A 2 stage air compressor, also known as dual-stage air compressor, is a type of air compressor that compresses the incoming air in 2 separate passes. 2 stage air compressors are suitable for light-duty tasks where pressure requirements don’t exceed 100 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch).
The best 2 stage air compressor will be able to power multiple air tools, will have a sturdy construction, and will be easy to install. We will examine and recommend the best 2 stage air compressors based on the use case, price, noise level, CFM, PSI, and HP.
Best Two Stage Air Compressors
1.The Ingersoll Rand IRTC2475F13GH – Best Stationary Two-Stage Air Compressor
The Ingersoll Rand IRTC air compressor is our choice for the best all-round option for a 2 stage compressor. Lots of online reviewers praise this air compressor for its consistent power delivery, high-quality construction, durable body, and well-engineered parts.
We liked its cast-iron build that resists leaks, cracks, and wear as well as the nice finish that protects against corrosion and scratches.
Power Engine With A Proven Track Record
The powerful 13 HP Honda engine lets you power multiple tools at once, and can inflate a tire very quickly. The motor promises to live for up to 30 years while outputting more power than previous Ingersoll Rand models in the same class.
The ASME receiver can compress air at constant pressures of 175 PSI, for consistent work experiences.
Powerful And Easy To Move
It even features a truck mounting bed and an electric ignition system making it easy to transport and install. The tank is also strong enough that you won’t have to worry about refilling it too often.
The only possible complaint we could find for this compressor is the gas power supply. If you prefer your devices to run on electric power, then this powerful compressor might not be what you are looking for.
Long Service Life And Great Warranty
This air compressor features precision-engineered components that are rated to last for over 15,000 hours of trouble-free use. Also, its got an extended 2-year warranty, so long as you only use Ingersoll Rand’s All Season Select Synthetic oil.
Using any other type of oil in this air compressor voids the warranty.
- Great for powering multiple air tools
- Sturdy construction that can last up to 30 years
- Easy transportation and installation
- Gas power supply
- Hefty initial price point
2.Campbell Hausfeld 80 – Best 2 Stage Air Compressor Under 1000
If you are searching for a starter air compressor or need a more affordable general-purpose one, then the Campbell Hausfeld 80 gallon 2 Stage Air Compressor (XC802100) is your best option.
Excellent Budget Compressor
With a price point of less than $1000, this compressor is an excellent choice if you are on a budget. This Campbell Hausfeld machine is great for small shops and automotive repair facilities, and its our only preference for smaller DIY projects.
Great Medium Duty Machine
It runs on 230 V AC, so that’s something to consider when installing this 2 stage air compressor. It supports a flow rate of almost 12 CFM at 90 PSI and more than 11 CFM at 175 PSI. The construction is durable, and this compressor is designed for long run times.
We liked this machine for its excellent performance when used for automotive spray painting as well, and it’s great for cutting sheet metal and other medium-duty tasks, too.
It’s Kinda Loud
This unit has a reasonably high noise level of 84 dB, so it’s nowhere the quietest air compressor on this list. Also, the engine is one of the weaker options in this write-up, but it is easily the best budget choice.
5,000 Hours of Operation
This model by Campbell Hausfeld an oil-lubricated design and is built with a cast iron cylinder, so you can expect 5,000 or more run ours out of this 2 stage air compressor. The bottom of its ASME tank maximizes floor space, leaving a reduced product footprint.
- Great budget selection
- Electric power supply
- Tremendous for automotive spray painting
- Weaker than many other options
- Not the best choice for large shop or industrial use
- Fairly loud
3.2340L5-V 5hp 60 Gallons Two-Stage Compressor (230/1)
Another great model by Ingersoll Grand, the 2340L5-V is a great choice if you are in the market for a large air compressor but dont quiet need an 80 gallon tank.
Industrial Power, Compact Design
This two-stage air compressor from Ingersoll Rand is just as good as number 3 on our list, it’s just a little smaller. This unit features a cast iron design that offers constant duty applications and precision-engineered components that are highly reliable.
These air compressors are widely used in shops and industrial settings where a powerful air compressor is required, but space is at a premium.
A Trusted And Well Used Brand
Many of these 2 stage air compressors are in use in automotive service, fleet maintenance, machine shop, and manufacturing business. They can also be found at dry cleaners and even farms.
