An air compressor is a very versatile device that is used for different tasks. Whether you are a mechanic, working on an automotive task, or just a DIYer, the need for an air compressor is indispensable. Among the various uses of an air compressor, an impact wrench is the most important one that requires a certain level of air pressure to start the work operation. Without an impact wrench, you can’t open a nut of your car and don’t think of completing your factory or domestic tasks faster.
If you already have an impact wrench and searching for the best air compressor on the internet, then your search stops here since we are going to discuss all features and points that you need to consider.
Things to Know About Air Compressors
There are many people who have no idea about the different types and sizes of air compressors available in the market. The selection of an air compressor demands your attention as the performance of the impact wrench depends on it. If the impact wrench won’t get the right level of air pressure, you won’t be able to complete your task smoothly.
There are different factors and terms that you need to understand about an air compressor if you want to enjoy its perks for decades. For example, you must know how much air pressure your impact wrench needed. What are PSI and the meaning of CFM?
Basically, PSI and CFM are the units of air pressure. PSI stands for Pressure Per Square Inch and CFM is the abbreviation of Cubic Feet Per Meter. CFM is the mass of air flowing per meter while PSI is the unit that denotes the air pressure. The purpose of mentioning these units of air pressure is to make you understand that a bigger sized air compressor can deliver more air pressure while a smaller sized air compressor is designed for smaller devices.
Benefits of Using the Right-Sized Tool
Now, the question is, does every size of air compressor works for an impact wrench? The answer is in negation. You must use the right-sized air compressor that delivers the exact amount of air pressure your impact wrench required. Here are some benefits you get when you select the size of the air compressor precisely.
Quick and Efficient Work
If you are using an air compressor that perfectly meets the requirements of the impact wrench, then you can accomplish the task smoothly and quickly. No need to repeat the process over again to complete it properly. Moreover, you won’t find any issue in the performance of the air compressor. As the impact wrench is getting the right level of air pressure, it’s mechanism won’t disturb and internal parts will work accurately that will also prolong the life span of the device.
A too small or too large air compressor triggers many issues. It takes time to get connected and never performs its feature accurately. You have to wait to waste time in the adjustment of both devices and that makes you feel tired. However, you don’t face this issue if opts for the best size of an air compressor.
Low Heat Production
Poor assembly or a combination of devices results in the waste of energy and electricity. Instead of utilizing the electricity in the desired function of the device, it produces extra heat and disturbs the surrounding environment. The lack of nature-friendliness is harmful to both humans and the atmosphere.
Safe Work Operation
The performance of appliances disturbs when you attach the wrong device with it. For instance, if your impact wrench needs 5CFM air pressure and the attached air compressor delivers 3CFM, then the lack of air pressure can trigger several issues, i.e. damage the impact wrench or fire. To ensure your safety level, choose the air compressor wisely.
Different sizes of Air Compressors for Impact Wrenches
What is the right size of the air compressor for impact wrench? The answer to this question depends on the impact wrench you are using. As impact wrenches come in different sizes, the appropriate air compressors are also different for them. You can’t use the same air compressor with all types of impact wrenches. We have jotted down a list of the most common sizes of impact wrenches to let you know the exact level of air pressure they required.
1- Inch Impact Wrench
These are the largest size of impact wrenches which can’t be used at homes. They are widely being used at the industrial level and require high air pressure. It works at 9 to 10CFM range and due to the bigger size, it’s also expensive. In industries, the use of impact wrench is very frequent which means even if you spend extra bucks on an impact wrench and the air compressor, you are investing money in a good cause and you will enjoy its benefits for many years.
½-Inch Impact Wrench
A ½-inch air impact wrench is a widely being used impact wrench. Due to the medium size, it can be used for both small and bog projects. It’s suitable for domestic and industrial usage and works very smoothly. The storage space is also not an issue as you can keep it easily in stores and cars’ trunks. If talking about the required air pressure of the impact wrench, it needs a 4 CFM air compressor.
⅜-Inch Impact Wrench
This size of impact wrench is used for small to medium size projects which require an intermediate level of air pressure. They are used for small industries and domestic tasks. The use of these impact wrenches is quite easy and even you don’t require any special training for them. The recommended size of the air compressor required for this impact wrench is between 3-3.5 CFM.
Related: Best Inch Pound Torque Wrench 2020
¼-Inch Impact Wrench
For weekend warriors and DIYers, a ¼-inch impact wrench is the best option. It’s used for small tasks such as removing nuts and bolts of small cars, cycles, and toys. The required air pressure of these impact wrenches is also low. For instance, you need an air compressor of 1 to 1.5 CFM for these impact wrenches.
Things You Need to Consider Before Buying an Air Compressor for Impact Wrench
There are different factors you need to consider before buying an air compressor for your impact wrench other than knowing the air pressure they required. These small factors impact the performance of the impact wrenches as well as the air compressors.
You must know the reason for buying the air compressor, i.e. whether you are buying it for your automotive workshop or need it for just for DIY projects. Once you specify the projects or tasks for that you want to buy the impact wrench, the decision of buying the air compressor gets easier. Similarly, you must know that whether or not you have the right energy supply for the type of air compressor you are buying. For example, bigger air compressors require a high voltage level and they can’t work with standard household sockets.
If you are buying an air compressor for your shop or industrial work, then it requires space for storage. If you don’t have enough space for the air compressor, you can face issues later. Small air compressors can easily be stored in smaller spaces, but larger air compressors with bigger tanks need more space.
Some tools don’t need immense air pressure, but they need a continuous supply of air to work efficiently. They also need some additional tools such as brad nailers. Don’t overlook it if you want to enjoy all perks of the impact wrench.
