When you first start to assemble a list of essential home-improvement tools, it might be easy to overlook the humble air compressor. In fact, however, these relatively simple pieces of machinery are extremely versatile tools that can make many jobs around the house far easier to complete. Once you have an air compressor around, it might be hard to imagine life without one. Today we’ll look at a few of our favorite uses for these remarkably handy tools.
An air compressor can make quick work of big painting jobs with a spray gun. Whether you’re painting an entire room or just refinishing some furniture, a spray gun can dramatically decrease the time it takes to complete your painting project. Plus, once you get the hang of a spray gun you can achieve superior results (smoother, more even coats) to painting with a brush.
An air compressor can be an especially valuable addition to your garage. Attach an air gun to blast stuck-on dirt out of engine components. Use an impact wrench to spin out bolts in seconds. And, in a world where free air is increasingly hard to come by at gas stations, it never hurts to have an inexpensive option in your home for filling up a tire.
There are few things more satisfying than shooting a few dozen nails into a plan of wood in less than thirty seconds. Once you use a nail gun, going back to a hammer feels like stepping into the Stone Age. We know of plenty of homeowners who get compressors exclusively to use with a nail gun.
Rather than buying a devoted pressure washer, why not just attach a sprayer head to your compressor? There are plenty of these on the market that can feed right from your garden hose. Instead of spending an arm and a leg on a pressure washer, you can pick up one of these sprayer heads for about $100.
Before you spray a piece of furniture, you’ll need to remove the existing finish first. Electric sanders work pretty well, but they get hot which can make it difficult to accomplish big tasks in one sitting. Air sanders aren’t subject to this shortfall, so they’re the preferred instrument of many furniture restoration enthusiasts.