The conclusive buying guide for air compressors 2021
Picking the right tool for your job is back-breaking work like searching for gold in gold mines. After finding the desired tool it will have a direct impact on your time and the outcome you’re getting. That’s why professionals emphasize more on the buying guide before purchasing the tool.
The air compressors have changed the whole scenario of the work by making it very easy and accurate, also being used in almost every industry which varies from DIY users to professionals. In this buying guide, we will guide you to perfection while choosing your preference.
1. Horsepower (HP)
The power of any engine is measured in units of HorsePower (HP). The HorsePower actually tells you how powerful your compressor is to run your tool.
The ratings of air compressors available in the market may not be accurate as most of the manufacturers are nowadays marking their products with fake values. However, some industrial brands of air compressors have very genuine ratings of HP and you can trust those ratings. You may have noticed an industrial air compressor of 5HP very powerful and large as compared to those false-rated cheap brand 5HP air compressors.
An easy way to distinguish if your air compressor has the same power as it claims is to check the power consumption of that compressor. A genuine 5HP compressor will utilize 24 amp on 220 volts whereas a fake-marked HorsePower compressor will utilize only 15 amp on 110 volts which means that the air compressor is around 2 HP.
One more thing to remember. There is a difference between the HP of electrical and gas air compressors. A gas air compressor will utilize 10HP to do the same work as an electrical 5HP will accomplish.
2. Air Pressure (PSI)
Air pressure is denoted in terms of pressure per square inch (PSI). How much PSI is sufficient to run your tool depends solely upon the size of the intended tool you are operating with. Mostly PSI of 90 is sufficient for any tool to perform better.
To maintain 90 PSI for your pneumatic tool, you need an industrial air compressor. The industrial air compressors have the ability to provide pressure in 2 stages. The first stage will confirm the pressure of 90PSI and the second stage consists of pressure up to 175PSI.
Some small pneumatic tools air compressors may shut off at 125PSI. apparently, this seems plenty for your tool but when it comes to practical, it fails to provide even 100PSI.
CFM represents the actual amount of compressed air that will keep your pneumatic tool working. It is actually the volume of air an air compressor delivers to your pneumatic tool. The CFM ratings are pre-calculated for every air compressor. These ratings are marked on the basis of the speed and size of the air compressor. These marked CFM ratings are not much significant as they are recorded at zero pressure.
CFM ratings may not be accurate as HP ratings, however, grab an air compressor that has marked CFM of 3-4 at 90 PSI.
Does the tank size of the air compressor matter? I will say not really. An air compressor tank is not the means of producing compressed air, it is only meant for storage of air. So it is important to focus on the power of the compressor pump and motor rather than the tank size, as these parts of the air compressor will produce much air for your pneumatic tool regardless of your tank size.
You may come across situations where you will have a smaller air compressor with a large tank size. For instance, if there is an air compressor that produces 10CFM, you can take 20 CFM out of it half of the time.
If you need to run a device consistently, for example, a sander, it is vital to deliver as much air as you need. A little tank is more convenient and gets up to pressure faster, though an air compressor with an enormous tank doesn’t begin and stop as frequently and cools the air somewhat better. An enormous tank doesn’t mean the air compressor runs less; it starts and stops less frequently, however, the running time is equivalent to in the event that it had a little tank. Tank sizes are normally estimated in US gallons.
5. Oil or Oil-Free
Oil-free air compressors are less expensive in price, light in weight, and do not hassle you for an oil change on a frequent basis. On the contrary, oil air compressors are highly rated for durability.
The oil-free air compressors do not need lubrication, you will not oil its parts to prevent wear and tear. However, these air compressors do not intend to last for a longer time.
6. Duty Cycle
While selecting an air compressor, you must be aware of the duty cycle. A duty cycle represents the range of percentage your air compressor will operate before running out of 10 minutes period. Let’s take an example. If you have an air compressor that has a duty cycle of 50 percent, this means that this air compressor will not run more than 5 minutes for every 10 minutes period. Increasing the duty cycle will ultimately heat up the motor and may stop in the middle of work. Most of the high-quality and industrial air compressors have a 75 percent duty cycle or 100 percent duty cycle which means these air compressors will continue operating your pneumatic tool without stopping.
