How to Choose a Compressor

There is a right tool (and a wrong tool) for every job. Choosing the right compressor for the job at hand is extremely important. Compressors work by continuously sucking in air and mechanically squeezing it through internally-moving components and into a usable force for powering different machines and air tools, all of which can be used for many different tasks. Compressors come in many different shapes and sizes, with many different power levels. Before purchasing a compressor from Harbor Freight, it important to ask yourself the following 2 questions:

  1. What will the compressor be used for?
  2. How much power do I need?

Once you know the answer to those questions, you can use the chat below or ask your friendly Harbor Freight employee, who can help you decide exactly what you need.

We offer an array of compressors, from smaller, lightweight compressors – perfect for the homeowner, to larger industrial compressors that require installation – perfect for the professional. For example, a homeowner who is looking to casually perform tasks such as inflation, stapling, brad nailing, and air brushing a great starting place would be our Central Pneumatic 3 Gallon 1/3 HP 100 PSI Oil-Free Pancake Air Compressor. Someone who is looking to fit their garage with a more powerful compressor might look at our McGraw 21 Gallon 175 PSI Oil-Free Vertical Air Compressor for intermittent air tool use, painting, nailing/stapling, and blow gun use.

Some other important items to consider:

  1. Noise level – thanks to the newer technology of oil-free compressors, we now offer compressors that are much quieter than ever before. A quieter compressor does not mean you have to sacrifice power – these compressors can run all day without slowing down.
  2. Accessories – Harbor Freight carries all of the necessary accessories for your compressors, from air hoses, to regulators, lubricators and more!

Be sure to stop by your local Harbor Freight for any additional help picking out your new compressor!


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