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The wide variety of available pneumatic tools makes an air compressor an essential component for completing a number of projects. For contractors who do not need air compressors regularly, renting an air compressor provides a smart and cost-efficient alternative to buying one.

You can rent air compressors of different sizes, output capabilities and mobility configurations. When you go to rent an air compressor, you need to choose one that will match your tool requirements and project needs. Following are some of the points you should consider when renting an air compressor:

  • CFM requirements.You need to rent an air compressor that delivers enough air — a rating measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) — to exceed the total compressed air needs of all of the tools and attachments you will operate at a certain pressure.
  • PSI requirements. An air compressor’s rating of pounds per square inch (psi) determines the pressure of the air it delivers. Various air tools require different amounts of pressure to operate.
  • Tank capacity.The number of gallons of air a rental air compressor can hold indicates the size of its tank. You will need a larger tank to run tools that require a continuous supply of compressed air than you will for tools that need only short bursts of air.
  • Contractors tend to find that renting smaller, portable air compressors, such as hand-carried or smaller, wheeled models suffice for many projects. These air compressors allow you to move them easily, but tend to produce less cfm. Larger contractors may prefer to rent towable air compressors for more power and dependability.

Renting the right air compressor can provide the reliable supply of compressed air necessary to increase productivity at the job site. The professionals at your American Rental Association (ARA) member rental store can answer any further questions you have about compressors. To locate a rental store near you, visit

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