Should I buy a second hand compressor, or a brand new one?

Every consumer is faced with this question when buying anything that costs a fair amount of money.

Should you buy a brand new item or something handed down by its original owner at a far lower price?

This same economic dilemma also crops up when you’re looking to buy an air compressor. If you're someone who’s not going to use the machine all the time, your first instinct would be to go to the “Used” section. After all, you're only going to use the machine every now and then—when inflating your car tires or repainting a room.

Air compressors are considered “heavy duty” machines used in a wide variety of applications. And it’s this same flexibility that makes buying a used compressor a little trickier compared to other types of equipment. After all, there are multiple factors to consider.

What You Need to Look Out for When Buying Pre-Owned Compressors

First off, you have to consider the age of the compressor. Ask the owner how long the compressor has been in his or her possession. If it’s anything more than 3 to 5 years, there’s a good chance the machine has been through some wear and tear.

But in some cases, used air compressors might not have seen a great deal of use, despite being with the owner for more than a few years. This is the case of compressors that have been kept as backups for business applications—think workshops and automotive shops.

Still, non-use could still have negative effects on the compressor’s interior pars. You’ll need to give the machine a closer look to check for rust and corrosion.

In addition, you will also have to look at whether it costs more to rebuild an old compressor or to simply purchase a new one from the manufacturer. You’ll have to see how much it will cost to buy a rebuild kit to restore the compressor to top notch condition.

Add in the selling price of the previous owner, and compare it with the price for a brand new compressor. If the difference is minuscule, you’re better off buying a new one.

Finally, is the manufacturer still offering after-sales services for that particular model? A phased out compressor is unlikely to have replacement parts or rebuild kits available. It’s too much of a risk to take especially if you’re going to use the compressor for business.

Why It’s More Advantageous to Purchase Brand New

There’s no doubt that you’d have less problems if you purchase a brand new compressor over a used one.

When you buy a brand new compressor, you can be sure that everything is in mint condition. Of course, there’s always the risk of defects, but you also have a warranty to keep you covered against any issues, at least for a year or two after the initial purchase.

You can also be sure of the customer service you receive from the manufacturer itself. Buying aftermarket parts for repairs or upgrades isn’t a problem when you have a new compressor. As long as the model hasn’t been phased out, there will always be parts available when you need them.

Maintaining a brand new compressor is also easier, because you have all the parts that you need.

In the end, it all depends on your needs and budget. Some brand new models are undoubtedly expensive. Buying second hand isn’t that bad, and could be advantageous if you’re buying a compressor for personal use. You’ll just have to expend extra effort in canvassing for used compressors.