Can you imagine doing any autobody work without an air compressor?
We absolutely can’t.
Is your vehicle in need of a smooth paint job to shine again?
You need an air compressor.
Or does some other possession of yours desperately need an auto bodywork?
You’ve gotta get yourself an air compressor then.
Do you know any popular brands of air compressors for auto body work?
We’re guessing you don’t.
How are you gonna find the best air compressor for auto body work?
Stick with us. We’ll tell you how. And also, we’ll discuss some of the coolest air compressors in the market and answer some important questions which may pop up in your mind.
Well, let’s start. Let’s find out the best air compressor for auto body work for you.
What is Air Compressor?
- 1 What is Air Compressor?
- 2 What Type of Compressor Is Best for Auto Body Work?
- 3 8 Best Air Compressor for Auto Body Work
- 3.1 1. Dewalt D55146 Air Compressor for Auto
- 3.2 2. Makita MAC5200 Air Compressor
- 3.3 3. PORTER-CABLE C2002 Air Compressor
- 3.4 4. Industrial Air ILA1883054 Air Compressor
- 3.5 5. Campbell Hausfeld VT6290 Air Compressor
- 3.6 6. Porter Cable PXCMLC1683066
- 3.7 7. NorthStar Portable Gas Powered Air Compressor
- 3.8 8. Powermate Vx PLA470806
- 4 Why Do You Need To Buy An Air Compressor For Automotive Air Tools?
- 5 Air Compressor Buying Guide for Auto Body Work
- 6 FAQ
- 7 Final Words
An air compressor increases the pressure of air by decreasing its volume. Basically, it converts power into potential energy stored in pressurized air by using an electric motor or gasoline engine.
What Type of Compressor Is Best for Auto Body Work?
To answer this question, you’ve gotta ask yourself a few questions about the duty cycle, size, airflow (CFM), pressure (PSI), power. All these requirements can help you decide whether Piston or Rotary air compressor is best for the particular auto body work you intend to do.
8 Best Air Compressor for Auto Body Work
1. Dewalt D55146 Air Compressor for Auto
The DEWALT D55146 Compressor has much flexibility as it has solidly built wheels and pneumatic tires. With a 78 dBA noise level, It provides quieter operation. It comes up with a vertical stand and collapsible handle so that one can easily store the compressor assembly vertically. The pump produces a maximum pressure of 225 psi. This model is more suitable for tough and hard job conditions. You can simultaneously operate it using two roofing nailers or three framing nailers.
This versatile air compressor is useful to both small framing carpenters and large trim carpenter crews. The 120V motor produces an output power of 1.6 HP. The compressor is easy to run with an extension cord.
2. Makita MAC5200 Air Compressor
If you need high output power for industrial usage, you can go for Makita’s MAC5200 air compressor model. It comes with an output power of 3.0 HP. This model uses the Big Bore engineered pump. The cylinder of the pump is made of cast iron. A 5.2-gallon tank is used for operating at 140 PSI pressure. It delivers 40 PSI pressure at 6.9 CFM and 90 PSI at 6.5 CFM. Rugged wheels are attached to the tank. The built-in thermal overload gives protection during high-power operation.
The tank and pump assembly are fitted in a roll cage construction. This compressor has a versatile design to support a variety of applications. It includes air fittings and accessories, an air hose wrap, an oil drain, oil sight glass, and a tank drain valve.
3. PORTER-CABLE C2002 Air Compressor
The Porter Cable’s C2002 model has a maximum tank pressure of 150 PSI. Also, It has a fast recovery time and runs on 2.6 SCFM at 90 psi. A 6 gallon Pancake style tank is there for good stability. The tank also has valves for draining purposes. It starts smoothly with a low amp 120V motor, even in cold weather. You’re gonna need an extension cord to connect it to the power source.
Its oil-free pump is more durable and can run with no maintenance requirement. The packaging includes covers for the handle and wraps for cords. You can carry it with ease as it weighs only 30 lbs.
4. Industrial Air ILA1883054 Air Compressor
If you want maximum performance, you can go for Industrial Air’s ILA1883054 air compressor. Its high-power inductor motor ensures the highest efficiency. Besides, the oil-lubricated pump has a twin-cylinder combination which is made of cast iron. The maximum pressure capacity is 155 PSI at optimum performance. A dual voltage induction motor is used in this model. It can be used for the regular purpose as a 120V output condition or can be converted for a 240V application. Pneumatic tires attached to the tank increase portability.
The tank capacity is 30 gallons. It may take some time to fill such a bigger tank, and the compressor may run a little slow. Extra parts include regulator set, pressure gauges and, on/off switches. This model is usually delivered with synthetic oil to ensure optimum performance and long life.
5. Campbell Hausfeld VT6290 Air Compressor
This compressor model has a unique horizontal design that helps to tackle varieties of operations. It uses a dual Voltage Motor which runs well at both 120V and 240V. So, you can easily use it for household as well as business purposes. A unique type of metal belt guard is included. It not only gives quiet operation but also ensures safety. The pneumatic wheels are large and make transportation faster and easier. The heavy-duty pump is again made of cast iron and has two cylinders.
The tank is smaller than some other brands. With a capacity of 20 gallons, it is quite small and easily portable. It only takes around 4-5 minutes to fill up to 135 pounds of pressure. The average output power of this compressor is 2 HP. Before using it, make sure to add oil and run the break-in.
