what size air compressor do i need for impact wrench

Air Compressor Size For Impact Wrench

An adequate air supply is mandatory for an impact wrench to work efficiently. A suitable air compressor plays a crucial role in this regard. That is why it is necessary to know what size air compressor do I need to impact the wrench? If you are unaware of the right air compressor size, you will end up with an inefficient performance from your impact wrench.

However, picking the right size is challenging since a wide range of air compressors are available with multiple sizes, designs, and powers.

In this write-up, we will look into the answer to the question, how big of an air compressor do I need to air compressor?

Which Air Compressor for Impact Wrench is Suitable?

First, learn your project requirement before choosing an air compressor. If you do, finding the right tool will be manageable for sure. Go through the below questions and ask yourself to get the answer.Air Impact Wrench

Question 01: What is Your Project Type?

Ask yourself for which project you need an impact wrench. Will you work with it occasionally or professionally? Do you need to use it on a construction site or garage?

Undoubtedly, the requirement for setting up a shed backyard and hobby airbrushing will not be the same.

Moreover, for professional use, a more powerful air compressor is required than home projects.

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Question 02: What Air Tools You Will Be Used?

An ocean of air tools is available in the market, and each type requires different air pressure to run.

Such as, a sandblaster needs continuous air pressure to operate, which means a larger tank will be beneficial that can provide more airflow.

On the other hand, small tools like impact wrench or brad nailers don’t require a high amount of airflow. For these smaller tools, a small-sized air compressor is enough.

Question 03: What is the Available Power Source?

The good news is that; most air compressor models are compatible with general home outlets.

But 240V source is necessary for some larger models of air compressors. However, if electricity is unavailable, you can choose a gasoline air compressor model.

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Question: 04: How Much Space is available for the Air Compressor?

As stated earlier, air compressors are different in size.

Obviously, a large air compressor requires lots of space. So, it would be best to install an air compressor in your garage instead of your home. While a smaller size comes with a compact design that allows you to fit them in any place.

So, don’t forget to consider the required space for installing an air compressor; it is a significantly necessary factor before buying.

Question 05: Do You Need to Transport the Air Compressor

If you are using your air compressor on a construction site and frequent moving is mandatory, choose a portable air compressor. You will be unable to move a larger and bulky air compressor from one place to another.

But if moving the air compressor is entirely unnecessary, then fix the tool in a suitable place from where you can use it comfortably.

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What Air Compressor is Best-suited for an Impact Wrench?

Different capacities of air compressors can fulfill different project requirements. You can’t go to a store and buy an air compressor for your impact wrench. There are a few factors that you need to keep in mind. Find the below factors that are crucial when buying an air compressor.


As you are looking for an air compressor for an impact wrench, you might have heard of Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM) and Pound Per Square Inch (PSI).

The functionality of an air compressor depends on these 2 ratings. They vary based on the air impact wrench size.

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The CFM rating is proportional to the air compressor size.

Keep in mind that to get more airflow, choose an air compressor that is available with a high CFM rating.

Look at the below table to know the CFM requirement depending on the impact wrench size.

Impact Wrench Size CFM Rating Comments
1/4″ 1 – 1.5 1/4″ impact wrench doesn’t require much airflow, so a 1-1.5 CFM rating is enough at this point.
3/8″ 3 – 3.5 Below 3 CFM rating is also good for a 3/8″ impact wrench, but the best performance is assured within the 3-3.5 CFM range
1/2″ 3.5 – 5 According to experts, a 4 CFM rating is good, but a 5 CFM rating is best for getting the expected result.
1″ 9 – 10 This CFM rating is suitable for construction sites. These air compressors are quite expensive also. To get the best outcome, investing in an expensive model will surely be beneficial.

Air Pressure

Needless to say, air pressure plays a vital role in the functionality of an air compressor.

Air compressor creates kinetic energy by compressing air and reducing air volume. It is possible with the assistance of air pressure.

It would be best to choose an air compressor with a 90 PSI rating. Although, experts advise buying an air compressor that has more or equivalent to 120 PSI. Hopefully, you understood that air compressors with more power deliver more air pressure.

Tank Size

Another essential factor is the air compressor’s tank size. A larger tank can hold more air. Buy an air compressor with a tank capacity of 50 – 60 gallons.

But, in terms of impact wrench, you don’t require an air compressor with a high PSI rating. For professional use, buy an air compressor with a 20 PSI rating.

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Will a 3-gallon air compressor run an impact wrench?

No, you will be unable to run an impact wrench with a 3-gallon air compressor. This is not the required volume of an air impact wrench. Your impact wrench will not receive enough CFM value to run with a 3-gallon air compressor.

Will a 6-gallon air compressor run an impact wrench?

Experts said a 6-gallon air compressor is the minimum requirement of an impact wrench. But this is not the standard. You must use an air compressor of 20-gallon at least to get the high-end result in professional tasks.

What are the other areas of air compressors’ usage?

Air compressors are used in many sectors, and they are much more efficient in their responsibility. Automotive repairs, manufacturing, agriculture, air conditioning, heating, ventilation, paint sprayers, irrigation system, pumps, and many other areas when air compressors are used widely.

What are the characteristics of a good air compressor?

A good air compressor comes with the below characteristics.

  • Easy to control the torque and speed.
  • Highly durable
  • Low noise level

Final Words

An Air compressor is a tool that generates air and provides the required air to pneumatic tools to operate. Since different pneumatic tools’ air pressure requirements vary, you have to choose the right air compressor according to the project and tools.

The right air compressor will ensure the smooth operation of an impact wrench and other pneumatic tools. An air impact wrench functionality gets determined by the correct air compressor size. So, buy the air compressor wisely.

We tried to make you clear about the answer to the question of what size air compressor I need for the impact wrench. Consider the above-discussed points while buying an air compressor for your impact wrench. Hopefully, you will pick the right air compressor since we discussed enough information regarding it.

In fact, the main goal is the buy the air compressor that helps your impact wrench perform at its best.