Types and Uses of Air Compressors – An Impeccable Guide!

Often, we do not take proper care of our refrigeration systems. Refrigeration systems use air compressors as well as other day-to-day used items.

Air compressors are also used while filling the tires of your bike. Moreover, refrigerators use them too. Moreover, these are used for more than a hundred years now. This is because air is a renewable resource that is safe, clean, convenient, and easy to use. Such compressors are now a highly trustworthy device, which can be used in many ways.

What are the different types of air compressors?

There are many different air compressors that vary in terms of size. Below lies a list of the most common ones:

Piston or reciprocating compressors: Such types of air compressors are used on a wide range. They come with a range of fractional to very high horsepower. Moreover, these are also positive displacement compressors. Firstly, piston compressors pump air into the air chamber.

Afterward, the chamber’s air volume is reduced. In addition, the mechanism of their function is quite similar to an internal combustion engine. However, piston compressors work in a reverse way compared to internal combustion engines.

Rotary Screw Compressors

Rotary screw compressors fill air into a void between two helical mated screws. Turning the screws will cause a reduction in air volume. Therefore, air pressure will increase. Moreover, these compressors inject oil into the compression area and bearing. Additionally, lubrication, cooling is done this way. Furthermore, a seal can be made this way to prevent any leakage.

Rotary Sliding Vane Compressors

Similar to the piston and rotary compressors, this group of compressors is also positive displacement. Moreover, the pump consists of a stator, rotor, and 8 blades. The rotor has a crescent shape. It is also arranged in an eccentric manner.

Additionally, the area is kept between two ports. Compression will occur when the rotor rotates. Afterward, the volume will increase from a maximum at the intake port. It will again reduce from a minimum at the exhaust port. Here also, oil can be injected for lubrication, sealing vanes, and cooling.

Centrifugal Compressors

Unlike other compressors listed above, this compressor is not a positive displacement compressor. Here, high-speed spinning impellers are used to accelerate air at first. Afterward, a diffuser is used to reduce the airspeed.

Air compressors can serve a great many purposes. Moreover, it has been found out that people use air compressors more for work purposes while some use them for fun activities and hobbies. In addition, applications that run using air compressors perform better than the ones which do not. There are devices that only require electricity but cannot last long. It is because of overheating.

Until now, we have only seen the different types of air compressors. Now we will take a look at the uses of air compressors which are only ten common uses. After knowing them, you will be astounded and may even explore more to discover more uses.

Airbrush painting

Artists often use airbrush painting to paint your vehicle like a car, motorbike, scooter, or even a motorbike helmet according to your wishes. For this purpose, smaller size air compressors are used.

Snow Machine

Another use of air compressors is in snow machines. By using this device, one can make their own snow!

Paintball Guns

Homemade guns use small air compressors which are used very often during a paintballing event. These are also used in bicycle pumps. Therefore, it is advised to have safety measures before experimenting and making your own gun. This is because the guns may fracture. So, it is necessary to wear safety goggles to avoid any unwanted occurrence.


Compressed air is also used in diving cylinders which contain gas for breathing. Therefore, there are two types of cylinders – surface supplied diving (low pressure) and compressors used for scuba diving cylinders (high pressure). In addition, industrially, specialist air compressors are used. This is required as the safety of the divers need to be ensured. Gas blending, heat, and pressure are required by the divers too.

Inflating tires

Inflating tires are carried out on a day-to-day basis to ensure the safety of any automobile. Few vehicles like cars, bicycles, vans require this purpose. However, in the UK, there are some car manufacturers which do not provide spare tires with new cars.

The inability or lack of changing tires has caused them to do so. Furthermore, various sizes and kinds of Tire Inflator used to serve this purpose. Moreover smaller air compressors are used for bicycles.

Pressure Washer

Pressure washers are an extremely fun device. It is mainly used to clean driveways and cars too. Moreover, it should be handled with caution. One should not point it towards any people or pets. Additionally, it should not be used by people who are on a ladder. This is because balance cannot be maintained.

Nail/Staple Guns

In 1950, the first nail gun was invented. It can speed up housing construction work. Moreover, 40-60 nails can be filed per minute by an operator nail gun. Here, the gas pressure causes the nail to be driven into the timber. This is a direct drive method. Additionally, the indirect drive method uses a piston to drive the nail. Both of the methods can be used on concrete, stone and steelwork. It is advisable to be alert while using nail guns. There are quite many reports of injuries to hands and feet. Furthermore, staple guns use the same mechanism to function.


Another common use of air compressors is sandblasting. It is mostly used to prepare surfaces. Moreover, it is also used in removing paint, rust, and other substances from metal or wood. It is advisable to check with a manufacturer on which material to use air compressors on. Surfaces include sand, silica, and water. For smaller items, cabinets are used.

Air blow gun

Air compressors are also used in air blow guns which cleans dust on the workbenches and on machines. It does not have high pressure like pressure washers. This is because the damage would occur on the items it is used on. It is a device for removing dust and dirt on a target area.

Conclusion of types of air compressors

The types and uses of air compressors should fascinate you and inspire you to explore more. We hope that this was useful and an article worth the read.

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