Picking the best 2-stage air compressor should be easier. Two-stage air compressors have two cylinders. The first cylinder feeds air to the second one that compresses the air further. The second cylinder usually has a tank pressure up to 175 PSI.
The benefit of the dual-stage air compressor is the extra air stored in the tank. This allows you to work longer or use your tools longer.
Top 2-Stage Air Compressors Comparison Chart
10 Best 2 Stage Air Compressor Reviews:
1. Quincy QT-54 Splash Lubricated Reciprocating 2-Stage Air Compressor
The Quincy QT-54 Splash Lubricated Reciprocating 2-stage compressor has a splash lubricated piston air pump. It runs with a Baldor brand motor that delivers a 5 HP and 230-volt supply. It comes with a 60-gallon tank. This makes it perfect for those who have industrial-sized projects.
Quincy features a thermal overload protector and a capacitor starter. We do love that it stands vertically instead of horizontally. It saves a ton of space. Keep in mind that while it has a compact design, it isn’t portable.
The compressor comes with mounts on the base to fit it in the vertical position.
On average, you get about 173 PSI, and it runs cooler than most models of the same size. One of the best features of the Quincy is the quiet operation.
Most models this size make loud noises where you must scream to be heard.
You can have a normal volume conversation and you won’t hear the compressor. The lack of vibration is another feature we love.
It’s basically nil. You can safely place it on a palette or workspace and not worry it will fall over.
Lifespan gives you about 30,000 hours of pump use before you need a new one. Compared to most 2 stage air compressors of this size, it lasts longer.
- Moisture drain conveniently placed on the legs of the tank
- Vertical style saves on space
- Fairly quiet operation
- Low vibration
- Fills quickly
- Doesn’t build up moisture often
- Not made in the USA (if that matters to you)
- People claim Quincy’s customer service is less than helpful when it comes to fixes or replacement parts
2. California Air Tools CAT-20015HP Ultra Quiet Air Compressor
The California Air Tools air compressor has a unique design compared to most 2 stage air compressors. It doesn’t require the use of oil and only operates at 70dB.
Most compressors are far noisier. It has a 2.5 HP motor and only runs at 1,750 RPMs. This creates less noise and less wear on the compressor.
Despite the low RPMs, you can still run this compressor at 100% duty and use it for long periods without stopping.
The dual-piston pump has a life cycle of 3,000 hours before you will need service. It’s made to last and work in different elements.
You don’t have to worry about even terrains or some rain with this compressor!
It even has an air filter to protect the compressor in dusty or dirty environments. On average, you get a CFM of 3.80 at 90 PSI.
However, you can reach 175 PSIs. It takes roughly two minutes to reach the recovery time.
The compressor has several features most professionals will love. It runs at only 12 amps. It has a thermal overload protector with two large pressure gauges and two quick connectors.
The tank easily transports from one location to the next without help.
- Quiet operation
- Quick recovery time
- Doesn’t require as much maintenance as other models
- Low in amps
- Provides high pressure
- Easily transported
- Takes longer than most models to fill the tank
- Sometimes leaks air
3. Ingersoll Rand 2475N7.5-V 7.5hp 80 gals Air Compressor
The Ingersoll Rand brings you an electric-driven 2-stage air compressor that’s designed for those who work in a shop or any industrial field.
Those in machine shops, automotive, maintenance, manufacturing, or woodworking will love this compressor over any other 2-stage air compressors.
While you get 15,000 hours of life, you do have added durability with the build. The compressor is made with heavy-duty parts.
The valves are made of stainless steel and the body is made of cast iron.
Luckily, replacement or repair is a breeze. The compressor comes with removable cylinders with radial fins to eliminate any hot spots.
Whenever there’s condensation, the manual drain valve simplifies any servicing needed.
The compressor operates at 175 PSI for those that have tools that need higher pressure. When you purchase an air compressor, you usually must buy any additional features separately.
This compressor comes with three different packages that will add them depending on which one you buy!
- Easy to dial-up higher operating pressures
- Takes only a few minutes to build up air
- The automatic switch makes sure the air pressure meets demands
- You to choose which package you want
- Quick recovery time
- Easy to wire and mount
- Very heavy and hard to move
- Noisy operation
4. DeWalt DXCMV5076055 Two Stage Air Compressor
DeWalt DXCMV5076055 is an electric 2-stage air compressor that includes a large tank.