Suppose you have an air compressor with a duty cycle of 65 percent and your friend has an air compressor of 50% duty cycle. Both of you have to operate a pneumatic tool of 10CFM. You will get 30% more of your tool in a day. Your friend will operate a tool for 5 minutes and then will wait for another 5 minutes. However, you will operate the pneumatic tool for 6.5 minutes and then will wait 3.5 minutes. This will give an extra 30% of output to you.
7. Noise Level
An air compressor is categorized as noise-free and quiet if it operates your pneumatic tools at a level of 85DB. Some air compressors can operate at a level of 65DB and these are the quietest air compressors of the market.
Working with the quietest air compressor is healthy for the consumers as it will not cause any hearing fatigue and noise-induced hearing loss. If you are working in a residential area or in a community, the quietest air compressors should be the choice to purchase to keep your neighbors unbothered during your work.
Portability is the ability to carry your air compressor where it is needed to operate your pneumatic tool. If you are working out of your residential area, you need to carry your air compressor over a certain distance. Portable air compressors are compact and convenient to carry, so you do not need to bother how you will carry it towards remote areas.
Operating a portable air compressor with AC power could bother you to carry the generator as well as an air compressor to the work field that comes out very bulky and difficult.
Most portable air compressors function on AC power, extension wire from inside your home, or through a connection with a generator.
On the contrary, battery-operated air compressors are a level less efficient than AC power operated air compressors. They have limited delivery of power and compressed air to your pneumatic tool with a fear of running out sometimes.
However, they are rated at a higher degree for their portability as they don’t require a generator to run them in the work field
9. Electric or Gas power Air Compressor
Air compressors are categorized as electric or gas-powered.
Electric air compressors operate utilizing the electrical voltage, 110-120 volts. If the air compressor is running on 2 HP, then 210-220 voltage of household electric current is required.
Electric air compressors are suitable for those consumers who intend to operate the pneumatic tool inside their home. As electric compressors do not emit fumes and gases, so it is the preferred one indoors.
Gas air compressors are very efficient in power and are preferred for heavy-duty work. Due to their emitting fumes, these air compressors are better to use at outdoor workstations or better-ventilated workshops.
Some important Compressor Features
Air-Cooling System: Cools pumping machinery and gives thermal protection to extend motor life.
Thermal Overload Switch: Automatically shuts off the motor if it overheats, ensures both units, and user safety.
ASME Certification: It is identified on the tank with a certification label stating that the unit meets the standards of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Roll Cage: Shields the important components from being squashed or battered hands-on location.
Some safety precaution for compressed air
Never apply compressed air to the skin or direct it at an individual. Indeed, even air at a weight of 15 psi (1 bar) can cause genuine injury. Never utilize a packed air hose to clean earth or residue from your garments or body.
When utilizing compressed air for cleaning purposes, guarantee pressure doesn’t surpass 30 psi. Continuously use goggles or a face shield over endorsed wellbeing glasses for this application.
Wear ear assurance. Introduction to unnecessary commotion can harm hearing. Commotion diminishing suppressors can be fitted to machines to decrease the clamor wellbeing danger.
Never pleat, couple, or uncouple pressurized hose. Close off valves and seep down weight prior to making any hose changes.
Utilize hardcore clips made particularly for compressed air frameworks. Utilize just the right sort and size of hose end fittings and associations.
Try not to utilize air straightforwardly from a compressor for breathing purposes, for instance charging air chambers, except if the framework has been explicitly intended for such reason and appropriate breathing air channels and controllers are set up.
Secluding valves should be of oneself venting type and intended to secure in the “off” position so that gaseous tension can’t be applied coincidentally while the machine is being dealt with.
Never change or introduce an A.S.M.E. security help valve that has a higher PSIG rating than the weight vessel rating to which it is connected.
Just weight vessels worked to a public or global standard should be utilized for air recipients.