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Direct Drive Air Compressors VS Belt Drive Air Compressors

Author: Geym

Feb. 06, 2023

40 0 0

Tags: Mechanical Parts & Fabrication Services

Belt-driven and direct-driven air compressors are the commonly used types of screw compressors. The factors to consider when deciding between these two types include many. This blog lists their advantages and disadvantages to help you make your choice.

Direct Drive Air Compressors

Direct drive air compressors have a crankshaft that is directly connected to the motor. There is no intermediate pulley or belt.


Direct drive models are the best choice if you are a professional who uses air compressors frequently in your work.

1, Fewer replacement parts

Direct drive air compressors have fewer moving parts than belt-driven compressors, so they don't require as many replacement parts due to wear and tear. As a result, they can withstand constant use in industrial environments.

2, Withstand Harsh Environments

If you work in harsh conditions or extreme temperatures, the direct drive model is the one for you. This type of compressor is designed to withstand temperatures below freezing and up to 40°C. Synthetic oil is recommended for use in the summer and winter months as it does not change properties at extreme temperatures.


Direct drive compressors do not have the flexibility of belt driven air compressors. Pressure or speed cannot be easily adjusted because there is no pulley mechanism between the crankshaft and the motor.

1, Expensive to maintain

The direct connection between the crankshaft and the motor can make repairs more expensive and complicated when they do occur. Other expensive and time consuming repairs include damage to bearings, shaft seals and gearboxes due to oil leaks.

2, Noise

Because the crankshaft is directly connected to the motor, it does not run as smoothly as a lubricated belt-driven compressor. The noise level may disturb your neighbors or people at nearby workstations.

Belt-Driven Air Compressors

Belt-driven air compressors have a belt attached to the motor. When the motor is running, the belt moves the pump through the pulley. The diameter of the pulley determines the speed and PSI of the compressor.


The belt-driven air compressor is a good choice for home workshops. It is also suitable for indoor stores with multiple work areas. A lubricated belt system will run efficiently, smoothly and quietly.

1, Flexibility

If you use your air compressor intermittently at different speeds and powers, you may prefer the flexibility of a belt-driven model. To increase the compressor PSI, you simply replace the pulley.

2, Simple Maintenance

Buying and installing a belt-driven air compressor is economical and simple. Maintenance of these compressors is relatively simple and generally requires lubrication and monthly belt tension checks.


Wear and tear is probably the biggest problem with belt driven air compressors. Belts can wear out or even break and need to be replaced.

1, Misaligned belt pulleys

You must periodically check the alignment of the pulleys and belts to ensure proper tension. Improper alignment can cause the motor to run under too much or too little pressure and overload. It can also lead to belt failure.

2, Sensitivity to the Environment

Belt driven air compressors cannot withstand harsh environments or extreme temperatures. This type of compressor should not be operated at temperatures below 0°C or 40.5°C or higher.

Making a Choice

When choosing a compressor, performance and safety are equally important considerations. The type of compressor you choose will affect your energy costs, flexibility and safety. The difference between belt-driven and direct-drive air compressors is well worth learning. If you'd like to learn more about their features, feel free to contact us!




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