Despite the large tank, it seems to work best in smaller to medium shops over large ones. You will do just fine if you need a home project or agricultural work done.
The air compressor runs fine and doesn’t produce much noise compared to the other 2 stage air compressors of the same size. It’s well built and made to last.
The body has solid cast-iron with aluminum heads on the oil-lubricated cylinder pumps to dissipate heat. You do get synthetic oil to extend life.
It does offer PSIs up to 155 and has a 3.7HP motor.
The major complaint with have with this air compressor is the lack of accessories. Most models around this size come with at least one or two but this one doesn’t include any. You’ll need to purchase everything separately.
For some people, they might enjoy this because they get to choose what to buy. Others would prefer to have all they need to be included without having to find the extra accessories. Overall, the compressor does do what it’s supposed to.
- Fills quickly
- Made in the USA
- Powers several tools simultaneously with ease
- Not very loud
- Runs cool
- Very durable
- Only 50% duty cycle
- Doesn’t come with any accessories
5. Industrial Air IV5076055 60 Gallon 2-Stage Air Compressor
The Industrial Air IV5076055 was built with compatibility and storage in mind. It’s a vertical 2-stage air compressor that provides power for those that work in the auto industry and for heavier industrial use.
The air compressor has no trouble running more than one air tool at once. It has a PSI of 175 and a 60-gallon tank with a ¾-inch air outlet port. This allows for continuous airflow for your tools.
The compressor has a durable build. It includes two oil-lubricated cast-iron cylinder pumps that help keep the unit cool when in use.
The tank itself comes ASME approved, which ensures it adheres to strict safety requirements. The motor has an electric 5 HP and an eye-level oil sight glass.
This allows you to check when you need an oil check. It also offers thermal overload protection.
It comes with additional features too. Unlike most 2 stage air compressors, you have access to an integrated control panel.
You get a pressure gauge to control your pressure levels and an off/on switch. You also get a wire-shaped belt to further include cooling of the unit when in use.
- Runs quiet enough to hold a conversation
- Takes about five minutes to fill fully
- Easy setup
- Made with high-quality materials
- Design saves space
- Powers more than one tool at once
- Extremely heavy, you will need help to move it
- Sometimes suffers from leaks
6. Campbell Hausfeld 30 Gallon Portable 2- Stage Air Compressor
This 2-stage air compressor comes with a 30-gallon tank but performs better than most models of the same size. It can power air tools for all workers.
Whether you need to complete a DIY project or you’re a professional contractor, this compressor will get the job done.
The air compressor was made with durable materials to make it last longer. The air compressor is made in the USA with a life cycle of 5,000 hours of life.
It has a dual-voltage motor for those that don’t need a 240V current and can get by with a 120V.
Most air compressors are heavy and require help to move them. This one has wheels that make transporting easy.
Despite the low gallon tank, you still reach up to 175 PSIs with 3.9 SCFM. The compressor features a fully enclosed metal belt guard for protection from overheating and keeps the compressor cool while running.
The compressor also has a faster recovery time for more time spent on projects and less on waiting for air. It doesn’t have high HP, only 2, but it will get most basic jobs done without any issues.
- Runs quietly
- The tank size doesn’t limit most projects/tools
- Keeps up the pressure with no issues
- Built well
- Easy to take from one job/area to the next
- Allows the switching of voltages
- Sometimes leaks oil from the top
- Pressure valve location isn’t easy to reach
7. BelAire 318VL 7.5 HP 80 Gallon 1-Phase Vertical 2 Stage Air Compressor with Starter
The BelAire 318VL 2-stage air compressor features an 80-gallon tank for those who need optimal space but a powerful compressor. It delivers a powerful 7.5 HP with a single-phase motor. You can get voltages between 208-230V.
The motor has a magnetic starter which saves you more money because you won’t need to purchase an additional starter. It has a two-stage hybrid pump that’s meant to enhance the quality and extend the pump’s life cycle.
The tank comes with ASME approval for safety features. For example, it has a high flow belt guard that’s fully encased for added safety.
