If you are planning to use an impact wrench, you need to know what size air compressor you need to power it. Choosing the wrong size can lead to poor performance, damage to your tools, and even safety hazards.
In this article, we will guide you through the process of determining the right size air compressor for your impact wrench.
We will cover the various types of air compressors, and the factors you need to consider when choosing one.
What Size Air Compressor Do I Need For the Impact Wrench?
For an impact wrench, you will need an air compressor with an air pressure of 90 PSI, a rating of 3 to 5 CFM, and a tank capacity of 20 gallons. The compressor’s size is as crucial as its power, ensuring it meets the tool’s air volume and pressure needs.
Air Compressor Size Chart for Impact Wrench:
|Impact Wrench Sizes||CFM||Air Pressure (PSI)|
Variables Of Measuring Your Required Air Compressors
You may already be aware of this, but the size of the air compressor needed for any given tool is determined by using three different components.
PSI refers to the air pressure, which is measured in pounds per square inch;
CFM denotes the total mass volume of air that a machine is capable of delivering in one minute, and tank size is measured in gallons.
PSI is the unit of measurement for air pressure in compressors; this abbreviation stands for pounds per square inch.
Impact wrenches, like the vast majority of other pneumatic tools, require an air pressure of 90 PSI to function properly.
The force required may change depending on the size of the wrench that is being used.
There won’t be a huge departure from the range. It doesn’t matter what size impact wrench you use, as long as the air pressure is between 90 and 125 psi.
Rating in CFM
When it comes to impact wrenches of varying sizes, the required CFM rating can range anywhere from 2 to 16.
When it comes to determining the size of an air compressor, the cubic feet per minute (CFM) plays the most important role.
It’s possible that all wrenches operate at the same PSI, but the CFM can range anywhere from 2 to 16.
An air compressor with 2 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of capacity is adequate for use when operating a 1/4-inch impact wrench.
In comparison, you will need an air compressor that has 16 cubic feet per minute (CFM) in order to operate a 1-inch impact wrench.
Six gallons is the minimum capacity for a tank that can power an impact wrench. But that’s the bare minimum requirement.
Because let’s be honest, you won’t use your air compressor solely for running an impact wrench, it is safe to go for a compressor that has a tank that is 20 gallons in capacity.
Different air compressors for different impact Wrenches
As we have already mentioned, there is a wide range of sizes available for impact wrenches.
And the requirements for size change depending on the size of the wrench. Let’s dive a little deeper.
1/4-Inch Impact Wrench
Because it is the smallest size available for impact wrenches, a ¼-inch impact wrench does not need a CFM air compressor that is particularly powerful.
Compressors of air that deliver between 1 and 1/2 CFM will do the trick.
It is not necessary to use a compressor that has a higher CFM, despite the fact that you can.
The vast majority of tools, including this one, require a minimum air pressure of ninety PSI.
You will need to have access to an air compressor that has a minimum air pressure of 90 PSI.
3/8 Inches Impact Wrenches
When compared to the previous impact wrench that we covered, a 3/8-inch impact wrench requires twice as much CFM.
You will need a compressor that has a minimum output of 3.5 cubic feet per minute (CFM).
Keep in mind that you have the option of purchasing an air compressor with a lower CFM rating; it is preferable to err on the side of caution.
To clarify, you can use an air compressor with a capacity of 2.5 cubic feet per minute (CFM) to operate an impact wrench with a diameter of 3/8 inches
When purchasing a new compressor, it is always better to go for a higher CFM rather than staying on the edge.
Regarding the air pressure, this as well is able to function at 90 PSI.
1/2-Inch Impact Wrenches
Impact wrenches with a half-inch opening are among the most ubiquitous and popular types of hand tools.
When someone asks, “what size air compressor do I need for an impact wrench,” they are typically referring to a 1/2-inch impact wrench when they make their inquiry.
A smooth operation of a 1/2-inch impact wrench requires a compressor with a capacity of between 3.5 and 5 CFM.
Getting an air compressor with 3.5 cubic feet per minute of capacity would be a poor decision because time is of the essence.
If you plan on purchasing one, a compressor with 4 CFM of capacity might be the most reliable option for you.
Let’s say you want to upgrade to a much better air compressor that has a higher CFM rating.
If we are talking about air pressure, we should aim for at least 90 to 100 PSI. This is the optimal range.
¾ Inches impact wrenches
To ensure a smooth operation, a ¾-inch impact wrench will require an air compressor that is approximately 7 CFM.
Regarding the air pressure, it ought to be somewhere in the range of 90 to 100 PSI.
1-Inch Impact Wrenches
There is no harm in stating the facts, even though it is extremely unlikely that you will be making use of an impact wrench with a 1-inch opening.
These wrenches are typically best suited for use on construction sites, as they are not typically found in typical households.
Be aware that powerful compressors are necessary to use such wrenches in the event that you find yourself in need of their services.
These wrenches may require air flow rates of 10 to 16 CFM and air pressures ranging from 90 to 125 PSI.
Common Misconceptions About Air Compressors for Impact Wrenches
Bigger is Always Better
It’s a common misconception that a bigger air compressor is always better for an impact wrench. However, the size of the air compressor doesn’t matter as much as its power.
A larger air compressor may have a bigger tank, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it has more power. In fact, a smaller air compressor with higher power can be more efficient than a larger one with lower power.
Only CFM Matters
Another common misconception is that only CFM (cubic feet per minute) matters when choosing an air compressor for an impact wrench. While CFM is important, PSI (pounds per square inch) is also crucial because it determines the amount of pressure the air compressor can deliver.
The balance between CFM and PSI is essential when choosing an air compressor for an impact wrench.
When selecting an air compressor for an impact wrench, it’s important to consider both CFM and PSI.
A higher CFM rating means the air compressor can deliver more air, while a higher PSI rating means it can deliver more pressure. The ideal air compressor for an impact wrench should have a CFM rating of at least 3-7 and a PSI rating of around 90.
FAQs about the size of air Compressors for impact wrenches
Can A Three-Gallon Air Compressor Power An Impact Wrench?
No, you cannot do that. The smallest air compressor that DIY enthusiasts own has a 3-gallon tank.
A 6-gallon air compressor is required to operate even the smallest impact wrench.
Should I Get A 6-Gallon Air Compressor In Order To Power My Impact Wrench?
A 6-gallon compressor can be purchased if the main purpose of the unit is to operate an impact wrench.
Purchasing a 20-gallon compressor, on the other hand, will allow you to utilize multiple air tools simultaneously.
Can I use an air compressor with a higher CFM rating than my impact wrench requires?
Yes, using an air compressor with a higher CFM rating than required by the impact wrench will not cause any harm.
It may provide better performance and efficiency.
It’s always best to choose an air compressor that meets the manufacturer’s recommended CFM and PSI requirements for your impact wrench
Can I use a smaller tank capacity than recommended for short durations?
Yes, but it may not provide consistent performance for your impact wrench.
Does the PSI fluctuate depending on the size of the impact wrench?
No, most impact wrenches operate within the 90 to 125 PSI range regardless of size.
Now you know the answer to the question, “what size air compressor do I need for the impact wrench?”
The size mostly depends on the size of your impact wrenches. Always remember to adhere to safety regulations.
Accidents are common when non-professionals use power tools without adequate training.
Keep yourself current and intelligent. Maintaining your safety is at the top of the priority list.