Used Air Compressors

Many industries rely on compressed air for various processes; however, new air compressors can be very expensive, which can present a challenge for companies working with strict budget constraints. In these cases, a used air compressor is an excellent solution. There are many advantages to buying used, but it’s important to work with a trusted supplier to ensure you’re getting a high-quality machine.

What to Consider When Buying a Used Air Compressor

When choosing the right used air compressor for your needs, it’s important to consider your specific application. For industrial and large-scale applications, an oil-lubricated air compressor offers higher CFM ratings and a stronger engine, and many have the option for a single large tank or twin tanks. These units are also quieter than oil-free compressors. While stronger air compressors typically cost more, you can balance that against what you’re saving by buying a used air compressor instead of a new one.

It’s also important to thoroughly inspect the tank and the entire machine, especially if the previous owner was using the compressor for a different application. Understand the typical lifespan of the unit, how long it’s already been in use, and how well it was maintained. It’s a good idea to have it inspected to confirm the age of the compressor and identify any potential issues.

Types of Industrial Air Compressors

The type of used industrial air compressor you buy depends upon a variety of factors. Here are the two primary options and their applications:

  • Reciprocating/Piston Compressors. These positive-displacement compressors use pistons to compress the gas and deliver it at high pressure. They can be expensive, but they’re often one of the most important pieces of equipment in petrochemical plants, refineries, gas transmission pipelines, and other industries.
  • Large Rotary Screw Compressors. Another positive displacement machine, these compressors use a rotary-type mechanism. This type of compressor provides a continuous sweeping motion, resulting in very little pulsation or flow surge. Common types include gas rotary screw compressors and oil-flooded or oil-injected compressors. In oil-flooded or oil-injected models, oil is injected into the compression cavity for sealing and to provide a cooling sink for the gas charge. The oil is cooled, filtered, and recycled in the process. They’re common in construction, refrigeration, mining, transportation, and other applications that require a high volume of compressed air.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which industries use air compressors?
Compressed air is used to propel vehicles, operate air cylinders to atomize paint, and power a variety of tools, like jackhammers and drills. You’ll find industrial air compressors at use in a wide range of industries, including food and beverage, aerospace, medical and pharmaceutical, plastics processing, and more.

What is the use of a screw compressor?
Rotary screw compressors are common for large industrial shops and projects that require a 100% duty cycle. These applications include food packaging plants and automated manufacturing. Meanwhile, reciprocating/piston compressors are ideal for smaller shops needing a 75% duty cycle.

What is the cost of industrial air compressor rental?
The average rental starts at $1,500 per month, though your total will depend upon the type and size of the air compressor, your location, and the run hours you require. A rental is a good short-term solution, though in some cases you might want to look for a used gas air compressor for sale and compare the costs.

Used Industrial Air Compressors and Other Solutions From Compressed Air Systems

Since 1963, Compressed Air Systems has provided high-quality compressed air solutions, including air compressors, vacuum systems, blowers, and more. We offer sales, rentals, audits, installation, and 24/7 service, so whether you’re looking for a used gas air compressor for sale or simply need a quick diagnosis and repair for your current system, we’re here to help. Contact us to learn more or request a quote today. 

Additional Resources

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A Buyer's Guide for Used Air Compressors > Compressed Air Checklist >