What Air Compressor is Needed for an Impact Wrench

Posted: March 30, 2017 By: MattM

An impact wrench is a life saver when it comes to removing stubborn stuck hardware, or quickly removing a lot of hardware. This tool can change the game in a home shop and leaves many with asking what air compressor they need to run their impact wrench or impact gun. This questions can be answered a few different ways but we decided to give you a options that can help you decide which air compressor is right for your shop, budget, and impact wrench.

  1. What is the CFM rating of your impact wrench? – In the end of the day CFM is king with air compressors and regardless of the size of the tank or horsepower of the engine, your compressor isn’t a help if it can’t keep up with the tools you want to use. Most impact wrenches require 4-5CFM at around 90 PSI. This means that your air compressor should be able to put out around the same or higher or you could have a problem.
  2. How much do you plan to use your impact wrench?- Generally impact wrenches are intermittent use tools and are only using air for about 15 seconds at a time. What this means is that a small home shop can get away with a compressor that has a smaller tank, but puts out adequate CFM. The downside to this is that if you’re using the tool continuously or with little down time, the compressor tank will run out of air and have to run to fill up often. If you drain the air down too much your CFM and power of the impact will drop and you will have to wait for the compressor to catch up often.’
  3. What other tools do you plan to use with the compressor? – Don’t narrow your compressor search down by the use of one tool alone. Once you get introduced to the world of compressed air you surely will be expanding your tool collection. We always suggest to sit down and think about the most air-hungry tools you might want to use and base your compressor purchase off of that. As a rule of thumb continuous use air tools require the most air or CFM. An example of continuous use air tools are grinders, cut-off tools, media blasters, sanders, paint guns, etc. These tools all are using the generous amounts of air for many minutes at a time and will cause frustration if your compressor can’t keep up.

Regardless of what impact wrench you want to power, make sure that you take some time to really research the needs of your compressor and where you want to put it before you fork out your hard earned cash. We offer compressors from small to large that will cover the entire range of pneumatic tools. Find our complete offering of air compressors here: https://www.eastwood.com/air-compressors/ .

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