How to Choose Industrial or Domestic Air Compressors

air compressor DIY-and-tools

Do you want to buy air compressors but do you need more information about these devices? In this guide, we tell you everything you need to know to choose air compressors, what are the best models and where to find the cheapest!

One of the most useful tools in the market is the Air Compressors. In the domestic field, we usually use them to inflate a ball or our bicycle, while in the industry they are used to operate various tools. Surely this guide on how to choose industrial or domestic air compressors will be very useful to know what air compressor to buy and distinguish between different types of air compressors.


There are many types and sizes, so we will start by defining what they are and what they are used for, then review a few features and know how to choose the right air compressor.

What is an air compressor? How they work and what they are for

As always we start with the most basic: what is an air compressor, how it works and what it is for. It is a tool that enables the generation of energy thanks to the understanding of air. This is achieved by exchanging energy between the machine and the fluid. The work exerted by the compressor is transmitted to the substance circulating inside it, thus becoming energy flow, thus increasing its pressure and kinetic energy getting it to flow.

One of the aspects that differentiates them from pumps is that they are thermal machinery in which the working fluid is understandable. In fact, they undergo an appreciable change in density and temperature, which also distinguishes them from blowers and fans, which drive understandable fluids but do not increase their pressure, density or temperature considerably.

In less technical words, we can say that air compressors are devices that use mechanical energy to transform it into pneumatic, compressing the air through an increase in pressure to later transfer it to another tool through a tube or hose.

Once we know how air compressors work, it is easy to guess their applications. They are used especially to inflate various objects such as wheels or balls, in cooling systems, to generate electrical power, in the manufacture of aircraft engines such as turbojectors or to compress gases in the tire feeding systems, among many other uses.

They are really tools with a great versatility that incorporate several additional functions. An example of this is the Makita air compressors, which boasts a high performance, an excellent quality/price ratio and a wide range of models and designs manufactured to perform all kinds of tasks efficiently and accurately.

How to choose air compressors? Classes according to power

To choose an air compressor we have to assess many factors that directly intervene in both its performance and the type of use that will work best. Let’s start by knowing the types of air compresses according to their power:

  • Air compressors up to 2HP – Air compressors up to 2HP have a reduced power, so they are especially suitable for domestic work such as painting, varnishing, cleaning, inflating mattresses, balls, etc … Its price is usually reduced, although we must pay attention to other characteristics when choosing one as to its storage capacity or the air flow that it can offer, in order to know how to choose an air compressor suited to our needs.
  • Air compressors up to 4HP – A 4HP air compressor is the best option if what we are looking for is an intermediate point, that is, a tool that will be useful both for domestic and professional work. They have a higher weight, so it is worth buying 4HP air compressors that incorporate wheels to facilitate their transfer.
  • Compressors of air of more than 4HP – The air compressors with a power superior to the 4HP are produced especially for professional tasks in which it requires of a greater strength, such as cut materials, break rocks, pour concrete, construction works, etc…
2HP air compressors
From $100

Bull air compressors

What air compressor bought me? Small air compressors for domestic use

If you want to buy air compressors for domestic use that are cheap but functional, we advise you to focus on choosing small air compressors, since their characteristics are the most appropriate for this kind of use.

And with small air compressors for the domestic use you can:

  • Paint and varnish
  • Clean
  • Air compressors for the Car: Inflate tires, balloons, mattresses, toys, etc.
  • Punch out
  • Cut materials, among others


This type of compressor is small with limited features, but in return they are very portable, being suitable for applications that need low pressure and with sporadic use

What compressor do you recommend? Industrial Air Compressors for Professional Use 

This type of industrial air compressors perform tasks such as:

  • Paint
  • Clean
  • Crush Rock
  • Pour Cement
  • Drill
  • Brush
  • Staple, among others

This type of industrial air compressors is used as we see in many aspects, from small workshops, through clinics, to the naval industry. They are of requirements with high air pressures and with very large volumes of air.


Before understanding what types or characteristics exist in the market, we review some calculations to have in the account to understand How to Buy an Air Compressor.

How to choose an air compressor? Technical aspects to consider

When talking about Air Compressors we must remember 3 main aspects:

  • What air pressure is needed, expressed as PSI, BAR, etc.
  • How much air can be compressed (Flow or Volume), expressed as CFM, PCM, l / min, om 3 / min?
  • What power I need, this is expressed in CV, HP or KW.

Air Pressure: This is the pressure at which the compressor can work and is measured in pounds * square inches, or pounds/inches 2 which is the same as PSI (Pound Per Square Inch). The measure in Bars ( BAR ) is also used.

1 BAR = 14.5 PSI

Flow or Volume: This is the compressor’s ability to press the air over a unit of time and is measured in CFM (Cubic Feet Minute) which is the same as PCM (Cubic Feet per Minute) or l / min (liters per minute).

