Find yourself the best air compressor

The best air compressor for you will depend on how you want to use it. It sounds obvious really but it can still feel like a big choice. That’s why we suggest you start with what you know. What jobs do you want to make quicker and easier with your air compressor?

Our Compressor FAQs explains the technical jargon and, if you’re the kind of person who likes to get a proper understanding of what’s what, you will find it is packed with helpful information. Our Air for You pages talk about a few of the common ways people use compressed air for their hobby or around the home but our LiveChat team is here to help too.

Read this if you want a “quick start guide” to help you understand the different types of compressor.

  1. You need a compressor that you can run from a standard 13 amp plug.
  2. Your compressor should have a reasonable size receiver. The size you need will depend on the tools and equipment that you plan to use. You could take a look at our popular uses (DIYspray painting, mechanic/car restoration, boat restoration or furniture upcycling) for suggestions. If you need help, just ask our LiveChat experts.
  3. You need to choose a compressor that can deliver enough CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) to suit your air tools.
  4. The power of the compressor affects how much air the unit is able to produce. Most people find that a 2 or 2.5 HP compressor is enough for home and DIY use. This size of engine will give you plenty of compressed air for a good selection of tools.
  5. The receiver is a tank to store the air produced by your compressor. It acts as a buffer and makes it available to the equipment you are using. You can run a compressor with a receiver intermittently and it will still work efficiently to drive your air tools. Usually, you will choose small receiver if you only need a small amount of air in one go. If you run more powerful tools or use a spray gun, you need a 24 litre or 50 litre receiver. When you start looking at compressors with bigger receivers, keep an eye on the size and choose a system that fits your space. Just ask our LiveChat if you need help choosing the best compressor for you.
  6. Do you need a portable or a stationary compressor? If you need to move your system around regularly, choose a portable, lighter weight, compressor. Our portable compressors are ideal for DIY because they tend to be small and have handles, and many of them also have wheels. This gives you a compressor that you can move around readily and, as a result you will be able to make full use your system for many different jobs. However, some of our DIY customers choose a stationary compressor for their workshops because they bought it for specific tasks. They then buy long hoses if they need to reach something further away.

If you are planning to use your air compressor with a spray gun, read our Tips on Choosing a Spray Painting System. Remember, a compressor that works for spray painting, works for all other air tools. You use it for tyre inflators, chipping hammers, air blow gun, impact wrenches, ratchet wrenches, etc.