Is a Scroll Air Compressor That Much Quieter Than a Piston Compressor? | Video

Eastwood claims that its Elite QST-30/60 scroll compressor runs quieter than a more traditional piston compressor. As longtime users of piston compressors who, frankly, don’t enjoy the racket, we had to try out the scroll compressor for ourselves. 

The results? We won’t spoil the video for you, but we are comfortable telling you that the difference in noise levels is pretty noticeable. Presented by CRC Industries.

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93gsxturbo SuperDork
5/7/21 12:18 p.m.

Yes they are quieter.  We have some at work, really nice ones.  They just sound like a motor running.

noddaz UberDork
5/7/21 12:57 p.m.

Nice.  Can't buy one today, but nice.

CAinCA Reader
5/7/21 1:29 p.m.

I have a California Air Tools 2HP 10 gallon ultra quiet oil free compressor. It puts out 5.3CFM at 90psi. It's rated at 70dB. They are a LOT quieter than the piston type compressors. It only puts out about 1/2 the CFM of the scroll, but it costs about 1/5 what the scroll does. I replaced a CH 3HP/60 gallon belt drive compressor with the CAT and I couldn't be happier.


CAT 10020 Compressor on Amazon.

kb58 SuperDork
5/7/21 1:44 p.m.

I, too, have a California Air Tools compressor and agree that it's a lot quieter... maybe half as loud, as the 20-yr old Home Depot piston compressor that it replaced. Note that CAT air compressors do use pistons, but they're driven magnetically instead of via a crankshaft.

I'm happy with it, mostly, but did catch it one time being unable to start up against the pressure already in the tank. That's actually a really bad thing, as it's the same as sticking a screwdriver into a motor and turning it on. It just sat there humming, and probably drawing a lot of current. Thankfully I was nearby and shut it off, then restarted it, and it started correctly, but now I keep a closer eye on it. It "might" have been a one-time occurrence since it was so new, but who knows. Time will tell.

Slippery UberDork
5/7/21 1:50 p.m.

In reply to kb58 :

Motor most likely has a thermal cut out. It will be noted on the label. 

djsilver (Forum Supporter)
djsilver (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/7/21 3:45 p.m.

Something like 98%  of industrial air compressors use twin-screw (lysholm) style air pumps.  Most are 2-stage with intercooler/aftercooler.  We have one at work that's on it's last leg, but it's been running for 20 years so it deserves retirement.  


The consumer level oil-free compressors linked here use a scroll compressor similar to the G-lader superchargers on the old VW Corrado's.

Very few moving parts to wear out, so should be quite reliable.

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