Looking for the best air compressor?
Air compressors are versatile machines and perform a variety of tasks when attached to pneumatic tools. They have many applications, types, and capacities, which can be confusing if you are not familiar with the world of air compressors!
At Air Power Equipment Company, we want customers to be able to clearly understand products before they make any decisions. So, here is a brief air compressor buying guide to help you decide which compressor best suits your unique needs:
Best air compressor grades
Compressors come in various grades based on capacity and applications. You need to be aware of them. Consumer grade compressors are for the house or a small garage workshop and can handle low pressures, mostly using a single tool at a time. Contractor grade compressors are portable, sometimes wheeled, or can be mounted on a cart or small vehicle and will enable the use of small tools on work-sites, like nail guns and roadside repair tools. Commercial air compressors provide a steady supply of compressed air, are heavy duty, and have more detailed features. These compressors can power multiple tools at higher pressure continuously and are used in industries, right from factory shop floors to oil rigs and ships.
Type of air compressor: Single or two stage?
Single-stage air compressors are low capacity and the smaller models can be moved manually. These are for applications like airbrushing, for small shops and homes. They have varying capacities and may also include a small storage tank for compressed air in larger models.
Two-stage air compressors are for garages and manufacturing facilities and can provide enough power to simultaneously run several air tools. These models compress the air twice, have storage tanks, and are therefore priced higher. Tank sizes can go up to 200 gallons and beyond, and hold a lot of compressed air, which lets you reduce the input power consumption.
Capacity and delivery of the best air compressor
Your air compressor’s capacity and delivery will depend on these factors:
- PSI (Pounds per Square Inch): A higher PSI is more compressed air for a given tank size
- CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute): The amount of air delivery possible; A higher CFM is more practical when more tools are being
- HP (Horsepower): The amount of power produced by the compressor motor. A higher horsepower produces greater PSI.
- Tank Size: A larger tank size will hold a higher PSI for longer durations of time. You must check these specifications carefully when comparing models.
Rotary screw or reciprocal air compressors?
Reciprocating air compressors are most common in the automotive service industry, and will generally supply a lower air output delivery, as well as lower air quality. These also generate more noise and operate at higher temperatures. They may require more maintenance for a given duty cycle. They also consume comparatively more power for a given output. Choose a rotary screw compressor for more reliability, better quality air, lower energy cost and lesser maintenance. In the long run, these will compensate for any additional costs.
Power source for the best air compressor
Electric air compressors are very common, quieter and can be used where there is a regular electricity supply, and in places where ventilation is a consideration. However, they tend to be less powerful compared to fossil-fuel driven compressors and have constraints in outdoor use. Large capacity electricity driven air compressors will need a 400V or 3 phase supply transformer.
A petrol-driven air compressor would be lighter, quieter and less expensive to buy than its diesel-driven counterpart while providing more control over its engine. However, they do not output similar torque or power than an equally rated diesel alternative and have higher running costs including maintenance.
Diesel air compressors are movable, work in adverse weather conditions outdoors, and are more powerful and heavy duty. Their robust nature and lower fuel cost and maintenance compensate for the higher initial cost. The disadvantages are more noise and toxicity of exhaust fumes.
Air Power Equipment Company in Oklahoma City (OKC), is the leading source for new air compressor sales and used air compressor sales throughout the country. We specialize in rotary screw air compressor sales and reciprocal air compressor sales. Air Power Equipment Company is also the best source for air compressor service and air compressor parts in Oklahoma.