Tools & Workshop

Choosing an Air Compressor

A versatile piece of equipment most people should have in their garage.

Air tools are some of the most useful tools in any home workshop. They provide better power to weight ratios, run cooler and are cheaper to purchase than their electrical counterparts.

240 volt air compressors work by compressing air using an electric motor to a pressure around one hundred and fifteen pounds per square inch. When you use your air tool, the compressed air is released and shoots out of the tank to power the tool. Once the pressure in that tank is lowered, the pump automatically begins re-pressurising the tank.

Some of the jobs they can do include:

  • Drilling
  • Tightening and loosening
  • Inflating tyres
  • Painting

You may also find that by using a compressor and air tools you can save money rather than buy the equivalent electrical option.

Choosing

To find out which tools match which air compressor you'll need to know the LPM requirements of the tool you’ll be using. LPM is the litres per minute of compressed air needed to run the air tool effectively. All Blackridge air tools come with this LPM reading on their packaging to make it easy to match the air tool to the compressor.

For example, the Blackridge 2hp compressor is perfect for basic home use. It can easily run brad nailers and air hammers as well as inflating tyres and other items. Larger air tools, such as impact wrenches, sanders and spray guns, require more air and a larger compressor such as the Blackridge 2.5hp high flow compressor. One step above are the belt driven compressors, designed for extended use, they are perfect for big jobs such as spray painting a car.

Using

Once you’ve chosen the right air compressor, remember these few simple tips for easy use and maintenance.

  • Try to avoid extension leads. If you have to extend your compressors reach, it’s recommended to use a longer air hose.
  • Avoid using the air tool while the pump is operating to ensure the compressor stays within its recommended duty cycle. Wait until the pump has stopped before continuing work

Maintaining

To keep your air compressor in running order, remember to clean condensation from the tank daily and the air filter weekly.