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What Size Air Compressor do I Need?​

What Size Air Compressor do I Need?​

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Finding the right air compressors is one of the toughest decisions for a  DIY enthusiast. You will find numerous people telling you to “wing it,” but it’s not something you should do if you take your safety seriously.

Choosing the wrong air compressor can affect their performance and even pose serious safety hazards. Therefore, you should know how to find a suitable air compressor for your needs.

What Size Air Compressors do I Need?

Finding a suitable air compressor for your needs can be challenging if you are new to DIY projects. You can always reach out to a professional and ask them for recommendations, but you can do it yourself too.

For instance, you can always check your tools’ maximum CFM and PSI reading. You can calculate the maximum compressor per unit (CFM) reading by 1.5 to get a safe range for the best air compressors for your needs. You can pick the air compressor according to your machine, so if someone has a spray paint gun requiring 5 CFM at 90 PSI,they can pick a compressor with 7.5 CFM at 90 PSI delivery power.

Here’s a list of some basic tools and their CFM requirements for your reference.

  • Air Tools | CFM
  • Angle Disc Grinder-7″: 5-8
  • Brad Mailer: 0.3
  • Chisel/Hammer: 3-11
  • Cut-Off Tool: 4-10
  • Drill: 3-6
  • Dual Sander: 11-13
  • Framing Mailer: 2.2
  • Grease Gun: 4
  • Hydraulic Riveter: 4
  • Impact Wrench-1″: 10
  • Impact Wrench-1/2″:4-5
  • Impact Wrench-3/8”:2.5-3.5
  • Mini Die Grinder: 4-6
  • Needle Scalar: 8-16
  • Nibbler: 4
  • Orbital Sander: 6-9
  • Ratchet-1/4”:2.5-3.5
  • Ratchet-3/8″:4.5-5
  • Rotational Sander: 8-12.5
  • Shears: 8-16
  • Speed Saw: 5

The CFM requirements for these tools should serve as a sufficient baseline for your air compressor selection. However, those who require more assistance before their decision should continue reading:

Always Check the CFM reading at 100%

The CFM readings are usually sufficient for buyers to make a decision. However, some tools may have their CFM rating mentioned at 50% or 60% on the tool. Thus, you should check the CFM rating of the tool at 100% to ensure you get a suitable air compressor for your needs.

This way, you can ensure that the CFM rating from the air compressor is 100% suitable for the task and avoid all sorts of mistakes in the CFM rating later on.

Air compressors with a lesser CFM rating may stop operating under extreme conditions, and you may have to take consistent breaks to adjust.

Combine CFMs if Needed

The CFM reading is the total of the output your tools produce. Therefore, people using multiple tools simultaneously should summarize their CFM requirements before choosing an air compressor.

You can add the CFM requirements and get a single CFM requirement number, making the process pretty straightforward.

 Bottom Line

Understanding the CFM requirement for your tools helps  learn about the true potential of the air compressor pumps that you may not fully grasp otherwise. Buyers should check the usage of their tools thoroughly and their CFM requirements before making a purchase.

However, if you continue to have trouble with finding the right air compressor for your needs, you can always consult with an air compressor professional. These professionals can provide sufficient information and insight, helping make better decisions.

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