Air Compressor Buying Guide of 2024 Considerations

First, whether you’re buying an air compressor for a while or you have quite one, or you’re going to buy a new one in the market then you should have any of their market information on the best air compressor that is available today.

The information about an air compressor may have it to run 40 percent more, two times extra-long life, 50 percent quite light as well as much run time.

When you’re going to the store you will see a bombarded with marketing as well advertising. In order to make the selection of the best air compressor much easier for you, we went into the market, where a lot of people go to buy an air compressor.

We looked around the store, home depot, Lowe’s tractor supply, harbor freight, etc. All the things we did in the best air compressor buying guide will help you to choose the right air compressor for you.

We break down the best air compressor brand, air compressor types, air compress functions, and features, and finally, we mentioned tips on how to choose the best air compressor.

We hope the best air compressor buying guide will help you to choose which one is best for you. Let’s have a look at the types of air compressors in depth.

Types of air compressor

We’re going to find three types of air compressors: a diaphragm, a piston single-stage, and a piston two-stage.

  • Diaphragm air compressor
  • Piston single air compressor
  • Piston two-stage compressor

All of these have their own pluses and minuses, but first, you understand how they operate, and how they function, which helps you to choose which one is best for you.


This type of air compressor comes with fewer moving parts and they’re affordable as well as cheaper. The diaphragm air compressor comes with a tank or without a tank with simple operation. It features a crankshaft or piece of rubber material that moves up and down.

By going up and down it sucks one side and shuts the check valve, through this, it compresses and pushes it into the other side. Diaphragm air compressors are smaller and cheaper.

The diaphragm air compressor is faster up and down to keep the airflow tank full. They’re faster and a little bit louder, running faster compresses the air faster and creates heat by pushing air outside the tank or into the hose.

So, they’re small and compact, louder, and produce heat that comes out and goes to the tank or hose. As it expands and cools down if there is a lot of moisture with the air compressor that accumulates in a tank or hose.

Piston driven single stage

This type of air compressor consists of small two pistons that are driven up and down. Piston-driven single-stage air compressor driven up into the top cylinder.

When the valve opens the air compressor then they compress the air in one stage compression, compression, and compression.

This is how they actually work. All in one shot they’re called the single-stage air compressor. The pulse of this kind of air compressor has two pistons that compress air faster in large volumes, but they also produce a lot of SCFM (Standard Cubic Feet per Minute).

The downside of single-stage air compressors is, when they produce air compression faster they also produce a lot of heat and noise. When they’re running faster you need to maintain their piston crankcase or some other moving parts.

You need a strong motor to run two pistons, so they can be a little bit expensive as compared to your diaphragm type of air compressor.

Two-stage air compressor

The next type of air compressor is a two-stage air compressor that compresses air in two steps. Both steps are driven by combined pistons, while the single stage is in one compression but the two-stage air compressor is divided into two parts.

One large piston is going to compress in one volume and the other will transfer it to the cylinder. While it’s compression it may go to cool down and be put into the sucking cooler air second stage, then the second stage pushes it to the higher pressure.

More Read: Best Pancake Air Compressor in 2024

The downside of these types of air compressors has two side opposing pistons that may assemble and crankcase. They also have bigger and heavier cylinders, tanks as well and motors. The two-stage compressor also puts less SCFM (Standard Cubic Feet per Minute).

Due to the two pistons, two stages of air compressors run a little bit slow but they boost the higher stage of air compression as compared to one stage of air compression. They also run a 100 percent duty cycle, they run all day with great air compression.

You’ve no problem running the tools because their motors are rated, and the cylinder is rated so, this is a big plus to running non-stop without any heating problems of the cylinder, tank, or tube.

Air compressor brand

In the modern era, the air compressor industry is considered one of the booming industries. This global industry offers a variety of air compressors that can fit all types of needs and requirements according to their nature and usage.

When you ask different air compressor companies or might be thinking about the best air compressor brand, you find a list of air compressor brands or manufacturers that offer different types of air compressors according to their nature and usage.

But here we discuss the best air compressor brands or air compressor manufacturers that specialize in niche site systems. Some of the most common air compresses that they offer are the following.

  • Scroll air compressors
  • Rotary vane compressor
  • Reciprocating compressor
  • Centrifugal air compressor
  • Rotary screw air compressor

These are the most common types of air compressors which they categorized according to their functions and usage. Let’s see the best air compressor brand or manufacturers

  • Quincy Compressor
  • Gardner Denver
  • Atlas Copco
  • Ingersoll-Rand
  • Kaeser Compressors
  • Siemens

Positively the best air compressor we consider compresses air with the right pressure according to their applications. Moving parts, speed up the air and maintain air compression at the right velocity at the right time.

How to choose the right air compressor? ( Air Compressor Buying Guide)

If you really need an air compressor to push your next project, and you’re worried about how to choose the right air compressor, then not to worry here we’re going to cover some of the air compressor options that are available today in the market.

We hope it will really help you to choose the right air compressor which is perfect for your needs. Let’s see in detail the specifications of an air compressor.

When you’re going to get a new air compressor, the four major specs you’re required to decide on. These major specifications are the following given below:

  • Pump configuration
  • Tank size
  • Output
  • Electrical requirement

The optimum combination of these major four specs of an air compressor often comes down to the available space, the tools you want to use, and the electrical shop configuration. First, see the different pump configurations.

