Last updated: August 5, 2021

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Whether you are working on your house or on a machine, a compressor has become a great help for a variety of tasks. It can be found in almost every workshop. Before buying your compressor, we advise you to read through the buying criteria to make the purchase easier and to find out the necessary features for your needs.

Find out which compressor is suitable for your needs in our compressor guide. We have selected the most diverse compressors that the market has to offer and summarised all the necessary information for you.




Summary

  • Compressors produce the necessary compressed air through a compression process that enables different tasks and applications to perform a flawless process.
  • A distinction is made between two types of compressors: piston compressor and screw compressor. Both offer advantages and disadvantages.
  • Oil-free compressors are very robust and offer minimal maintenance. They are also very environmentally friendly. Oil-lubricated compressors allow for higher operating pressure and have a long service life.

The Best Compressor: Our Choices

In the following, we have compiled our favourites. This should help you to simplify your purchase decision and find the right compressor for your needs.

Buying and Evaluation Criteria for Compressors

So that you are not overwhelmed with your purchase of compressors, we have listed the most important purchase criteria. The points listed are decisive in determining whether a compressor is suitable for the area in which it is used.

The criteria are as follows:

Performance data

The performance data are particularly decisive for the compressor. These include intake capacity, output capacity and the pressure in bar.

The intake capacity refers to the air volume in litres (l/min) and is decisive for how much air can ultimately be effectively processed and delivered by the compressor.

The delivery capacity is specified in litres per minute (l/min) and is also referred to as the delivery quantity or filling capacity. The delivery capacity indicates how much power the compressor can deliver to the work at hand. It is one of the most important criteria for a compressor.

The pressure in bar indicates how much pressure the compressor can build up. The minimum value here is 8 bar for simple tasks. However, it should be noted that pressure is not the most important criterion for a good compressor.

Boiler volume

The tank volume of a compressor is also one of the most important criteria and provides important information about the volume that fits into the tank of a compressor. The larger the tank volume, the more durable the air pressure of a compressor. For simple tasks such as inflating bicycle tyres, a compressor without a tank is also sufficient.

Size

Obviously, the size of the compressor depends on what it is needed for. A small compressor is space-saving and offers good performance in the meantime. A compressor for a workshop or industrial use will be correspondingly larger and require more space. Of course, a larger compressor is suitable for several applications.

Volume

Compressors can be very loud. A quiet compressor is therefore particularly necessary when used on a construction site or in a workshop in a residential area. It is therefore ideal for protecting hearing. In the case of loud compressors, hearing protection should definitely be used and, if not available, a large distance from the workers must be created.

Accessories

When buying a compressor, various manufacturers offer additional accessories, which are usually included in the purchase, such as a blow-out gun, oil can or air hose. If no accessories are included, you can buy them separately. This way you only buy individual parts that are necessary for your use.

Guide: Frequently asked Questions about Compressors answered in Detail

In the following, we would like to answer the most important questions about compressors. We have selected the questions for you and will answer them shortly. After reading the guide, you will know all the essential background information about compressors.

What is a compressor?

Compressors can be defined as devices that have the task of compressing different gases and vapours. They are also colloquially called "compressors".

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Whether in the home or hobby sector. Compressors are used everywhere. (Image source: NeONBRAND / Unsplash)

Compressors generate powerful compressed air that cannot otherwise be achieved by power tools. Due to their versatile application areas, they are used both commercially and privately. Typical applications include construction sites, garages, (car) workshops and much more.

What types of compressors are there?

In principle, a distinction is made between piston compressors and screw compressors.

A piston compressor differs again into two different types. The piston rod of a reciprocating piston compressor moves back and forth, sucking in the air, compressing it and expelling it again. In a rotary piston compressor, on the other hand, the slots are responsible for sucking in and expelling the air. The problem with reciprocating compressors is the compressed air pulses that are generated during operation.

The screw compressor is a compressor that uses rotating, helical rotors to compress the air and thus compress the volume of gases. They ensure a constant air pressure and are relatively quiet compared to other compressors. One disadvantage with screw compressors is the price, they are not exactly cheap and are usually only worthwhile for commercial purposes.

What does a compressor cost?

In the following overview you will find out in detail what costs you have to expect when buying a compressor.

Price range Available products
Low-priced (90 - 250 €) battery compressor, piston compressor, Einhell compressor, mostly low pressure, oil-free
Medium-priced (250 - 900 €) compressor from 100 to 250 litres
High-priced (from 900 €) industrial compressor from 250 litres

When is an oil-free and when is an oil-injected compressor suitable?

An oil-free compressor is very robust and is often used, especially for short jobs. There is minimal maintenance and the result is clean, oil-free compressed air. Furthermore, no oil change or oil filter replacement is necessary.

If you are looking for a particularly environmentally friendly compressor, you will not be disappointed with your choice of an oil-free compressor. If you work in laboratories, pharmaceutical industries, chemical industries or dental medicine, for example, an oil-free compressor is essential.

Oil-injected compressors offer the advantages of allowing a higher operating pressure and prove to have a long service life. In addition, they are more resilient and do not overheat as quickly in contrast to oil-free compressors. They are used for industrial purposes where longer operating times are to be expected.

Conclusion

Compressors can be used to perform a wide range of tasks, which is particularly useful in industry or in workshops. When choosing your compressor, you should always bear in mind what conditions it should fulfil. Important points are whether it should be quiet or loud, whether it should be oil-free or oil-lubricated, and finally, what performance it should have.

In conclusion, it can be said that the right accessories are available for every compressor and that great work can be done even with small compressors. Due to its powerful functions, a compressor can be used in a large household.

Image source: Mika Baumeister / Unsplash

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