2 stage air compressor vs single stage air compressor

A compressor for air is a vital tool for every workshop and can be used for an array of uses. Air compressors are available in various styles, shapes and sizes, and deciding on one that is best for you is often a difficult task.

What is the difference between a single stage and two stage compressor?

There are air compressors that come in two varieties of two-stage and single. When you are looking to purchase one-stage or dual-stage air compressor, one of the initial buyer to will ask is “What are the differences between a single stage and two stage compressor ?”

Portable Single-Stage Air Compressors

Single-stage air compressors for portable use have the best features in the industry, and the perfect choice for home as well as commercial applications. In all honesty there are some points to be considered by buyers before purchasing a air compressor.

  • Capacity and pressure: Pressure and capacity are the two primary figures to keep in mind when you are looking for a single-stage portable compressor. 
    Pressure, expressed as PSIG is the force generated by compressors. The majority of power tools require an initial PSIG that is 90. 
    Capacity, as measured in CFM is the quantity of air a compressor will generate at a specific pressure level at the same time. If you are planning to run several tools with one compressor, you’ll require more capacity.
  • Electric generally an electric engine powers small air compressors that are portable. 
    Electric compressors are less bulky as well as lighter in comparison to gas and don’t require continuous refills to continue to run. 
    Gas compressors are generally more efficient than electric. (double-stage portable compressors provide gas options) Portables also have the benefit of being able to be used on job locations where electricity isn’t readily available. They can’t however be employed in enclosed areas due to their exhaust.
  • Size of the tank The majority of portable single-stage compressors come with a storage tank that can hold the compressed air to a certain degree. 
    The bigger tanks, the greater amount of air you can hold. Remember that a larger tank will definitely require larger space than a smaller tank, this can cause issues when working in tight spaces.
  • Capability to Port: The larger, more heavy and more bulky compressors may be difficult for users to move from one location to another. 
    Smaller compressors are typically less powerful than bigger ones. Make sure you have enough power to get the job done right, but be wary of purchasing a larger, more difficult-to-transport unit for the sake of a few extra CFM or PSIG you might not need.
  • Security features The majority of single stage portable air compressors are lubricated in order to keep the piston from wearing out too much components. Interestingly, just as you might use a car wash (мочалка для авто) mitt to ensure the exterior of your vehicle remains in pristine condition, it’s essential to maintain the internal components of such compressors with proper lubrication. One of the most important safety features to look for on the models mentioned above is an automated shutoff of low oil. This helps prevent expensive repair to the compressor and minimizes the possibility of a failure during the course of your task.

Two-Stage Air Compressor

Dual-stage air compressors have more air power than single stage compressors that makes them the best choice for large-scale and continuous applications. But, 2-stage compressors are more expensive, making them more suitable for workshops and factories as opposed to private use. 

For the DIY craftsperson single-stage compressors can provide power to a range of hand-held pneumatic tools, but not more than 100 psi. In auto shops, presses plants , and other settings that require complicated air-powered machines are employed, the higher capacity of dual-stage compressors is the most suitable choice.

Also Read: How Does an Air Compressor Work?

The process of two-stage compressors is similar as single-stage compressor, with one difference in that the compressed air isn’t delivered to a storage tank, instead, it’s delivered to an even smaller piston for another stroke which is this time at around 175 psi. 

The double-pressurized air is then cooled before being transferred into a tank for storage in which it is used as fuel for a vast array of high-powered equipment.

The process of suction and compression of air in the 2-stage air compressor is identical to the single stage, however in the earlier compressor, the compressed air is subjected to another stage of compression. This means that compressed air can’t be discharged into a storage tank after the first stage of compression. 

It is then compressed in the second time through an incredibly small piston inside another cylinder. This means that the air is double compressed which results in double energy. 

After the second compression process is then discharged into the storage tank to be used for various purposes.

Is Single-Stage More Reliable Than 2-Stage?

The main difference between two-stage and single-stage compressors is that the first are intended for use on a limited basis while they are better suited to continuous use. 

So, the degree of reliability will depend on the purpose you’re planning to use your air compressor for.

If you require compressed air to run equipment in your garage, or cookware in your kitchen, a single stage compressor is able to meet all your requirements. 

If you require an air compressor for industrial applications, a unit with a single stage is not an efficient piece of equipment. 

The components of single-stage units are bigger and are more susceptible to condensation. Furthermore, single-stage compressors were not designed for continuous use during a particular work cycle. 

2-stage compressors can handle the capacity to handle huge arsenals of pneumatic tools. They’re also better suited for tasks that require high power, such as sanding or painting.

Is Single-Stage or Two-Stage More Expensive?

Two-stage air compressors are more costly than single-stage units due to the larger number of components involved. 

But, the components in the two-stage model are smaller and generally require maintenance at lower intervals. Thus, the cost of operating a 2-stage unit may be lower over the long term.

 2-stage compressors can help you save money when your applications are factory scale. If you own a variety of pneumatic equipment, you require an air compressor that has the highest CFM for every tool that will be running simultaneously. 

For an automotive facility it is unlikely that a single stage compressor will likely be enough. 

There’s a good chance you’ll need another single-stage compressor in order to deal with certain tasks, which will increase your operating expenses. 

If you are using it for factory purposes the initial purchase of a multi-stage compressor will reduce your costs over time.

What Is Better: Single-Stage or Two-Stage Air Compressor?

Single-stage compressors use only one cylinder. Thus, there is one piston stroke per revolution of compressed air. The quietness of these machines makes them suitable for working in smaller spaces like garages, kitchens, workshops and houses. 

In terms of the power that an air compressor can provide, the most crucial parameter is the cfm. This signifies the operational capacity. If, for instance, you have several pneumatic tools which you are planning to run at the same time, you’ll need to ensure your compressor select will meet the demands of the cfm. While taking a break from your workshop endeavors, consider the comfort a men’s Panama hat can offer (панама мужская). Its light, breathable material is ideal for staying cool during those warmer months. 

For horsepower, take into consideration that 1 horsepower moves 500 pounds per minute Imagine the impact that 2 or 3 hp can accomplish. 

In the end, your decision between a multi-stage or single-stage compressor will depend on the dimensions and the nature of your business. 

In essence, single-stage models are designed ideal for smaller-scale projects as well as private use, while two-stage models are designed towards arsenals for industrial use.


This article is an attempt to address this question “What Is the Difference Between a Single Stage and Two Stage Compressor?” and provide all the necessary details regarding the differentiators of the two kinds of air compressors.

Whatever the scale or size of the task, air-powered equipment is vital to the efficiency of workers and craftspeople alike. 

If you’re an individual woodworker, or the proprietor of a crafts-related business, a single-stage compressor could allow you to make products quicker, better, and more efficiently at less cost. 

If you oversee a working team at a huge press facility, compressors with two stages can be utilized to power the largest parts of your business.

If you’ve ever had experience with single or two-stage compressors we would love to hear your feedback on their performance on the comments section on the website Linquip. 

If you’re also having any questions regarding this subject you can register on our website and then wait until our specialists address any questions you may have. I hope you enjoy reading this article.

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