Choosing an air compressor can be a very difficult task if you don’t know the features to look out for. Air compressors have a wide range of applications and can power a lot of tools. You will need to have the right knowledge before you can have a good air supply. Below are some things you need to know:

Part 1 of 2

Knowing the Basics

1. Analyze the requirement of the equipment you are powering

You need to first check the requirement of the tools you will be powering. For tools that need high pressure, you might need a compressor with a tank.

If you will only be using your compressor to inflate tires, then you might not need the one with a tank. For the ones without a tank, they will have to run continuously. They don’t make too much noise since they are often small in size.

  • Before buying a compressor, you need to consider the volume requirement of the tool you will be using. Heavy-duty tools will require more pressure, as a result of this, they will need high volume. If you go on to pick a compressor that has a low volume capacity compared to what the tools need, you will have issues with your work efficiency. You will have to wait for the tank to fill up before you can use it; this will reduce the efficiency of the work
  • If a small compressor is meant for airbrushing, it will require a smaller amount of pressure. A 5-liter tank with a pressure of about 30 psi air pressure would be good.

2. Understand the types of compressor available

There are basically two types of compressors; they are the reciprocating and the rotary screw. The most common type of air compressor found in many stores is the piston type. The piston air compressor has a cylinder and a piston that moves up and down and also has a valve on top of the piston.

To get a higher flow and high pressure, some air compressors make use of two pistons. The rotary screw type of air compressor is designed to be used for a longer duration, like seconds to minutes at a stretch. They can be used for jackhammers, wrenches, and for industrial purposes.

  • There are two types of piston air compressor, the single-stage, and the two-stage. The single-stage compressor can produce as much as 150 psi, while the two-stage compressor can give out about 200 psi. In the two-stage compressor, there are two pistons, the larger one and the smaller one. The single-stage compressor might also have two pistons, but they will be of the same size and can only give out 150 psi combined. The advantage a dual piston compressor has over the single one is that it compresses air at a faster rate. Even if a compressor has two pistons, that doesn’t make it a two-stage compressor
  • The single-stage compressor is used for powering low power tools like spray guns, pneumatic tools, inflating tires. The dual piston compressor, whether the two-stage or single-stage, is used for heavy power tools.

Part 2 of 2

Making Specific Determinations

1. Ascertain the HP (horsepower) of the air compressor

The standard range for horsepower in an air compressor goes from 1.5 to 6.5 HP. Air compressors with horsepower higher than this exist, but they are specially made for industrial purposes and they offer a very high pressure. There are many articles and blogs that say the horsepower of air compressors have changed. If you want to compare the old model compressor to the new one, you need to check the flow rate other than the horsepower. Air compressors that are meant for low power tools won’t require much horsepower rating as the ones for industrial use.

  • The horsepower of an air compressor is one of the important indicators in choosing your air compressor; it shouldn’t be the only factor you will consider. More features to check will be CFM rating or cubic per feet. CFM rating is discussed in detail below

2. Try to check the cubic feet per minute (CFM) of the air compressor

A Cubic foot per minute is a measure of the volume flow of the air compressor. This sounds very easy, but not as easy as it appears. The cubic feet per minute changes with the pressure of the air compressor. This means that two air compressors with different pressure values will have different CFM ratings.

3. Consider space and portability

If the need arises, can you carry your air compressor or can you roll it on the ground? Air compressors can either be small, portable, or large. The portability of the air compressor is very important, and it is more convenient to use and move around.

However, if your air compressor is to be stationed in a permanent place, you can just go for an air compressor that has a long hose and has big power output. The work of the air compressor is also important, is it to fill the nail gun on the roof, or to inflate the tire?

4. Consider the power source

Is the electricity supply at your place okay or very bad? If you will be staying in a place with a good power supply, you can go for the drive system compressor with a motor. Most air compressors can run on a power voltage of 110V, while the larger ones might need up to 240V. Make sure you ask about this before you purchase it.

  • You can also consider the mobile air compressor. The mobile air compressor runs on other sources of power like gasoline or diesel engine

5. If you are using a tank mounted compressor, determine how big it should be

If you will be using your air compressors for short-duration work, such as inflating the tire and filling nail guns, you can go for the small tank compressor.

However, if you are into long-duration work, the best option is to go for the ones with a larger tank. The size of the tank is often measured in gallons.


Air compressors are a useful device in the house, and when planning to purchase one, it is better to buy the one that suits your purpose to avoid issues later. If you follow the guide in this article, you will be able to purchase the air compressor that suits you. If you want to see more further details about the air compressor and the items. Please visit the link below.

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