Air compressor - Photo by  t i g

Read our guide to choosing the best type of air compressor.


Types of Air Compressors

Selecting the right type of air compressor for you can be a daunting task. There is just so much selection out there, it is hard to decide on any one model.

Air compressors are used in many different sectors in industry, such as farming, aeronautical and factories.

What they are used for mainly however, is to drive tools that are air powered instead of battery or electrically powered.

Tools such as nail guns and air powered wrenches. Air powered tools are generally advantageous as they are lighter, and usually more powerful than their battery or electrically powered counterparts.

Compressor power is generally measured in horsepower.

So, how to choose the right compressor for you and your business or company?

There are so many factors that you will need to take into account, such as type of compressor, size and shape, power source and of course, budget available to purchase the compressor & does the compressor need to be portable?

Two of the main types of compressor you will find on your hunt will be positive displacement & rotary compressors.

Positive Displacement Compressors

Positive displacement compressors themselves have variations such as piston driven or reciprocating.

These can be found almost anywhere, from retailers to mass markets, and are available in a range of horsepower options.

Reciprocating pumps themselves can be found in some different variations also, two of the main ones being single stage or two stage.

The difference between the 2 is as it sounds, is that in single stage configuration, the air reaches its required pressure in one stage, and in two stages with a two stage machine.

Rotary Compressors

Rotary compressors come in different variations too, with Screw and Vane & centrifugal styles being the most commonly found.

Rotary compressors are generally more expensive that Positive Displacement models, both to operate and purchase, but you get better flow rates and horsepower for the extra cost.

Rotary compressors are used more in industrial or commercial settings, for this reason.

Portable or Stationary

A deciding factor in your purchase will be, if the unit needs to be portable or stationary.

With a portable device, the unit will usually be smaller in size, but you will sacrifice power as well. Stationary units are larger all around in size, weight & shape, to accommodate larger parts, to accumulate that increased pressure.

Electrical or Fuel Powered

Another issue will be how you wish to power the unit.

The main types of power used are electrical or fuel based (such as petrol).

You will find that, with an electrical unit, it cannot be as portable as a petrol driven unit, as you will need a power point and possibly an electrical transformer also.

You can operate the petrol unit anywhere.

Air Compressor Companies

One final decision to make is, choosing the right compressor company.

You will need to ask yourself things like, how long are the company in operation?

Have they a good reputation? Do they also make and sell parts for the compressor?

Have you heard of this company before (brand recognition)?

Those are just some things you will need to consider when selecting the right compressor.

About the Author

Stephen O’Connell is a freelance blogger who writes on cars and the motor industry.¬†Stephen has a passion for cars and is a big fan of the Formula 1.

Related Resources

The following articles and guides may be useful to anyone wanting to find out more about air compressors.

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