A few decades ago, work environments such as shops and garages used to have a central power source that drove all the available tools through a system of wheels, belts, and drive-shafts.
This power was channeled around the workspace through mechanical means. But thanks to technological advancement, we now have the magical air compressor, which is based on the energy that is stored under pressure.
Air compressors are used in a broad range of applications, ranging from major manufacturing plants to gas stations. Unsurprisingly, more and more air compressors are now finding their way into home garages, basements, and workshops.
They are available in a spectrum of brands and models and are equipped to handle nearly every job, from offering power to tools such as sanders, nail guns, drills, staplers, spray guns, and impact wrenches to inflating pool toys and repairing automobiles.
- 1 Why You Need An Air Quiet Air Compressor At Home?
- 2 So, how does an air compressor work?
- 3 So, what is the difference between a pump and a compressor?
- 4 How much PSI do I need for air tools?
- 5 So, how much PSI will your power tools need?
- 6 what size of air compressor do I need for a nail gun?
- 7 How big of an air compressor do I need for impact wrench?
- 8 So, why do you need to invest in a quiet air compressor?
Why You Need An Air Quiet Air Compressor At Home?
But what exactly is an air compressor?
An air compressor may be defined as a device that uses an electric motor, gasoline engine, or diesel or any other fuel source to convert power into potential energy stored in pressurized air.
By one of the numerous methods, an air compressor forces more and more air into a storage tank, thereby increasing the inside pressure. When the pressure in the tank reaches its designated upper limit, the air compressor will shut off.
The compressed air is stored in the tank for future use. This energy stored in the compressed air can be used in a variety of applications.
What is an air compressor used for?
Whether you are a DIY daredevil or not, an air compressor is one of those tools that is likely to find its place in your garage.
This is because it is a highly versatile machine that can be used to do a lot of fun and useful things ranging from garage to shop and household projects.
If you want spray-painting done fast, grab your air compressor. And if you are into carpentry and woodworking, an air compressor can prove its worth when you have to use a nail gun to assemble different pieces.
On the other hand, if you want to conduct a thorough cleaning of your garage or shop or even a particular device, an air compressor can prove handy as it can emit high-pressure blasts of air, allowing it to remove even some of the toughest particle buildups.
Keeping your car’s tires at the right tire pressure is one effective way to save on fuel. With air pressure at your disposal, you’ll effortlessly fill your tires with an adequate amount of air anytime they require it.
What’s more, you’ll also save on auto and mechanic repairs because an air compressor will allow you to efficiently clean and change different parts of your car, including sockets, bolts, and fuel filters.
Simply put, this is a highly versatile and important tool worth your investment.
So, what is the main purpose of a compressor?
As we have previously mentioned, air compressors are extremely versatile pieces of equipment that can be used to execute a variety of tasks.
They can provide air for filling up objects such as inflatable pool toys and tires and can also supply power for operating tools and devices.
Some of the most common equipment that works well with air compressors include drills, grinders, staplers, sanders, nail guns, and spray guns.
Today’s air compressors are not only highly durable, but are also lightweight and fairly compact, and require less maintenance as compared to the other traditional power machinery.
Below is a list of some of the common tasks that an air compressor can perform:
They can be used to run air blowers to clean lots of stuff at the garage.
Air compressors are very handy when it comes to auto repair projects. You can use them to remove different bolts, especially when you are working in a congested space. You only need to attach an air ratchet device with your air compressor and get the task completed in seconds.
These amazing machines are equally a great source of power for spray guns. Perhaps some people still use handheld brushes to paint their walls or furniture. Though this is not entirely an offense, using an air compressor with a spray gun will not only offer more effective results but will also save you time.
An air compressor will equally drive power to the nail guns. You only need to connect your nail gun to the air compressor to save both your money and time.
So, how does an air compressor work?
An air compressor is a very simple device. It is a mechanical device that collects air from the atmosphere, pressurizes, and converts that compressed air into kinetic energy.
For you to understand how a typical air compressor functions, let us briefly discuss some of its most essential components.
This measures the amount of pressure being created inside the tank and connects to the motor. As the pressure builds up, the switch monitors this amount of pressure and will only allow it to collect up to a preset point.
At this point, the switch will signal the motor to turn off, and the air compressor will shut down to prevent the storage tank from overloading.
Again, this switch monitors the daily air use, and when the air pressure in the tank drops below a preset level, also known as the cut-in point, the switch will signal the motor to re-engage.
The difference between the cut-out and cut-in points is referred to as the pressure differential.
Just as the name suggests, this generates the much-needed power to the other air compressor components to enable them to operate. There are air compressors that draw energy from a gas engine. On the other hand, some features an electric motor.
The latter requires electrical energy to run, usually from an electric wall outlet. Of course, there are portable compressors that use the battery to provide the power to the motor.
Because of the compressed air contained in them, an explosion involving air compressors can be deadly. Thankfully, this rarely happens. The compressor’s steel tanks must always meet the set of industry regulations.
Well-maintained compressor tanks never explode. If the pressure switch fails to shut off the entire machine, the overload valve will open and release excess air until a safe threshold is reached before it closes again.
As the air deserts the machine for use, there are two pressure gauges as well as a large knob that denotes the air regulator. The first gauge measures the amount of air pressure stored in the tank.
The second one reveals how much PSI flowing out of the regulator. Accordingly, you can turn the large knob and open the regulator for more PSI or set it for much less PSI, especially if you are using a piece of equipment that doesn’t require as much pressure.
This is the storage tank that keeps the compressed air. The compressed air remains here until it is needed for use.
Now that you are familiar with the vital components of the air compressor, now let us briefly discuss how this essential machine functions.
First and foremost, it is imperative to note that there are many types of air compressors. And the type of air compressor you’ll buy depends on the capacity and purpose.
They can be classified according to air displacement, pressure output, power source, design and principle of operation, among other classification criteria.
In our case, we are going to dwell on piston type of air compressor because they are not only very easy to use but are also much more common than other types.
Just as the name implies, this type of air compressor functions more like the pistons found in the engine of your car. The compressor itself features a cylinder, crankshaft, a piston, a valve head, and a rod.
Air gets absorbed or sucked into the tank through the inlet located on top of the cylinder. On the other side of the cylinder’s top, there is a valve that releases the compressed air as needed.
The piston draws its power from either a gas engine or an electric motor and moves down the cylinder’s inner walls. This creates a vacuum in the space above the piston.
What’s more, it reduces the pressure in this particular space, allowing the outside air to come in via the inlet valve.
And when the piston finally settles at the bottom of the cylinder, the upper chamber will already be filled with air. Because of this, the existing air pressure will close the inlet valve to bar additional air from coming in.
The piston will then slide back to the top of the cylinder and in doing so, it will compress the air that is present within the upper section of the cylinder.
And once the pressure or compressed air reaches the preset limit, the discharge valve will open and now the pressurized air gets transferred to the storage tank.
The compressor keeps performing this cycle of piston up- and down-strokes, forcing in compressed air into the storage tank accordingly.
The latest air compressor machines are equipped with a pressure switch that allows them to shut off the power when the storage tank pressure attains a particular preset limit.
For instance, a significant number of single storage air compressors feature a preset tank compressed-air limit of 125 PSI (Pounds per square inch). This implies that if the storage tank is already at 125, then it will switch off the motor.
And with regular use, the air stored in the tank will eventually decrease. But before the tank becomes empty, the pressure switch will activate the mote to enable the compressor to perform the air compression task again.
This helps in maintaining the recommended are pressure in the storage tank.
So, what is the difference between a pump and a compressor?
Pump and compressor are certainly some of the most common words that we always use interchangeably. In other words, most of us can’t practically differentiate the two. Though they are practically similar, there is a clear difference between them.
Whereas a pump is a device that moves a fluid, either a gas or liquid from one place to the other, a compressor is a machine that squeezes gas into a smaller volume and can also pump it somewhere else.
So, while pumps can work on both gasses and liquids, compressors solely work on gases. Perhaps this is because liquids, in general, are extremely hard to compress.
From your high-school science, you are probably aware of the fact that molecules and atoms from which liquids are so tightly packed that it is nearly impossible for you to squeeze them together any further.
Another way to look at it is that a pump is used to move the fluid from one place to another whereas a compressor is used to increase the potential energy of a fluid.
Also, a compressor has storage capacity and can store gases and deliver it when needed. A pump, on the other hand, only sucks fluid from one side and force it out from the other side hence doesn’t have storage ability.
