Portable air compressors vary by size and power level, and there are a few different models available from which to choose depending on the tools you will use. Be sure to check the power requirements of your tools to ensure that you purchase a model that has sufficient power to run your strongest tool. Regardless of the compressor you purchase, it is always very important to follow the safety precautions including safety goggles, protective clothing and proper footwear.
Portable rotary screw compressors are one of the more commonly used compressors. They range from 65 to 1,600 cubic feet per minute, with pressure ratings ranging from 100 to 350 PSI. As discussed above, the compressor you need depends on your tools and the required power level. Contractors often use 185 CFM because they are able to power two tools simultaneously. One benefit to this compressor is its suitability for both the lighter and heavy duty jobs.
The truck mounted compressor is an oil less air compressor and can be mounted in the bed or under the hood of a truck. These compressors are excellent space savers, a great advantage for those with limited space available. Their power source is from the engine of the truck which allows them to be a low-maintenance compressor. However, one disadvantage is that the truck must be running to provide the compressor the power it needs.
Finally, the deck mounted compressor is mounted in the bed of the truck but can be removed and left at the job site. This compressor does not rely on the truck for power since it has its own engine. However, it does require fuel to power the engine, unlike the truck mounted compressor which runs from the truck. The engine also requires regular maintenance.
As you see, the power source of compressors varies with some powered electronically and others requiring fuel. With either type, though, the air is stored in the holding tank and the tools are to be attached with a hose. A valve regulates the pressure which is measured by a gauge.
Quincy and Husky are two of the major brands of compressors. Quincy’s rotary screw compressors are very durable, reliable and quiet with its power level varying from 10 to 350 horsepower. Quincy’s available air compressors range in size from the smaller tank models to the larger, stationary styles.
Husky’s line of small air compressors are generally made for home and personal use. The 1.75 gallon tank compressor has 135 PSI power has an oil free pump for easy maintenance and is easy to transport with its telescope handle. This model of Husky compressors is good for running tools such as nailing guns, for example, and is also useful for insulation purposes. Husky’s four gallon model has 125 PSI power and is a good choice for running small tools, spraying and even inflating tires and other recreational items. The four gallon model is a compressor for homeowners.
Kurt Schefken publishes mostly for http://www.insidewoodworking.com , a website on the topic of portable air tanks , car air compressors and other areas. His writings on portable air compressors can be found on http://www.insidewoodworking.com/compressors/portable_air_compressors.html .