Single Stage vs Two Stage Compressor – A Comparison

An air compressor that converts energy into compressed air is an integral part of your life if you’re in a mechanical business, doesn’t matter in what volume of it. Some numerous tools and devices that require the service of the air compressor if you want to make them work. Even in some kind of domestic works, an air compressor always comes handy to make them possible. Now you have to know what type of air compressor do you need to meet the end of your requirement? Well, the answer lies in your question. To own the right one, you have to go with your particular needs. But before taking the right decision, you have to know the inside out of a compressor. Only then you can compare them to choose the best.
There are two types of compressors available- two-stage and single-stage, and both of them have their share of good and not-so-good things. Therefore, you need to know all of them in-depth before finalise any one of them.

What Is A Single Stage Air Compressor?

A single-stage air compressor is popularly known as a piston air compressor that provides air up to 120psi. This kind of compressor is good for those devices that require air pressure of 100 psi. Justifying its name the air gets compressed here just for once before storing it. This kind of compressor is good for small construction works with less air pressure such as framing, roofing, etc. 

What is A Two-Stage Air Compressor?

A two-stage air compressor is also known as a reciprocating air compressor that can compress air up to 175 psi. Though it is almost similar to the single-stage air compressor, there is one difference. In this kind of compressor, the compressed air never goes into the storage tank but goes to another piston where it is compressed again. This type of compressor is extensively used for commercial, industrial, and automotive purposes.

After having an introduction of these two, now you need to get the idea in detail about the functions and features of both of these two. Let’s go.

Air Temperature

The air temperature of the compressed air is a factor to be considered. As for the single-stage air compressor, it stores the hot air in the receiving tank. For having only one compressor and without having any time for compression, it has no scope to allow the air to cool. 

On the other hand, the two-stage air compressor cools down the air for having double compressors as it gets enough time between one after another compression.

Size of The Compressor

As the single-stage compressor comes with only one compressor and that also smaller in size, it is lightweight enough and easy to carry anywhere you need. Moreover, it doesn’t need too much space at your place to install. On the contrary, for having a double compressor, the two-stage air compressor comparatively heavier, and it is not easy to carry this anywhere of your choice. Besides, it consumes a lot of space and you have to keep this matter seriously before, installing it in your workshop.

Energy Output

Generally, the single-stage air compressor puts out less energy than the other one. Therefore, this kind of compressor is enough to run most of the hand tools and that also for a shorter period. Comparing to this, if you need to run bigger machines or run smaller tools for a longer period, then using a two-stage air compressor would be the better idea.

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Pressure Level

As the single-stage air compressor is equipped with a single compressor it produces a lower pressure level and this is sufficient for jobs that require low air pressure. On the other hand, for having a double compressor the two-stage air compressor releases a higher pressure level that allows you to do heavy-duty tasks quite comfortably. 


As the single-stage air compressor doesn’t get much time to cool down, therefore this kind of compressor rarely has a longer life. But since the two-stage air compressor is equipped with a double compressor, it tends to cool down quite early which is capable enough for extending its life.


In exchange of the working efficiency and lifespan, a two-stage air compressor is more expensive compares to a single-stage air compressor. If you need a compressor for occasional or lighter use then you must go for the single-stage one to save some extra money.

Price vs Performance

Most of you think that a costly thing always gives you the result. But as for a compressor, this is not entirely true. If you go for a high-end product then you have to pay some extra money and that must provide you a better service. On the contrary, buying a less reputed brand is a rather cheaper price always has a risk of early damage. But if it offers you an extended guarantee period, then you have no risk of buying that as you may get the necessary repairing or replacement to cover that. The choice is yours.

Which is Better- Single Stage or Two-Stage?

As I have told earlier you, both types of air compressors have their utility, and they also have some problems. On the one hand, a single-stage compressor is good for portable tools and that also comes at a low price and even requires less space. On the other hand, a two-stage compressor is better for heavy-duty tools, though it costs more and even occupies more space. But you cannot compare these two by all these. While selecting one, You have to keep in mind the kind of service you need. If you have to manage smaller tools then you must go for the single-stage comp. while the two-stage comes in handy if you want it for some heavy-duty machines. Think about all these before selecting and purchasing the right one for you without considering the other factors. Go for it!!

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