With Eastwood carrying a full line of air compressors we often get phone calls about if a home hobbyist should choose a two stage or single stage and which one is better. This question is hard to answer without knowing your budget or expectations but we figured we could help you answer that question for yourself by reading more down below.
To put it simply the big difference between single stage and two stage compressor is the number of times the air is compressed within the pressure side of the compressor head. A single stage compressor only runs it through one time and then puts it in the tank while a two stage (you guessed it!) compresses it twice making it more efficient for producing compressed air.
Within a single stage air compressor the air is drawn into a cylinder and is compressed at 90-120 PSI and then delivered to the storage tank attached to the compressor. The storage tank size will maintain that pressure but can hold a large volume of air that actually feeds your air tools.
A two stage compressor pushes the air through and compresses it like a single stage except the air passes through to a second cylinder where it is compressed and pressurized to a higher pressure before making its way into the storage tank. By delivering higher PSI air into the storage tank it will give your air tools a higher overall running pressure which is good for air driven tools that have a high PSI or CFM rating like blast cabinets, paint guns, etc.
As a rule of thumb single stage compressors can tend to be a bit louder in their operating noise and two stage is better for noise and performance but does come at a cost. We suggest looking at what your budget and PSI/CFM needs are before making your next air compressor purchase.