In terms of measuring the CFM level and to determine the ideal CFM level of your air compressor, the first thing you want to know is, what exactly is the CFM?
The CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Meter. It is the indicator of the overall air flow speed of your air compressor. To be honest, the CFM level does not really determine your air compressor’s ability; nor does it determine if your compressor is good or bad.
It is just a unit of measurement which shows you how much air your air compressor can take in, in one shot and how much it can exhale.
As we haven mentioned earlier that the CFM level does not determine the power or the ability of your compressor, it is a bit of contradictory statement. It is because, now you have the idea of how CFM works and what it indicates.
There can rise a question in your mind, “Is bigger CFM means better compressor?”
For this, we will give you an honest answer which will be realistic. In a way, it is a yes. Because, when you are calculating in terms of productivity, then, to cope up with the other brands in the production competition, you will need bigger compressors (like California Air Tools 10020AC with more CFM level as more CFM can intake more air.
But keep in mind that this aforementioned statement is countable only for this particular scenario of factory productivity.
Now let’s talk clear. There are many air compressors with different CFM levels. It all starts from 0 to all the way to 30-40 CFM. Depending upon the need of the user and their requirements, the manufacturers built compressors with different levels of CFM.
For general use, the ideal CFM, for those who are not professional and want to continue air tooling operations at their backyard, compressors with 5-11 CFM level won’t be a bad choice at all. These compressors will be more than enough for semi-large tanks of 5-7 gallons to refill in a very short time.
For household usages of impacting paint guns, wrenches and mini die grinders, CFM level of 3-6 will do the work efficiently.
If you have an air compressor that works on 60-80 PSI as Bostitch Air Compressor, then 4-6 CFM will be more than ideal and you’ll have no issues regarding the best performance of your machine as some small tools require higher pressure in order to work at its best.
There is a little difference between the CFM and SCFM. The SCFM shows you the air flow rate in the ideal temperature and pressure, and the CFM shows you the ‘exact’ air flow rate in general.
You can see both of them written in the details of the air compressor. Keep both of them in mind but do not be anxious of this subtle change. Both of them are for your convenience.
The bottom line is, the CFM level depends on your choice and requirement. So, be aware of what you are looking for.