Blog - Air Compressors

Towable Road Compressor

Buyers Guide for Selection of Portable Air Compressors

Prepared by: Jinu Raj

Choosing the right portable air compressor can significantly impact the efficiency and quality of your projects. Whether you're a professional contractor, an avid DIYer, or someone who needs a reliable air supply for various applications, understanding the key factors in selecting a portable air compressor is crucial. This guide will help you navigate the essentials, including crucial specifications and types of compressors available.

1. What is CFM?

CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute, which is a measure of the volume of air a compressor can deliver. It's a critical specification because it indicates the power and capacity of the compressor to perform various tasks. Different tools and applications require different CFM ratings. For instance:

- Low CFM Tools: Nail guns, staplers (2-5 CFM)

- Medium CFM Tools: Impact wrenches, ratchets (5-10 CFM)

- High CFM Tools: Sanders, grinders (10+ CFM)

A green text on a black background

Description automatically generatedWhen choosing a portable air compressor, ensure that the CFM rating meets or exceeds the requirements of the tools you'll be using.

2. What is Pressure in Bar?

Pressure, measured in Bar (or PSI in some regions), indicates the force with which air is delivered from the compressor. 1 Bar is approximately equal to 14.5 PSI. The pressure requirement varies depending on the application:

- Light-Duty Tasks: Inflating tires, cleaning (1-3 Bar)

- Medium-Duty Tasks: Spray painting, small pneumatic tools (3-6 Bar)

- Heavy-Duty Tasks: Industrial tools, construction (6+ Bar)

The compressor must be capable of maintaining the required pressure for your specific applications to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.

3. Volume Flow:

Volume flow, often associated with CFM, refers to the rate at which air is delivered by the compressor. This measurement is essential to ensure that the compressor can handle the continuous air supply needed for your tools. For tasks requiring sustained air output, a compressor with a higher volume flow rate is preferable.

Consider both the maximum and continuous CFM ratings of a compressor. The maximum CFM is the peak output, while the continuous CFM is the steady output the compressor can maintain without overworking.




4. Difference Between Piston and Screw Compressors

Understanding the differences between piston (reciprocating) and screw (rotary) compressors can help you choose the right type for your needs.


Piston Compressors

Screw Compressors


Use pistons driven by a crankshaft to compress air

Use two meshing helical screws to compress air


Lower initial cost, simpler design, and easier maintenance

Higher efficiency, continuous duty cycle, quieter operation, and longer lifespan

Best For

Intermittent use and lower CFM requirements

Industrial applications, higher CFM, and continuous use


Small workshops, home garages

Factories, large workshops


5. Why Dryer is Used

An air dryer is an essential component of a compressed air system, particularly for applications requiring clean and dry air. Here's why a dryer is used:

A green text on a black background

Description automatically generatedBack to Blog Listing

WhatsApp Icon