You’ll need a model that offers more power than that of compressors designed for residential use if you are looking for a commercial- or industrial-grade air compressor. Important factors to take into account when you choose an air compressor include where you will be using the compressor and your specific power requirements for the types of air tools you use regularly.
Ask yourself if your commercial air compressor will be stationary. Most commercial air compressors are because people often use them in one facility. Consequently, they do not need to be moved. These units are bigger, more powerful, and have spacious tanks for higher air storage capacity.
A portable commercial air compressor might meet your needs if you are in the construction business or a similar industry, where you have to move from one job site to another often. Albeit having the advantage of mobility, these models usually can’t match a stationary commercial air compressor’s power output. Some pressure-lubricated solutions offer high performance for rugged mobile applications.
Look also: How to choose the best air compressors
Commercial Air Compressors – What to Look for
Choose a model that offers more power if you are looking for a commercial- or industrial-grade air compressor. Look at your specific power requirements. There is a direct connection between location and air compressor motor type. You will need a reliable source of electricity to operate an electrically powered commercial air compressor. The advantage of such a machine is that it is less expensive and easier to maintain.
Keep in mind that issue for operations that constantly move from one job site to another may arise in this context. Albeit being more expensive and harder to operate, gas-powered units can be the better option in these situations.
Commercial-grade portable diesel air compressors are another option. These are best suited for most businesses using compressed air of 60 to 250 CFM, including construction, tire service, municipal utilities, and mobile mechanics. These air compressors are meant for operators who need access to air wherever they go and use air on a regular basis. These heavy-duty air compressors usually weight 500 to 2000 pounds, so they are usually skid-mounted, towed on their own chassis, or mounted directly to a service vehicle. An example of this style of portable compressor is VMAC’s D60 diesel air compressor.
Tow-behind air compressors can be used for commercial purposes, they do have a series of distinct disadvantages, however. Look for features such as up to 250 CFM @ 150 PSI, air receiver tank optional for rotary screw, rotary screw or reciprocating air end, “hot dog” type air tank for reciprocating, vehicle-mounted, skid-mounted, or tow-behind.
Portable, commercial-grade diesel air compressors
When considering commercial-grade portable diesel air compressors, a lot more options come into play: rotary versus reciprocating air ends, a higher CFM and PSI range, the type of work being performed, and more.
It’s important to recognize that not all options are equal although there are a lot of options available for portable diesel air compressors at the commercial level. Better quality air compressors, including rotary screw air compressors, tend to be more expensive than lower quality options, which are made with cheap parts or feature subpar design.
If you need compressed air to get your work done, we recommend choosing only manufacturing brands that offer lifetime warranty on their air compressors. The best air compressor manufacturers will provide support for their products to make sure they last as long as you need them to.
Residential Air Compressors
At the other end of the specter, we have residential or light commercial air compressors. These compressors offer sufficient power for DIY projects. They are easy to use and extremely portable. Tank sizes usually range from 3 to 10 gallon, so you can choose the size that best fits your needs. Look for an electric motor with thermal overload protection.
Hobby, residential, and casual-use air compressors are the ones most commonly found on eBay, at Home Depot, or on Amazon. Normally, they offer less than 10 CFM at 90 PSI and are most suitable for small, personal projects or operators who only need air on a very irregular basis.
These air compressors require portability. Normally, they are light enough to carry or pull by hand. When not in use, they can be easily tucked away. A reliable unit for residential use would have up to 10 CFM @ 90 PSI, a reciprocating air end, pancake or hot dog air receiver tank, 1- to 80-gallon air receiver tank, hand-carry or wheel transportation. Usually, smaller units are not diesel powered, but there are exceptions.
Choosing the Right Residential Air Compressor for your Needs
The most cost-effective form of air compressor is one with a reciprocating air compressor system, which is why residential air compressors almost always have one. Reciprocating air compressors need an air receiver tank, which has to be filled before the compressed air can be used, and these air tanks are the most noticeable feature of air compressors for DIY purposes.
Normally, residential portable air compressors come with an air receiver tank that is between 1 and 80 gallons, and these tanks are available in pancake or “hot dog” shape. There is no notable advantage of one tank shape over the other.
These hobbyist air compressors will usually provide enough air for drills, nail guns, small impact wrenches, and other everyday household air tools. On the market today, diesel powered variations of light commercial or residential air compressors are rare, as we noted earlier. Most producers prefer an electric or gasoline power source because these are easier to source for the vast majority of air tool users.
There is a third category of air compressors – industrial air compressors. Industrial-grade air compressors are large machines serving very specialized purposes. They are produced by industrial supply companies. These units can produce very high PSI and CFM, but they also come with an equally high price tag. Usually, they come in utility-mounted or tow-behind models. You probably don’t need an industrial-grade air compressor for your work if you’re not sure whether you do.