Air Compressor Usage in Woodworking

It is hard to overstate just how helpful air compressors are in various industries, especially within woodworking. An air compressor is essential whether you are a furniture manufacturer, millwork operator, or own your own woodworking business. They have a multitude of uses designed to make your work easier and more efficient. Below we will dive into the uses of air compressors within woodworking, the benefits of having an air compressor in your workshop and things to consider when looking to buy an air compressor.

In This Article

Air Compressor Applications in Woodworking

Every type of woodworking business has a use for compressed air. In the sections below, we will break down some of the primary uses of compressed air within different types of woodworking businesses.

Millwork and Lumber Processing

Millwork and lumber processing sites must run continuously with access to high power, and operations often create a messy environment. Advancements in compressed air make it the ideal source of power and equipment to handle these expectations. Some processes compressed air can help with include:

  • Holding logs in place with hold-down rolls
  • Cutting logs and lumber for use in woodworking operations
  • Sorting lumber by size and length into bins with a bin-diverter air cylinder


In manufacturing, compressed air is a power source for air-powered tools and factories with light and heavy air needs. Another — often forgotten but critical — application of compressed air is its cleaning applications.

Below are some specific uses for compressed air within the manufacturing sector of the woodworking industry:

  • To automate nailing or power nail guns
  • Power drill feed systems
  • Control the movement of wooden boards
  • Monitor specific aspects of production for quality control
  • Power hot melt dispensing applications
  • Clean equipment and clear debris
  • Assist in painting and finishing wood products

As you can see from the lists above, there are many different ways compressed air is used within the woodworking industry, and these are only a fraction of possible applications. All of these compressed air applications can make your work more efficient, safer and easier.

Air compressors help make woodworking easier, more efficient, and safer, but they also provide benefits such as reliability, cleaner energy usage and decreased expenses.

Benefits of Using Air Compressors in Woodworking

Air compressors help make woodworking easier, more efficient, and safer, but they also provide benefits such as reliability, cleaner energy usage and decreased expenses. To achieve these benefits, there are some key factors that you should keep in mind:

  • Ensuring you have the proper maintenance
  • Minimizing inappropriate use
  • Utilizing leak detection
  • Maintaining the appropriate amount of air storage
  • Taking advantage of automatic sequencing
  • Using multiple stages of compression
  • Implementing part load controls

By following these best practices, you will be able to decrease energy costs, increase efficiency with automated processes, provide a safer working environment and improve the working life of your other equipment.

Considerations for Choosing a Workshop Air Compressor

Now that we covered the uses of air compressors and the benefits of using an air compressor within the woodworking industry, you may be wondering how to find the right one for your needs. One of the most significant factors that will influence your decision is the size of your operation and the intended use of the air compressor. Within this section, we will focus on four areas to consider when purchasing an air compressor for your woodworking needs.

1. Tank Capacity and Motor Power

Your compressor’s tank capacity and ideal motor power will depend on how you intend to use the compressor and how much air you’re anticipating using. For example, a sawmill requires much more compressed air than a small wood workshop or a furniture manufacturer.

You should also consider the types of woodworking tools you plan to use within your business. For example, if you own a small or midsize workshop and only use tools like a pneumatic air nail gun or framing gun, you can likely get away with a relatively small tank. If you plan to use pneumatic tools like sanders or spray guns, you will need an air compressor with a bigger tank and motor to support the air usage.

2. Pump Stage

When searching for an air compressor, another significant factor to consider is whether it uses a one-stage or two-stage pump. Many prefer two-stage pumps over one-stage pumps, as they deliver more pressure with less horsepower. They are also quieter and run cooler, which leads to less condensation inside the tank. More moisture inside the tank can interfere with proper lubrication and even create corrosion inside the air tools.

3. Oil or Oil-Free Design

Some models of air compressors must be lubricated with oil, while others are oil-free. The oil-free designs may still utilize oil in some parts of the machine but do not rely on it for operation the same way as oil designs. Oil-free designs reduce maintenance costs and account for many of the compressors sold today. Another thing to consider is noise, as the oil-free compressors are noisier than those that require oil.

4. Size and Weight

The last thing to consider is the compressor’s size and weight. If you need to transport the compressor to other locations, a large air compressor isn’t the ideal option. If you don’t plan on moving your air compressor, it doesn’t hurt to size up and have a little extra air in the tank.

Fluid Aire Dynamics Compressors for You

Fluid Aire Dynamics Compressors for You

There are a number of items to consider when purchasing an air compressor for your business, but the four listed above lay the foundation for finding the right size and style. Contact a professional to learn more information or request assistance finding the right air compressor for your business.

As a Thomas verified supplier that has been in the business for over 30 years, Fluid Aire Dynamics has the expertise to serve the needs of Fortune 500 companies down to small, local businesses. We offer top-of-the-line air compressors and other related products, as well as highly experienced repair technicians to ensure you get the most out of your equipment.

To learn more about Fluid Aire Dynamics and how we can help you find the best compressed air solution for your business, contact us online or give us a call at 610.913.9100.