Like the above model, we love its individually cast cylinders. Features like that can be expected from a brand as solid as Ingersoll Grand, and result is that you have to put less time into maintaining and servicing their machines. Like the model above, the finger valves on this air compressor are also highly efficient.
Best of all, piece of equipment is OSHA compliant, and the compressor comes backed by a 2 year warranty. Remember, like other compressors by this company, that warranty only applies if you use Ingersoll Rand’s All Season Select Synthetic oil.
Great, But Not Perfect
We did have an issue with the drain valve requiring extra tightening to prevent leaks. Also, putting anti-vibration pads under the feet seems like an obvious choice, but it wasn’t done here. Another annoying thing is the fact that the oil fill hole is also the oil level check hole.
- Relatively quiet unit
- Highly reliable components
- Great for heavy industry work
- The drain valve can leak
- Lack of anti-vibration pads
- Hard to read oil levels while filling
4.Ingersoll Rand 2475N7.5-VTS – Best 80 Gallon 2 Stage Air Compressor
This Ingersoll Rand model is one of the best 80 gallons 2 stage air compressors you can get. This high performer is perfect for professional garage work, woodworking, or most other small industry needs. It features cast-iron cylinders and pumps that are capable of lasting 30 years or more.
Its construction is also highly resistant to leaks, breaks, and cracks, making this a long-lasting piece of equipment. The last thing you want is a leaky air tank.
An issue like that costs valuable time and money, and repairing the air compressor will bring progress to a screeching halt.
High Pressure And Flow Rates
It also features an automatic start/stop control with a pressure switch. The 230 Volt single phase motor delivers a whopping 24 CFM at 175 PSI, so it’s excellent at handling automotive work, tire inflation, and other pressure-intensive tasks.
The hefty 80-gallon tank makes this an excellent option for managing many tools at once.
A Great Compressor, Just a Little Pricey
We also appreciate it’s convenience features, such as the cool operational temperatures thanks to the v-block deep finned cylinders. This compressor also boasts a low oil level shutdown switch to keep the pump safe as well as an air after-cooler for drier air.
The only real complaint we have about this model is its high cost, but considering the fact that this is a really great air compressor, its worth it.
Excellent Features Including Automatic Moisture Drainage
This compressor features an overhung crankshaft and one-piece connecting rod and high-efficiency finger valves. This helps reduce the need for maintenance and service.
It’s got an industrial-grade ODP motor, a magnetic motor starter, and of course, an ASME rated air tank. Like other Ingersoll Rand air compressors, the model has a highly efficient inter-cooling system and an air-cooled after-cooler.
In addition to those things, the electronic drain valve is a nice touch, and this air compressor drains the tank automatically when a certain amount of moisture is detected.
- Great for automotive work and tire inflation
- Several welcome convenience features
- Runs cool, thanks to cylinder construction
- High initial investment
- Fairly heavy unit
- Very noisy unit
Single-Stage vs. Two-Stage Air Compressor
The fundamental difference between a single-stage and two-stage air compressor is right there in their names. In a 2 stage system, the incoming air gets compressed twice, so a smaller motor can be used.
By adding that second stage, these air compressors are more efficient and feature a faster recovery time. This makes them better able to handle more tools at once than a single-stage model.
If you work in the automotive industry, then you probably have some experience with this type of air compressor. Two-stage air compressors power the air tools that help operate businesses that we come into contact with in our daily lives.
Despite their familiarity, it can be hard to find the right one for your specific needs. That’s what we’re here for.
What Are The Advantages of a 2 Stage Air Compressor?
In a 2 stage compressor, air can be compressed to a high PSI considering the size of the motor, so they are generally more power-efficient. Also, the cooling systems in these air compressors are much better at maintaining a consistent temperature than the cylinder wall cooling provided by a traditional air compressor.
Also, the pressure ratio per each stage is lowered, and that reduces losses due to leakage. Using a dual-stage air compressor generally means operating costs are lower, and reliability is higher.
Because the cooling systems work so well in this type of air compressor, expect longer continuous run-times and higher productivity. Also, 2 stage systems usually have less moisture build-up issues.
