There may be certain applications where you may need compressed air.  You need to first figure it out about your requirement of compressed air so that you can drive your compressor and also the engine that you may use for powering it.

Next comes to decide what should be the compressor type which will be best suited for all your particular applications. While choosing about the compressor type, there are only three styles which is commonly found in various applications.

They are as follows:

  • Rotary Vane Compressor
  • Rotary Screw Compressor
  • Reciprocating, Piston Compressor

Each of the above types of compressors have their own special benefits and challenges. Let us consider each of them in this article.

Rotary Vane Compressors

This variety of compressor is least common among the three mentioned above as there are very few manufacturers of this type of compressor as compared to particularly reciprocating type of compressors.

Their spare parts are also not available easily as compared to all other compressors.


  1. As compared to other reciprocating compressors, this type of compressors has very few moving parts.
  2. They are also much compact in size as compared to other compressors available in the market.
  3. These compressors are meant for continuous running and also can deliver much pulsation free flow of air to all equipment and tools.
  4. They also tend to be much inexpensive varieties of compressor.


  1. Like all other compressors, its oil carry-over will increase if it is put to service for longer duration
  2. To prevent this a complete, rebuild will be required which can be too expensive.

Rotary Screw Compressors

This variety of compressor is usually meant for stationary installation and not much preferred for a mobile application. The trend is now slowly changing and these screw compressors are also becoming available at affordable price.

Earlier there were only very few manufacturers of this type of compressor however now many more companies are manufacturing it.


  1. They are usually long lasting and having very high air-flow delivery. Also, relatively much compact in size.
  2. They have very high duty cycle and meant for running 100% time.
  3. No need of a tank as air receiver for their operation.
  4. They have very few wearing parts as compared to all other compressors.
  5. Maintenance is only limited to changing oil and filters.


Initial cost is little higher as compared to all other types of compressors.

Reciprocating compressors

This type of compressors is very commonly found mostly in mobile applications. For this type of compressor, you can find plenty of manufacturers and also most common variety out of all compressors.


  1. Lowest initial cost needed for this type of compressor.
  2. Suitable for low duty operation.
  3. Can be easily serviced by using simple tools.


  1. Usually very big in size and weight too.
  2. Plenty of moving parts and hence needs plenty of oil to carry out the operation.
  3. Lots of after treatment is needed when it is connected to any equipment
  4. Separate air receiver tank will be needed.

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