Compressor – Piston or screw?

Compressor – Piston or screw?

The piston compressor and screw compressor are the two most commonly used solutions in car workshops. There are several subtypes that come from the above two categories, although they are more specialized and adapted to specific tasks. Below we look at the comparison of these compressors.

The cost of purchase and use of the compressor

The piston compressor turns out to be the most cheaper, but these are devices with a very diverse construction. In principle, however, they are rarely as precise and efficient as screw compressors, and their design is simpler, hence often a big difference in price. The operating costs in both cases fall more or less the same, but with the reservation that it depends very much on the quality of the device.

Quality of compressor / compressor operation

Modern piston compressors are much quieter than older models, but almost always louder than screw compressors. The latter is also characterized by a much higher work culture in the start-up phase: less vibrations, less fluctuation of parameters in the initial phase of operation, and the start-up usually does not require excessive energy consumption.

It is worth paying attention to the quality of workmanship: the lower the precision, the higher the noise and the greater vibrations during operation. These parameters can also change after a certain time of operation with wear of parts or micro-damage – what are the standard performance of both types of compressors, you can check on the manufacturer’s website

Energy consumptionIkonka kompresora 2

Today, both piston compressors and screw compressors are designed in accordance with the principles that allow to reduce the demand for energy in accordance with European Union standards. The fact is, however, that due to the need to obtain better performance parameters, the construction of piston compressors sometimes becomes complicated, and this affects the greater energy consumption. Precisely made screw compressor has less resistance and may be a more economical variant.

What voltage do piston / screw compressors have?

Screw compressors are mostly in the 400V version, although there are 230V versions. This is because screw compressors are used in professional plants. Piston compressors, on the other hand, are characterized by the presence of both versions, 400V and 230V, because they are adapted for private persons and companies.


Both reciprocating compressors and screw compressors are produced as stationary models and mobile compressors – in the latter case their construction is modified accordingly. However, obtaining good compression parameters is possible in both cases.