A portable compressor is an ideal option for any car trip. Vehicle tires lose pressure when driving several kilometers or puncturing suddenly. Having the right tools can make the difference to face the inconveniences that can happen traveling on the road.
To drive safely and keep the wheels in perfect condition, it is necessary to periodically check that the tire air pressure is recommended by the manufacturer.
We know that choosing a portable compressor can be complicated and we have prepared this guide with all the necessary information to help you make a good purchase.
Portable Compressors Buyer Guide
A portable air compressor is a tool designed to keep the pressure of your tires at the right point even when traveling. But you have to know it a little before buying it.
Here we have answered the most frequent questions asked by those who, like you, are looking for information on the portable compressor.
What Is a Portable Compressor?
The portable compressor is an instrument designed to increase the pressure of gases or vapors known as “compressible”. The compression process takes place through the exchange of energy between the machine and the gaseous fluid. When the energy flow begins the gas pressure increases.
Portable air compressors are compact. They represent the evolution of manual air pumps used to inflate the wheels of bicycles. These models, more powerful and with digital functions, are designed to be carried in the trunk of the car or to be stored in the garage.
Characteristics of A Portable Compressor
The main characteristics of a portable compressor are its dimensions. These tools are designed to be transported, so they need to take up little space. Most have a shell shape, which allows you to store accessories inside.
Other models have the shape of a pressure gauge, which makes them even lighter. Another feature is to have the DC power connection. These sockets allow the connection of the compressor to the car cigarette lighter.
Some models have lithium batteries, backlit LCD screens, memory to program the tire pressure, and even emergency torches.
What Is a Portable Air Compressor Used For?
The main use of a portable air compressor is generally to maintain the pressure of a car’s tires. Vehicle manufacturers recommend keeping the wheels within a safe pressure range. The compressors are used to control this pressure and to inflate the tires when necessary.
This pressure should be checked periodically and maintained. In fact, we can use the portable air compressor to keep all types of tires inflated, such as those of a bicycle or motorcycle.
Being compact and easy to handle, we can use them to inflate balls of all kinds, floats, and other toys. They are also the ideal complement for camping since mattresses can also be inflated.
What Are the Advantages of Portable Air Compressors?
The main advantage of portable compressors is their portability. Being compact we can carry them in the trunk of our car and have them ready for any eventuality.
Just a puncture in the middle of the road and you will understand how important it is to have one of these compressors with you. Furthermore, they have the light to be able to intervene even at night.
Another advantage that we can add to their portability is that most models have an integrated memory that allows you to program the tire pressure. Here is a list of the advantages of this type of compressor:
- You can take them in the trunk of the car, which will allow you to solve any unexpected or punctures on the road.
- They have integrated LED lights, which allow you to work at night.
- Most models have LCD screens that make it easier to read data.
- They have a memory that allows you to program the pressure of your tires
- Avoid trips to the gas station or car workshops just to check the pressure of your tires.
- By keeping the wheels within the pressure recommended by the manufacturer, you can drive safely.
What Are the Pressure and Inflation Capacity?
Tire pressure is essential if you want to optimize a vehicle’s performance and ensure that your tires have high wear resistance and a better life. First of all, it is necessary to know that tire inflation pressure has a direct influence on the safety and load capacity of the vehicle.
A correctly inflated tire stabilizes the vehicle structure and evenly distributes the supported load, which allows to optimize performance and ensure greater safety.
What Is Air Flow?
The airflow of a compressor is the amount of compressed air, measured as a volume, which is supplied through the compressor per unit of time.
The flow must always refer to the temperature, pressure, and humidity conditions in which it was measured. It is usually expressed in liters per minute (l / min).
How Do You Use a Portable Air Compressor?
The first step is to mark the correct pressure on the indicator screen. In portable compressors, it is very easy to set it according to your needs, since it is usually adjusted using the buttons or the pressure gauge. Once you have marked the optimal pressure you can memorize it for the next time.
Once this is done, it is necessary to apply the compressor nozzle to the air valve in the wheel. Wait a moment for it to sync and start inflating. Digital models stop automatically when they reach the indicated pressure. Remove the nozzle and store the compressor again. It is really easy.
Here is a step-by-step list of how to use a portable air compressor.
