Handyman’s Place is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

5 Best Two-Stage Air Compressors of 2021 – Reviews & Buying Guide

actual photo of Industrial Air IV5076055 Two-Stage Air Compressor

Air compressors are a necessary piece of any workshop, whether you’re a professional or a regular homeowner. If you want to run pneumatic tools, you will need an air compressor. If you need to fill up your tires, you need an air compressor.

There are countless types of air compressors out there. Some are designed for homeowners, while others are meant for professionals. Even though they all compress air, they are not all made equal in the least. In this article, we’ll help you figure out precisely what two-stage air compressor you may need for your home or shop.

Our reviews should help you make the right decision involving which air compressor to get, while our buyer’s guide will further assist you if you need a bit of extra help.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Quincy 2V41C60VC Air Compressor Quincy 2V41C60VC Air Compressor
  • Industrial
  • 30,000-hour pump life
  • Many warranties
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Campbell Hausfeld XC302100 2 Stage Air Compressor Campbell Hausfeld XC302100 2 Stage Air Compressor
  • Dual-voltage
  • Inexpensive
  • Recovers quickly
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    DeWalt DXCMV5048055 Two-Stage Air Compressor DeWalt DXCMV5048055 Two-Stage Air Compressor
  • Powerful
  • Durable
  • Limited warranty
  • Ingersoll Rand Two-Stage Air Compressor Ingersoll Rand Two-Stage Air Compressor
  • 15,000 lifetime hours of use
  • 2,000 hours between lubrication changes
  • Easy to service
  • Industrial Air IV5076055 Two-Stage Air Compressor Industrial Air IV5076055 Two-Stage Air Compressor
  • Very quiet
  • Large capacity
  • The 5 Best Two-Stage Air Compressors – Reviews 2021

    1. Quincy 2V41C60VC Air Compressor – Best Overall

    Quincy QT-54 Splash Lubricated Reciprocating Air Compressor

    The Quincy 2V41C60VC is an industrial air compressor that exceeded many of our expectations. It is quite expensive. However, it is entirely worth the price for those that need a massive and well-built compressor. This compressor has a 30,000-hour pump life, which means that it will last for years before needing to be replaced. Because of this, it may help you save money in the long run.

    It comes with various warranties that cover different parts of the compressor. This is a bit more confusing than just having one warranty to cover the whole thing. You will need to read the fine print carefully. However, all the warranties are for extended periods and should be suitable for most homeowners.

    We particularly liked this air compressor because it runs at a lower RPM than most, which means that it runs cooler and quieter. The pump RPM is only 1,310, which is lower than most on the market. This is a very high-efficiency machine. Because of this, it is particularly suitable in areas that have strict environmental standards.

    Pros
    • Industrial
    • 30,000-hour pump life
    • Many warranties
    • Very efficient
    Cons
    • Warranties can be confusing

    2. Campbell Hausfeld XC302100 2 Stage Air Compressor – Best Value

    Campbell Hausfeld XC302100 Air Compressor

    Air compressors can be expensive. Not everyone has enough money to spend thousands of dollars on an air compressor. Luckily, the Campbell Hausfeld XC302100 is a reliable option for those on a budget. It is by far the most inexpensive option out there that is also very high-quality. For this reason, we recommend it as the best two-stage air compressor for the money.

    The fully enclosed metal belt guard protects the air compressor’s moving parts, which also tend to be the most sensitive. The motor is dual-voltage so that it can run on 120V or 240V. This makes it suitable for both homeowners and professionals.

    It provides 4.1 standard cubic feet per minute (SCFM) at 90 pounds per square inch (PSI) and 3.9 SCFM at 175 PSI. This is about average, so it should be plenty for most homeowners and even professionals.

    The air compressor recovers relatively quickly, so you’ll be able to spend more time working and less time waiting for your air compressor to come around. At the same time, it has a long lifespan with 5,000 hours of average pumping life. This is significantly lower than our top pick, though. If you use an air compressor a lot, you might want something with a bit more durability.

    Pros
    • Dual-voltage
    • Inexpensive
    • Recovers quickly
    Cons
    • Low lifespan

    3. DeWalt DXCMV5048055 Two-Stage Air Compressor – Premium Choice

    DeWalt DXCMV5048055 Two-Stage Air Compressor

    The DeWalt DXCMV5048055 is one of the more expensive options on this list. For this reason, it likely isn’t going to be suitable for a homeowner. Most homeowners won’t use these enough to get their money’s worth. It isn’t cost-effective.

    However, for professionals or those who do use an air compressor a lot, this is the best premium option on the market. It delivers 17 SCFM at 175 PSI, which completely blows the competition out of the water. It is far more powerful than pretty much all other options out there, which is one of the reasons we recommend it so highly. The thermal overload protection system motor protects the machine from voltages changes, increasing its lifespan by quite a bit.

    This whole thing also comes with a 2-year limited warranty on the pump. This warranty won’t cover much, but it is useful if your pump ends up being defective or something of that sort.

    Pros
    • Powerful
    • Durable
    • Limited warranty
    Cons
    • Expensive

    4. Ingersoll Rand Two-Stage Air Compressor

    Ingersoll Rand Two-Stage Air Compressor

    The Ingersoll Rand Two-Stage Air Compressor isn’t a bad choice, it just didn’t provide as much bang for your buck as the DeWalt we reviewed above, which is a big reason why we rated it so low. You end up paying more for less. In general, your money could be better spent elsewhere.

    This air compressor has an extended pump life that is designed for over 15,000 hours of use. This is quite a bit when compared to some lower quality options. However, it is not the highest quality option on the list. There are a few that will last longer, and they are also all cheaper. Because of this, even though it was pretty high, we were a bit disappointed by this machine’s lifespan.

    This air compressor works reliably and is easy to service. It has individually cast cylinders and a one-piece connecting rod, which simplifies service. It can run for 2,000 hours before you need to change the lubrication. It also has a 2-year warranty available on the pump.

    Pros
    • 15,000 lifetime hours of use
    • Easy to service
    • 2,000 hours between lubrication changes
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Not much value

    5. Industrial Air IV5076055 Two-Stage Air Compressor

    Industrial Air IV5076055 Two-Stage Air Compressor

    The Industrial Air IV5076055 claims that it provides “industrial performance,” but the product description does not provide many of the metrics we could use to judge this performance. We had to dig for much of the factual information regarding this machine, which is usually not a good sign.

    It is a large capacity and can hold 60 gallons of compressed air. It has a large outlet port and comes equipped with all the accessories you would expect an air compressor to have, including a tank pressure gauge and an on/off switch.

    Many users reported that this machine is tranquil, which is always a nice additional feature to have. However, this is the unique benefit of this air compressor. The extra cost isn’t worth it for this reason.

    Pros
    • Very quiet
    • Large capacity
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Difficult to find upfront information
    • No premium features

    Buyer’s Guide

    When shopping for a two-stage air compressor, there are a variety of features you need to keep in mind. Not all of these compressors are made equal, so you must purchase the best option for your needs. Otherwise, you may find yourself spending money on an air compressor you don’t need. These machines are not inexpensive by any means, so you need to make the correct buying choice the first time.

    We’ll discuss many of the features you should keep in mind in this article, as well as information about commonly asked questions that may help in your decision-making process.

    FAQ

    What is a two-stage air compressor?

    A two-stage air compressor is an air compressor that compresses air twice. This leads to double the pressure, which makes these air compressors generally more robust. They differ from single-stage air compressors, which only compress air once.

    These machines are generally louder because they have more moving parts. However, their higher power also makes them more suitable for professional shops. If you have multiple pneumatic tools you need to run simultaneously, a two-stage compressor is often the only way to do this.

    In the end, whether you need a two-stage compressor or not depends mostly on your operations. Most homeowners will not need a powerful machine and do not have thousands of dollars to purchase one. However, this is not necessarily always true.

    What are some advantages of a two-stage air compressor?

    Two-stage air compressors offer improved efficiency because they can compress air twice. This allows you to work with one air compressor in situations where you may otherwise need two. They are also more reliable, as they have a lower chance of overheating. Most two-stage systems have intercooler stages.

    There is less moisture built up because of their lower temperature. Cooler air has a lower moisture content. You will likely not need to purchase an air dryer with one of these machines. They also have a smaller footprint than purchasing multiple single-stage air compressors. If you need the power and air, your best bet is to purchase a two-stage compressor.

    How do I know if a compressor is two-staged?

    Generally, compressors will list if they are two-staged or not.

    If you already have an air compressor, it can be a bit more complicated. Two-stage air compressors have two or three pistons, while single-stage units have one. You should be able to count the pistons to figure out which machine you have.

    actual photo of Campbell Hausfeld XC302100 Air Compressor

    Specifications

    When you’re looking for an air compressor, you’ll probably notice a lot of different specifications. These can be a bit difficult for a newcomer to understand. The acronyms are typically not explained in the product descriptions, and it can be challenging to figure out exactly what specifications are even necessary.

    Below, we’ll take a look at some of the most common specifications and discuss their importance.

    • Horsepower (HP): Horsepower rates how powerful the engine of the compressor is. It is the output. In other words, it is how much energy is produced. This can be a general indicator of the machine’s power, but this isn’t always the case. This is one of the more least-important options, as it doesn’t tell you much about the machine’s performance.
    • PSI: The higher the pounds per square inch (PSI), the more air a compressor stores in its tank. This allows you to run specific tools for longer. Usually, PSI is also measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) and standard cubic feet per minute (SCFM). These describe the volume of the air compressor.
    • CFM: The CFM will change as the PSI changes. The more air you have in a tank, the faster it will come out. There is just a more massive pressure difference between the inside and the outside. As you empty a tank and reduce the PSI, the CFM will reduce as well. This is important to keep in mind when running tools. Just because a machine has a maximum CFM value that is very high doesn’t mean it is operating at that level all the time (or even most of the time).
    • Gallons: This is how big the tank is. Obviously, the larger the tank, the more gallons it is. Generally, the more gallons a compressor is, the more air it can hold. If you’re looking for a large air compressor, you want to find one with many gallons of capacity. Of course, the actual size of the air compressor is only some of the story; you need to pay attention to the PSI and CFM as well.

    divider 8

    Conclusion

    Out of all the air compressors we reviewed, the Quincy 2V41C60VC Air Compressor was the best option by far. It is much cheaper than many other options on this list, but it is also one of the longest-lasting. If you want an air compressor that will last for years into the future, this is the one for you.

    For those who are on a stricter budget, Campbell Hausfeld XC302100 2 Stage Air Compressor is a cheaper option that is still very high-quality. There is very little we didn’t like about this compressor, though it isn’t quite as large as some other options.

    We hope our reviews help you choose the perfect air compressor for your needs, whether you’re a professional or a homeowner in need of a powerful compressor.

    Related posts

    Other categories

    Project ideas

    Hand & power tools

    woodworking

    Garden

    Automotive