You’re thinking about choosing a portable air compressor, but not sure where to start? The choices can be overwhelming. We want to make it easier for you to choose the right compressor for your projects. Let us help remove the guesswork. Click here for more about the brands portable air compressor on the market today
1. The Projects.
First, you want to identify the projects you plan to do. You may already know that air compressors are great for inflating tires and sports balls, but they can be used for so much more. Did you know that you can use a portable air compressor to cock windows, install trim and molding, build and paint furniture, create a headboard, rotate tires, sharpen mower blades, restore old cars, and more!
Once you know your range of projects, you can determine what tools you will need to use. This makes it easier to choose the right compressor. Some air tools require more air power than other air tools perhaps you just want to inflate tires, rafts, and sports balls. In this case, portable inflators are the perfect fit. Tire inflators deliver high pressure, making them ideal for inflating vehicle tires and sports balls. Raft inflators deliver a high volume of air, so they are perfect for air mattresses and rafts.
2. Identify the Need to Use your Portable air Compressor.
Some inflators can be used for both tires and rafts, so you just want to check the tire description. Inflators are powered by various power sources 120v- 12v cordless rechargeable. Fastening projects – small inflation and fastening compressor- typically 6 gallons or less they can run nail guns and staplers so you can staple chairs, install window and door trim, crown molding, build furniture and decks, repair roof shingles, and frame a room, a small air compressor can power other tools that do not require a lot of air such as caulk guns. If you want to tackle other home and auto jobs such as rotating tires, repairing lawn equipment and spray painting furniture, you will need a larger compressor.
3. The Capacity, Tank size, Horsepower and Scfm
Typically a portable air compressor with 7 to 30 gallons is ideal for other home and auto maintenance projects. In this range, the specific size compressor you need depends on the tools you need to use some air tools require more air or SCFM Standard Cubic Feet per Minute you can find the SCFM rating on the tool and compressor packaging.
They make sure the compressor delivers at least that much SCFM, so it can operate your tool. Certain tools such as sanders, grinders, and cutoff tools, tend to operate in continuous use and require a lot of air. Sanders typically need 60 gallons or larger air compressor.
4. Extent use of your air compressor.
Next, consider how frequently you will use the compressor if you plan to use it a few times each month for inflation, we recommend a small inflation and fastening compressor. If you want to operate air tools and inflate tires throughout the year, we recommend a larger Home and auto maintenance compressor if you plan to use a compressor every day such as a body shop environment you will need a 60 gallon or larger compressor.
5. Power source.
Finally, you’ll want to figure out your power source. Most households are equipped with 15 Amp 120 Volt circuits if you want to run your compressor on your household circuit, you’ll need to check that the compressor operates on a 15amp 120v circuit.
Note: Most air compressors require a dedicated 15 amp circuit. You won’t be able to run your portable air compressor on the same 15 amp circuit as other tools and appliances at the same time. If you are using your air compressor often, you may want a dedicated 15 amp circuit. Larger air compressors need more power to operate. Most compressors larger than 30 gallons operate on 240-volt single phase power.
Two-stage portable air compressors (10 HP and larger) operate on three-phase power only. If you do not have the electrical power, you will need a gas air compressor. Hopefully, you feel more confident about choosing the right air compressor, remember to: consider your range of projects and tools determines how frequently you will use the compressor and choose your power source.
10 Important Questions to Consider when Purchasing a Portable Air Compressor.
Below are ten important questions help you choose best portable air compressor. You need to complete the test before you decide to purchase the best one.
What is the purpose of purchasing a portable air compressor?
Think of your desired tasks and their frequency. Are they short and irregular tasks? Or they are long works and needed to be done many times a day? Based on these purposes, you will choose a right compressor with suitable power and capacity.
Which features would be essential for your types of work?
You can’t tell whether a portable air compressor is suitable for you just based on its specifications. But you should consider many side aspects. Is your air main a heavy or lightweight machine? Is your task a normal home project or a powerful professional use? How often do you use your tools? Moreover, in specific working condition, you need to pay attention to extra features that a compressor has. Metal materials help your machine works fine in extreme weather. Energy gauges remind you about the current level of energy.
Where do you intend to place the portable air compressor?
Air compressors can be operated in anywhere. But if you plan to use them outdoors, just make sure they have a “waterproof” feature. Or at least the location need to be away from water for safety. A cooling system or ventilation also is necessary for your machine to function properly in hot conditions.
4. What would be your ideal tank’s size?
The ideal tank is a tank that can sustain the most severe tasks for the longest period. Again, it depends on what your projects are. If they are not too demanding, you can choose a vertical tank. It is smaller and occupies less room than the horizontal one. But that type of tank doesn’t provide more than 10HP. So, a horizontal air compressor is viable for strong and powerful jobs.
What amount of pressure will your projects require?
It depends on the demand of your projects. If you run just one tool at a time, figure out which of your tools need the highest supply. Then, choose an air compressor with the matching PSI, or even a little higher for safe. If you want to operate all tools at once, choose an air compressor with PSI that is equal to the total pressure needed. If your tools require a high air supply, choose a two-stage portable air compressor. Otherwise, a one-stage compressor is enough for everyday use.
How much horsepower(HP) do your tools need?
The airflow’s power is accumulated with horsepower. The more horsepower your compressor is, the more air will be produced. If an air compressor has high HP but low air output, it seems to be a bad compressor. It consumes more energy but has less durability and power.
What will be your required airflow?
Check the require CFM mentioned in your tools before buying air compressors. But this number is just a theoretical calculation in ideal condition. You also need to watch for in ACFM (Actual Cubic Feet per Minute), which is the real CFM a compressor can provide. Check if the AFCM match its CFM specification.
What is the maximum electrical allowance at your base of operation?
Volt is directly related to power. A standard household in U.S will have the 110v electricity line. With this, you can only run a machine of 3HP. To have a more powerful compressor, you’ll need to increase your energy supply. Research carefully for this topic, or even have electricians help you in deciding which compressor is the best for you.
What type of control system would work best for you?
There is a total of 3 options for controlling a compressor. The first one is a start/stop mode. It depends on the selected cut-in and cut-out level to initiate or close the engine. It is most suitable for intermittent tasks. And compressors that start less than eight times per hour often apply this system.
The second type is constant speed control. Unlike the last method, constant speed control is ideal for machines that start more than eight times per hour. The final model is dual control, which let you choose between the two previous control system.
What other things your should consider?
Maintaining is very necessary to keep your compressor alive. Choose the good type of oil can extend the machine’s lifespan. Oil contacts to your compressors all the time so that low-quality oil can do a lot of damage to them. Moreover, moisture is also a threat. It can lead to corrosion and destroy your compressor. You need to apply moisture drains and filters to protect your invaluable air compressors.