Various types of applications are related to auto bodywork such as car painting, tires inflating, and others. Among the important applications of auto bodywork, painting or waxing is more sensitive. I hope you know why it is more sensitive!
However, let me clear the matter.
Car painting or waxing is not similar to other types of paintings. Car painting or waxing requires precise application of the primer, paint, and the outermost coating. If those cannot be applied properly, I’m sure you will not get the best outcome. So, what to do now?
An air compressor is the best thing that can help you to apply the wax and paint evenly and precisely. Remember, all air compressors are not perfect for the job. And it is also not possible to get the best outcome without the best auto body air compressor.
But, finding the best air compressor for auto body work might not easy for you as there are countless options. That is why I’ve written this guide where I’ve placed some good quality auto compressors as you can get the best one easily.
There are some key factors that indicate the quality of the compressor. If you don’t know that, you can’t choose the right unit. Don’t worry; I’ve also included a segment that gives you an idea on how to choose the right air compressor for auto body work.
What Tools Are Needed For Auto Body Repair?
An English proverb says, ‘’a workman is as good as his tools.’’ This statement is very much appropriate for auto body work. In an auto body shop, you definitely should have some essential tools that you need frequently. There are many tools, but here I talk about only 5 tools.
Dual Action Sander:
Many technicians don’t say that a dual-action sander is a must-have tool. I also agree with them. But I give importance to this tool as it can save much time. Dual-action sander is an excellent tool for body filler shaping and basic sanding application. You need to frequently do these tasks for auto body repair. If you don’t use the tool yet, you just can’t imagine how many times it can save!
Hammer and Dolly Set:
An investment to buy a hammer and dolly set is wise thinking if you get back the shape of the whip panels or steel. If you buy a hammer and dolly set for once, you will never buy it again as it lasts for a lifetime.
An experienced auto body professional always uses a slide hammer for repairing dents and pulling out panels. The slide hammer uses hook adapters or screws to pull out the dents. You should buy a cheap model. To get a good quality slide hammer, you don’t need to invest a ton of money. Just ensure you have won a standard slide hammer. For that, $200 is enough.
Sanding blocks have a wide range of use in auto body repair. There are many applications where sanding blocks are used, including shaping body filler, color sanding, cutting high spots, and so on. Auto body sanding blocks are definitely a must-have tool, and they are affordable.
An expert auto body technician knows the importance of a disc sander. This versatile tool provides an efficient function for body filler shaping, basic sanding, heavy-duty grinding, and even a file substitute. Like the other expensive tools, it doesn’t require much money. It is affordable. It does the job excellently and also saves time amazingly.
Why Do You Need An Air Compressor For Auto Body Work?
An air compressor is one of the most fundamental tools for auto body works. From painting the cars to handling auto lug nuts, an air compressor makes it super easy to do all this.
First of all, air compressors are able to keep a constant air pressure. This is essential for auto body work because it ensures the paint will always have an even look and feel. Without this important tool, there would be air bubbles in the paint which could cause imperfections in the finish of your car’s exterior.
Secondly, air compressors make tasks around the auto body shop easier by providing enough air supply for tools like drills or wrenches. For example, you wouldn’t want to lug on a loosened bolt with just your bare hands.
But if you grip that same bolt with an air wrench then everything becomes much simpler! Furthermore, these tools provide increased levels of leverage when loosening tight bolts (which can prove difficult otherwise).
Finally, air compressors provide air for air tools which are necessary for auto body work. For example, a sander is used to sand down any surface that has been damaged on your car.
This can help you save money by not having the vehicle repaired at an expensive body shop! So, you should definitely put an air compressor on the essential list if you’re planning for an auto body project.
What Type Of Air Compressor Is Best For Auto Body Works?
The best type of air compressor for auto body works would be a professional-grade air compressor. You obviously can’t do all types of auto body work with a low-end air compressor, they won’t be that powerful for tasks like painting or framing.
A professional-grade air compressor comprises all the essential features such as a high capacity tank, high air CFM & high air PSI. You can do all types of work using this type of air compressor because it will allow you to do so.
You can also consider a portable air compressor for a flexible experience. But we won’t suggest getting a portable air compressor for auto body work. Because a portable air compressor is often too small to pull off heavy auto body work. But, for personal usage, you can use a portable air compressor.
