Air Supply UK: Specialist Compressed Air Engineers

Published: 14/08/2020

Everything You Need to Consider When Buying a Used Air Compressor

When running an industrial organisation, it’s vital that you reduce any downtime as much as possible. Data from recent studies have shown that downtime can cost manufacturers an astonishing £180 billion per year. Broken machines, faulty parts and repair work is impacting as much as 3% of all working days annually. This might not sound like much, but when you take the entire industry en masse, it adds up to a significant amount. With the vast majority of industrial organisations replacing their machines at least once a year, balancing cost and reliability is vital. For those who use air compressors for industrial purposes, this is where a used air compressor can come in handy!

By reducing overheads via second-hand air compressors, you can ensure that you protect yourself from downtime as well as reducing the cost of new equipment. It’s vitally important that the used air compressor or compressors that you buy will be fit for the purpose you require them for. It’s also critical that the used air compressor you do end up buying is operational and won’t stop working immediately. To give you a helping hand and demystify some of the processes for you, we’ve created a guide which should help you understand what you need to know when buying a used air compressor. Read on to find out more!

What You Need To Know When Buying a Used Air Compressor

Like buying any expensive piece of equipment, it’s crucial to make sure that your investment will be worthwhile. There is little worse than spending a significant amount of money, only for the equipment to splutter and die in a matter of days or weeks. Similarly, it can be frustrating for growing businesses to purchase some machinery and then to find out that it does not have the right type of capacity or operation for the required use. With that in mind, there are some key questions you should ask yourself when purchasing a used air compressor.

How Much Air Do You Need Your Second-Hand Air Compressor To Supply?

If you require an air compressor, one of the biggest challenges that you might face is ensuring that you have the correct size air compressor for your requirement. Different sizes and types of air compressor will supply different loads of compressed air. You’ll need to have an accurate understanding of what level of pressure and flow you will need for the tools or air tanks you are filling with compressed air.

Air pressure is measured in either ‘pounds per square inch’ (PSI) or bar and denotes the amount of force required to perform the task at hand. Depending on the tools you are filling with compressed air and the type of jobs you are working on, you’ll need to ensure that you have enough pressure to complete the job at hand.

Airflow, on the other hand, is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) as well as litres per second (L/S) and cubic meters per hour (M3/H). This separate measurement helps you to define how quickly your compressor can perform a given task. The tank or tool you are filling with compressed air will have a tank or reservoir which will hold a certain amount of air. These two measurements will help you to identify what pressure the air needs to be at and how long it will take. It’s important for you to understand accurately what your requirements are, so always do plenty of research on the tools and tanks you need to fill and what air compressors will complete the job for you.

What Kind of Air Compressor Do You Need?

Rotary Screw Compressor

Rotary screw air compressors are a common type of air compressor. These positive displacement compressors are easy to maintain and last for a long time. This type of air compressor operates by internal rotors which turn in opposite directions. These are often large and used in an industrial setting and pressurise air by trapping it between the two rotors. If you require continual use from your compressor, the cooling system in this equipment is perfectly suited for it.

Reciprocating Air Compressor

A reciprocating air compressor is a smaller type of compressor than the rotary screw. These are often found in local car garages and are not designed to be used consistently. There are many more moving parts in this type of compressor and, therefore, the system must be lubricated unlike the previous type of compressor. Instead of using a rotary screw, the reciprocating compressor instead uses a piston to compress and displace the air.

Axial Compressor

If you’re looking for something even bigger, an axial compressor might be your best bet. These compressors are far larger than rotary screw compressors and are often found in ships, planes and other large vehicles. Instead of compressing air to be used for construction, tools and tanks, this type of compressor generates horsepower by storing the compressed air once it’s been brought in using rotary blades.

Centrifugal Compressor

Finally, centrifugal compressors are can create huge amounts of energy in just a small machine. These are often found in manufacturing plants and feature a compression process which takes place across multiple stages. These compressors don’t always need oil and are often used when more power is required. You’d typically find a centrifugal compressor in a steel manufacturing facility.

Would An Air Compressor Hire Be More Suitable?

Used air compressors will always see you save money instead of buying a new one, however, you can save even more by hiring one. If you only require the use of an air compressor for a limited time or an individual project, an air compressor hire could be far more suitable. With this option, you’ll be able to discuss your requirements with the air compressor hire professionals to ascertain which type of air compressor you will need and for how long.

How Much Wear Does The Air Compressor Have? Is It Fit For Purpose?

Before purchasing an air compressor – or any used equipment, for that matter – it’s critical to ensure that it is in a fit state for use. Check over the equipment to see if there are any missing parts, whether the compressor is clean and if there is any sludge. Ask to run the unit and see it in action before purchasing, You’ll be able to tell a lot by running it and listening out for any irregular sounds, if it gets hot too quickly and what level of power it’s running at.

Looking For a Used Air Compressor in York? Get in Touch With Air Supply Today For More Information!

Have you been looking for a ‘second-hand air compressor for sale near me’? If that’s the case, look no further than Air Supply. Establishing our air compressor company more than two decades ago, we have extensive experience in the industry and can provide you with high-quality products and expert services.

Our team of dedicated professionals are on hand to provide you with expert advice and services. Our repair and maintenance services mean that your air compressor is kept in the best possible condition for as long as possible. As well as providing excellent maintenance services, we also supply high-end air compressor products which are second-hand but still in excellent working condition.

Regardless of whether you need air dryers, air compressors or air receivers, get in touch with us today. When looking for an ‘air compressor for sale near me’, look no further.

To find out more about our services, please feel free to contact us today. You can find us at Unit 6B, Harrier Court, Airfield Business Park, Elvington, York. YO41 4EA. Alternatively, call us on 01904 607050 or email us at

© Air Supply Ltd 1995 – 2021 | View our Cookie Policy | Company number: 4514029 | VAT number: GB929641690

Website createdfor Air Supply UK