The first thing to think about when choosing an air compressor is the tasks to be performed. Do not start your search with the desire to get “the most powerful” or “such that it fits in the garage“.
How to choose an air compressor?
When choosing a compressor equipment, it is worth paying attention to several basic characteristics:
- Maximum pressure.
For many buyers, the dimensions of the air compressor and its mobility are important. In this case, the piston coaxial models are one of the most compacts. The most convenient for carrying oil-free compressors, on which the receiver is not installed.
Many models (both piston and screw) are equipped with wheels and handles for transportation. The Italian company Abac represents a series of compressors with the PLUS system: The receiver has a hose reel and an extended rubber grip.
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More about technical specifications of air compressor
Compressor equipment provides compressed air with a pneumatic tool. Therefore, when choosing an air compressor station, you need to proceed from the needs of your pneumatic tool. For example, the spray guns can have enough pressure in 4 bars, but a sandblast gun and grinder need at least 6.
Similarly, certain losses appear in performance. Manufacturers in the catalogs indicate the performance at the time of air intake, on suction. Passing through the entire pneumatic system, part of the air is expended for heat and energy, so it is better to choose equipment with a margin for this indicator here. Toolez reviews best air compressor of 2017.
An important factor is the intensity of the compressor
Certainly, for repair work on the house several times a year, you will not need powerful professional equipment. Today, manufacturers offer a variety of types of equipment: from the piston to screw installations.
The presence or absence of the receiver does not greatly affect the operation of the compressor. This is the capacity in which the compressed gas is stored. The amount of time it takes for the compressor equipment to fill it depends on its volume. When the receiver is full, the equipment is turned off and compressed gas is supplied from its storage tank.
Which compressor should I choose, piston or screw?
For a short repair work on the house or in the garage, you can choose a piston oil compressor.
The main advantages of this choice:
- Small size.
- Productivity from 200 to 500 l / min.
- The maximum pressure is 8-10 bar.
- Power 1,5-2,2 kW.
- The volume of the receiver is 24-200 liters.
- Automatic lubrication of adjacent parts.
- The optimum ratio of price and quality.
Perhaps this is the most common type of compressors. Among the oil equipment, you can choose the model that is right for you. Coaxial compressors are able to provide compressed gas virtually any pneumatic tool.
Disadvantages of coaxial:
- The frequency of shutdowns.
- High noise and vibration.
The duration of their work is not great, on average every 5 minutes this equipment needs rest. This, of course, slightly reduces performance.
If the equipment requires a long work and a high degree of “survivability”, a good solution for small auto and furniture manufacturers will be piston compressors with belt drive. In size, they exceed coaxial ones, but thanks to their device they serve longer and less susceptible to breakdown.
Advantages of belt:
- Increased working life.
- The capacity of 250-2000 l / min (for two-stage compressors).
- Maximum pressure 10-15 bar.
- Power 1,5-3 kW.
- The volume of the receiver is 24-500 liters.
- Improved cooling system.
- Enlarged oil sump.
- Motor protection against overheating.
The faults of belt compressors, as well as those of coaxial ones. Include a rather high noise level and the presence of oil particles in the compressed air.
An admixture of oil in the air is mandatory for the use of most pneumatic tools (pneumatic wipers, perforators). As it provides automatic lubrication of parts. But the presence of oil in the air fed into the airbrush can only worsen the result of work. Therefore, we advise you to use oil-free compressors for painting jobs, as well as in the food, chemical, paper industry.
Advantages of oil-free:
- Clean air without impurities.
- Small size and weight.
- Forced air cooling.
- Easy start-up even at low temperatures.
- Productivity 180-230 l / min.
- Maximum pressure 8 bar.
- The volume of the receiver is 24-50 liters.
The oil in these compressors goes through a separate channel and does not come into contact with the gas to be compressed.
Disadvantages of such equipment:
- Small work resource.
- A smaller range of applications (not all pneumatic tools can work without additional lubrication).
- If the uninterrupted operation is required, we advise you to take a closer look at the screw compressor equipment. Many manufacturers produce fully equipped plants. They consist of the compressor itself and additional elements (dehumidifiers, filters, frequency regulators).
Pros of screw compressors:
- High productivity (different models produce from 500 to 12 000 liters of compressed air per minute).
- The maximum pressure is the 6-15 bar.
- Power 2,2-90 kW.
- Low energy consumption.
- Reduced noise and vibration.
- The possibility of uninterrupted operation for several shifts.
- More about types of compressor equipment.
Additional and consumables
At purchase, it is not necessary to forget and about account materials for the air compressor and pneumatic equipment: hoses, fastenings, adapters, oil will be necessary for high-grade and qualitative work.
The bayonet connection is gradually becoming a thing of the past. It’s much faster to use quick-disconnect connections: thanks to the Quick Connect system. You can connect a pneumatic tool via a hose with a single click to the air compressor.
Such “trifles” as clamps and adapters are necessary for the operation of any equipment, regardless of the manufacturer.
To work with a compressor and a pneumatic tool
Protective clothing is required. To protect your hearing, always wear protective headphones. Work with pneumatic spray guns should be carried out in protective gloves and in order not to spoil the clothes with paint. We advise you to purchase a special overall. Always protect your eyes, for example, with plastic eyeglasses. If you work with a puncher or grinder, take care of comfortable, non-slip shoes and dense cotton mittens.
Purchase, operation and warranty service
All precautions are specified by the manufacturers in the operating instructions. For the correct and safe operation of compressor equipment.
After you have decided on the choice of the air compressor, issue and receive your order. Be sure to check the completeness of the package. Do this with the courier, as well as inspect the air compressor for damage.
When you first start the air compressor, pay attention to the oil level in the crankcase and the sound of the working equipment (it should be flat).
When working with reciprocating air compressors, always pay attention to the condition of the valves and immediately replace the worn parts. For all types of oil compressors, timely lubrication of the contacting parts is important. So, check the oil level and quality every time before starting work. If you violate the rules of use, you may not get warranty repair.