What Are the Best Tips for Buying a Compressor?

Christina Edwards

Consumers are generally able to choose between a stationary compressor and a portable compressor. Stationary compressors are typically meant to be mounted somewhere permanently, while portable compressors can be moved from one place to another. While portable compressors may be more convenient, they also have smaller tanks, which can hold less compressed air. Either of these compressors may run on gas or electric. A consumer should also look at the power needed to run his tools before buying a compressor.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

A stationary compressor is a large compressor that is meant to stay in one spot. This is the type of compressor that is often found in automotive shops, and it is usually anchored to a floor. The cylindrical tanks of these compressors will set either vertical or horizontal. Before buying a compressor of this sort, a consumer should make sure that he has room for such a large device.

Portable compressors are much smaller than stationary compressors, and they can easily be moved from place to place. Buying a compressor that is portable may be very convenient, but a consumer will also find that he will have less compressed air at his disposal, since the tanks on them are usually significantly smaller than stationary compressor tanks. Some of these compressors are simply meant to be carried from place to place, while others may have wheels for easy transport.

Some portable compressors may also be mounted to truck beds. These are generally a little larger than some other portable compressors. This type of compressor is driven by a vehicle's power, and they are excellent for breaking ground with tools like jackhammers, which require a continuous supply of compressed air.

A compressor may have either a gas engine or an electric motor. After buying a compressor that is gas powered, an individual will often quickly find that he is able to take his compressor nearly anywhere, without having to worry about whether he will have access to electricity. On the other hand, gas compressors may leak and smell foul, and electric compressors are usually suitable for most jobs.

The tools that a person needs should also be taken into consideration before buying a compressor. Most tools will list how much compressed air is needed for them to work properly. This is usually expressed in pounds per square inch (PSI) and the cubic feet of air delivered per minute (CFM). Large tools, like jack hammers, will usually require compressors that put out more air at a higher PSI, but small hand tools will usually require less air at a lower PSI.

Price is also usually a determining factor when buying a compressor. The price of a compressor can be very high. Big compressors or industrial compressors are often much more expensive than small compressors, for instance. Finding a cheap compressor may not be easy, but it is not altogether impossible. Some businesses or individuals, for instance, may be willing to sell their used compressor.

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