An air compressor is a truly multi-purpose tool. Depending on the tool attached a compressor can be used for:
With such a wide range of possibilities, it is understandable that choosing the right compressor can be a tricky task. To clear the air, we’ve labelled all of our air tools and compressors so you can easily find the right compressor just by looking at the box. To discover just how easy we’ve made it, check out this short video.
If you want to get into the nitty, gritty, granular details of air compressors, we’ve compiled a list of common details and terminology that you’re likely to come across when choosing your tool.
HP is simply a reference to horsepower; this tells you the amount of work the engine of your compressor can handle. It’s nice to know but for most household applications, this won’t be an important factor in the performance of your tool.
The air pressure of your tool is measured in PSI. If you’re looking to run a heavy duty tool or application that requires high pressure, this is where you need to pay attention to ensure the PSI of your compressor is compatible with the PSI rating of the tool you’ll be using. The added benefit of high PSI is that it can allow a compressor with a smaller tank to hold more air and perform like a bigger tank however for shorter periods of time or for smaller jobs.
The capacity refers to how much air your little (or big) air compressor can pump out. Australian air compressors will be measured in LPM (or litres per minute), the higher your LPM, the more air you’ll be able to put out. It is important to match this with your chosen tools requirements.
A simple way to understand the difference between pressure (PSI) and capacity (LPM) is to think of pressure as strength and capacity as endurance. Your PSI measures how forceful your air is in a short burst of air and is able to build up to, while your LPM measures how much air is available continuously.
When using your air compressor, it is recommended you avoid using extension leads. In cases where you need longer reach on your tool, you are better off sourcing a longer air hose.
Try not to use the air tool when the pump on your compressor is operating. Waiting for the pump to stop helps ensure your compressor completes its recommended cycle.
Decide what tools you want to have and in use then look at the tools requirements for PSI and or LPM, then establish if the air compressor can produce what the tool needs.
To help get the best performance from your machine remember to read the manual and clean condensation from the tank and air filter as required.