No matter you are working in a garage or a factory, Air compressors have uses everywhere. It is a very handy tool and helps with lots of tasks. Selecting the right compressor depends upon your needs. It is also important to review the tools before making the choice. So, let’s try to compare Oil-free vs Oil Air Compressor, to understand when to use them.
From the findings, we can draw the following things. Oil Air compressor is for industrial and commercial purposes as it is stronger, more durable, and faces less damage. Also, maintenance is not a very big task in industries. On the contrary, Oil-free air compressors are for household use and DIYers.
Oil-Free Vs Oil Air Compressor: Comparision Table
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Oil-Free Vs Oil Air compressor: Differences
Now that we have learned about the two, let’s try to differentiate between them. Differences can be based on various factors. We will discuss each one by one.
- Usage– Both compressors are for different uses. Oil Air compressors suit heavy-duty jobs. They provide long term usage. In other words, they are for regular jobs. Thus, the perfect choice for industrial and commercial uses. Oil-free compressors are for discrete and occasional uses. They are for a low workload. Meaning more suitable for household, DIY projects.
- Maintenance needed– Oil-free compressors are the clear winner here. Due to a lubricant coating, they face less damage. The Teflon coating leads to less wear and tear of inside parts. It enables you to work without worrying about maintenance. Oil air compressors need regular maintenance. This is due to the absence of lubrication. Also, they are for heavy-duty jobs so they require more attention. Although in industries, due to many backups, maintenance of an oil compressor is not a heavy task.
- The noise produced– Usually oil-free air compressors create more noise. It is better to use them in an open area or in soundproof rooms. Oil air compressors produce relatively lesser noise.
- Portability– Oil-free compressors have the edge here. Due to being non-bulky and lightweight, you can carry them around. This also compensates a bit for noise produced. This is because you can move them. Oil air compressors are bulky. You can’t move them often.
Oil-Free Vs Oil Air Compressor: Similarities
The general working of both tools is almost the same. They both compress air. Air compressors use a piston to draw in air. These compressors have a storage tank for the compressed air. The volume of storage tank varies from brand to brand. Both of them have one of the other kinds of lubrication. In oil air compressors, the chamber has oil for lubrication. In oil-free compressors, the lubrication is done by a coating of Teflon.
Oil-Free Vs Oil Air Compressor: Features
Oil Air Compressors
- Usually have high Rotations per Minute (RPM)
- High CFM and PSI ratings
- Can stand high pressure and volume
- Suitable for hot climate
Oil-free Air Compressor
- It gives clean air thus you don’t need to use air filters.
- It is lighter in weight and is portable
- Lower RPM leads to a better life
- It produces less noise
- Suitable for cold weather as well.
Items Inside The Box
- Oil air compressor- air compressor, wheels, inlet muffler, user manual
- Oil-free air compressor- air compressor, air filter, cord, quick coupler, ball valve, user manual.
Oil-Free Vs Oil Air Compressor: Overview
Oil Air Compressor
In Oil Air compressors, we use oil as a lubrication for the cast iron pump. These compressors emit lots of heat during heavy workloads. Oil also acts as a medium for heat transfer. Oil air compressors are usually more functional in nature. They are also more durable and have a long life. Since it has oil for lubrication, it produces less noise than an oil-free one. Another benefit is that it suffers less wear and tear. These qualities make it best for industrial uses.
There are some flip sides to these blessings. Oil air compressors have some drawbacks. The foremost is the need for high maintenance. You have to change the oil often. And the process is also bit challenging. The other con is that oil air compressors are bulky. Thus, they are not portable. They are fit only for industrial uses. You have to have a certain place to install it. You can’t shift the position every day as shifting it is a complex task. It is not suitable for remote tasks.
Oil-Free Air Compressor
The name is self-explanatory. The oil-free air compressor doesn’t need oil regularly to work. This doesn’t mean that they don’t need any lubrication. Actually, they are pre-lubricated. Teflon is used as a lubricant in these oil-free air compressors. Since the workload is low, you don’t need to lubricate it regularly.
