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Not all air compressor needs an oil, but when it is required, charging the new oil on a periodical basis will help maintain the compressor. At that time, your must-know technique is how to choose the best air compressor oil.

If you do not know where to start, feel free to scroll down right here. We will reveal how to check the oil status and the complete buying guide for the oil.

Read now!

When The Air Compressor Needs New Oil?

When The Air Compressor Needs New OilAs we mentioned above, it is always recommended to change the air compressor oil frequently to ensure your tool will work the most smoothly and functionally.

Thus, you should check the manual documents or contact the manufacturers to know the best frequency according to your practical use.

Otherwise, here are tips for figuring out when to exchange the oil:

  • Save the date of the last change (by you or the professional service)
  • Put a dipstick or sight glass inside the tank to check the amount of oil left
  • Compare the oil measured with the volume recommended by the manufacturer. If it is less, then add some.
  • Take the colour of oil in mind. The change in colour reflects the change in the characteristics and performance of the oil. We call it “oil ageing.” When the oil goes ugly black. It is time to do the replacement.
  • From our experience, after 7000 hours of running, the oiled rotary compressor needs new oil. That time for the reciprocating compressor is about 3 month. Even when you use the tool occasionally, you should change the oil once a year at minimum.

What to Know About The Air Compressor Oil?

Main Functions of Air Compressor Oil

Main functions of air compressor oilIn general, the common use of oil for most motorized machines is to cool the heated-up interval components and to lubricate them from bearings.

This fact is still true when it comes to air compressors.

Accordingly, the high viscosity allows the oil to work under extreme heat and to mix with coolants. Also, the air compressor oil protects the parts from thermal degeneration and oxidation, as well as wears and rusts.

Moreover, depending on the types of compressors, oil can be even more useful. For example, it helps seal the air gap with surface tension and clean up particles surpassing the air filter.

Special Priorities of the Oil for Air Compressor

  • Viscosity
    The viscosity refers to the density of the oil so that it can resist pressure. The thicker it is, the slower the oil will flow. Plus, the oil viscosity reduces the heat caused by friction of the on-job compressor.
    As a result, there are fewer chances of conflict and the tool run on lower power and less oil consumption.
  • Resistance to chemical or oxidation
    The oil for air compressor even maintains the stability of chemicals inside the air compressors by preventing the increase of sludge, carbons, and acids. Whereby, the oil shields and lubricates the essential parts thoroughly.
    In other words, the oil impairs the functions and durability of the tool effectively from the oxidation.
  • Highly dielectric and moisture-free ability
    More excitingly, the oils used in the air compressors lower the amount of moisture content significantly.
    To be specific, the oil effectively discharges water and prevents it from entering and lessening the crankcases, coolers, or coalesces.

Compressor Oil is Different from Motor Oil

Compressor oil is different from motor oilIt is a common question we receive almost daily that “Can I use motor oil for an air compressor?”

Then, the answer is no!

The critical difference between these two types of oil is, the air compressor oil is synthetic, meaning no detergents; meanwhile, the motor oil (for trucks or cars) often feature some kinds of detergents.

Thus, it causes the buildup of carbon quickly and damages the air compressor significantly.

In a bind, the non-detergent motor oil is still acceptable.

The Dangers of Wrong Compressor Oils

For sure, an unsuitable oil will prevent the air compressor from running well. Even worse, it damages the overall parts – sooner or later.

Take the motor oil as above, for instance.

Without characteristics like the air compressor oil, the motor oil can’t extract moisture and lubricate the compressor.

Thus, the tool has to work more effort. One the one hand, it adds an extra cost for oil and energy consumption. On the other hand, you have to spend money on maintenance and fixing the tool later.

Rather than shorten the life of the compressor, the wrong oil even causes the risks of accumulating carbons and even fires because of over-heating performance.

How to Choose The Best Air Compressor Oil?

With some knowledge base from the above, you might already understand the importance and characteristics of the air compressor oil. Hence, you know can pick the best by yourself.

If you are still confused, check some keynotes of buying guide as follows:

Know Your Air Compressor First

Before jumping on any purchase of oil, make sure you understand what types of your compressor and what types of oils needed.

To some people’s surprise, there is both oiled and oil-free air compressor. If you use the latter, you might want to step back.

In case that you can use the oiled compressor, then keep checking the later on. But first, digest any documentations by the sellers to find out whether they recommend a special type of oil and why.

What Viscosity of Oil?

What viscosity of oilAgain, take note that the higher the viscosity is, the slower the oil will flow – and in turn, the less friction caused inside the compressor.

The best air compressor oil is a 20 or 30 weight.

The 30-weight choice is suitable in the summertime because it is thicker and so, coat the parts with better protection.

The 20-weight oil viscosity is for colder winters since the air compressor will be less heated during the operation.

Types of Air Compressor Oil

Types of air compressor oilWe would like to categorize the air compressor oils into two main types, including standard oil and the synthetic ones.

  • Standard oil for air compressors: A standard bottle of oil is just fine for those who use the air compressor occasionally. It is much cheaper than synthetic oil. However, the functions and characteristics of the oil are just “standard” as the name suggests.
  • Synthetic oil for air compressors: This heavy-duty oil is geared towards industrial air compressors or for those who use the tool on a regular schedule, for instance, 3 times per week.

This type of oil can withdraw a wide range of temperature from harsh cold to overheating environments. What’s more, the compressors running on the synthetic oil seem to be smoother and quieter.

Price, Brand, and Size

If the manufacturer does provide the oil for your currently-used air compressor, just go for those branded products. Otherwise, refer to the list of 3 best air compressor oils recommended later on.Furthermore, you should pick up the right size and compact price that are suitable for your demands.

3 Best Air Compressor Oil Options

Best Air Compressor Oil OptionsWe even give a shortcut to the top 3 oils for air compressors available in the market. No need to search else!

1. Powermate Px P018-0084SP 100% Full Synthetic

This is a 20-weight synthetic oil for air compressor, which can work effectively at very low-temperature from 0 degrees F.

Using this oil, you will figure out that your machine becomes a little more silent. Even better, the safety circuit automatically kicks off after 5 seconds if the oil causes too much drag.

2. Royal Purple 01513 Synfilm Recip 100

The Royal Purple 01513 comes with a very portable design that you can bring to the constructional size to maintain the compressor as needed.

What’s more, the oil is built with a high-end synthetic air compressor in mind. The lubricant is 100-weight – powerful enough to work in a highly-pressurized and closed system.

3. Campbell Hausfeld Oil Compressor 16oz MP12 (ST125312AV)

The Campbell Hausfeld 16oz MP12 (ST125312AV is a 30-weight oil which is a standard rather than a synthetic choice as the Powermate Px.

With such a viscosity density, the oil can work within a normal temperature range. Also, it works better in summer rather than in winter.

Wrapping Up

Above is the Air Compressor Oil: A List of 3 and Complete Buying Guide.

We hope that this post is useful, especially those who are not very familiar with motorized tools, let alone the air compressor.

Before you go, take all recommendations in mind.

Bonus, save this video to learn how to change the air compressor oil later.

We hope you enjoyed our article on "Air Compressor Oil – How to Choose The Best?", if so, please share and rate it.