Due to the wide range of available air compressors, choosing the best air compressor for air tools can be challenging. In this article, I will help you find the best air compressor for your needs by discussing the factors you should consider when purchasing. I hope that after reading this article, you will better understand what to look for in an air compressor and be able to choose the model that is right for you. You might want to stay tuned until the end to see my recommendation for five of my favorite models.
Related: Air Compressor for Impact Wrench
When looking for an air compressor to power your air tools, there are several things you need to consider to choose the best option for your needs. Here are seven factors to keep in mind when shopping for an air compressor:
The pressure of an air compressor is measured in pounds per square inch (psi). Most air compressors have a maximum pressure of around 150 psi, but some models can go up to 200 psi. The pressure you need will depend on the air tools you plan to use. For example, if you're using an air impact wrench, you'll need a compressor with a higher pressure than if you're using an airbrush.
Airflow is measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm). Therefore, it's essential to choose an air compressor with a cfm that matches the needs of your air tools. For example, if you're using an airbrush, you'll need a compressor with a higher cfm than if you're using an air impact wrench.
3. Tank size
The air tank size is important because it determines how long you can use your air tools before the compressor needs to recharge. For example, a small air compressor with a 2-gallon tank may only be able to run an air impact wrench for a few minutes before needing to be recharged. A larger air compressor with a 20-gallon tank, on the other hand, can run an air impact wrench for much longer before needing to be recharged.
Related: Vertical Air Compressors
Another important consideration is how portable you need your air compressor to be. If you plan to use your air tools at different job sites, then you'll need a compressor that's easy to move around. However, if you only plan to use your air tools in one location, portability may not be as big of a concern.
Related: Cordless Air Compressors
When shopping for an air compressor, choosing a model built to last is important. If you're planning to use your air tools regularly, you'll need a compressor that can withstand heavy use.
6. Noise level
Some air compressors are very loud, while others are relatively quiet. If you're using your air tools in a location where noise is a concern, then you'll need to choose a compressor that's as quiet as possible.
7. Ease of use
Finally, you'll want to consider how easy the compressor is to use. Some models are easier to operate than others, so if you're new to using air tools, then you'll want to choose a model that's easy to understand and use.
Best rated air compressor for air tools: an overview
Look no further if you are looking for the best rated air compressor for air tools. Here I'll give you an overview of the different types of air compressors on the market and their key features, so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.
1. California Air Tools 10020C Air Compressor
California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free Air Compressor is one of the most popular air compressors on the market. Customers love its quiet operation, oil-free design, and powerful performance.
This air compressor is perfect for various applications, from inflating tires to powering air tools. The 10020C has a max pressure of 120 psi and can deliver 4.0 CFM at 90 psi. This makes it ideal for light-duty tasks such as inflating tires or operating airbrushes.
The compressor also features an oil-free pump for maintenance-free operation and an ultra-quiet motor that runs at only 60 dB. This is the best air compressor for automotive air tools and makes it perfect for use in any workspace, whether a garage or a professional shop.
Overall, the California Air Tools 10020C is a top-of-the-line air compressor that offers everything you could want in a tool of its kind.
2. Makita MAC2400 Air Compressor
Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP Big Bore Air Compressor is a top-of-the-line air compressor that is perfect for any serious hobbyist or professional.
Its high power output can easily handle any job, big or small. The two-stage pump design means that it can maintain a continuous supply of compressed air, making it ideal for extended use. And the oil-free pump means no need to worry about messy oil changes.
Makita MAC2400 is the best portable air compressor for air tools and is perfect for anyone who wants the best performance and reliability.
3. DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor
DEWALT DWFP55126 is a high-performance pancake air compressor designed for use in various industries. With its powerful 2.0 hp motor and 6 gallon tank, the DWFP55126 can deliver up to 165 psi of pressure, making it ideal for air tools.
The unit also features a high-efficiency oil-free pump designed for long-term durability. In addition, the DWFP55126 comes with a one-year limited warranty.
DWFP55126 is the best air compressor for pneumatic tools that can be used for various applications. It is perfect for use in the workshop, garage, or job site.
The unit's portability makes it easy to transport from one location to another, and its small footprint means it can be stored in a cramped space. The DWFP55126 is an excellent choice for those who need an air compressor that is both powerful and durable.
4. BOSTITCH BTFP02012 Pancake Air Compressor
BOSTITCH BTFP02012 6 Gallon 150 PSI Pancake Compressor is a lightweight and portable air compressor that is ideal for various tasks such as inflating tires, driving nails, and stapling.
