The Many Uses of Air Compressors


Air compressors use a motor or engine to convert power into what is essentially stored energy via pressurised air. The compressor forces a large amount of air into a tank, increasing the overall pressure in the tank as additional air is forced into it. When the pressure hits its limit, the compressor turns off and the compressed air can then be used in a number of different ways. As it’s used and the pressure decreases, the compressor reactivates and begins to add additional air into the tank, re-pressurising it.

This basic concept can be used in a number of very different ways. Here are some of the uses of an air compressor and the industries that benefit from them.

Spray Painting

Air compressors can be used to power spray paint guns. These guns fire streams of paint from them in a way that’s similar to standard spray paint but much more powerful and steady. A professional using one of these compressed painting tools can quickly coat cabinets, furniture, cars, walls, and anything else with an even coat of paint in much less time than it would take to do so with a brush. The stream can be adjusted to spray a very narrow stream of paint or to spray a wider spray as needed.

Compressed Air Dryers

These devices are used to actually remove any water vapour found in compressed air. Water vapour increases the air’s dew point, which can cause condensation when the compressed air is sent through pipes. This can cause a number of different issues such as causing outdoor air lines to freeze up, pipes to experience corrosion, and instruments to malfunction. A number of different commercial and industrial facilities make use of compressed air dryers to avoid these issues.

Nail Guns and Other Construction Uses

Carpentry and construction professionals make use of air compressors in a number of different ways. The nail gun is one of the most common applications of compressed air in these industries. It uses compressed air to shoot a nail into a board without any hammering, saving time and driving the nail in perfectly straight. On construction sites, rotary screw compressors can be found powering jackhammers and other tools that let operators complete tasks in a very fast and safe manner.


The air tanks divers use while exploring the ocean contain compressed air. The air in these tanks is very highly compressed so that the tank can supply a good amount of oxygen, allowing the diver to remain underwater for longer amounts of time. This compressed air passes through a number of filters to make certain it is clean so the diver doesn’t inhale anything that could damage his or her lungs.

Dental Uses

Dentists make use of a specialised type of blow dryer to clean their patients’ teeth. This dryer uses compressed air to remove all of the moisture around the area the dentist plans on working on. Like divers, the air used in these compressors must be highly filtered to ensure that the patient does not inhale oil, dirt, or other debris.