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Choosing the Right Air Compressor: Simplified

Air compressors are versatile that’s why you’d see them used in a variety of tasks. Together with pneumatic tools, they perform tasks better than most electric power tools because they produce more power and torque and last longer because they have fewer moving parts, too. But because they have many applications, capacities, and types, it can be very confusing especially if you are not that familiar with compressors.


We believe that for you to fully benefit from your compressor you first need to understand it. So here we have for you a brief buying guide that could help you in making your decision.


  • Compressor Type: Single or Two-Stage

Single-stage compressors can be moved manually basically because they are typically smaller models. These are better fitted for small shops or homes that would be needing it for applications like airbrushing. Two-stage compressors are better for manufacturing facilities and garages. They can simultaneously run multiple air tools. Because of this, you can expect that they are priced higher, too.


  • Air Compressor Grades

Compressors come in different grades based on their capacity and applications. You should know that consumer grade ones are for a small workshop or the house while contractor grade compressors are for small tools on work-sites. They can be mounted on a small vehicle. Commercial air compressors are heavy duty ad can run many tools continuously and at a higher pressure. These are used for industries like factories, ships, and oil rigs, among others.


  • Capacity and Delivery

The capacity and delivery of your air compressor basically depend on these factors:

CFM- the amount of air delivery in cubic feet per minute. A higher CFM is much more practical to use when there are a number of tools used.

PSI- Pounds per square inch; a higher PSI means more compressed air for a specific tank size

HP- a higher horsepower results to a greater PSI.

Tank Size- a larger tank will naturally hold a higher PSI for longer.


  • Power Source

Petrol engine driven compressors are lighter, less expensive, and quieter compared to its diesel-driven cousin. However, you cannot expect them to output similar torque than an equally rated diesel counterpart. They also have higher running costs. Electric air compressors are more common, less noisy and can easily be used wherever there is a supply of electricity.


  • Rotary Screw or Piston Compressors

Piston compressors are more common in the automotive industry as they can supply a lower air output delivery and lower air quality. They are a little noisier and operate at higher temperatures. They commonly require more maintenance, too. Rotary screw compressors are more reliable, run at lower energy cost, and require less maintenance while giving better air quality. They may cost higher upfront but in the long run, their benefits will compensate for that cost.

New air compressor on a white background.

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