A farm compressor is a useful piece of equipment. They can be used to fill your machinery’s tires, and they can also help you clean and operate equipment such as nail guns, impact wrenches and paint sprayers. These five factors will help you choose the right air compressor for you. A compressor that can store more air (in pounds per square inch, or PSI) will allow you to use your air tools for longer periods before it kicks in. Read more

Cubic feet per Minute (CFM), is the volume of air that a compressor can deliver at certain PSI levels. CFM ratings for smaller compressors are at 90 PSI. This is because it is the pressure required to operate most tools. For tools that use more air volume, such as air wrenches or nail guns, a higher CFM rating is necessary. A compressor tank does not store air. It is important to have enough power and torque to make as much air as possible. For projects that do not require constant use, such as air nailers, smaller tanks of four to six gallons will be suitable.

 A larger tank is best for jobs that require continuous flow such as spray painting, sanding, or impact wrenches. A two-stage industrial compressor can handle larger tools. The first stage builds pressure to 90 PSI, while the second stage increases pressure to 175 PSI. This is the time that the compressor runs for a period of 10 minutes. A compressor that has a 50 percent duty-cycle rating can run for five minutes in a 10 minute period. Tools that are more frequent will require a higher duty-cycle rating.

All these considerations are taken into account when deciding which air tools to use. Select the tool that has the highest CFM and the highest PSI. As a buffer, add 50 percent to the CFM required. If a one-inch impact wrench needs 5.0 CFM at 90PSI, then the compressor should produce around 7.5 CFM @ 90 PSI. Ask your local Co-op Equip Team member how to choose the best air compressor for your farm.