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Oil vs oilless air compressor

In the process of choosing compressors among powered tools, the natural question often arises. Which air compressor is better to buy: oil-free or oil-lubricated? Let’s try to figure out how the two types of air compressors differ from each other. What is the difference between oilless and oil air compressor? Oil-type compressors require constant attention since oil is constantly consumed along with compressed air. So it becomes necessary to check and top up it periodically. On average, a complete oil change in a screw compressor is required once every two thousand hours. During the oil change interval, the separator and the oil filter must also be replaced.

Oil vs oilless air compressor? Let’s consider more specifications to decide. Compressed air in an oil-filled reciprocating air compressor contains oil particles. The compressed air produced by the screw compressor usually contains oil particles. In reciprocating air compressors, the wear of the materials used in the manufacture of equipment is the main factor in reliability and durability. Oil-free air compressor types are made from unique materials that have a very low coefficient of friction. It provides an air compressor operation without oil lubrication.

The main common types of oil-free compressors are: 

  • screw
  • scroll 
  • reciprocating

They differ in the principle of compression. But all these types of compressors make it possible to obtain compressed air without the presence of oil particles. There is no lubricant in the chamber, which compresses the intake air. Following this fact, there is no need to clean the compressed air from oil particles. So, the consumer will receive it absolutely clean. Oil-free compressors are more expensive than their oil counterparts due to the use of advanced modern materials. But if we consider the savings on all kinds of air purification systems, then the price difference is quickly covered.