Power: In this case, it is the working capacity of the compressor and it is measured in HP (Horse Power, horsepower) or in HP (Vapor Horses). The KW (Kilowatts) are also used

1 HP = 0.74 KW

1 HP = 1.0138 HP

1 CV = 0.73 KW

In the end, all this helps us understand that when choosing an air compressor, I must take into account that CFMs depend on the PSI of the compressor. On the other hand, the greater the power or horsepower of the compressor, the more air the equipment (CFM) can supply. There is usually a standard, that is, most tools work at 90 PSI, some at 100 PSI and others at 120 PSI.

To choose an air compressor and know which air compressor is best to read or have a very simple data, add them and ready, compare with a table to know what type of equipment is needed.

As for the laws on compressed air, there are some Consumption Correction Coefficients that we will not have in the account here. These can be the:

  • Coefficient of Use
  • Simultaneity Coefficient
  • Coefficient of Mayration
  • A coefficient of Cycle of Operation.

This is used for when the compressor has an industrial use and there are many tools of different powers connected, besides that not all will be connected to the time. To avoid this and to make it simple, when choosing a compressor we simply increase consumption by 30% more, to the general calculation that is made.

An example of this can be:

I need to buy a compressor to power these tools:

  • Sander 350 l / min @ 90 PSI
  • Blowgun 150 l / min @ 90 PSI
  • Drill 350 l / min @ 90 PSI

All this adds up: 350 + 150 + 150 = 650 l / min @ 90 PSI + 30% = 845 l / min @ 90 PSI

Now, if we look at the table:


Then we need a 7.5 HP Compressor. A team like this meets all the features:

Compressor 7.5 HP with 830 l / min and 500 lt tank


  • Power of 7.5 HP
  • Tank with a capacity of 500 liters
  • Large diameter fan
  • Cast iron cylinder
  • Flow rate of 830 l / min
  • Pressure to 10 Bars
  • Weight 255 Kg
  • Lubricated with Oil

When we require a Compressor we can think of the following characteristics, since, depending on this, we know if we need something larger or smaller.



In this video tutorial, you will see each of the types of domestic compressors.


What types of air compressors are there?

All  types of air compressors that exist are divided according to these factors:

  • Portability
  • Power
  • Tank size
  • Alternative Compressor
  • Rotary Compressor

Let’s start to break down these features to know which air compressor is best for you.

Portable and small air compressors

This is an option depending on the type of use that is given to the compressor. As a rule, if we are talking about a not very frequent use and for domestic purposes, there are several portable air compressor options on the market.

An example of this can be:

Portable Compressor of 1.5 HP and 6 Liters


  • Airflow rate of 179 l / min
  • Maximum pressure of 8 bar
  • Tank with a capacity of 6 liters
  • 1.5 HP motor power
  • Weight 11.5 Kg

Another small compressor, but with more power and very useful can be the:

Small Air Compressor of 2 HP and 24 Liters


  • Aspirated air flow of 200 l / min
  • Maximum pressure of 8 bar
  • Deposit with capacity of 24 liters
  • One cylinder and one stage
  • Engine with 2 HP power
  • Weight of 22.5 Kg
  • 5-year warranty

Compressed air compressors according to their power

In this regard, both domestic and industrial compressors can be mentioned. There are all kinds and brands. As mentioned above, the more power a compressor that is measured in HP, CV or KW has, the more air it can offer, its CFM measurement will be higher, and obviously, it will offer more benefits.

This is a very portable compressor and at the same time with a small power but very useful for domestic service.

195 l / min and 2 HP Air Compressor


  • 25-liter tank
  • Power of 2 HP
  • Handle and wheels for transport
  • Direct Transmission
  • Flow rate of 195 l / min
  • 5 years warranty

Another much more powerful compressor for a small business or workshop can be the:

Air Compressor of 3 HP of 50 Liters


  • Flow rate of 365 l / min
  • Maximum pressure of 10 bar
  • Bicilíndrico of 1 stage
  • Engine with 3 HP power
  • Weight of 57.5 Kg

And finally one of great power for industrial purposes of great demands is the:

AK-Mid 710-300 Screw Compressor


  • Star/triangle switch
  • Refrigerant effect
  • Low level of sound
  • 5-year warranty

Air compressors according to your tank

Some compressors do not need a tank because they are for smaller applications and do not require it, as other compressors do. The idea of the tank is to maintain a load. That is, when a compressor drives a tank, it works until it is filled. Then, it goes into standby mode and the tools that use this air will work correctly. Once that compressed air is exhausted, the pressure goes down, it will start working again.

The idea of the tank is to make these shots not be made so often.

This, for example, is a compressor with a large tank:

Professional Zipper Air Compressor  



  • Weight of 94 Kg
  • 230 V power
  • Pressure of 8 bars
  • Pressure regulator
  • Tank of 150 liters
  • Volume of air aspirated of 356 l / min

This compressor is a very small tank and very portable.

