How big of an air compressor do i need to run air tools?

How big air compressor need run air tools

Some air tools require some special type of air compressors. The size or general capacity of air compressors makes a lot of differences when it comes to its efficiency in running an air pump. There are multiple types of air compressors and they vary in sizes and air capacities. Choosing and differentiating between air compressors can be quite challenging.How big air compressor need run air tools

Air compressors are devices that pump more and more air into a storage air cavity, be it a tank, cooking gas or other air tools, thereby increasing the pressure. Because air compressors vary in air capacity, sizes and type, it is important to know how big of an air compressor you need to run a particular air tool, thereby making it highly necessary to know the steps to take to know the kind of air compressor you should buy for a particular air tool.

Here, we will review the necessary procedures to take before getting a particular kind of air compressor so as to know how big of an air compressor you need to run air tools.

Things You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial

Before you start following the steps of this tutorial, here are basic things you will be required to know and do:

The first thing you need to know is the CFM of the pneumatic air tools. CFM stands for cubic feet per meter. Generally, air tools require a certain volume of compressed air, which is measured in CFM, at a particular pressure. The rate at which the compressor functions is basically determined by the measure of its CFM. Each pneumatic air tool has a specific CFM; all you need do is check the CFM as stated by the manufacturer. If you can’t find the CFM you might need to go online to check that measurement of the particular kind of air tool.

After knowing the CFM, the next important step is to determine the maximum pressure required by the air pump. The maximum pressure is generally measured in PSIG. Most times, the psig is written on the air tool and is always easy to locate.

Having known these two values of the air pump, it is easier to determine how big an air compressor you need to run air tools. Now let us go to the step by step tutorial on how to achieve this.

STEP BY STEP Tutorial To Determine How Big an Air Compressor Is Needed To Run Air Tools

1. Analyze the use of the best air compressor:

The first thing to do is to know the specific purpose of your air compressor review. Is it meant to power an industrial air pump or a domestic cooking gas cylinder? Knowing this is a long way to go in determining how big an air compressor you need. You don’t expect a small capacity air compressor to effectively work for industrial air pumps. Likewise, getting a very big air compressor for a cooking gas cylinder is a very big waste. As stated earlier, you need to know the CFM and the psig.

These values will help you determine how big how big an air an air compressor you need for a particular air tool. Also, the horsepower of the air compressor matters. Generally, air compressors have horsepower that ranges between 1.5 to 6.5HP. There are air compressors that have larger horsepower. The higher the horsepower, the higher the efficiency of the air compressor and so, it is advisable to use air compressors with higher horsepower for industrial use and pressure switch. Consider the Horsepower of the Air Compressor.

2. Choose between the types of air compressors:

Generally, there are two basic types of air compressors; the piston type and the the portable air compressor-. It is really important to differentiate and choose between these two types of compressors when deciding how big an air compressor you need for air tools. The piston air compressor relies on a motor that generates the air pressure when it depletes; they stored the compressed air in tanks. The portable air compressor does not have a tank; they thereby run constantly to deliver air effectively. Piston type compressors are of two types; the single and two stage compressors. The single stage compressor uses just one compressor; it tops air to about 150psig. The two stage compressor is more efficient for industrial use; it uses two compressors and tops air up to 200psig.

3. Consider the source of your power and how large your tank should be:

Electricity is important. Access to steady electricity is a huge factor when considering how big an air compressor you need for air tools. If you have access to constant electricity, you should get electric powered air compressor, if not, you might need to check other alternatives. How large your tank is also matters. If you need your compressor for only short term, you could settle for a small tank, but for industrial use or other large commercial use, you might need a big tank.

Following this tutorial step by step will surely help you determine how big an air compressor you need for air tools.


The problem of choosing an air compressor and determining how big an air compressor one needs for air tools is rampant. Following this tutorial though, will help ease the confusion and answer your question.

Remember, for any air tool, it is quite important to know the CFM and the PSIG. These values go a long way in determining the kind and size of air compressor you need.

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Mary T. White

Hi everyone, I'm a trained AC service technician who uses several tools in my profession. I created this interactive platform to share experiences and vital information. Feel free to share your views and ask any question.

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