- Turn on the air compressor
- Using the buttons, mark the correct pressure of your tires on the screen.
- Remove the valve cap and leave it in a safe place.
- Apply the compressor nozzle to the valve
- Wait for the compressor to stabilize.
- An automatic compressor will stop when it reaches the indicated pressure. In case it is not, look carefully at the pressure gauge to lock the compressor at the right time
- In case of excessive inflation, use the compressor to eliminate excess pressure until reaching the value indicated by the manufacturer.
- Once the wheels are inflated, close the valves and turn off the compressor.
Here we had also shared and proper video guide ao you can understand that properly.
To purchase a portable air compressor, you need to take into account your needs and characteristics. There are many different models that make the choice difficult. To facilitate the task, below we explain the most important criteria to consider.
Read on if you want to buy the best portable air compressor on the market.
- Work pressure
- Dimensions and weight
- Scope and light
To choose a portable compressor it is necessary to evaluate several factors that directly affect the performance of the equipment. One of the most important is the power of the compressor.
Hand or portable compressors usually have powers between 1.5 and 5 HP, they are suitable for home and professional use. Portable compressors are designed for domestic work, such as inflating toys or mats and, above all, car tires.
If you have a big car you should check if the compressor power is sufficient, otherwise, any compressor can be used to inflate the wheels of a car, motorcycle, or bicycle.
Portable air compressors do not all have the same type of power supply. There are some that only work through the cigarette is lighter.
Other models have the possibility of being connected to the electric current. The models with the best features have both options and lithium batteries are also provided.
Most machines and equipment need pressure that does not exceed 6 bar for their operation. Portable air compressors usually have pressures ranging from 2 to 6 bar.
Although it may seem small, this air pressure is sufficient to inflate most tires, even those of an SUV.
Although it is true that portable air compressors are ideal to carry in the car to always have the optimum tire pressure, this does not mean that it is the only way we can use them. Most models have nozzles and adapters that allow you to inflate balls, mats, and all types of toys.
Some models also include perfectly functioning compressed air guns, such as blowers, and you can use them to inflate balloons or clean your computer keyboard.
Being in the middle of the night on a road to inflate a tire because you have a flat tire can be very dangerous. Thinking about such moments, the compressor inflation speed is a determining factor for the choice.
Among the fastest are compressors that only take 3 minutes to fully inflate the wheel. The most common portable air compressor models take between 10 and 15 minutes to fully inflate a wheel of approximately 35 PSI.
The advice we give you is to look for the fastest one with the lowest price. In case your budget allows you to buy a fast model, always choose that.
Dimensions and Weight
Generally, all portable air compressors are compact, but before deciding which one to choose you to need to know that these devices are available in different sizes. It is important that you know very well how much space you have available, whether you want to put it in the trunk of the car or if you intend to store it in your garage or in a closet.
These tools are small but very powerful. Most usually do not exceed 500 grams, although some models can reach one kilogram. The little ones can be kept in the glove compartment, while the most common are those to be stored in the trunk of the car.
What you want when you buy an instrument with these characteristics is that it lasts as long as possible. Therefore, an important factor when choosing which portable compressor to buy is its robustness. This will largely depend on the materials used in its manufacture.
Portable air compressors are generally made of durable plastic and have aluminum structures. This is because they shouldn’t be heavy. Although these materials are light, the resulting tools are tough and durable and have warranty seals and manufacturing standards to confirm it.
Most modern portable air compressors have an LCD screen, these are very comfortable because they clearly show the data. In the models with the pressure gauge, the pressure is indicated by a needle, which is not always easy to read. Again, if you can, choose a model with a digital backlit screen.
Many models also have integrated LED lights. This type of light is ideal for night emergencies since inflating the wheels in the dark can be complicated and dangerous.
Scope and Light
Choose portable air compressors that incorporate hoses at least 3 meters long. In this way, you can work comfortably on all wheels, without limiting the size of the tire or the vehicle itself.
If the tube is short, the inflation operation will be very complicated and uncomfortable and, if your vehicle is very large, you may not be able to reach all the wheels.
As for the light, the compressor incorporates a flashlight, this is an extra safety that should not be overlooked. Many models have powerful LED flashlights, ideal for night use, others have an emergency mode with flashing red lights for help.