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10 Essential Air Compressor Accessories You Need

Your air compressor may have the best PSI output in the market, but it hardly matters if you cannot apply the power to run the required tools. Thankfully, certain accessories do the job for you.

Air compressor icons set. Isometric set of air compressor vector icons for web design isolated on white background

Many air compressor models come with one or multiple attachments that can enhance the efficiency of your power unit. But if you're a first time user, you may not know the utility of these add-ons. Also, these included accessories can rarely solve all your problems.

To help you out, we've compiled a list of the 10 most essential accessories that make your air compressor the ultimate power unit for all your requirements. And trust us, we'll make sure you invest in the right tool for the right cause.

Let's start the proceeding!

10 Essential Air Compressor Accessories

Close-up of a metal gas cylinder with a reducer and a pressure sensor in the background industrial workshop, side view

  1. Hose

The hose is nothing but a pipe that attaches the compressor with the tool. Although most compressors come with one, it's quite common for users to buy an extra hose if the quality is not deemed to be satisfactory. Besides, it's good to have a backup, just in case the primary one wears out.

Furthermore, there are two types of hoses available on the market:

  • Recoil hose, which has small and circular bends throughout its length. This design allows the hose to retract for easy storage.
  • Retractable hose, on the other hand, has a straight design like a vacuum cleaner cord and can be rolled like a spool of thread. 

Apart from the design, the other factors to be considered are the length of the hose, its material and capacity. Ultimately, the requirement of the application will determine the right kind of hose.

  1. Hose Reels

No matter how expensive the hose is, improper storage can make it unusable, and this is where hose reels come into the picture. These storage units are used to coil the hose in a way that prevents the damage caused by bends.

Now you may be thinking that your recoil hose may not need one, but the reel will act as an extra layer of protection to maintain and improve its lifespan.

Some portable hose reels have wheels, handles and a final stand that can be attached on the wall. A second type simply comes with a back plate that can be fastened onto a wall for convenient storage. If your compressor is frequently relocated, then the portable type may be the ideal storage accessory for your needs.

  1. Filter

As you may have guessed, a filter is a tool that separates all the impurities, which in turn helps the motor to run efficiently. However, prolonged periods of usage can cause the filters to become clogged with dirt and debris, which puts extra strain on the motor. As a result, the productivity of the compressor gets compromised, and its lifespan is diminished.

The best possible solution to this problem is either changing the filter or installing an additional one for the cause. While they may not require you to spend a lot of money, it's important to clean the filters regularly, so that your compressor can deliver maximum power with optimum fuel efficiency.

  1. Air Regulator

Surely, you can be proud of your compressor's high PSI output, but not all of your pneumatic tools may require that much power. By investing in an air regulator, you can manually reduce the level of air pressure to match the requirement of the said tool.

Not only does this help you to run the tool smoothly, but also ensures a longer service life for your compressor by making it deliver optimum power for each application.

  1. Oils and Lubricants

In case your air compressor is one of those models which needs oil for operating, then it will definitely come with a bottle of oil for changing and refill purposes. However, you will eventually have to stock-up extra oil, so that the compressor can run without any trouble, especially during emergencies.

  1. Roll Cage

A roll cage is an attachable protective structure that prevents the air compressor from being bruised or punctured. For this reason, many models on the market today come with a roll cage design for added protection and durability. In case your compressor lacks this frame, it's better to buy one separately.

But before you randomly purchase any roll cage, it's good to know these stands have a low center of gravity to ensure better stability on the ground. So it's advisable to look for a frame that has a wider and flatter structure that will keep the compressor from overturning.

Additionally, you may also equip the roll cage with a skid plate on the bottom to minimize the compressor's friction with the ground. The combination of these two protective gears greatly reduces the risk of any physical damage to the power unit.

  1. Fittings and Adapters

You may have a range of air tools and the best hose on the market, but without proper fittings and adapters, none of those will serve any purpose. So that each of the accessories can be attached to the compressor, it's essential to have the compatible fitters and connectors.

As such, many models come with a tool kit that has some necessary connectors and fittings. But as they say, the more the merrier!

Generally, anodized fittings are the popular choice among users, as they are more resistant to rust and corrosion. Likewise, quick connectors will allow a quick switch on/switch off for easy clean and repair. In addition, they also make it extremely convenient to change the tools in a flash.

A small tip: try to go for fitters and adapters from the same brand as that of the compressor. This will reduce the risk of incompatibility, and you will be able to make full use of your tools arsenal.

  1. Air Line Lubricators

While caring for your compressor, don't forget to look after the air tools, for power without application will have no purpose. And what better than an air line lubricator to help you in tool maintenance. These small devices use the air line as a medium to carry the lubricant to the internal working parts of all your pneumatic tools.

For an otherwise simple operation, the only thing to note is that the lubricator should be adjusted in a way that only the required amount of lubricator is used for the job. Any extra lubricant will be released in the air to cause pollution and greasiness.

  1. Aftercooler

Our list won't be complete without mentioning the utility of an aftercooler. From the name, you may have guessed that this accessory is meant to cool the compressed air, and you're right.

Irrespective of your compressor's high-quality features, the air discharge is bound to have a certain amount of heat. An aftercooler is a mechanical heat exchanger that functions to remove this heat and condition the air to power the air tools.

Besides, it also reduces the moisture content in the output to protect the air-equipments from internal damage. Just like a filter discards dust and dirt, the aftercooler absorbs heat and vapor to enhance the efficiency of the compressor.

For users who run their compressors for extended periods, an aftercooler is a highly recommended accessory that can potentially increase the service life of your machine, and prevent your air-tools from damage and corrosion.

  1. Tool Attachments

Most of us would like our air compressor to serve various needs and operate in various job sites. For this, what we need is a range of tool attachments, that can get the required work done with absolute ease and precision. Here are some of the most common and must-have tools...

Nail Guns are required for a range of specialized applications like finishing, framing the construction, roofing and woodworking. The nails are housed in a stick or coil, from where they are delivered to the gun.

Blowguns are used to direct the discharge stream of highly pressurized air at a precise point. They are especially suitable for precision-oriented tasks like cleaning debris or drying surfaces.

Air drills are capable of drilling through some of the strongest surfaces, like those made of concrete or bricks. A significant advantage of these drills over their electric counterparts is that they don't heat up easily, thus ensuring maximum power and efficiency.

Paint sprayers, when powered by an air compressor, can get a larger area painted quick and smooth to render a professional-grade appearance.

Sanders can be used to sand, polish, or grind surfaces for an even finishing.

While browsing through the options, make sure that your compressor can produce enough power to run the tools, i.e., match the unit's maximum pressure to the power requirement of the said tool. Otherwise, they will be nothing more than showpieces.

Air compressor on the white background.

Summing It Up

You will hardly find a model that doesn't come with at least one of the above mentioned accessories. However, their quality and specification may not suit your needs, or you may simply require some more to make your compressor a truly efficient power unit.

In any case, requirement and compatibility are the two most important factors that need to be considered before you opt for any add-on.

And once you buy what you need, it also becomes crucial to use them in the right way and take care of their maintenance. Only then can you expect to get your money's worth from both the compressor and its accessories.

With this, we've come to the end of this essentials list. Hope we've been able to give you an idea of what's important. But before you head out to buy, do remember that incompatible tools become useless.

We'd love to hear from you in the comments down below.

Till next time!