What kind of air compressor do I need?

The two high pile tufting machines (AK-III, ZQ-III) need a constant stream of air to work properly. They work with both electricity and are pneumatic.

My experience is you'll need a compressor that an deliver 5-7 CFM at 90PSI. You'll need to find one that says it works with a spray gun or sander. A basic guide can be found here.

I've tested three air compressors and can recommend two.

  1. Harbor Freight 12 gallon. This compressor had to run continuously to try to keep up with the amount of air I was using. Basically it wasn't large enough.
  2. Harbor Freight, 21 gallon. I upgraded to this one and it worked much better. It cost me about $175 USD but is really loud. It works great in my basement, but would drive you bonkers if it's in the same room. It requires oil to work.
  3. California Air Tools, 10 gallon. This oilless compressor is very efficient and quiet. It's possible to have this in the same room with you and work. If you're in a small space I would recommend this one. It costs about $350 USD
  4. A suitable compressor in the UK should be this one

A note about Harbor Freight stuff. I know they are kind of garbage so you might be able to find a smaller compressor than the 21 gallon one that works. If you do, please let me know so I can recommend it.


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