The use of air compressors can be found across a range of applications. From the fits-in-a-glovebox units used to inflate tires, to industrial compressors powering paint sprayers and abrasive blast equipment.

Contractor-grade air compressors are designed for a wide variety of contracting tasks from landscaping to small-scale demolition. They also are used in hospitals to provide filtered air for front-line operations and cleaning.

Atlas copco compressors are some of the most popular pieces of machinery and are used in many industries.

Air Tools

Air compressors supply power to a wide range of pneumatic tools. From air nailers to power drills, almost any electric power tool has a compressed air-driven counterpart that is lighter in weight and less prone to sparking or overheating.

Pneumatic tools operate off stored pressurized air, and the size of an air compressor tank determines how long you can run a particular tool before the pressure has dropped too low. When choosing an air compressor for your tools, calculate the combined cfm requirement of all your most demanding tools, and then find a tank size that exceeds this value by about 50%.

Air Compressors For Tire Inflating

It’s a good idea to keep a portable tire inflator in your car, as flat tires can happen when least expected. These handy devices take up very little space and plug into the cigarette lighter (accessory) socket or a standard household power outlet.

An internal electric motor powers the device, which has gears that turn to push and pull a piston up and down in a cylinder, compressing air into a storage tank as it does so. The air is then pumped into the tire through an attached rubber tube that attaches to the valve stem.

Many of these products come with a built-in pressure gauge, which makes checking the tire’s air pressure easy and fast.

Paint Spraying

When it comes to spray painting, the right air compressor is crucial. An ideal air compressor for painting will deliver high CFM (cubic feet per minute) and a stable pressure level that is consistent with your HVLP paint gun.

The tank size also makes a difference. A small tank will require the compressor to be refilled several times, especially when working on larger projects like coating an entire car. This can create a significant amount of variance in the air pressure and flow, which can lead to uneven coats of paint.


An air compressor can be used for cleaning a variety of surfaces and objects. Professional auto detailers use air compressors to blow away gunk and grime that builds up on a vehicle seat or floor mats. They also use them to add pressure to steam cleaning processes in the engine bay.

Pneumatic air tools and nozzles can help clean filters, machinery, workshop surfaces and clothes. The type of nozzle used is important. It should be rated for low noise emission and reduce the air flow to 10 psi or less, to prevent injury.