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Have you ever been in the middle of a project when your air compressor just can’t keep up? You’re not alone.
It’s essential to choose the right size air compressor for your needs. So, you don’t end up frustrated and stuck.
What Size Air Compressor Do I Need For Air Tools
This question has many answers depending on the air tools you use and how often you will use them.
For example, if you use an impact wrench to remove lug nuts from a tire.
You will need a much different sized compressor than someone who will be spray painting a car.
The compressor size you need also depends on how often you will use it.
Keep in mind that, you will need an air compressor that can put out at least 90 PSI for air tools.
The requirements of air tools range widely, with 1 CFM for brad nail guns and 70 CFM for sandblasters being the extreme ends.
When looking for an air compressor for various air tools, keep in mind the most demanding device in terms of CFM.
How To Determine Your Air Compressor Size
Operators should assess an air compressor’s capability by how much air it delivers per minute rather than its physical size.
Most air compressors for powering tools typically fall in the 10 to 110 CFM range.
Higher CFM air compressors are ideal for powering extensive devices that consume a lot of air, such as Industrial uses, on-the-road tire inflation, and larger equipment with 1″ impact wrenches and 90 lb jackhammers.
To determine the size of air compressor you need, follow these steps:
- Determine the peak CFM rating of the air tool you will use most frequently.
- Add the CFM requirements of all the other air tools you will use
- Make sure to look at the CFM rating- many tools are only rated for 50 or 60% usage, even though you may need to use it for 100%. You’ll require a higher CFM if you don’t want to take breaks often.
- If you use multiple tools, combine their CFM rating to determine how much power you need.
For example, a 2″ impact wrench that requires 6 CFM, a 1/2″ drill that uses 2 CFM, and a 3/8″ ratchet that needs 1 CFM would require 9 CFM from your air compressor.
After you know how much CFM your air tools require, you’ll know how powerful your air compressor needs.
If you’re building a larger air compressor, consider how much air output you’ll require before buying a bigger one.
A good rule of thumb is that you’ll need 2-3 times as much power to run two air tools simultaneously as you would for one.
What Things To Consider Before Deciding On The Air Compressor Size
Now that you know how much CFM you need from your air compressor, there are a few other factors to consider before purchasing.
In the below section, we will go over a few of these factors. Keep these factors in mind to select the best air compressor for your needs:
What is the maximum amount of storage space on your computer?
When it comes to deciding what kind of air compressor to purchase, one of the first things to consider is how much storage capacity you have.
Compressors with big storage tanks take up more room per square inch. It’s critical to get an air compressor that will fit your needs in your available space.
It’s essential to give your air compressor a three-foot radius around it to allow for adequate ventilation and simple maintenance.
Keep in mind that most air compressors are sold without a storage tank.
If you don’t have room to store an air compressor without a tank, you will have to purchase one separately.
Air Tool Types & CFM Requirements
The size of an air compressor is essential.
You should first check how much air it delivers (in Cubic Feet Per Minute) and the air pressure rating (PSI) before determining its capacity based on its physical dimensions.
As you know, the average air compressor for home tools is between 10 and 110 CFM. When you check the CFM, you need to remember some crucial points.
The first one is that you need to check the CFM at 90 PSI. Because most air tools run between 90 and 100 PSI.
And the second thing is that you have to look for a higher CFM if you don’t want to take breaks frequently.
PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) is a unit of measurement that tells you the air pressure per square inch of an area.
The higher the PSI, the more force the air has. This is why most air tools have a PSI rating- so you can determine if they will be powerful enough for the job at hand.
Keep in mind that you should always get an air compressor with 20% more PSI than what is needed for your tools.
The apparent advantage this creates is that your air tool can function at its best without worrying about pressure dropping below the minimum rating.
However, some air tools require very high PSI ratings. If you plan on using these devices, ensure your compressor can handle them.
A horsepower is a unit of measurement that tells you the power output of an engine or motor. The higher the HP, the more influential the engine or motor is.
Most air compressors have an HP rating between 1 and 5. The general rule of thumb is that the higher the CFM, the higher the HP.
However, this isn’t always the case, so make sure to double-check before purchasing an air compressor.
As you can see that choosing a suitable air compressor is not a very easy task. Before making your final decision, you must consider different things like CFM, PSI, HP, and portability.
So, don’t make your decision in a hurry. Take your time, research, and then buy the air compressor that best suits your needs.
How Much PSI Do I Need For Air Tools?
The average air compressor delivers between 90 and 100 PSI. However, you will need 70 and 90 PSI for most air tools.
The only exception to this rule is if you plan on using very high-pressure air tools, in which case you will need an air compressor to deliver maximum PSI.
This is why it’s vital to get an air compressor with 20% more PSI than what is needed for your tools.
On the other hand, if you only plan on using low-pressure air tools, you can get away with an air compressor that delivers lower PSI.
Just make sure the CFM is high enough, so you don’t have to take frequent breaks.
What Size Air Compressor For An Air Impact Wrench?
An air impact wrench is a powerful tool that can be used for various tasks, such as loosening nuts and bolts, removing tire lug nuts, and more. For this reason, you will need an air compressor that can deliver at least 90 PSI.
What Size Air Compressor For An Air Ratchet?
Air ratchets can work well with an air compressor as long as it can produce 90 to 100 PSI of air pressure. Besides, Air ratchets have little effect on air volume since they can utilize both 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch ratchets at the same time with just 3 CFM of airflow.
What Size Air Compressor For An Air Hammer?
You will need an air compressor that can generate around 90 to 100 PSI of pressure, depending on the size and model of your air tool.
If your air compressor produces 90 PSI, you’ll need around 4 CFM to operate your air hammer at a decent pace.
Now that you know what size air compressor you need for air tools, it’s time to get out there and buy one.
Just consider all the factors we’ve discussed before making your final decision.
It’s also important to read reviews and compare prices to ensure you get the best deal possible.
We hope this article has been helpful and that you can now buy the air compressor that best suits your needs.