1-Pump configuration

Basically, three types of pump configurations are used today, the lightweight and vector compressors incorporated a universal motor beside the cooling system. According to the manufacturer, it can extend the life of the air compressor.

Such kinds of air compressors are ideal for casual use, like inflating tires or cleaning off parts with an air gun. The induction motors are featured with a direct drive compressor as well as free oil, so these are the best option for occasional moderate use.

The belt drive pumps are quiet as compared to their oil-free counterparts, so they are perfect for do-it-yourselfers and frequently professional users.

More Read: Best Air Compressor Combo Kit of 2024

Direct driver models are less long-lasting as compared to belt drive pumps, but they also require regular services like oil changes as well filters, etc.

In repair or body shops you will see heavy-duty commercial compressors that incorporate belt-driven pumps. They also have two types that are different from one another which is common today in the market.

  • Single stage pumps
  • Two-stage pumps

The single-stage pumps can deliver compressed air directly to the tank, while the two-stage pumps create pressurized air in the large displacement low-pressure cylinder. After that pumps into a small higher cylinder and finally falls the tank.

One of the main reasons for buying an air compressor with two-stage pumps is to produce an adequate supply of higher pressure that requires a spray or air gun.

Many of these two-stage pump air compressors are intercoolers between stages to reduce heat and build up the air supply.

With less heat compressing air is more efficient and you do not need to confuse cylinder stages. Yet it is possible to buy an air compressor with two cylinders which is a single-stage pump.

2-Tank Size

The tank size of the air compressors is wider in size ranging from 2 gallons to 120 plus gallons. A lot of huge commercial models come up with 240 gallons today in the market. If you need an air compressor to inflate tires or blow off your work area you can do it with a smaller compressor.

Nowadays you can also find an air compressor in horizontal and vertical styles in up to 30 gallons of tank size. These types of portable air compressors can do their job easily in or outside the shop.

They reasonably work even when you’re using tools continuously, like die grinders and paint equipment. If you’re still confused about comparing two air compressors then you should buy an air compressor that has a large tank.

No doubt when the size of the tank increased the overall size of the air compressor also increased. If you are concerned with space then you pick a vertical air compressor that has a large tank size instead of a horizontal tank model.

A larger capacity tank model air compressor will lessen the load of its motor during cycling or replacing the air. So, this is the big advantage of keeping an air compressor in the working space.


When you come to its output rating you can rate it in a number of ways, Some put on its pump output pressure or electric motor horsepower, but the real performance of an air compressor depends on its output given pressure.

The air volume we noted in CFM actually varies with its atmospheric pressure, air temperature, or humidity. This is the reason the compressor manufacturer created standard cubic feet per minute or SCFM.

The correct level of CFM is 68 degrees in air temperature and 36 percent in relative humidity. For example, 20 SCFM goes to 100 PSI and when you reduce its pressure the SCFM goes up.

More Read: Best Air Compressor for Tubeless Bike Tires of 2024

The PSI rating is very important because it indicates which tools specifically we can operate. While choosing an air compressor you should make sure of the amount of air supply and pressure and which tools are needed.

Remember to always choose an air compressor that exceeds the SCFM requirements with your most powerful tool. At this time you should follow some general guides because some tool brands offer less air.

In short, we say, select an air compressor with a CFM rating that is high compared to your hungry tools. When an air compressor produces great air pressure potential tools are needed while you have to dispose of it.

The majority of tools needed 90 PSI but many air compressors produce more pressure than they needed. Definitely, you can check the air compressor CFM output at 90 PSI

4-Electrical Requirement

Finally, you need to know the electrical requirements of an air compressor according to your shop or garage. The range of air compressor motors is 110 simple volts half horsepower to 220, 240 volts and can make up to 25 horsepower.

The electric services that are available in your shop, house, or garage dictate the largest air compressor that you can install. The majority of electrical supply in residential properties consists of single voltage or single phase.

Generally, in the electrical industry, three-phase power is used, but we found a lot of homes that use three-phase electric power.

There are a lot of phase converters available today in the market that can easily convert single-phase power to three-phase power, but it is best, to begin with, a single-phase model.

When you’re going to buy an air compressor you should keep an eye on the amperage rating of air compressor electric motors. In amps, we measure the electrical service, amperage like the size of the water pipe that feeds your house.

If the size of the pipe is wider that means more water can be delivered. Typically we see homes that have 100, 150 to 200 amp service, while older homes have small electric service.

Air compressors have a tag that indicates the amperage of the motor which you can clearly see on every air compressor.

If the electric motor size goes up the amperage requirement also goes up. So, we can overwhelm electric services with a large air compressor in the home garage or in the workshop.

The last point that you should know is the compressor duty cycle, it is the time that the air compressor motor safely operates before it needs to shut down or cool off. We count the duty cycle percentage, and compressor run time divided by the total number of cycle times.

The ratio indicates the air compressor for quite a time which you can go on as well corresponding cool-down duration. The short duty time of an air compressor can create a problem while you’re using continuous air tools like sanders or grinders.

So, make sure the air compressor you want to get has a large tank, big motors, and a duty cycle that goes up to 50 percent if you have the plan to use all sorts of air tools.

Abdul Sattar is the owner and main author of Bestairtools. I’m a meticulous guy who loves to deal with the perfect tools for various needs. I don’t compromise the quality and usability. Working in blogging for over 7 years to share my knowledge with the world. I founded this blog to aid others like you with my knowledge and experience.

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