You also get an eye-level oil glass. This allows you to check your oil levels at any time, so you know when maintenance is due.
The air compressor features a start-stop pressure switch control that saves you time and wastes energy.
The BelAire is built with durable materials like stainless steel valves. The durable materials extend the life cycle of your compressor. The included ¾-inch air outlet allows for better air control while you work.
Your tools won’t have to fight for power or have any downtime because you have to wait for air. The air is on-demand!
- Can run up to eight hours with ease
- Runs as quiet as a conversation
- Multiple tools can run simultaneously
- Doesn’t take long to fill up
- Runs cools than most models of the same size
- Has great air pressure
- Leaks oil if used continuously for long periods
- Will require help to move from location to location
8. DEWALT DXCMV5048055 Two-Stage Cast Iron Industrial Air Compressor
Designed for the toughest of projects, the DeWalt DXCMV5048055 features an 80-gallon tank and a 5.0 HP.
This 2 stage air compressor has a patented cast iron flywheel and patented two-stage cast iron industrial duty pump.
The flywheel has large fins that pump with low RPM. This improves cooling and extends the life of the pump. The industrial duty pump provides 17.9 CFM at 100 PSI for bigger projects and multiple users.
The patented asymmetrical, deep grove cooling fins offer cooler pumps that run more effectively. Unlike most 2 stage air compressors, you don’t need a magnetic starter.
It comes with safety features and ASME approval for the tank. It features an overload protection that protects the motor from voltage fluctuations. You get additional features for the compressor too.
It includes tank and output pressure gauges that are designed large so you can see them easily.
The pressure regulator and two quick-connect air outlets are conveniently placed to avoid crawling on the ground to use your tools.
When you purchase an air compressor, you often need to buy extra parts to make your compressor run more efficiently.
The DeWalt DXCMV5048055 includes an extended tank drain and ball valve.
You also won’t experience vibrations like with other 2-stage air compressors. It includes vibration isolators to keep the compressor from making a rattle noise or moving on the ground.
- Pumps quickly
- Keeps the pressure even with the drain open
- Easy to wire
- Can run three separate air lines connected at the same time
- Recovery time only takes 1-2 minutes
- Includes extras like vibration isolators, ball valve, and tank drain valve
- Very noisy
- Drain valve is in an inconvenient spot/hard to reach
9. EMAX Compressor 7.5 HP Quiet 2-Stage Air Compressor
The EMAX 2-stage air compressor doesn’t compare to most industrial 2-stage air compressors. It has an 80-gallon tank with a solid cast iron construction.
The air compressor was designed with quiet use in mind. It features a Whisper 100 Air Silencer system that’s meant to lower noise levels to 54dB.
The Advanced Five Layer Air Intake System filters both sounds and airborne matter up to 0.5 microns.
When we work with fine particles, they can release into the air and clog our tools and our lungs.
If you work with metals or wood, you’ll especially love this feature. The air filtration system improves your work environment and extends the life of the compressor.
It has a 7.5 HP industrial ODP motor with a magnetic starter and premium-made valves. The belt system allows for a one-turn design to reduce tension.
The reduction of the tension rids vibrations and extends the life of your compressor’s belt.
The piston series two-stage cast iron pump provides the compressor with a lifespan of up to 50,000 hours.
Maintenance doesn’t take long with the Gate Valve Oil Drain. In minutes, you can clean and change the oil.
The compressor also features a Cool-Tek cooling system while running and steel gauge rods with Flow-Tek concentric disc valves.
- Extremely quiet operation/barely can hear it
- Easy to wire up
- Made in the USA
- Takes less than five minutes to fill
- Can take continuous use without any issues
- Runs more than one tool at a time
- On the heavy side
- Sometimes leaks oil
10. Ingersoll Rand 45466067 2475F13GH 13hp 30 gal Air Compressor
Ingersoll Rand 45466067 Air Compressor has a design that’s geared toward those who need a reliable, user-friendly compressor.
This 2-stage air compressor features a Honda 13-HP GX390 Series engine that runs quietly.
It’s used and recommended by contractors because of how low maintenance, yet durable it is. It uses an electric start with a turn of a key. You will need to purchase a battery and cables as it’s not included.
