Shopping For An Air Compressor: 2 Choices To Make Before Going Shopping

If you are looking for a great way to speed up construction jobs or complicated home improvement projects, you should look into buying an air compressor. To help you to decide between all of the different types of air compressors out there, make these two important decisions before you go shopping.  

1: How big of a tank do you need?

When most men shop for power tools, they figure that bigger is always better. Unfortunately, choosing a tank size that is too large for your needs can mean a big investment, without a lot of added benefit. On the other hand, selecting an air compressor with too small of a tank might mean that you have to wait during your job for the system to re-pressurize.

As you shop for a new air compressor, it is important to try to find the right size for your needs. Before you get carried away with all of the options at the hardware store, think about how you plan to use your compressor. Do you need a compressor for small craft projects, or do you plan to use it as part of your construction business?

If you need the compressor for weekend projects around your house, a smaller unit with a tank capacity of between 7 ½ - 20 gallons would probably be sufficient for your needs. On the other hand, if you need your system to handle being able to power several worker's pneumatic tools simultaneously, you might need a system with an 80-120 gallon tank. Carefully consider your needs, in order to make the right choice.  

2: Which power source is best for your work?

One of the big decisions that you will be faced with when you decide on an air compressor is the type of power source that it uses. You can choose between electric powered systems, which plug right into a wall outlet, or internal combustion systems that run off of gas. Here are some advantages of each type, so that you can decide which power source would work best for the jobs that you encounter.

Electric Systems


  • Simple Set Up: If you buy an electric air compressor, installing your system is a breeze. All you need to do is plug the system into an outlet, flip a switch, and wait for the system to pressurize.
  • No Emissions: Since electric air compressors don't have an engine fueled by gas, they don't produce any harmful fumes or emissions.
  • Compact: Electric air compressors come in a huge range of shapes and sizes. Since homeowners frequently use them, the systems tend to be more compact.

Gas Powered Systems


  • Designed for Portability: Do you frequently work on unfinished homes or in rural areas without power? If you need the power of an air compressor but you don't have an outlet handy, gas powered systems are the way to go. 
  • Powerful: Gas-powered air compressor motors are capable of producing just as much power as electric models, so that you can complete any job just as easily.
  • Designed Tough: Since gas-powered air compressors are designed with the professional contractor in mind, they are usually created to endure the rigors of construction. Some models contain a metal caged enclosure, which will keep the system from being damaged if it is knocked over or dropped.

To help you decide which power source is best for you, think about the last ten jobs that you performed. Go to sites and select an air compressor that would have been most helpful in those instances. Remember that if you select an electric model and then you find yourself needing a gas version for an unusual task in the future, you might be able to borrow one from your local equipment rental store.

Choosing the right air compressor for your needs will help you to move through your workday without a hitch, and keep your new system from being damaged.  

About Me

An Unforgettable Christmas Gift

My dear uncle absolutely adores heavy construction equipment. He owns and operates a successful logging company. At the end of nearly every year, he purchases a new piece of heavy construction equipment. Does someone in your family love this type of equipment? Consider how you can help them buy new heavy construction machinery such as a backhoe, a hay cutter, a skidder, or a forklift. You might even wish to invest in a new set of tires to put on the piece of heavy construction equipment your relative currently owns. On this blog, I hope you will discover the most popular types of heavy construction machinery available today.