How to Choose the Right Air Compressor for Your Industry

Posted on: September 16, 2015

Every business strives to increase productivity and lower operating costs. The set-up and operation of your compressed air system can help your operations run smoothly and efficiently or be a continual drain on your budget and personnel. As an on-site generated utility, compressed air supply and demand needs to have careful analysis specific to its use in your facility. You can control the production of compressed air and its use with the proper knowledge of how different energy efficient air compressors work and how to spread its use appropriately over a large area.

As a safer and more environmentally sound alternative to other power sources, compressed air has grown dramatically in its applications and technological abilities since the first mechanical air compressor was created in the early 1800’s for mining and metal fabrication. Now, compressed air is a common source of power for jobs big and small and is a necessary commodity in a variety of industries.

Quincy Compressors at a Glance 

As an industrial air compressor manufacturer for close to 100 years, we’ve supplied every industry with our durable, high performing and low cost air compressor and vacuum products. We started off in the early years with our reciprocating air compressors, and added the rotary screw technology to our line in 1970. Since then, we have been constantly moving forward with advancements in these technologies providing designs that give our customers the best features and reliable systems, which are used around the world.

Through our wide range of models of reciprocating and rotary screw designs, we offer an option for every industry, from farming and automotive service to manufacturing and energy exploration. Whatever your compressed air requirements are, you will find the right solution with one of our low maintenance air compressors. While all air compressors perform the same function — increasing the pressure and reducing the volume of a gas, such as air — each one of our models have been designed with a specific demand in mind to provide a solution that fits your production requirements.

First we’ll go over each of our air compressor models then provide you with some guidance on choosing the best air compressor for your specific industry.

Our Reciprocating/Piston Air Compressors

With most of our models available as a One Stage or Two Stage system, these are your options for light industrial use in a variety of industries.

Pressure Lubricated Designs


  • 1-25 hp
  • 3-95 acfm
  • 20-500 psig intermittent
  • Single and Two Stage
  • Cast iron full pressure lubricated

QRNG – QR Natural Gas Compression

  • 2-34 hp
  • Ps 15’hg-15 psig/Ps to 400 psig
  • Single and Two Stage
  • Individually accessed valves
  • One-piece crankshaft


  • 3-15 hp
  • 175 PSI working pressure
  • Oil filter and pressure gauge
  • Fully pressured lubricated


Splash Lubricated

Single Stage

  • 2 and 3.5 hp
  • 1 – 12.4 acfm, 110-135 psi

Two Stage QT

  • 5-15 hp
  • 17-206 acfm, 175 psig maximum
  • Two Stage
  • Cast iron splash lubricated



Climate Control

  • 5-20 hp
  • 4-88 acfm, up to 100 psig service
  • Single and Two Stage
  • 2ppm carry over factory certified


The Difference Between Single Stage and Two Stage Compressors

A Two Stage compressor provides a more efficient operation up to 200 psi. However, if your psi requirements are below 150 then a Single Stage system would be any appropriate option. Both designs work in a similar way though the Two Stage draws in the air a second time after it has been piped out and cooled after the first compression. The Two Stage therefore delivers more power than a Single Stage.

Our Rotary Screw Air Compressors

Lubricated Models


  • 5-30 hp, belt drive
  • 40-100 hp, gear drive
  • 16-460 acfm
  • 125-150 psig
  • 62-69 dBA
  • Integrated dryer option


  • 20-50 hp, direct drive
  • 90-226 acfm
  • 100-150 psig
  • Expandable PLC control
  • Ease-of-maintenance design
  • Industrial grade enclosure


  • 20-200 hp, direct drive
  • 3-998 acfm
  • 75-150 psig
  • Variable speed-85% turndown
  • Very low power consumption


  • 20-350 hp, direct drive
  • 90-1500 acfm
  • 100-150 psig
  • Low specific power saves money
  • Power$ync lift valve option


Low Pressure Model


  • 100-200 hp, direct drive
  • 88-1521 acfm, 30-40 psig
  • Low pressure applications
  • Most efficient at 7 cfm/hp
  • Clean — only 2-3ppm carryover


An Air Compressor for Every Industry

While one of our knowledgeable dealers will equip you with even more detailed information about the best system for your specific situation, we have compiled a breakdown of the ideal unit(s) compatible with the various industries and applications.


