Small Air Compressor Watts & Amps

We looked at 50 small air compressors and found out that they use different amounts of power. The air compressors, with airflow ratings between 0.75 and 5, and motor power ranging from 0.34 to 2.5 horsepower, use 2 to 15 amps of electricity. If we think about it in terms of watts, the power range is from 240 to 1800 running watts.

It’s important to know that each compressor has two types of wattage ratings: starting wattage and running wattage. The starting wattage is at least two times higher than the running wattage. So, when choosing a power source for your air compressor, you need to consider both starting and running wattage to make sure it works well.

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6-Gallon Air Compressor: WATTS & AMPS

The amp draw of 6-Gallon Air Compressor is usually between 13 to 15 Amps. The wattage, which tells you about the overall energy it needs, is around 2000 watts. When the compressor first starts working, it needs a bit more power for a short time – around 4000 starting watts. In the USA, there are six popular 6-Gallon Air Compressors, and they each have their own amp draw.

Air Compressor ModelTank SizeAmp DrawPower Consumption (watt)
DEWALT DWFP551266-Gallon151800
PORTER CABLE C20026-Gallon151800
Metabo The Tank6-Gallon13.51620
CRAFTSMAN (CMEC6150K)6-Gallon151800
BOSTITCH (BTFP02012)6-Gallon151800
VEVOR 6.3 Gallon Air Compressor6-Gallon12.081450

3-Gallon Air Compressor: WATTS & AMPS

The Makita MAC320Q and Craftsman CMXECXA0200341 stand out as highly favored air compressors within the 3-gallon category. The Makita MAC320Q boasts a power rating of 1020 watts and has an amp draw of 8.6 amps. The Craftsman CMXECXA0200341 has a wattage of 1320 and draws 11 amps.

2-Gallon Air Compressor: WATTS & AMPS

2-Gallon Air Compressors have motors with different power levels, called horsepower. When the horsepower is higher, the amount of electricity it uses, measured in amps, also goes up. We’ve looked at some of these 2-Gallon Air Compressors, and they have amp ratings ranging from 3 to 13. The electricity they use, measured in watts, varies from 360 to 1600.

Air Compressor ModelTank SizeAmp DrawPower Consumption (watt)
Makita MAC210Q2-Gallon7840
Dewalt DWFP551302-Gallon8960
California Air Tools 2010A2-Gallon8.51020
CRAFTSMAN CMXECXA02202422-Gallon3360
Craftsman Air Tools  CMXECXA02002432-Gallon3360
Makita MAC7002-Gallon12.41488

1-1.5 HP Air Compressor: WATTS & AMPS

For a 1 HP air compressor, the running wattage is  approximately 750-800 watts. Therefore, the starting wattage could be around 1500 to 2400 watts. The list is given in the table below.

Air Compressor ModelHorsepowerAmp DrawPower Consumption (watt)
Metabo HPT “THE TANK”1.3 HP13.51620
Makita MAC210Q1 HP7840
Makita MAC320Q 1.5 HP8.51020
California Air Tools 2010A 1 HP8.51020
Craftsman Air Compressor,Red- CMXECXA02003411.5 HP111320

2-3 HP Air Compressor: WATTS & AMPS

A higher horsepower (HP) in an air compressor means it draws more amps, leading to a higher electricity bill. To address this concern for homeowners, air compressor companies are designing devices with lower HP to optimize electricity consumption. Popular air compressors with a 2 HP motor include the VEVOR 6.3 Gallon Air Compressor, Makita MAC700, and Metabo HPT (EC99S). However, when it comes to 3 HP air compressors, there are few popular models available. One example is the Makita 5200, which is relatively older and less popular due to its higher electricity consumption.

You May Like:

Air Compressor ModelHorsepowerAmp DrawPower Consumption (watt)
VEVOR 6.3 Gallon Air Compressor2 HP12.081450
Metabo HPT (EC99S)2 HP151800
Makita MAC7002 HP12.41488

5-HP Air Compressor: WATTS & AMPS

The amp draw for a 5HP air compressor can be in the range of approximately 24 to 28 amps. The power consumption, measured in watts, can be estimated by multiplying the voltage by the amp draw. This is a general estimate, and the actual amp draw may vary depending on the specific characteristics of the motor. Some regular 5-Hoesepower air compressors in USA market come up with specific amps and watts. You will get the list in the following table.

Air Compressor ModelHorsepowerAmp DrawPower Consumption (watt)
EMAX E350 5 HP607200
Quincy QT-545 HP242880
BelAire 216V5 HP404800

Understanding AMPS and Watts: Essential Technical Terms for Insight

Surge Wattage VS Starting Wattage

Air compressors often have two different power ratings: starting wattage (or surge wattage) and running wattage. These ratings are important to understand when selecting a generator or power source for the air compressor.

Starting Wattage (or Surge Wattage): This is the extra power required by the motor to start the compressor. When the motor starts, it may need a higher amount of power for a short duration to overcome initial inertia and get the compressor running. Starting wattage is typically higher than the running wattage.

Running Wattage: This is the continuous power required to keep the compressor running once it has started. It represents the power needed during normal operation.

When selecting a generator or power source for an air compressor, it’s important to consider both the starting and running wattage. The generator or power source should be capable of supplying the higher starting wattage to accommodate the initial surge when the compressor starts, and it should also be able to provide the continuous running wattage for normal operation. This information is crucial for choosing the right generator or power supply to ensure proper and efficient operation of the air compressor.

