Applications of an Air Compressor

An air compressor has wide-ranging applications in domestic as well as industrial sector. One can perform a variety of tasks simply by choosing a set of accessories with the compressor unit.

From driving pneumatic hammers to different spraying tools, a compressor can serve as many purposes as you can think of.

I have compiled this article on the applications of an air compressor in order to equip you with useful information.


You can think of all the tasks a manual hammer performs. Just like that, a pneumatic hammer- or an air chisel- utilizes air pressure to do the tasks with very less human effort. It can carve in stones and metal objects.

Some of its advantages are

  • Easy to service
  • Minimal parts inventory
  • Reduced wear
  • Air cushioning
  • High power-to-weight ratios
  • Noise reduction
  • Full-shift lubricator

An air compressor drives a pneumatic hammer. Pressure provided by the compressed air rotates the blades at a very high RPM (revolutions per minute). This rotation creates a thrust, moving up and down the shaft, utilized in breaking or cutting metal and concrete etc. Its speed and size can vary according to your requirements.

The pneumatic hammer finds its main use in road construction projects where the workers have to make way for laying asphalt. In addition, for making manholes or new access points to the sewers under the road, hammers help in breaking through the road. A road has usually many layers of rock, concrete and asphalt and it is not so easy to break through it; only a pneumatic hammer can accomplish the job.

During the house construction project, such as digging deep trenches for pools, foundations or ponds, you may come across heavy boulders. You can only chip them away using an air hammer. It will break them into smaller manageable chunks that you can easily dispose off.

A pneumatic hammer also helps in demolishing a strong concrete wall and foundation of the building.

It can also drive large nails and bolts through different construction material. It helps in

  • Breaking up stones for easier removal from any area
  • Driving fence posts on the ranch
  • Breaking up boulders

Some of the hammers are

  • Chipping hammer

Chipping hammer

  • Rotary hammer

Rotary hammer

  • Air hammer

Air hammer


A pneumatic grinder serves many purposes from a metalworking project around the house to cleaning up welding slag at the shop. It works well for

  • Grinding
  • Wood-working
  • Polishing or buffing
  • Molding
  • Contouring
  • Engraving
  • Sanding
  • Machining
  • Cylinder head porting
  • Honing

It works on

  • Metal
  • Wood
  • Plastic

The speed of a grinder can reach up to 30,000 RPM.  It has an abrasive to smooth out rough surfaces or edges. In industrial work, like the finishing of a stainless steel sink, grinder does its job by blending the welds with the stainless steel and making the sink appear perfect. Similarly, when a large area requires sanding, you can’t use a small sand paper as it is both time consuming and tiring process. Instead, a grinder can speed up the task and removes rust from heavy machinery, tanks etc. A grinder works equally fine on a metallic as well as wooden surface. Whether it is wooden furniture or a sculpture, grinder can provide a finished look to the project. A pneumatic grinder finds applications in

  • Construction sites
  • Automobile repair shops
  • Smooth out rough metal edges
  • Clean rusty car parts
  • Remove any signs of welding
  • Metalworking shops
  • Welding projects

Various types of pneumatic grinders are

  • Angle Grinder

Angle Grinder

  • Mini Die-Grinder

Mini Die-Grinder

  • Angle Die Grinder

Angle Die Grinder

  • Straight Die Grinder

Straight Die Grinder

  • Cut-off Tool Grinder

Cut-off Tool Grinder

  • High-Speed Tire Buffer

High-Speed Tire Buffer

  • Low-Speed Tire Buffer

Low-Speed Tire Buffer


When working with machinery and metallic equipment, you have to ensure their smooth and noise-free operation. After a certain period, every machine demands maintenance. This period is longer if you take care of things from the very beginning. A grease gun is a simple yet handy tool present in workshops and garages for lubrication of different machinery parts. Whenever a machine has moving parts, it needs lubrication. There are such spots that you can’t reach with your bare hands or it’s entirely difficult to grease them without spilling grease on other parts. Grease gun is right for such cases. It can fit in small spots and grease the required part. Using a grease gun not only saves time but also helps avoid arm and body fatigue.

Pneumatic grease guns are air-powered. The pressure of compressed air drives the piston and forces the lubricant to move out of the nozzle. When you pull the trigger, a steady flow of grease comes out. They have a rating up to 6000 PSI.

