7 Tips for Finding the Best Industrial Air Compressor for Machine Shops

Finding the best, most efficient and reliable air compressor for a machine shop is no easy task. On the one hand, you’re looking for an air compressor that meets the demand of all the needs you have on a day-to-day basis, but you also need to make sure the compressor meets your business’s long-term goals, both financially and mechanically.

The task of tracking down a great air compressor is much easier when you have an expert on your side that has the knowledge to point you in the right direction. C&B equipment specializes in selling, maintaining, and repairing high-quality Gardner Denver industrial air compressors available. After you finish reading our tips below, feel free to contact us with any additional questions you may have!

Finding the Best Industrial Air Compressors for Your Shop

Rotary air compressor by Gardner Denver

When shopping for a new industrial air compressor, it’s important to know what you need to look for when beginning the conversation with a salesperson. These tips will help you understand what to look for in an air compressor and how to locate the perfect one for your specific applications, tools, budget and long-term goals.

1. Take Inventory of All the Tools You’ll Need to Use With the Compressor

Determine the maximum number of tools you’ll be using with the air compressor simultaneously. This number is critical for calculating the overall compressor output you need to operate your shop. Choosing an air compressor with an overly high output could be more expensive to purchase upfront and end up paying for itself long run. Selecting an air compressor with too low of an output could result in needless repairs from overwork.

2. Consider the Specific Needs of Your Shop.

Every machine shop has its nuances and specific customer base. Your product probably doesn’t look the same as the machine shop across town or across the country. When shopping for a new air compressor, make a note of your specific compressor uses, big and small. Additionally, be open to new types and brands of air compressors if you’re replacing an old one.

Technologies change, and there may be a newer, more efficient option for your shop.

3. Stationary or Portable?

Are you looking for a stationary compressor as part of an in-shop production environment, or are you in need of a more versatile, portable compressor that can move around the shop or between multiple shops and locations? The two types of compressors can vary significantly in terms of output and cost.

4. How Do You Intend to Power the Air Compressor?

Generally, there are two ways to power an air compressor, electricity or diesel. Electric air compressors tend to be less expensive to operate, but they need continual access to a power source. Diesel air compressors can output more power and don’t need to be connected to an electricity source but tend to cost more to operate.

5. Calculate CFM

Cubic feet per minute (CFM) is essential for calculating the type of air compressor you need for your shop. Once you’ve added up all the tools you’ll have connected simultaneously, determine the CFM needed to operate. As a general rule, add on a buffer of 30 percent to calculate your required CFM. This metric can also be measured as displaced CFM, standard CFM, and actual CFM. An expert can help you determine the accurate calculation for your shop.

6. Measure Your PSI Requirements.

The general PSI output capabilities of the air compressor should meet the requirements of the tools you plan to use with the compressor.

7. Research Your Tank Size Needs.

Larger air compressor tanks have a greater amount of pressurized air available for immediate output. In comparison, smaller tanks are more efficient if you have shorter periods of work, or if you have lower-demand work. As you’d expect, larger tanks tend to come with a higher price tag, but smaller tanks can cost more in the long run if they’re not efficiently supporting your operation.

An Air Compressor Expert Can Help You Make the Right Decision

You don’t have to decide on your own. Purchasing an air compressor is an important investment, and you want to make sure your money is well spent. Our air compressor experts can help you find the perfect air compressor for your application or industry, with your productivity and budget in mind.

Contact our team at C&B Equipment today to learn more about our industrial air compressor products and expert services.

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