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A two-stage air compressor is designed to produce high flow while providing high pressure. It operates more like a gas engine than the standard design of single-stage air compressors that are designed for low flow and low pressure. A two-stage turbine has two compression stages in sequence with each stage having one or more lobes. This can provide up to a 10:1 pressure ratio.

Two-stage compressors cost more but they provide better cooling, higher efficiency, and longer life along with increased power density. A two-stage compressor is usually more expensive than a single-stage, however, its performance cannot be matched. Having two stages in a compressor allows for intercooling which means air can be cooled between the compression stages. This means your system gets colder air so you need less capacity to produce the same amount of compressed air or if running at 100% capacity, it will last longer before overheating the motor due to the cooler intake temperature. A two-stage compressor also provides better power density than a single-stage compressor. The higher the pressure, the more air can be compressed in a small amount of space. Two-stage compressors are typically used on job sites where electric power is not available or with large stationary systems that require high capacity and high pressure levels.

Best 5 Two-Stage Air Compressors Reviewed

Champion 5hp 2-Stage Single Phase 80 Gal

Champion 5hp 2-Stage Single Phase 80 Gal

The champion two-stage, four piston vertical or horizontal pump air cooled after cooler and full size Marathon low 1725 rpm motor compressor will care for the details of your job. We’ve designed this compression system with a gentle touch and simplicity in mind. Not only is it efficient, but it’s also quiet and extremely durable to ensure that your equipment is cared for – no matter how large or small. This compressor features a 15 hp pump gradually lowered down to 5hp resulting in little wear on all motors used within the system. Whether you’re looking for one units or an entire line of compressors, we have what you need! Our field service technicians are all factory trained so they can get right down to business when needed saving time, mone,y and aggravation- just what you’re looking for when it’s time to get back in the game.

  • OHSA approved belt guard
  • ASME coded tank
  • Silencer air filter
  • 100% CATS iron pump
AirHorse double stagle screw compressor



The AirHorse double stagle screw compressor is a powerhouse for construction and industrial use! Perfect as an air dryer or as a paint spray gun with your preferred brand of compressed air. 

This machine runs on 220 volts and has 2 speeds: 0-3000 rpm for loosening dirt, pebbles, insect spoils, tarps etc.; 8000 rpm to cut hard soils such as gypsum plasterboard. 

Want more power? The Airhorse TQ series powered by the Nozzlle 1000 motor is up to 5 times stronger than other brands! It includes a lifetime guarantee where you’ll be compensated if the pint part of unit exceeds its specified life expectancy under regular usage. This one also features a patented one-piece aluminum alloy cylinder for higher pump volumes, larger ports for greater air flow and an open air filter design to improve airflow. It also comes with a patented piston seal, which reduces fluid leakage in the system when compared to other brands.

  • Hight Quality Inverter
  • Two stage screw
  • Cooling System
  • Two IPM Motors
DeWalt DXCMV5076055

DeWalt DXCMV5076055

One DeWalt DXCMV5076055 Industrial grade air tool and compressor.

DeWalt is proud to introduce their new 60 gallon, high performance air compressor that can be used with any one or all of your air tools at the same time. The innovative design provides for a cooler running pump and patented features designed specifically to reduce wear-and-tear on other components. What’s more it comes complete with everything you need so there’s no need to buy extra tools separately! This powerful machine can give you great performance scaling nicely from 125 CFM up to 175 PSI so if these metrics sound right for your needs this should be just what you’re looking for! It includes an electric motor with thermal overload protection as well as a reed valve tank drain for easy maintenance.

  • Patented Pump 
  • Low Pump RPM
  •  Motor with Thermal Overload protection
  • Large capacity
California Air Tools 10020CAD-22060

California Air Tools 10020CAD-22060

The California Air Tools 10020CAD-22060 Ultra Quiet only 70 Decibels Silent Utility Air Compressor is perfect for even the most meticulous work. With oil free pumps helping to keep costs low, this powerful 2 Hp with low amp draw 14 amps machine will make short work of any project you have in mind. Recommended to use on soft surfaces which are less noisy for those living next door.

