There are many different kinds of air compressors on the market, both for home and industrial use, which can make shopping for one somewhat overwhelming. For example, there are oilless air compressors, electric air compressors, rotary screw air compressors, duplex air compressors, and stationary or portable air compressors. When it comes to powering your pneumatic tools, it is important to have the right compressor with most appropriate features, not only for the tools, but for the environment it will be used in as well. Today, I’d like to look at the electric air compressor in particular.
Electric air compressors are ideal for indoor applications as they do not emit exhaust or gas fumes the way gas compressors do. These compressors usually run on standard household voltage between 110 and 120 volts, however, compressors with 2HP motors will need a 220 to 240-volt outlet. Electric compressors can be stationary or portable, but are generally smaller portable models. If you have narrowed your choices down to an electric compressor, there are still several options to consider, such as tank size.
Smaller tanks and/or single stage compressors are less expensive than larger tanks or multi-stage units, and the larger or multi-stage compressors are more efficient and tend to have longer working lives. This is because a smaller or single tank will need to refill more often, thus the motor will have to switch on and off more often, which can significantly shorten the life of the machine. But a smaller, single tank is just the right fit for certain applications where a larger one would be unnecessary. Along with the tank/stage options, the cfm rating is very important. Check to see which rating is best for your applications before deciding on a compressor. All of these options and features can be overwhelming, so be sure to consult a manufacturer and get all of your questions answered before making a hasty purchase.