A standard air compressor consists of only three things. The air tank (also called the air receiver) holds the air to be compressed, the air pump is necessary for compressing the air, and an electric motor is necessary for turning the pump. That is all that comes in a standard air compressor.
Think of a standard air compressor like a base model car. It has the motor, the wheels, and the doors, but doesn't come with a/c, a radio, or power windows.
So if you want some additional features on your compressor, then a fully packaged model is right for you. Some of the most popular options are:
- Electric tank drain - prevents tank rust-through by draining accumulated water.
- Air cooled after-cooler - necessary when adding a refrigerated air dryer.
- Low oil pump shutdown switch - prevents expensive repairs if the oil level is not maintained.
Though the name varies between manufacturers (eg: fully packaged, value pack, ultra, & max), choosing one of these compressors can make a big difference in the outcome of your tasks.