10 things you need to know when buying a reciprocating air compressor

Reciprocating High Pressure Air Compressor

Purchasing a reciprocating compressor demands a humongous investment from you. So, you should have adequate knowledge about reciprocating compressors and the different models and options. If you are planning to purchase a reciprocating compressor from a reputed compressor manufacturer in India, you should consider certain points before making your final decision. Because buying the wrong purchaser will not only hamper your operations but also you will end up with huge maintenance bills in the future.

Here, we are going to mention the 10 most imperative things you should know when buying a reciprocating air compressor.

Compressor type

Commonly, three types (single-stage compressors, two-stage compressors, and twin compressors) of reciprocating compressors are in the market. Single-stage units compress the air in one stroke, from ambient to end pressure. They typically go up to 20 CFM at a pressure of 125 psi. For more power, you should go for a two-stage compressor. A two-stage compressor uses two stages to compress the air to the end pressure. Two-stage air compressors go up to about 81 CFM capacity (Free Air Delivery) at about 175 psi. Depending on the amount of capacity and pressure you need, you can choose either a single-stage compressor or a two-stage compressor.

Capacity and pressure

Reciprocating air compressor

The capacity (CFM) and the pressure of the air compressor are the two most imperative specifications of an air compressor. To figure out the capacity that you need, just add up the air consumption of all the air tools that you will use. You should check again the specifications of the air tools to find out the pressure that you need. It would be a prudent decision to purchase a compressor that can deliver more than you need. Because in future, you may need to add more tools.


Don’t concentrate on horsepower because this is the result of the required pressure and capacity that you need. So, always look at capacity (CFM) and pressure (psi).

Electrical connections

Don’t purchase an air compressor without knowing the voltage at your utility. Do you have single phase or 3 phase powers? Because installing extra electrical wiring can be more expensive than the air compressor itself.


Since a reciprocating compressor produces a lot of noise, thus, always check the noise level before purchasing one. Don’t forget to add enough ventilation holes at your facility. Moreover, a reciprocating air compressor generates a lot of heat, so adequate cooling is required.

Tank size

Most reciprocating compressors come with a 100 to 500 litre tank. A larger tank size is always a good choice. A bigger tank means that there is a bigger compressed air buffer.

A bigger compressed air buffer is beneficial when you need to use big tools that grasp more air than the capacity of your compressor.

Reciprocating air compressor

Compressed air filter

How are you planning to clean your compressed air?

Compressed air is hot, wet and dirty. Based on your application, you need to filter it and eliminate water and oil. There are filters available to abolish water (droplets), oil, and dust. For even dryer compressed air, you need to get a compressed air dryer.

Other options

There are other options that you should think about.

·        Pressure regulators to regulate the tank pressure back to a stable

·        Size and number of air connections

·        Vertical or horizontal tank

·        Manual or automatic drains


Your new air compressor comes on a wooden pallet. Depending on your need, you can keep the pallet or remove it. Always think about how you are going to plan your air compressor before buying it.

Duty cycles

The duty cycle refers to the percentage of time your compressor can run.

Most single-stage compressors have a duty cycle of only 50%. So, when you run your compressor for 5 minutes, it needs 5 minutes to cool down. If a compressor has a 100% duty cycle, it can run 24 hours. So, always purchase a compressor that has a 100% duty cycle.

These are 10 things that you should consider before buying a reciprocating air compressor for your utility.

Indoair is a reputed compressor manufacturer in India. The company offers a plethora of air compressors including screw compressors, booster air compressors, reciprocating air compressors, rotary drum air compressors, and many more.

To know more about the company and its products, please visit the official website of Indoair.


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