What size air compressor for impact wrench? The guide

An impact wrench is a powerful and versatile tool that makes it easier to remove or tighten fasteners. An impact wrench can help you save time and effort when working on manufacturing, construction, or vehicle maintenance.

It’s essential to select the proper air compressor size to guarantee dependable and effective performance and to lengthen the lifespan of your tools.

So, what size air compressors do I need to look at?

This is a question that many people ask. The answer depends on several factors, including the size and model of the impact wrench, what type of job you plan to use, and certain requirements for your tools.

In this article, we will explore the factors you need to consider when looking at the best air compressors.

We will look at the requirements of impact wrenches, the different sizes and types of air compressors, and the key considerations when deciding.

Whether you are a DIY enthusiast, a professional mechanic, or a contractor, this article will help to choose a good air compressor and ensure safe and efficient work.

what size air compressor for impact wrench

How do air compressors work?

An air compressor works by using mechanical energy to compress air into a tank, which increases the air pressure and allows it to be stored for later use.

When it is turned on, the air is drawn into the inlet valve and the pump. As the pump runs, it compresses the air. The air increases the pressure inside the air compressor tank, and the outlet valve regulates the flow of air from the tank to the tool being used.

The compressed air can then be used to set the inflated tires or as a source of breathable air in diving and other applications.

The air is released from the compressor tank through a valve and used as needed, with the tank being refilled as the air is used.

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The advantages of using an air compressor

An air compressor is crucial in powering an impact wrench, allowing it to provide the necessary air pressure and flow for fastening and unfastening tasks.

Before we start talking about which air compressor to choose, let’s discuss what advantages an air compressor can have.


Increased efficiency

  • An air compressor provides the consistent and reliable flow of air that an impact wrench needs to perform its job effectively.
  • This can save time and effort and increase efficiency, especially for heavy-duty tasks.

Increased portability

  • An air compressor is more portable than an electrical outlet and can be taken to job sites and used in remote locations, giving you the freedom to work anywhere.

Longer tool life

  • An air compressor can help your impact wrench last longer by giving it the proper air pressure and flow, which prevents it from being overworked or destroyed by insufficient power.

More profitable

  • Over time, this can save you money compared to buying a few battery-powered impact wrenches and the cost of replacing batteries.
  • Using an air compressor for your impact wrench can increase your efficiency, power, mobility, tool life, and cost savings.
  • This is an investment that can pay off in the long run and make your work easier and more productive.
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How to select an air compressor

When you think about what size air compressors should be, you should consider several factors. Without forgetting these factors and following them, you can succeed in choosing a compressor, ensuring reliable and efficient work, and making your work easier and more productive.

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CFM (cubic feet per minute) requirement

CFM can be explained as how much air it can produce in one minute.

This is one of the important elements that show how good the compressor is.

Be sure of the rated power of your air compressor and that it meets the CFM requirements for your business.

PSI (pounds per square inch) requirement

It has the same value as CFM.

PSI measures how much air can be placed and compressed in a certain space

More than half of air compressors require in the range of 90 and 120 PSI values. However, it’s important to check the specific minimum requirement, to be sure.

air compressor buying guide

Type of work

Which job you will do will also affect the air compressor’s size.

A smaller air compressor is ideal for light tasks. While for more complex work, a larger air compressor is needed.


The capacitance of the air compressor can also affect the cost.

Because of this, looking at the size, ask yourself whether this price is affordable or not.

A larger air compressor tank requires you to spend a lot of money. However, compared to purchasing a small air compressor, you will be confident in the power of your compressor, and you will not need to purchase an additional one.

Power source

Decide which type of air compressor you want to have: gas or electric.

Electric air compressors are silent and more convenient.

However, compressors with gas sources are more transportable and can be used in remote locations.


Recommendations for how to choose an air compressor

Guidelines to follow:

  • Choose an air compressor with a CFM value that satisfies or exceeds the impact wrench’s CFM specifications.
  • Pick a compressor whose nominal PSI value is equal to or greater than the needed PSI value.
  • Give preference to an air compressor with a larger tank.


Thus, an air compressor is a very important choice that needs to be carefully discussed.

The first thing you need to know is to look at the CFM and PSI scores of air compressors and give preference to them which have better scores.

In addition, make sure that the container is of sufficient size to meet your requirements, and be able to find the appropriate space for it. Its size shows how often it is required to stop and start refueling with air, which can affect its effectiveness.

