Choosing An Air Compressor
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Submitted by: Mithul Mistry
Depending on what air tools you have there are several factors which need to be investigated when looking for air compressors. Regardless of whether you are using it for a shop or a garage, the correct equipment should be used. First of all like a car the horse power should be checked of the compressors should be checked but do not like many people make the assumption that higher is better. When it comes to horse power rating the units themselves should have particular attention paid to them as they can be a little misleading for example the packaging of an air compressor may state that it can operate at 5 horse power, however in the detail somewhere it will state to run this you will require 24 amps compared to the normal 15 amps you would get.
As with anything price will always dictate the quality of machinery or product you receive and it is not advisable to skimp on price at all. It should always be thought of as an investment and the investment like anything should be carefully considered. The next big factor to consider is the pounds per square inch (PSI) required. Most air compressors will need and work effectively with 90 PSI, anything less than this and you may find it to be a problematic tool. Bear in mind that 90 PSI is mainly for light duties and will not work for anything like large tools i.e. wrenches etc.
Depending on your requirements and the variety of jobs you need an air compressor for you can easily get a variable speed compressor that should allow you to change the PSI for the job you are looking to perform. Aswell as PSI there is another metric where some attention needs to be paid and that is cubic feet per minute (CFM). This is the measurement of volume for an air compressor and is in lay men s terms is measuring how much air is being move around and is vital to the function of an air compressor. All compressors require a certain amount of volume to function and like the horse power rating can be a little miss-leading as there are a number of manufacturers out there marketing higher CFM rates. For your information most air tools require a CFM between 4 and 6 for good function.
The final consideration to make is the size of the tank, which in the US is measured in Gallons, where 30 gallons is the most common tank size. Again as with all the metrics do not assume bigger is better and that this means more run time because that is just not the case at all. Again this is all dependent on your requirements and the end job you need it for as you could easily waste a lot of money here.
Ultimately you really need to do your research and take independent advice before making any outlay of your hard earned money. Take your time looking for the correct air compressor that fits your needs.
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