Selecting An Air Compressor (models shown are suggestions)

Look at the horsepower (HP) of the air compressor. A common range for horsepower on an air compressor is between 1.5 and 6.5 HP. Air compressors with larger HP capacity exist, but are usually reserved for industrial uses and offer far greater psi.  It is probably best to look at the flow rates instead of HP ratings if you are comparing today’s models to much older ones.  Small-scale uses won’t require as much horsepower as industrial uses.

  • While horsepower is a valuable marker in determining your air compressor, it shouldn’t be the only one. More valuable will be a CFM rating, or Cubic Feet per Minute, if you can find one.

Try to look at Cubic Feet per Minute, or CFM. CFM is a measure of volumetric flow. CFM changes depending on the psi of the compressor, meaning that two tools with different psi won’t necessarily have CFMs that you can simply add together.

  • Look for or ask about Standard CFM (SCFM) when evaluating compressors. Standard CFM is measured as 14.5 PSIA, at 68 °F (20 °C), with 0% relative humidity.  (If you choose not to use SCFM, be sure to use CFM numbers that are all pegged at the same psi.)
  • When you’ve got the SCFM of all your air tools that you’ll be using simultaneously, add up their SCFMs, then add 30% to that as a safety buffer. This should give you the maximum required CFM usage you’ll need to complete the job. When choosing an air compressor, you want to get close to this number so that you don’t waste time with a too-small unit or waste money on a too-large one.

T-Corkers Air Supply:

All pneumatic T-Corkers require 1 CFM at 90 psi. You will need a 2+ CFM compressor so it does not run all the time.

Wine Corker Air Supply:

  • Model W with vacuum requires 5 CFM
  • Model W without vacuum requires 3.5 CFM


Suggested Compressors

California Air Tools CAT-4610A Ultra Quiet. 2.2 CFM @ 90 psi.  It runs ~$280.00 and can be found online at and other retailers.  This compressor is sufficient for the T-Corker models.




NorthStar Belt-Drive Stationary Air Compressor — 3 HP, 60-Gallon, 11.3 CFM @ 90 psi Vertical Tank  ~$600 from Northern Tool and Equipment

This compressor is sufficient for all corker models.