Reciprocating air compressors or piston type air compressors are widely considered as 'work-horse' compressors.
A reciprocating air compressor is best suited for use in a variety of applications. Some of these applications include auto body and tire shops, woodworking facilities, hospitals, construction sites, amusement parks, and industrial facilities.
Industrial reciprocating compressors are able to operate in a severe duty environments while having lower initial costs. They offer lower maintenance costs, and are ideal for intermittent duty operation. They save energy in no-load conditions and operate efficiently at partial loads. This results in a higher overall efficiency for many diverse applications. Piston air compressors are more forgiving than rotaries and normally operate more dependably in less than ideal conditions.