How to Know the Right CFM Calculation for Air Compressors?

Air Compressors

Consider evaluating a bunch of variables if you wish to purchase an air compressor for an industrial application. As per the experts, you must concentrate on determining the equipment’s air pressure needs. You will have to work out the cubic feet per minute or the CFM to measure the free air delivery in your portable air compressor for the car

To put up a discussion for better comprehension, note that all mall pneumatic tools require up to 5 CFM. On the other hand, you will find larger equipment that necessitates more than 10 CFM. 

To put it simply, most car accessories have different requirements for airflow. Therefore, you should ideally add up each condition and estimate the total usage to be 40–50% higher than the result. According to experts, such an approach prevents the air compressor from operating at total capacity.

The Sort of Equipment

It would be best to consider the CFM demands of the particular air tool you wish to use. But, then again, do keep in mind that the minimum CFM rating of your air compressor should match the highest CFM for that particular tool.

Moreover, it would be best to consider the duty cycle when calculating the necessary CFM for your air compressor. If you are new at this, it’s worth mentioning that the duty cycle in this context refers to the time an air compressor can run without stopping to catch up or cool down. Your air tool CFM ratings will typically base on a 25% duty cycle.

Here’s a look at some typical air compressor applications’ airflow requirements:

Drilling Apparatus

If you are new at this, you will most likely know that electric drills can only drill through softer materials (wood or fibreglass). However, you must also learn that pneumatic tools with air compressors as power backers can guide you through rigid materials (metal and rocks). It’s worth mentioning that reversible drills with air compression require 3-6 CFM for this application.

Tools for Chiselling

There’s no denying that the cutting edge of an air chisel, a portable pneumatic tool, is narrow and flat. You can use it to cut stone and wood during construction, and home renovation works. However, it would be best if you ideally put it into work when creating mortises and dovetail joints while constructing adjacent walls and shelves. Air chisels typically require 3 to 11 CFM.

Grinder Angles

Thirdly, you can find angle grinders with air compressors power backers, which you can use in metalworking and auto repairs. Moreover, people can also sand down some materials’ surfaces and edges. Of course, you will need to use it with the proper sanding disc. Note that a primary portable angle grinder asks for 5-8 CFM.

Tools for Making Cuts

Cut-off tools need a lot of power to sever metal sheets. However, you can use them for the construction and maintenance of vehicles, industrial uses, and artistic creations. Air-powered tools can simplify metal sheet corner cutting and panel removal from large metal walls. You can power cut-off devices efficiently with an air compressor that produces 4 to 10 CFM.


Contrary to popular belief, do note that the invention of welding did not sideline riveting. Many mechanical applications allow you to use rivets as permanent clasps. These applications essentially are the construction of aircraft, where you need robust and reliable fastening with minimal weight. 

Per the expert, installing corrugated metal roofs often involves air riveting tools. However, remember that they don’t use much energy, and their typical demand is 4 CFM.

Shearing Apparatus

It would be best if you ideally used air shears for heavy-duty metal cutting since you cannot achieve satisfying results with nibblers. However, you can effortlessly use them in both handicrafts and industrial projects for shaving, trimming, slicing, and outlining metal sheets. Remember that contemporary pneumatic tools can take up to 2600 cuts per minute with pistol-grip shears.

Additionally, you can use a shear in conjugation with a standard air compressor to cut through sheet metals and aluminium. You can expect an airflow rate of 8-16 CFM from such shearing equipment with air compressors.

Painting Supplies

To put it simply, the airbrush is one of the most practical pieces of pneumatic equipment. Additionally, air-operated paintbrushes keep dirt and moisture out of the colour flow. For a smooth finish that you cannot achieve with standard brushes, these airbrushes make it simpler to apply coats of paint. However, they typically necessitate air compressors with ratings between 3 and 11.3 CFM.

A Proper Air Pressure for Every Application

In the end, it only fits to admit that an air compressor competent at delivering the appropriate air pressure for each application can be highly convenient. Car Orbis Compressor provides many machines that satisfy the requirements for various pneumatic tools.

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