Video: Compressors Buying Guide

An air compressor can supply a single source of power for a wide variety of tools. Air tools use a quick-connect hose fitting that allows many tools to use one air line.
 

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Compressors Buying Guide

See All Compressors: http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/6/Tools/1/CompressorsAirTools/Compressors.jsp

An air compressor can supply a single source of power for a wide variety of tools.

Air tools use a quick-connect hose fitting that allows many tools to use one air line. You can upgrade your compressor without having to buy new air tools.

An air compressor consists of three major parts: the motor, the pump and the tank.

Most portable compressors are single stage. The intake air is compressed once then stored in the tank. Usually at around 90  PSI.

Larger compressors can be two stage. The intake air is compressed twice, by two different sized pistons and then stored in the tank. Two stage compressors produce a larger volume of air at higher pressures, usually around 135 PSI.

It's important to match the compressor to the type of work you want to do and how often you intend to use the compressor.

Single stage compressors are a good choice when a portable compressor  is required for occasional use. However, dual stage compressors are more powerful and robust. A good choice for heavy duty automotive and carpentry work.

The main measurement to use in comparing compressors is SCFM or Standard cubic feet per minute. The higher the SCFM number, the greater the airflow and the more powerful the compressor.

Air tools also have an SCFM rating. This tells you how much air they consume while operating. Multiply the tool's SCFM rating by 1.5 to find out how much air your compressor must deliver to operate efficiently.

For example this impact wrench requires 3 SCFM to operate, so choose a compressor that can deliver 4.5 SCFM or higher.

The tank on a compressor holds the compressed air ready for work. A larger tank will store more air, letting you run tools longer.

If your tool uses air at a rate faster than the compressor can replenish, it may be necessary to pause for a short period of time to allow your compressor to catch up.

The best remedy is to have a compressor with a larger motor and more powerful compressor. This will give a higher SCFM rating that will allow the compressor to keep up.

For Light duty use, a portable compressor with a 2 to 4 gallon tank with 0.6 to 3  SCFM is ideal for inflating tires and sports equipment and light construction.

For Medium duty use like construction, auto repair or air sprayers, you'll need a compressor with a 4 to 15 gallon tank and a 3.5 to 5 SCFM rating.

For Heavy duty use in a workshop or a garage,  a 20 to 80 gallon unit will run all continuous flow air tools including sanders and grinders.

Air compressors are versatile, economical and powerful.

You can select from a wide variety of compressors, tools and accessories ...at Canadian Tire.

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