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Old 04-14-2015, 12:24 AM   #1
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Rotary screw vs Piston compressor

I am considering spending the extra and getting a rotary screw compressor with a 60-80 gallon tank for my shop. Anyone running one and is it really quieter than a traditional piston compressor? Is it worth the extra money? Any other things I should know before purchase? Anyone know good brands and ones to stay away from?
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:34 AM   #2
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If you have the need for a rotary, go for it. Check out Quincy. Much quieter, but that is a big check to write for quiet. I can build a sound isolating cabinet with ventilation for less than the price difference. If I were to go reciprocating I would still go with Quincy, which is still quieter than any other reciprocating compressor.
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Last edited by Shainer; 04-14-2015 at 12:40 AM.
 
Old 04-14-2015, 12:40 AM   #3
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If you have the need for a rotary, go for it. Check out Quincy. Much quieter, but that is a big check to write for quiet. I can build a sound isolating cabinet with ventilation for less than the price difference.
Cant say I really have a need for it, but I hate noisy compressors and I am getting ready to buy new anyhow. Just seeing if it is worth the extra money. Its about $1500 more for a comparable rotary vs a piston, and about $2300 more if the rotary has a dryer on it. Is the dryer worth it?
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:49 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ninerqb8 View Post
Cant say I really have a need for it, but I hate noisy compressors and I am getting ready to buy new anyhow. Just seeing if it is worth the extra money. Its about $1500 more for a comparable rotary vs a piston, and about $2300 more if the rotary has a dryer on it. Is the dryer worth it?
Probably need to step back and tell us what kind of work you do with your compressor. Big difference for the home shop that uses an impact wrench several times a month, vs a production body shop running thousands of CFM a day. Dryers are nice, and do prolong tool life, and (IMHO) required for paint application. Your physical location also determines if it is required, nice to have, or not needed.

You also have to keep in mind their compressors are more efficient. Expect the compressor's "on" cycle to be shorter than your current compressor. So that is also a noise reduction. I thought they used to have a product selector on their web site, or maybe they moved that over to their distributors so you can have a conversation with an actual person. Been a very long time since I've looked for a replacement.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:54 AM   #5
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Normal repair shop, not doing body work or paint. Just down the road from you Shainer.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:22 AM   #6
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Ahh... I know where CS, CO is.

I think a dryer is a good idea. Looking over their current offering I see a MAX pack with automatic water drain. I like the idea of any device that manages its own maintenance. It is that maintenance that makes or breaks the machine. If this is a shop with a bottom line and you can swing it I think you will really like a rotary pump. I think you should reach out to Quincy and see what they think. They know their product offering much better than I. Wish I hadn't looked at their site... got some cool stuff out.
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:26 AM   #7
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There is a screw type compressor at my work. IR brand. It is still fairly noisy, but not as choppy sounding so it "seems" quieter. It runs constantly and there is a 'blow off' that goes every so often which is pretty loud.
You can't beat the efficiency though, and it fills the tank in under a minute and keeps up with 10 bays and 6 tire machines no sweat. Uses less power to run than a piston type, but if your shop is small enough that a piston type compressor isn't running much then it may not save you much.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:29 AM   #8
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I run a Kaiser SP11 with 120 gallon tank. Had it about 20 years(got around 35,000 hours on it). I change oil and filter matting, it makes air. No break downs or hiccups since new.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:51 AM   #9
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I run a Kaiser SP11 with 120 gallon tank. Had it about 20 years(got around 35,000 hours on it). I change oil and filter matting, it makes air. No break downs or hiccups since new.
Had a Kaiser at a shop that lasted a little over 10 years. Owner did zero maintenance on it. Maintenance is key. I was dumbfounded he accepted 10 year replacement as part of his overhead. Or that he didn't mind the shop being down for the better part of a week when the compressor "unexpectedly failed". I didn't stick around long after that event. Seemed like a good compressor, especially to support a paint shop for that long on the factory fill oil.
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:26 AM   #10
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If you can afford it, you will never say "I wish I didn't get a screw compressor" The air drying part may be a bit of a touch. If you are running a second tank like my old shop did, there wasn't much issue with moisture in the the line. We had a huge old air tank with a compressor that supplied air for "the war", the new compressor just tied into that tank.
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:37 AM   #11
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We just installed a new paint shop for sandblasting and painting concrete trucks. The blaster runs on a Ingersoll 185 diesel screw type compressor. Have had it completely rebuilt once since we have had all of about 300 hours on it.

The painting compressor is a ingersoll sp-2 screw type IIRC and a refrigerated air dryer. That one is being rebuilt as we speak at the tune of about 8500. Granted the technician working on this compressor said it should last 90,000 hours and it died prematurely at 20,000 hours. The dryer works AMAZING. So far our luck with screw type compressors is terrible. We have been using a small Saylor Beall piston compressor as a backup with zero failures and it keep up with 2 DAs and 2 guys spraying a concrete truck.

