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Reviewing Clarke Air Compressors

You’ve probably heard of Clarke and some of its products. After all, the company has been around for almost 45 years and today is one of the top suppliers of electrical and mechanical workshop equipment in the UK. And among Clarke’s best sellers is its line of air compressors.

Clarke offers almost every kind of air compressor you can think of. So whatever your budget and needs, you’re bound to find a model that suits your business.

PEH16C50 Industrial Air Compressor

If you’re looking for something affordable, Clarke has portable reciprocating (piston-driven) compressors for commercial use. While they are heavy-duty and powerful in their own right, such designs are not as energy-efficient and sophisticated as their rotary screw counterparts, hence the lower price.

Commercial operators in search of a rugged yet portable unit will find a perfect match in the PEH16C50 Industrial Air Compressor. Equipped with a 3 hp 230v motor, this model can power professional spray guns and other air tools used in factories, automotive workshops and farms. A fully automatic pressure switch allows for a 10 bar (150 psi) maximum working pressure.

Priced at just over £500, the PE16 also has a 50-litre CE-certified air receiver and a cast-iron compressor pump with a 14 cubic feet per metre (cfm) air displacement. Its steel frame protects the motor, pump and switchgear. More expensive reciprocating releases usually have higher airflow (20 to 25 cfm) and horsepower (7.5 to 10 hp) ratings.


Rotary screw compressors, on the other hand, are considered upscale options. They achieve a much higher range of airflow and are more suited for long-term industrial use. Most are installed in a fixed area, and wired directly to the building’s electrical system.

One of Clarke’s offerings in this category, model CXR200DR, goes for £5,150 to £6,180. Capable of 65.3 cfm, the unit has a maximum operating pressure of 10 bar and capacity of 500 litres. Its three-phase motor is rated at 20 hp/15 kW and 400 v. Power consumption is very minimal, which promises cost savings in the long run.

The model is also pre-mounted to an air receiver and fitted with a refrigerant dryer, which helps prevent damage from prolonged exposure to moisture.

Shhh Air Compressors

For special features, be ready to pay a little extra. Clarke prices its virtually silent designs at £1,150 to £1,380, about £500 more than your standard entry-level model.

The aptly named Shhh Air Compressors minimize sound pollution. You can do some domestic to light industry spraying, blowing, testing, inflating and stapling in places you never thought it would be appropriate to operate an air compressor - in offices, laboratories, and small shops, studios and workshops.

The units are fitted with a 1.37 hp 230v motor with protection from thermal overload, triple compressor pump units with 6.5 cfm displacement, and 100-litre air receiver. The maximum working pressure is 8 bar (115 psi), controlled by a fully automated pressure switch.

As the models described here illustrate, Clarke has an extensive range of air compressors that you can choose from. Remember that prices will generally differ based on the design, performance ratings and features, as well as power source, tank size and pump type. It’s just a matter of finding one that is within your budget and can fulfil the demands of the job.

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