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Used Rotary Air Compressors

When buying used rotary air compressors, always look at the number of hours on the compressor. Generally, rotary screw air compressors require a major overhaul around 50-70,000 hours on the airend, which includes replacing the bearings and realigning the rotors. A normal airend rebuild can be around $2,500 to $10,000, all depending on the brand and size (don’t forget you’ll also need to replace the lubricant and filters in a rebuild).

When buying a used air compressor, see if the seller completed a preventative maintenance on it, this includes changing the oil and related filters. If not, this could be a $1,000 adder.

Their is a reason people trade in compressors. The majority of the time, they had issues and were tired of investing additional capital in repairs. Be careful and don’t buy someones problem.

What to ask:

  1. Voltage – Make sure you have the right voltage for your system.
  2. Horsepower – (Just because it’s a good deal, don’t buy something too large because the energy costs could dwarf the savings you had on the compressor.
  3. Hours – How many hours are on the machine
  4. Does it run?
  5. Why are you selling it?
  6. Is their any warranty that comes with it?

What you should pay for used air compressors

Given, you want to consider the age of the air compressor and hours, we generally see $125 to $200 per horsepower. Therefore, you should pay $3,125 to $5,000 for a used 25 horsepower rotary screw compressor.

Here is a matrix that you could follow

Horsepower Fair Condition Great Condition
10 $1,250.00 $2,000.00
15 $1,875.00 $3,000.00
20 $2,500.00 $4,000.00
25 $3,125.00 $5,000.00
30 $3,750.00 $6,000.00
40 $5,000.00 $8,000.00
50 $6,250.00 $10,000.00
60 $7,500.00 $12,000.00
75 $9,375.00 $15,000.00
100 $12,500.00 $20,000.00

* Remember, their are some air compressor brands that you could buy new at some of these “great” prices.  Do your research!

These are only a few tips to help you when considering a used compressor for your shop.

Don’t forget, you also have leasing to own as a option… 🙂  (We will have more on leasing air compressors in future blogs).


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