Air CompressorFor many industrial and construction uses, an air compressor can be an incredibly invaluable tool as a result of its ability to convert electrical power (or gas) into another form of energy (normally kinetic) via the act of pressurizing and compressing air and then releasing it in short bursts. There are indeed many air compressors to choose from and they come in many different sizes, shapes, features and brands, making selecting the best or most useful compressor even more challenging. For starters there are three types of these powerful machines – rotary centrifugal, rotary screw and reciprocating. What are their major differences?

Air Compressor Features

It all comes down to various functionalities such as having different levels of compression stages, drive method (motor or steam), lubrication (oil type or oil free) and cooling method (water, air or oil). The rotary centrifugal compressor runs on the transfer of energy generated by a rotating impeller via the air, and its compressor produces a tremendous pressure discharge as a result of converting angular momentum (caused by the rotating impeller). As this type of compressor is designed with continuous flow, it is popularly used for high capacity tasks. The rotary compressor, which consists of two rotors in a casing where rotors internally compress air, are positive displacement compressors that are convenient to use and maintain. The reciprocating compressor is capable for its ability to increase the air pressure by reducing its volume. The piston within a cylinder helps the compressor take successive amounts of air (stored in a closed space for elevation to high pressure).

Common Types of Air Compressors

Some common categories that one can base their choice of air compressors are grade (consumer, contractor, industrial), style, size (1-5 gallons, 6-9 gallons, or even 200 gallons) and brand (which includes Hitachi, IR, Jenny, Emax, Eagle, Campbell Hausfeld , Porter Cable, Ingersoll Rand, to name a few). One common feature desired is portability and ease of use… a portable compressor can be carried conveniently, comes with a hose and universal adapters, and allows the user to conveniently monitor pressure. These are great for powering pneumatic tools such as air powered sanders, staplers, spray guns, nail guns, and ratchet wrenches.

You must determine your requirements before selecting your air compressor. For example, if you are going to run light but heavy-duty tools, you should choose a more powerful compressor. If you require larger volumes of air, then you should pick a larger air compressor, instead. Otherwise, you will be killing a lot of time waiting for the tank to fill and refill air.

Portable Air Compressors

You should also consider the source you are going to use for power, which will in turn determine how portable your air compressor needs to be. Depending on what power source you intend to use, your choice will narrow. If you are using it away from electricity outlets, then you should go for one that is fuel-powered. There are many great portable air compressors to choose from that will help if you are remote from fuel.

With so many air compressors to choose from, buying the best air compressor is indeed challenging. Not just because of their wide variety of designs, the specific uses they come with, their varied prices, and the different kinds of parts compatible with them, but also because buyers have to deal with a lot of factors on their end. Because of this, deciding on your air compressors requirements ahead of time will help you choose the right one from the get go.