Air Compressor: How to choose the best in 2021?
Feel very welcome to this review to answer all your questions about the air compressor.
This is an indispensable equipment in many activities, it works as an air generator and storage, compressing it, so that it can then be used. It is very useful for painting, tire calibration, and many other activities.
Suitable for different uses, ranging from industrial to domestic, they are great options if you want something done quickly. So, read on to learn more about the air compressor, and make the best purchase possible!
First, the most important
- The compressor’s raw material is air itself. Available in abundance, it is not a resource that you need to buy, nor worry that it is polluting the environment.
- The air compressor is the equipment itself. Accessories such as paint guns and others are usually purchased separately. These, yes, can pollute without the necessary care.
- Air compression is no joke. Without the necessary care and maintenance, a compressor can cause serious injury to those nearby. Every tool is safe, when well operated and cared for.
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Ranking: The 4 best air compressor models
Compressors with piston or direct air, working pressure, PCM … These are words that will appear when you search for one of these, but don’t worry. Here we will show you the best available on the market and explain all the details.
Compressors are not exactly cheap. And they can also be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Knowing better the characteristics and options of the market will help you to have a suitable product. And know the way, just keep reading.
What is the air compressor?
You don’t have to go far to understand the concept: an air compressor is used to compress air. That is, capture part of the ambient air and place it under high pressure (compress) on one side, and release it on the other.
This compression ends up causing the air to gain strength and speed at the outlet, to “return to normal”.
Who uses an air compressor?
Air compressors end up being assimilated with painting and fast tire inflation. However, another highly sought-after function is the ability to supply power to pneumatic equipment (such as sanders, screwdrivers and nailers).A current and constantly improving use is also compressed air for hospital practices, aiming at health gain. Pressure is used to assist some treatments.
Even in information technology, its use is widely performed by professionals. Cleaning dust and solid residues in a machine with powerful jets of air creates much less risk than giving them a “bath”.
How does the air compressor work and what are its advantages?
A great advantage in these days of economy, is the operation of the engine. Performed “intermittently”, it is activated to compress the air to the limit of the storage it has. Then, he stops the process and rests.
As the compressed air is used, it decreases in quantity in the reservoir, and at a certain point the activation is done automatically. This makes it very practical and functional.
An air compressor can be found to be operated by different energy sources. You will find possibilities for places with good electricity supply, or even powered by gasoline or diesel.
Despite the use of a fossil fuel, with more pollutants, it also comes with technology for economy. When the tank is full, the engine greatly reduces its operating power.Depending on the need for the job and the size of the reservoir, several models can be loaded and moved as needed. Do you want to know if it is worth it to you in the midst of so many technologies? We have a table to help you!
What is the difference between the air compressor and air pump?
If you go to a store and look at options, you will find in addition to compressors, air pumps. Even more portable, air pumps can be very attractive in price compared. But what it does is quite different from what a compressor does.The air compressor you already know, but as our duty to explain everything to you, we will bring you a few and decisive differences from the air pump, which will allow you to choose what you need.
Is your goal just to move air from one location to another? The air pump is what you are looking for.
They do not have their own reservoir to store and pressurize. They simply act as carriers, and can be of mechanical use (human strength), electric, or fuel.
Do you intend to fill an inflatable mattress, or those huge structures for children to play? Or even a small aquarium engine? The air pump serves these functions.
Compare the two in the table below:
Despite a possible doubt, let’s clarify one thing: The two devices have different uses, this alone means that you should avoid buying one when you need the other.
What are the different types of air compressor?
Knowing what an air compressor is and how it works, let’s talk about features and models. You need to be well aware of what they are capable of, because there are those to use at home or even those for industrial use.
Imagine receiving a 30 or 50 kg device at home. And when he bought it he thought of a small air compressor to paint his furniture. These equipments have some very different characteristics and classifications, and this will help you a lot in your purchase.
PSI or Pounds
It is certain that when researching about air compressor, you will find this information. It refers to the unit that represents how much “strength” the equipment is capable of generating from the compressed air. That is, how much the air compressor is capable of delivering to its outlet duct.
This calculation is done in pound-force (or PSI), an area of one square inch. To give you an idea, a PSI usually has approximately 4.5 Newtons (unit of force). In comparison, a boxer’s punch is 3,000 Newtons.
A device with 100 PSI will give you 450 Newtons of strength! And there are compressors with more than 1000 PSI.
Now, imagine you turning on the air compressor to do some cleaning, and it just cuts or breaks what you’re cleaning? If you are not careful when purchasing and adjusting, it is possible to damage the object.
This is a much easier concept than PSI. It means the size of the reservoir that the air compressor has inside, to store the pressurized air.
This will make all the difference, based on how much you use the machine throughout the day. And how much pressure you need it to provide during use.
Low pressure equipment usually has tanks for up to 120 liters of compressed air stored.
Compressed air is usually stored at a 7: 1 ratio. That is, for you to have a liter of compressed air, seven liters of air are needed. A reservoir for 50 liters of air will be similar in size to domestic buckets.