If you are planning continuous use, a larger tank is preferable. Also, don’t forget about the guides and recommendations we mentioned.


Final words

I think we’ve found the answers to all your questions, and you can start by looking for your air compressor. We talked about the air compressor itself and the advantages that you can get, and what factors determine what size you need.

I wish you good luck, and I hope your choice will last a long time, so you won’t regret it.


How much air pressure does it take to run an impact wrench?

An impact wrench is commonly used in repair, construction, and manufacturing. It aims to deliver high torque output with minimal effort, making removing or tightening fasteners easier.

You require an air compressor that can deliver a certain amount of air pressure to use an impact wrench.

How much is air pressure required to operate an impact wrench, then? An impact wrench typically requires 90 PSI or more air pressure to work properly.

The size and design of the impact wrench, however, can change this.

It’s crucial to remember that before using an impact wrench, you should always check the manufacturer’s specifications. For some models to operate at their best, more air pressure might be needed.

Additionally, make sure the air compressor you’re using can continuously deliver the compressed air you require. If not, the impact wrench might not operate to its full potential.

Another important consideration is the airflow rate, also known as CFM. This is the volume of air that the compressor can deliver per minute.

The CFM criteria for an impact wrench can vary depending on the tool size and your work. It’s crucial to match the CFM of the air compressor to the CFM required by the impact wrench.

Finally, an impact wrench requires 90-120 PSI air pressure to run effectively. However, enough air pressure requirements can vary depending on the size and model of the tool.

Always check the manufacturer’s specifications and adjust the air pressure and flow rate of your air compressor according to the requirements of the impact wrench.

What is a good size air compressor to run air tools?

To have a good size air compressor, you need to know what factors determine a good size. These factors were based on what purpose you plan to use.

For the majority of home and small shop applications, a compressor with a tank capacity of at least 6 gallons, a maximum air pressure of 135 PSI, and a CFM (cubic feet per minute) rating of 2 or higher should be adequate.

However, if you want to use heavy-duty tools, you may require a larger compressor with a higher CFM rating to meet the demands of impact wrenches. In these cases, an air compressor tank size of 20 gallons or more and a CFM of 5 or higher may be necessary.

It’s essential to check the air requirements of the specific tools you plan to use and match them with the specifications of the air compressor you choose. This will ensure reliable and efficient performance and help prolong the life of your tools.

Is a 6-gallon air compressor good for air tools?

A 6-gallon air compressor can be good for air tools, depending on the specific air requirements of the tools you plan to use.

For lighter-duty tools, such as nail guns, and inflation tools, a 6-gallon air compressor with a maximum air pressure of 135 PSI and a CFM rating of 2 or higher may be sufficient.

However, if you plan to use heavy-duty tools such as large-impact wrenches, a 6-gallon air compressor may not be enough.

These types of tools typically require higher airflow and pressure, and a larger compressor with a higher CFM rating may be necessary.

It’s always important to check the air requirements of the specific tools you plan to use and match them with the specifications of the air compressor you select. This will ensure reliable and efficient performance and help prolong the life of your tools.

How many CFM does a 1-2 impact need?

A 1/2-inch impact wrench typically requires a minimum of 4-6 CFM (cubic feet per minute) to function effectively.

The CFM criteria for a 1/2-inch impact wrench can vary depending on the size of the tool and the work you are doing. Generally, it requires a CFM of 2 or higher for normal use and a CFM of 4 or higher for heavy-duty applications.

However, it’s important to check the specific requirements of your 1/2-inch impact wrench, as the CFM can vary between models and brands.

Always match the CFM of your air compressor to the CFM requirements of your 1/2-inch impact wrench to ensure reliable and efficient performance.

Can a pancake air compressor be used to run an impact wrench?

Yes, a pancake air compressor can operate a 1/2-inch impact wrench, but it is recommended to consider other, preferable options for heavy-duty applications.

Due to their lower CFM when compared to larger air compressors, pancake air compressors may not have enough airflow to operate an impact wrench.

Look at the manufacturer’s specifications before selecting a pancake compressor because there are questions regarding the capacity of the pancake air compressor to generate a sufficient volume of CFM.

It is advised to select a larger compressor that has a higher CFM score to run an impact wrench.

Read More About What Size Of Air Compressor Do I Need For Impact Wrench?

James Cole

Considering that most people continue to pay the masters in the service for a consultation, I decided to create my blog.

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