Tips on Buying an Air Compressor

by Wirani Garner

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When deciding which air compressor to buy, think about the things you plan to use it for. Air compressors have a variety of uses in domestic, commercial, and industrial situations. They are used to fill gas cylinders, fill vehicle tires, and supply pressured air to pneumatic (air-powered) tools, among other things. Knowing the right things to look for in a compressor will help you choose the best one for your money.

Buying Air Compressors:

  1. Air pressure: If you are purchasing an air compressor for household use, you are most likely to be using it to power pneumatic tools. Some require more power than others. Pneumatic tools measure airflow in either cubic feet per minute (CFM) or pounds per square inch (PSI). Match the power of your air compressor with the power of your tools as closely as possible. If you have multiple air-powered tools, you should buy an air compressor with air pressure that is greater than the air pressure of your most powerful tool. This is a very important thing to do because if the pressure of your air compressor isn't equal or greater than the pressure of your tools, your tools are unlikely to work as intended.

  2. Reciprocating or rotary screw: The two most common air compressors are reciprocating and rotary screw. The first are the most widely used and are the best choice for household use. They are good at managing short or intermittent usage and are perfect for powering tools in a workshop. They are also good for small businesses, such as paint and panel stores, that have fluctuating workloads. Rotary-screw air compressors are appropriate for industrial use, since they work well in production line situations. They provide a constant air supply, which makes them more appropriate for businesses that need the compressor running all the time.

  3. Electric or gas: Electric-powered air compressors are the most common and the simplest to use because they can be used wherever there is a ready electrical supply. Gas-powered compressors are used in areas where electricity is limited or unavailable, such as in rural areas or on a construction site. Gas-powered compressors may be more expensive to run because of fuel costs, and they can't be used in confined or unventilated areas because of the gas fumes. However, they have the convenience of being able to operate in unpopulated and undeveloped areas.

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