This is the best air compressor for power tools and features a high-efficiency motor for long life and reliable performance, an oil-free pump for maintenance-free operation, and a high-flow regulator and coupler to maximize air tool performance.
BTFP02012 also has a 6-gallon capacity tank for extended run time, a 150 max PSI to allow you to complete projects quickly, and low noise operation (78 dBA) for a more pleasant work environment. Weighing in at only 29 lbs., the BTFP02012 is easy to transport from one job site to the next.
With its durable design and reliable performance, the BOSTITCH BTFP02012 is an excellent choice for anyone in the market for a new air compressor.
5. PORTER CABLE C2002-ECOM Air Compressor
PORTER CABLE C2002-ECOM is a top-of-the-line air compressor that offers unbeatable power and performance. It features a six-gallon capacity tank that delivers up to 150 PSI of pressure, making it ideal for various applications.
With its oil-free pump, the C2002-ECOM is designed for low-maintenance operation. In addition, its cast iron construction makes it durable enough to withstand years of heavy use.
Whether a professional contractor or a serious do-it-yourselfer, the PORTER-CABLE C2002-ECOM is the best air compressor for home use air tools and will be an excellent choice for all your air compressor needs.
How does an air compressor work for air tools?
An air compressor is a machine that takes in air at atmospheric pressure and compresses it to deliver more compressed air than what is available from the atmosphere. Air compressors are used in many industries, including automotive manufacturing, construction, and mining. Air compressors can be powered by electricity, gas, or diesel fuel.
Air compressors work by using a piston to compress air in a chamber. The compressed air is then forced into a storage tank. The air is released from the tank and sent to the air tool through an air hose.
Air compressors come in different sizes and styles. Many are portable, while others are stationary. An electric motor or a gasoline engine can power portable air compressors. Stationary air compressors are usually powered by an electric motor and are mounted on a stand or a wall.
Related: Wall Mount Air Compressors
Air compressors power many types of air tools, such as nail guns, staplers, sanders, and grinders. Air tools are usually lighter and more powerful than their electric counterparts.
Electric tools are often used for tasks that require a lot of power, such as drilling and sawing. Air tools are typically used for jobs requiring less power, such as inflating tires or blowing the dust off surfaces.
Most air compressors have a pressure gauge that shows the amount of pressure in the tank. The pressure in the tank should be checked regularly to ensure it is at the proper level. If the pressure in the tank is too low, the air compressor will not work properly and may damage the air tool.
Air compressors should be operated in a well-ventilated area. The air compressor produces a lot of noise and heat, so it is vital to keep the area around the air compressor clear. Air compressors should never be used in enclosed spaces like a garage.
See how an air compressor works for air tools in the video below:
What are the uses of air compressors for air tools?
Air compressors are versatile tools that can be used for various purposes, from inflating tires to powering pneumatic conveying systems. Here I'll take a look at some of the most common uses for air compressors for air tools and some of the more specialized applications.
1. Impact wrench:
An impact wrench is a power tool used to loosen or tighten bolts and nuts. It uses a hammering action to produce high torque, making it ideal for industrial applications. An air compressor can be used to power an impact wrench, providing a powerful and portable tool for use in various situations.
A ratchet is a tool used to tighten or loosen bolts and nuts. It uses a toothed wheel to grip the workpiece and can be used in limited space applications. An air compressor can be used to power a ratchet, providing a powerful and portable tool for use in various situations.
3. Air drill:
An air drill is a power tool used to create holes in materials such as wood, metal, and plastic. It uses a rotating drill bit to make the holes and can be powered by an air compressor.
A grinder is a power tool used to remove material from a workpiece. It uses an abrasive wheel or disc to grind away the material and can be powered by an air compressor.
5. Cut-off tool:
A cut-off tool is a power tool used to cut materials such as wood, metal, and plastic. It uses a rotating cutting wheel or disc to cut through the material and can be powered by an air compressor.
A sander is a power tool used to smooth surfaces. It uses an abrasive pad or disc to sand away the imperfections and can be powered by an air compressor.
A polisher is a power tool used to shine surfaces. It uses a rotating polishing pad or disc to buff away the imperfections and can be powered by an air compressor.
A router is a power tool used to create smooth, precise cuts in materials such as wood and plastic. It uses a rotating cutting bit to make the cuts and can be powered by an air compressor.