When using a power tool for lubrication, such as a grease gun, clean the working area from any flammable substances because it may result in a fire hazard. Furthermore, don’t forget your grease gun in rain or wet conditions as to prevent cord damage and electric shock.

You should avoid any practical jokes while lubricating with a grease gun and avoid distractions that may lead to delay and any accidental event.



The pneumatic drill- a portable machine- uses compressed air for performing several tasks, such as breaking and drilling in rocks etc, in the construction industry. An engine-driven compressor provides blast of compressed air to the drill machine, which works like a chisel and hammer. The drill pounds vertically downwards in the solid surface, making a lot of unbearable noise and vibrations. The worker should wear earmuffs to ensure ear protection.

These types of drills are suitable for flat surfaces, such as pavements etc because it draws its force from the gravity as well. It can’t work on walls and slopes except the pistol grip and the hand-held drills. You can use them for

  • Drilling into solid substances like rocks
  • Breaking slabs and pavements
  • Any drilling application

Some of the advantages of using pneumatic drills are

  • Light in weight due to smaller size of motor
  • Lesser fatigue in operator due to easy handling
  • Greater torque production
  • Robust and long lasting
  • Less moving parts
  • Easy maintenance
  • Simple operation
  • More economical due to absence of electric motors
  • Portable and suitable for sites where electricity is absent
  • Suitable for use in moist environment where using electricity is dangerous

These drills come as

  • Non-reversible Drill

Non-reversible Drill

  • Reversible Drill

Reversible Drill

  • Reversible Air Drill with Geared Chuck

Reversible Air Drill with Geared Chuck

  • Pneumatic Sinker Drill

Pneumatic Sinker Drill

  • Pneumatic Core Drill

Pneumatic Core Drill

  • Reversible Right-Angle Air Drill

Reversible Right-Angle Air Drill


Tools, such as chain saw and hacksaw, work well only for cutting wood and carpentry works. However, if you want to cut metallic sheets, nuts, and bolts or engrave pattern on them, you have to upgrade your tool kit from concrete tools to cutting tools. You can use them for

  • Clean cuts in metal sheets
  • Intricate shapes and curves in metallic surfaces
  • Slicing through plastics and fiberglass
  • Quick cutting of mufflers, tail pipes, nuts and bolts
  • Shaping automotive material
  • Cutting straight or curved lines on flat and curved surfaces

Some of the cutting tools are

  • Clipper Cutter

Clipper Cutter

  • Reversible Air Cut Off Tool

Reversible Air Cut Off Tool

  • Air Body Saw

Air Body Saw

  • Air Shears

Air Shears

  • Air Nibbler

Air Nibbler

  • Air Reciprocating Saw

Air Reciprocating Saw

  • Air Saber Saw

Air Saber Saw

  • Cut-off wheel

Cut-off wheel


It is a device made of stainless or cold-rolled steel (18-22 gauge sheets) used for joining corner pieces in carpentry works. It is a thin metallic strip with alternating grooves pattern, which gives it durability and strength.

Some of its features are

  • Presence of grooves
  • Stainless or cold-rolled steel material
  • Sizes between one and three inches (25.4 and 76.2 mm) in length
  • 1 sharp pointed end and one flat end
  • Sharp ridges on the sides (for holding it securely after installation)

Two basic types are

  • Parallel fastener
    • Grooves parallel to the shaft
    • More secure
    • Suitable for miter cuts and harder wood types
  • Angled fastener
    • Grooves at an angle to the shaft
    • Less secure
    • Suitable for delicate wood work

Pneumatic corrugated fasteners are an alternative to dowels, nails and work well in both

  • Finish carpentry
  • Rough carpentry
  • Furniture making
  • Framing business



Pneumatic concrete tools help in projects that involve leveling of uneven surfaces. They do finishing of concrete and cement. Some of them are

  • Concrete Chain Saw

Concrete Chain Saw

  • Mixing drill
  • Jackhammers


  • Trowels
  • Screeds
  • Groovers
  • Vibrator

They serve following purposes:

  • Smoothen and level out small residential slabs
  • Perform delicate detail work
  • Blend surface color
  • Maneuver in tight areas (next to wall, step surface)
  • Joint sawing
  • Trenching
  • Floor sawing
  • Road repair
  • Wall and column sawing
  • Demolition work
  • Plant maintenance


