What is CFM?

Cubic Feet per Minute

CFM is the acronym for Cubic Feet per Minute — the measure of air volume moved by the fan blower. Choose a compressor with a CFM rating appropriate for the tools you intend to use.

Note that CFM will increase when the pressure (PSI) decreases, and the CFM will decrease when the pressure (PSI) increases.

CFM output of air compressors (APX)

50 Litre 2.5hp


100 Litre 4hp


200 Litre 4hp


What size of a MOTOR do I need?

The size of the motor is not important when buying a compressor, it is all about the displacement of the pump. Compressors will come fitted with a motor sufficient enough to run the pump on the compressor. The EU has regulated this with the requirement of CE certificates on all electrical goods.

What size air TANK do I need?

The receiver tank stores the air that the pump compresses. The air compressor goes into standby when the pressure (PSI) in the tank reaches the factory set pressure (normally 120psi), this is determined by the setting on the pressure control switch. When the air pressure in tank drops below the set pressure (normally 60psi) the compressor starts automatically and the process begins again.

Air power tools that operate on small bursts of air only need a small tank volume to meet their demands, tools like sand blasters and orbital sanders that have a greater consumption will require a larger volume of air and a larger tank.

As the air rests in the tank it settles and cools; cool air holds less moisture so the moisture falls out of the air and accumulates in the bottom of the tank, this is why their is a drain bung at the bottom of the tank. This rest period also allows the pump and motor to rest and cool down, thus prolonging the life span of the compressor.

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Now that you’ve invested in an air compressor to run all of your air tools you’re going to have to learn how to keep it up and running. Because the standard handyman’s air compressors don’t typically require daily upkeep, it’s easy to forget about them and neglect their upkeep. This can be a costly oversight so it’s vital for you to keep an eye on the following maintenance tips.

Maintenance Tip 1: Read and Follow Your Air Compressor’s Manual
Nothing stops an air compressor faster than an owner who doesn’t read the owner’s manual. There’s going to be some simple tips in there for you that will help you to get a nice long life out of your air compressor – simple stuff for you to do that you would never have thought to do unless you read it. NOTE. If you don’t follow the guidelines in your air compressor manual there’s a chance that it will void your warranty.

Maintenance Tip 2: Drain The Moisture From The Tanks
The receiver tank collects moisture from the air that it’s compressing – especially if you live in a humid climate. Tanks have a valve for draining this moisture that accumulates and it’s up to you to make sure that these are drained regularly. Before draining the water you should be sure to release the air pressure from the tanks.

Maintenance Tip 3: Clean Intake Vents

If you force your air compressor to work too hard to intake air you’re losing power on your compression. This will gradually degrade the quality of your tool. Be sure to keep your intake vent as clean as possible and check them regularly especially if you’re working in a dusty or dirty environment.

Maintenance Tip 4: Tighten All Fasteners
Your air compressor’s a running, vibrating engine and it will loosen its screws, nuts and bolts on a regular basis. Be sure to check these periodically and tighten them up if you find any that have jiggled loose.

Maintenance Tip 5: Check Hoses Regularly
Check all your hoses periodically as they are the veins of your air compressor. If they become cracked or corroded they could soon begin to leak and then put undue strain on the rest of your compressor’s components. Be sure to check them and replace them if you find them cracked or damaged.

Maintenance Tip 6: Test the Safety Shutdown System
Your air compressor may have a built in safety shut down. The function of this system is to shut off your compressor if it’s getting too hot, or if the engine’s oil pressure is too low. This test will help you ensure a longer lasting compressor.


Maintenance Tip 7: Check and Change Air Filters As Needed
A filthy air filter is only hurting your air compressor by allowing dirt from the outside in, plus forcing it to work harder to intake air. Check your filters regularly and change them if you notice a heavy build up of dust and dirt. Change every six months or so if you use it infrequently.

Maintenance Tip 8: Clean the Fuel Tank

As with any engine you need to periodically clean out the fuel tank to ensure optimal operating conditions. You should look to clean out the engine on your air compressor once every year or so to remove any residual build up from the fuel. This will preserve the life of your engine.

Maintenance Tip 9: Check and Change the Compressor Oil
If you’re running a compressor that uses oil you should be checking it on a daily basis to make sure that your machine is topped off. Then, every 500-1000 hours of use you should be changing this oil to ensure maximum functioning of your air compressor.

Maintenance Tip 10: Change the Separator Element
The separator element prevents the excessive use of oil, but it has to be replaced periodically. Keep your compressor in top condition by replacing the separator element every 1,000 hours of operation