The built-in alternator recharges the electric start battery, so you don’t have to. No wiring is necessary!
The compressor itself has a cast iron construction that offers a high-quality build for better performance and longevity. The finish on the tank even has durability.
When the weather conditions get poor, we can’t always finish our work and call it a day. Sometimes, we have to tough it out.
This can get rough on our equipment. Luckily, this compressor has water-resistant paint that stands up against the elements preventing rust and wear.
Likewise, when you experience a power failure due to weather or bad wiring, the compressor has a recoil start as an extra backup starting system.
Most 2-stage air compressors only offer one option. The idle control feature on the compressor helps to control noise and saves on fuel.
- Made in the USA
- Easy startup
- No wires involved
- Keeps pressure
- Fully encased belt guard
- Works well with one-inch tools
- Have to purchase a battery and cables
- Stalls when it goes into battery recharge
2-Stage Air Compressor Buying Guide
Most air tools require at least 90 PSI to run. However, to maintain 90 PSI, you need a compressor that has a higher shut-off pressure.
Many two-stage compressors can handle this.
They build up to 90 PSI in the first stage and up to 175 PSI in the second. Smaller compressors with a single-stage shut off at around 135 PSI and can maintain a 100 PSI pressure at most.
This may seem like it could get the job done but the pressure drop might not be enough to power your tool, especially if you need it for long periods.
Storage and Portability
Air compressors come in two different design options. You can have either piston air compressors or a portable air compressor.
Piston compressors are stationary and can’t be moved. Piston air compressors come in two types.
You can choose a dual-stage air compressor a single-stage compressor. A dual-stage air compressor will work best with larger projects or when you need large amounts of air for a long time.
Portable air compressors are ideal for construction sites or when you need to attach pneumatic tools.
You want to consider your storage options as well. Some people might only have a small space to house the compressor and can’t choose a larger one and vice versa.
Air compressors have different power sources. The most common power source is electric. However, you can buy a gas-powered model too.
You might benefit more from a gas-powered model than an electric.
For example, you may need an air compressor for a construction site where you don’t have access to electricity.
Gas-powered models are usually industrial grade and more heavy-duty.
With an electric 2 stage compressor, you need to consider how much voltage you will need.
Household compressors generally use 110 -120 volts but a 2HP engine might require higher like 220–240-volt outlets.
Overall, electric compressors are quieter, weigh less, run continuously, and easier to use than gas-powered compressors.
Air compressors come with various tank sizes and positions too. Mounted tanks will require that you choose a size.
What size will you need? This will depend on the type of work you plan to do with the compressor.
The tools that you’ll connect to it will matter too. Tank sizes are measured in gallons. If you plan to use pneumatic tools for a short period of time, you won’t need a big tank.
Larger jobs that will take a long period of time to complete will need a bigger tank.
CFMs measure the flow of an air compressor. CFMs will vary depending on the PSI of an air compressor.
Air compressors will have different CFMs for any PSI value. When you go to purchase an air compressor, you want to compare the models.
Check the CFMs at the same PSI values to ensure you’re purchasing the right ones.
The last thing you want is to take home a compressor and you have a different CFM than what you need for the job.
Air compressors have ratings on them to indicate what they can do. Horsepower is no exception.
The horsepower of your air compressor will show how much power the unit has.
Depending on what you plan to use your air compressor for, you may not need ones with high ratings.
Low rating horsepower will work well for people that need to use it for smaller projects.
However, if you need to use the compressor for industrial purposes, then you want a higher rating.
It may not seem like there’s much room for customization, but air compressors do have options. You might choose to buy an air compressor that’s belt-driven or direct-drive.
Depending on what you plan to use the air compressor for, you might want one that has an oil-free pump.
Oil-free pumps won’t require as much maintenance as ones that rely on oil. You may want an air-cooling system or an adjustable exhaust. You will decide which features you want, if any, based on your needs.
What is a Two-stage Air Compressor?
A 2 stage compressor features two piston cylinders. Each one has a different size. The air first goes through a compression stage. The air passes through a heat exchanger.
The heat exchanger cools the air before it travels to the second cylinder. When the air is cooled, it reduces the work need to compress it in the next stage.
