Will a 3-Gallon Air Compressor Run an Impact Wrench

Will a 3-Gallon Air Compressor Run an Impact Wrench

Impact wrenches make your job in the garage easier. Your average wrench just can’t do everything and doesn’t have the power you need.

To run an impact wrench, you need an air compressor. We often get asked, “Will a 3-gallon air compressor run an impact wrench?”

Today, we’re going to answer that question and share the best air compressors to use with an impact wrench.

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Will a 3-Gallon Air Compressor Run an Impact Wrench?

The tank size of an air compressor is as important as the max psi when it comes to hooking up an impact wrench.

Air compressor tanks can run from one gallon to 80 gallons. Some may run even larger. A large air tank holds more air. So, a bigger air tank means you can work for a longer period without the need to fill it with air.

Since a three-gallon tank holds only three gallons of air, it’s not the best choice to run an impact wrench. Even though you run an impact wrench in short bursts instead of continuously, three gallons isn’t enough. If you choose to use a three-gallon tank, you’re going to have to refill it often and it’s not going to have the power you want and need for an impact wrench.

Air compressors with only a three-gallon tank are a cheaper option but the savings are not worth it when you get to work.

At the least, you need a compressor with a 10-gallon tank. This allows you to run an impact wrench adequately without breaking the bank. If you can afford it, though, a larger tank is even better though it is not required to run any impact wrench, no matter the size.

3 Best Air Compressors for Impact Wrenches

1. Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Air Compressor

Industrial Air always provides reliable and powerful air compressors. This model is one of the best the brand has to offer for running an impact wrench. It has a 1.6 horsepower dual-voltage induction motor. The tough motor runs smoothly without hesitation or cutting out on you.

The twin-cylinder pump is oil-lubricated and made of super-tough cast-iron material. It’s heavy-duty and won’t break and Industrial Air even ships you synthetic oil with your purchase.

The pump has an aluminum head and valve plate that allow heat to escape faster, cooling the air compressor down.

This air compressor has a 20-gallon vertical tank made from heavy-duty cast iron. It comes with pneumatic tires and convenient front handles so you can move it around easily. This type of portability is always a plus.

This compressor has controls that are super easy to use. It has an on/off switch and you can adjust the quick-set regulator and pressure gauges. The high delivery is 6.2 CFM at 40 psi or 5.3 CFM at 90 psi. The max psi is 135.

There’s a lot to love about this one but our favorite feature on this air compressor is that you can run many impact wrenches at the same time.

2. Dewalt DXCMPA1982054 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor

Dewalt is one of the top power tool brands for a reason and their air compressors live up to its reputation. This one is designed for a professional but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it for your home projects. It’s so easy a beginner can learn to run it.

This model’s 1.9 horsepower motor is an induction dual-voltage. They made the twin-cylinder pump from cast-iron material. It’s also oil-lubricated and includes a sight glass so you can easily check the oil levels. Dewalt sends synthetic oil when you buy this air compressor. It saves you some money.

Like the Industrial Air air compressor, this pump has an aluminum head and a valve plate that allow heat to escape faster.

It’s built with a high flow regulator that gives the compressor 20% more torque. It also has a high delivery of 7.0 CFM at 40 psi or 5.7 CFM at 90 psi. The max psi is 155. This comes in handy if you’re struggling to remove something with the impact wrench.

The tank holds a whopping 20 gallons. It has pneumatic wheels so you can move it around as needed.

3. California Air Tools 10020C Oil-Free Air Compressor

This California Air Tools air compressor is perfect for running an impact wrench. Its portability is one of the biggest reasons we love this one so much. It has a 10-gallon tank that includes a wheel kit. You can take it anywhere you need to. It’s portable despite its weight.

Air compressors, in general, are loud beasts. But not this one. It’s one of the quietest compressors out there at only 70 decibels. The 2.0 horsepower motor operates at only 1680 RPM which creates less noise.

The motor increases the duty cycle. You get a longer time to run the air compressor before you have to refill it with air.

The dual-piston pump system is oil-free so you don’t have to add oil nor do you have to buy it. You spend less time you spend on maintenance, too. The pump has a life cycle of 3000 plus hours, which is much longer than the average air compressor.

California Air Tool’s Easy Start Valve lets you start up the compressor quickly and easily without as many amps. It releases a very small amount of air out the pump to create a no-load condition so the motor can spin how it wants.

The high air delivery is 6.40 CFM at 40 psi. Or it can run at 5.30 CFM at 90 psi. The max psi is 125.


An air compressor with a 3-gallon tank isn’t a great fit for running impact wrenches. They hold less air and have less power.

Check out our favorite 3 air compressors that are perfect for impact wrenches.

Source of Featured Image: canva.com

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