home Improvement

Guide to Select an Appropriate Portable Air Compressor


Many work tools operate better with air compressor besides they are crucial for powering heavy tools on construction sites. Portable air compressor is handy in conditions where stationary units are not applicable or as backups during emergency.

If you are searching for the best portable air compressor then it is vital to be familiar with the different features. These are available in several sizes and style, so being familiar helps to make the correct decision.

Factors to consider while choosing portable air compressor

Purpose and demand

Determine exactly the purpose of air compressor use. Investing in several kinds of compressor with different capacity is not sensible.

Size and weight

Small units can be carried in a storage bag easily, while large portable air compressors are equipped with wheels for easy moving. Determine the size according to the tasks your need to perform. For example, an air compressor with 2 to 6-gallon capacity is ideal for jobs like nail gun finishing or tire inflation.


On the other hand, heavy duty work or powering a nail gun, you will need large unit because it is powerful but can be moved because of the wheels. Size will increase as the work gets tough.

Power source

  • Electric powered motor operates on household voltage. It does not emit fumes, so is ideal for indoor works.
  • Fuel powered motors emit fumes and applied in more powerful tools, so is perfect for outdoor jobs.

Horsepower and SCFM rating

HP rating defines the strength of the specific model. SCFM rating makes you familiar with how much power tools get through the compressor. Generally, portable air compressors have HP rating between 1.5 to 6.5 hp. SCFM rating of small work is between 0 – 5.


Pneumatic pressure produced by the compressor within the tank is calculated in Pounds per sq. inch {PSI}. Powerful compressors produce 150 psi whereas light work units have 90 psi.

Tank size

Tank size decides the duration compressor will keep running before refueling.

Pump type

In single stage pump type, compressed air is produced at the same output pressure. In two stages, pump type 2 or more cylinders work simultaneously to keep the tank pressure high allowing the unit to run longer.

Safety features

  • Heat overload switch
  • Cooling mechanism
  • ASME certification
  • Roll cage
  • Compatible accessories
  • Lubricant or lubricant free option


Give more preference to quality rather than price because it is a long-term investment. In addition, buying the best air compressor gets you a good warranty plan.