how to increase cfm on air compressorhow to increase cfm on air compressor

An air compressor is an important piece of equipment for many businesses. When it comes to air compressors, one of the most important things to look at is the cfm output. The CFM measures airflow volume based on how much air passes through a stationary point in one minute. More cfm means more power.

Not all air compressors are created equal. Some have more cfm than others, which is important if you need to power a large tool or multiple tools at the same time.

However, if the cfm (Cubic Feet per Minute) on your compressor is not enough, it can be difficult to get the work done that you need to. You may be wondering how you can increase the cfm on your air compressor. You can do a few things to increase the cfm on an air compressor.

A quick way to increase the cfm is by connecting two air compressors together to double the cfm. Another way is by adding an air receiver tank to the air compressor. An air receiver tank will allow you to store more compressed air, which you can utilize when needed.

If you want to learn in detail, then read on. We have covered three methods that you can use to increase the cfm on your air compressor. And at the end of the article, we have also listed some bonus tips.

How to increase cfm on air compressor – the ultimate guide

Here are the step by step guide to increase the cfm on air compressor.

Step 1: Lower the pressure to increase the CFM on the air compressor

The first thing you should do to increase the output of your compressor is to decrease its pressure. Compressors are designed to handle a range of pressures, not just one.

Decreasing the pressure will allow you to push more air through your equipment. This means that you can power more tools at a time or a single tool at a higher power level.

How decrease the pressure can increase the cfm?

For example, if your air compressor delivers 20 cfm at 90 psi. It means when the pressure reaches 90 psi, your compressor will provide 20 cfm.

Now, if you reduce the pressure, though, you get a lot more air than that. That’s how reducing the pressure may boost the cfm.

How can I decrease the pressure of the air compressor?

The easiest way to decrease your compressor’s pressure is by using a regulator. A regulator is a device that will allow you to decrease the pressure coming from your compressor and provide a constant, safe amount of pressure to operate your tools.

Step 2: Connect two air compressors

As discussed above, by decreasing the pressure in your air compressor, you can increase the cfm output. But what if your compressor has a limit of only 10 cfm? Then decreasing the pressure will not generate more cfm than its maximum capacity.

That’s why you should allow your compressor to handle more pressure by connecting two air compressors. This is another easy and our favorite way to increase the cfm on the air compressor. You can double the cfm of your air compressor by simply hooking two compressors together.

How can you connect two air compressors?

There are a few ways to connect two air compressors.

A quick way to connect two air compressors is with a T-fitting. This is a tubing piece with three outlets, one in the middle and one on each side.

You can use T fitting to connect the outlet of the air receiver tank. Then connect your hose to the middle outlet and your tools to the outer outlets.

Another option is to use an air hose splitter, which will give you two outlets on one hose. Finally, you could also try using an air hose connector, which will allow you to join two hoses together.

Whichever option you choose, make sure the compressors are of the same size and horsepower rating in order to avoid overloading one or the other.

Step 3: Add another tank

The second air receiver tank is a great way to give you more storage units for the compressed air that comes from the compressor and reduce the stress of the machine. This extra volume means that your tools can be run for longer before they need to take a break and the compressor catches up.

How can I increase my compressor’s capacity ?

By adding an air receiver tank, you can increase the capacity of your compressor. The more storage capacity your existing compressed air system has, the more air you’ll have available to use. It helps when you use equipment that needs high storage capacity for better productivity.

Of course, this will not increase the system of the cfm, but it does provide an increased amount of available cfm for a specific period.

The more CFM available means you can use it for large tools or multiple tools that require a lot of air at once without overheating your system or waiting too long between tasks.

How can I add an additional air receiver tank? 

Adding a receiver tank is really simple. You need a tank that’s the same size as your existing receiver and a little bit of time.

  •  Drain the existing receiver.
  • Make sure that the tank is clean inside and out, then fill it up with air about 1/3rd full to minimize splashing once you connect your compressor hose. 
  • Connect one end of your compressor hose to your new tank. It should screw on easily .
  • Once it’s attached, open up the drain valve on your existing tank and ensure the compressor is turned off.
  • Connect the other end of your hose to your existing receiver. Make sure that you tighten both connections carefully but securely. I would suggest using some Teflon tape or silicon around the threads to create a tighter seal for extra security.
  • When you’re ready, turn on your compressor. The compressor will fill your new tank and then turn off if all is well. When this happens, just drain both tanks to remove any excess air that might have built up during this process.

However, if you’re not sure about doing this job yourself, you can always ask a technician to do it in the workshops.

Step 4: Give the compressor more time to recover

Another way to increase the cfm on air compressor is to allow more time for it to recover from pressure spikes.

