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Screw-Type Compressors Or Reciprocating Compressors- A Detailed Comparison Report for You

Compressed Air is a massive recruitment for diverse industrial applications. So, whether it is medical, manufacturing, food & beverage, pharmaceuticals or any other industry, you must ensure that the compressors you use are appropriate for your industrial needs. 

When purchasing an air compressor, many contemplate whether to opt for a rotary screw-type compressor or a reciprocating compressor. These two air compressor types are traditional in various industrial applications for their prominent features and exceptional performance. But, still, you need to choose the one that is best suited for the specific applications.

An Overview of Reciprocating Air Compressors

Reciprocating piston compressors, also known as piston compressors’ is an old model. Its design is constantly changing as technology and materials improve. Due to its constant advancement in design and performance, this air compressor type is still used in various industries to meet their compressed air needs. Reciprocating piston compressors are used in many industries, for example, automotive, agriculture, refineries, refrigeration, oil & gas, chemical manufacturing, medical surgery, etc.

An Overview of Rotary Screw Compressors

Rotary screw air compressors are known for their exceptional design and incredible ability to produce a consistent flow rate required for a variety of industrial applications. These compressors are clean, efficient and quiet. These compressors are functional in small machine shops, food & beverage production, automotive manufacturing, pharmaceutical, etc, for high durability, efficiency and energy savings. Its innovative design minimizes fluctuations in pressure to ensure more efficiency and minimum energy consumption.

The Difference Between a Reciprocating Air Compressor and a Rotary Screw-type Air Compressor.

Compression Operation 

Rotary screw-type air compressors produce continuous operations. The screws in a rotary compressor rotate and produce compressed air constantly and quietly. 

Reciprocating compressors use the back-and-forth motion of a piston within a cylinder to compress air so it can produce compressed air only when the piston is on the upswing.

Energy Efficiency 

Rotary screw-type air compressors have fewer moving parts than piston compressors. So, this compressor can produce compressed air the entire time it is in operation, while a reciprocating compressor only produces air during half of its cycle.

Reciprocating compressors can lose more energy due to the friction and motion of the moving parts compared to rotary compressors. So, it can have more internal leakage due to the design and motion of the pistons, cylinder and ring wear, which ultimately reduces their efficiency. 

Maintenance Requirements

Due to owning more moving parts, reciprocating compressors require additional frequent maintenance to maintain optimal performance, such as oil changes and filter replacements. They also need frequent replacement of valves and piston rings that wear out due to the constant friction of the reciprocating motion.

Rotary screw air compressors comprise fewer moving parts that can wear out and require less overall maintenance than piston compressors. So, it needs regular maintenance to check and change the oil, oil filters, and the air/oil separator.


An oil-flooded rotary screw compressor can last for a long time  when it receives proper care and maintenance. With regular oil changes, filter replacement, and inspections, these air compressors can work efficiently for long periods. 

A reciprocating compressor usually lasts for a shorter period or even less, depending on the use, maintenance and quality. 

All these factors are vital to consider when investing in an air compressor, and you have to choose the one based on your requirements. However, if you are looking for a better model in aspects of efficiency, durability and reliability, a rotary screw air compressor is the  perfect choice.

Masteraire- Your Destination for Rotary Screw-type Air Compressor

MasterAire is one of the most prominent and leading manufacturers and suppliers of rotary screw air compressors.

Presenting a fleet of air compressors, diesel, natural gas & propane generators additionally, material handling equipment, industrial process equipment, and used equipment for enormous and minor industrial and commercial setups worldwide. All our air compressors assist with a 10-year Warranty followed by free parts and service guidance.

Give our sales experts a call to discuss your requirements and find the best rotary screw air compressor for your industrial applications.