Best Air Compressors – Reviews & Ultimate Guides
The 1st best air compressors were something everyone already had: our lungs. Our ancestors used breath from their lungs to light and keep fires blazing. After a while, this mean was not strong enough. And that is what brought about the innovation of bellows.
But it was not until the 19th century when air compressors were invented. Yes, I am talking about the air compressors you are familiar with today. Since then, a whole lot of manufacturers jumped on the bandwagon. Resulting in the wide range of air compressors available today.
But there is a downside to that. It means that choosing the best one from the hundreds of air compressors got harder. Do not worry though. This post will guide and teach you everything you need to know about the best air compressors.
Let us start by looking at what they are.
What is an air compressor?
Here is the basic description. An air compressor is a powerful gear used for industrial purposes. These purposes include painting cars, painting bridges, in carpentry shops, garages, and more. The tool’s uses vary from heavy-duty uses to small duty ones.
The tool also retails with different components and in different sizes. Usually, manufacturers measure the tank size in gallons or liters.
With that out of the way, let us look at what you should consider when looking for the best air compressors.
Things to consider when looking for the best air compressors
You will have to choose between a two stage and one stage air compressor. Then you also need to decide between oil and oil-free motors.
The single-stage, oil-free air compressors are more common for in-house uses. Two-stage, oiled air compressors, on the other hand, are most common for shops and industrial uses.
The pounds per square inch is one of the most important things you should look at. The higher the PSI rate, the less time you will need to wait for the tool’s tank to fill.
A high PSI also implies you can easily tackle heavy duty jobs.
A small-sized tank is not a big deal if the air compressor has a high PSI rate. In fact, a tool with a smaller tank and a higher PSI rate implies the air compressor will refill faster. The only downside is that you’ll be placing extra wear and tear on your compressor.
If you’re a professional who works on bigger projects, go for an air compressor with
When it comes to noise, the quieter, the better. I presume your neighbors won’t be very happy if you pick an air compressor that’s loud. How loud an air compressor is going to be is measured with dBA. 55dBA is considered safe to utilize. But 80dBA, on the other hand, can cause irreversible damage to your ears if you do not use ear protection.
That said, note that quality is also a great determinant of the amount of noise. A well-built air compressor with a high dBA could be as loud as a low-quality unit with a low dBA.
The largest units with more features and big tanks tend to weigh more than 80 pounds. This, in turn, makes them hard to move around from one job-site to another.
Smaller units, on the other hand, weigh less than 30 pounds and are easier to move. Choose the weight according to your work needs and personal preference.
Also, look for additional features. These include a roll cage, ASME certification, thermal overload switch, air cooling, and much more. These features improve safety. They also increase the life of your compressor.
The thermal overload switch and Air cooling function, for instance, will keep the motor from overheating.
Now that you know what to look for, let us check out the different types of air compressors.
Types of air compressors
On this section, we’ll look at the different types of air compressors and which one is right for you. There are basically two types of air compressors that we will look at here. The reciprocating piston air compressor and the rotary screw air compressor.
It is essential that you pick the right one for your situation.
Other types of air compressors include the turbo, scroll, and rotary vane air compressors. However, most of these are only used for specified applications. I would advise that you forget about those for now. Let us focus on the two main types instead.
The Reciprocating Compressor
The reciprocating compressor uses one or more pistons/cylinders to compress air. The pistons reciprocate (move up and down) inside the cylinders in order to compress the air. This type of air compressor is also easy to maintain and relatively cheap.
In general, reciprocating compressors:
- Are specifically designed for intermittent use
- Are low capacity
- Can vary from low to extremely high pressure (100 – 15,000 psi or 7 – 1000 bar)
Reciprocating compressors are also relatively small compressors. They tend to go up to approximately 7 kW (or 10 HP). You can easily find them or use them in:
- Small business
- At home
- During Do It Yourself (DIY) projects
- Construction sites (nailers etc.)
The Rotary Screw Compressor
The rotary screw compressor uses two screws (rotors) to compress air. These rotors turn in opposite directions inside the housing. In addition, air gets trapped between the screws then gets compressed.
The rotary screw compressor is more energy efficient and suitable for continuous operation.
In general, rotary screw compressors:
- Are high capacity
- Are created to handle continuous use (up to 4 straight hours)
- Are low pressure (100 – 215 PSI or 7 – 15 bar)
The rotary screw compressors are big machines usually used for industrial purposes only. They start at 7 kW (10 HP) and go up to more than 700 kW (1000 HP)
Picking your best air compressor does not need to be a complicated task anymore. Simply follow the guidelines I have stated in this post. And you should easily pick the best one that meets your work and personal requirements.