When choosing compressor you have to consider if it will be able to constantly provide desired pressure and level of air. Little airbrush compressors little compressors boast amazing pressure figures but really poor flow rates adequate only for airbrush pistols. Actually if small compressor can push enough air it’ll likely overheat in couple of minutes.
Our laser cutter came with little membrane pump (Smallest on the picture), I do not know what specifications it has but stream of air was very weak. It is adequate if all you have to to do is engrave, although also then we got considerable smoke traces around engraved picture.
it was rated for Air Compressor For Laser Cutting china volume of ~2.4cfm and had a 1 gallon container which can be filled to 58 PSI. It managed to give us continuous 1 bar (14 PSI) of pressure, nonetheless it had to run constantly and overheat badly within 5 minutes.
Third and current compressor we got was 6cfm rated belt driven unit with 13 gallon container which is filled to ~100psi. With this unit we are able to run at continuous ~2bar (31psi) without fear of overheating since compressor engine isn’t on constantly. Using reserve surroundings in tank we can also force up to 3.5bar (50psi) for short jobs.
The best setup in my opinion would be compressor rated to >6cfm, huge 70+ gallons tank rated to 10bar (140psi) and software air control via solenoid valve.