Pressure spikes happen when a tool turns on or off suddenly. A compressor that doesn’t have enough time to recover will start running at high RPMs, which causes the sound you hear. Unstable pressures can also wreak havoc on your tools.

You could consider getting an adjustable pressure regulator to allow the compressor more time to recover from pressure spikes.

This will allow you to slow down the compressor’s recovery time at specific intervals to compensate for sudden tools with a high startup or shut-off pressures.

The benefit of a compressor that has more time to recover from pressure spikes is that it will produce a better airflow quality, and your tools will perform better.

Tips to increase the cfm on-air compressor

One of the simplest ways to increase the cfm on the air compressor is by optimizing your machine for more efficiency.

You can do this by making sure your compressor is regularly maintained, using the right type of hose for your machine, and managing your electricity consumption.

  • First, keep your air compressor in good order by regularly servicing it. This will ensure that you are running the machine at maximum efficiency.
  • Secondly, make sure your hose is not too long, too thin, or has too many bends. Long hoses that are not thick enough can cause your compressor to work harder than it needs to, which will increase the time it takes to recover air pressure. Sharp bends will also negatively affect your machine’s ability to maintain steady airflow.
  • Thirdly, consider using an industrial-grade hose for your machine. This will last longer and have more flexibility than a regular household-type hose.
  • Fourthly, fix leaks and fully drain your machine after every use. Leaks and overfilling your compressor reduce the machine’s running time and increase its recovery times, negatively affecting airflow. You can find any leak by using a spray soapy water solution and marking all your connections. If there are any leaks, you will see bubbles forming around these connection areas.
  • Fifth, use a regulator. A pressure regulator is the easiest way to ensure that your tools are operating will not be overtaxed by sudden spikes in the system. Make sure that you understand how your regulator works and learn to use it properly.
  • Last but not least, try to turn off your machine as soon as you’re done using it rather than waiting for it to recover from cutting out fully.

Benefits of Proper CFM Rating 

The benefits of an air compressor with a high cfm rating are numerous, but there are three main areas where the increase in airflow will prove beneficial.

1. Your tools will work better

Your tools require a certain amount of CFM to maintain optimal performance. An air compressor with an increased cfm rating means that your tools will work better and give you more consistent results.

2. Faster cycle times

It takes longer for your air compressor to recover from a pressure spike than for your tools to cycle. Tools with higher cfm ratings will have an accelerated “on/off” cycle time, which means that you can perform more work in a shorter amount of time.

3. Easier to use

Tools with higher cfm ratings are easier to use. They are ideal for working with pneumatic powered tools with a high startup or shut-off pressures.


Increasing your air compressor’s CFM is the best way to increase its performance. However, if you are not familiar with basic mechanics or are not 100% sure of what you are doing, it is best to leave this job in the hands of a professional.

A simple increase in your system’s CFM can make a huge difference when working with large power tools. If you work in an environment where your tools require a high CFM to function properly, it is worth investing in a compressor that can accommodate them.

After following all the above steps, I hope that you now understand how to increase cfm on air compressor. If this article helped you, please feel free to share it with others so they can also get benefit from this article.


How can I decrease the cfm on the air compressor?

To decrease the cfm on the air compressor, you just need to go to the regulator’s settings and turn it down.
Always good to check out a regulator for a specific tool’s cfm. This is a good solution for tools that require a specific cfm, such as paint sprayers or grinders.
The second tip you can use to decrease the cfm on the air compressor is to use bigger hoses. The more restriction there is, the less cfm will be available.

What is the difference between cfm and scfm?

There are two different types of flow rates- CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) and SCFM (Standard Cubic Feet per Minute).
The key difference between the two is that SCFM measures the airflow rate at standard pressure and ideal temperature, whereas CFM does not take ideal temperature into account and instead measures the actual airflow rate.
This makes SCFM more reliable when measuring gas flow rates.

What’s the difference between PSI and CFM?

PSI is short for Pounds per Square Inch. PSI measures pressure, which determines how much resistance the air has.
The higher the PSI, the more resistance there is. CFM is short for Cubic Feet per Minute, and it measures the amount of airflow.
So, PSI relates to how much resistance is present, and CFM measures the actual volume of airflow.

How much CFM do I need to run air tools? 

The CFM rating for air tools varies depending on what they do and how efficient they are.
Minimally, make sure that the tool you use has a CFM rating of at least between 1 – 5 cfm at 90 psi.
All air tools have a maximum CFM rating listed on the package, so it’s best to double-check with your manufacturer before using them.

Can adding a tank increase CFM? 

No adding an additional tank will just increase the amount of available cfm. The tank itself will not increase the cfm.
The only way to increase cfm is by increasing pump size, which can easily be done on a piston-driven compressor.

By Matthew

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