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How To Choose a Quality Air Compressor for Your Body Shop


To ensure the success of your body shop, you must use quality products and appliances. Learn how to choose an air compressor that performs reliably.

An automotive body shop uses various tools that require an efficient air compressor. The appliances you use can impact the quality of your work negatively or positively. Learn how to choose the best air compressor for your body shop. You need one that is reliable and capable of the jobs you need it to perform.

Where Will You Put the Compressor?

Air compressors require a ventilated area that remains at a stable temperature—otherwise, the appliance could overheat and prevent you from working. In addition, the size of the compressor will determine how much power you need to sufficiently supply the machine with energy.

Maintain a 36-inch gap between the air compressor and the rest of the shop so the appliance can breathe and ventilate while giving you enough room to service it if needed. When in doubt, consult the user manual for additional help with the regulations for the appliance.

How Much Pressure Do You Need?

The amount of pressure you need from the air compressor depends on the tools you are using in the body shop. To choose a quality machine, understand what pounds per square inch (PSI) your tools operate at. In most cases, air tools need 90 PSI, while a tire changer needs more at 130 PSI. Typically, you want to purchase a compressor based on the device with the highest PSI to guarantee you have enough pressure. You can then use pressure-reducing valves and regulators for smaller tools.

Will You Be Painting or Performing Cosmetic Maintenance?

Do you plan on performing cosmetic maintenance on vehicles in your shop or using a paint gun with your compressor? Water is a natural by-product of this machine and could cause issues with paint guns if water from the compressor hose mixes with the paint. If this is the case, consider purchasing additional equipment, like reliable air dryers to keep water out of the lines and a filtration system to keep the air pure and free from dirt and other contaminants.

Consider every application where you may need an air compressor in your body shop. Compare specs with other machines to get a better picture of what you need to look for. Keep your budget in mind while also searching for a reliable, efficient compressor that will meet your shop’s needs.

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