“I just want a 5CFM screw compressor.” We get asked for something like that pretty much every week, usually because someone’s had a look at their impact wrench, air gun or air drill and seen that its air consumption is 5CFM.
Yet while this is a good starting point in helping us to find the right compressor for you, there’s more to take into account, not least because every compressor we supply is capable of generating considerably more than 5CFM (our smallest screw compressor delivers 21CFM).
Even if you’re running just the single tool from your compressor, you’ll want a bit more air in reserve. If you’re running more than one tool at a time, you’ll need to add their CFM requirements together.
Then you’ll want to think about the average time tools are used in any single stretch, the power source and the duty cycle — all of them could affect your choice of air compressor.
Knowing how much air your air tools need, though, is a good place to start. So how do you work out what that figure is?
How much air do my air tools need?
Every air tool will have the required air flow (average CFM) and pressure (bar or PSI) on the manufacturer’s website, on the product box and in the instructions. If you don’t have those readily to hand, we’ve put together a guide of the typical consumption for a range of the most widely used pneumatic tools.
It is just a guide (if you’re using it to calculate the capacity of your next air compressor, please get in touch with us before you buy, because there’s more to consider as we noted above), but you can find it here: