Picking the right air compressor for your home can be exhausting. The fact that most tutorials or reviews include numbers and abbreviations like HPs and dBs certainly don’t help. The goal i wanted to achieve with this article is to create handy tutorial that is easy to understand and doesn’t confuse the readers. I’m somewhat qualified to be discussing air compressors – owned 3 of my own, and had used dozens of my friend’s compressors. Me and my friends are DIYers, and use air compressors for our home improvement projects. So this tutorial will be written from that point of view, instead of industrial or anything like that.
One of those confusing abbreviations and numbers i mentioned above, is Cfm and it stands for cubic feet per minute. It is the most important metric for choosing air compressors. It’s essentially indicator of the speed at which your air compressor will be able to supply air. You can also compare CFM figure to the speed at which your tool needs the air. It’s recommended that air compressor should be able to supply at least as fast as tool uses the air, but some people manage to get by anyway. These numbers might also vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. So it’s recommended to look up the reviews before buying one based on CFM number.
There are different kinds of air compressors available to be bought, and i’ll try to discuss each and review them as objectively as possible. Stationary air compressors are big machines mainly designed for industrial purposes. They’re very big and not portable, so you won’t find these among amateur DIY ers at home.
Small compressors that are designed for home are the ones that you should consider. I’ve also had experience of working with these, so it’ll be easier to relay their pros and cons. Pros are that they’re smaller and sometimes have wheels, so easier to move as well. Obvious con, compared to stationary air compressors, is the lack of raw power and lower cmf. But even these small compressors come in different types. Most popular, and my favorite are the pancake compressors. They are most portable option available, and their round design makes them perfect for people with limited storage space. There are also hot dog compressors, which are also small, but have vertical design, which makes them taller. I don’t know much about wheelbarrow design type, but i’m hearing good things about it. Unless you’re running heavy industrial operation, smaller air compressors should be more than enough for anything you need.