How Does a 2 Stage Air Compressor Work?
Multi-stage compressors feature a series of cylinders, each with a different diameter. Between each compression stage, air passes through a heat exchanger, where it is cooled.
This reducing the air temperature while also reducing the amount of effort necessary to compress it again. The air is then forced into another chamber where it is then pressurized a second time.
When is it Good To Use a Two-Stage Air Compressor?
Two stage air compressors have their benefits, but, they’re not necessarily the right choice for every application.
Generally speaking, single-stage compressors are best for light-duty, intermittent use applications, in which pressure requirements don’t exceed 100 PSI. Twin-stage compressors offer better value and reliability for continuous use applications, such as auto repair and manufacturing.
Is a Two-Stage Compressor Worth it?
Certainly. Anything that is more efficient than an alternative will always represent a better value. Plain and simple, 2 stage air compressors use less energy per PSI of air pressure, so they are definitely worth looking into.
How do I Shop For a 2 Stage Air Compressor?
We mentioned above the six factors and ratings that should be considered before choosing any 2 stage air compressor. Let’s look at those in closer detail:
Performance Ratings (CFM, PSI, and HP)
The number one factor that should be put into consideration before buying a 2 stage air compressor has to be these three performance ratings. These ratings directly influence how much power your compressor can generate as well as how quickly the storage tanks reach the pressure that you need.
(Cubic Feet per Minute) is the volume of air that an air compressor is able to deliver over a period of time. Higher CFM ratings are better for more demanding jobs or power-intensive tools.
We recommend purchasing air compressors that produce CFM at slightly higher ratings than your appliances need, so you have a little headroom.
(Pounds per Squire Inch) is the force of air coming out of the machine. Since most air tools require 90 PSI of pressure to function, we recommend paying attention to what CFM any given air compressor delivers at 90 PSI.
(Horsepower) refers to the engine or motor’s ability to drive the compressor pump. This rating directly influences CFM output as well as how fast pressure builds in the air tank.
Two-stage air compressors are major purchases, with prices ranging from $1000 to $4000 thousand dollars. That’s why we took the time to make this article, so you can gauge what meets your budget needs.
The material used when constructing an air compressor affects the durability and longevity of the machine. We recommend choosing only cast-iron models because of how durable the material is.
This is the noise level. Due to the nature of their design, 2 stage air compressors are typically louder than their single-stage counterparts. We recommend choosing a machine that has sound levels hovering around the 60 to 80 dB range.
Anything higher would be considered noisy. Remember, the dB scale is logarithmic, so each higher number is twice as much noise.
Even the best 2 stage air compressors on the market wont be a good purchase if they aren’t used to their fullest potential. You won’t need a heavy-duty machine if all you need is a compressor for tire inflation. You will find the best uses for our selected compressors below.
Ideal For Industrial Use
Two-stage air compressors are an excellent value for anyone running a shop or industrial service. The best models offer extended power for multiple air tools, fast inflation time for tires, and sturdy construction that will last for thousands of hours of service.
While we have selected a variety of best options for various users, it’s essential to use this buying guide to help with your shopping decisions. Be sure to keep up to date with our website to find out more.
Campbell Hausfeld 80 gallon 2 Stage Air Compressor (XC802100), Blue
- Features an Oil-Lubricated, two stage pump to increase the compressor's longevity and reduced noise
- Designed to tackle a wide variety of jobs, from rotating wheels, painting furniture, grinding welds and heavy duty nailing
- 230 volt, 5-running Horsepower, heavy-duty induction motor creates maximum pressure to operate a wider range of tools while maintaining longer air compressor run times
- To 80 gallon vertical ASME tank maximizes floor space, leaving a reduced product footprint
- 175 PSI max pressure, 11.9 SCFM @ 90 PSI and 11.3 SCFM @ 175 PSI
Industrial Air IV5076055 60 gallon 5 hp Two Stage Air Compressor
- Industrial performance delivers maximum CFM @ 175 PSI; provides enough power to operate more than one air tool or Device at one time
- Low pump RPM for longer life
- Patented Pump Design Provides for a Cooler Running Pump
- Electric motor with thermal overload protection
- Large capacity, 60 gallon ASME* air receiver with large 3/4” air outlet port