Air compressors – which one to choose?

Air compressors – which one to choose?
Darrius Drew
Manufacturing and machinery/Other
It takes approx. 4 minutes to read this article

A compressor is an extremely useful device characterized by versatility and universality of use. What to pay special attention to when choosing a particular model?

In professional mechanical workshops, as well as in home workshops, you can find various types of compressors. Individual models differ from each other not only in construction, but above all in size, which directly affects their performance. Compressors also differ in the method of lubrication, which largely determines their service life. What should you know before buying the first model?

Basic information about compressors

Why is a compressor such an important piece of workshop equipment? First of all, because it can significantly accelerate various types of work. In order to best match the device to your requirements, it is worth familiarizing yourself with the offer available on the market.

  • Oil compressors, as the name suggests, need oil for their work. However, this cannot be ordinary oil, but a specific type recommended by the manufacturer. Its main task is to protect elements and friction surfaces against excessive heating and wear. It is worth remembering that oil gradually loses its properties during use, so it must be changed regularly. How often should this activity be performed? It all depends on the manufacturer and the specific model of the compressor. Information about the frequency of change is included in the instruction manual of the device. These types of compressors are most often used by professionals.
  • On the other hand, the so-called oil-free models do not need lubrication to work. This is due, among other things, to the design of the elements, which are characterized by a very low coefficient of friction. In most cases, the rings on the pistons are made of plastic. During intensive use, the temperature of the pump can increase significantly and a break in operation will be necessary. Oil-free compressors are used when perfect purity of the air coming out of the device is important.

Oil-free compressors can be connected to tanks with different capacities. What does this mean in practice? First and foremost, the possibility of uninterrupted operation even with devices requiring high air pressure. On the other hand, oil-free models are much quieter and smaller, which makes them ideal for use in the food industry and in medicine.

What to look for when choosing a compressor?

Looking through descriptions of specific products or reading nameplates, we can obtain a lot of valuable information on the technical parameters of the device. One of the most overlooked issues is the power supply voltage. Although most compressors can be plugged into a standard 230V socket, it’s worth making sure that you don’t choose a 3-phase model.

  • The most important issue when choosing a compressor is its capacity. The bigger it is, the more demanding work we can use it for. The combination of a compressor with a cylinder characterized by a very large capacity in a way compensates for the low power of the compressor. Unfortunately, not everyone has enough space in their garage to store a large tank.
  • The lower the total time of filling the cylinder the better, especially if you will be using the compressor often.
  • Another often overlooked issue is the level of noise generated. Unfortunately, oil compressors are relatively noisy. If you use them for a longer period of time, it’s a good idea to equip yourself with earplugs.

Possibilities of using a compressor

Compressors can be used for spray painting, as well as for staining and varnishing. They can be connected to a pneumatic wrench, which is invaluable, among other things, when unscrewing wheels in a car. This type of device is also great for cleaning hard to reach places. Choosing a specific model, you should opt for equipment characterized by a relatively large reserve of power, so that it will certainly not fail, even in difficult situations.

Main article photo: source: Designed by Freepik

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