9. Blow gun:
A blow gun is a power tool used to blow air. It can be used to clean dust and debris from surfaces and can also be used to inflate tires. An air compressor can power a blow gun, providing a robust and portable tool for use in various situations.
10. Tire inflator:
A tire inflator is a power tool used to inflate tires. It uses compressed air to fill the tires and can be powered by an air compressor.
11. Nailer/staple gun:
A nailer/staple gun is a power tool used to drive nails or staples into materials such as wood and plastic. It can be powered by an air compressor, providing a robust and portable tool for use in various situations.
An airbrush is a power tool used to apply paint or other substances to surfaces. It uses compressed air to atomize the substance and allow it to be sprayed onto the surface. An air compressor can power an airbrush, providing a robust and portable tool for use in various situations.
13. Air horns:
Air horns are powered by compressed air, which is produced by an air compressor. The air is stored in a tank and then released through a nozzle, which creates a loud sound.
14. Misting systems:
Misting systems use compressed air to create a fine mist that can be used to cool down people or animals. The mist is created by passing the air through a nozzle at high pressure.
15. Pneumatic conveying systems:
Pneumatic conveying systems use compressed air to move materials through a pipe. The air pressure creates a suction that pulls the material through the pipe.
16. Vacuum pumps:
Vacuum pumps are used to create a vacuum. A vacuum is created using an air compressor to remove the air from a sealed container.
17. Air-powered water pumps:
Air-powered water pumps are used to pump water from one place to another. The air compressor provides the power to create a suction that pulls the water through a hose.
18. Air engine starters:
Air engine starters are used to start engines that are not easily started by hand. The air compressor provides the power to turn the engine over, which is necessary to start the engine.
19. Booster air compressors:
Booster air compressors are used to increase the air pressure in a system. The booster air compressor is connected to the system and provides additional air pressure when needed.
Advantages of using the air compressor for air tools
Air compressors are versatile tools that can be used for various tasks, from inflating tires to powering air tools. Air compressors are available in multiple sizes and styles, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. Here are ten advantages of using an air compressor for air tools:
1. Portable and easy to move around
Air compressors are very portable, making them easy to transport from one job site to another. Air tools are also much lighter than their electric counterparts, so they can be used in various situations where electric tools would be too cumbersome.
2. No electrical cord
Since air compressors don't rely on electricity, there's no need to worry about tripping over cords or being limited by the length of the cord. This makes them ideal for use in remote locations or jobs requiring a lot of movement.
3. No risk of sparks
Air compressors also don't produce any sparks, so they're safe to use around flammable materials. This makes them ideal for use in hazardous environments.
4. More powerful
Air compressors can generate much more power than electric tools, making them ideal for heavy-duty applications.
Air tools can also run at much higher speeds than electric tools, making them ideal for applications that require speed and power.
6. More precise
Air tools can be more precisely controlled than electric tools, making them ideal for delicate or intricate work.
7. Lower operating costs
Air compressors are much cheaper than electric tools since they don't use as much power. This makes them ideal for use in applications where electric tools would be too expensive to operate.
8. Quieter operation
Air compressors also tend to operate much more quietly than electric tools, making them ideal for noise-sensitive environments.
9. Less maintenance
Air compressors require less maintenance than electric tools since there are no moving parts that can wear out. This makes them ideal for use in applications where electric tools would require frequent maintenance.
10. Longer life
Air compressors also have a much longer lifespan than electric tools since they don't have any moving parts that can wear out. This makes them ideal for use in applications where electric tools need to be replaced frequently.
Are there any safety concerns to consider when using an air compressor with air tools?
If you're planning on using an air compressor to power air tools, there are a few safety concerns to keep in mind.
- Always read the manufacturer's instructions before using an air compressor.
- Be aware of the hazards associated with air compressors, such as flying debris, electrical shock, and compressed air leaks.
- Always wear proper safety gear, such as eye protection and ear plugs, when using an air compressor.
- Never use an air compressor in a confined space.
- Inspect your air compressor regularly for signs of wear or damage, and keep it properly maintained.
- If you have any questions or concerns about using an air compressor, always consult with a qualified professional.
So, what's the best air compressor for air tools? In my opinion, the best air compressor is one that is durable, reliable, and has a lot of power. It's also essential to find an air compressor that fits your budget. I hope this article has helped you make an informed decision about which air compressor is right for you. Thanks for reading!