Oil or oil-free air compressor? Still, pondering over this dilemma? Don’t fret guys because after reading this blog, you will know exactly which one to go for!
Professional technicians or DIYers love their tools and never tolerate the interference of anybody else. They collect these tools very carefully. Sometimes, they buy and test multiple tools and don’t get expected results which definitely wastes their time and energy. However, the struggle of buying the best tool isn’t an easy journey rather a time-consuming job that requires both money and the proper time for testing every feature of the tool.
Purchasing a small screwdriver or a low-cost hammer isn’t a big deal. Even if they fail to give expected results, you never worry about the money as you can replace such tools easily. On the other hand, investing money in an important and expensive tool isn’t something that you want to do every month. One such tool is an air compressor that is required in different industries including mechanical work, automotive work, carpentry, and DIY tasks.
Whether you want to inflate your car tire or trying to work with a pneumatic wrench, you can’t complete these tasks without an air compressor. An efficient air compressor is no less than a blessing for you as it helps you complete your work faster and more effectively. You don’t have to ask for the help of an expert or wait in the middle of the road if the car’s tire gets deflate. Fill air in air mattresses and make your wrench work properly. But, can you get all these benefits from every air compressor? Does it have any types? Either to pick oil vs oil-free air compressor? Which is the best air compressor for me?
These are some questions that come to the mind of every person who wants to buy an air compressor. If you have already worked with air compressors or have some industry knowledge, then you must know there are two types of air compressors, i.e. oil-driven air compressors and oil-less air compressors.
Now, the question is, which option you should opt for? If you are also confused and want to invest money in a lucrative deal to make the most of it, then you have landed at the right post. We are going to share every possible detail including pros, cons, and uses in this blog. After reading the blog completely, you will understand the functionality and purpose of both types completely and would be able to buy the best option. Without any further ado, let’s start the blog post.
Table of Contents
Oil vs. Oil-Free Air Compressor- A Brief Introduction!
Oil-driven air compressors use oil as a fuel that also lubricates the internal parts of the air compressor. The user needs to change the oil regularly to ensure the best performance. It’s the most common type of air compressor and widely being used in the automotive industry. Though the air compressor works efficiently, it demands high maintenance that many users find difficult.
The oil-less air compressor is the second type of air compressor that requires a regular oil change. Some people believe that the amount of oil used in an oil-less air compressor is zero percent which isn’t true as a lubricant called Teflon is used in it that keeps it lubricated. The maintenance of such air compressors is easy and you don’t have to spend time and money on regular maintenance.
To know if you are going to go with an oil or oil-less air compressor, read a bit further!
Weight and Portability
Weight is one of the most important factors that impact the buying decision. Oil-driven air compressors are heavy and difficult to carry. You can’t take them from place to place. Storing them is another challenge as they need a proper place for it. Those who are planning to buy for regular or domestic usage shouldn’t opt for the oil-driven air compressor as it’s difficult to carry and can’t be moved easily due to the heavyweight.
Oil-less air compressors are compact and lightweight. They are easy to move and ideal for people who have to travel for their projects. You can easily store them in your car’s trunk and take it with you anywhere. Due to the compact size, it never occupies immense space even at home and you can keep it with other tools easily. For the daily tasks and projects, an oil-less air compressor is the best option for you.
No matter how expensive an air compressor you buy, it would be of no use if it’s not durable. Oil-driven and oil-less air compressors show a bit opposite behavior when we compare them in terms of durability. First, we will talk about oil-driven air compressors which are very durable and lasts for decades. They never damage even after rigorous use. The efficiency of the air compressors remains the same and the inner parts stay intact. Due to the presence of oil and proper lubrication, the wear and tear of the air compressors are too slow. If you change the oil regularly, they are your lifetime companions.
Oil-less air compressors aren’t as durable as oil-driven air compressors. Due to their structure and design, their body starts deteriorating over time. You can’t expect more than five years of usage with these air compressors. Basically, the layers of Teflon start falling off that affects the overall performance of the air compressor. Moreover, they never come with an additional protective coating like oil-driven air compressors. That’s why weather circumstances and rust affect the outer layer of the air compressor.
Like many other factors, the usage of both air compressors is also different. Oil-driven air compressors are very powerful and larger in size. They are competent enough to fulfill the needs of big industries where high air pressure is required. The heavy industry and automotive industry can’t work with low-pressure air compressors and need a powerful air compressor to deliver the best performance. Using a low-pressure air compressor affects the efficiency of the heavy-industry motors and using low-pressure air compressors over time can result in permanent damage to these machines.
From the usage of oil-driven air compressors, you must have understood that oil-less air compressors are a big no for the heavy industry and places where excess pressure is required. Oil-less air compressors are small and compact. They also deliver low air pressure and known as low-powered air compressors. You can use them for domestic or DIY projects where you don’t need high-pressure or professional equipment. Air mattresses, kids’ air toys, footballs, and car tires are some common things for that you can use an oil-less air compressor. In short, they are the best option for non-commercial usage.
Maintenance is another crucial factor that impacts the buying decision of a person, especially for a lazy person who hates regular maintenance. If you are one such person, then air-driven air compressors aren’t something of your interest as they are highly maintained air compressors. You have to change the oil regularly and clean it properly so no dust particles go inside and block the inner parts.
Oil-less air compressors don’t need any maintenance as they never require oil for their operation. They are compact and never let dust or any other particle enter inside. DIYers and those who don’t need it for frequent use should go for it as you don’t have to worry about cleaning and oil change type problems.
