An air compressor is a really useful tool to have in your garage or shop and you can use this machine for a variety of tasks and jobs. One of the most common uses for an air compressor is to use it for impact tools for car repair projects.
Having the right size air compressor for this kind of use is important because impact tools require the right amount of air pressure to work properly.
A 6-gallon air compressor might be able to run an impact wrench, but probably not for very long. The same advice is often extended for using this size of air compressor for jobs like running a framing nailer or roofing tools. You need extended air pressure for these kinds of jobs and a 6-gallon air compressor often does not have enough air pressure on tap for these jobs to be easy to complete.
If you want to know more, read on!
What Size Air Compressor is Ideal for an Impact Wrench?
Most mechanics and experts will tell you that you need a 20-gallon air compressor to use an impact wrench. This size machine will prevent delays in tasks and reduced performance periodically as the air compressor recharges.
These machines often offer 4 to 5 CFM at 90 PSI. This should allow you enough pressure to run all kinds of tools that you might use for large jobs that take a long time to complete.
Air compressors are measured partially about how much air pressure they produce and the airflow that is generated. The size of the wrench that you are trying to use can make a big difference in the air pressure that you need to have access to for jobs. Larger tools need more CFM and if you need to run these tools for a long time, you might need access to a bigger tank than the 6-gallon size tank on most bigger portable units.
If you are going to use a ¼ inch wrench you will not need much air pressure 1 to 1.5 CFM can run a wrench this size easily. If you want to use larger wrenches like a ½ inch wrench then you will need to have access to 3.5 to 5 CFM from your air compressor.
This means that your 6-gallon machines might be enough for your needs if you only need to use the compressor for a brief period of time and you don’t need much air pressure.
While large wrenches like 1-inch wrenches are not commonly used, you will need 9 to 10 CFM for these wrenches. The size of the air compressor that you need can depend a lot upon the tools that you use regularly.
Consider how long you use pneumatic tools when completing tasks with them and think about how many times a week you need to use an air compressor. If you are not using your air compressor daily and you do not need to use pneumatic tools for each job that you are completing, you might not need a larger unit than a 6-gallon air compressor.
What Can You Use a 6-Gallon Air Compressor for?
Many people use their 6-gallon air compressor for all kinds of tasks like cutting, drilling, paint spraying, and fastening items. Woodworking and power washing are also common uses for these handy-size air compressors. This is a common size of air compressor to own and it can take care of most home projects with ease.
The dividing line when choosing this size air compressor for your needs is how big the jobs are that you need to work on. If you need to use your air compressor for many hours of a day or for large jobs, you will need to consider how often you want to delay for the air compressor to refill. This might be no object for your needs, but for people who do lots of auto repair processes, this is a big detraction of this size air compressor for mechanic-based tasks.
One of the benefits to using this size compressor for your auto repair needs is that if you are primarily using it for things like rotating your tires or smaller repairs, you will find that the pneumatic tools used for these jobs will not deplete the air very fast. Spray painting and power washing can use up the reserves in your air compressor far more quickly than you would expect.
Reasons to Choose 6-Gallon Air Compressors
There are many benefits to choosing this size of air compressor. You might find that using lots of pneumatic tools with it is not ideal, but there are other benefits to this size air compressor.
Light in Weight
These compressors weigh around 30-35 pounds overall which makes them easy to take with you to locations around your home or shop to work on tasks.
Easy to Store
Because this is not a huge air compressor, it can be stored readily in many places. Your garage or shop should have room for this size air compressor with ease.
Usually Does not Have Oiled Pump
Oiled pumps add another layer of care and maintenance that most homeowners want to avoid. You will appreciate that this size air compressor is often made with an oil-free pump.
Not As Loud
Big air compressors are often quite noisy and if you are using this tool in your home or garage, you might appreciate that this machine will not be as loud as a large machine would be.
This can be really nice if you live in a suburb or have neighbors close to your garage who might not appreciate your noisy tools being used all day. This is also nice if you are using this item to pressure wash or paint your home.
Despite the small size of this air compressor, it offers a really good amount of CFM, which makes it the right tool for a broad range of tasks and jobs.
It might need to be refilled more often than a machine with a larger tank, but it will be powerful enough and offer enough CFM for most tasks that you need to complete. CFM is more important than tank size in most cases and you will get better performance related to CFM than you will related to tank size.
Easy to Carry
Many air compressors this size are designed to be moved around, which makes them easy to carry. Larger units are made to be affixed to a set location in most cases, which means that you are going to have to figure out solutions if you need to use your compressor for jobs, not within your garage.
This is why many people have a smaller unit that they use for pressure washing and other tasks that need a portable unit and a bigger machine for their shop needs or for larger tasks like extended pneumatic tool use. Having access to an air compressor that is very easy to carry can be a big help for jobs around your home or your yard and shop.
Things to Consider
If you are not sure if this is the right size air compressor for your needs, you need to think about how you want to use your air compressor.
It can be tempting to get a very large unit just to take care of your pneumatic tool use, but if you only use these kinds of tools once in a while, this might be the best kind of machine for you to buy. Bigger air compressors are not portable and are often quite loud.
If you are using an impact wrench on an occasional basis and you use your air compressor for tasks like pressure washing, nailing on roof tiles, or other tasks that are better suited for a portable unit, you should think about getting a 6-gallon air compressor. For those who use their air compressor for work all day long, a 6-gallon unit will likely not be big enough.
A 6-Gallon Air Compressor Can be the Right Size Unit
This is often the right size unit that offers a balance of portable functionality and powerful CFM. You will need to think about how you want to use your air compressor before you commit to buying this size unit, but for many people, a 6-gallon air compressor is the perfect size machine for all kinds of tasks that might need to be completed around their home or their shop.
If you have an auto repair business or you need to run pneumatic tools all day without taking a break, you should get a larger unit for these needs and consider this size air compressor for your other tasks.
Maintenance on your property as well as other home improvement tasks are much easier with a portable air compressor on hand in most cases. Consider your storage solutions and the noise of a larger air compressor as well before you choose the right air compressor for your personal situation.