Air compressor motors are a vital component in all air compressors for successful operation. This page will provide you with all the relevant information about air compressor motors and replacements readily available on Amazon.

Table of Contents

Air Compressor Motors

All air compressors have an engine and motor component. The motors roll in the compression process is driving the crankshaft which moves the pistons (depending on the type of compressor) that produce the compressed air through an intricate mechanical process.

The motor contains a capacitor or even two, that modulate the current and voltage to the air compressors motor windings. If the capacitor was to fail, then so would the motor and the air compressor itself would not start or run properly. Visit our Air Compressor Capacitor Guide: How To Size A Capacitor For A Compressor for further details.

Also if you wish to learn more on What Is An Air Compressor? and how they work then visit our guide here.

Air Compressor Motor Horsepower

Similar to automotive engines, we measure the amount of work the air compressor motor can perform in horsepower (HP). 1 HP is equivalent to 550 foot-pounds per second, or 745.7 watts.

In air compressors, however, it is not as straightforward considering the horsepower as the power of a new car or truck. This is because it is one of several air compressor purchase factors you must consider.

Whilst there is a minimum amount of air compressor horsepower that is required to deliver specific levels of air pressure or capacity, many air compressors can be overpowered and inefficient. A well-designed air compressor should be able to produce about 4 CFM at 100 PSI for every unit of power.

For more information on What Is CFM and What Does CFM Mean on An Air Compressor? please visit our guide!

Air Compressor Motor Types

The majority of air compressors tend to operate using standard, three-faced induction motors. These will be powered by electricity, diesel or even natural gas. Electric motors are reliable, economical and very capable of generating enough power for standard air compressor uses at home or around your garage or workshop.

On the other hand, gas-powered air compressors tend to be more powerful and offer the convenience of portability as they do not need to be plugged into wall sockets.

When choosing an air compressor motor, you should choose one that fits with your needs. To determine which motor type is best for you and your applications then consider:

  • Electricity costs
  • Fuel availability
  • Initial investment budget
  • Portability

What Horsepower Motor to Get for an Air Compressor

It’s common for most widely used air compressor motors to have ratings between 1.5HP and 6.5HP, however, some larger industrial and stationary air compressors can reach up to 15HP.

If you are using standard electric power outlets in your home or workshop then you’ll only need a 2HP or less air compressor motor as standard AC cords require lower voltage in order to function properly.

The type of air compressor motor also affects the horsepower ratings. For example, if you were running an electric air compressor at 5HP you would need to run a gas or diesel powered air compressor at twice the amount (10HP) to do the same amount of work as the electric.

This is due to electric motors drawing power from an external system whilst gas engines produce power through its own combustion.

Air Compressor Motors Available on Amazon

I have picked out a few air compressor motors readily available on Amazon with varying horsepower.

The first is an EMZ 2HP air compressor motor. This brand of compressor duty motor is also available in 3HP, 3.7HP and 5HP.

The next is a WEG 3HP electric motor designed to replace 56 frame motors only.

The final is a TUQI 5 HP P56 frame air compressor electric motor.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can I put a bigger motor on my air compressor?

Yes you can do this as long as you keep the compressor pulleys and motor RPM then you will not damage the compressor by putting a bigger one in. The compressor will draw power from the motor until the motor is unable to supply anymore.

What kind of motor does an air compressor use?

Air compressors typically use electric motors, but also can use gas or diesel powered motors. In some instances, they can be powered by natural gas.


If you have any questions regarding air compressor motors then please leave a comment below with a photo if applicable so that someone can help you!