You have gotten around to doing DIY projects around the house and office. It’s taking longer than usual, because you’re doing almost everything manually. Yet you know, with a good air compressor, you can wrap up the job in minutes.
However, the process of finding the right compressor is quite challenging. There’s so much to consider in getting the one that will give you maximum efficiency. There’re also so many options available in the market with different offerings.
If you’re currently in this quagmire, you will want to read on for important qualities you need to consider when shopping for your compressor.
Essential Qualities When Buying an Air Compressor
An air compressor is a portable, lightweight tool with a wide range of uses. It’s an essential component for appliances that need a high volume of air in constant supply. You can also use it together with other tools within the home or work setting.
We’ll share with you the key factors you need to watch out for when buying a good air compressor.
1. You Need to Choose Between a Portable or Piston Air Compressor
Piston compressors have a motor which promotes air pressure during depletion. The more you use it, the more the air pressure increases. You’ll need to factor in space for a tank which will keep it in one place. Piston compressors require heavy duty maintenance and are, therefore, best suited for commercial use.
There’re two basic types of piston air pressures, namely single and dual/two-stage compressors. The former will use only a single piston for the compression of air, and will therefore only be able to achieve a maximum of 150 PSI. You’ll require a higher CFM rating with a single stage because the air compression occurs every time there is a rotation.
The two-stage, on the other hand, uses the two pistons and can reach 200 PSI. You get better energy efficiency because it compresses any air that goes into the system immediately. An intercooler helps with the piping of the air before the final release. The two-stage will work well in commercial settings, which require constant air pressure supply
The portable compressors don’t have tanks; they are, therefore, easy to move about. It does not matter where you want to use it; you can simply carry it to the location. The portable ones will work well for light use, especially within the household. You get continuous air pressure without too much effort.
Price-wise the piston compressors are more expensive than portable ones.
2. Consider the CFM Measurement
One of the qualities of a good air compressor is The Cubic Feet per Minute or CFM measure. You determine it using the PSI range. Knowing the CFM is important because it’ll tell you how much pressure you’ll get from the air compressor per minute. If you need to power multiple tools in one go, you’ll need a higher CFM rating.
Do note, however, that there’re certain environmental factors which could impact on the CFM rating. These include altitude, temperature and humidity. Factors like friction, atmospheric pressure, and heat dissipation will have an impact on some, but not all air compressors.
3. What Size Do You Want?
When looking at air compressor options, you need to be clear about what your needs are. Will you use it in one location or will you need to move it from one place to another? If the former, you can set it in one place, and purchase long cords which will give you a larger degree of movement.
The shape of the tank will also determine how portable the compressor will be. Bulky tanks will be hard to move around. You’ll also need more space when using and storing the machine.
The tank size will also matter, and once again it comes down to the use you have in mind for the compressor. Heavy duty jobs will require bigger tanks, which will allow the air compressor to run for a longer time.
4. What Features Does it Have
One of the most important tips, when you’re researching on how to buy an air compressor, is to look at the features it has. We have already talked about CFM, portability, shape, and size. But you should also look for a compressor that has the following:-
• Multiple couplers will allow you to use many tools in one go.
• Belt drive will allow for quiet operations, something you’ll not get with the direct drive systems
• The oil-free pump will reduce the need for time-consuming maintenance, resulting in less money on taking care of the machine. You also don’t have to fear that the air and oil will mix
• The thermal protection will stop the motor anytime the machine overheats.
• Air cooling systems will help keep the machine cool thus preventing overheating
• A roll cage is good for protecting the compressor from damages when you’re moving or using it on-site
• Cord wrap will allow for easy carrying and storage of the power cord
• Ball valve drain will help you avoid condensation within the tank, by allowing you to drain the air tank anytime you need to. If you don’t do this, the tank will rust.
• ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) certification will show that the compressor has gone through third-party verification, on the quality of materials and craftsmanship.
• Other accessories include blowguns, nailers, inflation components among others
Do note though; you may not get all the features above in one machine. It’s therefore important that you list down what you absolutely cannot do without.
For example, the certification is important because it shows that you’re getting a high-quality air compressor. If you’re going to have the compressor in one location only, you may not need a roll cage.
Also, be aware that some of the features may impact on the overall cost of the compressor you buy.
Now You Understand the Essentials
We have shared with you the four essentials you need to consider when buying an air compressor. Every professional has their specific requirements; depending on the kind of work they want to do with the compressor as well as the budget.
When shopping, do take note of the performance ratings, how energy-efficient the machine is, and if it allows you multiple functionalities. We have tons of information for you here to guide you in the buying process.
Consider this an investment that you only want to make once in a lifetime. Take your time before you opt for the best air compressor for you.