An air compressor takes outside air and sucks it into a tank and stores it at high pressure. When you want to use it, the air is expelled at a high rate through a narrow opening. This happens regardless of the type of compressor being used.
In a rotary screw compressor, two rotors inside the compressor compress the air for use. These compressors are known for their high output with small size. They tend to have a long life because the operating parts never experience high temperatures.
With a centrifugal air compressor, an impeller rotates and the compressor uses the angular momentum to create high pressure, according to The Engineering Toolbox. They are generally high-capacity compressors since the impeller creates a continuous air flow.