6. Porter Cable PXCMLC1683066
The heavy-duty induction motor of this compressor delivers maximum performance and efficiency. As it’s a dual voltage motor, it will run well on both 120V and 240V. The output power is 1.6 horsepower. It uses an oil-lubricated pump that is built with cast iron. The V-twin cylinder body is made of cast iron and has an aluminum head. The automotive-style ball bearings and stainless steel reed valves increase durability.
Maintenance is pretty easy as it comes with an oil-checking sight glass and an oil fill. The 30-gallon tank can create a maximum pressure of 135 PSI. It is easily movable with pneumatic tires. It can produce 40 psi at 6.2 CFM and 90 psi at 5.3 CFM. The compressor assembly also includes regulator sets, pressure gauges, air outlets and, on/off switches.
7. NorthStar Portable Gas Powered Air Compressor
NorthStar’s air compressor is supported by a Honda GX390 OHV engine. It also has a 3 Amp charging system. The pumps are fully made of cast iron with a V-type cylinder. FC35 grade cast iron is used for the pump head. Pumps use Low Vibration Technology (LVT) for smooth operation and run at 1300 rpm. The valves are of floating-type Swedish steel so that they won’t damage easily. Even the crankcases of the pump are made of cast iron and the Crankcases of the Crankshafts are supported by bearings on both sides.Tank capacity is 30 gallons with a maximum pressure of 175 PSI. The crankshaft has bearings on both ends for enough support. Other features include a steel belt guard, liquid-filled pressure gauges for protection against pressure spikes. A large cast-iron flywheel gives better cooling. Sight glasses can be used for checking the oil level.
8. Powermate Vx PLA470806
Powermate’s compressor has a dual voltage motor. When it runs at 240V-15 Amp, it produces an output power of 4.7 HP. It includes an 80-gallon steel-made tank that gives a 155 PSI pressure at maximum. The three-cylinder pump has a cast iron-made cylinder body and crankcase. It ensures a larger cooling surface and helps dissipate heat faster.
As it has 14-CFM at 90-PSI, the runtime is longer on ratchets, impacts, spray guns, etc. The metal belt guard protects its moving parts from damage. Another wired bet guard helps get better cooling. Pressure gauges and on/off switches are also included in the tank for convenience and control.
Why Do You Need To Buy An Air Compressor For Automotive Air Tools?
If we put it simply, an air compressor is must-have machinery for auto body work. An auto body technician can’t be able to do any auto bodywork without an air compressor.
Besides, an air compressor makes the autobody work easier and more convenient. Furthermore, it saves time and helps other tools to function properly.
Air Compressor Buying Guide for Auto Body Work
If you want to buy the best air compressor for auto body work, you have to notice certain key factors. Okay, let’s find out how to choose the best air compressor for auto body work.
Any people who have no idea about pressure or volume may immediately presume the bigger, the better the air compressor will be. That is partially true. But when we talk about the size, we mean the CFM, which is the volume of air consumed in a minute. Basically, a large CFM can handle a huge amount of air volume, which makes the tasks easier. So, when you do any auto body work, you’ll have zero issues getting the job done with whatever pneumatic tools you have.
The pressure of an air compressor is measured by PSI or pounds per square inch unit. You can probably guess air pressure will vary with different air compressors and tasks. For example, you only need between 30 to 60 psi for painting a vehicle. But when it comes to stripping paint and sandblasting, you’re gonna need more pressure to complete the task.
The equipment you’re using may need a certain amount of PSI. So check it out before connecting to the air compressor. Also, keep in mind that there will be a small amount of pressure loss. So, decide your air compressors’ psi requirement according to that.
Lastly, remember if you lower the CFM, the higher the pressure you’ll get.
Being aware of the duty cycle is beneficial for the longevity of the air compressor. It is based on the frequency of your air compressor utilization. If you don’t own a shop related to auto body work, you won’t need the air compressor all the time.
If you use the air compressor every day, a rotary screw air compressor is the right choice for you. On the contrary, a piston compressor may suit you well if you require less frequent home use.
When it comes to the pump, we highly recommend an oil-free pump. Although it’s not as important as the above-mentioned factors, it does have two advantages.
The first one is that an oil-free pump will help your air compressor last longer as it doesn’t mix oil into the air. Another one is the less requirement of maintenance when compared to an oil air compressor.
One tiny disadvantage is that air compressors with oil-free pumps are costly. So, it’s your choice if you want those advantages.
Which Type Of Air Compressor Is Best For Painting Cars?
When you look for the best air compressor for painting cars, focus on two crucial factors. One is the right air volume (CFM), and the other is the pressure (PSI). If you want to ensure the best possible paint job and avoid reworks, you have to maintain the discharge air quality.
Also, waterborne paints are very sensitive to moisture. So, you’ve to ensure proper air dryer and inline filtration. That will remove moisture, dirt, and oil from the air stream to protect your equipment and finishes.
How many CFM do I need for air tools?
Don’t assess the air compressor’s capability only by its physical size. Notice how much air it delivers, which is measured in Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM). Usually, most air compressors built for the purpose of powering air tools fall in the 10 to 110 CFM range.
When To Change The Air Compressor Oil?
Typically, once a year should be enough. And you don’t have to change the oil before using it. But you have to change the oil every time if you open the compressor.
We’re hoping you know how to choose the best air compressor for auto body work by now. We did recommend some popular products for you. However, it’s your budget and particular requirements like CFM, PSI that should point you towards getting the right air compressor for you. Good luck.