The different types of air compressor accessories can be broken down into a number of categories, including components that are designed to deliver compressed air, and devices that are powered by compressed air. Some of the most important air compressor accessories are regulators, dryers, and oil/water separators. Regulators are designed to prevent excessive pressure from damaging other accessories and devices, while dryers and oil/water separators can stop contaminants from entering or passing through a system. Pipes, hoses, reels, and fittings are also important air compressor accessories, since they are used to deliver compressed air from a compressor to a device or tool. Other accessories include pneumatic tools such as blowguns, chisels, and chucks.
Air compressor designs range from small portable units to large industrial machines, so these devices can also make use of many different types of accessories. Units that are permanently installed are typically hooked into a delivery system that consists of metal pipes, rubber or plastic tubes, and a variety of different fittings. Threaded and quick connect fittings are both commonly used to plug hoses into delivery systems, and to attach tools to the hoses.
Other accessories that are typically associated with the delivery of compressed air are regulators and dryers. Regulators are designed to control the level of air pressure in a system, and can be attached to a compressor at the supply end or an individual tool or device. Gauges are often used as well, since they can show how much pressure is available in a system. Dryers and oil/water separators can also be attached at either end, and are designed to prevent water, oil, and other contaminants from passing through a system, or into pneumatic tools.
Another accessory that is often used with permanently installed units is a carbon monoxide detector. Some air compressors produce carbon monoxide as a byproduct of normal operation, in which case it is sometimes possible for this odorless gas to build up to toxic levels. Carbon monoxide detectors are air compressor accessories that can detect the presence of this gas, and sound an alarm before anyone is harmed.
Pneumatic tools and other devices are another large category of air compressor accessories. Many different tools can be powered by compressed air, from chisels to paint sprayers. These tools often function similarly to devices that are powered by electricity, though they can be safer or more convenient to use in certain applications. Some of these accessories are also designed to deliver compressed air for other purposes. Examples include blowguns that emit a stream of compressed air, and chucks or gauges that can be used to adjust the air level in pneumatic tires.