New hobbyists involved in do-it-yourself home projects may need some guidance in choosing the right tools for the job. If you're spray painting shutters, cabinets or furniture, an easy way to get the job done is with a pneumatic spray gun and an air compressor to power it with. Rather than purchasing an air compressor outright, renting one for the occasional paint job may save you money. Because there are various types of air compressors available to rent, how can you choose the most suitable model for powering your spray paint gun? Follow these few tips before heading out to the rental company:

1. Ask the Associate for an Oil-Free Model

When using an air compressor for powering a spray paint gun, you'll want to select one that is labeled as oil-free. By using an oil-free air compressor, there will be no oily residue clogging the compressor's air hose or dripping into the paint.

2. Look at the Horsepower and CFM

For spray painting tasks, 3-5 horsepower units should work well. More importantly, a major aspect to consider is the Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM) of air pressure that is produced. Check your spray paint gun specifications to note how much CFM it requires for powering it. If you rent an air compressor with a very low rating, the tank will be small and unable to continuously maintain the power for a larger paint job. This interruption results in lost time.

Is your spray gun a low or high-volume pressure model? For a low- volume pressure gun, consider an air compressor rating of 5-8 CFM. A high-volume gun may require a CFM rating of 10 or higher.

3. Gas or Electric: Which Should You Choose?

A gasoline-powered air compressor will offer you the ability to use it outdoors. Keep in mind, gas-driven models should not be used indoors, even in a well-ventilated area. Another factor to consider is the added expense of gasoline, as well as some extra carrying weight. An electrical air compressor is ideal for indoor use where humidity is low. All you will need is access to an electrical outlet to power the unit.

4. Size (and Style) May Matter

If you have limited space for your work area, renting a portable and lightweight air compressor would be a good idea. However, if you have a large workshop, consider renting an air compressor on wheels to move about freely as you work. A unit with an extended hose that can reach tight spaces is another good feature. The drawback to using a long hose is that it may affect the air flow, causing a noticeable degrade in air quality.

There are various styles to choose from as well. Your rental company may offer the portable pontoon design, with a long tank or cylinder. Pancake compressors are also portable, yet the bottom is flat and round. A twin-stack compressor offers twice the power, as it includes two cylinders. This may be best for large jobs, such as spray painting a car or a large piece of furniture.

5. Trap That Moisture

Condensation from an air compressor could cause air bubbles in the paint application. This is why it helps to ask for an air compressor with a built-in moisture trap or water trap filter. This feature will filter out moisture before it can cause inconsistencies in your paint job.

6. Consider the Noise Output

If you're working around the house, apartment or dorm room, a noisy air compressor could upset the household pets and neighbors. The air compressors for rent should list a decibel rating. Look for 70 decibels or less, and this should run fairly quietly.

For more information, contact an air compressor rental company like Summit Tool Rentals Division Of Wirtz Rentals.