How Big of an Air Compressor Do I Need – How to Make the Best Decision

If you wonder how to choose an adequate air compressor, pay attention to the advice we give to you. We tried to make the most valuable air compressor guide, and here we are. Here, you will find out how big air compressor is the most suitable for your needs, and how to choose the right one.

Size of an air compressor

What matters the most is the purpose of an air compressor. Do you need this device to inflate a tire or to power big machinery?

You can make a good choice when you know the purpose of an air compressor.

Most of the times, you will see different sizes of compressors on the market. Air compressors come in different variants, from the small ones that are suitable for cars and bicycles, all the way to the bigger ones for machinery devices.

You can choose portable air compressors for smaller appliances. These are very handy and convenient. You can put them at the back of your car and take them to the trip.

At the same time, there are bigger variants that are more demanding for transport. In this case, you may need to rent a special vehicle to get them to the place you want. These bigger compressors can serve for different purposes, in pneumatic tools and other machinery applications.

No matter of the size, you must also pay attention to their overall features.

Air compressor air pumps and features

Air pumps in air compressors are the basic feature of the device. An air pump is made of structural material that does not allow air to left the pump during the usage. Air pumps can be bought separately.

If you want to upgrade the compressor, you should choose the most suitable pump that corresponds to other characteristics.

Another important thing to consider is definitely a range of horsepower. Air compressors come in different ranges, so you can find 1.5 to 6.5 horsepower range.

It all depends on the structure and the size of a compressor. If you go for lower horsepower options, you will take smaller devices with convenient usage.

The bigger size of the compressor is usually a matter of a more potent horsepower solution. Therefore, the air compressors with 5-6.5 horsepower solution are usually the biggest ones on the market.

While you are looking for an adequate horsepower rating, pay attention to another feature that can completely determine the type of an air compressor. It is a CFM rating.

What is CFM Rating and how does it work?

CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute, and it is one of the most important characteristics of an air compressor. It measures a volumetric flow, which is a rate of a gas or a liquid in cubic feet per minute. In most occasions, 1 CFM stands for 0.47 liter per second.

You can find many air compressors with different CFM ratings, but most applications of CFM are based on similar standards. Standard CFM corresponds to 14.5 PSIA with 0% relative humidity at 68 °F.

If you are using more air tools simultaneously, make sure that you add up their overall CFMs, so you can add additional 30% for the complete safety.

In the most common situation, you can use a grease gun and dual sander at the same time. It is important to combine their CFMs and add additional 30%. This way, you can be sure that the overall CFM is at the adequate level.

Air compressor power source

It is important to know what power source your air compressor requires for working. We are not always able to have electricity, especially when we are on the road where electricity supplies are very limited.

In that case, the air compressor will be supplied by a gasoline engine. Make sure that the air compressor you choose have this ability, because you will have occasions where the additional power is necessary.

What to look for when buying a device?

Look for air compressors that run on 110V. It is a standard in the USA, but sometimes, you may need to choose the larger ones that run on 240V. It all depends on the size we mentioned before.

Larger air compressors will use more power, so make sure that you have electricity or gasoline engine options. The more power sources you use, the more potent the compressor can be. Make sure that the compressor runs on the exact power source you usually use.

​Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

1. Will my air compressor work for different purposes?

Yes, smaller and handy air compressors work as powerful helpers whenever you need to inflate the tools or devices. At the same time, you can use them in industrial environments for simple tasks.

If you need a real industrial device, go for a bigger air compressor with more horsepower potential. 

2. How to choose the right model of an air compressor?

First if all, consider the type of an air compressor for your special occasion. Then, look for the size and the horsepower option, and, at the end, consider the price.

When all the requirements fit your budget, buy the air compressor that suits your needs the best. There are multiple choices on the market, so you can find the right one for yourself.

3. How long the good air compressor can last?

If you are using the device as recommended, it can last for a long time. Make sure that you check occasionally the overall pump condition and the entire compression ability.

If you are not sure if the air compressor is completely safe, take it to the mechanic and check the overall condition.

Final Verdict

Choose the bigger air compressor if you need more industrial usage of the device. On the other side, go for smaller variants if you do simpler tasks. The size is not the only thing to consider.

Equally important are CFM ratings and horsepower solutions. Get the air compressor according to your actual needs and make sure that all requirements are met.

This way, you ensure that you get the device with the best characteristics. 

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