Choosing the Best Air Compressor for Home Use
If you’re serious about DIY — whether it’s carpentry, car repair or another pneumatic tool-driven hobby — you’ve likely considered buying your own air compressor at some point. An air compressor can be a big investment. Choose wisely and select a manufacturer you can trust to stand behind the products. That’s the best way to ensure your purchase will deliver a lifetime of reliable use. As you search for the best air compressor for your home, consider the following.
Know the Numbers
There are four important numbers to look at when shopping for a home air compressor:
- PSIG: Pounds per square inch gauge (PSIG) is a measure of the amount of air pressure a compressor can produce. Most power tools require at least 90 PSIG to run properly.
- CFM: Cubic feet per minute (CFM) refers to a compressor’s capacity. A higher capacity means a machine can deliver a greater volume of air at a given PSIG. If you plan on running multiple tools at once, the best air compressor will be the one with the highest CFM.
- Horsepower: We rate compressor motors by horsepower, just like car engines. With a compressor, however, higher HP doesn’t automatically mean higher pressure or greater capacity. Be sure to check PSIG and CFM ratings.
- Tank size: Most compressors have a tank to store compressed air, typically measured in gallons. While a larger tank means it can hold more air, it also takes up more space. Consider your needs and choose a size accordingly.
For more information about these and other metrics for evaluating an air compressor, visit the Quincy Compressor Resources page.
Numbers alone don’t tell the whole story when it comes to buying a compressor. Here are some other questions you should ask yourself while shopping around:
- Single or two stage? A compressor’s “stages” refers to the number of cylinders in its pump. Single-stage compressors are simpler but better suited for intermittent, light- or medium-duty use. If you plan on using your machine for high-demand applications, such as auto repair, the best compressor for your home may be a two-stage unit.
- Portable or stationary? Portable compressors can move from spot to spot. If you use your compressor for multiple purposes, portable may be best. If you require a heavier-duty machine and work primarily in one area, a stationary compressor is likely to offer better overall value.
- Electric or gas? Gas compressors are generally more powerful. They do, however, require fuel and a ventilated area. Electric compressors cost less to run, but they may not deliver the power necessary for heavy-duty use.
Once you’ve determined the best type of compressor for your home, the challenge is then to choose a machine that will deliver on its promises and provide reliable performance for years to come. At Quincy Compressors, we stand behind all our products — both consumer and professional — with some of the best warranty coverage in the business. Visit individual product pages or contact a sales representative directly to learn more.