How to Choose the Right Air Compressor

Air compressors have been around for well over 100 years and have as many uses as there are tools that use air. One reason for their popularity is because air as a resource is safe, flexible, clean and convenient. These machines have evolved into highly reliable pieces of equipment that are almost indispensable in most of the applications they serve. Compressors can come in a wide variety of different types and sizes.

Ultimately, as with any tool, air tools and the compressors that drive them, have to save the user time and money on any given project. Most compressed air tools are more powerful and typically lighter than standard electric tools or battery powered cordless tools. They are used by virtually every industrial sector from aircraft to automobiles to dairy farming to textiles.

While there are many types of compressors, they all perform the same function, which is to increase the pressure and reduce the volume of a given gas such as air. The most common type of compressors work by filling a chamber with air and then reducing the chamber’s volume. These are called positive displacement compressors. They are the most widely available compressors and include reciprocating, rotary screw and rotary vane compressors.

Of all the positive displacement compressors, Reciprocating or Piston compressors are the most commonly available on the market and can be found in ranges from fractional to very high horsepower. These compressors are sold world wide by many mass marketers and a large variety of retail outlets.

Rotary compressors (Screw and Vane) and the centrifugal compressors are also commonly found but in more of an industrial/commercial environment. Normally they are operated at significantly higher horsepower and flow rates, which makes them more expensive buy and to operate. For more information on rotary compressors please visit our products page.