An air compressor power tool is also known as a pneumatic tool. But compared to other traditional power tools, it is generally faster, lighter and more powerful. Described as the fourth utility in the energy world, an air compression is not as universal as electricity, gas and petrol. The only difference is that users have to produce their own air.
The best air compressor goes a long way in utilizing either diesel, an electric motor, a gasoline engine or other generators in converting power to future energy that is stowed in pressurized air. The pressure of an air compressor is greatly increased when lots of air is forced inside the storage tank. However, after the pressure reaches its maximum capacity, the compressor turns off. The pressurized air inside the tank will be used when needed.
Importance of an Air Compressor
The important function of compressed air has been taken for granted in our present generation. It is significant to note that it plays a vital role in the modern process of manufacturing. In fact, 10% of the energy used in the industrial world today is pressurized air.
We fail to realize that much of the products we are now using are made possible by using compressed air. For example: The food processing industry uses compressed air in packaging their food products.
Air Compressor Buying Guide
Planning to buy an air compressor? The key to choose the best is to find a compressor that matches its purpose. If it is for home or job site use, buy a portable compressor. For more high volume and complicated work as when powering automotive and production air tools, a stationary compressor is the right kind for the job.
By reading this buying guide, we will help you find an easy way of choosing the best kind of compressor to suit your needs.
Consider the Following Factors
- The type of power is an important consideration; whether it will be powered by electricity or gas.
- Ratings of performance grade for the SCFM, PSI and horsepower.
- The size of the tank may be small, large or none at all.
- The type of pump is an important factor that determines if the operation will last for a long period; a stop/start operation; a single stage; a two-stage, oil-lubricated and oil-free operation.
- Air-Cooling System – It cools the pumping machinery and helps extend the life of the motor.
- Thermal Overload Switch – The motor is immediately plugged off as soon as it is overheated; this is an economical way to extend the life of the tools to protect your investments.
- ASME Certification: The certificate on the tank validates the material to be of high-quality and has the best craftsmanship. The presence of a label proves that the unit fulfilled the stipulations given by the American Mechanical Engineers Society.
- Roll Cage is a protection on the compressor that prevents it from being battered or crushed when at the working area.
Safety is an important factor in operating any kind of device. Follow these guidelines for safety:
- Wear the proper kind of earplugs, gloves, goggles, and/or a respirator.
- Use an electrical outlet based on the specified voltage.
- Do not use a generator as it will damage your electric compressor.
- Follow the maximum recommended pressure for the job or tool.
- Always check the oil level to guarantee sufficient lubrication.
- Use the belt guard for protection.
- Open the drain cock to get rid of measure when done; this will lengthen the life of the tank.If pressure is too high, use the safety relief valve to allow air to escape.
What is a Good Air Compressor?
- Delivers air of the right quality.
- Prevents burn out or even a rupture in the system.
- Saves energy.
- Has complete air compressor accessories like a flow controller, pressure regulator, etc.
- Provides adequate cubic foot per minutes (CFM) for power.
- Has two-stage air compressors for storage.
- The price is right.
As air compressors are essential investments, purchasing one is a significant decision. Take the time to read air compressor reviews for some of the best options.
Top 5 Best Air Compressor Reviews
Makita Big Bore 2.0 MAC700 HP Air Compressors
Makita’s Big Bore engineered pump cylinder and piston is a 2.0 HP Air Compressor that has an increased output, decreased noise and offers excellent performance on the job. It guarantees efficient delivery of industrial power and durability even in the toughest site conditions. Its design is versatile offering wider ranges of application. As an oil-lubricated air compressor, it requires oil changes. Compressors with oil have greater longevity compared to the oil-free types.
- It is top in performance for its noise is subdued to 80 dB that is low enough as to not bother people nearby.
- Although the AMP draw is low, it is high in output.
- Operating at lower than 1720 RPM, it ensures greater longevity for both the motor and the pump.
- Its lower AMP draw makes it more reliable by decreasing occurrences of tripped breakers.
- Oil drains and oil sight glass are conveniently located making it easy to maintain.
- Added advantages are its oil and 1/4″ universal quick coupler.
- Size -18″x10″x22″
- Net Weight – 52 lbs.
