Is a compressor for Christmas a good idea?

air compressor for Christmas
(Last Updated On: September 5, 2020)

You see them advertised everywhere these days. A compressor, often with a fitting and hose kit, and even sometimes paired with an air tool or two… and all this for under $200.00. Are they any good?

Like many things, the answer is yes and no.

If the recipient is a DIY type with a workshop full of toys, and doesn’t have an air compressor presently, and their workshop is used for hobby work, then they are an ideal person for whom a low cost compressor would likely be a welcome gift.

On the other hand, if the person you are considering buying a compressor for has a workshop in which they do work to earn a living, then a low cost compressor and compressor kit is likely not for them, unless they want a small one to carry around for specific tasks.
Click on image below to check out a Porter Cable Portable Air Compressor.
air compressors for christmas

You see, a compressor is simply a device that converts energy. A small compressor can convert electricity into stored energy in the form of compressed air, but not very much energy at a time.

Many air driven power tools use a lot of compressed air energy, and a small compressor cannot possibly convert enough electricity into compressed air to supply this type of tool.

The ideal tool for use with a small compressor is one that has a limit on the air use when the lever or trigger is pulled. A brad nailer, for example, will use only a small amount of compressed air energy when the nailer trigger is pulled. Therefore, a brad nailer, and some other types of nailers (I used a roof nailer for my garage with much success using a low cost air compressor) work just fine with a small, dare I say it, cheap compressor.

Buy this compressed air nailer here; WEN 61721 18-Gauge 3/8-Inch to 2-Inch Pneumatic Brad Nailer with 2000 Nails

If the recipient or you want a small compressor to run a die grinder, a drill, or an impact wrench for examaple, then though the small compressor will run these tools, they convert electricity into compressed air so slowly, that  you are bound to become frustrated.

Hard to believe that it’s mid-November, and we’re only 5 weeks or so from Christmas eve.

If you’re stumped in looking for a gift for Mr. or Mrs. Special, why not consider getting them a Home Compressor?

Not only are there some great deals on DIY (do it yourself) type compressors these days, many of them come bundled with an accessory kit and even some with a variety of air tools. For a couple of hundred bucks you can help propel someone from the hand tool, into the air driven tool world.

It is true that the low cost, fairly small, home compressors can’t run high demand air tools, air tools such as drills, ratchets, or impact wrenches very well, they can run them in small increments. Where the home compressor shines is in using one for brad nailing, blowing clean benches and tools, or even roofing nailing, for example.

Many folks awoke on Christmas morn with a bevy of gifts under their Christmas tree. For some lucky folks, their gift might have been a new air compressor.

Now what? Here’s a couple of suggestions.

Find details of use, of troubleshooting, of repairing, of plumbing air compressors, and so on.

Hello, I am Bill, the Compressed-Air-Man. I have years of experience in industrial and residential compressed air applications, air compressors and general pneumatics. I created this site to help professionals, students, and DIYers understand and properly implement and maintain compress3ed air systems.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here