How We Chose The Product
Air compressors run on complex mechanisms. We are completely aware of that. So we consulted with some mechanical engineers. And, we asked for their help to suggest some of the best air compressors under various parameters.
After that, we made a shortlist of air compressors that can be useful for the users. To make a list of them, we considered some factors like budget, compactness, performance and others.
1 Min Quick Summary: Best Air Compressor for Auto Body Work
Each of the air compressors in this list comes with a particular mechanism to perform auto body work. Despite that, there are some clear differences between their functions. So that’s what we mentioned here for your convenience:
- Best Budget-friendly Air Compressor: Industrial Air ILA1883054
- Best Compact Air Compressor: Rolair VT25BIG
- Best Multi-purpose Air Compressor: 80 Gallon Two Stage Air Compressor
- Editor’s Choice: Powermate Vx PLA4708065
- Best Air Compressor With Portability: BOSTITCH U/BTFP02012
Table of Content
It is the segment that is an overview of the entire content. Jump to the specific portion and gather knowledge about the whole content shortly from this segment.
- What Tools Are Needed For Auto Body Repair?
- Why Do You Need An Air Compressor For Auto Body Work?
- What Type Of Air Compressor Is Best For Auto Body Works?
- How We Chose The Product
- 1 Min Quick Summary: Best Air Compressor for Auto Body Work
- 5 Best Air Compressor For Auto Body Work Reviews 2021
- 1. Best Budget-friendly Air Compressor: Industrial Air ILA1883054 30-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor
- 2. Best Compact Air Compressor: Rolair VT25BIG 2.5 HP Wheeled Compressor with Overload Protection
- 3. Best Multi-purpose Air Compressor: 80 Gallon Vertical Two Stage 14CFM 5HP 208-230V 1PH
- 4. Editor’s Choice: Powermate Vx PLA4708065 80-Gallon Electric Air Compressor
- 5. Best Air Compressor With Portability: BOSTITCH U/BTFP02012 6 gallon Pancake Compressor
- Top 5 Best Air Compressor Accessories
- What to Consider Before Buying an Air Compressor for Auto Bodywork?
In this context, there is enough information is provided under each and every air compressor. Nevertheless, I make this comparison chart as you can take the decision quickly and easily.
Best Budget-friendly Air Compressor
|Industrial Air ILA1883054 30-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor||
||Check Price On Amazon|
Best Compact Air Compressor
|Rolair VT25BIG 2.5 HP Wheeled Compressor||
||Check Price On Amazon|
Best Multi-purpose Air Compressor
|80 Gallon Vertical Two Stage 14CFM 5HP 208-230V 1PH||
||Check Price On Amazon|
|Powermate Vx PLA4708065 80-Gallon Electric Air Compressor||
||Check Price On Amazon|
Best Air Compressor With Portability
|BOSTITCH U/BTFP02012 6 gallon Pancake Compressor||
||Check Price On Amazon|
5 Best Air Compressor For Auto Body Work Reviews 2021
Selecting anything from numerous options is always a difficult task. But if you have a few options and all the necessary information is provided then you can easily choose which fits you. Yes, I’ve enlisted only 6 auto compressors and provide all important features and necessary information as anyone can understand, which is perfect for himself.
1. Best Budget-friendly Air Compressor: Industrial Air ILA1883054 30-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor
I never want to create a bad impression. This is why I always place one of the best products at the top of the product list. I place Industrial Air ILA1883054 on the top because I know how much effective and advantageous it is!
It is cast iron made, which ensures its strength and build quality. Besides, 1.9 HP heavy-duty motor is added with this air compressor to ensure maximum performance and adequate efficiency. You should also know the manufacturer uses a dual voltage motor that ensures trouble-free performance.
The compressor delivers 5.7 CFM air volume at 90 psi that is very much perfect for most air tools performance. Its maximum pressure is 155 PSI that is optimum for most tools performance. It is also a great air compressor for those workers who want to paint the car more slowly and deliberately.
I personally love the compressor for its maximum portability. It has two pneumatic wheels that facilitate easy moving. Moreover, it also has a front handle that also offers easy transport. So, you can easily move it around the car and also transport anywhere you need.
