What Size Air Compressor Do I Need for Impact Wrench?

Impact Wrench Air Compressor Sizesjpg

An air compressor is useful for several compact and handy tools like sanders, drills, impact wrenches, etc. Individuals use it for several purposes in their houses, factories, and garages.

But why are air compressors so crucial? Because it can operate all the tools, especially an impact wrench, and turn electrical energy into kinetic energy.

Once you have chosen your impact wrench, it is time to select the correct size air compressor to ensure that the impact wrench will run smoothly.

So, What Size Air Compressor Do I Need for Impact Wrench?

While evaluating and selecting an air compressor, air pressure is not the only thing you have to consider. You will also have to look for its tank size as well.

Air compressors are available in various sizes, and they are always measured in gallons. Well, you might already know that the large air compressors are capable of holding more air.

It means that you have to spend more time working and less time filling up the air tank. In summary, the larger the air compressor’s tank size, the better it will be.

Moreover, the minimum air compressor for an impact wrench is six-gallons with 4 CFM. This is as low as you can go. A gallon lower than that can create a problem in using the tool. What’s more, it is better to opt for an air compressor with a twenty-gallons tank capacity or more.

However, the other thing you might have to consider is the cost. A large tank air compressor can let you work for an extended period without any interruptions, but it might not be an economical option for you.

Will A Six-Gallon or Three-Gallon Air Compressor Be Able To Run An Impact Wrench?

In short, a six-gallon air compressor will be able to run an impact wrench. What’s more, a six-gallon air compressor is the smallest size air compressor to run an impact wrench. With this size wrench, you can work efficiently for a few minutes before you are entirely out of stored air.

A six-gallon air compressor might be an ideal option for individuals who are occasionally using an impact wrench at home.

In contrast, a three-gallon air compressor will not be able to run an impact wrench. These air compressors are relatively inexpensive, and they are sold as “starter” or “beginner” air compressors.

Since they are cheaper, a lot of people end up buying them. But does that work to run an impact wrench? Probably not! Because these compressors have weak air pressure.

Furthermore, these air compressors have an air pressure of about 0.5 CFM. Therefore, it will not be a good investment because it will fail to provide sufficient air for the impact wrench to work reliably.

How Much Air Pressure Does A Different Impact Wrench Requires?

impact wrench air compressor requirements

Air compressors are generally measured by the flow of air (CFM) and air pressure (PSI). Air pressure is crucial because the higher the air pressure, the powerful the tool will be.

So how much flow of air and air pressure do you need for the impact wrench? It depends on the size of the impact wrench you own.

We have listed the most typical impact wrench sizes with the air consumption pressure to make things easier for you.

1-inch Impact Wrench

These impact wrenches are relatively uncommon, and you will only find them in construction areas or sites. Since the wrench’s size is large, you will require a powerful air compressor.

The best air compressor for a one-inch impact wrench is between 9 to 16 CFM. These air compressors are not budget-friendly, but these are the ones that will correctly run a one-inch impact wrench.

¾-inch Impact Wrench

This is another least common size used because they are so powerful, and you cannot use them for your home projects.

Moreover, the ideal air compressor for an ¾-inch impact wrench is 7 CFM. This size wrench can handle significant components present inside more giant trucks.

What’s more, a ¾-inch impact wrench is a suitable option if you work in a commercial setting, a construction area, or a big truck.

½-inch Impact Wrench

These are the most common wrenches, and the ½-inch impact wrench is present in the size chart’s middle. Moreover, this size wrench delivers the best balance between power and precision.

Which air compressor will be suitable for the ½-inch impact wrench? For this kind of wrench, you have a lot of options. You can use anywhere from about 3.5 to 5 CFM air compressors.

Not to mention, the ½-inch impact wrench is perfect for handling a variety of jobs, either small or large. If you are working with this size wrench, opt for a 5 CFM air pressure because it delivers the right balance.

⅜-inch Impact Wrench

A ⅜-inch impact wrench is small, compact, and is straightforward to use in tight spaces. With this small wrench, you will need double the power.

Therefore, it is better to go with air compressors that provide 3 to 3.5 CFM. You can go for a lower CFM, but it will not work outstandingly.

If you are searching for an air compressor specifically for an ⅜-inch impact wrench, it is best to opt for an air compressor between 3 to 3.5 CFM.

¼-inch Impact Wrench

It is another one of the smallest wrenches that are compact and easy to use. For this wrench’s size, you do not require a lot of air pressure.

An air compressor that gives around 1 to 1.5 CFM will be sufficient to run an ¼-inch impact wrench. Can you go for high air pressure? Yes, indeed. You can go for more air pressure if you like, but it is not necessary.

Why Is It Necessary To Select A Right Size Air Compressor for An Impact Wrench?

You need to have a proper tool kit whether you do mini DIY house projects, work at a construction site, or are a mechanic. The right and top quality tools will provide you the following benefits:

  • More power
  • Less heat
  • Greater longevity
  • Reduce the risk of fire and electrical shock
  • Minimize the weight to reduce the operational fatigue

Moreover, before purchasing an air compressor, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • For which projects do you need it for? Small maintenance tasks or large construction projects?
  • How much space do you have for the air compressor in your house?
  • Where will you use the air compressor: garage or the factory?
  • Which energy source is available in your area for using an air compressor?

These are the questions you should ask yourself before finalizing your decision because they will help you select accordingly.

Features To Look For When Purchasing An Air Compressor

You should check out the following features before purchasing an air compressor for yourself:

  • Tank size
  • Horsepower (HP)
  • Cubic feet per minute (CFM)
  • Air pressure (PSI)
  • Oil-less or oil
  • Moisture problems

Ending Note

You have reached the end of the article. I hope you now know that a right-sized air compressor is necessary to run the impact wrench reliably.

Furthermore, a six-gallon air compressor is perfect for running an impact wrench and it fits easily in almost every garage.