What Size Air Compressor Do I Need? (In 2022)

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Are you a garage tinkerer who wants to ease your work or in your shop? Are you expert enough to use a pneumatic tool for an air compressor? If you are looking for good quality electric tools or air tools and spend some cash for your preference then let’s check the advantages of air tools here. However, if you are a DIY mechanic and have a great passion for using tools to meet everyday needs then this article will simply help you to run your project smoothly.

To get the best advantage for using air tools these things may click your mind-

  • Longer lifespan of tools. 
  • Enable More power.
  • Less weight for less fatigue. 
  • There is less risk of fire hazard. 

Therefore, if you are looking for an air tool with the above advantages then you may go for a good air compressor. An air compressor is all about the power sources, you just need to ensure the prices of and size of the compressor whenever you buy it. 

What Size Air Compressor Do I Need

What Size Air Compressor Do I Need

Before going for an air compressor you need to figure out what kind of result you are seeking and what you need most. Therefore, some questions may help you out to act with your needs accordingly. 

What Type Of Projects I Will Be Working On

Basically it depends on your perspective. Now the query is whether you want to work on occasional maintenance tasks or joining any bigger construction project? Or it’s totally different! You have to choose whether any automotive repair or home upgrades are needed. However, if anyone is working in heavy construction projects, therefore, something powerful airbrush needs rather than hobbyist airbrushing. 

What Types Of Air Tools Are Required For My Task

To choose the best quality of air tools you need to consider a few things-

  1. These tools are quite powerful than electric tools.
  2. It provides higher torque and higher RPM.
  3. Versatile and interchangeable.
  4. Safe alternatives to using than other equipment.

If you are looking for constant air tools such as a sandblaster, then an air compressor with a big tank is a good choice for you. Moreover, it provides more airflow so that you don’t need to have any hassle. If you want to run a brad nailer then any small compressor will be enough to serve you best.

What Kind Of Power Source Is Available On Your End

Generally, air compressors use common power connectivity. So, home use and business use applications are enough for these power sources.

Home use:

If you want to buy compressed air tools for your home then try to use smaller and portable units. Also, make sure it can be transported smoothly from the garage to the house, yard or roof. 0-5 CFM is the perfect airflow measure for home appliances compressors.

Business use:

These compressors are designed as classified “industrial grade”. It has great features of horsepower, more CFM, more PSI and run times. However, these small like compressors used in homes, they are portable in size, some are with stationary units. Moreover, they have a larger capacity and ASME certified air tanks. This unit also includes higher HP, faster recovery time and more CFM to run similar types of machines. 

However, gasoline power sources are also available if there is not an electrical outlet. 

How Much Space Is Needed For An Air Compressor

Air compressors are heavy equipment and will take a good amount of space in your room. If you have less space and not a great deal with projects then find a smaller version of the compressor to fit in your space. But for sure, 6-gallon compressors will fit in any garage but a 30-gallon compressor may find it difficult to fit in any premises. 

How much space is needed for an air compressor

Where can I use it?

If most of the task is done in the garage or the workshop then you don’t need to worry about the design of the compressor. However, if you want to move the tools frequently, then look for lightweight, easy to carry or wheels for easy portability in the air compressor. 

Once you will have the above information, you can easily buy any size of air compressor according to your choice. 

Tank size:

Air compressor tank sizes are less than 1 gallon but approximately it has 60 gallons of capacity. The size determines the capacity of air tools that have run before the motor in the compressor. By doing this it can create more compressed air. 

Requiring a certain amount of air tools may continue the flow of compressed air. That will need a larger tank such as – brad and farming nailers that operate the tools in short bursts. Additionally, it will give a better life span if the motor of the cycle remains off and on for a lesser period. If you put a large inflatable swimming pool then the motor will constantly run. 

Alternatively, if you have a great idea about CFM requirements then you don’t have to give too much effort. Now, if you want to do it with a 30-gallon tank size it will be done within a few minutes.

Now, if you want to invest your money for a large stationary air compressor then use a quality air hose reel in a central location. By locating this correctly it will ease the use and arrangement.

CFM requirements of Air tool:

You have to measure which amount of airflow you require for your air compressor and then look for a proper rating before you buy any compressor. 

Please keep in mind, Standard Cubic Feet Per Minute (SCFM) may require adjustment with the minimum CFM rating of the air tool.

However, changes in the CFM rating depend on the pressure of PSI, at the compressor. Try to use “CFM at 90 PSI” for comparing units of air compressor. 

Horsepower is another element for using as compressor manufacture. It’s not any kind of CFM rating but it will give you an assumption about the compressor’s power. Like for example- 

  1. Horse Power (HP) ensures the power of the Motor.
  2. CFM determines the power of the air compressor motors that provide air tools.

Every air tool comes with a CFM requirement that is set by the manufacturer. However, you can determine that by an easy concept- take the highest CFM rating of your air tools and then multiply it by 1.5.

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ Which one is the best gas or electric-powered compressor?

It depends on your usage and demand. If you want to run an indoor project, it will be better to choose an electric-powered compressor. 

✅ What are the differences between a single-stage compressor and a double-stage compressor?

It depends on how much air you need. If the air requirement is high then try a double stage compressor if a single-stage compressor does not fulfill the purpose. 

✅ Which size of tank do I need?

It is based on the gallons and the tank size of the air compressor. Also, you have to check CFM and PSI ratings that have used for determining the larger tank. This portion has been discussed above.

✅ What is the correct way to choose the right size of an air compressor?

We recommend you always choose a little bit bigger compressor than you need.   

✅ How often do I need to maintain my compressor?

For regular maintenance a few things to remember: 
Check the oil level periodically
Don’t need to drain water from the tank regularly, but check the drainage condition daily.  And remove any condensate accumulation from the drain. 
Don’t let the dust pile up the compressor.
Detach air filter and other detachable fixture for cleaning purposes 
Don’t forget the turn off the compressor at night while you are leaving your workplace. 

✅ Is it safe to use an air compressor? 

Every air compressor comes with some safety features. Only professional mechanics should be allowed to repair and service your compressor. On top of this, never blow compressed air at the direction of your face. 

✅ Can I operate my air compressor with the generator backup?

We recommend you not to run your expensive air compressor on a generator because a compressor needs constant power to run. Whereas, generators often produce fluctuations in the power supply that may lead to damage.  


In this article, we tried to share a better experience in choosing the perfect air compressor according to your needs. Nowadays this is one of the pneumatic tools to have around the house. Hopefully, if you think this information is in place then getting the right air compressor will be another easy task!

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