To do it all over we would do a piston main compressor for the painting. The screw type is a little bit quieter but its initial cost and cost of repair far exceeds its usefulness to us.

Something you need to know is our screw type runs on 440 3 phase power. That made install expensive as well. And if you have a refrigerator you should have at minimum 300 gallon tanks pre and post dryer according to tri-state air systems and Kaiser corporate.

In short: I will never personally own a screw type nor will I ever push for one in a business.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:54 PM   #12
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We just installed a new paint shop for sandblasting and painting concrete trucks. The blaster runs on a Ingersoll 185 diesel screw type compressor. Have had it completely rebuilt once since we have had all of about 300 hours on it.

The painting compressor is a ingersoll sp-2 screw type IIRC and a refrigerated air dryer. That one is being rebuilt as we speak at the tune of about 8500. Granted the technician working on this compressor said it should last 90,000 hours and it died prematurely at 20,000 hours. The dryer works AMAZING. So far our luck with screw type compressors is terrible. We have been using a small Saylor Beall piston compressor as a backup with zero failures and it keep up with 2 DAs and 2 guys spraying a concrete truck.

To do it all over we would do a piston main compressor for the painting. The screw type is a little bit quieter but its initial cost and cost of repair far exceeds its usefulness to us.

Something you need to know is our screw type runs on 440 3 phase power. That made install expensive as well. And if you have a refrigerator you should have at minimum 300 gallon tanks pre and post dryer according to tri-state air systems and Kaiser corporate.

In short: I will never personally own a screw type nor will I ever push for one in a business.
I think the greater issue is IR. You couldn't give me their top of the compressor to run my blow gun.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:57 PM   #13
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In the shop I used to work at, they had a Kaiser compressor and that thing was a beast. It ran 24/7 and required little to no maintenance. It kept up with all the cutting machines in the shop. It did make a lot of water so a dryer was a necessity.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:16 PM   #14
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I think the greater issue is IR. You couldn't give me their top of the compressor to run my blow gun.
Odd statement. Considering our electric IR screw type I mentioned was deemed "the greatest screw type stationary compressor ever built that will easily last 90k hours" by the tri-state compressor techs who are a Kaiser dealer.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:27 PM   #15
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We've had maintenance issues with our IR 50, 75, and 125hp screws but we run food grade oil that is nasty. 2k hour oil change schedule instead of 8k. The 75s I take care of have 25k hours on them, had all the hoses replaced once, getting replaced again with stainless braided. The 125hp doesn't like power bumps but its been relatively free of defects in all of its 19k hours. These all have a Air after cooler too.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:29 PM   #16
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We've had maintenance issues with our IR 50, 75, and 125hp screws but we run food grade oil that is nasty. 2k hour oil change schedule instead of 8k. The 75s I take care of have 25k hours on them, had all the hoses replaced once, getting replaced again with stainless braided. The 125hp doesn't like power bumps but its been relatively free of defects in all of its 19k hours. These all have a Air after cooler too.
I imagine it is food grade they use on ours as well then. It smells like complete chit!

We let the compressor people do all of our service work. We do not have the time to do it nor do we want to risk much since we have already been through plenty of compressors.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:51 PM   #17
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I do minor things like check hoses, clean coils, change electrical cabinet filter, record hours. We have ALL equipment do the servicing.

One thing I remembered being a semi big thing is the aluminum housing on the back of the 75s broke the 4 1/4-20 bolts and fall off. One blew up when there was a surge and arc'd a phase. Those are the only things I remember.
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Old 04-14-2015, 02:14 PM   #18
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I have an 80 gal DVair 7.5 HP 2-stage. It is decently quiet and you can definitely talk with it running. Put it in a room with ventilation and it would be even better.

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Old 04-16-2015, 12:24 AM   #19
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I was kinda looking at this one. Anyone have any input on it? I am not trying to run big blasters or commercial painting etc. Just a few bay truck repair shop. Honestly the $500 one from TSC would likely do everything I need, but I am not against buying more than I need to make sure I never want more.
http://www.aircompressorsdirect.com/...or/p10836.html
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Old 04-16-2015, 02:47 AM   #20
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We've got I'd imagine the baddest IR screw compressors and air dryers at my work. There are 2 of them totalling 600cfm. Have a 4000+ gallon air tank on the side of the shop. It is MASSIVE. There is 3" copper pipe feeding air all over the building.

Funny thing is, none of the equipment we use even uses air. Compressors have their own dedicated room, with the door closed, they are not that loud. I can only imagine what the setup costed.
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