Which Air Compressor Do I Need for Air Tools

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Air tools refer to those equipment which use air pressure as their main source of power. That means, air tools are a type of tools which use air to run them, and the job of compressing is done by the air compressors. There are various sizes of air compressors.


Along with different sizes, there comes the term power, which is also co-related with the size. In short, the power and size including the other attributes of a compressor solely depend on the requirements of the users.

  • Air tools include spray paints, dye grinders, framing nailers, tire inflators and deflators, paint guns and many more. Each of the air tools have certain requirements to run them smoothly, without ay hassle. That means, the size of the air compressor depends on these requirements.
  • It all depends on the work requirements. For instance, compressors like DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake, are idal for pneumatic air tools. It has a 6 gallons capacity for air which ensures maximum air intake in order to execute those inflating-deflating jobs and other air works.
  • As we have mentioned earlier that there is no size which can be considered as the ideal one, by saying that, we mean that the size of the compressor depends on the requirements. For small or household workshops, you need a mini air compressor with 2-4 CFM and a maximum of 110 PSI with the tank size of 3 gallons. This will do for you just fine.
  • If you have an upgraded workstation, with medium to semi-large equipment like jack hammer, semi-large drill machines, framing nailers and for other purposes, you can have a bigger compressor with a bigger tank size. A nice 6 gallons as we have mentioned earlier will be just fine with 165 PSI.
  • Mostly, people stumble at their first purchase of air compressor since they know a little about it. As a guide, our suggestion will be just the same as the professionals suggest. As the size is our main focus here, we suggest you to have a smaller compressor at first which off course need to match your requirements.
  • As you have slowly upgraded your workshop and have gathered some knowledge and experience, it is time for something bigger. For larger infrastructure, you will need a compressor of 10 gallons and higher. Compressors like Metabo HPT UA3810AB can help you out. It is big yet portable air compressor for all kinds of pneumatic air tools which require more air to perform well.
  • The focal point of our discussion is that there is no declared size of air compressor which you have to consider as a must. But it all depends upon the needs of the tools which you are willing to work with.
  • This FAQ section delivers you all the answers in a brief and compact presentation so that you understand how this size and requirement ratio works. We have tried to keep it in short for your convenience.


An air compressor is a type of tool that uses raw air, intakes it in through the air tunnel. It stores it in the tanker and then uses it for lateral purposes. These could be- car painting, inflating bikes, cars and even trucks’ tires, using impact wrench and so on.

Among many options, it is easy to be confused to choose the correct one for you.  There are some popular brands that you can choose. For instance, you can choose Dewalt air compressor combo kit, as they are one of the finest manufacturers.


In this article, we will be telling you about the sizes of air compressors according to various air tools.

Small Air Compressors

Let’s start with the smaller ones. Small compressors are easy to use, handy enough and beginner friendly. You can choose Craftsman air compressor combo kit as they built some of the best small air compressors. And you can use for many easy household works.

These small compressors aren’t made for heavy works.

There are some key benefits of having a small compressor. First, these are small and easily portable; second, most of the small compressors are cordless, that means, you can use these without being connected with main power-line.

Third, very useful and handy for day to day household usages; and last but not the least, they are extremely cheap. A normal small air compressor will cost you less than 35bucks!

You can go for a nice 6 gallon air compressor. These are super useful for works like car tires inflating, carpet washing, spray-painting in a minimized manner, nailing and others. So, if you are e beginner in this sector, without further ado, go for suggested compressors.

Mid-Level Air Compressors

For the medium to semi-heavy workloads, we prefer you using the mid-level air compressors. These air compressors are able to handle even harder and heavier works than it actually should have done. Mid-level air compressors start from a 10 gallon tanker. These compressors have a comparatively bigger air tank that can store more air.

You can use these mid-level air compressors at your home if you are interested in establishing an automobile workshop. If you have a garage where you repair stuffs, you can use a 30 gallon air compressor.

Yes, it might sound absurd to use a 30 gallon air compressor at your backyard. But we are referring to it only if you are a professional.

Mid-level air compressors have a vast option of works to do. Starting from inflating vehicles tires which sometimes include massive Lorries, to brad nailing. Inflating lorry tires is one of the toughest air works and need to be precise, medium impact wrenches and jack-hammers.

Starting from 2 CFM, mid-level air compressors can have up to 5.5 CFM. And in term of PSI, they roam around 120-180 PSI. These are best air compressors for painting cars as they are stronger than the smaller ones, yet portable.

Mid-level air compressors are seen in factories too. For small to semi-large assembly lines, these mid-level air compressors work with efficiency. However, the quantity of the compressor is not affordable if you are thinking to build a personal project. We suggest you to take a compressor for semi-hard air works.

Large Air Compressors

Now come to the topic of large air compressors. Large air compressors are so massive that it is unimaginable to use them for your personal purpose.Because people might think that you have gone crazy.

With the idea of large air compressor, we want to introduce you with the terms horsepower or bHp.

These big air compressors start with around 60 gallon air tanks. These compressors are seen in the factories, engineering workshops, garages and in manufacturing areas.

You might’ve seen giant bloat like metal object lying idle on the ground of a factory with a horizontal tank. Yes, those are the large air compressors we are talking about.

Huge air tools like dye grinders, heavy impact wrenchesare being used with the air power of large air compressors. These may also include brad nailers, pressing machines, heavy-duty jack hammers and so on.

In terms of inflating truck tires in an assembly line, there are countless tires coming and going. You need these large air compressors there.

There are many varieties of these industrial air compressors.  For commercial production, they use reciprocating air compressors.In pharmaceuticals and other beverage and textile workshops, they use oil-free air compressors to keep the products neat and dry.

In terms of automobile workshops, these industrial compressors have a technology that is called oil-folded. That means, oil will be used, but there will be no trace of greasiness.

In term of using oil, there are many options. There are many types of oil to use in air compressors. The primary oils for large compressors are SAE 20 and SAE 30.

The SAE 20 is used for the compressors which are used in the colder regions.And the SAE 30 oil is used in the warmer regions. The centrifugal air compressors in textile factories use SAE 30, as the temperature inside of the factory is too high.

An 80 gallon air compressor is very common in the factories. These huge compressors have around 200-300 PSI, around 6-8 CFM or more than that and these compressors are not corded. Rather these are run by direct supply of electricity.

These industrial air compressors are not accessible for people. These are only for mass production and to deliver service. As we have mentioned earlier, large air compressors are made to run air-tools like cranes, huge grinders, jack-hammers and others.

None of these tools are useful for households nor can you fit them in your backyard. These are just too big to handle alone!

These compressors are sometimes portable with the help of a pick-up truck or even a lorry. Depending upon the work purpose, large air compressors can work up to 6-8 hours at a stretch!

Those small and mid-level air compressors are not built to work in such way. Rather, those are for day to day usages.

Have yougone through the whole article?Good! We hope you have a clearer idea of how air compressors are sized and how their sizes match their works.

From the smallest to the largest, all the air compressors are built with the intention of serving something different. So, it will be unwise if we try to use a compressor of one criterion to the other.

 

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