Single Vs Two Stage Air Compressor : Differences Between them

Looking forward to buying its kind air compressor from the market? Well, there are many available, both single and double stage air compressors. But, in order to make the purchase, you need to have an in-depth understanding of these compressors inside-out.

So, we have narrowed down two lists of specifications, where we have thoroughly discussed all that you should know about a single and two stage air compressors.

Which of the two serves the concerning certain needs? What are their benefits and drawbacks? How the pricing of these two compressor types is determined on the market? These are some of the many things that we have discussed below. So, let’s dive in to know more. 

Single-Stage Air Compressors Overview

single stage air compressor

Before directly starting with the specifications of a single air compressor, let’s have a closer look into why it is named so. 

Why “Single-Stage” Air Compressor” ?

The main difference between the two compressors (single and air compressors) lies in their names. So, what does a one-stage air compressor mean? The answer is that this type of air compressors does one time compression of the air before storing it away.

Similarly, the two-stage air compressor compresses two times before storing the air. Now, in order to decide the right air compressor, you must be aware of how much power you would require. In simple words, a single-stage air compressor delivers less energy if compared with a two-stage air compressor.

This low energy output is sufficient to power up any and all of your hand held workshop tools, typically for shorter time periods. But to run bigger or smaller tools for prolonged periods, you would require greater power supply, and so, a two-stage air compressor would be a better choice here.

What are the air temperature requirements you should know?

Initially, we learnt the fact that both the air compressor types end compressing the air one and twice, respectively, before storing it. Now comes another relevant factor that you must be aware of; relative air temperature of the compressed air.

One-stage air compressor preserves the hot air in its storage tank. Why? Since it includes only one compressor, so, with one time compression, there is no scope to allow the air to cool down.

On the contrary, the double stage air compressor, having two compressors, cools down the air between two consecutive compressions. Consequently, the second type of air compressor may deliver better performance to meet different requirements.


If you are looking to stay within your budget while buying an air compressor, then go for a single-stage air compressor , as it is cheaper than the two-stage compressor. The reason is that the former type features low power output compared with the latter type.

So, if you want one for minor or occasional tasks, then it is better to save your cash and go with the cheaper model (i.e. single-stage air compressor).



  • Easy to operate

  • Budget-friendly

  • Quite portable

  • Low power output

  • Not fit for doing prolonged tasks

Two-Stage Air Compressor Overview

Though there are many advantages of single-stage air compressors other than the ones mentioned above, the two-stage air compressors also have many plus points. Let’s dive deeper into what makes the latter type of air compressor work.

Size of the compressor

If you want an easy to carry or lightweight air compressor, then the one-stage air compressor is for you. The two-stage is relatively heavier than the single-stage one. However, the two-stage compressors ensure high power output. The only setback is that it is difficult to move. This type of air compressors requires a wider area of installation, like a garage or a workshop with plenty of available space in it. The reason why most users prefer the lightweight type is that it becomes easy to pack up all the necessary tools and equipment and quickly move it to your destination.

Complicated air cooling procedure

As discussed earlier, there are two compressors in the two-stage system. It features a complex air cooling procedure where the air cooled down before it inside the air tank. Note: Although most users prefer the two-stage air compressor, it also has some potential risks of malfunctioning in the long run.


The two-stage air compressors are pricier than the one-stage compressor. Plus, they are more powerful, as discussed. But, whether that additional power delivery is worth the price, depends on the buyer. 



  • Deliver additional power

  • Stores cooled air inside the tank

  • Quite costly

  • Bulkier

Get sure about your requirements

Many users perpetuated the myth that it is always better to buy a more powerful tool. But, in reality, the case is something else. Rather than following somebody at-random, it is better to know your needs first and then decide which type of compressor suits your purpose. Also, check if that much power supply is required by your project. Honestly saying, most handymen can easily get along with their tasks using a single-stage compressor as it is sufficiently powerful enough to meet their needs. With that being said, it is suggested not to go with the two-stage air compressor unless you have some major projects awaiting in the future.

Need for space

Beside being powerful, the two-stage air compressors also consume much space and are heavier. Hence, it is imperative to consider the relative space required for installation of the air compressor.If you do not have much space in your workshop, then it is safer buying the single-stage compressor as then it will be easy to move the system from one place to another(as the situation demands).

Price versus Performance

The single-stage one is a budget-friendly choice. But, the real truck is to buy the one where price and performance balance each other. While some people with the brand name, some go for the “off-brand” inexpensive air compressor models. The good thing about the reputed brands is that their products last comparatively longer (most of the time). In addition to that, if you get a good deal of warranty for your compressor, then your expense is already worth it.

Quick Look To Our Top Choices



CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor CMEC6150K

California Air Tools CAT-20015HP


Much costlier

Comes with 13 piece accessory kit

PowerfulMinimal noise generation

Our Favorite Single-Stage Air Compressor

single stage air compressor
Check Price

If you have already made your mind for a single-stage air compressor, then go for CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K Air Compressor. This model has an air tank capacity of 6 gallons, having high level maneuverability, with moderate noise level. The package includes a 13 Piece Accessory Kit. The product is available at a competitive price while being a versatile option for the handymen. The accessory kit brings you almost everything you might require to get started enjoying with your new single-stage air compressor right away.

Note: It is currently unavailable on So, you can check on some other relevant websites or wait until it’s in stock.

Our Favorite Two-Stage Air Compressor

Check Price

If you run a workshop that works on major projects or requires continuous power supply, then go for California Air Tools CAT-20015HP. It is an ultra quiet cum oil-free system that delivers 1.5 Horsepower, having an air tank capacity of 20 gallons with 175 Pounds per Inch Square. 


Which one is better between the two? Well, there is no such universally definite answer to this, as both are the concerning some particular needs. Plus, the preference may widely vary from one user to another depending upon the pros and cons of both the compressor types. So, it solely depends upon the dedicated buyer’s project requirements to which one to stick to.

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