How To Use An Air Compressor? - Beginner Guide

An air compressor can be a helpful addition to your tool, whether you want to use it for light-duty jobs such as filling tires or for heavy-duty tasks such as powering nail guns or painting. But, if you've never operated an air compressor before, it can appear rather daunting. But, utilizing an air compressor is easier than you might think. In this article, We'll walk you through the entire procedure, from the initial setup to remove excess moisture for 20-gallon and 30-gallon compressors. We'll also add some advice and best practices for managing your home air compressor.

How To Use An Air Compressor? - 

1/ Initial setup

Let's begin by inspecting the oil. Most smaller air compressors such as 20-gallon and 30-gallon compressors do not require oil today, but the larger ones likely do. When you turn on your air compressor, regardless of its size, please read the manual to ensure it uses oil and to determine where it goes.

If your compressor requires oil to function, the dipstick will likely be near the bottom of one of the compressor's ends. As with your car's engine oil, remove it and check the oil level. If the quantity is going low, add more.

In some instances, such as with an 60-gallon compressor, the manufacturer offers an oil reservoir window that is easy to view. Most hardware, auto parts, and home improvement retailers carry air compressors.

2/ Place the air compressor

how to use an air compressor

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Before using your air compressor, you must locate the optimal location in your workspace. Here are some suggestions for positioning your air compressor securely and efficiently:

  • Choose a firm, level workspace for your air compressor. Do not place your air compressor on an unstable or frail surface.

  • Plug the power cord into an electrical outlet grounded nearby when the power is off. Never operate your air compressor in a non-grounded outlet.

3/ Check the oil level

After placing your air compressor in a secure, stable location, you may check the oil level. A proper oil level in the compressor will ensure optimal performance. Here's how to check the oil level:

  • Check the oil level manually in your air compressor. Depending on the model, some piston-type portable air compressors include a gauge near the compressor's motor that provides a reading.

  • Remove the oil cover and add oil to the recommended mark.

  • If the method of adding oil is unclear, consult your air compressor's instructions or owner's handbook for clarification.

4/ Check the drain valve

You have inspected the compressor's oil. It is now time to check the drain valve. It is often positioned at the base of the air tank.

For proper operation, the drain valve must be closed entirely. If the valve is slightly ajar, you can tighten it with an adjustable wrench, similar to those used for repairing an air conditioner or water heater.

5/ Get prepared the air tank

Now that the drain valve is closed, prepare the air tank. Let's how the procedure works:

  • Move the power switch to the "ON" position to turn the power on. Permit your air compressor to run for around one minute.

  • Observe the air pressure gauge and ensure the compressor shuts off when the pressure capacity of your model is reached. Typically, this ranges between 100 and 115 pounds per square inch. Remember that air pressure is measured in PSI, or pounds per square inch.

6/ Setup PSI

how to use an air compressor

Photo: amazon 

Your air tank is combat-ready. Now is the time to set the PSI, or tank pressure. Below is how the procedure operates. Adjust the maximum PSI of your compressor using the air control valve. This should be determined by the instrument you will be employing. Adjust the air pressure until the tool's required air pressure is reached. There may be multiple changes necessary to attain the correct airflow.

7/ Connect the air hose

how to use an air compressor

Photo: amazon 

Once the PSI has been established, it is time to connect the air hose and get to work. Here's how the procedure unfolds from beginning to end:

  • Connect the air hose to the air compressor on your air compressor. If you need help determining where to attach the airline, consult the handbook.

  • Ensure you have a sufficient hose to reach your work area safely. Whenever possible, leave a little slack while situating your air hose. A hose reel can be helpful if you work with a lengthy hose or prefer to leave your compressor stationary while moving around your workspace.

  • If necessary, wrap the threaded end of the hose. Before threading the hose onto the compressor fitting, you may need to cover the threaded end of the stocking with PTFE tape, also known as thread seal tape, depending on the model of your air compressor.

  • Use an adjustable wrench to secure the hose.

Tip: quick-connect fittings are perfect for home projects. Without PTFE tape, you can rapidly connect the hose to the compressor fitting with these.

8/ Connect the required device

Now that your air hose is linked, you can attach the desired tool. Follow the instructions below to connect the specified device:

  • Attach the tool you will be using to the opposite end of the air hose.

  • Pull the hose's protective collar back and connect it to the tool's air intake valve.

  • Release the collar to secure the connection.

  • Remember that the hose collar must be pulled back when it's time to remove the tool.

9/ Remove excess moisture

Periodically removing moisture from your portable air compressor after use is required. Consulting the owner's manual is vital, although most models need the help of a wrench to remove the drain valve from the bottom of the tank.

After the water has been drained, the valve can be replaced for storage. Keep your air compressor away from moisture on the floor, on a low shelf, or in a low cabinet.

How to maintain an air compressor

Now that you understand how to use your air compressor, there is just one more thing you need to know: how to maintain it so that it lasts a long time properly.

  • Place your air compressor on the floor, a low cabinet, or a low shelf, and keep the area dry.

  • Each type of air compressor has its maintenance requirements, so consult the handbook frequently. Make sure you are familiar with the specifications of your device.

  • Regularly inspect the bolts, as loose fasteners will reduce the effectiveness of your air compressor.

  • Maintain clean intake vents to prevent clogged vents from reducing the compressor's performance.

  • Replace the oil in your air compressor on an annual basis.

  • Check the hoses frequently, as holes and tears in the stockings will cause the equipment to work poorly.

  • Determine when the air tank will require replacement. Even with the finest care, the air tanks on these compressors will ultimately wear out and become hazardous if not replaced promptly.

  • Always use the necessary protective gear for the tools you are utilizing. Portable air compressors have greatly enhanced the safety and efficiency of working with these devices, but fundamental safety considerations must always be observed.


How does an air compressor function sequentially?

The compressor takes in air and creates a vacuum in order to lower the volume of the air. The vacuum forces air to leave the chamber and into its storage tank. When the air pressure in the storage tank reaches its maximum, the compressor shuts off. This is referred to as the duty cycle.

Are air compressors simple to operate?

In addition to being beginner-friendly, building a compressor is as easy as plugging in the hose and electrical cable. Watch the pressure gauges in order to maintain the air pressure in the hose below the amount specified by the power tool.


So, that is all our guide. We hope it will be helpful for you to use an air compressor by our step-by-step guide. We hope you like it, thanks for reading!

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