If you are a DIY enthusiast or a serious mechanical hobbyist, you should think about adding an air compressor to your equipment collection. This machine is ideal for use in diverse tasks, including inflating tires and powering pneumatic tools such as nail guns, abrasive blasters, and sanders. If you choose the right compressor for your application, your DIY tasks will be completed efficiently, and you will experience minimal physical strain.
When shopping for the best air compressor for your needs, it is important to evaluate the products on the market. In addition, you should consider the range of tasks for which you intend to use the unit. Then, compare the products with the potential applications and choose the compressor that best matches your requirements. Here are the most critical factors that you should think about when shopping for the ideal air compressor.
Power Supply Options
Air compressors need an external power supply for drawing in air and placing it under pressure. It is imperative for you to pick the most convenient power option. There are two choices to consider before purchase: electric and petrol compressors. Electric compressors are more common for DIY applications at home. The units will work anywhere as long as there is a power socket in the house. They can also be used indoors without concern because they are relatively quiet and do not produce dangerous exhaust fumes.
Unfortunately, these models are difficult to use in the outdoors since one would require a long extension cord. Also, the unit must never be used in a wet area. Petrol fuel-powered compressors are favorable because they produce a lot more power and pressure than the electric alternative. Also, they are perfect for use in the outdoors where electricity is unavailable. However, you should note that these units are not suitable for use in confined spaces due to carbon monoxide. If you plan to use your petrol compressor indoors, ensure that the working room is well-ventilated.
Compressor Tank Size
The compressor tank size is not a critical factor in unit selection, but it is important for optimal performance. Simply speaking, the tank is only intended for storing air not producing it. As long as the pump is powerful, the compressor will work well even if the tank is small. However, this does not mean that a large tank is not beneficial. If the container is huge, it will allow you to produce more compressed air within a shorter period. Moreover, the compressor will work more consistently without starting and stopping as often as an alternative with a smaller tank would.
Total Air Pressure
You should consider your air pressure needs when purchasing an air compressor. The required air pressure will depend on the rating of your pneumatic tools and equipment. In simple terms, tools will need a certain level of air pressure to function correctly. If the pressure is low, you will be restricted to using only small tools. Therefore, it is important to consider the highest level of power that you will require when working on your home projects. Also, you should remember to account for possible pressure drops caused by hoses and couplers.
The horsepower is important in the selection of an ideal air compressor. This factor refers to the amount of power produced by the equipment when switched on or the rate at which the unit works. When checking the horsepower rating of different air compressors, you must not be blinded by exaggerated numbers. You can determine whether the unit is overrated by comparing the airflow rating with the indicated horsepower. Alternatively, check the electrical power required for running the unit. If the equipment uses a normal wall socket, it cannot be higher 2 HP.
Air Volume Produced
Pneumatic tools used in DIY projects need specific air volume for optimal functionality. Therefore, this is an important consideration when purchasing an air compressor. If the volume of air produced by the equipment is not high enough, your tools will not perform as required. In general, this aspect is represented in the specifications as air volume per unit time such as cubic feet per minute or CFM. It is advisable to get a slightly higher rating to account for air losses.
Compressor Tank Design
You should evaluate the design of the compressor tanks before purchase. The design will determine the convenience of storage and moving the equipment around. In general, compressors with round and flat pancake tanks are ideal because they are not bulky. Moreover, the flat configuration increases compressor stability when working and moving around. The cylindrical upright container is quite common for home applications. Its slim horizontal design makes it easier to move around, but storage can be a challenge because of its bulky structure. You can choose the most convenient option on the market for your home.
Portability is not a major issue for most DIY enthusiasts and hobbyists. After all, most people will use their air compressors in their garage or workshop for specific tasks. However, if you are planning on using the unit all around your property for diverse purposes, it is advisable to look for an air compressor which is designed for people on the move. For instance, you can choose equipment with wheels and handles for pushing the unit conveniently. You should also remember that size determines portability, so you should opt for a smaller unit.
Finally, it is essential to check different compressors for special features which can make using the equipment more enjoyable. The right features will minimize inconvenience and the difficulty of use and maintenance. For instance, an oil-free pump does not require lubrication, and an adjustable exhaust will help in directing fumes from the workspace. Some compressors come with a belt drive as opposed to a direct drive for quieter operation. In addition, you should check on the range of accessories which are provided along with the air compressor to guarantee maximum value.
If you would like to learn about choosing an air compressor or other related machinery, consult an Able Sales expert for more information on DIY tools for home use.