Small Rotary Screw Air Compressors are defined as screw compressors with 60 to 120 gallons tanks. Those air compressors are used in light industrial applications. Those compressors are quiet and efficient compared to other piston air compressors.
In this buyer’s guide, we will identify the best units for those that would like to purchase one outright. All others should fill out the form below to receive FREE no-obligation Air Compressor Quote.
How Rotary Air Compressors Works?
A rotary-screw compressor is a type of air compressor equipped with a rotary-type positive-displacement mechanism. They have been invented as an alternative to traditional piston compressors that use large volumes of high-pressure air. The gas compression process by means of a rotary screw generates insignificant pulsation or surging of flow that is very common in piston compressors.
For this reason, screw compressors are also much quieter and generate less vibration than their piston rivals. Rotary screw air compressors are most efficient in large industrial applications or to power up huge air tools such as gigantic jackhammers and massive impact wrenches. An industrial rotary screw compressor has a 100% duty cycle. It can operate 24/7 without a break, and it is meant to be used that way. The heart of every such unit is the rotary-type positive-displacement mechanism, which has become a viable alternative to the traditional piston.
Best Small Rotary Screw Air Compressors
1. Ingersoll Rand Rotary Screw Air Compressor Model UP6-7.5TAS-125
Ingersoll Rand is a leading manufacturer of compressed air systems in the United States. Their understanding of what industry wants and needs in rotary screw air compressors has been a major factor in their success.
The “Total Air System”
The Model UP6-7.5TAS-125 rotary screw air compressor is a compact “Total Air System.” Ingersoll Rand has packaged this rotary screw air compressor with their “Energy Star” cycling refrigerated air dryer and a stainless steel heat exchanger. Innovative integrated controls keep the rotary screw air compressor and the air dryer operating together for the utmost efficiency.
A look at the features included in the Ingersoll Rand Model UP^-7.5TAS-125 system and you will understand quickly why this line of Ingersoll-Rand air compressors made this list.
- Well-engineered with fewer connections eliminate problem points, leaks, and pressure drops
- Discharge air pressure management prevents excessive pressure bands for longer tool life
- Poly-V Best drive system for less system maintenance
- Low 65dbA operation
- A high-efficiency cooler can be remote exhaust installed for better operation
- Small footprint
- Auto start/stop operation
- Total Air System includes a refrigerated dryer with moisture separators, drains, and filters.
- The total air system includes
- .1-micron particulate filtrations
- Direct expansion refrigerated dryer with continuous operation
- Maximum moisture removal extends tool life
- 7.5 HP motor, 3-phase
- Discharge Pressure – 119psi
- Capacity – 28 CFM
- Noise – 65dbA
The UP6 compressors from Ingersoll-Rand use 3-phase power for exceptional motor reliability, life, and economical operation. These durable and dependable air compressors provide top performance on both the shop floor as well as on the balance books.
What We Liked
- Excellent Reputation and Reliability
- Compact and easy to install
- Quiet operation
- Complete package with dryer, filters, and water separator
Despite its horizontal tank, this 230 V, single-phase rotary screw air compressor by one of the market leaders Ingersoll Rand has a very compact design. At the same time, its 7.5 HP ODP electric motor generates 28 CFM at 90 PSI, while the PSI max has been set at 125.
Yet, its relatively small tank of just 80 gallons makes this model of Ingersoll Rand unsuitable for large-scale industrial jobs, which require a lot of compressed air. Rather, this is the choice of the car painter or the local handyman. In addition to the single-phase, version, there is also a three-phase modification of the same model. Before the operation, it should be fixed to the ground or other flat surfaces with massive screws and rubber pads to avoid vibration.
What We Liked
- Quiet operation
- A steady output of compressed air
- Minimum maintenance required
- Relatively high retail price
3. CAS RS140GEC30 – Portable Rotary Screw Air Compressor
The RS140GEC30 model portable air compressor by CAS is a true air beast! Its heart is a perfectly-built 13-HP Honda engine that generates 20.5 CFM at 150 psi. This CAS portable screw compressor has been designed for the most demanding portable compressor jobs.
The screw air end is designed to take years of service in long duty cycle applications. If your job demands high cfm output in a compact design, the CAS portable screw compressor is built just for you! To save energy, this unit’s electric-start motor idles when unloaded, while the 30-gallon tank holds enough air to power up most of the tools on the building site. The rotary screw, one of the compressor’s most important components is made in Germany with absolute precision and attention to the tiniest detail! The compressor’s NK 30 pump generates the mind-blowing 3,000 rotations per minute.
- Super-reliable Honda engine
- German-made airscrew
- Electric-start motor idles when unloaded
- The price is a bit too high for a portable unit
4. Atlas Copco G7-125 10 HP Rotary Screw Air Compressor
Atlas Copco’s G7-125 model is equipped with a 120-gallon, horizontal tank located right under the cabinet. This rotary screw air compressor is built from the best parts and materials to provide a 100% duty cycle for long periods of time.
It delivers 40 cfm at 125 psi from its 10-hp motor. The rotary screw elements are designed to be efficient and quiet. In addition, the sound dampening enclosure further reduces noise levels. As a three-phase compressor, the G7 is designed to function with most power tools.
