Picking A Compressor

One question that pops up on this website all the time relates to helping folks when they are picking a compressor. What are the things you need to consider?
What do you want to know when you, or someone buying a gift for you, is picking aa air compressor?

The choice might be a Husky, a Kobalt, a Speedaire or a DeWalt air compressor... there are more compressors out there for the DIY than there have ever been before.

picking a compressor

What Is Compressor For?

Give some thought as to what you expect the air compressor to be used for or be able to do for the person you gift it to.

Using a compressor once in a while to blow dust off a piece of woodwork will point to one type of compressor. A compressor necessary to run high-demand air tools like grinders, saws, ratchets and wrenches will point to a different sort.

Take a moment to think your compressor needs through, jot them down even, and read on, for more help.

Where Will the Compressor Be Used?

Is the air compressor location going to be important? Here is a link to a page on this site that discusses compressor location. Compressor location is important to a business that will have a fixed installation of a fairly large air compressor. If you are picking a compressor for your work, this page is worth reading.

The compressor location is not as important for folks buying a home, or small workshop, do it yourself type air compressor . Many of these types of air compressors are portable and can be relocated when necessary.

What Power Supply Does Compressor Need?

When you power your air compressor with a typical household circuit, in North America at least, you are supplying 120 Volt AC power, typically through a 15-20 amp circuit breaker or fuse.

This page about air compressor power requirements will help you understand why you cannot run larger air compressors from typical household current.

You may have to go to a 220 Volt or larger power supply, if your air needs are large enough. Can you do this if necessary for the compressed air flow you want? Does the added expense suit your budget?

Tool Compressed Air Demand

When picking a compressor I cannot stress strongly enough the need to find out, before you buy, what your tool selection needs are in terms of air pressure (PSI), and compressed air flow (CFM), to run properly.

If your air tool needs more compressed air to run than your air compressor can deliver, you will be disappointed and may not be able to do the work you wished to do. This is much more important for a business than a DIY'er, but nevertheless, no one wants to buy a tool that will not work for them, and a too-small air compressor fits into that category.

Here is a page on air tool demand, good reading to help you better understand the correlation between compressor size and tool demand.

This will take you to another page on this site with more information on picking a compressor.