As you have already read in our previous article, air compressors come in different types. Another question you might ask yourself is: how big does my air compressor have to be? Since they come in all shapes and sizes, it’s important to know what size will be the perfect fit for you. Before making a choice, you should keep these tips in mind:
Do you need an air compressor for heavy construction work, or for some chores around the house?
You need a bigger size of air compressor depending on the nature of your work. The same applies for the type of compressor, like an oil-lubricated or oil-free one. If you need a constant airflow, the size will matter as well: smaller air compressors are usually not fitted to generate a constant flow.
Will you need an air compressor to power a nailer, or perhaps a large sand blaster? For the latter, a compressor with a small tank will do. For the former, you’ll need a larger tank. It all depends on the equipment you’re going to use.
Airtools have a required airflow or CFM requirement. These are determined by the manufacturer. You should check the CFM of the tools you’re going to use. That way you can figure out the minimum airflow your compressor will have to generate.
Most compressors can operate on a standard home outlet. However, larger air compressors will also need a higher voltage (for instance a 240 volt source). Some compressors, for instance those who need to operate in remote locations where no electricity is available, operate on gasoline.
Sounds a bit redundant, but still: if you need a compressor to fit in your garage, you won’t be able to choose a large industrial air compressor. Also: will you be moving your compressor at all? If you need to move it frequently, a smaller, light-weight compressor will be of more service to you than a bulky one.
Air compressor tank sizes vary enormously. You’ll need to think about the size, simply because it will determine how long you can use your compressor before it needs to fill up with air again.
Will you power tools that need a constant airflow? Or will you be operating smaller tools, like a nail gun? These short bursts of air don’t require a large tank. However, in this case the motor has to switch on and off constantly, which will have a negative impact on the lifespan of your compressor.