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How to Use an Air Compressor

Air compressors are tremendously beneficial as they are used to power any pneumatic tool that you might own. From nail guns and nailers to even using them in cleaning, their applications and uses are limitless, so if you are a professional or a DIYer, then you most certainly own one.

Throughout this article, we will do our best to show you the best ways of using an air compressor.

Two Main Types:

Before we start talking about how to use an air compressor, we must first become familiar with the two main types of air compressors. They are:

  • Oil Air Compressor
  • Oil-Free Air Compressor

It is easy to identify which type of air compressor you have, the easiest thing to do would be to check your user manual. Also, there is a difference in size between them as oil air compressors tend to be much bigger than oil-free ones.

Now, if you have an oil air compressor before doing anything, there is an important step that you will need to do. Before starting your air compressor, you must first check your oil level. The exact amount of oil will always be stated in your user manual. To check your air compressor’s oil level, you can:

1. Use an Oil Dipstick

This is the easiest method as we do the same thing that we do when we check our cars’ oil level. You simply insert the oil dipstick in its place and check the oil level.

2. Check the Oil Sight Glass

This is also easy to do; however, it is not available in all models. The oil sight glass is at the air compressor’s front, and all you have to do is just to check if the oil is above the middle of the glass by a small bit.

When you use both methods, either the dipstick or oil sight glass, and you find that you are low or oil or have too much oil. You must at once either drain some oil in case of having too much oil or add oil in case you do not have enough. This is crucial to maintain your compressor’s efficiency and performance.

Now that we have talked about the two main types of air compressors, we will become familiar with using them.

The 9 Steps To Use an Air Compressor:

1. Check The Oil Level

As we talked about before, this is an essential step to maintain your compressor’s performance. If you need oil, then add some, and if you have an excessive amount of oil, then you must drain your oil reservoir.

2. Attach The Hose to The Regulator

The regulator is a copper-colored, circular valve; its functions is to push out pressurized air. So the valve must be attached to the regulator at one end and to your tool at the other.

3. Attach Your Tool to The Hose

Like we said in the last point, the hose functions as a conductor of pressurized air, so it takes the air from the reservoir at one end and then to your power tool at the other end so it must be connected to both ends always.

4. Plug Your Compressor Into a Power-Outlet

It is very important to do this step after you connected the hose. You must also make sure that your air compressor is turned off and not working.

5. Check The Safety Valve

This step is also crucial to maintain the performance of your compressor. You need to pull the safety valve out and listen for the hiss. This hiss means that pressurized air is escaping, and it is definitely a good sign.

6. Turn The Compressor on

This is fairly easy; all you have to do is to flip the switch and wait for the compressor to fill with air. Once the needle on the pressure gauge comes to a stop, this means that the tank is full of air.

7. Identify Your Power Tool’s Needed Pressure

This is critical to keep your tool functioning perfectly and to maintain its lifespan. All

pneumatic power tools need different amounts of pressurized air or simply PSI (pressure per square inch). Each tool’s PSI is inscribed on it, and you just need to identify it. So, for example, if your tool needs a maximum of 100 PSI to work, then you need to supply it with about 85 to 90 PSI.

8. Set The Pressure Regulator Knob

This knob is present on the hose, and it regulates the amount of pressurized air from the compressor into your power tool. All you have to do is turn it counterclockwise to increase the PSI until you reach your tool’s required PSI.

9. Use Your Power Tool

This is the final step of using your air compressor as now everything is ready for you to use your pneumatic power tool. You will, of course, need the hose to stay connected to supply your tool with pressurized air.

Turning It Off

Turning off your air compressor is just as important as turning it on. As if you do it the correct way, you will maintain your compressor and keep it in its top shape. All you have to do is:

  • Unplug the compressor from the power outlet; you must not remove the hose until the compressor has been completely drained, and all the air has escaped.
  • Finally, remove the hose from both ends (your power tool and the regulator), and store the hose and compressor in a safe environment.
  • A tip would be to open the air tank drain after every two or three uses in order to let out any condensation. The valve is located on the underside of the air tank, twist it counterclockwise using your hands or a piler or a wrench if it is too hard. You should leave it open till you no longer hear the airflow.

Final Thoughts

Finally, we can say that using an air compressor is fairly easy too and if done right will surely improve your work’s efficiency and your performance as well.

John Graham

John Graham

I am a 35-year old avid DIY-er. Ever since I was young, my father used to prompt me to help fix things around the house or even building my own cupboards and shelves.
That’s why I developed the habit of doing everything on my own. And since this is the only way to reach the unique results I really want, I don’t like depending on any services.

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