An Air Compressor Buying Guide
Buying an air compressor is a significant commitment and one you shouldn’t enter into without having all the facts to make an educated decision. Whether you plan to use the machine for personal power tools or a full-scale manufacturing operation, these are the factors you’ll want to consider before you decide which compressor will suit your needs.
Who Will Use It?
Many of the factors that you’ll have to consider will depend on the amount of use your air compressor will get. If you’re looking for a personal machine to power tools in your private workshop, you won’t need the large-scale tanks and apparatuses that industrial, construction-project compressors will need. Even compact and portable units will provide you with enough power to run most air tools.
On the other hand, if you’re buying an air compressor on behalf of a professional operation, you’ll need a professional-sized and powered unit that keeps up with the projects for which you plan to use it. The tank size, CFM (cubic feet per minute), horsepower, and other factors will need more than a personal-sized compressor can provide.
What Tools Need It?
Many tools you’d use in a home workshop can run off of a smaller unit. Check each instrument to see what they need to run — if you can manage the tools with a reasonable margin for air pressure and CFM, don’t spend extra money on a compressor that’s bigger than you need.
However, personal-sized compressors will only get you so far. If you plan to operate demo hammers, air ratchets, brad guns, or nail guns, you’ll need a unit with high PSI and CFM to keep up with the drain of air and maintain the pressure you need. If you’re not sure which one you need, err on the side of caution: it’s better to operate your tools with excess available than to have a compressor that won’t give you enough.
What Space Is Available?
Bearing in mind that more is better than not enough, you may find it tempting to go for the largest pumps and tanks with the most air capacity you can afford. However, you’ll need to keep the space available in mind: if you don’t have enough room to put the unit into your workshop or the right spot on your large-scale project, you’ll waste your money on a machine that you can’t use.
Check the measurements of the space you plan to use for your air compressor, and keep them handy as you shop for it. If you need an air tank that your building won’t allow for, look for the highest specs that fit within your area or consider rearranging the workshop to create more room for an air compressor.
What Power Source Does It Use?
The size and capabilities of your air compressor won’t mean anything without the right power source. The two most common forms of energy are electricity and gas. Electric compressors will often be cheaper, quieter, and emission-free, making them more appealing for in-home workshops in either a corded or battery-powered form.
Gas-powered compressors are more suited to industrial work or any heavy-duty tasks you may need to perform. While noisier and heavier, they’ll be more useful for various jobs and will last for a long time with the appropriate maintenance.
Ready to purchase the air compressor that’s right for you? Check out Compressor-Pump & Service, Inc., for a variety of mechanical needs. For over 35 years, we’ve been building a reputation for service and repair and selling machines that we will service. Get in touch today to buy a new compressor or service the one you have, and let us help you make your project dreams come true.