Synthetic and standard oils are widely used for compressors lubrication. Each of them can be called as the best air compressor oil in certain situations because the first one is regarded as the all-season product that doesn’t freeze even in low-temperature conditions, while another oil for air compressors type can be used only in warm weather due to its possibility to freeze at subzero temperature.
One more difference between them is a composition. The synthetic product usually consists of a fluid, based on synthetic esters and a unique highly effective additive package, and the standard stuff contains petroleum products with fewer additives. At the same time, even the best air compressor oil synthetic production has a little bit unpleasant smell, while the standard oil is completely odorless.
One more distinctive characteristic is oil’s length of service. Synthetic products allow extending the time between service intervals and reducing the number of air compressor oil changes, while the standard variant gets polluted very quickly and needs frequent replacement.
Synthetic compressor oil will be helpful for experts (due to its increased action resource and ability to act in bad weather conditions) or people who use their compressors at least 3 times a week, while the standard one can be perceived as the best compressor oil for homeowners and people who don’t use the device outdoors in cold conditions. Moreover, you must use only the lubricant that is specified in the technical documentation and is recommended by the manufacturer.
The Best Air Compressor Oils Reviews
It’s important to provide the compressor with high-quality accessories, which will be useful and surely perform the manufacturer’s tasks. Here you can find really effective compressor oils that were tested in real conditions.
Synthetic Air Compressor Oils
Royal Purple 01513 — Best Air Compressor Oil
The Royal Purple air compressor oil is able to make the device run cooler and quieter. It removes the extraneous annoying motor sounds, leaving only a gentle humming in the background. There is a huge increase in lubrication and a big decrease in wear.
2/4 of this stuff is enough to make the compressor run very long. It’s possible to see the level of oil fullness in the reservoir due to the color. The liquid has a low friction coefficient and the fuel consumption is greatly reduced.
- Full compatibility with ethanol fuel.
- The synthetic compressor oil separates from water rather slowly.
- The increased evaporation of the oil doesn’t allow storing it for a long time.
Ingersoll-Rand 38436721 — All-season Lubricant
This ingersoll rand compressor oil can be used in all weather conditions and even in extreme cold. The compressor lubricant includes special components, which prevent carbon buildup and reduce unit’s wear. The switching to the Ingersoll-Rand synthetic air compressor oil appeared to be very easy because all I had to do was to clean the crankcase from the old oil and just pour the new one. The stuff helps reduce the compressor’s noise and also contributes cooling.
The manufacturer says that the oil is made for small reciprocating compressors, but it greatly fits big devices due to its thick film and versatility. The high viscosity level facilitates the reliable lubrication and oil penetration even into the smallest gaps.
- The stuff has a neutral color that is clear even to the naked eye.
- The unit greatly performs its task. The result is clearly visible after the first use.
- It doesn’t have an unpleasant smell and has a neutral color.
- Quite a big oil expense indicates inefficiency.
- Before the lubricant using the compressor made strange sounds and squeaked. After the product pouring the situation has changed dramatically.
Powermate Px P018-0084SP — Reliable Wear Protection with High Viscosity Index
The air compressor oil has the initial viscosity high stability and contains oxidation inhibitors, which guarantee excellent thermal reliability. The unit’s properties inhibit the corrosion of parts. The additives prevent foaming and give the oil good water separating capabilities. This synthetic compressor oil makes the device work very quiet and without the accompanying strange smell, and it is definitely one of the best compressor oils.
It can be poured into the tank in a very conveniently way. There is a possibility to keep the compressor and the oil in a garage in any season and don’t afraid that the substance can evaporate or some unit details may rust due to poor quality oil.
- The compressor starts up without any problems even in a very cold morning.
- The device doesn’t groan when starts.
- It is able to bring back to life even 17-years old air compressor.
- After bottle opening, the oil had an awful smell. It disappeared after a few uses.
- There is some small sludge in the compressor discharge lines.
Pro Silent VS-32 — Superior Start-Up and Pump Protection
The air compressor oil improves compressor efficiency and can be used for professional and personal use. The composition provides effective lubrication, has a high self-ignition temperature (770 F), and resists to oxidation. Moreover, it’s neutral in relation to the compressor parts (guarantee the protection against rust, anti-corrosion properties, and high resistance to hydrolysis).
