How Many SCFM DO I Need To Run Air Tools



Before knowing about the details, first of all you should know the basic differences. The differences of these two important terms used in the automobile sector measurements. The SCFM and CFM, both of them shows the rate of the air flow in a compressor.

The SCFM indicates the rate which is a based on the ideal pressure and temperature. Whereas the CFM indicates in the actual or you can say in the regular temperature or pressure. Today our discussion will be on the ideal scenario, which is the SCFM.

  • It is to be mentioned that the SCFM rate depends on the ‘hunger’ of the air tools. By saying the word ‘hunger’, we mean that there are comparatively small portable compressors. And these can supply more than enough air for air tools. But there are also some air tools which require more air pressure.
  • Most common moderate sized air compressors have the ability to generate around 4-5 SCFM. This is more than enough for tools like paint guns, small die grinders, framing nailers and so on.
  • Compressors like Craftsman CMXECXA0201041, can be your ideal choice in this case. It has a 1.8 HP motor with 4 SCFM rate. This kind of compressors can be handy for the aforementioned air tools since this compressor will provide more than these tools need.
  • A crucial fact that you should know that your compressor should provide 150 percent of the SCFM that is required. It is because in this way, there will always be extra power left for usage.
  • For that, we suggest you to have a little bit more SCFM than your tools actually requires. For instance, tools like impact wrench requires 2.5-6 SCFM depending upon the size and the power of the wrench. A 3/8” wrench requires only 2.5-3 SCFM. Whereas a 1” wrench requires 10 SCFM.

You can easily understand that the SCFM rate solely depends on the requirement of the tool. If you have slightly more SCFM than you require, you can have the best service form your air tools.

  • A mini die grinder requires about 4-5 SCFM to run smoothly. So, if you have slightly more SCFM in your compressor, your grinder will provide you the best service out of it. For instance, a nice 5.3 SCFM compressor like California Air Tools 10020CHAD will deliver just more than fine.

Only a certain number wouldn’t be ideal to determine the perfect SCFM that will suit for every air tool.

  • It is true that the rate and the requirement of SCFM depend on the needs of the tool. It changes rapidly. If you have smaller tools, you can use a compressor with maximum 4 SCFM.
  • But if you have bigger tools, you can have a compressor of 8-10 SCFM or more depending upon the need.
  • So, be wise to choose the compressor with ideal SCFM rate, the one you actually need for the best service!

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