Piston Compressor Series: Choosing the right piston compressor

Estimated time to read: 7 mins

A piston compressor is an ideal compressed air solution for a wide range of applications and processes. If you are deciding on which type of piston compressor suits your requirements best, or if you want to know more about piston compressor types, keep reading to discover more.

This article will help you choose the right piston compressor or, as some may call it, a reciprocating compressor

Choosing the right sized piston compressor

The wide range of sizes available means that your application will decide the final size of your piston compressor. Large units are able to deliver a larger CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air to your solution. However, these units are less portable and can’t be conveniently changed in terms of positioning. It would be more suitable for outdoor spaces such as construction sites, drilling rigs, and outdoor manufacturing operations where there is optimal space for a wide machine such as this.

A more compact and portable piston compressor saves space and is suitable for smaller applications. This range of compressors would be helpful in manufacturing operations, commercial operations or labs in closed rooms where space needs to be utilized appropriately. The space considerations will play a prominent role in determining the size of the piston compressor you acquire.

The ideal type of piston compressor

The space required by your operation is also a factor when deciding how to power your piston compressor. Indoor requirements are best suited for electric piston air compressors as they have no emissions, stay more silent and do not interfere with the ventilation of your indoor application. This is an ideal type for auto-body shops, manufacturing businesses, and repair and maintenance operations

Oil-free piston compressors or oil-lubricated compressors?

Factors within your application will decide whether to opt for an oil-free or oil-lubricated piston compressor. 

Oil-lubricated compressors harness oil to lubricate the compressors, seal the compressors, and cool the compressed air. These types of compressors are a good option for certain manufacturing and industrial applications, for example, woodwork or auto shops.

Oil-free piston compressors keep the air free from oil in the air compression system with the use of filters and other industrial enhancements. An example of possible applications for these types of piston compressors is in the production of highly perishable products such as medicines, food, and beverages. 


Piston compressor purchases should prioritize longevity over cost. Higher quality industrial compressors are durable and long-lasting with more extended warranties too. Higher quality piston compressor technology also ensures components with added advantages such as efficiency and reduced noise levels. Choosing the right piston compressor also depends on the power required for your operation. Higher-horsepower piston compressors are perfect for more demanding operations.

The right piston compressor is a detailed decision that should put the factors presented to you into important consideration. Each of our piston air compressors is unique to ensure you find the right compressor for your application