The durability of the Air Compressor
Durability is a key factor that you shouldn’t ignore. If you want to buy an air compressor for long-term use, then don’t hesitate to invest money in it. Choose a good brand so it lasts for years. Low-quality devices seem easy to buy, but they bring many annoying issues with them and affect the work quality due to their poor performance.
Poor or average quality air compressors never have high risks of getting damaged and they need extensive repair after every couple of days.
Not every air compressor requires the same level of maintenance. Some work well when you maintain them properly while others need a minimum to zero maintenance level. If you can’t clean and maintain an air compressor regularly, then don’t opt for it as the internal parts of the air compressor can damage due to the dust or improper cleaning.
Oil-driven air compressors need high maintenance while oil-less don’t demand high attention. If you don’t clean or replace the oil of an oil-driven air compressor regularly, oil can get inside the air compressor and block the internal parts of the air compressor. Similarly, oil-driven air compressors aren’t designed for cold places oil freezing and thickness issues. On the other hand, oil-less air compressors work well in dry and cool places.
Mobility and Portability
As mentioned earlier, you should define the purpose of the air compressor for that you are buying it. Moving a large air compressor from one place to another is a big problem as it is designed for workshops and automotive work. Professional handyman keeps it at a certain place and never move it from one place to another.
Compact air compressors are ideal for small tasks and known for their portability. You can easily take it from one place to another. They can accommodate it into a car’s trunk easily and it never occupies excess space in the home too.
The number of gallons of an air compressor denotes the capacity of the air compressor. For small tasks and those that don’t need a continuous supply of air, low-capacity air compressors work well while the large projects can be accomplished with high capacity air compressors only. 4 to 5 gallons are enough for small domestic projects while 15 gallons or more will work for bigger projects.
Branded air compressors are a bit costly. However, their performance and quality justify the high price. Invest money in an air compressor if you need it on a regular basis. It’s like investing money in a quality product. They won’t come with annoying issues and you won’t have to deal with minor issues on a daily basis. ill If you are buying it for rare usage or one-time use, then don’t mind to buy low-cost air compressors.
Some Important Technical Factors You Shouldn’t Overlook
Among the technical factors of the air compressor, you should keep some important points in mind.
Check the specification of the air compressor to evaluate whether or not they synchronize with an impact wrench. Every company adds different features in their products so check the latest and the innovative features of the air compressor. Check the weight and dimensions of the air compressor and do consider the working mechanism of it.
The tank size of the air compressor plays a vital role in the performance of an air compressor. If you are using multiple tools and impact wrenches with the air compressor, then opt for the bigger tank size that includes more gallons. Small air compressors with one or two gallons would be enough for one impact wrench.
The tank style of the air compressor impacts the usability of the air compressor. The compact and ergonomic style is easy to carry and can be moved from one place to another single-handedly. You need external assistance for it. Bulky style air compressors will consume more energy and won’t be easy to move. So, choose the style of an air compressor wisely to not repent later.
Ask the company about the warranty for the air compressor. It might not be a purely technical point, but very important to protect your hard-earned money from getting wasted. All brands offer one to the two-year warranty for oil-driven air compressors and one year for oil-less air compressors.
Types of Air Compressors on the Basis of Work Functionality
Oil-driven and oil-less are the two common types of air compressors. This is very useful when you want to estimate the energy or fuel consumption of the air compressor. However, when you want to know the right size of an air compressor fro an impact wrench, then also understand their types on the basis of work performance.
Direct Portable Air Compressor
It’s not an expensive type of an air compressor that capacity ranges between 20-50 liters tank with a maximum of 10 CFM. This type of air compressor is very useful for smaller jobs including inflating small cars’ tires, brushing, and filling the air in balloons.
Super Silent Air Compressors
As the name suggests, this type of air compressor works silently. They are environment-friendly and designed for domestic, hospital, and schools type places where noise is not allowed or doesn’t allow due to the nature of the place. Dentists use super silent air compressors for their work as they re silent and excellent for small jobs. The delivered air pressure of a super silent air compressor is 4 CFM.
Belt Drive Portable Air Compressor
They are larger air compressors and have a capacity of 50 to 200 liters in the tank. The maximum delivered air pressure is 8 to 14 CFM. They are bigger and difficult to move. However, the excellent durability of the air compressor never lets the internal parts damage and offers extreme resistance against weather conditions. You can use them in your workshops, automotive, and heavy machinery.
Last update on 2020-08-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
After reading the complete discussion, you must have understood that air compressors are of different types and the performance of an impact wrench depends on the type and size of air compressor you choose. The best size of the air compressor for an impact wrench also depends on several other factors. You need to know the weight, power, usability, and efficiency of the air compressor.
Hopefully, after reading all the important factors of an air compressor required for an impact wrench, you would be able to specify your requirements. Size, capacity, tank power, and portability are factors one must not overlook. Consider the environment of your surroundings and temperature where you need to use it. In the case of DIYers, you can compromise on one or two points, but for professionals ignoring even a minor point can trigger serious problems. They have to use it on a daily basis and even the slightest issue can hinder your work performance.
If I give general features of the best air compressor for an impact wrench, then you need a size of 3-4 CFM as it’s the medium size air compressor and will work with different types of impact wrenches. However, if you never compromise over quality and want a second to the none air compressor, then the recommended size is 5-8 CFM with a capacity of 20-30 gallons.
At the end of the blog, we would like to ask your recommendations and request you to share your experience with us. It would be very helpful for our readers and people who are planning to buy an air compressor for their impact wrench and confused about the best size of the air compressor.