While there are some models that do not require oil for lubrication, most air compressors on the market are oil-lubricated.
Changing the oil is one of the most necessary tasks in maintaining the optimal efficiency and extending the engine life of your air compressor.
However, a wide variety of oils available can make you confused about which type or brand to use for your machine.
What follows is our recommendations on the best synthetic air compressor oil and how to select the best products for your air compressors. We hope that it can help save your precious time shopping around.
Like most engine-powered machines, your air compressor also requires lubrication to maintain an efficient operation and minimize the wear and tear’s thus ensuring the unit’s long life.
Both synthetic and standard air compressor oils can work well, but thinking that all oils are the same would accidentally ruin your mechanical device.
When selecting the oil type to go with, you should know how often you will be using your air compressor.
When it comes to compressor hours, though more affordable, the standard compressor oil is geared towards homeowners and those who don’t really use their devices a whole lot.
Also, it is a solid choice for light- or medium-duty use.
Meanwhile, synthetics work fine for professionals and those who use their devices more than three times per week.
Having a much wider temperature range, a synthetic compressor oil product offers exceptional protection from cold environments and overheating. That way, it can help your air compressors run a little bit quieter and a lot smoother.
For all reasons above, a lot of air compressor oil manufacturers produce synthetic options available for their devices and advice their customers to use synthetics for extended periods.
NOTE: Each synthetic oil product tends to work best with one air compressor model or two. You can find the exact information on the oil manufacturer’s official website.
The first step in finding out the synthetic oil working best with your air compressors is to know top things to keep in mind when choosing. Check them with carefulness!
Each type of oil might possess a different texture, which is also called as the viscosity, weight, or SAE. The weight is among the most necessary measures for a synthetic air compressor oil.
Too thin or too thick oil might not work well in your machines and could result in shutting down. The lower weight means the oil is more watery while the higher the viscosity is, the thicker the oil is.
In most air compressor applications, 20 and 30 weights of air compressor oils can maintain their viscosity. But you have to choose between them depending on the type of works you use your compressor for.
We recommend a 20 weighing air compressor for lightweight applications while 30 weight oil is better for heavier applications. Meanwhile, a 40 or 50 weight option is more fitting for higher temperatures.
Oil brands do not matter at all. For the sake of simplicity, you can run your compressor with the oil of its exact brand, but it is not obligatory.
Regardless of the brand, make sure to get a detergent-free oil meeting the requirements of your compressor manufacturer.
Like car change frequency, you should regularly change the synthetic compressor oil. Typically, you should check the compressor manual guidelines for exact information.
The DIY type air compressor owners should change the oil at least once a year. The rotary compressor users should change the oil every 7,000 or 8,000 hours while a reciprocating model user should do it once every 3 months.
However, if you use it all the time, consider changing it more regularly.
The industrial air compressor users should change the oil every 300-hr-operation based on their air compressor’s model and their manufacturer’s recommendations.
This answer might vary according to the utilizing context. There are some cases where you only need to put 4oz of air compressor oil to keep the portable synthetic air compressor running.
And there are other industrial models which require above 100oz of air compressor oil to run the system.
The temperature range is another vital measurement for air compressor oils.
Even the oils with the right viscosity do not operate as perfectly as expected in any temperature points as either heat range at approximately 120F (about 49 degrees Celsius) or cold below freezing can make them badly-behaved.
Oil manufacturers often label their products with a normal temperature range.
Those living in an area usually experiencing extreme high/low temperatures should purchase the models that can keep the right viscosity in their expected temperature range.
PAY ATTENTION! The air compressor itself also produces heat.
If the engine of your compressor generates a decent level of heat, you should select the high-temperature-oriented oil for longer life and more effective performances.
We have summed up pretty nicely what to consider when choosing the best synthetic air compressor oil. Now, we will show you our top picks that offer the best value for your money.
Here is our list of the best air compressor oil:
The most popular full synthetic oil brand among racers and auto enthusiasts all over the world is Royal Purple. All of their products deliver optimal performance, and the Royal Purple 01513 oil is not an exception.
Equivalent to SAE30, this additive generates extra strength helping to extend your engine’s life. The secret behind its exceptional performance is Royal Purple signature Synerlec additive giving it a higher viscosity.
