Selecting the best air compressor for a small woodworking shop requires careful consideration of various factors, including the tools you plan to use, the required air pressure (PSI), and the air consumption (CFM). By understanding these aspects, you can make an informed decision when purchasing the ideal air compressor for your woodworking workshop.
Most woodworking tools run at a maximum of 90 PSI, but it’s advisable to have a compressor that produces a higher PSI, as the air pressure will drop during usage. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 35% more than the required 90 PSI for the tool, or about 120 PSI. To determine the CFM needed, consider that an automotive shop typically requires 4-5 CFM per person, while a body shop needs 12-15 CFM per person. Multiply the determined CFM by 1.25 to choose the appropriate compressor.
When evaluating air compressors, consider factors such as noise volume, CFM (FAD/Actually delivered) vs. CFM (Displacement), tank size, and whether the compressor is belt-driven or direct drive. Keep in mind that compressors are inherently noisy, so if noise volume is a concern, opt for a quieter model.
For most air tools used in woodworking, such as nail guns or blow guns, a medium-sized portable air compressor is sufficient. These compressors provide adequate PSI and a higher CFM while remaining easily transportable. However, for pneumatic tools requiring higher pressure and constant airflow, a stationary air compressor may be a better solution. Although less portable and often not recommended for DIYers due to their size and capacity, stationary compressors offer increased power for more demanding tasks.
Some popular air compressor brands to consider include Dewalt, Bostitch, and Wen. Compare their features and specifications to find the one that best suits your needs.
In summary, the best air compressor for a small woodworking shop should provide sufficient PSI and CFM to power your tools, be portable or stationary depending on your requirements, and have a suitable tank size. By considering these factors and comparing different brands, you can find the perfect air compressor for your woodworking workshop.