5 Essential Factors to Consider When Buying an Air Compressor

16 June 2020
 Categories: , Blog

Purchasing air compressors can be challenging for many people, especially if it's their first time doing it. There's a lot taking place in this power tool that allows it to offer faster and efficient performance. So, what's the right way to buy air compressors? To answer this question, consider the following factors.

Where to Use the Air Compressor

Is the compressor's portability a priority? Sometimes, the compressor may require transportation within a building or outside in different locations. For this reason, it's crucial to consider wheeled unit designs. In other cases, performance is much preferred over portability since stationary units are often more potent than portable units.

For longer distances, consider using longer air hoses. They offer better performance with stationary units than portable air compressors with inadequate CFM (cubic feet per minute) ratings. Smaller air compressors use more power and burn out faster. 

Availability of Reliable Power Supply

This aspect helps a buyer decide on purchasing electric or gas models. Power generators don't provide a steady electric current, and this can severely damage the air compressor. Some manufacturers may void the compressor's warranty when using a generator, too. 

Longer extension cords may not be fitting for air compressors since they are less efficient in delivering adequate power to the unit. It's essential to check the user manuals for the recommended length. It's better to use longer air hoses rather than extending electrical power cords. 

The Type of Air Compressor Required

There are different ways to describe air compressors when it comes to functionality, technology, operation and features. For example:

  • Amount of air stored – its tank capacity in gallons.

  • Air generated – how air produced is compressed per the PSI rating.

  • By technology – either piston reciprocating or rotary screw.

  • By workload – it defines the motor's horsepower and air volume generated (CFM).

Maximum Operating Pressure (PSI) Required

Before buying an air compressor, it's essential to understand its PSI (pounds per square inch) rating. This way, it's easier to decide on a single-stage or two-stage design. Two-stage models have higher PSI compared to single-stage air compressors due to double air compression. A quick specification check on air tools can reveal the required PSI.

Maximum Air Volume (CFM) Required

Various pneumatic tools require different CFM levels to function correctly. Most air tools have an "average CFM" rating based on a 25% duty cycle. To find the CFM of devices used continuously, multiply their average CFM by four. 


The task of buying the right air compressor for your projects lies on your shoulders. It's easier to purchase an energy-efficient and stable air compressor that can last for years by understanding the factors listed above.

To learn more, contact an air compressor supplier.