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5 Uses for an Air Compressor You Never Thought to Try

There are many ways to use an air compressor—all you need to do is think outside the box. Whether you’re sandblasting your house’s siding or pumping up some pool rafts, air compressors are a must-have for any garage.

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Carpenter processing woodPhoto: Shutterstock

1. Clean up your messes quickly

After an afternoon of working in the garage, weed-whacking or clearing away clippings from the driveway, an air compressor is the last thing you would think of to help with clean-up. A short burst from an air compressor, however, is all it takes to rid your work area of just about any mess. Grab your air blow gun, a pair of safety goggles (to keep flying debris out of your eyes), turn your air pressure regulator down to 30 psi or less, and you’re ready to clean! But beware: it’s dangerous to use compressed air to clean yourself off, so leave that task to the washing machine and shower.

These great tips will help your garage work harder so you can do everything you want there!

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Close-up of charcoal grill and flamesPhoto: Shutterstock

2. Crank up the heat in a hurry

Have you ever lost track of time entertaining guests only to realize you never started the fire in the charcoal grill? Why waste time waiting for coals to get hot or use lighter fluid when you can bring out your handy air compressor to stoke the fire? Once you find the sweet spot, typically at the base of the flame, you’ll have a roaring inferno in no time. Don’t forget to turn the pressure regulator down or you’ll put the fire out completely.

Plus: 5 Clever (And Unusual) Ways to Clean Your Car

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Floating pool tubePhoto: Shutterstock

3. Inflate your pool tubes

We’ve all been there: kids are jumping around waiting for you to finish blowing up their pool tube on a hot summer day. Get them in the pool in minutes with a tapered inflator nozzle attached to your compressor. While you’re at it, you can give that sad old football new life with an inflation needle. Set the pressure appropriately, and you’re good to go.

Here are five car organizing tips that can bring order to even the most chaotic ride.

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Spruce tree covered in snowPhoto: Shutterstock

4. Make your own snowmaker

Want to dazzle everyone at your child’s next birthday party or have the best-decorated house on the block when snow is late? Ditch that animatronic snowman and blow the neighbours away with your very own compressed-air-powered DIY snowmaker. You can find free plans online via resources; some call for you to use a handful of valve and pipe pieces and your compressor to make a snow machine in minutes.

Plus: 7 Car Cleaning Accessories That Will Restore Your Ride

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Paint can colour palettePhoto: Shutterstock

5. Paint your home like a pro

Compressors are great for powering spray guns when it comes time to paint the house. With some practice, you can achieve results you may not reach with spray cans. Using the same method for applying paint, you can add killer flame detailing to the front of your riding mower, your kid’s bicycle or your motorcycle with a little prep, some masking tape and an airbrush. You should practice your best hot rod flame on a scrap piece of cardboard before you hit the sheet metal. When all is said and done, you’ll have the coolest mower this side of town.

Check out these six clever new ways to put masking tape to work.