Air Compressor of 1 HP and 6 liters

How to select an Air Compressor

  • Power of 1 HP
  • Pressure of 8 bars
  • Tank with capacity for 6 liters
  • Flow rate of 110 liters per minute
  • Does not need maintenance
  • Weight of 17 kilos
  • Silent and compact

Silent industrial air compressors, alternative type

This is the type of compressor most commonly used, both for domestic and industrial purposes. It is a more economical and easy to maintain compressor, the issue is that it has become larger and louder and sometimes limited in its capacity compared with other technologies such as the screw type compressor.

There are two classes of this compressor:

  • Piston
  • Membrane

The one we know the most is the piston since it can come single-cylinder or bi-cylinder, this is according to its power.

Example of this compressor can be:

3 HP Twin Cylinder Compressor excel 


  • 100 liters
  • Power of 2 kW 3 HP single-phase motor voltage 230 V / 50 Hz, 2850 g / m.
  • Maximum pressure of 8 bar 116 psi
  • Lubricated 2 oil cylinders with drive belt, forced ventilation
  • Pressure gauge for reading tank pressure 

Silent rotary type air compressors

This type of compressor is more specialized and obviously more expensive. But it has some important improvements like the noise they make, the cooling, etc. It is a more professional compressor and suitable for enclosed spaces. Obviously, its cost is higher.

There are two types of compressors:

  • Screw
  • Palettes

Where to buy cheap air compressors?

We all want to buy cheap air compressors that are of quality, but where can they be found? Very easy: on Amazon. And in this online platform, you will find cheap air compressors manufactured by various brands, from the best known in the market to Chinese firms with good performance. The reason why they offer air compressors at a lower price than usual is that they are sales that are carried out directly by the manufacturers, ignoring the distributors, which allows them to lower the price.

The cheapest air compressor on the market

Now that you know where to buy cheap air compressors, we’re sure you’ll want to know which is the most economical model in the market. Here it is!

Suaoki – Mini Portable Air Compressor – One of Amazon’s cheapest air compressors formats


For an extraordinarily reduced price, you can buy this incredible air compressor. Lightweight and portable, it is equipped with a 9.84ft cable power plug and with LED light so you can use it during the night. It also includes 3 adapter nozzles, a needle, a plastic valve adapter, and bike adapter and an oxford bag to keep the product safe during transport

What air compressor is good? The best Amazon models

At Amazon, a wide variety of air compressors are sold at an economical price. Most have been manufactured by prestigious brands in their sector, a quality that makes this online store is one of the best places to buy air compressors.

Campbell Hausfeld  Quiet Air Compressor– One of the best air compressors from Amazon


In the event that you are looking for a car air compressor with which you can perform simple maintenance tasks such as tire inflation, cleaning or lacquering, this Amazon air compressor is ideal for you. With an output power of up to 140 liters per minute .is 50 percent quieter and a power of  2 horsepower output, is a robust and portable air compressor that incorporates transport wheels. In addition, it has a 1.3-gallon tank and a great quality/price ratio.

Ring RAC635 – The best small air compressor for tires from Amazon


In the comments of Amazon users who have purchased this device, words such as “perfect” or “ideal” can be read. And is that this small air compressor for tires from Amazon is among the best-selling and best rated of the platform. It is a digital compressor with which you can inflate the tires of your car in less than 3 minutes. Easy to handle, it is sold in a padded box to store it anywhere and stay protected. And it is that this model has won the Prize for the best purchase of Auto Express for mini compressors, the leading magazine in the sector, highlighting its “brilliant big digital screen”.

Airum – Miny Inflado- The best air compressor to paint from Amazon



Do you want to buy an air compressor with which you can paint? Or maybe you need it to clean the inside of computers? If you have answered affirmatively to any of these two questions, this model can be a great alternative for you. Considered as the best air compressor to paint Amazon, you can also blow, clean, inflate and even staple with it. It is a portable and lightweight model that operates with a 1.5 hp motor, 1 cylinder head oil-free coaxial training and incorporates a 1 soufflette short nozzle, all for a very affordable price.

Makita MAC2400 – One of the best air compressors for pneumatic tools



Whether you are a sloppy worker or a professional in the sector that requires an air compressor with which to connect pneumatic tools for sporadic use, this compressor is highly recommended. With a 24 tank and a powerful 2.5 HP motor with thermal protection, it is equipped with pressure regulator, wheels and handle for easy transport.

Black and Decker ASI300-QS – A versatile, high-quality air compressor



Manufactured by one of the most recognized brands in the machinery sector, this small air compressor is ideal for inflating car tires, sports balls, mats, toys or bicycle tires. It is plugged into the wall or into the car and has an Illuminated air pressure selector that inflates items to the desired level and automatically shuts off.

Why do the prices of air compressors vary so much?

The prices of air compressors vary a lot due to different factors, such as the manufacturer brand, the power it has, the autonomy as well as the use for which it is intended, since obviously an air compressor for domestic use will be cheaper, being simpler and simpler, than one designed for the industrial field.


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