Non-stop tasks demands an efficient and reliable air compressor for farming that will last through generations of farm ownership. Our technology offers the most cfm per brake horsepower ensuring more air while consuming less energy. The light industrial applications associated with the needs of the agricultural industry are best served with our economical and long-lasting reciprocating air compressors.


Whether you looking for a reliable, cost-efficient air compressor for auto body work, for a tire shop or for a complete auto repair and maintenance business, a Quincy compressor will give you the power you need. Our dependable stable air pressure and quality manufacturing practices allow us to offer you a system that is unrivaled in the compressed air industry because we don’t want you to have to deal with an equipment breakdown.

With a number of air tools operating at any given time and the need to have a consistent flow of air, our rotary screw design with give you the best power with low maintenance:

  • QGS with integrated dryer option


If demand is intermittent and there is a lot of starting and stopping of work, our robust piston designs will give you the most air for your money. With a number of refrigerated dryer and filtration options available, your application enjoys a clean, dry stream of compressed air:

  • QT
  • QR-25


HVAC/Climate Control

We’ve specially designed the most efficient and compatible air compressor for HVAC applications. The unique operating conditions make this a tough market to satisfy and we’ve incorporated all that’s needed in one system that can be geared to each individual situation for size and power.

Our Single and Two Stage designs offer thorough options to provide the best in energy efficiency and adaptability to your setting:

  • Climate Control


Dry Cleaning

Used as a power source in a variety of ways, an air compressor for dry cleaning is a true workhorse and needs to accommodate various air pressures and procedures. Whether for pressing clothes, spot cleaning, solvent recovery or plant maintenance, we have the proper air compressor system for your business size and activities.

Depending on your operation, there are a few models from our reciprocating line and rotary screw line that would be a viable choice:

  • QGS
  • QT
  • QR-25
  • QP


Energy Exploration

Durable and dependable equipment is essential for drilling rigs and stationary platforms in the ocean that are in secluded locations where breakdowns can halt operations for days. A reliable air compressor for oil drilling is needed in the process of extracting oil and for many other operations on the rig.

Our air compressors have earned a reputation for low-cost maintenance and repairs and have become renowned world-wide as the ideal choice for demanding applications. Our recommendations from reciprocating models, rotary designs and compressors for natural gas:

  • QSI
  • QSLP (low pressure model)
  • QRNG (natural gas compression)
  • QR-25


Food and Beverage Processing

With consumable products on the line, there is no room for contamination of air. It is also essential to have a reliable flow of air for a variety of applications. An air compressor for food industries will be put to the test through pneumatic conveying, transferring liquids, agitation, sprayers and presses.

Our specifically engineered products will offer the high-quality the food industry is required to have and provide energy efficient air compressors to handle the constant load. Whether you’re running a corporate plant or a specialty bakery, one of these air compressors will be a perfect fit:

  • QSI
  • QGV®️
  • QR-25
  • QT
  • QP



This is an industry so vast and varied that any facilities manager would value an energy-efficient air compressor and make owning one a top priority. Air power is in constant use all day long for pneumatic tools, plant maintenance, machining, and transforming raw materials, just to name a few of the possible uses.

As technology has advanced, so too has our engineering’s focus on energy conservation. We’ve even taken energy efficiency one step further with the Quincy Efficiency Quotient that provides recommendations for improvements based on a detailed performance and analysis of a facility’s compressed air systems.

