Within this article I am going to tell you what you need to know to select the right air compressor to fit your needs.
If your getting ready to make that purchase and are researching all the different types of air compressors, wondering what size air compressor do i need, the first question you need to ask yourself is, "what will I be using the compressor for?".
Compressed air can be used to perform many tasks, such as: DIY projects around your home, keeping your tires properly inflated, busting loose those hard to remove lug nuts, grinding rust off your farm equipment, body/automotive work and even heavy duty repair work out in the field.
The next question you need to ask yourself is "what is the best tool you will need for the task at hand?". Once you have figured out what is the best tool for the project, you will need to figure out what the tools CFM requirements are, this is easily identified on the tools packaging.
CFM stands for cubic feet per minute and it measures the air flow that is delivered by an air compressor or the amount of air flow that is required by the tool, different tools require different levels of CFM to operate at peak performance, you also need to consider if you will be adding more tools that require higher cfm or if multiple users will be operating on the same air source at the same time.
Once you have figured out the cfm rating you will require, you are ready to choose the air compressor that will best fit your needs. In short you will need to select an air compressor that exceeds your hungriest air tools requirements.
The best way to determine how much cfm your tool will require to operate at peak performance is to multiply the tools cfm rating by 1.5 this will insure you have the proper air flow.
The last question you need to ask yourself be for making your compressor selection is "how often will I be using my air compressor?".
The more frequently you will be using the compressor the bigger the air compressor you will need.
If you are only using your compressor occasionally for light duty applications like: operating a nail gun, filling up your tires or occasionally using an impact gun a 2 or 30 gallon compressor is ideal, these types are portable and easy to maneuver around the project you will be working on.
For operating air tools like small die grinders for rust removal your best option is to use a 60 gallon single stage upright air compressor and for heavy duty applications that require a continuous air flow like high speed sanders and paint guns you should use a two stage 80 gallon compressor.
Another option for heavy duty field use when you don't have an electrical power source would be a two stage gas powered air compressor but be sure not to use this type compressor for indoor use because they omit toxic carbon monoxide gases.
When you have chosen your air compressor always be sure to follow the manufactures break in procedures to insure proper break in of the compressor pump.
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