How to Find out Amp of Any Device?

To find out the amperage of any device, you can use the formula (\text{Amps} = \frac{\text{Watts}}{\text{Volts}}). If the device operates at 120 volts, the formula becomes (\text{Amps (at 120V)} = \frac{\text{Watts}}{120}), and for a device operating at 240 volts, it is (\text{Amps (at 240V)} = \frac{\text{Watts}}{240}). For instance, if a device consumes 600 watts and operates at 120 volts, the amperage would be (\frac{600}{120} = 5) Amps. If the same device operates at 240 volts, the amperage would be (\frac{600}{240} = 2.5) Amps.

So, by using these formulas, you can calculate the amperage of any device based on its wattage and the voltage it operates at, whether it’s 120 volts or 240 volts.

How to Find out Watts of Any Device?

To calculate the watts of any device, you can use the formula: Watts = Volts x Amps. This formula is derived from the power equation, P (power) = V (voltage) x I (current or amps).

For 120 Volts: If you know the current (in amps) that the device draws at 120 volts, you can multiply it by 120 to find the watts. For example, if a device draws 5 amps at 120 volts, the power in watts would be 120 volts x 5 amps = 600 watts.

For 240 Volts: Similarly, if you know the current (in amps) at 240 volts, you can multiply it by 240 to find the watts. For instance, if the same device draws 5 amps at 240 volts, the power in watts would be 240 volts x 5 amps = 1200 watts.

Keep in mind that the key is to know either the current (in amps) or power (in watts) to use the formula and find the other value. Additionally, ensure that your device operates at the specified voltage to obtain accurate calculations.


Do Small Air Compressors Use a Lot of Electricity?

Small air compressors generally consume moderate amounts of electricity compared to larger industrial counterparts. Their power usage depends on factors such as motor size, operating pressure, and duty cycle. While compact models are designed for efficiency, prolonged use or high-pressure requirements may increase energy consumption. It’s advisable to check the specifications of individual compressors and consider energy-efficient options if minimizing electricity usage is a priority for your application.

Will a 2000 Watt Inverter Run a Small Air Compressor?

Determining if a 2000-watt inverter can run a small air compressor depends on the compressor’s starting and running wattage. Check the compressor’s specifications to find these values and calculate a safety margin for the surge wattage, usually 2 to 3 times the running wattage. Ensure that the inverter is designed to handle this surge wattage and consider the combined power requirements of other connected devices. Be mindful of the inverter’s load capacity to prevent overheating or shutdowns.

If the surge wattage exceeds the inverter’s capacity, it may not start the compressor effectively. When selecting a generator or power source for the air compressor, it’s crucial to ensure that it can handle the higher starting wattage to accommodate the initial surge when the compressor starts.

How Many Amps Does A 240v Air Compressor Use?

Okay! So, how much power a 240V air compressor uses depends on how strong its motor is, measured in horsepower (HP). For big industrial compressors with a high HP, like 5HP, they use around 25 amps when running. Smaller ones, with as low as 0.33 HP, use about 3 amps. The reason for this difference is that big compressors are meant for heavy-duty tasks, while smaller ones are more for porta11se. So, the answer to “How many amps does a 240V air compressor use?” depends on the size and power of the specific compressor you’re talking about.

How Can I Reduce the Power Consumption of My Air Compressor?

Reducing the power consumption of your air compressor can lead to energy savings and may also prolong the life of the compressor. Here are several tips to help you minimize power consumption:

1. Use an Efficient Compressor:    Invest in a modern, energy-efficient air compressor. Newer models often come with improved technology that reduces power consumption.

2. Proper Sizing:   Ensure that your air compressor is appropriately sized for your needs. An oversized compressor may use more power than necessary for your applications.

3. Maintain and Service Regularly:    Keep the compressor well-maintained by following the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. This includes checking and replacing air filters, lubricating moving parts, and inspecting for leaks.

4. Manage Air Leaks:    Regularly inspect and repair any air leaks in the compressed air system. Leaks can cause the compressor to work harder and use more power to maintain pressure.

5. Optimize Operating Pressure:    Operate the compressor at the lowest pressure that meets your application requirements. Higher pressure levels require more energy.

6. Install Pressure Regulators:    Use pressure regulators to control the air pressure at the point of use. This can prevent unnecessary over-pressurization and reduce energy consumption.

7. Use Variable Speed Drive (VSD) Compressors:    If feasible, consider upgrading to a compressor with a variable speed drive. VSD compressors adjust their speed to match the air demand, providing energy savings during periods of lower demand.

8. Implement Load/Unload Control:    Compressors equipped with load/unload control cycle on and off based on demand. This can be more energy-efficient than running continuously.

9. Consider Heat Recovery:    If your compressor generates heat during operation, consider installing a heat recovery system to use that heat for space heating or other purposes, improving overall efficiency.

10. Turn Off When Not in Use:     Ensure that the compressor is turned off when not needed. If possible, use timer controls or automation to shut down the compressor during periods of inactivity.

11. Educate and Train Operators:    Provide training to operators to use the compressor efficiently and encourage responsible use.

By implementing these measures, you can optimize the performance of your air compressor and reduce its power consumption, leading to energy and cost savings over time.

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