How to Choose an Air Compressor

Air compressors serve different purposes which often dictate the type or brand you buy but there are many more factors to consider if you want to find one that will perfectly suit your purposes.

This article will show you how to choose an air compressor for your particular needs, with a short but sharp set of buying guide qualifications:

How to choose an air compressor


CFM rating is the more commonly used measure of an air compressor’s power. For common household tools you should pick one with 0-5 CFM while those that perform heavier tasks like sanding and polishing call for tools with 10 CFM rating or higher. It is recommended that people calculate CFM ratings themselves as opposed to relying on brand stickers for this information.

The best air compressors often have a standard CFM or SCFM label that helps people pick the right device for their purposes. This is because some unscrupulous manufacturers often lie to garner more sales for their products.

You must also think about the air compressor’s horsepower depending on its purpose. High horsepower is recommended for industrial use but small scale air compressors only need 1.5-6.5 HP.

Engine fuel

It is important to decide whether you need a gas or electricity driven engine for your air tool. Some people prefer gas powered engines which are considered to have higher reliability level. Electric power tools are often expensive to buy and maintain but they can be very effective in enclosed areas where gas fumes are intolerable.

Make sure that you understand the power usage of the air tool you choose to avoid surprises with your power bill at the end of the month. Most electric air compressors operate on 110V but there are larger ones that need 240V to function.

As you consider this, you should also remember that air compressors lubricated with oil are more long-lasting and durable compared to their oil-free counterparts. They are also much quieter, making them ideal for residential areas where noise can be agonizing.

Tank size

This is an important aspect depending on what you intend to do with the air tool. Bigger tanks are ideal for heavy applications while light work like air brushing requires air compressors with smaller tanks.


If you want optimum efficiency out of your air compressor tools make sure that it is easy to carry or move around in your work space. Portable air compressors have long hoses and wheels to make it easier for the user to reach far ends.

Everyone has unique reasons why they need an air compressor and it is therefore recommended that you list yours before going out shopping. This will prevent wastage of money and time by buying the wrong sized air tool. A reliable tool is always accompanied by a detailed user manual to guide people on safety measures and how to ensure optimum performance of their device.

Air compressors

Air compressors

It’s also important to compare various brands in order to find the most affordable one according to your needs. When you find the ideal air compressor, make sure that it is manufacturer provides warranty to cover you from losses or injury. Now that you know how choose an air compressor, which is the right air compressor for you, start reading our air compressor reviews here.

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