With so much riding on the effective operation of a plant’s air compressor system, we provide our customers with the lowest repair and maintenance costs in the industry by providing them with some of the best products in the industry. These models give you what you need to keep costs down and production up:

  • QSI
  • QGV®️
  • QR-25
  • QT
  • QP



An air compressor for pharmaceuticals needs to be infinitely accurate, stringently clean, and consistently flowing. Using compressed air for drug production, packaging or conveyance, we pride ourselves in the high-quality oil-free air compressor designed specifically for the pharmaceutical industry with the best air quality possible.

Our unique oil-free compressor uses scroll technology to compress air and meets the Class Zero standard for air purity:

QOF – Oil-Free Scroll Compressors

  • 2-30 hp
  • 4-86.5 cfm
  • High efficiency IE3 motor
  • ISO 8573-1 Class Zero Certified
  • Optional integrated dryer



A manufacturer of plastic products needs compressed air for pneumatic control, finishing operations and product molding and forming. The best air compressor for the plastics industry will depend on the various tasks and operations that are controlled by air in the plant. Without a doubt the need for unwavering reliability is a major demand within this competitive industry.

Size and manufacturing processes will determine the best of the recommended reciprocating and rotary screw type compressor:

  • QSI
  • QR-25
  • QT
  • QP
  • QSVI (vacuum)


Woodworking and Lumbering

Stable air pressure, spark-free processes and efficient assistance with heavy loads are some of the requirements for an air compressor for woodworking and milling companies. A variety of our products are favored by the woodworking industry from our low-cost air compressors to efficient vacuum pumps.

Our recommendations of reciprocating and rotary air compressors and vacuum options:

  • QSI
  • QGS
  • QGV®️
  • QR-25
  • QP
  • QT
  • QSVI (vacuum)


Understand Your Compressed Air Needs

Although one of our skilled air compressor dealers will be able to provide you with more accurate site-specific recommendations, you now have a narrowed-down selection of the possible systems for your industry and can now determine a bit about size and features to give yourself a general idea of the best air compressor for your business. The operating pressure, measured in pounds per square inch gauge (psig), and the compressor capacity, measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), are the numbers you want to figure out in order to equip yourself with the most appropriate system.

Answer the following questions to be able to provide one of our dealers with the most information related to your needs:

What is the operating pressure needed for your facility?
This will help to determine if you need a Single Stage or Two Stage Reciprocating design or a Rotary Screw compressor.

What is the required CFM usage?
You can find this out by checking the specifications for the CFM number of all the air tools that will be used at the same time. Add a 30% buffer onto that number to account for unknown or increased compressor usage in the future.

Do you need a portable unit or can the compressor stay in one place?

What size is needed for the receiver tank?
This will be measured in gallons and can be determined by the type of usage: Short concentrated bursts of air will require a smaller tank than that required by long periods of usage.

Decide on the Features That Make a Difference

Several of our air compressors are top-of-the-line, with features to satisfy the most demanding compressed air applications. We’re well-known for our quality systems and premium performance and offer several features like air or water cooled engines, maximum energy efficient units, quieter operation, high-efficiency rotors for longer life and industry-leading extended warranty protection programs.

Decide on the features that are most important for your situation and go without some of the higher-end features, if they’re not needed, to save on upfront costs. Just keep in mind that it’s best to assess your needs in the long-term, as you may end up having to budget more to regularly service an air compressor when you could have paid a bit more in upfront costs for a low maintenance option.

Buy a Solution That Fits the Problem Now and in the Future

There’s a Quincy compressor that’s just right for your application and industry. With decades of experience, we have developed air compressors to fit every commercial system as we strive to be a solutions provider. With the help of our qualified dealers, we’ve gladly come up with new designs and features to deal with specific issues and help our customers achieve higher productivity and a better bottom line.

Take a systems approach to your compressed air setup by addressing the supply and demand factors to assess your complete system performance and not just the air compressor itself. Take advantage of our award-winning EQ/Energy Quotient evaluation and our expanding line of energy saving and environmentally friendly products.