How much PSI do I need for air tools?
From chiseling, grinding, greasing, painting, drilling and sanding, it is always important to equip yourself with an air compressor that can offer the right amount of pressure for your desired application.
PSI refers to pounds per square inch and is considered the English unit of measure for pressure. PSI measures how much force is in a particular area; one pound-force applied to one square inch.
Another important factor to take into account is the CFM of your compressor. Cubic feet per minute describes how fast an air compressor can supply air. And if you didn’t know, it is often the most important feature to consider.
And if a particular tool consumes air faster than the compressor can supply it, you will need to stop working and wait for the air compressor to catch up.
So, how much PSI will your power tools need?
Air tools designed for general application with a quiet portable air compressor such as air hammer, angle grinder, drill, impact driver, blow gun, disc sander, brad nailer, impact wrench, speed saw orbital sander generally require between 0 and 5 cubic feet per minute (CFM) at between 70 and 90 pounds per square inch (PSI). On the other hand, relatively larger tools connected to stationary air compressors will require at least 10 cfm at between 100 and 120 psi.
what size of air compressor do I need for a nail gun?
As we previously explained, air compressors are available in a range of brands and models. And they come in a variety of sizes and shapes as well. It only means that finding the best air compressor for your nail gun can sometimes prove to a daunting and intimidating task.
A Framing Nailer is usually an intermittent power machine that doesn’t need a consistent power supply of air to execute its duties. You only require a short burst of air to force the nails through the wood.
Simply put, what you need is a portable air compressor that features at least 2 CFM ratings and has between 2 and 6-gallon tank capacity.
The main difference is based on how the holes are made. Ultimately, there is a method for each process, and the first hole will need to be made by drilling, and then it will need to be enlarged by boring.
Finally, using the reaming process, you can perfect the hole and get the desired result. There are also differences with the machines that are used for each of the processes.
Though you practically don’t need to purchase an air compressor with a somewhat bigger tank capacity, a bigger tank offers one significant benefit.
It will allow you to use more of the compressed air before the pressure reduces and the motor kicks on to refill the storage tank. This means that you would have avoided the common problem of having to stop in between the work as the compressor refills the tank.
How big of an air compressor do I need for impact wrench?
Impact wrenches are equally intermittent power tools. This implies that you won’t actually be using your impact wrench for an extended period. You can simply operate an impact wrench using a good portable electric air compressor.
But remember, the larger an air compressor, the more air it will be able to hold, and this directly translates to more time spent working and less time spent refilling the air tank.
Simply put, when it comes to choosing the ideal compressor for your impact wrench, the larger the tank size, the better.
If you are familiar with impact wrenches, you are probably aware that the inch wrenches are the most common types. Of course, there are also 1-inch, 3/8-inch, and the ¼-inch impact wrenches. For quarter-inch impact wrenches, you don’t require a lot of air pressure.
This implies that an air compressor that provides around 1 to 1.5 cfm will suffice. However, for a 3/8-inch impact wrench, you will need a bit more power. For optimal performance, go for a compressor with a rating of between 3 and 3.5 cfm.
This also applies to inch impact wrenches.
Today, 1-inch impact wrenches are not very common. And because of their size, you will need an incredibly powerful quite air compressor to operate them. So, look for a compressor in the 8-10 cfm tier.
In general, you will require a 3-4 cfm compressor with between 6 and 8-gallon tank capacity. However, for enhanced performance, go for one that features 5-8 cfm and a tank capacity of 20-30 gallons.
So, why do you need to invest in a quiet air compressor?
No one would want to work in a place full of noise. While some types of noise are unavoidable while working with our compressor, you can somehow minimize some of this noise by purchasing a quite machine.
Reducing air compressor noise is extremely important because prolonged exposure to noise can potentially have a detrimental impact on your health. You don’t want to lose your hearing!
As always, when looking to buy in a quiet air compressor, don’t forget to take into consideration the PSI count, decibel level, and perhaps the tank size, among other factors.
Also, working with a silent air compressor allows you to do whatever you are doing without having to worry about how it might be affecting other family members in your home.
Communication between those working in the same area can also be improved by having a quiet machine.
You also know that working with a device that produces unending, loud noise tends to lead to lots of stress and a silent air compressor will surely help relieve some of this stress.Last updated on: