What Size Air Compressor Do I Need?

What Size Air Compressor Do I Need?

Whether you’re a hobbyist by passion or a business owner by profession, you may come in need of an air compressor if you are meaning to power your air tools adeptly. In so doing, determining the right size of the air compressor is of ultimate importance.

In the marketplace, you’ll find a wide range of sizes for air compressors. All of them claim their distinct users according to their CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute), Horsepower, gallon size and PSI (Pounds per Square Inch).

If you are meaning to purchase an air compressor and thinking about what size air compressor I need, then you’ve come to the right place to know.


Steps to Select the Right Compressor

Selecting the right air compressor to meet your needs is simple if you follow these steps.

At first, you’ll have to learn about the CFM’s (Cubic Feet per Minute) requirement of the product that you are using the air compressor on. CFM refers to (Cubic feet per minute) the amount of air that will pass through the compressor.

You won’t be able to work continuously for a longer period of time if the CFM requirement is high and you are not using an air compressor with a larger tank. On the other hand, the output of air pressure/power will not be enough for the tools you are using it if it’s too low.

Secondly, you should have adequate knowledge regarding PSI which stands for Pounds per Square Inch. It’s the unite that is generally used to measure the intensity of force the airflow has got.

Different Sizes of Air Compressor 

There are thousands of products in which you can use an air compressor. But the ones that generally recommends air compressor are the products that give us a clear picture of which one we need. Let us go through some of the products in which people use sir compressor on a daily basis.

What Size air Compressor for Nail Gun?

A nail gun powered by the air pressure basically performs its duty by using the air compressor. It is recommended that you get 120 PSI from your compressor. If the gun is heavier than you’ll have to get the one with more pressure.

If you want to put less than 20 nails a minute than an air compressor with the horsepower of 1 motor will provide 2 CMF’s to do the job if adjusted in a framing gun. If the nail gun is a smaller brad gun then the same motor system will give you more than 50 nails a minute.

Nail sizes also make a difference in the air compressors. If you want to put smaller nails evidently you will need lower air pressure thus lower CFMs if you are going to use larger nails, more CMFs.

Air Gun’s Air Compressor

An air gun is a machine that will provide you air pressure. An air compressor is a must needed item of the product.

The air compressor provided in the machine requires exhaling immense air pressure using a tiny air chamber. So you need similar or more than 3000 PSI in your air compressor.

There are many companies that offer around 150 Psi on the air guns air compressor.

The problem is all of them require a special valve that will enable the air pressure to increase with time. Many companies for specialized purposes manufactures air compressor that uses up to 5000 PSI.

The chamber of the air guns is so tiny that the PSI requirement overlaps the CFM and PHP requirements of the product.

Air Hammer’s Air Compressor

There are different types of air hammer in the markets none of which have a requirement of air compressor less than 90 PSI and more than 100 PSI.

The sizes of air wrench will determine the number of CFMs required in the machine. These impact wrenches can be sized from 3/8 to 3/4 inches using 3 and 7 or more CFMs accordingly. Both of them can be run through a 1 horsepower motor.

Again, the size of the air compressor depends on the impact of the hammer that you need. With the bigger impacts of the machine comes the bigger air compressor with bigger tanks. But in case of hammers if the CFMs requirements are not met properly the refilling can get to the chills of people very easily.

Air Ratchet’s Air Compressor

It’s a very simple machine that does not require your day to day attention for air compound. The smallest one 1/4 inch ratchet and the largest one 1/2 inch ratchet both can be run by a CFM of 3. A 90 to 100 PSI is all you need to run the machine.

Air ratchet can run easily with low air pressure if the tank is changed suddenly. Lower air pressure is not an issue for the machine, but the air ratchets job won’t be done properly if the air tank has higher air pressure than required.

Air Brush’s Air Compressor

The airbrush does not require a tank full of air to run. Actually, the volume is so low that you can let it take over from a finished job of nail guns air tank.

Even If you are using a big nozzle to brush your car or van, you’ll not need CFMs of more than 1. You’ve just reached the maximum requirement.

If your job is smaller like painting small items using smaller nozzles than the job can be also done by a 0.3 CFM air compressor.

Putting more pressure than 1 CFM can hurt the machine itself. The professionals who use the gun on a daily basis need to remember this perfectly.

Airing up Tire’s Air Compressor

The tires are provided with their own mechanisms that enable them to perform more. The valves provided with the tires so, only 4 CFM is enough for boosting up your tires.

The usual recommendation of tires is 30 PSI all over the world, so the manufacturers keep that in their minds.

Many people get confused if he can use more PSI or not. But the best thing about the tire is you can use your 90 PSI common air compressor to fill up the tires ready to go.

Basting of the tire while using air pressure is a regular issue and many people face it daily. We will recommend not using a more than 90 PSI compressor on it.

Blasting Cabinet’s Air Compressor

Sandblasting cabinets are highly pressured cabinets that can be used by 20 CFM powered air compressors. Practically it depends mostly on the size of the nozzle.

If the nozzle size is smaller than 10 CFM is enough but with a higher nozzle you will need more pressure and the tank will be emptied if 15 CFM’s are not used.

People use 5 unit horsepower motors to continuous airflow. Lesser will get the job done but with many difficulties of reducing and increasing air pressure to control the overflow of air.

Brad Nail Gun’s Air Compressor

Unlike framing nail guns, brad nail guns don’t need much air pressure from the air compressor. The maximum requirement is around 90 PSI. You can run the smallest one with only 60 PSIs. Of can be used by 1 motor horsepower and 1 CFM unit.

Car Painter’s Air Compressor

Air compressor has introduced the way to make a heavy-duty work of car paint turning it into a lite duty job. The work has become easier for you.

All you need is an air compressor of 40-50 PSI and 12 CFMs. The machine will operate properly with that pressure.

Car Spray’s Air Compressor

Car sprays can be used to take out the dirt from deep inside the different chambers of your car.

You can easily understand the amount of pressure it requires from your air compressor. But no your air spay won’t need that much power that you are thinking.

It only needs 40 PSI to run the machine properly and the CFM requirement is only 10. The CFM requirement varies with the nozzle. It can be done with 1 CFM if the nozzle is smaller. The overall system requirement is 1 horsepower motor.

Home Uses of Air Compressor

There is a variety of home uses that you can come up with for your air compressor. The best size would be a 6-gallon air compressor with a pressure of 150 PSI.

The Psi mentioned above is pretty high because of the versatile jobs you are going to do. 1.2 CFM should be enough to do the job properly.

Hardwood Flooring’s Air Compressor

Hardwood flooring is normally done by the flooring nail guns which are designed especially for the hardwoods. Normally 4 CFM air compressor is enough for the hardwoods flooring.

4 CFM is recommended because you can easily decrease the probability of under driven nailing by maintaining the exact pressure.

Garage’s Air Compressor

There are versatile tools that you might need to work with if you are working in a garage. Generally, you can do the work properly if adjusted with 1 or 2 CFM and 32 PSI.

If you have more heavy-duty works in the garage you can adjust to the level accordingly.

Final Words

Getting your hands on the right-sized air compressor isn’t hard. All you need to do is analyze your plans to use the product along with the air requirement ratings for the tools that you wish to use.

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