Whether you are needing an Air Compressor for small projects or as a professional, picking the right one and maintaining it is absolutely essential. A small portable compressor can be used for most applications but if you are part of a Daytona 500 Pit Crew... you may need something bigger. Noise can also be an issue, while using your compressor outside once or twice a year the louder ones may not be a problem, however, if you are like this Craftsman and run one daily you will need a "Silent" one.
Depending on the projects or purpose of the machine there are different features you may need to ensure you have. I need to run both a Laser Engraving Machine and various tools at the same time. For this i need one with 2 air lines and a regulator so i can adjust the PSI, also because my shop is in a residential zone, i need it to be quiet. I will include a link to where you can find the one i use below. The other obstetrical i face is the dreaded "water in the line" that can easily destroy your tools and for those Laser Engravers out there, the water can ruin your lens and project. So how do i prevent this from happening? First and most important is proper compressor maintenance, mainly being emptying the air tank every 2-3 days! This will prevent a lot of moisture in the lines and for the unavoidable moisture left, i use a disposable moisture trap. These are very cheap and simple to use and will only need to be swapped out maybe once a month depending on usage.
Other than that, air compressors are easy to use and can preform so many tasks. I highly recommend a small portable one for any Craftsperson no mater the skill level. Remember, you get what you pay for, while those small pancake compressors are super cheap, they don't last long and they are extremely loud! In the long run, cheaper usually ends up costing more.
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