Reciprocating air compressors work by using a piston that moves back and forth inside a cylinder. As the piston moves, it creates a vacuum on one side, drawing in air, and then compresses the air on the other side. This compressed air is then stored in a tank or used directly for various applications. Reciprocating air compressors are commonly used in industries such as manufacturing, construction, and automotive. They are versatile and can be used for tasks such as powering pneumatic tools, inflating tires, and operating machinery.