When you’re in the market for an air compressor, it may be a slightly trickier purchase to choose something that you are not fully aware of and has many components as well as uses. We, have put together a concise article to help you out when it comes to choosing the right one for your needs.

A useful device such as this has many uses and applications. Some of these include inflating your tires, nailing and stapling nails to boards and other materials around construction sites and similar, spray-painting, to name a few.

The thing that can sometimes make it a little complicated is that there are a few different types of compressor choices on the market, which we will look at briefly below. 

Different Types of Compressors

There are a variety of different ones that range from the portable ones to the industrial-grade types. There are also both diesel and petrol categories, some of which are ideal for use on construction sites and big building projects.

Perhaps the best ones are the ultra-silent ones, which make little to no noise at all. In environments where you are using these gadgets frequently and daily, it is a recommendable idea to use these as they can hurt your ears, is hard to hear when there is so much noise around, and can also cause a lot of tension or high blood pressure i.e. hypertension. 

In some areas noise is unacceptable, and in these places, the noise-free ones are the best option to use. Places such as offices, surgeries, laboratories, or shopping malls and shops are the perfect place to use them.

 When searching for the different types, you will come across several choices. These could include a variety of specific needs such as: 

  1. For Workshop use
  2. A 240V one
  3. For Industrial purposes
  4. A Quiet one
  5. A Portable one
  6. One that runs on Petrol 
  7. A Vertical standing one

Below are 3 common types of categories of these machines. There are more but these are the common options for any type of job. 

Rotary Screw Compressor.  This is a common type of device and the rotary screws are the easiest for any upkeep. They are equipped with its internal cooling system and as such, do not need much attention or maintenance due to there being no risk of heating up.

These are one of the easiest and simplest ones you will find on the market, not just to take care of but also to use, as they typically come fully-equipped with everything you need and in various sizes from small to the larger-industry sized ones. 

Plus, you also have a choice of oil-free or lubricated. The oil-free is the better option of the two, especially as they are cost-effective and there is no need to buy separate lubricants or have to apply it every couple of months.

The two internal rotors present inside the machine help to generate the energy, whilst turning in opposite directions. Thus, the name, rotary screw, and these can range from 5 horsepower up to about 350 horsepower.

Reciprocating Air Compressor. Are also the other popular choice for many and is used in smaller jobs such as construction projects or on sites and even your garage. This one is, however, not designed to be used continuously, but rather on small tasks such as spray painting a section of an object or piece of wall and even furniture, and is the ideal choice for this because it is a lot more flexible than the average rotary screw for instance.

For smooth finishes, this is the one to go for, as it comes lubricated for ease of use. The air is compressed inside the machinery using pistons present in the cylinder and these build pressure which is then ejected through the nozzles.

For more power, this would be a good option and specifically the multi-stage one as they can reach up to about 30 horsepower.

Centrifugal Compressor. These are one of those that require very little maintenance as well. Some of which can come with an oil-free interior and are typically used for the more risqué and demanding projects such as those required on large building sites. Additional info on the can be found here.

The perfect places to use these types are on steel manufacturing plants or chemical factories, due to their capabilities of getting up to 1000 horsepower. 

How these works are by slowing down and cooling the air that comes in through its diffusers and then builds up the energy and extinguishes it back. It has a multi-phase process which is centrifugal and thus produces high amounts of energy in comparison to the other types. 

Things to Help You Decide Including The CFM

So, when the time comes for you to buy one, besides the items listed above, there are also other characteristics to look at that are not as technical as the choices mentioned above.  

If you are in the mood for some DIY projects and you want a more silent type or an oil-free one and perhaps a portable one that you can carry around with you. These are thing things to look for that will better fit your needs. 

When looking for something more powerful as opposed to a weaker option, there is one way to figure this out and that is by calculating the CFM that is needed. In other words, the Cubic Feet per Minute, which the amount of output it can generate. So, if you’re looking for something more powerful, a higher CFM is the option to go for https://www.hunker.com/12174007/how-to-calculate-the-cfm-of-an-air-compressor

If your working on big projects that require higher air outputs then look for a higher CFM, so if you choose one, multiply it by at least 1.25 to give you the closest required output numbers. This is to compensate for any air loss and to make sure it works a lot more efficiently without over-working it. 

If, however, you are adding extra gadgets to it like a spray-paint or another hose, for instance, for each one you will need to multiply the number by 1.25 again. To compensate properly for each, again. 

The Quiet / Noise-Free Options

As previously mentioned, it is not recommended to use this machinery for long periods especially if they are the noisy kind. The consensus is that the bigger the tank, the more noise it will generate. This may be true, but it is also possible to get a big tank with a quiet one as well and the best thing to do is your research. 

Look for some online resources that have done the hard work for you and offer up some information regarding the quietest air compressor review on their websites, and read through them to see which one out of the lot appeals to you. You could perhaps look for the ones that have a belt-drive system that allows for much quieter operation and you won’t need to sacrifice on performance with those.

Reviews are your best bet. Look for things like customer or user ratings, perhaps some have pros and cons of these tools, the affordability reviews, even the product feature reviews will help you decide on a good one.

What’s in A Tank Size?

This is also another highly important thing to consider mainly because the relationship between the size of the tank and the performance of the compressor, is related. This is because the pressurized air comes out of the tank and will run until the desired pressure has reached inside the tank and then it will shut off.

In the case when the pressure drops below the limit, it will stop working for it to re-fill again, in which case one needs to stop using it to give it time to refill. While it is doing this, it is not recommended to use the device. This is why the best advice we can give you is to purchase something that has a big enough tank, for longer use.