What type of air compressor do I need for air tools?

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What type of air compressor do I need for air tools?

In our previous article you could already discover the different types of air compressors that MARK has to offer. In this article we’ll explore which air compressor is ideal for air tools. What do you look for? How can you determine which air compressor you’ll need? Read all about it. 

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Air compressors and air tools

The first thing to determine is the type of air tool you will be using, and for what purpose. Industrial air tools like industrial wrenches, jackhammers and rock drills will have different requirements than air tools used in a DIY-setting, like for instance sanders, nail guns or small pneumatic drills.

The most important requirement of your air tool is the Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM). To start looking for the right air compressor, keep these tips in mind: 

  • Look at the CFM of the most powerful air tool you have. That way you’re sure that the air compressor of your choosing can handle every task.
  • Is the CFM of the air tool based on a full duty cycle? If it’s based on a 50 or 60% duty cycle you’ll need an air compressor with a higher CFM.
  • Will you use different air tools at the same time? Then you’ll need to combine the CFM of those tools.
  • Will you need a continuous air flow? In certain situations you’ll need an air compressor that can work on a 100% duty cycle.

So you’ve determined the CFM your air tools will require. Time to start looking for the right air compressor!


Finding the right air compressor for air tools

The type of air compressor

As we’ve already mentioned, what air compressor you’ll need for your air tools all depends on the type of work you will be doing. You can read more about the types of air compressors MARK has to offer, but in a nutshell, it boils down to this:

  • Piston air compressors are smaller, lighter and easier to move around. They are commonly used in garages and DIY-settings.

  • Rotary screw compressors are larger, less easy to move around and capable of delivering a continuous airflow. They are commonly used in larger, industrial settings. 

So apart from the CFM you need, the size and weight of your air compressor is definitely something to consider. 

The size of your air compressor for air tools

Tank mounted screw without dryer

By ‘size’ of air compressor we don’t mean the actual size, but rather the maximum CFM capacity. The size of your air compressor depends on the CFM your air tools require.

Of course, the actual tank size might also be an issue: if you need an air compressor that’s light but powerful, you’ll need to select one that has a smaller tank but a high CFM capacity.

Want to make a rough estimation on what tank size you’ll need? Just multiply the CFM or your air tool by 6. For instance: if your air compressor has a CFM of 8, you’ll need a tank that holds approximately 48 liters, at least. 



Things to consider before selecting an air compressor for air tools

To conclude, these are the essential factors when selecting an air compressor: 

  • The type of work you’ll be doing and the setting;
  • The CFM of your air tools and compressor;
  • Whether you’ll need a continuous airflow and/or the usage of multiple air tools at once;
  • The tank size and weight of your compressor.

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Can we help you find the right air compressor for your air tools?

MARK offers a wide array of air compressors which are ideal for diverse purposes. We’d be glad to help you find the right one. Just get in touch with us!

Read more about air compressors in related articles

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