Sunday, April 24, 2005

Choosing the right air compressor for you air tools - Duty cycle

One of the more critical aspects of air compressors is the duty cycle. It is also one of the least understood. Simply stated it is how long the compressor actually runs. It is described using a percentage and tells you how the unit runs during a certain amount of time. For example, if you have an air compressor rated with a 50% duty cycle, the compressor will run for 10 minutes in a 20 minute period. If the operator exceeds 50%, you can damage the unit. Most hardware store compressors are rated at 50% duty cycle and industrial units are rated at 75% and higher. In a nutshell the higher the duty cylce the more production you will get out of your air tool. For the garage hobbiest, 50% is probably ok. But if time is money, consider investing in a higher duty cycle. Also consult the specifications from your air tool manufacturer for more information.

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