Tips for Selecting an Air Compressor for Your Woodworking Shop

Woodworking is the art of converting pieces of wood into decorative items. To achieve this, you need a set of tools that require an air compressor to function well. When choosing an air compressor, one thing you need to think about is whether it will keep up with the air demands of your shop. Some compressors on the market today run out of the air as soon as you start using them.

Since you do not want to slow down your woodwork assignments as you wait for the pressure to build up again, it is essential that you choose an air compressor from Air Compressor Scout that can meet all your demands. Let us have a quick look at some of the things you need to put into consideration.


Generally, air compressors are lighter and more efficient when compared to electric compressors. They come in various models and sizes. Get one that is capable to power all the air tools in your workshop. In most cases, a 2-stage air compressor will be able to meet the needs of any medium business.  The rule of thumb is that you use a 5 HP air compressor for a single air sander and a 7.5 HP compressor for two sanders.

Size of Air Tank

A small air tank results in more refill cycles for the air compressor. This results in a lot of pressure on the pump and motor, resulting in more expenditure in terms of electricity and time. A 60-gallon tank is the least size you need to power a single air sander, although an 80-gallon tank would be more effective.

Power Type

Most air compressors work well with a three-phase power system because three-phase motors are more efficient when it comes to power use. In case you do not have such a system in your shop, you can use an electronic pulse converter or rotary to improvise.  Always check the amperage and voltage requirements of the compressor before purchasing it.

In-Built Intercooler

Each air compressor has at least one cylinder. Air is introduced into the cylinders for compression, and as this occurs, heat is produced. A good compressor normally has a finned intercooler to counter this heat before it causes any damage.

Water Draining Capability

As compression takes place, water is squeezed from the air and collects in the tank. If the water is not drained out of the tank, rusting may occur. With time, the tank may explode and cause serious harm to your workers. It is, therefore, necessary to drain the water out of the tank each day. That is why you need your compressor to have a drain valve. You can connect the valve to another container or the drain using a pipe to ensure your floor remains dry during working hours. Besides the valve, you also need a regulator to be able to set the right pressure for your compressor.

Air Volume

The air output is measured in cubic feet per meter. Each compressor has a unique air volume, which determines the efficiency of the motor and pump. The higher the volume, the lesser you need to restart the compressor and vice versa. A high volume reduces the number of times that the machine has to cycle when compressing the tank. Thus it is more vital to pay attention to the compressor volume than the tank size and horsepower.

Reduced Noise Levels

Some air compressors make a lot of noise when in use. You need to figure out how you will minimize the noise for the sake of your workers and the neighborhood.  Piston type air compressors are cheaper but make the most noise. If you are willing to spend the extra cash, consider getting a screw-type air compressor which has no cylinder. These compressors use a turbine to compress the air, turn at a very high speed and produce very little sound.

Final Word

Although purchasing an air compressor for your workshop is expensive, you need the machine to make your work easier.  All reciprocating air compressors will release a certain amount of oil into the shop environment. This will settle on your walls and may become noticeable with time. You will thus need to clean your walls periodically.