What Is an Air Compressor and What Is It Used For?

What Is an Air Compressor and What Is It Used For?

Many industries such as automotive, agriculture, and manufacturing use air compressors. These tools offer unrivaled power and efficiency for many jobs.

However, compressors are not limited to industrial use. These tools are becoming a popular option for home use.

Yet, before you understand the benefits of these tools, you have to ask: What is an air compressor and what is it used for?

Read on to learn more. This guide examines compressors and the value they can bring to your fleet of tools. A world of possibilities exists with the addition of compressed air to your garage.

What is an Air Compressor?

As the name suggests, a compressor work by compacting air into a tank. A motor pressurizes the outside air and stores it in the tank. Depending on the size of the rig, the tank can store anywhere from 20 to 240 gallons.

Many compressors are electric, but there are gas-powered options. Some jobs require the strength and portability of gas. For example, these used diesel air compressors were for heavy-duty jobs.

In the tank, the compressed air waits as kinetic energy, ready to be unleashed.

The next important measurement to look at is the pounds per square inch (PSI). The PSI will determine the power at which the tools on the compressor operate. Common PSI output is between 80-175.

With that in mind, consider the applications of an air compressor.

How is a Compressor Used?

As noted, an air compressor has dozens of possibilities. Your hardware store will carry many tools for your purposes. Below are some of the common uses of compressors.


If you’ve ever done any woodworking projects, you know sanding can be one of the most drawn-out projects.

With a compressor, electric sanders are a thing of the past. Pneumatic sanders come in a variety of sizes for large-scale work. Compared to electric, air sanders are lighter, more powerful, and longer-lasting. Air sanders are an instant upgrade over the alternative.

Pneumatic Wrenches

Do you consider yourself an amateur mechanic? Well, every auto shop uses pneumatic tools. If you like working on cars, air wrenches are a game-changer.

These are far more powerful than battery-operated or handheld tools. Tire irons are slow and tedious. Pneumatic wrenches make rotating tires, working on engines, and tightening auto hardware a breeze.


One lesser-known air compressor use is painting. An air-powered spray gun uses compressed air to aerate the paint. Now, you can achieve clean, smooth, and even coats on your painting project.

Air sprayers can handle anything from cabinet painting to new coats on cars. If you are feeling particularly ambitious, consider painting your house with a compressed paint gun.

Add a Compressor to Your Garage

What is an air compressor? Well, with this guide, you now know the power and efficiency these tools offer. Consider if compressors are right for your work. The only thing left to think about is what your first job will be.

If you found this article interesting, stick around. There is a wealth of other interesting reads on the blog.


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