How To Find The Right Air Compressor For Your Repair Shop

When it comes to auto manufacturing or a mechanic shop, an air compressor is one very essential tool in the industry. When it comes to an air compressor, it is quite difficult to get a compressor that offers a one-size-fits-all solution. Finding the right air compressor often depends on what you need it for, your line of work, and other specifications.

As a mechanic shop owner, you tend to have your work cut out for you when you go about looking for the right compressor. Mechanic shops often rely on the use of compressed air to inflate tires, and paint cars as well as to power impact guns, ratchets and grinder. Without a proper compressor in your shop, you may not be able to offer the efficiency needed for your business growth.

Choosing an air compressor for your shop isn’t one of the easiest tasks out there, but it is one very important choice. When finding the right air compressor for your business, there are few questions you need to think about to make the right choice.

To help you with that, here are a few questions you have to put into consideration to make sure you choose the right air compressor for your needs and budget.

What Size Of A Compressor Do I Need?

You can easily measure the size of an air compressor with the volume of air it can consume in a minute. The volume of the air a compressor can consume is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM).

When using an air compressor, the volume of air needed to carry out a task differs widely. Some tasks may require you to use air volumes as low as 2.5 CFM; others may require air volumes of up to 20 CFM. Generally, you may require more air volume when carrying out heavy-duty tasks like sanding and painting.

How Much Air Pressure Do I Need From An Air Compressor?

Air compressors are produced in a wide array of pressures. You may need to select an air compressor with a pressure range that supports the devices in your workshop. Many mechanical tools that use air compressors require air pressure of up to 90 psi to work properly.

If you have a paint gun in your workshop, you may need to get an air compressor with pressures between 35 to 60 psi. For machines that are used to inflate tires, you will need an air compressor with an air pressure of up to 130 psi. The maximum operating pressures for mechanic workshop air compressors are available in pressures of 115 to 175 psi.

Pressure variations often have a cut-in pressure where it begins to produce air, and a pressure cut out where air production is stopped. The difference between the cut in and cut out pressure is about 20 psi. You can always choose the optimum pressure to support the machine that requires the highest pressure level in your shop.

When choosing an air compressor based on pressure levels, you have to understand that compressors produce less CFM at higher pressures and vice versa. Since CFM mainly drives the tools in your workshop, it is only sensible to choose the right pressure.

If you have a tire inflating tool that needs air pressure of up to 130 psi, you should get an air compressor with a pressure of up to 145 psi. Other tools may need only 90 psi, but you can use a pressure regulator to supply the tool with 90 psi.

Where Can I Keep My Air Compressor?

You can place an air compressor in many places, but there are still some instructions that you should follow. When choosing a place to keep your air compressor, you need to ensure that you find a place with a stable room temperature and ventilation. Inadequate ventilation may cause an increased temperature in the room, forcing the compressor to get damaged.

Additionally, you need to maintain a space of up to 36 inches around the compressor. This will allow the compressor to breathe, also providing you with enough space to access maintenance components. You need to ensure that you have a room with a consistent temperature below 104° F, other specifications will be included in the manual.

Will I Be Able To Use The Compressor For Painting?

Air compressors are valuable to mechanic workshop owners who often do car painting jobs. Like we mentioned earlier, you need to take note of air pressure and air volume when choosing the right air compressor for your workshop. Getting a compressor with a great air discharge quality is very critical to provide a good paint job and avoid reworks.

Compared to solvent-based paints, waterborne paints are very sensitive to moisture, so having water in the airline can spoil your paint job. Based on this, you must ensure that you have the right inline filter and air dryer. This will help get rid of oil, dirt, and moisture present in the air stream to give you a proper paint job.

Should I Choose a Rotary Screw Or A Rotary Vane Compressor?

When finding the right air compressor, you have to put in simplicity and reliability into consideration. Rotary screw compressors come with a full set of parallel rotors with 6 bearings that support them. These rotary screw compressors have speed increasing gears or belts that turn the screws at increased speeds.

When you choose a rotary screw compressor, you will experience a noiseless operation. This is because the rotary screw compressors have a heavily insulated cabinet that reduces noise.

When it comes to a rotary vane, it uses two simple bearings that support a single off-set rotor with turning speeds of 1,800 rpm or less. This turning speed can cause multiple games to enter in and out of the rotor, forming compression pockets.

Rotary vanes are designed to last up to 100,000 hours of service with silent runs at slow speeds. They provide the most amount of CFM while consuming the least amount of energy.

However, when it comes to which compressor is not long-lasting, the rotary vane compressors stand out. Rotary vane compressors are also a great investment for any mechanic workshop owner.

In Brief…

Although finding the right compressor for your mechanic workshop depends mainly on the size of the workshop. It also depends on the types of tools you have and the operations it will serve in your business. However, asking these questions before making a choice will make your search easier.