A guide to buying an air compressor

A guide to buying an air compressor

An air compressor is a vital piece of equipment in several industries and for everyday use. Broadly speaking, they are used for inflating tires, spray painting, pressure washers, controlling water fountains, cooling, paintball, engines, health, agriculture, manufacturing, tools, and in construction. So, if you’re looking to purchase an air compressor, it’s likely that you will need it for a different reason than the next person. Therefore, it is important to do your research, so you buy the correct air compressor for you. Here is our handy guide to help you out.

How do they work?

Although the use of these appliances range from industrial work to at-home DIY, the most commonly used type of air compressor is a single-stage, piston-type model. The air is compressed into a tank via an electric motor or gasoline engine which drives a piston, confining the air inside the enclosed space. As more air enters the tank, the pressure of the air inside begins to rise and will reach a standstill once a specific level is met with the help of a pressure switch. So, when you release the compressed air for its designated use, the mechanism will once again start working to build the pressure back up. Alternatively, a two-stage, piston-type model will feature two pistons which help compress the air further, which makes them more suitable for large-scale industrial use where high quantities of compressed air is needed.

You now probably understand the gist of how air compressors work, and whether a single or dual system will be suitable for you depending on the scale you will use the compressor. However, there are still a multitude of different models for different industries and specific uses.

What are the different types?

If you are purchasing an air compressor for permanent usage, you are likely to invest in a stationary air compressor, which is large and used to yielding high levels of power so is suitable for regular and prolonged use. However, if you are looking for a versatile model which you can move from workstation to workstation, a portable air compressor may be the right option for you. These come in a variety of designs. This includes a “Wheelbarrow compressor” which consists of two tanks on wheels for easy transportation, a “Twin-stack compressor” which sees two tanks stacked vertically on top of one another to maximise floor space, the “Hot dog” style which consists of a single tank, and finally a “Pancake compressor”, made up of flat storage tanks as opposed to a cylindrical one.

When making a final decision on what air compressor to buy, ensure you do sufficient research, so you don’t regret your purchase. Consider the size needed, the industry it is needed for, and whether the level of air pressure within your compressor is compatible with the tools you want to power if doing so. You may also consider the motor power and whether it is powered by diesel or petrol. Hopefully, this guide has shed some light on how to get the ball rolling with your search for the perfect air compressor – good luck with your search!

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