If you are planning to renovate your place and want to remove old paint and rust from surfaces, pneumatic chipping tools will enable you to do just that. It provides you power for removing

  • Coatings from concrete
  • Old paint
  • Rust from weathered metal surfaces
  • Calking
  • Beveling
  • Drilling in brick and other masonry

Some of the tools are

  • Scabbler


  • Tamper


  • Needle Scaler

Needle Scaler

  • Punch Flange

Punch Flange

  • Medium-duty Air Hammer

Medium-duty Air Hammer

  • Heavy-duty long barrel Air Hammer

Heavy-duty long barrel Air Hammer


The caulking gun is a tool used for filling up gaps and cracks anywhere in the garage, home, workshop etc. It carries a tube/cartridge that contains the sealing material, called caulk, for cracks and holes. This caulk is either of silicone or latex and bonds together materials like

  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Ceramic
  • Glass

A pneumatic caulking gun offers the following advantages:

  • Precision
  • Time conservation
  • Less waste

Projects like windows, doors etc. require a heavy seal in order to remain watertight. Otherwise, a little caulk won’t be able to provide the needed support. Pneumatic caulking gun provides an even distribution of caulk and covers the minute areas easily. You can set it to a certain caulk flow and it completes the project with less dripping and wasted caulk. Some of the areas of its applications are:

  • Bathroom
  • Car
  • Kitchen
  • Boat
  • Windows
  • Wood projects


A blowgun comes in handy when you need to clean delicate surfaces, where a rag or towel can’t reach or using either can damage the equipment.  Such surfaces include

  • CPU internal parts
  • Machinery parts
  • Laptop body

It blows away debris and dust particles using air at a high pressure. It comes in different designs like:

  • High flow tip
  • High volume
  • Pistol grip
  • High pressure
  • Industrial duty



A query may arise in your mind that why you should go for a pneumatic nailer when a battery-operated one is available in market. The answer to it is simple; a pneumatic nailer is far lighter in weight and lesser in cost ($50-$300) as compared to battery-operated one, which costs $200-$500. Air pressure in the pneumatic nailer lasts longer than that of a battery-charged nailer.  Thus, in the end you may want to purchase the pneumatic nailer for domestic chores using an portable air compressor. Nailer comes as

  • Brad Nailer

A pneumatic brad nailer is best suited for use in places when you want to leave no visible tool marks like in

  • Installing baseboards
  • Building wooden furniture
  • Hanging wood paneling
  • Carpentry works
  • DIY remodeling


  • Coil Nailer

Pneumatic coil nailer has more weight than the normal stick nailer; however, it provides the benefit of less frequent reloading. It drives more nails in one refill and is suitable for projects that need many nails, such as

  • Sub-floor installation
  • Framing
  • House and roof sheathing
  • Deck building

Coil Nailer

  • Finish Nailer

It is a versatile tool used in applications, which demand a strong attachment. Finish Nailer doesn’t work well with delicate wood pieces as the wood might get broken due to the large-gauged nails of the nailer. It works for

  • Installing baseboards
  • Crown molding

Finish Nailer

  • Flooring Nailer

It accomplishes all the flooring tasks.

Flooring Nailer

  • Framing Nailer

Framing Nailer is a must for every workshop and garage; you can choose any framing stick and joist nailer to meet the requirements of your work site.

Framing Nailer

  • Palm Nailer

As its name suggests, it can easily fit into your palm. That’s why this compact tool is suitable for hard-to-reach places. It replaces framing nailer for a framing job when the latter can’t do it.

Palm Nailer

  • T-Nailer

It works well for any wood-to-concrete connections like joining

  • Firing strips to a basement wall
  • Bottom plate of timber framing to a concrete slab



Polishers find applications in polishing even or curved surfaces in workshops and industries. They work efficiently with very little wear, tear and air consumption. They are robust, highly durable and provide a high power output.

  • Air Polisher for fabricators

Air Polisher for fabricators

  • Air Angle Buffer

Air Angle Buffer

  • Air Angle Vertical Buffer

Air Angle Vertical Buffer

  • Stone Sander

Stone Sander

  • Gear-driven 3-Headed Polisher

Gear-driven 3-Headed Polisher

  • Stone-Polishing hand tool

Stone-Polishing hand tool


A pneumatic ratchet performs different ratcheting jobs including automotive and mechanical repair. Depending on the workload that it can handle, it comes as

  • Ultra duty
  • Heavy duty
  • Super duty
  • Drive mini



A pneumatic rivet gun fastens together two pieces of metal. The metal can be aluminum, steel, or any other solid material. The compressed air drives the rivet through the two pieces of the material and fastens them; a regulator can adjust the air pressure.

