What size compressor for air sander equipment? For an air sander, make sure to have different sizes of air compressor storage tanks. If the project doesn’t require so much pressure or air, then a tank of 10-30 gallons will suffice. For larger projects, it is advisable to increase the size of the tank.
Ideally, a stationary compressor reservoir that can provide 15-20 CFM and has a storage capacity of 60-100 gallons will operate seamlessly.
What is an air sander?
An air sander is a device that is powered by an air compressor and it’s commonly used to smoothen an object’s surface. This could be an automotive part, metalworking materials, glass, pottery, stone, surface grinding or sand operations, fine polishing as well as surface leveling polishing operations.
There are various kinds of air sander designs, including random orbit sanders and palm-type devices used majorly to carry out fine detail work.
The most popular type of air sander is the small square model. It works with one-quarter of a sheet of sandpaper.
Air sanders operate using pneumatic power. It is a faster method for removing materials from workpieces as compared to electric sanders.
As a pneumatic tool, an air sander is both powerful and efficient, which makes it a good choice for numerous types of jobs. It is powered by air and works with an air compressor which delivers the air. Generally, you would find that an air sander is smaller and lighter than an electric sander.
The compressor of an air sander should have a large storage tank to hold a great amount of air for work. The motor of the compressor should equally be large enough to power and maintain the demand of the air sander.
Commonly referred to as ‘hose,’ the airline of an air sander is used to connect the compressor to the air tool. The hose should be large enough in diameter to provide enough airflow required to operate the sander. All air sanders come with instructions from the manufacturer on the type of air compressor and air hose that will work best on it.
It is equally important to ensure there is a water filter placed between the air sander and the compressor to avoid water damage. When air is heated, the byproduct is water and this water can get into the sander, causing some serious damage. The water filter will help avert this completely.
What to consider when choosing an air compressor for sanding
The choice of air compressor for a sanding project can be quite challenging because it is important to get a tool suitable for the job. One of the first things to consider when choosing an air compressor is the type of project to be carried out and if you would need constant airflow or irregular airflow.
That said, here are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing an air compressor for sanding:
CFM Rating of Air compressor
As a rule, an air sander should make sure of an air compressor that can generate a minimum of 10 cubic feet per minute (CFM). Although in some cases, you might be able to wing using a compressor of less than 10 CFM depending on the type of air sander you purchase. However, this is not advisable.
It is safer and more convenient to use an air compressor that can produce an airflow of 10 CFM for the air sander to keep running continuously.
For an air sander, the right amount of air pressure is important. Your compressor should be able to provide the pressure needed to power the tool properly.
Air pressure is measured per square inch (PSI). Ideally, for smaller projects, your compressor should have a PSI capacity of 90 PSI, and for heavy projects that require more air pressure, the capacity should be 150 PSI or more.
In most cases, you will find that a good number of air compressors state the type of pressure that can work on the air compressors. It is also not advisable to operate an air sander at a pressure below and beyond the specified limit.
Tank size of air compressor
The size of an air compressor’s reservoir will determine the rate of pressured air will be made available to the air sander to operate. A good piece of advice would be to go for a much bigger storage tank.
This is because as the volume increases, the air made available for the air sander will equally increase. In turn, you will spend less time on each job as the compressor will recycle much faster than when a smaller tank is used.
For smaller jobs where constant airflow is not required, a tank size of 6-10 gallons will do. However, if you need an air compressor that runs undisrupted for a larger project then your choice of storage tank should be one of about 30-50 gallons in size.
There is also the option of going for a 60-100 gallon stationary tank; however, this will only suffice if portability and mobility are not much of a requirement. In all, the size of your project is a determining factor when it comes to the size of the air compressor tank.
Duty cycle of air compressor
An air compressor duty cycle is the amount of time it will take a compressor to deliver pressurized air during its cycling. It is usually represented by a percentage.
Typically, a number of compressors have a duty cycle rate of 50%. This implies that the compressor has to take a break for 50% of its cycle time to prevent any form of overheating and to ensure the compressor doesn’t have wear within a short period of time. If the cycle time is 60 minutes, the compressor will have to rest for 30 minutes.
Pneumatic sander vs electric orbital sander
Weight of the sander
While each of these types of sanders is popular in various fields, they weigh differently. Compared to the electric orbital sander, an air sander is much lighter. The weight of the electric orbital sander is a result of the motor inside it while air sanders have no motor in them. This helps reduce their density.
In general, if you have to move about a lot while working, then an air sander is an ideal option for the job as it is lighter and handy. However, for jobs where you need your sander to be stationary, then an electric orbital sander will suffice.
You also have to factor in the weight of the air compressor as well because air sanders require an air compressor to function.
Since pneumatic sanders do not have motors inside of them, they tend to be more quiet compared to electric sanders. However, air sanders also use compressors which are generally loud although some aren’t. If you get a silent compressor, then an air sander would be a good choice.
Regardless of your choice of sander, getting on that doesn’t wear easily and last longer is certainly an important factor.
Generally, an electric sander is more likely to get damaged faster than a pneumatic sander. This is because electric sanders have motors inside of them and some of the components are bound to fail or wear along the line.
How much air pressure does it take to run a DA Sander?
In most cases, pneumatic orbital sanders that provide CFM between 6 to 9 CFM will run optimally with a pressure level of 90 PSI.
However, this is also not advisable for larger projects. For larger jobs that require more pressurized air, 10 CFM at 100 to 120 PSI.
Also, note that the CFM level should be multiplied by 4 in the case of continuous usage.
How many CFM do I need for a sander?
Ideally, your air sander should be rated at about 10 CFM although, in the market, there are some which are less or higher.
However, on average, choose an air compressor that can provide 15 CFM, supplying enough airflow to the sander and in turn enhancing general productivity at work.