The key to buying the best air compressor is matching job demands to suitable air compressors. This way you can be able to narrow down your choices. For instance portable air compressors are the most ideal for low air volume demands i.e. in homes while stationary compressors are the best for high air volume demands i.e. powering production and automotive air tools. In summary, if you want to choose the best air compressor, you have to consider portability, power source, performance rating, tank size and pump type. Below is a detailed discussion of these factors and how they should guide you to choose the best air compressor.
As mentioned above, this is one of the most important factors when choosing the best air compressor. In terms of portability, we have stationary and portable air compressors. Portable compressors vary in sizes and shapes. Small portable models are lighter and easy to carry. Larger portable air compressors are heavier which is why most of them have wheels. This makes it easy to move them from one site to another.
For applications such as inflating tires or powering nail guns, you should consider small portable lightweight air compressors with 2 to 4 gallon tanks. For more demanding tasks/jobs i.e. powering frame nail guns, you need larger portable air compressors because they are more powerful. In such cases, a wheelbarrow air compressor with a 4 to 5 gallon tank will provide adequate air flow and still move easily around job sites. If you are searching for a portable air compressor for doing garage/workshop work, you need an air compressor that is more powerful and has greater air storage i.e. a portable vertical air compressor with a 20 to 30 gallon tank.
Stationary air compressors are usually fixed permanently at preferred sites and then wired directly into a building’s electrical circuit. A standard stationary compressor has a 50 to 80 gallon tank and a 4-10 HP motor. Stationary air compressors work best in workshops and garages because they allow you to use a wide range of cheaper air tools. They are also better performance compared to electric tools. If you want a heavy duty air compressor, stationary air compressors are the best.
Another important factor to consider when choosing the best air compressor is the power source. Most air compressors are powered by gasoline or electricity. Both power sources have their own advantages and disadvantages.
For instance, electric air compressors don’t emit any fumes. They are therefore better for indoor applications. This is one of the main advantages of electric air compressors. Obvious disadvantages include; high cost of electricity and reliability. If you rely too much on electric compressors in your workshop, garage e.t.c, you can’t work if there is no electricity. You will also get high electricity bills if you rely too much on electric air compressors.
Gas-powered air compressors can be relied on 24/7 provided you have gasoline to power them. They however emit fumes. If you are looking for an environmental friendly air compressor, gasoline powered air compressors will not come in handy. Once you have decided on portability, decide on power source depending on reliability, emissions and cost.
Once you have made your decision on power source and portability, the next factor to consider when choosing the best air compressor is the performance rating.
The most vital performance rating consideration when matching air tool requirements to the capabilities of an air kompressor is the volume of air a compressor delivers. This is usually measured in SCFM or Standard Cubic Feet/Minute.
It is important to note that air tools have SCFM ratings like air compressors. These ratings indicate the recommended air flow for air tools to work optimally. To choose the best air compressor performance ratings, you should match your tools SCFM ratings with the SCFM ratings of suitable air compressors. The best air compressor for you should be able to power all your tools optimally.
Another important factor to consider when choosing the best air compressor is the tank size. The tank size matters because it determines the amount of time air tools function before the air compressor is powered on. Air compressor tank sizes are classified in gallons. It is possible to get air compressors with all types of tank sizes i.e. from 1 to 80 gallon tank sizes.
If you want to use air tools which require high volumes of air continuously, the best air compressor for you is the one with a larger tank (above 50 gallons). If you want an air compressor for intermittent use, the best air compressor for you is the one with a small tank size i.e. a 3-5 gallon tank.
Another important factor to consider when choosing the best air compressor is the pump type. There are very many pump type variations. These variations i.e. in pump design have been proven to have huge differences in air compressor performance. To choose the best air compressor in regards to the pump type, you need to factor in the pump types.
There are two main pump types namely; single stage and two stage. Single stage compressors usually have 1 or more cylinders each releasing compressed air at similar output pressure. Two stage compressors on the other hand have a minimum of two cylinders. You should choose a two stage pump over a single stage pump if you want to do high demand work that requires more air storage.
In summary, considering the above 5 factors should help you choose the best air compressor that suits all your needs. It is however important to note that there are some other factors that should help you narrow down your search further for the best air compressor. For instance, you can look at the air cooling system. A good air cooling system will extend the motor life of your air compressor. Another factor to consider is if the air compressor you choose has a thermal overload switch. The best air compressors have thermal overload switches for automatically shuts off air compressor motors in case motors overheat. This is very important because it increases compressor life. Also, the best air compressor should have a roll cage for protecting it from external damage. The above factors should be adequate enough to help you make an informed decision.