It saves you the stress of working with your hands, which can cause cramped muscles or any other injury. The pneumatic rivet gun does this job easily by applying pressure easily with no effort on your part.

Some of the riveting tools are

  • Rivet Buster with open handle

Rivet Buster with D-handle

  • Air Riveter

Air Riveter

  • Rivet Buster with D-handle

Rivet Buster with D-handle

  • Heavy Duty Rivet Gun

Heavy Duty Rivet Gun

  • Vacuum Rivet Gun

Vacuum Rivet Gun


Pneumatic pumps function like an ordinary hydraulic pump with the exception of using compressed air to drive the fluids through a piping system. It uses a high air pressure to generate a large power output. This pump has two pistons, with one’s diameter larger than that of the other. These pistons house an airtight chamber filled with compressed air.

These pumps find applications where low maintenance and high safety are necessary for working environment, such as for moving slurry through chromatography columns.

However, they require large storage tank for compressed gas due to which their use may not be suitable.



Ingersoll Rand, Mighty Seven and many other leading brands provide quality sanders that work perfectly for wood, metals and many other surfaces.

Depending on their design, sanders are

  • Random orbital
  • Pistol
  • Belt
  • Rotary
  • Dual Action
  • Twin-Piston Straight Line
  • Angle sander
  • Palm sander

Palm sander

  • Stone sander

Stone Sander

  • Triangle-hook sander

Triangle-hook sander

  • Orbital sander

Orbital sander

  • Vacuum-ready sander
  • Air-vertical sander


A pneumatic screwdriver comes in handy during repair tasks and automatic applications. It helps in durable, powerful and speedy operation of assembly and manufacture applications.

Manufacturers design it for high production environment at an affordable rate to increase operator comfort, decrease noise, vibrations and torque reaction on the worker.

It comes in different clutch styles to ease up the grip of user on it, thus, enhancing precision torque control and user comfort. There is mechanism to prevent over-torque operation.

Some of the screwdrivers are

  • Pistol-grip Reversible
  • Positive clutch

Positive clutch

  • Adjustable clutch

Adjustable clutch

  • Screwgun



An air-powered stapler provides

  • Speed
  • Power
  • Accuracy
  • Ease of use

It affixes

  • Insulation
  • House wrap
  • Roofing
  • Wiring
  • Carpeting
  • Upholstery

It drives staples made of heavy metal into materials, such as wood, plastic and masonry. It has an application in

  • Finish carpentry
  • Furniture building
  • Cabinet shops, and
  • Construction projects

Some of the staplers are

  • CAP stapler
    • Housewrap
    • Roofing
  • FLOORING stapler

It helps in installation of

  • Minimal holding marks and holes
  • Interior and exterior trim
  • Furniture assembly
  • Baseboards
  • Chair rail
  • Floor base

It helps in

  • Installing trim
  • Assembling drawers
  • Fastening backing material to bookshelves and other furniture

It helps in

  • Attaching roof felt paper
  • Fastening paper-faced insulation batts between framing studs, build crates etc
  • Providing maximum holding strength to different applications


If you want to apply paint or any other texture to decks, ceilings or cemented walls, simply go for a pneumatic spraying tool. It provides a smooth and even air-powered texture to your work surface. A wide range of spraying guns with hoppers is available in market in various styles and designs to fulfill your spraying needs. A pneumatic gun has many uses from a furniture shop to personal workspace.

Some of the spraying tools are

  • Gravity feed spray gun
  • Siphon spray gun

Siphon spray gun

  • Hopper gun

Texture gun and hopper

  • Portable texture sprayer

Portable texture sprayer

  • Backpack sprayer

Backpack sprayer

  • Texture gun and hopper

Texture gun and hopper

  • High pressure spray gun

High pressure spray gun

  • Production spray gun

Production spray gun


I hope you enjoyed reading about the various applications of an air compressor. I have covered almost everything in my post for you. Do not forget to share it with other so that they can also benefit from this information. Leave comments in the section below.


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