Not only does it eliminate all extraneous annoying engine sounds, but it also helps your machine run much quieter and cooler.
That way, the Royal Purple 01513 Synfilm Recip high-performance oil is a 360-degree solution to improve your compressor’s performance.
NOTE: This energy-efficient oil does not work well in colder climates. Expect a huge decrease in wear and a big increase in lubrication in the heat only!
Whether you have a rotary compressor, a heavy-duty car air compressor, or a portable air compressor; you will never go wrong with the DEWALT D55001 Synthetic Compressor Oil.
But for the bottle cap unsealed once used, this oil by DEWALT would be the #1st pick of this list.
Wear and tear is among the common problems that all automotive owners have to face. Fortunately, this high-quality oil which offers superior pump protection will give you peace of mind when it comes to wearing out parts.
Not only protesting the wearing as much as possible, but it can also enhance your air compressor’s efficiency.
Once you fill your air compressor up with the DEWALT D55001, you will not have to worry about valve carbon build-up and have your device run for up to 200 hours between oil changes.
Beat the regular benefits of compressor-specific oil with the Powermate Px P018-0084SP 100% Full Synthetic Air Compressor Oil – our #3rd pick of the best synthetic air compressor oil list.
What sets it apart from others is the ability to reduce wear and protect discharge valves from any detrimental carbon deposits at an incredibly wide temperature range.
Whether it is at high temperature (460 degree Fahrenheit or 238 degrees Celsius) or a shallow point (as -40 degree Fahrenheit or -40-degree Celsius), this all-season survivor will produce a gentle humming.
Though the Powermate Px P018-0084SP 100% Full Synthetic Air Compressor Oil is not the cheapest product out there, considering that it can work well in both scorching summer and chilly winter, it is worth buying.
Whether it is for personal or industrial use, you will not be compromising with the formula of the oil by the most well-known pneumatic brand. The Pro Silent High-performance Compressor Oil is a 30 weight non-detergent oil.
Free from any harmful additives aside, what’s impressive is the high-temperature self-ignition of up to 770 degrees Fahrenheit allowing it to work in all conditions.
And when it comes to anti-corrosion and anti-foam properties, nothing can beat this oil by Pro Silent. The Dacnis VS32 protects your compressor against rust and hydrolysis as well as ensures the best condition of any parts.
Though the Pro Silent High Performance Compressor Oil can work in extreme cold conditions without any risk of detonation or ignition, the biggest drawback is the high substance consumption.
NOTE: Be careful when pouring the oil out as it is really thick.
Another product by Powermate is the 018-0069CT Synthetic Blend Non Detergent Air Compressor Oil. It is lowly priced yet highly effective at offering maximum lubrication.
Powermate expertly engineered this oil by packing it with a handful of good additives inhibiting premature wearing.
It means that you can keep this oil and your air compressor in a garage all year round without worrying about poor quality oil making some unit components rust.
Consisting of some great components, the All Season Select Synthetic Lubricant is an all-season blend promising the superior performance of any piston compressors.
Like other products on our list, this Ingersoll Rand oil also prevents carbon build-up and reduces any risk of unit’s wear. However, what makes it outstanding is the easy switching to this synthetic air compressor oil.
All you have to do is to clean your air compressor’s crankcase from the old oil and just pour this thicker one into even the smallest gaps. That way, you can save much time changing the oil.
The last product appearing on our list of the best synthetic air compressor oil is the Porter Cable PXCM018-0080 1 gallon Synthetic Blend Non-detergent Air Compressor Oil.
Working impressively right after being applied, this oil by Porter Cable can enhance the performance of any old oil-lubricated air compressors.
No matter how old your device is, the PXCM018-0080 oil with the signature non-detergent formulation can help it run smoothly even in severe temperatures.
Which Synthetic Air Compressor Oil Will You Choose?
So, above are our recommendations on the best synthetic air compressor oil. Have you already decided which compressor-specific oil to invest in?
All of these 7 products we review are great, but the Royal Purple 01513 Synfilm Recip is our best bet.
This easily applied synthetic air compressor oil is worth every single penny you will spend on it. It will help your machine run not only smoother and quieter but also longer.
Pay good money for this oil by Royal Purple, and you can extend the life of your air compressor.
Do you agree with us? Do you have any other recommendations? Leave your comment in the box below!