The reservoirs for each model can vary greatly in volume. There are options for reserving 1 to 70 thousand liters of air.
It is possible that a bad choice results in the air compressor not having sufficient supply capacity. The principle is simple: if the equipment can deliver 30 liters per minute, and the accessory needs 50, it will not have the power to function (or it will do so in a smaller capacity).
How is the maintenance of an air compressor?
You will be using the air compressor you have purchased for a long time, this is true. As long as you follow the maintenance and operating instructions. Otherwise, it can greatly reduce the life of the equipment.
An air compressor comes with some components: the engine, the place for the air inlet, the reservoir, some dials and the outlet valve. Different models can bring variations in the format, but the essence is this.
These dials (pressure gauges) show the volume of air stored in the reservoir and the regulated outlet pressure.
One of them is the “hour meter”. It works as a kind of clock, being activated for counting every time the compressor motor starts. It means that you will have real information about the equipment’s working time.
With this, you can more easily carry out the scheduled maintenance of the equipment, as it reaches the recommended hours. This makes care much easier, although it should not be the only accident prevention strategy. Some guidelines that can help you a lot:
- Suitable location for use : Keep the compressor away from areas with flammable material (or you will create a very powerful pump). It should also stay away from walls and partitions, as it needs space to catch air.
- Leveling : An air compressor needs to be leveled wherever it is, to prevent internal lubrication from being compromised.
- Attention to valves, hose and connections : Before using, make sure that everything is properly fitted and without leaks. Pay special attention to the check valve, the one that allows compressed air to be stored.
Depending on what you are looking for in a device like this, the values will vary greatly. Household activities and use in hobbies will allow you to access those of lesser value.
You can find good compressors with a direct system (there is no reservoir), starting at R $ 60. A very reasonable price, considering the potential that the equipment has to perform tasks.
Now, if you intend to use it industrially, or want an air compressor with a reservoir (significantly increasing its useful life), you will need to invest a hundred reais or more.
And finally, if you intend to purchase equipment for use in the company, you will spend thousands of reais. That is why it is important to know your demand very well.
Where to buy?
An air compressor is not exactly an essential household accessory. Then look for building supply stores or department stores. Virtually every place that sells power tools will have one or the other option for you to review.
The internet is full of options and diversity of this equipment. Websites Amazon have a huge variety of air compressors. You are very likely to find what you need there.
Purchasing criteria: Factors for comparing air compressor models
Although you are already well aligned with the theme, we reserve some important tips for the end. An air compressor has some characteristics that need to be observed before purchase.
And these characteristics are directly related to what you are looking for when you decide to purchase one. We have separated the main ones that you need to keep in mind:
- Movement and space
- Pressure required
- Operating time
Now check out each of these factors in detail and learn how to choose the best model for your needs.
Knowing the purpose of buying an air compressor is extremely important. This will help to think about questions like: Where am I going to use, is there electricity? Will I need a reservoir to make my life easier? Those are just a few of the questions.
Will I use a paint gun? Do I intend to use pneumatic tools? Other questions, like these, will require you to look for the accessory you want to connect and read in your manual the pressure it needs to function.
With creativity and a goal in mind, air compressors can be useful in situations that few can imagine. From there you will already have some definitions, and will make the first filters on the equipment you are looking for.
Movement and space
Will it be an air compressor that will have a specific place or will it need to be moved for domestic use or for hobby activities?
There are larger compressors with wheels, and smaller ones that weigh less than 10 kg. Options capable of providing certain mobility, including transportation to any location.
Define what tasks you want to perform, and whether you will need a mobile device, or it can be fixed.
If it is fixed, remember that a place without dust will increase the life of the air filter, and that it must be at least 30 cm from closed ends. Failure to do so will affect the air supply and engine life.
Some air compressors come with the facility of the accessories themselves. Air and paint guns, pins and valves. This allows you to avoid having to calculate the pressure of the equipment to use them.
However, you may want something more powerful than what shipped, or even need to purchase extra parts because some compressors do not come with accessories. Consider the function you intend to give to the compressor and see what pressure is needed is essential for a good choice.
Look for the accessory that you already have (in the manual), or that you want to purchase, which is the recommended pressure for use. Also consider if you are going to use more than one accessory at the same time on the same compressor.
The sum of the necessary pressure will help you to find out which air compressor is suitable. Always consider 10% more as a safety margin.
Of the most important needs to have considered, knowing how much air you need is very important. This will help indicate whether or not you need a compressor with its own tank.
Compressor engines tend to heat up with prolonged operation and can reach dangerous temperatures. Ideally, you should check the temperature periodically while using it.
There is no standard for the operating time (which is defined in the manual for each model), as it depends on the existing technology and the ambient temperature at the operating site.
However, the reservoir option will always help you with this problem. After all, the engine will run only when necessary, and its work will take place continuously, with the compressed air stored.