Choosing an Air Compressor

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    Now the difficult part

    The first compressor we chose was about as high as you can go on regular home 115volt outlet current and this larger compressor will require Voltage: 240 Amps: 20 . This means we will have to install a special outlet in our garage to run this compressor.

    The only way around this requirement is to run a gasoline driven air compressor which could easily be rated at 10 hp or we could run the lower 115volt medium sized compressor and expect to stop early and run the compressor at full out wide open all the time.

    It is a tricky trade off but this is the difficulty when you try to match your tools to the compressor you need.

    A similar situation might be seen as when you plug in all of your holiday lights into your wall outlet. Sure they might work but that’s because your circuit breaker is rated for a 20 to 30% grace load above its rating but if you turn on the TV the circuit breaker will trip and everything goes dark.

    This is the trade-off that home buyers of compressors face. You can buy that lower grade compressor and use it for most of your needs and then when you want to paint a fender you might get away with it but if you want to paint your whole car you might end-up either burning out your compressor or having it heat up and require a cool down half way through your paint job.

    If you are willing to take the chance then take it if you are close to the rating of CFM and PSI but if you want the tools to work at their best all the time then you need to foot the bill and install a 220v outlet in the garage and buy that larger compressor.

    I hope this helps you understand what you need to look at when choosing a Compressor and remember its the CFM @ PSI of the tools that matters most not the size of the compressor or its shape or its color.

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