5 Types of Air Compressors: Which Is Right for You?

Do you require a reliable source of compressed air at your job sites? An air compressor rental can provide the ideal solution. Use it to power your pneumatic tools and equipment such as wrenches, drill and air hammers quickly and easily, so you can keep your projects on schedule. The Cat® Rental Store in your area carries various types of air compressors for rent at competitive rates, so you're sure to find the right model for your applications.

What Are the Different Types of Air Compressors?

As you conduct your search for air compressors, you'll likely come across some or all of the following types:

  1. Reciprocating: These compressors rely on a crankshaft-driven piston and cylinder to deliver compressed air. They come in single-stage versions, which pull air into the cylinder, compress it with one piston stroke and send it to a tank for storage. Two-stage models have a second piston that provides an additional compression step. The former offers an air pressure capacity of up to 120 pounds per square inch (PSI), while the latter produces up to 175 PSI.
  2. Rotary screw: A rotary screw compressor features two identical screws and rotors that turn in opposite directions. They also have a lubricant that fills the space between the two rotors, which creates a seal and transfers energy. The rotating and meshing screws propel the air through the unit.
  3. Centrifugal: This compressor type works by pulling air into a rotating impeller and uses centrifugal force to push it to the center. The movement of the air creates a rise in pressure, which produces kinetic energy. Typical uses for these compressors include oil and gas processing, wastewater treatment and low-pressure, single-stage compressed air applications.
  4. Oil-free: Removing any trace of contamination is essential in many compressed air applications. Oil-free compressors do not use oil on the cylinder walls. Instead, they rely on self-lubricating materials that enable the pistons to slide into the cylinder. Along with minimizing the risk of contamination, these models require less maintenance and provide lower operating costs.
  5. Dynamic: These compressors are continuous flow machines that draw air inside via rapidly rotating blades. They create pressure by restricting the airflow. Dynamic compressors serve the needs of heavy-duty compressed air applications at facilities such as chemical and steel manufacturing plants.

We'll Help You Select the Best Air Compressor Type

The Cat Rental Store carries a wide selection of stationary and portable air compressors in a variety of air pressure, air output and power capacities. The rental specialists at any of our more than 1,300 worldwide locations can help you select the right model for your applications. We'll also provide comprehensive repair and maintenance service for the length of your rental term.

Feel free to browse our complete selection of air compressors for rent today. Don't hesitate to call us at 1-800-RENT-CAT for additional information — we're available 24/7 to assist you. We'll also be happy to provide a quick online quote.

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