- Dimensions:75 x 24.75 x 49.75 inches
- Weight: 190 pounds
- Power Source: Corded Electric
- Capacity: 30 gallons
- Voltage: 120 volts
- Horsepower: 1 hp
- Air flow Capacity: 7 Cubic Feet Per Minute
Industrial Air ILA1883054 Features:
- The heavy-duty dual-voltage motor ensures maximum performance and trouble-free operation.
- The reserve tank capacity is 30-gallon, which provides continuous airflow.
- 155 PSI maximum performance is very much perfect for tool performance.
- It is highly portable to move anywhere.
2. Best Compact Air Compressor: Rolair VT25BIG 2.5 HP Wheeled Compressor with Overload Protection
I’ve already got some amazing information of this air compressor from the title. Let’s check the provided features and beneficiary options that make the air compressor a good competitor.
If you compare this with the previous item, you will get a lot of information. Its motor power is a bit more, and the rate of air outflow is more than the previous model. Both come with special lubricant for a longer pump life cycle. On the other hand, the tank capacity is about one-fifth of the first air compressor.
But if you notice the portability feature, both have wheels to move easily from one place to another. And both of them have a handle that also facilitates the job. That means, it is also portable as portable the previous one.
You may need to connect a hose, and you also may need to turn a dial. Some compressors come with difficult mechanisms, but the settings are pretty easy for this unit. You will need oil to run the compressor. Some machines require funnel to pour the oil, but it doesn’t require. It is just an example. Really, the operation is very easy even for beginners also.
- Dimensions: 19 x 19 x37 inches
- Weight: 108 pounds
- Power Source: Corded Electric
- Capacity:3 gallons
- Voltage: 115 volts
- Horsepower:5 hp
- Air flow Capacity:5 Cubic Feet Per Minute
Rolair VT25BIG 2.5 Features:
- It delivers 6.5 CFM volume of air at 90 PSI that is above the standard level.
- The Cast iron cylinder is sturdy enough and lasts longer.
- 2.5 horsepower motor delivers 3400 RPM.
- Splash lubrication ensures a longer mump life.
3. Best Multi-purpose Air Compressor: 80 Gallon Vertical Two Stage 14CFM 5HP 208-230V 1PH
You know all the air compressors are not equally powerful and equally functional. If you need a very high capacity and highly powerful body shop air compressor, you should check this.
The compressor is suitable for any project in an auto body shop, including complete paint job, sanding work, grinding, and cutting sheet metal. These make the compressor ideal for serious DIY users and automotive enthusiasts.
You will be surprised to know the air compressor tank capacity. The total capacity is 80 gallons of tank. Can you imagine how big it is! Yes, it delivers the continuous airflow that is optimum for most of the auto body projects.
The airflow rate is also more than your expectation. It provides 14 CFM of air at 90 PSI. Its highest PSI level is 175. You can understand the compressor is powerful enough, but it doesn’t need a powerful electricity supply. You can use it on your household electricity.
The tank is vertically placed, and it doesn’t need much space. So, you can place the compressor in even a small space. If you think you don’t need large tank capacity, you can also choose the 30-gallon option as both options are available for the compressor.
- Dimensions: 31 x 41 x 78 inches
- Weight: 8 ounces
- Power Source: Electric-powered
- Capacity: 80 gallon capacity tank
- Voltage: 230 volts
- Horsepower: 5 horsepower air compressor
- Air flow Capacity: 14 Cubic Feet Per Minute
80 Gallon Vertical Features:
- It comes with 5 HP powerful motor that is also suitable for tough auto body works.
- The tank capacity is large enough, 80-gallon.
- It delivers 14 CFM at 90 PSI and completes the tasks shortly.
- The two-stage engine is equipped with the compressor for better reliability.
4. Editor’s Choice: Powermate Vx PLA4708065 80-Gallon Electric Air Compressor
Powermate is a famous and leading air compressor brand. They are well known as they always make the competitive air compressor. This unit is a perfect example of their quality and high performing air compressor.
This auto body air compressor can be compared with the previous one as they are almost equally powerful. It has a heavy-duty dual voltage induction motor. This kind of motor is added to drive high performance and ensures hassle-free operation.
