Compare Two-Stage vs Single-Stage Compressor Costs
An Expert Comparison of Two-Stage & Single-Stage Compressors
Two-Stage Air Compressor Overview
Two-stage air compressors are generally used for commercial, industrial and automotive applications, although residential models are available. The air in these machines is compressed through two cylinders instead of one for increased pressure and greater efficiency.
How Much Do Two-Stage Air Compressors Cost?
The price of a two-stage air compressor varies widely based upon its power. Two-stage compressors designed for residential use can be found for $500 to $1,500. Professional models start at about $1,500 for 5 horsepower and range up to $50,000 for 200 HP.
Generally, two-stage air compressors are more expensive than single-stage air compressors.
Two-Stage Air Compressor Pros
- Efficiency - Two-stage compressors are more efficient, compressing air to a higher pressure. A two-stage compressor with the same horsepower will produce more pressure than a single-stage compressor, meaning that jobs get done faster. This also leads to lower operating costs.
- Lifespan - Two-stage compressors generate less heat, reducing the amount of wear and tear and extending the life of the machine.
Two-Stage Air Compressor Cons
- Price - In exchange for the added efficiency and longer lifespan, two-stage air compressors are more expensive.
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Single-Stage Air Compressor Overview
Single-stage air compressors, as the name suggests, compress air in a single step with just one piston stroke. Single-stage compressors can compress air at a rate of up to 150 pounds per square inch (PSI), while two-stage air compressors have capabilities up to 200 PSI.
Single-stage compressors are suitable in situations where the compressor will not be used extensively and does not need to produce great pressures.
How Much Do Single-Stage Air Compressors Cost?
Single-stage air compressors also vary widely in price based upon power. They begin at around $500 to $1,500 for 2 to 5 HP and range up to $50,000 for 200 HP models. Generally, single-stage compressors cost less than two-stage compressors.
Single-Stage Air Compressor Pros
- Price - Again, single-stage compressors are less expensive. If you anticipate light or occasional use, save the extra money by opting for a single-stage compressor.
Single-Stage Air Compressor Cons
- Efficiency - Single-stage compressors are less efficient at higher pressures because there’s no second stage to allow for additional cooling. They tend to be more expensive to operate, too.
- Lifespan - The extra heat is hard on a compressor, leading single-stage models to fail sooner.
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