Which type of air compressor is right for you?

Oil free air compressor product

Deciding which type of air compressor is right for you is dependent on a number of factors, including the type of application, volume and pressure requirements, and noise considerations.

Here, we outline the most common types of air compressors and the key features of each.

Once you decide which type of air compressor is right for you, we recommend you also determine your air compressor size before purchasing.

Rotary screw compressors

Rotary screw compressors are the mainstay of industrial compressed air generation. They are equipped with an internal cooling system and are suitable for constant loaded running to meet the compressed air demand.

They are generally industrial-sized machines that can either be oil injected or oil free.

Oil injected

Rotary screw air compressors generate energy via two internal rotors that turn in opposite directions. The air gets trapped between the two opposing rotors and builds up pressure within the housing.

Oil injected air compressor product

Oil-injected rotary screw compressors are the most cost-effective for large volumes of compressed air and for compressors that are in continuous use.

To ensure optimum efficiency, it is important to accurately size your compressor and apply internal and external control systems for part-load conditions.

Key features:

  • Cost-effective for large volumes of compressed air
  • Quiet operation
  • Lower end temperatures
  • Simple to use for heat recovery
  • Compact
Reciprocating compressors product

Reciprocating compressors

​​Other popular types of air compressors are reciprocating compressors, typically used for smaller work sites.

Unlike rotary screw air compressors, they are not designed for continuous use. With more moving parts, reciprocating systems use oil lubrication to ensure smoother movement.

These types of air compressors work via a piston inside a cylinder, which compresses and displaces the air to build pressure.

Available in single- or multi-stage variations, depending on the pressure required, reciprocating compressors are the most energy-efficient at both part and full loads.

Single stage compressors are suitable for smaller projects such as woodworking and metalworking, while multi-stage compressors provide more power for intense construction, such as auto assembly and maintenance.

Key features:

  • Low energy consumption
  • Suitable for high pressures
  • Easily adjustable
  • Compact and portable for small loads
Oil free air compressor product

Oil-free reciprocating compressors

Oil-free Reciprocating type compressors maintain the simplicity and ease of maintenance of lubricated reciprocating type compressors but have the benefit of being completely oil-less so no lubricant comes into contact with the air during its passage through the compressor.
Key features:

  • Available in normal or silenced configurations
  • Oil-free air
  • Simple maintenance requirements
  • Suitable for applications requiring clean oil-free compressed air
Man's hand adjusting the air pressure

Scroll compressors

Scroll compressors use two spiral elements to compress air, with one moving in circles inside the other, stationary spiral, trapping air and transporting it to the centre of the spiral.

Perfect for applications that require oil-free, pure compressed air, scroll compressors are suitable for oil-free air compression at smaller air capacities.

Key features:

  • Quiet
  • Compact
  • Oil-free
  • Energy efficient

Extensive product range

Whether you’re after a custom-built compressed air system or a catalogue product, Pilot Air’s extensive offering of Australian made systems offers a solution for all your needs, no matter the industry.

From air compressors through to compressed air storage, treatment and distribution, we’ve got you covered.

Our product range and large stock levels, combined with our comprehensive spare parts inventory, ensure we maintain your compressed air system’s reliability and efficiency while reducing whole-of-life operating costs.

Learn more about our compressed air products.

Air Compressor Products

From air compressors through to compressed air storage, treatment and distribution, our extensive range of compressed air products ensures we have the right solution for your business needs, no matter the industry or application. We also offer custom-built packages and compressed air systems that are fit for purpose and tailored to your budget.

Pilot PAC Industrial 4-5.5KW Rotary Screw
Pilot PAC Industrial 4-5.5KW Rotary Screw

Enjoy simple and efficient maintenance with the Pilot PAC Industrial 4-5.5KW Rotary Screw air compressor, with easily accessible internal components. The poly-v belt driven system offers long life and minimum maintenance.

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Pilot K25L18 Horizontal 3 Phase Reciprocating
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Designed with durability and economy in mind, the Pilot OFP5.5 Oil Free Industrial air compressor includes a 5.5kW motor, 3 cylinders and 200L receiver.

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