The biggest difference between single and two stage air compressors is the amount of times air gets compressed between the inlet valve and tool nozzle. The air gets compressed twice in a two stage compressor compared to getting compressed just once in a single stage compressor.
How Does A Two Stage Air Compressor Work?
As stated above, the air gets compressed twice, and by simply increasing the number of cylinder stages and pressure, two stage compressors work more effectively and efficiently. These applications can handle more tools at once and have a quicker recovery time to boot.
A two stage compressor, also known as multi-stage, features a series of cylinders, all with a different diameter. The Air will pass through a heat exchanger for cooling purposes between each compression stage. Cooling the air will reduce the amount of work needed to compress it further. In this air compressor, air is forced into an additional chamber when pressurized.
When To Use A Two Stage Air Compressor
Of course, there are numerous benefits to using a two stage compressor, but that doesn’t mean this application is perfect for every situation. Typically, single stage compressors work better for light-duty jobs, in which pressure requirements do not exceed 100 PSIG. Two stage compressors, meanwhile, offer more reliability for continuous use applications. This includes manufacturing and automotive repair.
Advantages Of A Two Stage Air Compressor
Here is a look at some of the advantages of using two stage compressors:
- Easy to drain the tank.
- Heavy cast iron crankshaft.
- Excellent reliability, durability and efficiency.
- Smooth starts and stops ensured by the magnetic starter.
How Much Does A Two Stage Air Compressor Cost?
The costs of two stage air compressors will vary widely based on a variety of factors. According to HomeDepot, the average price range for two stage air compressors is $300 to $5,000+.
Differences Between Single Stage And Two Stage Air Compressors
The main difference is the amount of time air is compressed – that is what separates these two applications. Additionally, the compression process does differ in the single stage compressor. Air is sucked into a cylinder, then trapped and compressed in a single stroke. The single stroke comes with a piston at roughly 120 psi. From there, the air is moved to a storage tank. The storage tank is where the compressed air ultimately serves as an energy agent for the variety of tools in use.
A two stage compressor has a similar compression process, but the air is not sent to a storage tank. Instead, the air is sent to a smaller piston for a second stroke, this time at a psi of 175. Then, the double-pressurized air is cooled and sent to a tank, where energy is released and utilized.
Which Is Better: Single Stage Or Two Stage Air Compressor?
Compared to two stage compressors, single stage applications are extremely quiet. That is exactly what makes them better for smaller environments like garages, kitchens or workshops. Two stage models are ideal for larger projects, typically geared toward industrial-scale arsenals. Essentially, the compressor you choose should be dependent on size of your project.