To get the most out of your pneumatic tools you need to purchase the right size air compressor. When it comes to choosing the size of an air compressor, horsepower is irrelevant. In order for your air compressor to operate efficiently you need to consider the volume of CFM (cubic feet per minute) and the pressure (PSIG).
Add together the CFM requirements of all of your air tools plus another 25% to allow for any additional tools that you may use is the future, along with growth and any air system leaks. The CFM requirements are provided by the manufacturer of each air tool.
Establish the maximum amount of pressure that is needed to run all of the air tools concurrently by the tool that requires the largest amount.
Determine whether the electrical supply is single or three-phase. Residential and commercial buildings tend to be single whereas industrial are usually three-phase.
Air receivers – or storage tanks – collect and store air which minimises the air compressor’s loaded run time. Air receivers should be used with smaller air compressors and get five gallons per CFM to achieve optimum performance.