What Size Air Compressor Do You Need for Filling Tires?

What size air compressor do you need for filling tires? Do you want to know about this topic? If yes, you are in the right place. In this article, the size of the air compressor for filling tires. 

You can do various tasks with the air compressor, and filling the tire is one of them. Many house lenders want to fill tires with air compressors alone. But most of them can’t understand the suitable compressor size for filling tires.

For filling tires, you also get so many compressors in the market. But what is the correct size? You need an air compressor with 30 psi for a standard tire and 36 psi for an overinflated tire. But not only PSI is a factor in determining compressor size you should also know about CFM, tank size, and duty cycle.   

What Size Air Compressor Do You Need for Filing Tires?

What size of the air compressor is needed for filling tires depends on your vehicle or tasks. For example, if you want to fill up your bike tire quickly and easily, you can do it with any compressor. Because any compressor can fill up a bike or wheelbarrow tire, be careful to overfill and burst your tires with a large, powerful compressor.

Some factors determine the size of the air compressor for filling tires. We will discuss all the aspects in detail.

Read more: How much psi for framing nailer?

What PSI should I set my air compressor for Tires?

PSI or pounds per square inch is the most critical factor for determining air compressor size for filing tires properly. The PSI rating will know you how much the compressor can provide air pressure. You must match the tire pressure required and the compressor PSI rating. If you don’t do it, you can not be able to inflate the tire. 

For example, your vehicle tire requires 100 PSI, and you have a compressor with a maximum of 70 PSI. You can’t be able to inflate the tire with the compressor. If the compressor PSI rating is high than the tire, you can do it. But how much higher PSI rating is good than the tire requires? 

Expertise recommended, use the compressor with 10 PSI higher than the tire requires. It is a general rule and the best way to use a compressor. If your tire requires 100 PSI, you need a compressor with 110 PSI or higher. You can also use the same pressure, but higher PSI is suitable for operating. Because if you use the same force, it takes more time to fill up the tire.  

What CFM Rating is Needed for Filing Tires?

After PSI, you have to check the CFM rating. Cubic feet per minute or CFM is also an essential factor in determining the size of the air compressor. CFM measures the rate of flow the compressor can provide. You can know how much time takes the compressor to fill the tire. 

Remember, the CFM rating constantly measures the context of the PSI rating. Lower CFM is enough if you need to inflate a small car tire with 30 PSI. But for big tank tires with 100 PSI, you need a higher CFM rating. Otherwise, the compressor takes more time to inflate the tire. 

PSI and CFM both are mentioned together like CFM @ PSI, 2CFM@50PSI, 36CFM@100PSI.

So, checking the CFM rating according to the PSI rate is essential. Because if you choose a lower CFM rating compressor, it takes more time to fill up the tire. But if you don’t mind spending more time filling up the tire, you can choose less than 1 CFM. 

What Tank Size Need for filing Tires?

Compressor tank size defines two factors; how long your compressor can run and how long it takes to fill your tires. If you want to fill tires with a few pounds of pressure, you need a small tank-size compressor, like a 1-gallon tank size enough for the task. But if you want to fill an empty or giant tire with more pressure, you need a big tank.

You can choose a small tank for a big tire. But it takes a very long time to fill up the tank. The tank needs multiple cycles to fill the tire. That means you need a large tank for large tires and a small tank for small tires.

What size air compressor for tire machine? Typically, three-gallon and six-gallon compressors are enough for big tires.

Duty Cycle

The duty cycle rating is the amount of time how long you can use the compressor. One complete cycle is how long you can run the compressor. You can’t use an air compressor for a long time. You have to turn it off now and then to avoid overheating. 

For example, your compressor duty cycle rating is 50%. That means you can run the compressor for half of the time. You have to turn it off every minute.  

The tank size can help you to select the cycle rating. The compressor with a large size tank needs less duty cycle. A large tank stores more air pressure. So you can run the compressor for a long time. What size air compressor do I need to work on cars? What do you think about it? Let you know.

Nowadays, many small compressors are designed for continuous use. But they get hot after a long time to use. So it would help to choose a big air compressor for your car.

Inflate tires with an air compressor

The process of inflating tires with an air compressor is easy. You follow some steps. Let’s see how to inflate tires with an air compressor.

  • First, check the air pressure of your tires. You can do it when the tires are cold. Do check air pressure when the tires are hot. Remember, warm tires will give an incorrect PSI rating. The best time to check air pressure is when a car isn’t used last 3 hours or more. 
  • Connect your compressor with the power source according to the compressor type. 
  • Now, identify the tire valve and remove the cap
  • Then, connect the air nozzle to the valve and tighten it in the place
  • After that, start the compressor and run until the tire doesn’t fill up with pressure. When you get the desired pressure, turn off the compressor. 
  • Remove the nozzle from the valve
  • Finally, replace the cap on the valve.
How to Properly Check and Fill Tires on Your Car


Can a small air compressor fill car tires?

Yes, you can fill car tires with a small air compressor. You can choose a portable compressor if you want an easy and quick way to fill tires.

What kind of air compressor do I need to run a tire machine?

A portable compressor with 1 or 2 CFM and 90 PSI is suitable for filling car tires. But to change the tire, you need 4 CFM or more large compressors.  

How much psi do I need to fill tires?

A 32 to 35 PSI air compressor is enough for a car tire. You can quickly inflate your car’s tire with a small air compressor.

Final Thought

We hope that now you know what size air compressor you need for filling tires. We hope now you can understand the size of the air compressor for filling up tires. 

You can do so many tasks with an air compressor. It makes our life easy. Fill-up tires are one of the essential tasks. We have to fill up tires at any time, anywhere. We can do it with an air compressor easily.

For a standard tire, you need a 30 PSI; for an overinflated, 36 PSI is good. But only PSI is not enough to determine the sizes of air compressors. You also understand other factors. CFM, tank size, duty cycle. We have already discussed all the topics.

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