspending on your part.
If the air compressor is meant for commercial or industrial use, then that would mean the equipment will be constantly in use. This makes larger-sized air compressors a necessity as they are capable of handling bigger loads with a larger carrying capacity for more air.
2. Know the CFM requirements for the tools that you will use
Cubic Feet per Minute, or CFM, is the standard unit of measurement for the amount of power needed to make power tools work. In this case, compressed air is the power source, supplying stored compressed energy to the pneumatic tools.
There are different CFM requirements for every pneumatic tool you have. Some require more than the others depending on the power it needs and provides. Some instances require the simultaneous use of different power tools, all of which take up power from the air compressor. To know the exact amount you need when this happens, simply get the sum of the minimum required CFM per tool, and then add another 25% to allow a certain margin of error.
Do take note of the required amount of CFM needed per power tool. Impact wrenches may require 7-10 CFM, Grease Guns may need 5 CFM, Light Air Hammer is at 4 CFM, Caulking Gun needs about 4 CFM, and Drills require about 4 CFM as well. There are some that require larger CFM output such as Heavy Air Hammers at 22 CFM, Rotational Sanders at 10-15 CFM, Shears which need about 15 CFM, and Impact Drivers at 12 CFM.
3. Consider the environment where you will use the air compressor
It is also important to understand the limitations you have when choosing an air compressor. If you live in a small and relatively quiet neighborhood, a home-use compressor will need to be quiet when operating. This means a smaller-sized one will fit the bill. Noise is the usual complaint when it comes to air compressors, as it can get noisy depending on the model that you get.
Also be careful of the type of air compressor you’ll be getting. Gasoline-operated air compressors may blow out toxic fumes that should never be indoors. Likewise, electric-operated compressors will require special attention to the weather as rain will damage the equipment.
Be mindful of the environment where you’ll place your air compressor. Depending on the type, each has its own set of features and limitations that you will need to consider so that it won’t get damaged and worn down easily. You’ll also have to make sure that it won’t be a threat to the health of the people around the site and that it won’t cause unnecessary irritation due to noise concerns.
I’m James J. Decker, a hobbyist and DIYs and also a big of home improvement and gardening tools. I immensely enjoy how these amazing products improve productivity and efficiency, and allow me to do jobs for which I would’ve otherwise needed professional help.