The best air compressor for a garage is small enough to fit in a corner of the garage but can still inflate your car tires quickly. It handles automotive tasks but can also deal with soccer balls, bicycles, and other inflatables.
The best choice for you depends on the type of work you’ll be doing. Most of the times, the commonly used air compressors in garages are electric because they are safer to use in confined use. When choosing the best air compressor for a garage, you should pay attention to the following key characteristics.
Airflow is measured in cubic feet per minute and indicates how much air the pump can deliver within a minute. You will need to buy an air compressor that can provide enough power for your tools that have the highest demands. Typically, an average 1/2" impact wrench will work very well with a compressor that can supply 6 cfm.
PSI is only relevant when considered in junction with tank capacity to accurately determine the total storage capacity. A good storage capacity is important even for a home mechanic because the tools you use will require a large amount of air. The pump might not have the necessary power to provide all the air your tool will need and this is why you need a good storage capacity.
If you can, try to choose a compressor with a bigger tank capacity that will accommodate more tools. You should start with at least 5 gallons.
The horsepower indicates the motor’s output power. While the power can give you an idea about the total output of the air compressor, it is advisable that you base your decision on the CFM rather than the horsepower.
Various air compressors use different pumps. One of the most common types of pumps is the oil-less. It doesn’t need any maintenance and it is reduced in size but it has a shorter lifespan.
The oil-lubed pumps will need regular maintenance and frequent oil changes to function properly but will last longer if you maintain them properly. They are also quieter than most oil-less pumps.
If you will only use the compressor for short periods of time, like to inflate tires or power impact wrenches, then you can choose a small compressor. A continuous use will require much more power and you will have to buy a high capacity compressor for your garage.