Most Common Air Tool Pressure Requirements CFM Chart

air tool pressure requirements

Air Tool Pressure Requirements- Why is it Essential?

Having a good set of tools can help you out in many situations. Even though you may not need to use them regularly, they will come in handy in some unforeseen situations. Other than that, if you are self-proclaimed DIY or like to mess around with the tools in your garage, then it is important to have good tools.

There are electric tools, and there are air tools. To understand if you need the air tools or bot, you should learn about the air tool pressure requirements and their advantages. Also, the air compressor you will use to supply power to your air tools, the right CFM for your air compressor will provide the best output to your air tools and not halt your work.

Air Compressor – Which one Is for You?

 To buy the right kind of air compressor, you will have to find out the right type of air compressor which will fulfill your requirements.There are some considerations you’ve to know what you want from your air compressor.

Your Projects

Are you doing big construction-related projects, or is it just occasional maintenance? Is it for your home upgrade, or are you doing automotive repairs? If you are going to put up a shed in the backyard, then you will need a powerful air compressor than the hobbyists.

The Air Tools You will Use

There are a lot of tools which you will find fascinating and will want your attention. You will only buy the air tools that you will use, not every tool. Depending on those tools, the air compressor you choose will differ.  For tools like a sandblaster, you will need a big tank air compressor to give you more airflow. It will keep a constant airflow. For something like a brad nailer, any small compressor is good enough.

Available Power Source

Many of the air compressors can be plugged with a 240-volt power source in your home standard outlet. Some run on gasoline if there is no electrical power supply found. That is not the case for most people as everyone has an electrical supply nowadays.

Available Space

If you buy an air compressor with a big tank, that will need lots of space. If you are someone who does not have that much space, you should buy an air compressor that will fit in that space. You will find a 6-gallon pancake compressor that will fit inside any garage, also a 30-gallon unit which will need bigger space.

Air tool CFM Requirements

When buying the air compressor, airflow will be the most important factor.The amount it can produce is the most necessary information you need. “Standard Cubic Feet per Minute,” also known as SCFM or CFM in short, this number should have the minimum CFM rating the air tool you use needs.

The horsepower is also something you should consider while buying the air compressor. It is less critical than CFM but essential nonetheless. The horsepower will let you know the power of the air compressor’s motor, and CFM will tell you the air compressor outputs to your air tools.

There is a recommended CFM requirement given by the manufacturer of every air tool. Take the highest CFM-rated tool and multiply it by 1.5. if you buy an air compressor that can provide that much CFM, you will be able to use all of your air tools without any worries comfortably. To find out about the required CFM of air tools, check the air tool consumption chart below.

Air Tool CFM chart

The Air compressor cfm chart will help you to know about the average CFM requirement for many of the air tools. Remember that air tools are usually rated about 25% duty, which means out of every 60 seconds, they are active for 15 seconds on a continuous use such as grinders. Take a look below at the air compressor cfm vs. psi chart.

Air toolAvg. CFM at 90 PSIAvg. Operating Psi
Air hammer490-100
Angle grinder5-890-100
Brad nailer0.570-90
Die grinder570-90
Disc sander2090-100
Framing nailer2100-130
Tire inflator2125-150
Speed saw490-100
Paint spray gun4-890-100

Air Tools Advantages

Using air tools have their own advantages. Below you should find some of those advantages.

1.      Air tools have more power than electric tools

2.      The heat output is reduced

3.      Air tools have a longer lifespan than their counterpart, electric tools

4.      No need to worry about electric shocks and pretty much no risk of getting fire accidents

5.      Air tools are weighed to be less so that the operator fatigue is reduced

Now the question arises, what is the power source of the air tools? Air, but where does it come from. Well, it comes from an air compressor. Your air tools, consisting of nail guns, impact wrenched, paint sprayers are all powered by an air compressor. Let’s find out what type of air compressor will be the one for you.


How much is PSI required to operate an impact wrench?

4-5 CFM @90 PSI is required to run a 1/ 2-inch impact wrench. It is also recommended to use a 20-gallon compressor, so there is no delay in continuous use.

What pressure my air compressor should be at?

The air tools that use portable air compressors need 0-5 CFM at 70-90 PSI, and larger air tools that use connected air compressors need 10 CFM on 100-120 PSI.

Does air compressor tank size matter?

The bigger the tank, the larger amount of air it will be able to store. In turn, it will let you use more air till pressure drops and refill the tank, the motor kicks in. This should help you avoid being delayed when working with the air compressor.

Last words

What size air compressor do I need for air tools? This article should help you to understand this question quite well. If you consider the CFM of your air tools and the PSI they require, you will find the perfect air compressor and will be able to enjoy working without any worry.

The right air compressor will help you to keep working without delay as the air compressor will not need to refill as much. I hope this article on air tool pressure requirements has helped you to understand the workings of air tools and air compressors better.

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