Piston Compressors: Application Areas

Piston compressors

Piston air compressors, also known as reciprocal compressors, are best used when you only need occasional, small amounts of compressed air. They’re simply not designed to provide a continuous flow of compressed air for hours on end. If that’s what you’re after, a screw compressor, the big brother of piston compressors, is the way to go.

Piston compressors: pressure limits

Piston compressors are only designed to perform to certain pressures. A single-stage compressor is fine for pressures of up to about 800 kPa. Going higher? Use a double- or multi-stage compressor; they should cover you for pressures of up to 30,000 kPa. But in every case, keep the load level below about 60%. Use your compressor intermittently. After about two minutes, you’ll want to give your compressor a rest for the next minute and a half. In a whole day, they should only work for a maximum of about four hours. Four hours work a day … What a lifestyle!

Oil-injected and oil-free piston compressors

Piston compressors are available in oil-injected and oil-free models.

With an oil-injected model, you’ll usually end up with a tiny amount of oil still in the compressed air. It’s usually nothing to worry about. However, for the electronics, food-and-beverage and medical industries, even these trace amounts of residual oil are a no-no. For this reason, these industries are likely to use oil-free piston compressors.

Oil-free models have permanently lubricated bearings and grease-free piston rings. There is not even the slightest trace of oil in the output. 

Browse Ash Air's range of Piston compressors here

Shop Home Use & DIY

Here at Ash Air we cater for home-based and small business compressed air needs, with quality equipment, spare parts and cost-effective servicing.

Shop Oil-Free

Why go Oil-Free? Our Chicago Pneumatic is a strongly built oil-less air compressor for your food, and dental applications and being oil-less there is no risk of contamination.

Single Phase

We stock a comprehensive range of Chicago Pneumatic Professional Piston Air Compressors.

Single phase piston compressors perfect for your professional workshop, small business, serious DIYers. 1.5HP - 3HP, we have a compressor that meets your needs!

Chat to one of the experienced staff members to find out more which oil lubricated or oil free piston compressor is right for your business. Ideal for professional workshops, and serious DIYers.

Three Phase

What happens when a passion for technology is fused with hands-on industrial experience? Our Chicago Pneumatic and ALUP Piston Air Compressors are the match for your heavy duty workshop.

We stock cast iron, low speed, low wear and tear, european manufactured piston air compressors.

The team at Ash Air pride themselves on providing quality piston compressor products and outstanding customer service to all our clients.


Reliable and powerful mobile piston compressors for production of compressed air everywhere where there is no electricity connection. Self-powered piston compressors offer complete freedom and flexibility under all circumstances, such as construction, agriculture, for facade cleaning etc. The team at Ash Air pride themselves on providing quality piston compressor products and outstanding customer service to all our clients. Chat to one of the experienced staff members to find out more which piston compressor is right for your business.

Want to know more?

Would you like to know more about piston compressors? Or what the possible output is? Is a piston compressor the most suitable for the job you’re doing?

You’re more than welcome to ask us at Ash Air  We are always happy to put our knowledge to good use, especially if it’s going to help someone. Get in touch today.

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Who we are and how Ash Air can help your business!

Ash Air has been around in New Zealand since 1979, and we’ve grown into a nationwide company with international support and a reputation for quality and reliability.We look after all things compressed air for your business!

  • Rotary Screw and Piston Air Compressors
  • Vacuum Pumps and Blowers
  • Nitrogen Generation
  • An extensive line of Air Treatment components
  • AIRnet Piping System and  Filtration
  • Mobile Compressors, Generators, and Light Towers

Ash Air's range of Chicago Pneumatic, ALUP, Pneumatech, and Atlas Copco products are used extensively around the world in industries ranging from oil and gas to food, automotive and farming, and we bring you these world-class compressors here in the land of the long white cloud.Our technicians are compressed air equipment experts and are dedicated to addressing customer needs. Supported with nationwide coverage, Ash Air offers one of the widest selections of compressed air, vacuum pump, and industrial gas equipment and parts available today in New Zealand.

Reliability and Efficiency

With Ash Air, you can count on reliability and high performance for even the most demanding applications. We focus our efforts on the following:

  • Increasing uptime
  • Reducing unexpected repairs
  • Reducing energy consumption and meeting our sustainability goals
  • Improving the cleanliness of compressed air

Talk to the team today:  CONTACT US CONTACT US

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