Portable compressors are available with varying power levels that will perform a whole range of functions. Apart from price, your choice of air compressor will mostly be governed by the tools that you intend to use with it. As long as you know the CFM (cubic feet per minute) and more importantly the PSI (pounds per square inch) requirements of your strongest tool then you know which air compressors will do the job.
It is always best to choose a compressor that has more power than you actually need in case you find that the power requirement of your tool is actually higher than it is stated.
Probably the most common type of portable air compressor is what is known as a portabl rotary screw compressor. They provide a PSI in the range 100 to 400 PSI and a flow rate of 50 to 1500 CFM. The upper end of this range would be enough to run at least two tools of the type that a professional worker might use in his business. While being portable by nature, air compressors can also be mounted on a fixed unit or on the back of a truck. In these cases it can be a good idea to invest in a compressor that can be run from the truck engine as long as you are willing to run the truck motor while the compressor is working.
As you would expect the big advantage of a portable compressor over its larger counterpart is the fact that you can easily transport them to a place of work and leave them there until the job is completed. It is worth bearing in mind that some portable compressors can still be fairly heavy. There are two choices when it comes to powering your compressor – gas and electricity. You basically make your choice based on which fuel is most convenient for your use.
There are a number of brands that immediately come to mind when it comes to portable air compressors. It is always worthwhile choosing a model from one of these brands as you can be sure that the quality and reliability will be better than some of the less well known ones. Some of the manufacturers we have no hesitation in recommending are:
We would recommend any of these manufacturers and one or two others. As with most things, if you do your research and you know what you are looking for then you will end up buying something an air compressor that will match your requirements and give you many years of service.
Safety is an important issue with compressors. It is important to always wear appropriate safety clothing and goggles. Manufacturer’s instructions do vary from model to model so they should always be read thoroughly.