The oil-free versions are compact and simpler. They are portable due to being lightweight. They are also less expensive than oiled ones. The oil-free version is fir for remote uses. These are more suitable for non-industrial and household purposes.
There are also some drawbacks to the oil-free version. Due to being exposed to weather, these get damaged easily. Also, they don’t have any coating which increases the damage. The insides are also severely affected. All this damage affects the life-span of the compressor. Thus, they have shorter life-span than that of an oiled one. Another con is that they produce a lot of noise. The noise produced is greater than the oiled compressor. So, using the compressor in the house is difficult. Lately, brands have been working on noise reduction.
Best Oil Air Compressors In The Market
California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Air Compressor
- Ultra Quiet, only 70 Decibels
- Oil-Free Pump for Less Maintenance & Costs
- Powerful 2.0 Hp with Low amp draw - 7.0 Amps
This tool is a suitable companion for workshops and garages. It has a capacity of 20-gallons and weighs 86pounds. It is versatile in nature. The 15A motor provides pressure up to 135PSI. It has two pressure gauges. One for monitoring internal pressure and the other to regulate the rate of airflow. Hose changing is now easy with 1/4-inched NPT coupler. The airflow rates are 3.8CFM at 90PSI and 5 CFM at 40PSI. It has lots of safety features as well.
BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor
- The portable air compressor has a long-life oil-free, maintenance-free pump for convenient use
- 150 max PSI 6.0 gallon tank (22.7 L) and 2.6 SCFM* delivered @ 90 PSI pump enable long tool run time with quick recovery...
- BOSTITCH high efficiency motor of the 6 gallon air compressor is made for easy start up in cold weather or extension...
With a capacity of 30litres, this tool has enough power for your projects. The airflow rate is 0.36 CFM at 90PSI. It can provide a max pressure of 110PSI. It is ideal for inflating balls and tires. It has many useful features like Air fitter, Auto cut, and moisture drain. It has wooden packaging for longer life.
Best Oil-free Air Compressors
Campbell Hausfeld DC200000
- 20 Gallon portable air compressor with horizontal design for easy transportation
- Durable oil free pump provides extended, hassle-free operation
- Max Pressure of 150 PSI and delivery of 4 CFM @ 90 PSI
With a max pressure of 150PSI, this tool is there for all your projects. It has a 1.3HP motor and floor rate of 4CFM at 90PSI. It is durable and portable as well. It needs low maintenance due to the special design of the motor. It weighs 92pounds and is very easy to handle. It is also equipped with Campbell Hausfeld. It has a capacity of 20gallons.
Stealth SAQ1413 Ultra Quiet compressor
- 4.5-gallon air compressor with rubber-reinforced handle and large rubber wheels for easy transport
- Ultra Quiet <65 Decibels, the maximum working pressure 150 PSI,4 CFM at 40 PSI - 3 CFM at 90 PSI
- Induction motor life cycle more than 1000 hours, dual pumps allow quick air recovery from empty tank
Thus, an ultra-quiet oil-free compressor produces noise below 65dB. The max pressure is 150PSI and its capacity is 4.5gallons. It has a very long life of more than 1000 hours. The flow rates are 4CFM at 40PSI and 3CFM at 90PSI. It is made with Q235B heavy-duty reinforced steel. The motor power is 1.3HP. It is compact in size and portable.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are some useful maintenance tips for an air compressor?
– You should always drain out the moisture from tanks.
– Always clear the intake vents.
– Change the air filters at regular intervals.
2. How can I reduce the noise produced by the compressor?
Use of Sound damper blocks the sound. Using chamber muffins also help in blocking of noise.
3. What oils are preferable for Oil air compressors?
For warmer conditions, you can use SAE30. for colder conditions, SAE20 is better.
Before making the choice, ask yourself the following questions-
- What are the job requirements?
- How much maintenance can you manage?
- What is the location? Open space, Garage, or workshop.
Answering these questions will help you make the right choice.
Mostly, oil compressors are bulky, highly capable, and useful for industries. Oil-free air compressors are compact, portable ones for household or light jobs.