6.40 CFM at 40 PSI & 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI 10 Gallon Tank that rolls away effortless with wheels makes filling your tires up or getting air without the compressor being tied up a breeze. Utilizing less heat so it dissipates more efficiently!

  • Ultra Quiet
  • Oil-Free Pump
  • Low Amp Draw
  • Air Tank with Wheels
NorthStar Air Compressor Pump 2 Stage

NorthStar Air Compressor Pump- 2-Stage

If you’re looking for a reliable pump that will last through long hours of running, then NorthStar Air Compressor Pump- 2-Stage is the air compressor pump to go with. Designed with superior cooling V-style cylinder design and FC35 Grade cast iron on the pump head , this sturdy water cooled two stage air compressor can outlast any competitor.

Enjoy quieter operation than single stage pumps too! NorthStar features slower RPMs so it won’t overheat like other short lived models . With floating type Swedish steel valves, your valve life will be much higher than traditional designs. Plus Full Cast Iron construction means longer life overall. Stop sweating over mechanical failures and invest in some peace of mind today!

  • Pump rotates CCW as viewed from the flywheel
  • Uses one A groove belt
  • Aftercooler provides dry, high-quality air at the pressure you need, ensuring less wear on your tools

2 Stage Air Compressor: A Buyers Guide

Types of Two-Stage Air Compressors

There are two types of compressors that comprise the category of two-stage compressors; piston and rotary screw.

Piston Compressors: The pistons in a piston compressor move up and down inside the cylinder and push air out through an outlet valve.

Rotary Screw Compressors: These consist of two or three lobes, each with its own set of vanes which is rotated by a drive shaft at its base. It crushes air against a stationary nozzle ring hence compressing the air.

How Does a 2 Stage Air Compressor Work?

A two-stage air compressor works by having the intake air pass through the first stage, which compresses it to a lower pressure. The second stage then compresses that same intake air even more pushing it into the tank or output pipe. A two-stage system could have one or both stages being rotary screw compressors. Each stage can incorporate intercooling in its design although there are designs that combine the two types of compression stages.

Piston Compressors: A single piston compresses intake air in one chamber with an outlet port for compressed air. For every stroke of the piston, about 80% of the power is transferred to driving compression and 20% is lost in friction between parts. Rotary Screw Compressors: Two or three lobes are rotated creating compression in each lobe. The pressurized air is forced out through an outlet port. About 70% of the power is transferred to driving compression and 30% is lost in friction between parts.

Comparing a Single-Stage vs Two-Stage Compressor

These two types of compressors have different advantages and disadvantages: Advantages of Two Stage Air Compressors: Lower noise output than single stage models More power density than single stage compressor Higher CFM for less money Disadvantages of Two Stage Air Compressors: Bigger and heavier than single stage models Costs more than a single stage model. Advantages of Single Stage Air Compressors: Compact design, easier to transport Quieter operation Disadvantages of Single Stage Air Compressors: Less power and CFM than a two-stage model Costs more than a two-stage compressor.

Key Features

Two stage air compressors offer these key features: Two independent compression stages – One for low pressure and one for high Pressure reduction between stages – Each stage reduces pressure to compensate for the rise in pressure from the following stage Intercooling – Cool is achieved by pumping air through the compression stages for increased efficiency Cooler intake air – Compressor is able to breath in colder, more dense air which can allow for higher capacity or longer life.


If you need high flow and low pressure, then a two stage air compressor is for you. A single stage can get the job done but not at the same capacity as a two stage system. If your job requires that you fill up big tanks or have to go into large areas quickly, then opt for a larger tank size rather than having to get an air storage tank ready. A two-stage air compressor operates with stages in sequence to provide high flow with high pressure. Two-stage compressors are usually more expensive than single-stages but offer greater benefits including better cooling, higher efficiency, longer life, and increased power density. A two-stage rotary screw compressor is made of lobes each containing its own set of vanes which are rotated by a drive shaft at their base. It crushes air against a stationary nozzle ring hence compressing the air. There are many sizes available so be sure to pick one that fits within the space where it will installed while being able to achieve performance levels too!