Choosing Between a Reciprocating and Rotary Air Compressor


It’s maybe unlikely- but possible- that you may have just realized you’re in need of an industrial air compressor. Compressors just aren’t the kind of thing you suddenly decide you need, like a fidget spinner or a cup of coffee.  Either you need a compressor right away or you don’t.

So for the sake of this blog, let’s say you just realized you need a large air compressor.

What type do you need?

There are two main types of air compressors, of course- reciprocating and rotary.

Which one is for you?  That depends.  Let’s ask ourselves the critical questions:

What are your pressure and volume requirements?  Rotary units can produce more compressed air and at higher pressure ratings. Short-term or lighter use would make a reciprocating compressor your best option. You can make this decision based on how many hours a day you’ll need to run the unit. If it’s 24/7- aim for a rotary compressor.

If you’re in need of clean compressed air, rotary compressors use less oil.  Pharmaceutical facilities and food production plants require oil-free air.  Choose the rotary compressor.

Think about the environment where your employees will be working.  Reciprocating compressors run much louder than rotary compressors.

These are the basic points that you’ll want to consider if you suddenly find yourself in need of an air compressor. We’re not sure how that would happen, but if you do wake up one morning and your firs thought is “air compressor!” then you can give our experts a call, or send us an email and we can get you started on the path to industrial air compression.  We’re going to ask you some questions, starting with the ones in this blog post, so make sure you’ve given it some thought.  It’s not really an impulse purchase.



About Air Components

Air Components

Air Components & Systems is the leader in providing efficient compressed air systems, parts, and repair. With locations in Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina, we are able to assist with your compressor needs right away. Call us at (866) 413-8077.