Buyer’s Guide: Oil vs Oil-free Compressor

oil vs oil free compressorIt doesn’t matter whether you’re working in your garage, workshop or within your household because an air compressor is an excellent and handy tool that everyone should have.

It will help you deal with a wide array of assignments, which is why you should know which one is the best for your specific requirements.

Finding the appropriate air compressor is challenging, and it could be confusing for first-time buyers.

The main confusion happens because you will have to decide between an oil and oil-free compressor.

We are here to help you make the best choice for your needs:

What’s The Differenece Between Oil and Oil-free Compressor?

Have in mind that most air compressors draw air by using a piston. Therefore, the air will be inside the storage tanks that you will need for it.

In case that you wish to be efficient, you will have to lubricate the piston chamber, which is why some of them are using oil for those purposes.

On the other hand, oil-free compressors feature pre-lubricated cylinder which is permanent lubrication and requires less maintenance when compared with the oil type.

Since the Teflon will protect the pump, you can rest assured and avoid regular oiling.



We have mentioned above that the support is the first difference between these two types of air compressors.

Since oil compressors require more maintenance which means that you have to change the oil from time to time, of course, everything depends on how often you’re using it and the design of the compressor.

With it, you will get user manual that will provide you with appropriate information on how long oil could stay inside before changing it.

However, everything functions differently if you choose oil-free compressors.

Apart from that, oil-lubricated compressors are heavier than oil-less ones because they have more parts inside.

At the same time, the prices are different too, because of oil-less features less number of elements which is the reason for its cost efficiency.


air compressor

Even though oil-free air compressors are more affordable, require less maintenance and lighter than oil compressors, have in mind that they are not as durable as the counterpart.

Since they come with a pre-lubricated piston that requires no maintenance, the Teflon will start to wear out as time goes by.

They are not as durable as oil-lubricated compressors, but you will be able to use them for DIY projects and household needs especially if you need it from time to time.

Of course, they are not efficient if you want to complete heavy-duty projects for commercial purposes.

That is the main reason why oil compressors are more famous for long working hours and industrial purposes.

On the other hand, oil-less ones tend to turn hotter than oiled ones, since they feature no oil that will cool them off.



We can differentiate these two air compressors by checking their noise levels. Have in mind htat oil air compressors tend to be less noisy than the counterparts.

This is another consideration that you should understand before you make up your mind, especially if you’re planning to use them in a quiet environment.

Since they feature proper lubrication, they will have quieter performance than oil-free alternatives.

Therefore, this is a dealbreaker for people that wish to use air compressors in the household, because noise could interfere with your loved ones and neighborhood enjoyment.

Oil Compressor Pros and Cons

You are probably aware that these types of compressors are the most popular ones and both models are capable of providing you great performance so that you can finish the job you’re planning in the first place.


Durable – This is the first consideration that you will get with this particular type of air compressors.

Finally, you will be able to purchase something that will stand the test of time, due to regular maintenance and inability to wear off the same way as oil-free compressors.

Quiet – The another thing that you should have in mind is that you can rest assured with this particular type and use it wherever you are because it is much quieter than its counterpart.

Therefore, for people that have a strict neighborhood or wish to work within a household, this is the better choice altogether.

Reliable Performance – Oil compressors are made to withstand harsh conditions which means that with regular maintenance and oil changes, you will be able to finish any work without any additional hassle.

It is a common choice for industrial and heavy-duty usage, and it can work a whole day without breaking and failure.


Heavy – When compared with oil-less compressors, this particular type is bulkier, and you will need more strength to carry it around.

That is because it comes with more parts inside as well as oil that you have to add which will increase its weight gradually.

More Maintenance – The another hassle of this particular type is that you will have to maintain it regularly and change oil based on the model and your usage time.

Since it doesn’t have pre-lubrication features, you will have to do it to protect it against wearing off.

Expensive – It is more costly than oil-free compressors because it features a more complex design with more parts and ability to finish heavy-duty assignments with ease.

Oil-Free Compressor Pros and Cons

When it comes to oil-free compressors, for specific industries it is a must especially for labs, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies.

There are numerous benefits of switching over to an oil-free air compressor, and we are here to present you a few of them:


Higher Air Quality – Since oil tends to create harmful emissions, with this particular type you can rest assured because it will reduce the negative impact on the environment and you won’t need a natural resource such as oil.

No Maintenance – When compared with oil compressors, you should learn that it requires no maintenance which is essential because you will be able to use it with ease and without any additional problem.

Affordable Price Tag – Since it requires less maintenance and ability to feature fewer parts than oil alternative, you will be able to find it for a lower price which is an excellent consideration for DIY enthusiasts.


Noisy – It doesn’t feature lubrication which will increase the overall noise, and some household owners could treat it as a disadvantage because with it you will affect the enjoyment of people around you.

It Is Not For Heavy-Duty Assignments – Since they are new to the market, you won’t be able to find the alternative that will be able to work the same way as oiled ones.

On the other hand, if you want to use it from time to time, without consistency, this is the best choice for your needs.


We have presented you a comprehensive guide on the difference between oil and oil-free compressors so that you can determine which one is the best for your specific needs.

As you can see both of them will provide you the similar performance, so you have to list things that you wish to accomplish with it so that you can make up your mind.

If you have additional considerations, you can ask them in the comment section below.

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