Finding the best air compressor for air tools is not as easy as it sounds, but the right one can make your job go faster and easier. Pneumatic tools are more powerful than their electric counterparts, and are lighter and easier to handle. Air tools do not have their own motors, so they also last longer than electric ones. They are can also be used for several different applications, and tend to cost less than electric tools. To find the best compressor for your air tools there are some factors that you will need to consider.
An Air Compressor’s Power
One of the most important things to take into consideration is the amount of power it will take to operate your tool effectively. There are several different ways in which air compressor power is measured, but most experts rely on the pneumatic machines cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating. Different air tools will require different amounts of power, with most smaller household pneumatic tools using 0-5 CFM. Sanders, grinders, impact wrenches and other construction air tools will often use 10 CFM or more for optimum performance.
Electric or Gasoline Powered Air Compressor
The two types of air compressors are gasoline and electric and there are benefits to using both of them. Electric air compressors are ideal for enclosed work spaces or for use at home. These pneumatic machines are often portable and quieter than gasoline motors. For outside jobs or remote locations a gas powered air compressor can be the best choice. They can be either stationary or portable, and some can also be mounted onto the back of a vehicle.
The size of the tank you need will depend on how long you plan to use your air tool. Some pneumatic tools like impact wrenches and air hammers are typically only used for brief periods of time and can run fine off of a smaller tank. Air tools that require continual power like spray guns, sanders, and grinders will need a larger tank that can hold more compressed air.
Type of Compressor Pumps
A direct drive pump is long lasting and easy to maintain since it does not require oil for lubrication. This type of pump is ideal for air tools like paint sprayers and air brushes since there is no oil to get into the air hose or into the paint. Direct drive pumps are also not recommended for use with heavier pneumatic tools, but are ideal for houses and other indoor work spaces.
The other type of air compressor pump is belt driven and it does require maintenance with regular oil changes. These durable pumps are often used on larger, more powerful air compressors since they are capable of handling the larger air tools.
What Style of Air Compressor
There are normally only two styles of air compressors mentioned, vertical and horizontal. There are actually pancake and even flat compressors that are designed to help you save space. When you are deciding which air compressor is best for your pneumatic tools consider the size of your workspace, and what type of projects you will be working on. Air tools like tire inflators and air brushes often work better with a horizontal air compressor. For larger air tools that are mainly stationary, a vertical tank might be the best choice.
The best thing to remember when you are choosing an air compressor is to decide which type of pneumatic tools you’ll be using, and how often you’ll be using them. As long as you keep this in mind, you will be able to find the best air compressor for air tools.