Air compressors are a must have versatile tool for any workshop or factory; particularly those working in the agricultural, woodworking, and automotive industries. You may also need it for your home based works. This article is about the important factors to consider before buying yourself an air compressor.
Air compressors have either an electric motor or gasoline powered engine, which forces air into a container and pressurizes it. The air is then forced to go through an opening in the tank, where pressure builds up. This pressurized air can be used to power various tools; for example nailers and paint sprayers. Compressors are more powerful than many tools and are easy to maintain.
There are important factors you should consider when buying an air compressor.
Fixed or Portable
Whether to get a stationary or portable compressor depends on where you’ll need to use the compressor. Fixed compressors are large devices with huge storage tanks and high horsepower (HP) and function for longer periods. Portable one’s have smaller tanks, with handles and wheels that let you move them on your site. They’re good for light, quick applications. Inflators are the smallest ones with no storage tanks.
Electric or Gas
If you’re going for an indoor services compressor, you should choose an electric one as it has no fumes. For outdoor work, go for a gas one, as it is suitable and cheaper. Electric ones need a plug in for a source of power. The voltage required depends on the power needed from the compressor.
If your compressor is for indoor use, or even in a surrounded place, you should lay focus on the noise it produces while functioning. You should get an oil-lubricated one as it is quite quieter than the unlubricated ones. However, oil-free ones tend to be more versatile and can be used on an irregular surface. You’d want to look at the air compressor price in Kenya before making a choice.
Single-stage or Two-stage
Compressors differ according to the amount of PSI (pounds per square inch) they can reach. A single-stage can reach up to 150 PSI, and have a higher CFM ( cubic feet per minute) than a two-stage one. Two-stage compressors are good for continuous use and can power multiple tools at a go. They are more expensive than single-stage ones.
Horsepower (HP) and CFM (cubic feet per minute)
CFM and HP give you insight on the strength of the air compressor. For most compressors, the engine size or electric motors ranges between 1- 2 HP. Industrial uses may require up to 5HP or more. CFM measures the air volume that is delivered from a compressor regularly.
When Buying a Used Compressor
Consider the following:
- Check the history: ensure all the parts that came with it during the initial purchase are available. Check if there have been any repairs done before.
- Check if it’s easily repairable: you don’t want a cheap compressor that will cost more to repair or replace.
- Your tool requirements: ensure it can power your tools well, even the ones you’re planning to buy.
- How it’s powered: whether with electricity, diesel or fuel.
This article has focused on the important factors one should consider before buying an air compressor, be it for workshop work or home use. Once you’ve thoroughly examined your requirements, you should be ready then to get yourself one.