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FIVES USES FOR AN AIR COMPRESSOR YOU NEVER THOUGHT TO TRY

Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 30 minutes
How often: when needed


While many tools serve a handful of obvious, practical purposes, some versatile ones are only limited by your imagination. Routine tire inflation is one of the main uses for an air compressor, but what else can you use it for? Here’s a quick look at five ways to use your compressor you may have never thought of.


Quick cleanup

Whether you’ve been weed whacking and are clearing away clippings from the driveway, or you just finished working in the garage, an air compressor can help you get cleaned up quickly. A short burst from the compressor is all it takes to rid your work area of just about any mess. All you need is an air blow gun and a pair of safety goggles to keep flying debris out of your eyes. Then turn your air pressure regulator down to 30 psi or less, and you are ready to clean. Bear in mind that it is dangerous to use compressed air to clean yourself off, leave that task to the washing machine and the shower.


Now That’s Fire!

Have you ever lost track of time entertaining guests only to realize you never started the fire in the charcoal grill? Why waste time waiting for coals to get hot or use lighter fluid when you can crank up the heat in a hurry. Try stoking the fire with some compressed air. Once you find the sweet spot, typically at the base of the flame, you’ll have a roaring inferno in no time. Don’t forget to turn the pressure regulator down or you’ll put the fire out completely.


Pump It Up

We’ve all been there. Children are jumping around waiting for you to finish blowing up their pool tube on a hot summer day. Get them in the pool and out of your hair in minutes with a tapered inflator nozzle attached to your compressor. While you’re at it, you can give that sad old football new life with an inflation needle. Set the pressure appropriately, and you’ll never go wrong.


White Christmas

Want to dazzle everyone at your child’s next birthday party or have the best-decorated house on the block when snow is late? Ditch that animatronic Frosty and blow the neighbours away with your very own compressed-air-powered DIY snowmaker. You can find free plans online via resources like snowathome.com that have you use a handful of valve and pipe pieces and your compressor to make a snow machine in minutes.


Body Shop

Compressors are great for powering spray guns when it comes time to paint the house. With some practice, you can achive pretty cool results and a level younnot reach with spray cans. Using the same method for applying paint, you can add killer flame detailing to the front of your riding mower, your kid's bicycle or your motorcycle with a little prep, some masking tape and an airbrush. You should practise your best hot rod flame on a scrap piece of cardboard before you hit the sheet metal. When all is said and done, you’ll have the coolest mower this side of town.


There are an incredible number of uses for an air compressor—all you need to do is think outside the box. Whether you’re sandblasting your house’s siding or pumping up some pool rafts, air compressors are a must have for every garage, shop or weekend warrior.

For more information on air compressors, chat with an expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.