How to select my portable air compressor ?

In de category How do I select the right machine ?

Buying a compressor that is too small will waste valuable time and money. Buying a compressor that is too large will waste valuable fuel and money.
(If you are not using the air compressor outside you might consider a stationary air compressor, please refer to the section: How to select my stationary air compressor)

There are 2 parameters that determine the size of an air compressor

1) Required operating pressure (Bar or PSI)
2) Maximum required air usage (Capacity in cfm,, m³/min, ltr/sec)

1.) What is the maximum required operating pressure?
This depends very much on what type of work you are doing , for example Air tools require about 6 Bar of operating pressure, typically we choose an air compressor rated at 7 or 7.5 Bar. This has to do with loss of air pressure in your air hose system. Blasting work (sand blasting) requires often the same working pressure. However many of those who are working with blasting systems want more pressure . Sometimes up to 9 of even 10 Bar. Pipeline testing application oftern work with 20 Bar or more. Optical fiberglass blowing systems mostly require 13-15 Bar working pressure.

2.) What is the maximum required air usage?
Add up all of the air tools or work that are to be used at the same time. When looking at the compressor, add approximately 30% to the determined air capacity. This will allow for a reasonable buffer against unknown or uncommon compressor usage.
Do not simply add up all of the air tools that will be used throughout the work day since this will produce an inflated capacity.

Please find below a list of some air tools and there average air usag at 6,5 Bar (90 PSI)
Angle Disc Grinder – 180mm / 7” 180- 280 ltr/min (5-8 cfm)
Chipping hammer 2 kg 350 ltr/min (12 cfm)
Chipping hammer 5 kg 430 ltr/min (15 cfm)
Pickhammer 9 kg 900 ltr/min (32 cfm)
Paving / concrete breaker 15 kg 750 ltr/min (27 cfm)
Paving / concrete breaker 20/25 kg 1300 ltr/min (46 cfm)
Paving / concrete breaker 30 kg 1700 ltr/min (60 cfm)
Paving / concrete breaker 40 kg 1850 ltr/min (65 cfm)
Grease Gun 115 ltr/min (4 cfm)
Impact Wrench - 3/8” 70-100 ltr/min (2.5-3.5 cfm)
Impact Wrench - ½” 115-140 ltr/min (4-5 cfm)
Impact Wrench - 1” 285 ltr/min (10 cfm)
Needle Scalar 220-455 ltr/min (8-16 cfm)
Speed Saw 140 ltr/min (5 cfm)
Sandblasting 7mm nozzle@ 7 Bar 5000 ltr/min (180cfm)
Sandblasting 10mm nozzle@ 7 Bar 7000 ltr/min (250cfm)
For sanblasting nozzle capacities , please 10-15% for nozzle cavitation and wear.

Do I need an air receiver tank with my air compressor?

The size of the compressor tank, usually measured in liter or m³, should be determined by the overall type of usage.
In most cases portable air compressors are modulation controlled and have significant hose lengths and there for receiver are not commonly used.


Your available budget sometimes restrict the choise you have in number of selected air compressors. We are there to help you find the right compressor for every budget
Ones you have determined the required pressure, capacity and budget you can go to advanced search to fill in these criteria and you will find the right compressor for your needs.

Faq overview