Air Supply UK: Specialist Compressed Air Engineers

Published: 25/04/2023

9 things to check when buying a used air compressor

Buying a used compressor can be risky because used models tend to require more frequent servicing. Rushing into buying a used compressor might mean you have a broken-down machine and costly repairs a few months later. However, if you’re well-researched and make a careful, informed decision, you can get a quality used machine for a fraction of the price of a new one.

If you’re thinking of purchasing a used air compressor, it’s essential that you follow our checklist to ensure you get a cost-effective model in full working order. 

1. Age 

The first thing you should check when purchasing a used compressor is the age of the machine. Read the manufacturer’s ASME tag, which will have details of the year of manufacture and other information like the pressure rating of the machine.

There’s a massive difference between purchasing a used machine that’s 2 years old and one that’s 10 years old. Older machines tend to be cheaper but might have outdated parts and materials. Plus, they’ll likely be inefficient compared to more modern machines. 

2. Check service records 

You should also check the service history of the used machine. Service records won’t always be available for every used machine, but it’s worth asking if they can provide them. These records are always helpful as they’ll show how well the machine has been maintained and looked after. If the machine has had regular servicing, it’s likely to have a longer lifespan and be less likely to break down. 

3. Check hours of service 

It’s essential that you check the hours of service for any used compressor you’re considering purchasing. An air compressor’s life expectancy is usually measured in terms of hours of service rather than years. So, a used machine with more service hours will have a shorter life span than one with lower service hours. You should check both the age and hours of service to understand approximately how long the compressor will last. 

Have a look at our blog, ‘What is the life expectancy of an air compressor?’ for more information. 

4. Recent servicing and maintenance 

Most reputable used air compressor suppliers will service their machines before putting them up for sale. However, it’s important to check if the used machine has been recently serviced and what was included in the service. A recent service is a good indicator that the machine is in good working order and is running efficiently. 

5. Availability of servicing and repair parts

Another thing to check is the availability of servicing and parts for the exact model of compressor that you’re looking at. If the model is no longer manufactured, getting replacement parts for the machine might be tricky or expensive if it breaks down in the future. If it’s from a large and reputable manufacturer, then this shouldn’t be a problem. However, this could be an issue if it’s from a smaller manufacturer or one based in a different country. 

6. Price

The lower price is probably the main reason you’re buying a used compressor, as they are more cost-effective than new machines. This is why you must do your research to ensure that you’re getting a reasonable price for your used machine. Check how much the used model would be to purchase new and how much other suppliers are selling similar machines for. 

7. Air pressure 

Just like when purchasing a new compressor, you should carefully check that the used machine will meet your business’s compressed air needs. Before searching for a used compressor, ensure that you clearly understand the pressure and amount of air you’ll need.

Check out our blog on air compressor size for more guidance on factors like PSI and CFM.

8. Type of compressor

Before beginning your search, you should also know which type of compressor will be most suitable for your business. One popular type is a rotary screw compressor which can be used continuously and is common for workplace or industrial applications. Or a reciprocating air compressor which delivers high-pressure air and is considered the industry standard. 

If you’re unsure about the different types of compressors, read our guide on ‘Types of air compressors’

You should also consider whether you need an oil-free compressor to produce pristine compressed air or a silent machine for use in small, enclosed spaces. 

9. Additions 

When buying a used compressor, ensure you check if there are any additions. For example, some used compressors might have an onboard refrigerant air dryer. This can be especially useful if you require an air dryer as you don’t need to purchase a separate one.


Used air compressor for sale UK

We stock the largest range of used air compressors in the UK and Ireland. Established in 1995, we have decades of experience selling, servicing, and repairing a huge range of new and used compressed air equipment.

All of our used compressors have been recently serviced. They’re in top condition and in perfect working order, ensuring that our used compressors are a reliable investment for your business. Our website makes it easy to search for used compressors according to your business needs. You can filter by make or CFM to find the perfect used model for you. 

Air Supply also offers quality servicing and maintenance, so you can rely on us to keep your used model running smoothly. If your machine ever breaks down, our experienced team of engineers can repair your machine on-site or at our base in York. 

If you want more advice about choosing the right used compressor for your business, then get in touch with our friendly and helpful team. We’ll happily give you honest advice about choosing the best used compressor based on your needs and budget!



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