How To Increase Air Compressor CFM? Learn Effective Ways

Do you ever consider increasing your air compressors’ CFM? Certainly does. Because using the ideal air compressor with the appropriate CFM rating is the only way to ensure that various air tools operate as efficiently as possible. Each air tool and compressor functions at a particular CFM. Sometimes it might be possible that you have to work with multiple air tools simultaneously, and your air compressor is insufficient to perform the task. All you need to increase its output ratings so it can fulfill the air-tools CFM requirements.

So, you have come to the right site since you are looking for techniques to improve the CFM of your air compressor. Here, we’ll go through certain ways to improve the CFM of an air compressor.

What exactly does CFM on air compressors mean?

The word CFM stands for cubic feet per minute. It is a crucial setting for air compressors.This term is simply defined as the flow rate of air released from the air compressor in one minute. The air can be measured as volume, while the speed represents the minute. Let me explain this with an example. Suppose your compressor has a rating unit of 10 CFM, and then your machine is capable of releasing 10 cubic feet of air per minute.

You can calculate this by two things. One is the size air tank, and the second is the operating speed of the injector. Air compressors with larger tanks can produce high CFM.

How do CFM and PSI correlate?

The operating system of air compressors works on two terms that have a strong relationship, i.e., CFM and PSI. To understand the capabilities of air compressors, we will talk about both throughout this study. The psi is the abbreviation of pounds per square inch. It measures air pressure in the receiver container adjacent to the specific air compressor unit. Hence, the CFM gauges air volume, and the PSI calculates the air pressure.

5 Methods to enhance an air compressor’s CFM

Air compressor is effective machinery that helps different areas such as painting and building. They can operate different air tools at the same time, such as impact wrenches and nailer guns. It helps to complete the task quickly. Sometimes, you must work on heavy CFM air tools, and your air compressor cannot fulfill the requirements. Therefore, air compressor CFM ratings need to be upgraded.

You can increase it by different efficient methods according to the type and need of air compressors. If you improperly do this, you will damage your precious air compressors. Eventually, the whole work will be destroyed. Here we have compiled the different methods for increasing the CFM efficiently and safely.

Now we will discuss these in detail.

Method 1: Dropping the pressure to Improve CFM

Every air compressor has its CFM and power of operating. The power can be computed by multiplying the CFM by the pressure. You cannot quickly increase the power of the air compressor. Therefore when you drop the pressure, this will only enhance the CFM, and power will remain unchanged.

Although people worked a lot through their compressors, they still don’t know about the outlet CFM depending on pressure. This CFM can be high by dropping the pressure in the tank as they are inversely proportional to each other. To decrease it, you have to dial down the regulator.

For example, you have a 90 PSI, 4 CFM compressed air unit. That means your air compressor reading will be 4cfm when the pressure reaches 90 psi. When you decrease the pressure, the CFM rating will be high for maintaining the unit’s power.


Understanding the relationship between CFM and PSI is a complex process. It’s not possible to take CFM ratings under specific pressure. So it is not a safe procedure for increasing the CFM as you cannot read the exact increment in the CFM. However, you can opt for this process only for minor changes. Additionally, this method has some limitations in its usage. In the situation where 90 psi is necessary for running an air tool there, you cannot implement this method.

You might be able to survive with such enhanced air compressors when your compressor is not pulling up the desired CFM. In such a situation air container serves as the reservoir that allows the compressor to relax between the cycles. But always make sure to run the compressor up to its capacity.

Method 2: Coupling a new compressor with a matching CFM rating

The CMF of the air compressor can be increased. Even you can double the rating. All you need to do is attach a different air compressor toyour compressor. This new compressor must be the same in all aspects, including model name and number, CMF, PSI, and power.

However, it will not increase the CMF on your air compressor, but it can fulfill the high CMF demands of your air tools.

For joining these two compressors, there will be a need to change and add the fittings. Also, you will need a hose of a more significant length. Connect these fittings with the help of tee fittings. After setting up, connect the desired air-powered tool.

For example, if your compressor has 5CMF capacity and you connect the same compressor to this, you will have 10CMF in total. However, it will be a little bit lower than this.

It will increase the CMF of your compressor’s pumping method and can be easily noticed by checking the pressure level at the regulator.


This method is best in case of not continue using the air compressor at high CMF. It is the best method for using an air compressor for the most intermittent air tools. It is also worth buying a new compressor with the exact specifications. However, since you’ll have to buy another air compressor, it won’t be economical.Moreover, while using this method, be sure to use identical pressure switches.

