The Advantages of Reciprocating Air Compressors

reciprocating air compressors are often used in oil refineries

There are several advantages to choosing reciprocating air compressors over other types of air compressors. Often, the most well-known advantage is the high range of pressures able to be reached.

In this blog post, we will discuss a few of the advantages of reciprocating air compressors, as well as, what exactly a reciprocating compressor is.

What is a Reciprocating Air Compressor?

A reciprocating air compressor works by using positive displacement. A piston draws air into a cylinder, compressing air into a storage tank. Simple, right?

Sometimes businesses opt for another variation of reciprocating air compressors called a two-stage compressor. This compressor simply features another piston to increase the amount of PSI produced.

This type of compressor is often used in chemical, oil and gas industries due to the need for fluid compression at intermittent cycles.

The Advantages of Using a Reciprocating Air Compressor

There are four main advantages to choosing reciprocating air compressors. These advantages include flexibility of use, higher pressure generation, high efficiencies achieved, and the efficiency of use in intermittent cycling.


This type of air compressor comes in both oil-flooded and oil-free varieties. This means that if you prefer a reciprocating compressor for your application, you do not have to be limited by the constraint of oil contamination.

In addition, reciprocating compressors can be tank mounted or base mounted, so that decreases the constraints of placement.

Produces Higher Pressures

Reciprocating compressors can produce higher pressures than other compressors like rotary screw varieties. In fact, pressures range all the way up to 30,000 PSI. However, they are also suitable to climate control applications requiring 60-90 PSI.

High Efficiency

Reciprocating compressors can produce higher pressures while simultaneously using less energy to run. This makes this type of compressor extremely advantageous for applications where intermittent use with high pressure is needed.

Great for Intermittent Tasks

As previously mentioned, reciprocating compressors are best used for tasks where intermittent use is performed. Due to the operation style of a reciprocating compressor, they maintain high efficiency when running intermittently. This means that if your compressor is not running continuously, you will enjoy energy savings over other types of compressors!

Contact Us

Not sure if a reciprocating compressor is right for you? Contact us by phone or email to learn more about reciprocating compressors and what compressor is right for your application.