Are you fascinated with shopping for a reciprocating air compressor in your workshop, storage or enterprise? There are some issues it is best to know earlier than shopping for one!

An air compressor is a large funding, so take your time to study air compressors and the completely different fashions and choices.

Shopping for the incorrect air compressor is not going to solely get you disenchanted (by way of usefulness or energy or air output), however can even set you up for large upkeep payments sooner or later.

Listed below are 10 issues to consider BEFORE you go to the shop to purchase a reciprocating air compressor.

1. Compressor sort

There are mainly three sorts of reciprocating air compressors:


  • Single stage compressors
  • Two stage compressors
  • Twin compressors


Single stage models compress the air in a single stroke, from ambient to finish stress. They usually go as much as 20 CFM (cubic foot per minute) at a stress of 125 psi

For extra energy, you have to a two stage compressor. A two stage compressor makes use of two phases to compress the air to the tip stress. This implies your compressor can have two cylinders/pistons.

The large cylinder is the low stress stage, whereas the small cylinder is the excessive stage. In between the phases the air is cooled.

Two stage air compressors go as much as about 50 CFM capability at about 175 psi.

Whether or not you want a single or two stage compressor in the end depends upon the quantity of capability (cubic foot per minute) you want.

2. Capability and stress

The capability (CFM) and the stress of the air compressor are the 2 most necessary specs.

To search out out the capability that you just want, merely add up the air consumption of all of the air instruments that you’ll use.

Small instruments like nailers use solely somewhat air, whereas massive instruments like sanders and grinder use numerous compressed air!

To search out out the stress that you just want, verify once more the specs of the air instruments that you just plan to make use of. The best required stress dictates the stress that you just want.

It is at all times sensible to purchase a compressor that’s succesful to ship greater than you want. You’ll in all probability add extra instruments sooner or later, and virtually all compressed air programs can have a leaking hose or coupling someplace!

three. Horse energy

You DON’T have to know the horsepower of the air compressor.

The horsepower is a results of the required stress and capability that you just want, not the opposite approach round.

Do not take a look at horsepower. Have a look at capability (CFM) and stress (psi).

four. Electrical connections

You would not be the primary comfortable new compressor proprietor that comes house with an air compressor that he’s unable to wire up!

Know the voltage that you’ve got at house. Know the utmost present that your wiring can deal with. Do you could have single part or three part energy?

Putting in additional electrical wiring (and even having three part energy put in at your private home!) may be costlier than the air compressor itself!

5. Noise

Do you intend to put in the compressor inside or outdoors?

A reciprocating compressor makes numerous noise. At all times verify the noise stage of the compressor earlier than shopping for one. In case you are shopping for a compressor in a store, ask them to run it, so you possibly can hear what’s feels like.

To scale back the noise, you can also make an enclosure across the compressor. Be sure you add sufficient air flow holes (and a fan if obligatory). An air compressor creates numerous warmth, so sufficient cooling is required!

6. Tank dimension

Most reciprocating compressors include a 40 – 80 gallon tank, which is ok.

A bigger tank dimension is at all times higher. An even bigger tank means that there’s a greater compressed air buffer.

An even bigger compressed air buffer is helpful while you use massive instruments that use extra air than the capability of your compressor. Strain will drop extra slowly with a much bigger air tank.

7. Compressed air filters

How clear do you want your compressed air?

Compressed air is sizzling, moist and soiled. Relying in your software, it is advisable filter it and take away water and oil.

In case you use compressed air for paint-spraying, you do not need oil, water or mud in your compressed air, the air must be very clear.

In case you solely use it for powering air instruments, you do not need water in your compressed air however you do not actually care about oil.

There are filters obtainable to take away water (droplets), oil, and dirt. For even dryer compressed air, it is advisable get a compressed air dryer.

eight. Different choices and additional’s

There’s a checklist of choices it is best to factor about. Do you actually need them, or are they non-obligatory?


  • Strain regulators – to manage the tank stress again to a secure, decrease stress
  • Measurement and variety of air connections
  • Vertical or horizontal tank
  • Handbook or computerized drains


9. Weight

Most (on-line) shops will drop your new air compressor in your drive approach. You will have to convey it into your storage or wherever you need to place it your self.

Your new air compressor will in all probability come on a wood pallet. You possibly can select to maintain it on the pallet, or take away the pallet.

Take into consideration how you’ll convey your 600 lbs air compressor to its place before you purchase it!

10. Responsibility cycle

Final, however positively not least!

The obligation cycle is the proportion of time your compressor can run.

Most single stage compressor simpson pressure washer have an obligation cycle of solely 50%. Which means while you run your compressor for five minutes, it wants 5 minutes to chill down.

Most twin stage compressors have an obligation cycle of 100%. They will run 24 hours per day when wanted.

If a compressor has a 100% obligation cycle, it’s typically marketed. Beware when the obligation cycle is just not talked about.. it’s in all probability solely 50%!


As you possibly can see, there are many issues to consider when shopping for an new air compressor. The above checklist will show you how to make determination. If you cannot select between two fashions, at all times choose the larger unit.

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