I found it traumatic finding what was the right air compressor to get then getting one. So here is my experience and knowledge now I have had happy compressor usage.
Compressors are commodity items in the equipment trade, subject to keen price competition. And that leads to misleading sales claims. Which is not helpful to someone trying to get their first compressor.
So I will try to lead you through the things I discovered.
(Richard Smith, June 2005)