Air Compressor Cfm vs Scfm

I bought a Bostitch Pancake compressor 6 gallon 2.6 scfm for dirt cheap to install new baseboards.

I’m now looking at some different tools I could hook up it it but all are rated in cfm and call for 4-6 cfm. I somewhat understand the difference between the scfm and cfm but there is varying opinions on what can be used with what I have. I’m mainly looking at a paint sprayer and a rivet gun and both are rated for 4 cfm.

Does anyone know if what I have will work or will I be constantly waiting for my tank to fill?

For practical purposes, scfm and cfm is close enough. I think your paint sprayer might be a problem. In any minute if you operate it for 30 seconds total, that’ll be about 2 to 3 cfm draw. So your pump replaces about 2 so if you use it a lot you’ll eventually lose air or you’re so close to losing air, you’ll lose the input pressure to you sprayer and that’ll alter the spray pattern, I think. Regarding the riveter, I’m not sure how they operate.

Cfm is the volume of air it can deliver in a minute, so if your tool is calling for 4-6 and you can do 2.6 you’ll lose pressure too quickly to operate a paint sprayer. You’ll have pressure at first, but it will drop as soon as you start flowing. The rivet gun should be fine as (if it’s like mine) it’s just a little shot of air then some time to recharge the tank. Mine’s pretty light duty though, maybe yours is different.

Scfm is just a standardized measurement to compensate for air density changes at altitude. If your above sea level, you’ll actually have less than 2.6 cfm.