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What is CFM or airflow, and what are the requirements of some common pneumatic tools?

Updated: Feb 17, 2022

If you plan to buy an air compressor for your industrial application, you need to mull over several factors that best suit your needs. One important consideration is the air pressure requirement of the equipment that the air compressor will operate. The free air delivery in an air compressor is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). It is the amount of air generated by the air compressor at a certain pressure level. Another parameter considered along with CFM is the amount of pressure that the air compressor can offer, which is measured in bar, kg/cm2 or PSI. For example, small pneumatic tools usually need up to 5 CFM at 4.8-6.2 bar. Larger equipment, on the other hand, demand more than 10 CFM at 6.9-8.2 bar. Remember that when you have multiple applications with different airflow demands, we will have to factor in an additional 30% to 50% buffer for the required CFM. This is to ensure the air compressor doesn’t run at full capacity at all times.

Some Common Air Tools that are used:-

  1. Drilling machines - 3-6 CFM at 6.2 bar

  2. Chiseling tools - 3-11 CFM at 6.2 bar

  3. Angle grinders - 5-8 CFM at 6.2 bar

  4. Cut-off tools - 4-10 CFM at 6.2 bar

  5. Riveting - 4 CFM at 6.2 bar

  6. Shearing equipment - 8-16 CFM at 6.2 bar

  7. Painting tools - 3-11.3 CFM at 6.2 bar

The common air tools brand and function may vary between manufacturers and application requirement. At Vincent Air Compressor Services, we will help customers to size and buildup there air compressor system with their requirement.

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