Buyer’s Guide: Choosing A Stationary Compressor

Know the Answers to These 6 Questions.

It’s a jungle out there. Whether you’re looking for a new stationary compressor or replacing an old one, the options seem endless. Luckily, you can trade in your snake bite kit and machete for this handy blog post. Knowing the answers to these 6 questions will help you stay on course.Current Model

Current Model

If you’re replacing an existing compressor, did it provide enough air for your application?

Try to obtain the model number and specs of your current compressor. Use that information to determine if you need a comparable model or if it’s time for an upgrade.


What types of pneumatic tools will be used?

Consider which tools (and how many of each) will be used with the compressor. Add their CFM ratings together. This information will provide a baseline for the amount of CFM the compressor will need to deliver. Add 30% to that to be safe.




Do you have single-phase or three-phase electricity?

For a good explanation of the difference between the two, check out this page from IT equipment manufacturer, Tripp Lite.

In general, single-phase power is most common in homes and non-industrial businesses, while three-phase power is common in large businesses and manufacturing facilities. If you’re not sure which type you have, consult your facilities manager or a qualified electrician.



What voltage do you need?

The size of compressor in terms of horsepower will dictate your options. Models ranging from 1.5 to 2 HP are available in 115 or 230 V. Anything bigger than that is available in 208, 230 or 460 V. From there, which voltage you choose will depend on the service available at the installation location.

Tank ConfigurationTank Configuration

Vertical or horizontal?

This will largely depend on the space in which the compressor will be installed. Keep in mind that most models 10 HP and larger are only available in a horizontal configuration.

Tank Sizetank size

30, 60, 80, 120 or 200 gallons?

Tank size will depend on the space available and the application. Keep in mind that not all tank sizes are available on all motor/pump combinations.



2 thoughts on “Buyer’s Guide: Choosing A Stationary Compressor

  1. I want to make sure that I get the right compressor. It makes sense that I would want to choose based on the tools that I plan on using! That way I can make sure that it can have enough pressure to work with them.

  2. I’ve been thinking about getting an air compressor. I agree that you should consider what tools will be used with your compressor to help you decide which one to get. You tank size will also be important, like you mentioned. You need to know how much space you will need and how much you have available for your compressor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *