Piston Compressor Series: An introduction to piston compressors

Estimated time to read: 7 mins

Have you considered an efficient and proven compressor solution for your business or application? You may have heard about a piston compressor and are weighing up why it would be useful for you. Our blog will help you understand how and why a piston compressor is an easy choice. Let’s start with the basics of a piston compressor.

Piston compressors, also known as reciprocating compressors, help deliver compressed air that is regular, consistent and efficient for the application that is intended.

The piston compressor is one of the most adopted industrial compressors, trusted across various applications and industries. It is also one of the oldest compressors used in semi-professional and professional applications. As the technology evolved, piston compressors received a series of upgrades. It now comes in an innovative range of oil-lubricated and oil-free piston compressors. 

How do piston compressors work?

Air generation is the salient purpose of piston compressors. The process needs the help of particular components and an intuitive system that resembles a combustion engine.

The technology is simple in design yet efficiently. Firstly, the significant components of the piston compressor are valve discs made from stainless steel, a cylinder, and a piston. These operate in tandem in a system known as a valve system. The downward movement of the piston draws air into the cylinder. After this, the largest of the valve disc flexes and folds downward. It allows the air to pass through. The valve seals as the larger disc flex again, caused by the piston moving upward. It lets the valve seat seal. The compressed air is pushed through a hole in this valve seat. This air can then be applied to almost any suitable process.

All these processes work reliably and efficiently to create what we know as compressed air at the desired rate for your application, business, or plant. There are significant differences in how piston compressors are used; however, they are designed to be suitable for all applications.

The applications of a piston compressor

Piston compressors are used worldwide for an almost endless number of processes. Through reciprocating action, utilizing a piston, and sometimes more than one piston, gas is compressed inside cylinders and discharged into receiving tanks on demand. Various industries and commercial applications use piston compressors. Let us look at some examples of its usage. 

Service, manufacturing, and general

Piston compressors are common in dental services, workshops, auto shops, and many facets of product manufacturing too. Many machines such as sandblasters in machine shops also implement piston compressor technology for continuous improvement in their day-to-day processes.


Agriculture is also a key industry where piston compressors are used heavily. The movement of feed and grain between silos, ventilation systems, crop spraying, and machine tools is powered by various piston compressors to help agriculture globally.

Oil, chemical, and gas

The compressed air from piston compressors aids the transportation of oil, gas, and chemicals in this industry. It helps in processing the final versions of these products for operations or commercial use. 

The advantages of piston compressors

Piston compressors have several advantages, typically a lower purchase price than a screw compressor as it has fewer moving parts and is of a more straightforward engineering design. Maintenance of a piston compressor is against a screw compressor. Spare parts can also be easier to access. 

Our range of piston compressors

Piston compressors are timeless, efficient, and robust as a technology and have been for many years. Each piston compressor has been built with trust inside for proven innovation. Below is our range of world-class piston compressors that can suit your requirement.

Industrial Piston Compressors.png
Industrial piston

MKK – MEK – MGK industrial compressors are ideal for applications with a need for reliable compressed air production with a long lifetime of usability too. These one or two-cylinder direct drive piston compressors offer high-quality compressed air and user comfort at a level comparable to larger systems.

Engineair Piston Compressors
EngineAIR piston

EngineAIR Piston compressors offer unmatched versatility with the use of flexible technology and ergonomic design that can be operated in difficult terrain. It contains an in-built electricity generator that offers you a two-in-one solution, instead of also carrying a generator to your application. You are also able to choose more than 20 different sizes and versions in this category, making it easy to find the optimal compressor solution.

Oem Piston Compressors
OEM pistons

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, and these piston compressors are offered in a category that aims for the highest level of customization and partnership. This enables us to develop piston compressors based on specific requirements, and keep our customers informed about new technology and business strategies within the product range.

Professional Piston Compressors.png
Professional piston

Fully known as the Professional Piston Compressors HLE series, this category is optimal for any application with occasional, intermittent, or frequent compressed-air demands. These piston compressors come with an integrated refrigerant dryer, guarantee compressed-air quality with 95% condensation discharge. It is perfect for consistent, quiet performance and user-friendly operation.

To help you decide on the ideal piston compressor for your requirement, read our next blog in our piston compressor series.