Similar to the previous method, in this method, you also need to focus on the running cycles of the air compressor. It should exceed then its limits.

Method 3: Combine two compressors with variable CFMs

This approach of linking the two air units is comparable to the earlier approach.But in this technique, you will need to buy the other compressor with different modifications and brands. It will require extra effort to connect both of them compared to the previous method.

To connect these two air units’ outlets, use the tee fittings. Then connect the hose to the outlets of the tee fittings. Now it’s ready to connect to your desired air-powered tool. Connect to perform your function.


Using this method could be beneficial for an intermittent air tool. Joining the two compressors provides a high CFM to your system, and you can quickly achieve your task.

However, this method has some limitations. Connecting and managing the two different compressors with variable power, pressure, and CFM rates are pretty complicated. Each unit’s pressure switches can be programmed to activate at various pressure levels.

 It can be a tricky process and need proper settings. Though both compressors share the same storage tank, their pressure switches have not altered.

If there is a gap between the cut-in pressures of both compressors, their functionality can be disturbed. It might be possible that the compressor with high cut-in pressure starts running even before starting the lower-pressure compressor. So it would be best if you control the functionality of these.

Method 4: Utilizing an auxiliary air tank for the air compressor

The simplest way of increasing the CFM is using a backup storage tank. This method work on the theory of the first step in which we decrease the pressure for increasing the CFM. This tank has more volume than the air compressor, so that it will decrease the pressure. As a result, you have more CFM for your air-powered tools.

When you connect a tank, your compressor will stream them with air. So now your storage capacity increased. You can run the compressor for a more extended period. The increased storage help to increase the overall compressor CFM but does not alter its efficiency permanently.


It is the simplest way out of all other methods. Since a new compressor is not needed, it is also a less expensive method. Moreover, it is the ideal method because the air compressor gets some time to relax between its running cycles.

However, you must conduct study to identify the ideal-size tank before employing this approach.You cannot just go for any size. Carefully adjust everything to match the air compressor’s specifications and work properly. After finishing your work, you can detach this from an air compressor and get the actual unit’s CFM.

Method 5: Boosting the compressor’s current capacity

The Boost in the capacity of compressors means increasing the size and efficiency of both motors and pumps of air compressors. Increase them to enhance the CFM. Increasing the pump can achieve the acquired CFM for operating your air tools. But you have to increase the motor’s size and the pump. It is necessary because air compressors are designed so that the motor and pump must be compatible.


Installing the new compressor pumps and motors into the existing ones is a cost-effective method. You don’t have to spend twice as much to get two compressors. However, before installing the new pump and motor, check the condition and capacity of the old one.

CFM consumption chart for different tools

You must use different air tools that operate correctly on specific CFM daily. The compressor with larger air tank has ability to produce more CFM. Here we represented a chart of different tools that will help you understand the specific CFM you need from your air compressor.

CFM Consumption Table
ToolsRequired air pressure [PSI]Air consumed [CFM]
Spray gun (HVLP)40-6015
impact wrench (3/8”)70-903
impact wrench(1/2”)70-904
impact wrench (1”)70-9012
Air hammer90-1004
Die grinder70-905
Filing and Sawing Machine (S,L)90-100,1003,5
Tire Spreader1501
Bead Breaker125-15012
Rim Stripper125-1506
Grease gun125-1503
  • Note: The provided CFM and PSI requirements are the based on average required values. You can use these as a reference. Before buying the air tools, check their authentic consumption requirements.


What distinguishes CFM from SCFM?

CFM is the air volume measuring unit released from the air compressor. It shows how many cubic feet of air are being released each minute. However, there is no fixed standard for CFM regarding temperature or pressure.

On the other hand, there is a defined standard pressure and temperature for SCFM (standard cubic feet per minute). SCFM is usually measured according to this standard. Because of this, it differs depending on the location.

How can you decrease the CFM on the air compressor?

If we can increase the CFM, then we can also decrease this. The simple and quick way to decrease is by filling the can at high speed. Pressure will rise as a result, and CFM may decrease.Be sure not to cross the maximum pressure limit.

Final Words

If you are an armature in this industry and struggling with how to increase the CFM on air compressors, then this comprehensive guide we have brought for you. Reading this might seem easy, but it requires proper expertise. If you are expert enough to perform the task, then go ahead. Otherwise, we recommend you contact the professionals. They will perform this task efficiently. 

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