A high noise level isn’t good for our ears and it triggers many health problems. Using a machine that produces excess noise disturbs the people around you. People having high blood pressure, diabetes, and anxiety issues can’t tolerate noise as it affects their health. Among many ways, you can differentiate air compressors in terms of the noise level.
Oil-driven air compressors are well-lubricated and don’t produce noise. They work silently and never disturb people in your surroundings. You can work peacefully without worrying about disturbing the people with excess noise. It also helps you complete your work on time as you don’t have to take breaks just because someone is annoying due to the irritating sound of the air compressor.
Oil-less air compressors are known for their noisy operation. They are a bit loud and not good for working in a residential area where there are a number of people living around you and present in their homes to get some peace of mind. Using these air compressors for a few minutes isn’t a big deal, but if you are buying them to use for hours, then don’t commit this mistake as the decision will bring severe criticism and complaints from your neighbors.
The capability of the working of air compressors is different in different environments. They perform differently in different conditions especially when the temperature is hot or too cold. We all know that too cold temperature hinders the work performance of oil and never lets it unleash its potential. That’s why oil-driven air compressors don’t perform well in cold areas where the temperature always stays below zero. If you are living in a cold place or about to start a new project in a cold area, then don’t opt for an air-driven air compressor because you won’t be able to get the best from it.
An oil-less air compressor works well in dry places as there is no oil needed to operate the air compressor and you don’t have to worry about the thickness of the oil. They perform well in cold places, but not ideal for extremely warm places due to the dry nature. Extreme hot weather dries up the internal moisture of the air compressor and also harms the inner Teflon layer. Use oil-less air compressors in dry and cold places to get exceptional work performance but avoid their use in warm areas.
If you are too cautious about the air and atmosphere of your home or you are working on a project where you can’t tolerate contaminated air, then you should be very careful in the selection of an air compressor. The oil present in an oil-driven air compressor reacts with the atmospheric air and its molecules spread in the air. This type of air compressor never comes with oil filters and not safe for places where you can’t compromise the quality of the air.
Oil-free air compressors have built-in air filters that never let the inner oil interact with the outer air. As they need to fill oil over again, so the chances of air contamination are the minimum. You work safely with this type of air compressor and enjoy work without worrying about any uncertain incident that happens due to the contaminated air. Never use it at places where there is water storage or gas storage containers are present. The presence of petrol molecules in the air can trigger can a serious accident such as suffocation or fire.
It’s a fact that good things at a high price, but it’s not true in every situation. If you are buying an air compressor that isn’t expensive doesn’t mean it won’t work properly. The price of an air compressor depends on its mechanism and construction. So, you should know well about your requirements and needs so you can make the right decision and your money wastes due to the poor decision.
Oil-driven air compressors are more powerful are expensive. They are ideal for regular use and one can use them without worrying about the damage. So, investing money in air-driven isn’t a bad idea rather a good investment for the longterm benefit. On the other hand, oil-less air compressors are affordable and within the budget of everyone. However, they can’t be used for places and things that need high power to start the work operation. Their usage is good for the home only and you can rely on them when it comes to industrial use.
Don’t forget to add oil price, electricity price, and maintenance charges to add in the overall charges. These are important factors that you shouldn’t ignore it anyway.
The warranty gives you peace of mind that your money is safe and you are going to waste it on a low-quality product. The warranty of an air compressor depends on the company of that specific air compressor. It’s not necessary that every company offers you a warranty card as some never believe in it. It’s always better to choose an air compressor that offers a warranty for one or two years. This would let you inspect all functions and features completely.
If you believe that there is another company that delivers exceptional products but never issues a warranty card with its products, then the best way to check the quality of the air compressors is to read customers’ reviews. In this way, you can check the genuine review of customers and determine the quality of the air compressors. Moreover, you can ask a question of a relevant forum and take feedback from the users.
Tips to Extend the Lifespan of an Oil or Oil-Free Air Compressor
Everyone wants to enjoy the long-term benefit of their appliances and machines. Air compressor buyers are also not exceptional. They invest money to get the best from the air compressor and wish to use it for decades. If are also one such person, then you should follow the safety and maintenance guide provided by the company. To use the air compressor in the best way and get the maximum performance from it, follow these instructions:
Keep your air compressor clean from dust and moisture. Dirt and water can accumulate inside the air compressor and block the internal parts.
- Check the intake vents and clean them frequently.
- Change air filters if they stop working overtime to prevent any uncertain incident.
- Keep checking the internal safety system and regularly tighten the fasteners and screws.
- Never keep your air compressor in moist or rainy places where the water falls directly on the air compressor. It can enter the valves and ruin the internal parts which can affect the overall performance of the air compressor.
We guess you are now clear whether you’d like to go with an oil or oil-less air compressor!
Either you are a professional or work on your small DIY projects, the need for an air compressor is indispensable. Ask your primary need and the application for that you need an air compressor. Determining the exact purpose of the air compressor is the first step that you take in the right direction. Once you get the precise answer to this question, then the next buying journey isn’t difficult.
Are you planning to buy it alone or have a crew who will use it? Do you have a proper space for keeping the air compressor? Is it fine for you if oil contaminates the air a little bit? Can you carry it easily? Do you want to use it regularly or just in rare situations? What’s your budget limit? All of these questions and very helpful to get the best air compressor for your home or the workshop. Don’t haste and take time in thinking. Check customers’ reviews in the comment section of the product and then make any decision. If you have anything informative to share with us, don’t waste time thinking and let us know right away.