The operation controlling process is so easy. There is no difficult instruction. That is why a beginner also can handle the machine without facing any trouble. The pressure gauge and on/off switch are also easy and convenient to control.
The other remaining features are also perfect for powering air tools. It delivers 14 CFM airflow at 90 PSI, while its maximum pressure is 155 PSI. 80-gallon tank capacity, and built to last longer with added durability. After all, it is a powerful, high performing, and durable air compressor for auto body work.
- Dimensions:5 x 34.75 x 77 inches
- Weight: 354 pounds
- Power Source: Electrical power
- Capacity: 80 gallons
- Voltage: 230 volts
- Horsepower:70 hp
- Air flow Capacity: 14 Cubic Feet Per Minute
Powermate Vx PLA4708065 Features:
- Massive reserve tank capacity, 80-gallon.
- Dual voltage 15-Amp motor delivers hassle-free operation.
- The compressor is powerful enough.
- The steel construction makes the air compressor durable.
5. Best Air Compressor With Portability: BOSTITCH U/BTFP02012 6 gallon Pancake Compressor
I’m sure you will be surprised to see our selected last air compressor. It is small, lightweight, easy to carry, and definitely highly functional. Let’s talk about the exciting features of the BOSTITCH U/BTFP02012.
Just look at the design of the air compressor, the tank is situated below, and the other necessary equipment is placed just over the tank. It requires a very small area. So you don’t need to think about the place where you want to place it. Just manage a small area.
The tanks capacity is 6-gallon, that is not enough. It delivers 2.6 SCFM (Standard cubic feet per minute) at 90 PSI. It is also enough for powering air tools. This amount of airflow and pump pressure level is really adequate for this size air compressor.
It doesn’t require any oil as the other air compressor. Besides, the pump is also maintenance-free. That means you don’t need to think about the maintenance of the pump. It also has an excellent feature; it produces minimum noise. The noise level is only 78.5 dBA. This level is really appropriate for a quiet work environment.
- Dimensions: 17 x 17 x 19.25 inches
- Weight: 31 pounds
- Power Source: Corded Electric
- Capacity: 6 gallons
BOSTITCH U/BTFP02012 Features:
- The oil-free and maintenance-free pump ensures more convenient use.
- High-efficiency motor that starts up even in cold weather.
- Easy to carry and store as it is lightweight.
- 6-gallon tank and maximum pressure level are 150 PSI.
Top 5 Best Air Compressor Accessories
The air compressor itself is not a complete package most of the time. And you need to have some essential accessories to run and use the air compressor. You see there are many accessories if you list them. But, I’m going to tell you about the essential accessories without that we cannot think of an air compressor. Let’s move on.
The hose is a must-have accessory that every air compressor requires. Most of the time, an air compressor comes with the hose, but they are not better quality always. An ordinary hose can also be a cause of an unwanted incident. So, having a good quality hose is really important.
The hose is the connection between the air compressor and the tool. The hose passes the compressed air through it. As the air passes out with much pressure, it should be best. Before purchasing the hose for the air compressor, you should definitely check its length as it is right for the outdoor applications or not.
Nowadays, is there anything that comes entirely free of any impurities? No, not at all. And the air compressor is not out of them. In that case, a filter can help you a lot to keep clean and make the compressor more efficient. You should clean the filter regularly to keep its proper functioning. You may also need to change the filter after a particular period of time.
Fittings and Adapters:
I’ve said the hose is the connection between the tool and the air compressor. Without the fittings and adapters, how do you connect the hose and other accessories with the compressor? Do you understand what I say? Yes, the fittings and adapters are more important as important other accessories. So, don’t forget to buy.
I personally think this is the accessory that you just need to have. Without having the air regulator, you cannot regulate air outflow. Your air compressor maybe 150 PSI or more powerful, but you need to deliver the air at al lower level. In that case, the air regulator can help you a lot.
You can make the air compressor multi-functional by using some essential tools. Before getting the attachments, you should also check the model of the tools and compressor. At the same time, you should also know the capacity of the compressor and then go for the tools. Depending on the capacity, you may collect the following tools. They are often used with an air compressor.
- Nail gun.
- Paint sprayer.
What to Consider Before Buying an Air Compressor for Auto Bodywork?