In two-stage compressors, the air travels through both chambers.
The second chamber pressurized the air to the required amount. It then travels down into the tank where it waits for the user to use the air.
2 stage air compressors have twice compressed air. The extra compression makes compressors work more effectively because of the quicker recovery time. It also will allow you to use more tools for a longer period of time without breaks.
There are two most common types of 2 stage compressors. Reciprocating (piston) or rotary. Both are positive displacement compressors.
A reciprocating 2 stage air compressor has two cylinders: low-pressure and high-pressure. The second cylinder is smaller to further facilitate compression.
The first stage of a reciprocating compressor takes the air down to the low-pressure cylinder by a suction system with an inlet filter.
The air gets compressed with a piston and cools the heated air. The second stage takes the cooled air and moves it to the high-pressure cylinder with a shorter piston to further compress.
Then, the pressurized air is cooled and moves to the storage tank where it waits for you to use it.
A rotary 2 stage air compressor has several types: screw, scroll, vane, and lobe. The screw type has been the most popular with scroll types becoming more popular in recent years.
A screw type works like the reciprocating compressor except they have helical rotor screws instead of a piston.
A scroll type compresses gas using two inter-fitting scrolls where it has two levels. The opening and closing ports allow air to bypass a portion of the scroll.
Single-Stage vs. Two-Stage Air Compressor
Single-stage air compressors have pistons that drawdown. The air gets sucked through the filter element and past the intake valves.
From there, it goes into the cylinder.
When the crankshaft rotates and the pistons are pushed upward, the air compresses as it’s forced through the exhaust valves.
Then, it travels through the discharge tube and check valve. It heads down into the tank where it sits until you need air.
Two-stage air compressors have a large low-pressure piston that draws down. The air gets sucked through the filter element and past the intake valve to the cylinder.
When the crankshaft rotates, and the low-pressure piston pushes upward. The air compresses for the first time as it’s forced through the low-pressure exhaust valve.
The air then travels through an intercooler to the high-pressure side of the pump. It’s drawn into the cylinder and compressed a second time.
From there, it travels through the discharge tube and checks the valve. It will travel down to the tank where it stays until you need air.
There are cases when you’d want to use a single-stage over a two-stage air compressor. Single-stage models work great for individual users or small crews. It will benefit anyone that does framing, sheathing, roofing, or trim work.
Larger construction crews or users who need large amounts of air for extended time should choose a two-stage air compressor.
Pros for a Single-Stage Compressor:
• Cost less
• Weigh less
• Electric models draw fewer amps
• Limited usage because of heat
• High friction level
Pros for a Dual-Stage Air Compressor:
• More efficient
• Runs cooler
• Delivers more CFM
• Requires high maintenance
• Heavy and bulky/not easily portable or storage
Two-Stage Air Compressor Components
2 stage air compressors have six major components. These components work together to make the compressor run.
A 2 stage air compressor has two cylinders. One is called a low-pressure cylinder and the other a high-pressure one.
The connecting rod connects the crankshaft and piston. The piston moves because of the movement of the connecting rod.
Each cylinder has a piston. The piston compresses air into the cylinder. It moves upward and down into the cylinder.
When the piston moves upward, it sucks the air into the cylinder. When it moves downward, it compresses air.
Inlet Valve or Suction Valve
The inlet valve sucks air from an external source into the compressor cylinder.
This connects to the high-pressure cylinder. It discharges compressed air.
The intercooler reduces the temperature of the air before it sends it to the high-pressure cylinder. It’s responsible for cooling the air.
So, What’s The Best?
The 2-stage air compressors I have reviewed here are the best in terms of their reliability, durability, and functionality. An air compressor can last you years and make your work life or DIY projects easier.
Single-stage air compressors won’t handle what you need unless you’re completing the most basic tasks. You’d be lucky if it can even power a single air tool. Two-stage air compressors offer more in terms of power.
The market is full of air compressors you can choose from. However, you can easily see that the Quincy QT-54 is the best 2-stage air compressor. The incredibly long lifespan and the iron flywheel design make the compressor energy-efficient and durable.
Additionally, the aluminum head and finned tube intercooler increase longevity and rid heat faster.
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