Piston Type Vs. Rotary Screw: Advantages and Disadvantages

There are numerous types of air compressors that you can find in the market. Each type differs from one another, like Piston Type and Rotary Screw air compressors. This article will tackle information about the differences between the two kinds by distinguishing their advantages and disadvantages. You do not want to select the wrong type of air compressor for your recreational vehicle, do you?

Piston Type and Rotary Screw are both air compressors, but the qualities differ. Piston type is an outdated air compressor, while a rotary screw is a modern air compressor. People referred to them like that because of the capabilities of each air compressor. Thus, it is essential to know the details regarding the advantages and disadvantages of using it.

Each piece of equipment has its assets and liabilities depending on the way they are built. The same goes for piston type and rotary screw air compressors. So let us start our discussion by identifying each kind and giving the pros and cons based on their price in the market and functionality.

Credits To: Kaeser Talks Shop

Basics of Piston Type and Rotary Screw

Before we proceed in enumerating the advantages and disadvantages, let us first identify the basics. Then, it will enlighten us and our discussion as we have the fundamental knowledge about the topic. 

Piston Compressors

  • Piston compressors are the oldest and the most common compressor in the market and industries. It uses oil to function, which made the equipment big. People use it since it is a cheap compressor in the market. However, it is not an ideal compressor due to its size and its numerous disadvantages. Furthermore, it is still helpful despite some cons.

Rotary Screw Compressors

  • Rotary Screw Compressors are the opposite of piston compressors that are used as an alternative for it. People also know it as a twin-screw compressor. The world considers it a modern compressor, much better than a piston compressor based on its capabilities. Nevertheless, it is expensive in the market due to high demands and high-grade functionality.

These are the differences between Piston and Rotary Screw Compressors. Based on the information, we can already outline the advantages and disadvantages of both compressors.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Compressors

In this section, we will specify each pro and con of Piston Type and Rotary Screw Compressors. Base on the information gathered in markets and the functionality of each piece of equipment. They are enumerated as the following:

Pros and Cons of Piston Type

Cheap Price in the Market
  • Since piston-type compressors are the most common compressor in the market, the supply for this equipment is high. However, due to its inconvenient capabilities, people do not usually purchase piston-type compressors since they are not as good as other compressors.
Simple Control and Mobility
  • Piston-type compressors are known for their simple controls and mobility. Since they use oil to generate energy to operate, they are not usually attached to a place. Thus, they can move quickly and freely whenever the owner thinks so. The old-style benefits the user to use it simply without any difficulty, unlike other compressors.
Poor Functionality
  • Consider all disadvantages as poor functionality of piston-type compressors. It is because of the poor performance of the equipment compared to other compressors, specifically the rotary screw compressor. Piston-type compressors are low efficient. They consume more energy and produce loud sounds that make it an unideal type of compressor.
  • It is not an ideal compressor for continuous operation. There are also air pulses that generate when operating. Conveniently speaking, it is not suitable for recreational vehicles compared to other compressors.

Pros and Cons of Rotary Screw 

Excellent Functionality 
  • One of the main reasons why Rotary Screw is an excellent compressor is because of its superb ability. It does not need too much oil to function; thus, making it energy efficient. The rotary screw also has remote monitoring control earning high reliability and long service life.
  • It does not produce any loud sounds, and the size of this compressor is not significant compared to piston-type compressors. With modern technology and innovation, this compressor has various automatic operating modes that the user can set. Thus, it is simple to use, making it an ideal compressor.
Expensive Price in the Market
  • The only problem you will face with Rotary Screw is the price of it. With the excellent functionality of this compressor, scarcity of the product exists within marketplaces. Additionally, the price also varies depending on the product’s brand. Furthermore, all prices are just high. The service cost is also expensive using Rotary Screw Compressor. So if your budget cannot cater to the price of this compressor, you should look for an alternative.

These are the advantages and disadvantages of both compressors. If you examine it, you will see that the pros and cons of one are the alternates of the other one. Thus, we can say that both compressors differ in price and quality. Rotary Screw compressors are much better in quality in comparison with piston-type compressors. On the other hand, piston-type compressors are much affordable than rotary screw compressors.


Air Compressors are essential pieces of equipment that you will need if you own a recreational vehicle. However, multiple Air Compressors in the market can cause you problems if you select poor functionality. Nevertheless, in this article, we differentiate Piston Type and Rotary Screw Air Compressors to determine preferable based on price and quality.

The piston-type air compressor won the title based on price since it has a low price in the market compared to rotary screw air compressors. It is because they are old and standard compressors. On the contrary, rotary screw air compressors won based on quality since they offer people a simple, advanced, and efficient operation. Both are winners based on two criteria.

Furthermore, consider your budget in choosing between piston type and rotary screw since they differ in price. Additionally, decide what you prefer but make sure it will be convenient to use. Keep safe!

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