Top Air Compressors Selection Guide

Posted on May 13, 2021

Top Air Compressors

A poor air compressor can potentially cost your business tons of money, and we are not exaggerating. An inadequate compressed-air system results in improper tool operation, high energy cost per unit, shortened product life, reduced capacity, and build-up of rust. All of these problems can lead to the undesired distribution of air, which may ultimately jeopardize your business.

Finding an air compressor is easy, but choosing a proper one for your facility might take a little bit of work. So, in the following sections we’ll discuss your options and how to go about choosing the top air compressors.

Types of Air Compressors

Air compressors are generally categorized into stationary and portable types. Stationary compressors are large units usually seen in shops and garages. They feature large storage tanks with superb horsepower for extended periods of uninterrupted use. They are typically of a vertical design to minimize the floor space required for placement.
Portable air compressors on the other hand allow users to easily move them from one work area to another, featuring smaller storage tanks and wheels. These are the more compact type of air compressors which can come in a handful of styles, such as the wheelbarrow type that has double cylindrical tanks and a wheel for mobility, or the twin-stack models which are characterized by twin horizontal, cylindrical tanks for the added air capacity.
Your selection process should start with determining whether a stationary or portable model is more suited for your applications. As a general rule, portable air compressors are the better choice for light and quick applications, such as powering up nail guns or airbrushing. And stationary units on the other hand are more suitable for prolonged use in which greater power is required

:: Read more: Top Air Compressors: Reasons to Own One

Choosing the Right Size

With the mobility factor covered, we now need to address another important selection factor: the size of your air compressor. Sizing your air compressor is directly associated with determining the proper amount of air needed for the applications. The first thing you should do is to determine the air requirements, meaning you need to know the CMF (cubic feet per minute) required per tool. You can typically do this yourself, taking into account the expected runtime, or simply check with the manufacturer.
Next, you need to determine the required pressure (psig). This is also related to the size of your air compressors, most of which require at least 90 psig. Others may be as high as 150 psig depending on your manufacturer. Now the most crucial step is to evaluate where your air compressor is going to be located how much floor space you have for it. You should also have an idea of how big the compressor tank is going to be as this also affects the size of the machine.

Choosing the Power Supply

The power supply is another factor you should consider. The electric model is more common than the gasoline-powered models because of the lower maintenance requirement. It is also quieter, which is suitable for indoors. Most home-use air compressors function on 120 volts household current but may be subject to the size of your machine. But do note that a portable electric compressor suffers from limited mobility because an extension cord is required to power it. For outdoor applications where electricity isn’t available, a high horsepower gasoline model may produce better results.

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