The selection of an air compressor with your closed eyes is not the best way to choose the best air compressor for auto body work that you know. It is also not an ideal way to choose without knowing the key factors of the respective items. So, here are some important considering factors for the auto body air compressor.
How do you understand what size of air compressor you need? Basically, the size of the compressor depends on the horsepower rating. Usually, the horsepower rating is actual in the industrial compressor. On the other hand, other type compressors are rated exaggeratingly. That is why industrial compressors are much bigger than.
Anyway, for auto body works, you don’t need much big and more horsepower. Up to 2.5-3 horsepower is more than enough for the job.
It is the pressure of air compressor that is measured in PSI. Different compressors come with different pressures. But you have to know which pressure is ideal for your auto body works. Different ranges of pressures are needed for different projects. Most air tools require 90 PSI for proper function. Besides auto painting, air compressors require 35-60 PSI. On the other hand, tire machines require more than or equal to 130 PSI. SO, understand the PSI level, and then select the perfect compressor.
Airflow is the ability of a compressor to complete a task within the given time. The airflow of the air compressor is measured in CFM. It determines how much air the compressor will produce. The CFM also has a relation to the air pressure. You should select 90 PSI pressure as it is mostly required for most tools. Then go for CFM rating. Remember, if a tool requires 2 CFM at 90 PSI, you should not choose the compressor that delivers lower than 3 CFM at 90 PSI.
Usually, for auto body work, 3-4 CFM at 90 PSI is enough. You should not choose the compressor that delivers lower CFM than this range.
The size of the tank is an important factor. The tanks size of the air compressor determines how often the compressor runs. The larger the tank, the more the air will be stored. Yes, the large tank stores much air and can deliver compressed air more and vise-versa.
You see, the tank is placed both in the vertical and horizontal positions. The position of the tank doesn’t have any relation to pressure, capacity, and others. But the position of the tank is important for space. The vertical tank requires less space, but the horizontal needs more. So, before choosing the best air compressor for auto body work, you should consider it.
Other Important Factors:
Some other important factors may help you to get your expected air compressor. Somebody wants to get a portable model so, they should think about how big the compressor is and does it have any special feature that makes the compressor portable.
Besides, nobody wants to get such a compressor that produces more noise. Lower noise-producing air compressor helps to work in a quiet environment.
And finally, I specially request to consider the built quality which tells about life expectancy. You definitely want to get such an air compressor that gives you longer service.
Why Should You Buy an Air Compressor for Auto Bodywork?
I’ve written almost everything about the best air compressor for auto body work. And in this segment, this title is not so much necessary, but I’ve included it for your better understanding of how much necessary and beneficiary an air compressor is!
- First of all, it is must-have machinery for auto body work. Without an air compressor, an auto body technician cannot imagine the auto body work.
- Secondly, an air compressor eases so many tasks that you can very easily and conveniently. Without it, auto body work is so much difficult.
- Thirdly, it can save time than your expectation.
- Then, without having this air compressor, you cannot keep many air tools properly functioning. In a word, it is really a must-have thing.
Frequently Asked Question
✅ How many CFM do you need to paint a car?
Most car painting professional recommends to choose between 14-18 CFM at 90 PSI. But if you can ensure more than 12 CFM at the same pressure, you can paint comfortably.
✅ What CFM is required for spray painting?
Most of the spray guns perform from 0.3 to 12 CFM. It means you will need to have such an air compressor that provides 4 to 19 CFM. The standard SCFM of the most gun sprayer is 5-7.
✅ Can I use my air compressor for painting?
It mainly depends on the air pressure of your air compressor. If your compressor is able to deliver more than 12 CFM, then you can definitely use that for painting.
✅ When to change air compressor oil?
Usually, the oil doesn’t need to change frequently. It’s better if you change the oil once a year. But if the air compressor is opened, you should change the oil.
✅ Can an air compressor drain the battery?
I don’t want to answer this question directly. Try to understand; if the car is on, then the batter will not be drained. But the battery will drain if the car is not running. So, the answer is yes if the car is not on and vice-versa.
I’ve enlisted a total of 5 air compressors in this guide. And each of them is different from each other. Some of them are portable; some are not. Some are more powerful, and some come with standard power. That means, all the air compressors are not recommended for you. That is why I request to understand your needs first then go for the best air compressor for auto body work.