Having an air station provides much more than the ability to inflate tires. Compressed air is very useful for cleaning dust from car interior vents and hard to reach areas, aiding in keeping a shop area clean, and household items can be brought to the garage and cleaned too.
After washing your car, blow the standing water from mirrors and lights so you don’t get water run marks after all that hard work. Inflate toys of all types. For DIY building projects, a small portable compressor (featured image) is suitable for air powered finishing nailers.
Air Compressor Accessories
- Air hoses – Choose from coiled, rubber and polyurethane hoses. I personally use and like the Coilhose Pneumatic brand.
- Hose reels – High quality brands, include, Coxreels and ReelCraft. These can be mounted to a wall stud, ceiling stud or thick bench top.
- Leader hose – If you choose to have a hose reel, you will need a leader hose to connect the compressor to the reel.
- Tire inflator – A very common accessory in any tool section of local retailers. Milton Dual Head Chuck with built-in gauge is a great product. It’s made in the USA and will fit any car wheel and valve combination.
- Blow Gun – Can be found in many tool and automotive sections of local retailers and home improvement stores.
12v Air Compressors
These economical and compact compressors plug into your car lighter and work off 12v. Limited to inflating only, and not a suitable option for a diverse air station.
Small Portable Air Compressors
These compressors will have a capacity of around 6 gallons or less and operate off 120v. Most likely the best choice for many homeowners when considering cost, size, usefulness and portability. Can leave stationary when connected to a long air hose, but also have the option of portability if need be.
Uses: The ability to tackle just about any home job minus automotive pneumatic tools. Air tools for automotive use will require a bigger tank capacity and quicker recycle time for adequate CFM.
- Tire inflation
- Sports ball inflation
- Cleaning (cracks & crevices, window sills, auto engine bays, auto vents, appliance coils)
- Pneumatic building tools
- Blowing water or moisture out of small unwanted areas
Where to Buy: Check your local hardware, major retailers, tool supply, or online retailers. Some very common name brands would be Makita, Bostitich, Dewalt, Porter Cable, Powermate, Campbell Hausfeld, Hitachi, Ingersoll Rand, Craftsman, and Mi-T-M.
Large Portable & Fixed Air Compressors
These compressors will be expensive, heavy and may require 240v.
Uses: The entire list of a small portable compressor, plus all pneumatic automotive tools.
Where to Buy: Check your local hardware, major retailers, tool supply, or online retailers. Some very common name brands would be BelAire, Powermate, Campbell Hausfeld, Ingersoll Rand, Craftsman, and Mi-T-M.