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What Air Compressor Do You Need For Air Tools? (Things To Consider)

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The size of the air compressor that is best for air tools depends on the specific requirements of the tools being used and the frequency of use. In general, it is recommended to choose a compressor that can provide at least as much air pressure (measured in pounds per square inch, or PSI) and airflow (measured in cubic feet per minute, or CFM) as the air tools require.

For example, if you are using an air tool that requires 90 PSI and 5 CFM, you will need a compressor that can provide at least those levels of pressure and flow to meet the PSI and CFM requirements. It is generally better to choose a compressor that can provide slightly more pressure and flow than the tool requires, as this will allow the tool to operate more efficiently and reduce the risk of overheating.

So what size air compressor do you need for the different air tools that you might be using?

In general, you will need the following air compressor sizes for these different types of air tools:

  • Impact Wrench/Ratchet: Need an air compressor with 4-5 CFM and 100+PSI
  • Nail Gun/Framing Nailer: Need an air compressor with 2.5-3.5 CFM and 90+ PSI
  • Stapler/ Brad Nailer: Need an air compressor with 0.5-1 CFM and 60+ PSI
  • Air Hammer/Drill: Need an air compressor with 4+ CFM and 90+ PSI
  • Tire Inflator: Need an air compressor with 2+ CFM and 120+ PSI
  • Plasma Cutter: Need an air compressor with 6+ CFM and 90+ PSI
  • Angle Grinder: Need an air compressor with 5-8 CFM and 90+ PSI
  • Paint Sprayer: Need an air compressor with 9-12 CFM and 40+ PSI
  • Sanders: Need an air compressor with 6-9 CFM and 90+ PSI

When using air-powered tools you will also need to make sure that the tank is big enough to keep up with the volume of air that you are using while you are working as well. In the case of using an impact wrench or hammer drill around the garage, a smaller 6-gallon air compressor/pump will likely work just fine.

If you are spray painting the exterior of a house however you will likely want to have at least a 30-gallon tank on your air compressor.

A small pancake-style air compressor will work perfectly for airing up tires or for using a brad nailer or stapler but it won’t have enough air in the compressor’s tank to handle being used in giant workshops. H

It is important to consider the size of the tank on the compressor, as a larger tank will be able to store more air and allow the tools to run for longer periods of time without needing to stop and refill. In general, a compressor with a larger tank will be more suitable for frequent or heavy use.

So where you plan on using the tank as well as what air tools you are going to use it with is something that you should think about. Smaller pancake or hot dog-style electric compressors will work fine in a home garage but if you are running an air hose a long way across a construction site you will need to look at the larger types of air compressors.

When it comes to finding the right compressor for your air tools, there are several important things to consider. The type of air tool you’ll be using, the size of the tank you’ll need, and the power source of the compressor all need to be taken into account in order to make sure you get a compressor that meets your needs.

Let’s take a look at each of these considerations in more detail.

Types of Air Tools:

The type of air tool you plan on using is probably the most important factor when it comes to choosing a compressor. Different types of air tools require different amounts of pressure and volume to operate efficiently.

You’ll want to make sure that your compressor can provide enough pressure and volume to meet the needs of your specific air tools. For example, if you plan on using an impact wrench, you’ll need a compressor with high-pressure output in order to properly power it.

Size of Tank

Another important factor to consider when choosing a compressor is the air compressor tank size. The tank is where compressed air is stored before it is used by your air tools. A larger tank will allow for more compressed air storage, meaning less frequent motor start-ups and longer run times between recharges.

Most compressors come in sizes ranging from 1 gallon up to 80 gallons or more depending on the model. It’s important to make sure that you choose a tank size that will meet your needs without being too large or small.

A garage air compressor will likely only need to be a few gallons while one for job sites might need to be 80 gallons.

Power Source

You should also consider what kind of power supply you want your compressor to use. Most portable air compressors use either electric motors or gasoline/diesel engines as their power source. Electric air compressors tend to be quieter and more efficient than gas air compressors but they require access to an electrical outlet in order for them to function.

Gasoline or diesel engines are louder and less efficient but they don’t require access to an electrical outlet since they run off fuel instead. Depending on where you plan on using your compressor, one option may be more suitable than the other.

The increased portability of a gas or diesel-powered air compressor will give you the added convenience of not having to stretch out a power cord everywhere that you go. This is especially helpful if you are planning on using your air tools in remote locations or in a place where a power outlet won’t be readily available.

Operating Pressure

Operating pressure refers to how much pressure (measured in pounds per square inch) can be produced by the compressor at any given time when it’s running at full capacity. Many air tools require higher pressures than others so it’s important that you select a compressor with an operating pressure that meets or exceeds the requirements of your specific air tools.

Compressors typically range in their maximum operating pressure from 90 PSI up to 175 PSI or more depending on the model and size.

CFM Rating

Finally, when selecting a compressor, it’s important to consider its CFM rating which stands for cubic feet per minute (CFM). This refers to how much air volume (measured in cubic feet) can be delivered by the compressor at any given time when it’s running at full capacity.

Generally speaking, most compressors range from 4 CFM up to 15 CFM or more depending on their size and ratings so again it’s important that you select one with enough CFM capacity to meet the requirements of your specific air tools.

Final Thoughts

When choosing a compressor for your air tools there are several important things that need to be considered including what type of air tool will be used, the size of the tank required, what kind of power source should be used, its maximum operating pressure rating, and its CFM rating.

By taking all these factors into account you should have no trouble finding a suitable compressor for whatever job you have planned!