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How Big Of An Air Compressor For Impact Wrench

BySomiala Obgorto

Oct 19, 2022

Picking a model of a pneumatic impact wrench is not the only difficult decision you will need to make. Right after buying the power tool you also need to pick an air compressor for it. Therefore, you should be aware of how big of an air compressor is suitable for an impact wrench.


Similar to power tools, when you search for air compressors, a flood of different options will greet you. It is enough to puzzle any buyer, but knowing the perfect size of air compressor your impact wrench needs is the small bit of information that can turn the situation around quickly.


Lucky for you, there are a few factors that can help in finding the best size. For your ease, I have jotted down every last bit of information that helped me in the article below. Therefore, read it carefully, as it will help you find out how big of an air compressor will be suitable for your impact wrench.

How Big Of An Air Compressor For Impact Wrench

If you are eager to find out how big of an air compressor you need to invest in, then the points below will help you determine that.

Ideal Size Of Air Compressor

A pneumatic impact wrench can not function without an air compressor, even rookies know that. However, what most users do not know is that you need to pick an air compressor very carefully. Buying just any large gallon you see in the market, and connecting it to your tool will not give you smooth operation. The ideal size of an air compressor varies from one model of an impact wrench to the other. However, if I have to pick one size suitable for every model of impact wrench, then it would be an 80-gallon air compressor. The tanks of these models are large enough to power smaller as well as larger impact wrenches.

Factors That Determine The Right Size

Even though an 80-gallon air compressor will work for every model of impact wrench out there, there is no harm in finding a perfect and specific fit for your impact wrench. In order to do that, you will need to keep the following factors in your mind during your search.

Size Of The Impact Wrench

The first factor that is important in finding a suitable air compressor is the size of the impact wrench itself. If you are using a smaller pneumatic impact wrench, you can easily power it through a 10-gallon to 20-gallon air compressor. However, for a bigger impact wrench, you are going to need an air compressor that is also big enough.

Determine The Required CFM And PSI

This is a technical feature which can also become a deal breaker, if not considered. Every model of impact wrench needs a different level of airflow, which is determined in CFM or cubic feet per minute. Therefore, the CFM delivery of an air compressor should meet the CFM requirement of an impact wrench. In fact, it should be higher than the CFM rating of your impact wrench. To put it in simpler words, if an impact wrench has a 5 CFM airflow rating, then you need an air compressor that delivers at least 7.5 CFM of airflow. The simple way of making this calculation is by multiplying the CFM rating of your impact wrench by 1.5, and voila, you will have your answer.


Similar to CFM, the PSI of every model of air compressor is also a crucial detail that should never be overlooked. The PSI stands for pounds per square inch and it is basically the pressure of the airflow. Most models of impact wrenches need 90 to 100 PSI to operate smoothly. However, if you have a larger and more powerful model, then you may need an air compressor that offers higher PSI.

Type Of Project

I have seen many users disregard this factor while making a purchase and then regret it later. The type of project that you are working on also needs to be kept in mind while you are picking an air compressor. If you are going to work on larger projects such as construction work, or a mechanic’s garage, then you need an air compressor that comes with a larger tank such as 70 gallons or 80 gallons. However, if you need to change your car’s tires in your own house every once in a while, then even a 30-gallon air compressor will suffice.

Importance Of Picking An Air Compressor Of The Right Size

Air compressors come in different sizes, the range starts from as small as 4-gallon and goes as high as 90 gallons. If you do not pick the right size of an air compressor for your impact wrench, you can be stuck in a situation where the tool stops working mid-operation. Furthermore, if the CFM and PSI of the air compressor do not meet the power tool’s requirements, you can’t operate the impact wrench to its maximum capacity.


Pneumatic impact wrenches and air compressors work hand in hand, you can not have the former without the latter. However, it is important to spend your money on the right air compressor for your impact wrench and I do not mean the build of the machine. You need to pick the right size, and the article above will help you in determining how big of an air compressor your impact wrench needs.


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