Choosing the Right Consumer Grade Air Compressor

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Consumer Grade Air Compressors are primarily designed for small tasks around the house, such inflating tires, sporting goods and other items. However, most consumer grade air compressors can run small power tools as well, including brad guns and staplers. For the most part, a consumer grade compressor should be more than enough for those who do small tasks around the house. On the other hand, one who needs to run large or multiple power tools will need to step it up a notch.


Inflators are mainly used to inflate tires and other inflatable devices. Since inflated tires help gas mileage, it’s always a good idea to have one of these lying around. Overall, these air compressors are inexpensive and very portable. The only downside is that they’re relatively weak and take a while to do the job.

Pancake Air Compressors

Pancake air compressors typically come with a one-gallon tank and are relatively light, weighting at around 16 pounds, making it rather easy to carry around. Due to their higher power level, they are generally more expensive than their inflator counterparts. They’re oil free and don’t have any belts, allowing the machine to run practically maintenance free.

Hot Dog Air Compressors

Hot Dog Air Compressors are commonly used by many hobbyists, due to their ability to run small air tools, such as air brushes and staple guns. Compared to pancake air compressors, these have slightly larger air tanks. Although they are a little heavier, they have a carry handle to compensate for the added weight. Much like pancake air compressors, they are oil free and have no belts.

Twin-Stack Air Compressors

As the name already suggests, this air compressor has two air tanks, allowing one to store more air without having to constantly run the machine. These are highly recommended for those who like DIY, or “do it yourself”, tasks because of their ability to run finish trim tools. Although they’re considered portable, they can weigh up to a whopping 70 pounds.

Portable Single-Stage Air Compressors

This type of air compressor is favored by carpenters and other workers who use nail guns and other similar power tools. As one can imagine, they’re significantly more powerful than the above mentioned air compressors. The portable single-stage air compressor will certainly do the trick for re-siding, deck or frame rebuilding jobs. However, with the extra power comes the heftier price.

Stationary Single-Stage Air Compressors

Compared to portable single-stage air compressors, these have much larger tanks and motors, giving them even more power. Regardless, they make a great tool for one’s home or garage. Automotive work, such as rotating tires and other small tasks, benefit greatly from this type of air compressor. High quality versions of this air compressor are built well and made to last for many years.

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