Choosing The Right Air Compressor Tank Size

Choosing The Right Air Compressor Tank Size: A Quick Guide

Air compressor tanks are vital components of air compressors. They ensure that air is pushed into the compressor and expelled out of the air tank. The capacity of an air compressor tank determines how much air can be compressed before it needs to be refilled.

The size of an air compressor tank determines how much volume the tank holds. Compressors with larger tanks can run longer than compressors with smaller tanks. Most compressors come with a tank size chart to determine which tank size is best for a specific application. Before selecting an air compressor tank size, it’s important to understand the different tank sizes and their cf capacity requirements.

By understanding these factors, you’ll have a better idea of what cf size you should choose for your application and whether rotary screws or reciprocating air compressors would be suitable for it. Let’s take a closer look at this in-depth and understand all the factors that go into determining the right air compressor tank size for your requirements

Choosing The Right Air Compressor Tank Size

Choosing The Right Air Compressor Tank Size

Choosing The Right Air Compressor Tank Size

When choosing the right air compressor tank size, it is essential to know the necessary air pressure and CFM requirements of your tools. Besides, tank sizes for hobbyists usually range from 1-20 gallons, while larger industrial tools may require more than a 20-gallon tank.

The size of the tank affects the air capacity and performance of the compressor, with larger tanks allowing for longer continuous periods of operation. This helps provide consistent air pressure and volume throughout the entire use cycle.

Additionally, smaller tanks are suitable for tools that need quick bursts of air and require frequent refills, whereas larger tanks are more suitable for sustained tasks. Considering the size of the compressor when choosing a tank size can help simplify transport and storage too.

1. Grades

Compressed Air tanks are sealed volumes that are typically filled by a compressor unit and discharge air into the piping system. Smaller air compressor tank sizes range from 2 to 80 gallons, while larger air compressor tanks may be used for commercial purposes.

Standard air receiver tank sizes include 5, 7, 9, 10, and 11 gallons. Air compressor tanks vary in size, with smaller tanks being easier to transport and larger tanks being more suitable for most applications.

Compressed air tanks are measured in gallons, with one cubic foot of volume being equal to 7.5 gallons. They are commonly used to store air for industrial applications such as air compressors and portableair tools.

Air compressor tank size is dependent on several factors including the application and required storage capacity. Smaller tanks are easier to transport and larger air compressor tank sizes are more suitable for most applications. Air compressor tank size should be chosen considering the requirements of the application and storage volume requirements.

2. Size

The air compressor tank size is an important factor to consider when purchasing an air compressor. Tanks range from 2 gallons to 80 gallons in size and are typically sufficient for extended projects. For example, a 10-20 gallon tank is generally sufficient for tasks requiring only short bursts of air, such as paint sprayers and screw gun accessories.

However, air compressors with bigger tanks may be able to meet the required CFM and PSI requirements of more demanding applications. Smaller air compressor tanks, such as those between 4 and 10 gallons, can often be used for extended projects.

These air compressors are commonly portable and lightweight, making them ideal for use in commercial or industrial settings. Additionally, air compressor tank sizes can be filtered by best-selling, price, recommendations, closeouts, in-stock, next-day air, and availability.

3. Capacity

Air compressor tanks come in a range of capacities, ranging from 2-gallon jugs to 80-gallon drums. Larger air compressor tanks are available for commercial use. It’s important to choose the right size tank to sustain the tasks and tools that require continuous airflow. This can be determined by the compressor’s horsepower, airflow requirements, and other factors.

The size of the tank should be 10-20% higher than the required capacity. Additionally, compressor design and configuration should also be taken into account when selecting the right size air compressor. It is important to consider all these factors when selecting the air compressor tank size that best suits your needs and work environment.

4. Power Source

Air compressors can be powered by either electricity or gasoline. electric air compressors use standard household voltage, typically between 110V and 120V. However, some models require a 220V to 240V outlet. Gas-powered air compressors are generally used by builders and remodelers due to their high output and convenience at the job site.

Electric compressors require less maintenance and are suitable for indoor use. On the other hand, gasoline-powered air compressors have more horsepower than electric models and are suitable for outdoor use. Whether powered by electricity or gas, air compressors all have one thing in common: They all help save time and money when completing tasks at the job site.

5. Storage Space

Air compressor tanks come in various sizes, ranging from 2 gallons to 80 gallons for commercial use. The tank size determines the number of tools that can be used and projects are undertaken at a time. Larger air compressor tanks are better suited for projects requiring sustained airflow, such as inflating tires.

They are also ideal for air-up car tires but inadequate for pneumatic tools, such as nail guns and power drills. Stand-alone air compressor tanks can give compressors greater versatility, enabling them to perform multiple functions within a work environment.