PORTER-CABLE 135-PSI Pancake Compressor PCFP02003
With a 3.5-gallon tank and PSI 135 max, this oil-free pump is durable and requires very minimal maintenance. Its 120V low Amp motor starts immediately in spite of cold weathers and the fact that it uses an extension line. A factory installed quick coupler provides fast access in regulating air.
- An oil-free pump that is durable and is sure to give a long service. Minimal maintenance is required.
- Even in cold weathers and despite using an extension line, the low amp 120V motor starts immediately.
- Quick coupler installed by the factory ensures speedy access to regulated air.
- It is easy to transport as it is light weight.
- It has 2 gauges.
- Level of decibel is 82dBA.
- Multiple trim finishing supports nailers and roof jobs/small framings.
- Compressor is provided with SCFM small air tools and an all general inflation blower.
- Size – 46.1in x 43.8 in x 47 cm.
- Weight – 20 pound.
California Air Tools Ultra Quiet CAT-6310 and Oil-Free 1.0 Hp 6.3 Gallons
California’s industrial steel tank air compressor is made with most quiet design as it produces only 60 decibels compared to the higher numbers of its contemporaries. Its 1.0 HP motor is a powerful motor but at 1680 RPM, it makes less noise and has a lesser tendency of wear. It has an oil-free dual piston pump system that ensures high performance and durability.
- Its oil-free system allows it function at different temperatures and in uneven terrains.
- It has a bigger air storing capacity with a spacious 6.3 gallon steel tank.
- It is easy to move around.
- It is convenient to remove excess water from air due to extra water traps.
- It gives off sounds at only 60 dB that does not bother the people around it.
- It has a dual piston pump system that is oil-free.
- Size -23.6 x 13.3 x 24 inches.
- Weight capacity – 49 pounds.
DEWALT Pancake Compressor DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI
The max PSI and large gallon tank capacity of the Dewalt Pancake Compressor enables a quick recovery. Its high flow regulators and couplers maximize its air tool performance. All its parts offer high quality performance. Even during the cold weather and by using an extension cord, the motor starts immediately. The 75.5 dB level is fit for quiet work. Because of the pump that doesn’t need oil, there is no need for operation maintenance.
- Improved performance and faster recovery time due to its cast iron pump that has Big Bore cylinder.
- Tripped breaker in starting the engine is prevented by low AMP.
- Oil-lubricated pump running in cooler temp reduces wear and tear of unit.
- Roll-cage construction is a protection against extreme condition in jobsite environment.
- Increased intake and greater economy made possible by large automotive style industrial air filter.
- To increase life of pump and reduce wear and tear, cylinder is made of durable cast iron.
- Easy, fast and efficient maintenance due to oil sight glass.
- Size -17.2 x 16.6 x 20.1 inches.
- Weight – 30 lbs.
Makita Big Bore MAC2400 2.5 HP Air Compressors
Highly powered by 2.5 HP, Makita Big Bore increases it compression by its iron cast cylinder pump making bigger bore and strokes, speedier recovery and fewer noise. The durability of the iron construction is increased in its job-site. Due to its oil-lubricated and bugger automotive style filter fives, it has greater efficiency as well as increased air intake.
- Improved performance of big bore cylinder iron pump and piston is followed by speedy time for recovery.
- Incidences of tripped breakers start-up is reduced by low AMP draw.
- Running in cooler temp, pump is oil-lubricated that reduces wear and tear.
- Protection is provided by roll-cage construction that can withstand the worst jobsite condition.
- For greater efficiency, large automotive style industrial air filter increases air intake.
- Oil sight glass for fast, easy and efficient maintenance.
- Size – 19-3/8″x18-3/4″x18″
- Weight – 77 lbs.
- Air compressors come in wide array of styles: design, size, shape and orientation of their air tanks.
- To determine their true power, look at their discharge pressure, power and size. There is no horsepower indicated so you consider the tank size, its air flow rate and pressure.
- Based on the type of fuel – gas powered or electricity.
Understanding the world of compressors is complicated as it uses various terminologies that ordinary netizens do not understand. Therefore, it is important to at least do some basic research (based on important features such as compressed air rate, discharge pressure, power, size and plenty of others) or read some air compressor reviews before buying them. The best air compressor can save you a lot of time on the jobsite or on your home projects.