Whether it’s your first or fifth time buying an air compressor, the process of buying the right one for your needs can be confusing and stressful. Many factors go into deciding which air compressor will be best suited for what you’re planning to use it for.

How Does an Air Compressor Work?

Air compressors force air into an enclosed space or container and pressurize it. The air then flows through an opening where the pressure increases. It is powered by an engine that transforms electric energy into kinetic energy.

The pressurized air can power multiple tools such as sanders, paint sprayers, and impact wrenches. The top air compressors will work with a variety of tools so you can be more efficient. 

Type of Air Compressor

There are mainly two types of air compressors- portable air compressors and piston air compressors. 

Portable air compressors either have a small storage tank or no tank at all. You can move them around with ease, and they can give continual air pressure. They are well-suited for household requirements.

Piston air compressors come with large storage tanks that have to be stationary while in use. They require constant maintenance and are suited for commercial purposes such as factory work. 

Piston air compressors also come in single-stage and dual-stage that have different power outputs. A dual-stage compressor is more energy-efficient but may be too big for your requirements. 

Power Requirements

Compressors come with a Horsepower (HP) rating. It shows how much power output the compressor has. If an air compressor has high HP, greater air pressure is being created (measured in PSI).

More air can be stored within the air compressor when the PSI is high, which allows you to work more equipment for longer. Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) refers to the volume output of air that can be generated by an air compressor depending on the PSI levels. 

Usually, the higher the CFM, the lower your PSI levels need to be. A high CFM of an air compressor is suitable for commercial purposes or heavy equipment such as air wrenches.

Type of Tools and Features of Your Air Compressor

The kind of space available for storing your air compressor also plays an important role when you’re deciding which compressor to invest in. Consider what tools you will be using with your air compressor.

Many compressors come with additional features such as included tools (like nailers, air hammers) and thermal protection to prevent your compressor from overloading.

Electricity Availability

If you have a constant electricity supply and do not face any constraints with power usage, buying an electric air compressor is ideal. If you are in a place with volatile electricity, you can opt to buy a gasoline-powered air compressor. 

Electrical variants require less upkeep and are quieter as well. These compressors are perfect when you need to work indoors and plugged into regular household power outlets.

Buy the Best Air Compressor for Your Needs

You may require your air compressor to have multiple requirements depending on whether you’re using it for personal or commercial uses. Read reviews of any air compressor you’re planning to buy among top air compressors to see what other users say.

Buying an air compressor may sound like a big decision to make, but it should be a breeze for you to select the right compressor when you know what you’re looking for.

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