Belt Drive Air Compressor Vs Direct Drive

First, you should know about Air Compressor

Basically, the air compressor has a function to take in air or gas around the machine, and then be immediately given pressure when it is inside the tube, to then flowed back into a form of new air, the air pressurized.

Other functions of the compressor itself are usually used for various purposes, including:

  • Provides a supply of high-pressure clean air to fill a cylinder or gas cylinder.
  • Provides high-pressure clean air supply to pneumatic HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) control systems for various building or building needs.
  • They Provides a large amount of pressurized air supply for various heavy equipment that requires air power to work or what is called Pneumatic Tools.
  • Supplying pressurized air for industrial needs that have large scale such as oxidation of oil coke, to power plants.

Belt drive air compressor vs Direct drive

Belt drive air compressor vs Direct drive
Belt drive air compressor vs Direct drive

Direct drive air compressor:

Direct drive air compressors The system of air compressors is direct driven, that is, the drive motor is directly connected to the air pump.

So the number of driving motor rotation (rpm) is automatically the same as the air pump speed. Usually, the type of direct drive air compressor uses a motor with a speed of about 2,850 rpm and uses a single piston system at the air pump.

The advantage of this type of air compressor is that the filling speed (air delivery) is quite high because the air pump is rotated with a speed of around 2,850 rpm.

The disadvantage of this type of air compressor is that the sound produced is quite loud, because the result of the high rotation of the air pump, also produces more water in the pressure tank.

Belt driven air compressor:

As the name implies, this air compressor uses a connecting system between propulsion and air pumps using this type of v-belt (v-belt) which is often found in the place of tire patch.

The driving force of this compressor can use electric electromotor or gasoline or diesel fuel engines. This air compressor is most often used compared to other types of air compressors, because it is recommended to use a drive with a rotation of around 1500 rpm, resulting in an air compressor that is more durable than the type of direct driven.

This type of air compressor is recommended to work for 8 hours, if it is used more than 8 hours, the air produced will contain more water.

These air compressors are divided into several types, namely:

  • Single stage air compressor (working pressure 8 bar, maximum pressure 10 bar)
  • Two stages of air compressor (working pressure 12 bar, maximum pressure 14 bar)
  • High-pressure air compressor (working pressure up to 14 bars)
  • Booster air compressor (additional air compressor so the pressure can be higher)

Each type of air compressor above is further divided according to the air delivery/air discharge produced.

Both compressors are very good belt drive and direct drive

  • Direct-drive compressors are directly connected to the motor shaft and therefore rotate at the same speed as the motor, which typically rotates at either 1725 or 3450 rpm. There are a few exceptions, but most good quality direct drive compressors are low speeds. Engineers have designed some compressors so they can rotate twice as fast to get more air out of them and keep the price down for the big-box stores. But life expectancy is reduced to about a quarter of that of a low-speed compressor, and the noise is almost unbearable. Some manufacturers still produce low speed, smaller diameter compressors and are ideal for carpenters and other applications where portability and smoothness are important.


  • If you do not need to carry the compressor or if you need more air, your best bet is oil-lubricated belt-drive compressors. You still have to be careful because there are some high-speed aluminum pumps with a very low life expectancy that are built for a low price, just like some of the direct drive compressors. The main advantage of belt drive compressors is that the pump can rotate much slower than the engine, making it more efficient and with much less wear.


  • Some direct-drive compressors are oil-free, which is required in some applications such as breathing air or ventilation. If they have low speeds and are properly engineered, they will last a long time, but you better stay away from a high-speed, oil-free compressor. There are some European manufacturers producing high-quality oil-lubricated direct drive compressors.


  • Most belt drive compressors are injection lubricated, which means that they have plungers at the bottom of the connecting rods to inject oil into the crankcase of the compressor. As long as there is enough oil in the crankcase, spray-lubricated pumps should last for a long time. For the best price, you’ll get an oil-lubricated belt driven compressor (unless you need to carry it around) and stay away from the noisy, oil-free compressors.

Last Word

Before choosing a compressor, it is necessary to determine the nature of the work to be done, the type of tools to be used and their frequency of use. From one tool to another, the demand for air and pressure is different. An inflator or spray gun requires less air flow and pressure than an impact wrench or stapler.

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