Air Receiver Tanks For Portable Air Compressors

Air receiver tanks are used in the air compressor to store air and eliminate pulsation. Portable air compressors use air receiver tanks to temporarily store compressed air and eliminate pulsation, which helps connected compressed air systems run more efficiently.

An air receiver tank acts as a buffer between the compressor and fluctuating buffer. This prevents fluctuations in pressure that could damage the compressor or other components.

The size of an air receiver tank depends on the size of your portable air compressor and the specifications of your compressed air system. If you’re using a custom stationary application, a qualified engineer should size the tank for optimal performance. Sizing an air receiver tank for a portable air compressor should be done by someone with experience in handling compressed air equipment.

Tanks For Reciprocating Air Compressors

Tanks for air compressors come in two configurations, horizontal and vertical. Horizontal air compressor tanks are typically used for applications where air needs to be compressed in a single direction; typically air compressor air tank capacities are limited to 150 psi.

Vertical air compressor tanks allow for the compressed air to flow up and out of the tank and into piping systems. Compressed air tanks are sealed volumes that discharge air into compressed air piping systems via an outlet.

Single-stage tanks top out at about 150 psi, while two-stage compressors can compress air to nearly 200 psi. Two-stage compressor tanks use two pistons of different sizes to achieve higher pressures. These larger pistons deliver around 200 psi of pressure.

Air Receiver Tank Size Per Cfm Requirement

Air Receiver Tank Size Per Cfm Requirement

Air receiver tanks are essential to efficiently process air in portable air compressors. These tanks store air and allow it to flow through the compressor when additional power is required. They must be sized according to the volume and pressure variations in air consumption, compressor size, pipe size, and control system strategy.

The tank size must be calculated based on these factors to ensure the efficient processing of air. Air receiver tanks can range in size from 1 gallon to 100 gallons and are typically made of corrosion-resistant metal or glass. An air receiver tank can be identified by its blue tank or air storage tank. They are typically quiet because they use a low air pressure for storage and a higher air pressure for supply.

Tanks For Rotary Screw Air Compressors

Tanks For Rotary Screw Air Compressors

Rotary screw air compressors are used for industrial applications that require a compressor with high efficiency and a long lifespan. These air compressors can provide high-quality air pressure at constant volume, making them suitable for applications such as air conditioning and refrigeration.

They have higher power capacities and can operate continuously, reducing the need for frequent maintenance. Rotary screw air compressors are available in horizontal and vertical tank configurations, each of which has its advantages for specific applications.

Horizontal tank air compressors are typically used for stationary air compressors because they don’t tip over easily. Vertical tank air compressors are better suited for use in applications that require higher pressure or flow rates. They have a large storage capacity and can produce airflow from 0 to 100 psi in as little as 2 seconds.

Factors To Consider When Selecting An Air Compressor Tank Size

Factors To Consider When Selecting An Air Compressor Tank Size

In choosing the right air compressor tank size, you should consider the necessary air pressure and delivery needs for your project, the CFM requirements for the tools you will be using, and your power supply requirements. Additionally, you should be aware of the size of the tank that can hold enough air to complete your project.

Generally, smaller tanks require more frequent duty cycles than larger ones. Also, larger tanks are more expensive than smaller ones. The size of the tank you choose depends on the scope of your project and should not be a factor that causes you to compromise on quality or safety.


When picking an air compressor tank size for your portable air compressor, you have several options to choose from. While larger tanks allow you to work longer, portable air compressors with smaller tank sizes can save you time and effort in the long run.

It’s important to understand the requirements of air compressor tank size before purchasing a portable air compressor tank size to ensure you get the best quality tank at the best price.  Knowing your requirements will help you get the right air compressor tank size for your portable air compressor easily.

When choosing the air compressor tank size for your air compressor, consider factors like volume, tank weight, and cfm output. Every air compressor tank size has its advantages and disadvantages. Knowing these factors will help you make an informed decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Size Air Compressor Tank Do I Need?

To choose the right air compressor tank size for your project, you’ll need to consider the scope of the project, as small tanks are typically used for short projects and larger tanks are ideal for extended projects.

Is A Bigger Tank Better For An Air Compressor?

Yes, a larger tank size can provide higher levels of air pressure for a sustained period due to requiring fewer duty cycles.

Why Does Tank Size Matter For An Air Compressor?

The size of the tank matters for the air compressor because it affects the air capacity and performance of the compressor. Compressors with smaller tanks need to be refilled more frequently and are better suited for hobbyists or light use.

How Do I Choose An Air Compressor Size?

When choosing the right air compressor size, it’s important to understand the air pressure and air delivery requirements of your air-powered tools.

Is An Air Compressor Worth It?

Yes, air compressors can be very beneficial for certain tasks. For example, air compressors can make certain tasks much faster than hand tools. Additionally, air compressors can cost anywhere between $100-$500 for basic models with 3-5 CFM.

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