What size/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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.