Buying a Consumer Grade Air Compressor


Consumer grade air compressors fall under five different styles: Inflators, hot dog, twin stack, portable single-stage, and stationary single-stage. Each has its own specific advantages and disadvantages. Read on to see which is the right type for your situation.


Everybody knows how important it is to keep your car’s tires properly inflated. The problem is that nobody wants to have to deal with going to the gas station and paying to use their compressor every time. Keeping an inexpensive inflator in your car and/or garage lets you do it on your own time. They are also great to have for emergencies when your tire has a slow leak while away from home. Inflators are also excellent for inflating air mattresses, kid’s swimming pools, and sports equipment.

Hot Dog Air Compressors

Named after their “hot dog” looking tank shape, these compressors are popular for those into crafts and hobbies. While small and portable, most simply do not have the adequate air flow to power many air tools. Good for novices as their pumps are oil-less and require little to no maintenance. Hot dog compressors are typically the noisiest type but also very affordable.

Twin Stack Air Compressors

Having two air tanks, twin stack compressors allow the unit to store more air so the pump does not have to constantly run while you are working. This type is a good choice for the do-it-yourselfer as they usually have enough airflow to power common air tools for small projects around the house.

Portable Single-Stage Air Compressors

One of the most popular types of compressor, the portable single-stage compressor is a good choice for homeowners and even carpenters who use tools such as nail guns on a consistent basis. Generally more powerful that the above types, they will also cost more. If building a deck in your yard is the largest project you will do, this type of air compressor may be a great fit.

Stationary Single-Stage Air Compressors

Stationary air compressors are typically found in a garage where you do not have to go from room to room to work on projects. They have good performance and can take on almost any task you throw at them. More expensive than some of the smaller portable compressors, stationary single-stage compressors will also last you a lot longer.


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