Look for long-term durability features, such as a cast-iron cylinder; a heat-dissipating head; an efficient cooling system; structural protection for critical components and fittings; a heavy-duty steel frame; and powder-coat or electrostatically applied paint to resist chipping and wear.
Anti-vibration feet will help keep the noise down and, more importantly, keep the compressor from rattling itself apart.
SUPPLIER COMPANY, PARTS AND SERVICE SUPPORT
Asking questions helps determine quality factors that can't necessarily be seen. Are air compressors the primary or sole business of the supplier? Does the company make its own products or source them from a third party?
How long has the company been in the air compressor business? (All we know about the future is what we know about the past, so look at the company’s history in this market.)
Can the supplier answer questions clearly and explain the subtleties that only an expert would know? What about the availability of technical help, parts and service and the distribution network?
INITIAL PRICE AND LONG-TERM COSTS
When adding it all up, what will the cost be over time? Consider how the compressor will be used, how often and how long. The big question in the selection decision is this: What would it cost to be wrong?
Ultimately, what you’re buying is not just an air compressor. What you’re really buying is a solution to your problem.
By considering all factors, you can find a hand-carry or wheeled-portable unit that will not only meet your needs, but also provide the portability you desire. And that concept is a breath of fresh air.
Dan Leiss is president of Jenny Products. With roots dating back to the 1870s, the company is a manufacturer of hand-carry, wheeled-portable and industrial-stationary air compressors. www.jennyproductsinc.com.