It comes complete with a 2-year end-to-end warranty from Atlas Copco on the parts and service. The compressor’s topside cooling system guarantees low energy costs and a relatively small footprint. Please note that in some sources the warranty is listed as “one-year bumper-to-bumper”.
- Quiet operation
- 100% duty cycle
- Low energy costs
- Does not have a variable speed function
Chicago Pneumatic’s QRS model is our top choice in the 5 HP class. It comes with a 60-gallon tank and a 230-Volt, Single-phase electric motor. You can’t expect it to generate enough power to perform construction site jobs reasonably well. Instead, you should use it in your tire shop, service shop, paint shop or your garage.
We found out that QRS actually stands for “Quiet Rotary Screw”. When in use, this compressor makes just 62 DB of noise. Still, its TEFC motor generates 16.6 CFM at 150 PSI, while the maximum PSI is set at 175. The sixty-gallon tank has to be drained manually. We were surprised by this minor inconvenience, as most other models are equipped with an automatic tank drain system. The standard factory warranty on this unit is one year. If you want a longer warranty, you’ve got to pay extra.
What We Liked
- Manufactured with precision from top-quality materials
- Very quiet operation
- Perfect for use at home or in the garage
What We Didn’t Like
- The owner has to pay extra for an extended warranty
KAISHAN’s 126 CFM Mini Rotary Screw Air Compressor is for those who want to shop on a budget. If you trust the Chinese way of making machines, this little boy is for you. This is an oil-free unit that delivers 3.6m³/min / 126cfm, 2.7m³/min / 95cfm, and 3.2m³/min/112cfm. It’s working pressure is: 0.8mpa/ 8 bar/ 115psi and the shipping weight is just 700 kg, which is very light for a rotary screw air compressor, mind you!
KAISHAN has commissioned the US company SKK to manufacture their compressor’s air end. Similarly, Austria’s Hoerbiger has manufactured this unit’s intake valve. So, you should not worry about build quality, if you are planning to buy this model.
- Available in 3 modifications depending on your specific air needs
- Very detailed tech specs provided by the manufacturer
- The contact form at the bottom allows you to quickly place an order
- KAISHAN still isn’t among the big names in the field of rotary screw air compressors
BelAire’s BR75501 is our choice in the industrial rotary screw air compressor class. And this fat boy is really built to supply compressed air to big tools working on large scale projects. Its heart is a 230-V 7.5-HP electric motor, whose output is just massive! It generates 21.2 cfm at 150 PSI.
At the same time, the sixty-gallon tank stores just enough air for the needs of most industries. This rotary screw air compressor by BelAire is built to provide reliable and efficient compressed air for the industry. This rotary screw compressor allows for 100% duty and extremely quiet operation.
- Reasonable productivity
- High-quality build
- Suitable for heavy-duty industrial use where 100% duty cycle is required
- We are not sure that the 60-gallon tank is the right one for this model
Rotary Compressors Vs Other Compressors
In the paragraphs below, we are going to draw a head-to-head comparison between the rotary screw air compressor and its closest competitors – the piston compressor, the centrifugal compressor, and the rotary tooth compressor.
Rotary Screw Air Compressor vs Piston Compressor
The two most popular types of compressors are rotary screw air compressors and reciprocating (or piston) air compressors.
Therefore, piston compressors are more suitable for DIY projects and home use, while rotary screw compressors are mostly used in the industry. The former type of compressors is capable of maintaining a 100% duty cycle over a shorter period of time. The latter type can maintain a 100% duty cycle for longer. Finally, rotary screw compressors are generally quieter than the ones with pistons.
|Feature||Rotary Screw Compressors||Piston Compressors|
|Pace of operation||++++++||++|
Screw Compressor vs Centrifugal Compressor
A centrifugal compressor is a radial flow rotodynamic fluid compressor that uses air as the working fluid. Centrifugal compressors use very high-speed spinning impellers (up to 60,000 rpm) to accelerate the air. Then the diffusers in the device slow the airflow down. This process, called dynamic compression, uses velocity to cause an increase in pressure. Generally, these compressors have intercoolers between each stage to cool the air as well as remove 100% of the condensate to avoid impeller damage.
|Feature||Rotary Screw Compressors||Centrifugal Compressors|
|Maximum PSI||175||Up to 1,200|
Rotary Tooth Compressor vs Rotary Screw Compressor
The rotary tooth compressors are displacement compressors that have two rotors, male and female. These rotors move in opposite directions within the compression chamber. They are controlled by a set of gear wheels to guarantee optimal compression. As the rotors turn toward each other, they draw in air. Intake stops once the rotors have turned to completely block the inlet port. Rotary tooth compressors are mostly used to supply extremely pure compressed air to labs and hospitals.
|Feature||Rotary Screw Compressors||Rotary Tooth Compressors|
|Quality of compressed air||Not suitable for hospital use||Suitable for hospital use|
We hope you enjoyed our post reviewing the best small rotary air compressors. If you didn’t find what you are looking for drop us a comment. Also, we have XL rotary screw air compressors for more heavy-duty and industrial compressors for food plants.