How to Choose the Right Rotary Screw Air Compressor
Modern tools and devices have come a long way from their ancient predecessors. For example, jackhammers and drills are much more powerful than the hammer or the chisel. Even the traditional paint brush has been slowly replaced by the spray painter. The same has happened with bigger tools such compressors.
Air compressors are considered the most useful and versatile tools in modern construction and home improvement industries. There are several types of air compressors, including the single stage, two stage, gas driven units and rotary screw. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, both the specialists and home builders agree that rotary screw air compressors are the best. In addition to being extremely easy to install and use, they are not as expensive as centrifugal or reciprocating air compressors.
If you are planning to purchase a rotary screw air compressor, it is of paramount importance to know what to look for. There are literally hundreds of models online made by various manufactures such as Ingersoll Rand, Chicago Pneumatic, BelAire, and Bendpak. Moreover, considering that you might need to spend over $4,000 on a top-quality compressor, you cannot afford to make any mistakes whatsoever.
What is a Rotary Screw Air Compressor?
This type of compressor is a positive displacement device which consists of two rotors that compress the air internally. This is a very efficient way of compressing the air, because the device provides air as soon as it starts. Rotary screw air compressors can supply you with compressed air continually, 24 hours a day, 365 Days a year, for many years to come.
Who Needs a Rotary Screw Air Compressor?
One of these devices is not suitable for people who only need a small compressor for light construction work such as DIY construction projects.
- Large and small factories.
- Garage and workshop owners.
- People who work in the construction niche.
Questions you need to answer
In order to discover which compressor is most suitable for your needs, there are some questions you need to ask yourself:
- What is my budget?
The price tag for a rotary screw air compressor is what you will usually notice at first and can be a little overwhelming. The price varies from $4,000 to over $20,000 for more advanced compressors. For example, the Chicago Pneumatic QRS3.0HP1 60-gallon compressor found here comes at a price of $4,269, while the Ingersoll Rand UP6-30TAS-125 120-gallon (which is way more advanced) has a price of $16,499 (link).
Things to Consider
When looking to buy a new rotary screw air compressor, you should also consider these criteria, in addition to the question above:
It is the strength of the engine which drives the compressor. One Horsepower will be the force that will be able to lift 550lbs one foot in one second. For example, the first compressor listed above, the Chicago Pneumatic, has only 7.5 horsepower, while the Ingersoll Rand had 30 horsepower.
- Airflow (CFM)
The airflow is definitely the most important characteristic of an air compressor. The rate of the rotary screw air compressor airflow is measured by cubic-feet-per-minute (or CFM). Usually, most home improvement projects do not require more than 6 CFM. However, we recommend you to go with a higher number in order to ensure that all your tools will function properly. The CFM for rotary screw air compressors starts at 16.
- Integrated Filters and Air Dryers
The good news when purchasing rotary screw air compressors is that most manufacturers offer all-in-one compressors. In other words, they try to include as many features as possible in order to offer a complete experience. In most cases, the air compressor features integrated air filters and dryers. For example, the Chicago Pneumatic Air Compressors are known to be “full featured” (that’s why they add a HPD to each model name that includes a dryer). Also, the Ingersoll Rand models are known to have a “Total Air System” (or TAS), which means they have additional features, including integrated air dryers and filters.
- Electrical Phase
Another very important feature you need to look for. The electricity that you will need to choose from is single phase or triple phase, depending on the current needs. Its best to contact your electrician to determine which current you will need.
- Choosing a Manufacturer
If you look online, you will see plenty of models of rotary screw air compressors being promoted as being the best. You might see some cheap manufacturers that promote some oddly inexpensive products. Our recommendation is to keep away from these companies. Some of the best air compressor companies are Ingersoll Rand, Belaire and Chicago Pneumatic.
The best series so far are considered to be the QRS series from Chicago Pneumatic, the BR series from BelAire and of course the UP6 series from Ingersoll Rand.
The Bottom Line
It is wise to do your research when looking to buy a new rotary screw air compressor. Luckily, here at JMC Equipment, we have agents that will help you decide which would be the best air compressor that will fit your needs, and once you make that investment, it will leave you satisfied with a compressor that will last you for more than a decade.