How to Choose the Right Air Compressor For Your Needs

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Choosing the best air compressor can be difficult. At BOGE Australia, we have a huge range of compressors, each designed to perform in different environments.

How to Choose the Right Air Compressor For Your Needs

Some of these are commercial, others industrial, while some of our air compressors are best suited to home use.


At BOGE, we understand that it can be overwhelming when trying to determine which air compressor is best for a specific situation. Whether it is for drainage, power tools, medical equipment or paintwork, the air compressor with the best performance, efficiency, and price point, is going to vary. In this article, we are going to help you decide which air compressor will best suit your needs, by taking you through three simple steps to identify the correct air compressor.


Compressor Use

The first consideration is how your compressor is going to be used. You have to ask yourself what you are trying to achieve with an air compressor. By understanding and laying out exactly what will be required of your air compressor, you can then apply this knowledge in selecting the correct air compressor for your exact situation. When perusing various air compressors, look at the specifications to ensure that they can meet your specific requirements, so that you will not have to waste any time down the line swapping out an air compressor which was not suitable for you. Beyond this generalisation, you should also consider:


  • Location Size: How much space will you have for your compressor? If space is an issue, then you will need something with a compact design such as the C-2 Series. When looking at the footprint of a compressor, remember to factor in your other equipment to guarantee the correct amount of space.
  • Load Usage: Another consideration is the load usage of your compressor. Depending on your needs, some compressors cannot run continuously, but others like BOGE's Piston air compressors or our Scroll compressor line have been designed from the ground up to produce continual compression. Reliability is key.
  • Noise Levels: The amount of noise your compressor produces is a huge consideration. In some environments this is not as much of an issue such as in industrial settings where employees can wear ear protection. However, in sensitive environments such as a medical setting where you do not want noise to distract or upset patients, then BOGE's whisper-quiet technology is a must.
  • Power: Will you be using electric, petrol or diesel to power your air compressor? This will affect which compressor you buy. Ensure that any compressor you buy will be compatible with your power source and voltage.
  • Portability: Will your compressor be installed in one location, or will you need to be able to move it around easily? If the latter is the case, then you should invest in a lightweight model such as BOGE's revolutionary Turbo Compressor range which is 2/3 lighter than oil-free screw compressors.
  • Additional Equipment: Will your setup require additional equipment such as air tanks, receivers, or dryers? What about filtration options? Be sure to factor this into your choice, and research our range of compressors and additional equipment to ensure your specific requirements are met. This is especially important if your setup involves hazardous materials or sterile environments.
  • Output: Finally, you must know how much air you require in order to achieve your manufacturing or operational goals. There is no point in installing an air compressor which cannot produce the amount of air you need. This leads us to CFM Considerations.


CFM Considerations

After thinking through your noise, size, and performance load needs, it is now time to focus on your CFM requirement. This is the most important aspect of your compressor. CFM is a measurement of the volume of air an air compressor can produce per minute (Cubic Feet per Minute). To determine what your CFM needs are, try the following:


  • Ratings: If you are powering a tool or piece of equipment, the manufacturers will include the CFM requirement for said equipment. This is sometimes in the manual or on the equipment itself. It is often written as SCFM (Standard Cubic Feet per Minute). This is a great place to start, but there are some additional considerations beyond this.
  • Multiple Tools: Often, you will be supplying compressed air to more than one tool or piece of equipment at a time. When this happens, an air compressor must have enough CFM to meet the needs of your setup. To determine the correct CFM for multiple use, simply add together the CFM requirements of each piece of equipment. Be aware that smaller compressors for DIY scenarios tend to be designed to power only one tool at a time.
  • Redundancy: You never want to rely solely on your compressor's CFM limit. What if you have leakage somewhere in your system? Or a piece of equipment is run down and not operating as efficiently? You may also want to upgrade equipment in the future, and having to also upgrade your compressor to meet new needs can be costly. For these reasons, add 25% on to your CFM requirements when choosing a compressor. This will mean your choice of compressor will have more than enough CFM to future proof your setup.
  • Tank Size: If you require a tank for storing or supplying compressed air, calculate your needs by multiplying your overall CFM by 6.


Oil Lubricated or Oil-Less Air Compressor

There is a lot of debate about whether to invest in an oil lubricated or oil-less air compressor. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, which we have highlighted in our oiled vs oil-less air compressor article. The general take away from this choice is that oil lubricated compressors tend to be better for heavy industrial performance, while oil-less air compressors are the correct option when the compressed air must be clean and free of oil pollutants. This is critical for sensitive manufacturing situations such as in the electronics industry, or whenever air comes into contact with a human being.


Choose the Correct Air Compressor Today

Throughout our 111 years as a manufacturer of air compressors, we at BOGE have garnered a reputation for being reliable, innovative, and affordable. If you have any other queries about choosing the correct air compressor for your needs, please contact one of our trained advisors today.