High-pressure air (HPA) powers the paintballs for approximately 3.7 million enthusiasts in the US. There are about 3 million scuba divers. HPA is an absolute necessity for divers too. Add in emergency responders like fire, police and paramedics, the military and medical uses.
HPA is a matter of life and death for scuba divers and emergency responders. When it is your livelihood, you want the best quality and most reliable air compressor filling your tanks.
There are several options available. You could try a small 2-gallon tank for home use or look at large capacity industrial air compressors. How do you choose? Read on for our recommendation for the best air compressor options to keep in mind.
The Basics About Air Compressors
For these special uses, a Home Depot compressor is not only useless but dangerous. Scuba tanks, oxygen tanks, or paintball guns require high-pressure compressors. The difference between these types of compressors and the DIY home-standard compressor is the pressure and air quality.
First Stage– The piston pulls in air through an intake filter. The air is compressed to around 140 psi. This process generates a great deal of heat.
A cooling coil within the compressor dissipates the heat before the air passes to the second stage. Heat is the enemy of long pump life. This step is critical.
Second Stage– The air is again compressed. This time to around 800 to 1,000 psi. The generated heat is cooled again and the moisture is removed from the air.
Third stage– The air is compressed to as much as 5,000 psi.
From there the air is cooled one more time. The moisture and contaminants are removed and then filtered for breathing. Contaminated air could have serious health consequences if used for breathing use.
Five Options To Consider For Air Compressors
Without fail, you need a compressor to bring give you 4,500 to 5,000 psi. From there it is a question of how conveniently, quickly and reliably they can do that.
1. Cost– if you have all night to fill up your paintball tanks, the smallest compressor might be the best choice. Prepare to sacrifice time.
2. Fast– look for larger airflow for faster filling. Bigger SCFM is better. What takes your cheapy compressor overnight to do, you can now do in an hour.
3. Quiet– choose electric for quieter running. Diesel is louder but more portable.
4. Maintenance– for breathable air tanks correct filters, oil and moisture removal is critical. Think about ease of getting parts and repair.
5. Reputation– quite literally lives are on the line. A company with a long history and experienced technical guidance is what you want.
Best Air Compressor for Your Use
You know your business best. For paintball compression, scuba compression or first responder use, there is a better air compressor to meet your needs. Cost, speed, noise, maintenance, and reputation in balance will show you the best solution to your challenges.