When you start shopping for an air compressor, you’ll probably be confused by all the different options. Between deciding on oiless or compressors that use oil, as well as the different tank sizes and motor capacities, you’ll probably feel overwhelmed. When you realize that there are also one and two-stage air compressors, things get even worse.
What is a 2 Stage Compressor?
A 2 stage compressor is an air compressor that compresses the air two separate times. This raises the pressure of the air to higher levels. Two stage compressors are best for commercial environments, auto shops and other professional applications where tools demand more than 100 PSI of pressure.
Should I Buy a 2 Stage Air Compressor?
If you’re shopping for compressors, you’re probably curious if you should be considering 2 stage compressors. The answer is, it depends. If you’re a hobbyist that’s just looking to get tasks done at home using air nailers, inflaters, air wrenches, and other standard tools. A 2 stage compressor is likely overkill and more expensive than necessary.
However, if you want to run really intense tools like sandblasters, you need continuous pressure, or you need to run tools that require pressure much higher than 100 PSI, you need a two-stage air compressor!
Consider Your Pressure and SCFM Requirements
Before spending the money it would cost to purchase a 2 stage air compressor (usually $1,000+) consider the requirements of the tools you want to use. Just take a look at the equipment you’re interested in running. If you need to run at 15 SCFM all the time, and you don’t want to take breaks, you’ll likely need the more powerful equipment. If you’re requirements are less, you can save money with a mid-range single stage compressor.
A 2 Stage Compressor Demands More Power
In most cases, you will need a 220V or 230V circuit if you want to use a 2 stage air compressor at home. Many single-stage compressors will work with a standard 110V plug. Make sure you have the necessary wiring in order to run the equipment or factor in the cost of hiring an electrician as well as the cost of purchasing a 2 stage model.
For some people a 2 stage air compressor is a necessity for doing the work they want. For others, this industrial equipment is a luxury that makes tasks easier and more efficient. For many DIYers, a 2 stage compressor just isn’t necessary. Make sure you know which category you fall in before making this purchase.