The Pro Silent has all chances to be the best synthetic air compressor oil when it comes to a good anti-foam performance and anti-corrosion properties, but at the same time, the product has not very economical consumption so a quite big amount of substance is needed for full use.
Overall, to my mind this product has all features best air compressor oil needs.
- It doesn’t have a strong smell.
- It can be used even in winter and has real pump protection.
- It helps start the compressor at the first attempt.
- The oil is too thick and it’s uncomfortable to pour it.v
- I don’t notice the efficient sealing of gaps.
Standard Air Compressor Oils
Campbell Hausfeld 16oz MP12 — Reduce Valve Carbon Build Up
The air compressor oil is versatile and is perfect for all brands and models of oil-lubricated air compressors. The product is non-detergent and as well as the synthetic non detergent compressor oil, it also has a single viscosity and is able to work in severe temperature conditions (no more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit). Higher temperatures can cause ignition or detonation.
The oil’s life is 2.000-4.000 hours. It also has oxidation resistance and low foam formation. The Campbell Hausfeld product doesn’t have an unpleasant smell and due to the additives absence, it’s completely transparent.
- It makes compressors work without annoying sounds.
- The device itself stays barely warm even during active work.
- It seems that the lubricated surfaces become more durable and are not affected by corrosion.
- The oil has very liquid structure and pours out of the bottle very quickly, so it’s necessary to pour it into the reservoir very carefully.
- It’s completely transparent and it can be difficult to control the tank filling level.
Senco PC0344 — Oil with High Hydrophobicity
Only one use is enough to see that the air compressor oil is able to keep internal structure clean. The elements are covered with a very thin but dense film. The manufacturer promises a corrosion resistance, and I dare to believe it due to the mentioned film and high density of the product. The liquid’s composition includes hydrocarbons, tar, and asphalt compounds.
The compressor stays warm even during the working process, so I think that additives may be destroyed in the operating conditions. Such a peculiarity reduces the service life of the oil for compressor. The additive-free lubricant loses much of its performance.
- It reduces leakage through the internal gaps between the rotors.
- I can’t hear a noise during the compressor’s work.
- The mineral air compressor lubricant doesn’t freeze and become a little bit thicker at low ambient temperature (due to the additives).
- The oil turns color with time, so it should be changed quite often.
- The mineral lubricant is not stable, especially in cold conditions.
PowerMate 018-0060CT — Maximum Lubrication and Low Consumption
The mixture of special additives doesn’t include harmful for human or nature components, so the oil’s smell doesn’t have a bad influence on the person’s health. After the first use, the compressor stops producing a loud noise and doesn’t heat up as quick as it was before. The oil is colorless but due to its density is greatly visible in the bottle and reservoir.
The container itself has an easy-to-read oil level indicator that is enough for rare using in normal temperature conditions. However, this type of oil must be protected from cold and high humidity.
- It covers all the details and protects them from rust.
- The liquid makes the compressor work at an acceptable volume.
- The usage isn’t accompanied by the liquid’s darkening.
- The oil evaporates very fast and needs to be refilled and replaced periodically.
- The product can’t stand very low temperature.
PowerMate Vx 0180063SP — All-season Oil that Inhibits Premature Wear
A few working hours are required to see that the air compressor oil really has an optimally balanced complex of additives, which provide excellent antioxidant properties, corrosion protection, and extreme pressure features. It’s hard to wash hands after the oil because the skin keeps the smell and is glided.
This oil for air compressor has a very interesting composition that reduces the risk of equipment breakdowns and ensures economical consumption in difficult conditions. The liquid is supplemented by the ability to clean the engine parts from various deposits and contaminants, and such a peculiarity is greatly visible after the first use.
- It seals mechanism connections.
- The oil reduces friction so the compressor works very quiet and without any harm to the elements.
- The stuff can be used in all seasons, as it has special additives, which increase frost resistance.
- The oil has become clogged and oxidized after the first usage.
How to Change Air Compressor Oil?
It is recommended to change the oil after 3 working months, but better ask the manufacturer representative about the ideal changing intervals for explicitly your model. The oil should also be replaced in a case of color changing.
Advanced guide on how to add oil to air compressor:
- Turn off the compressor. After that, the electric motor will stop and pressure will be released. Then the pressure in the receiver should be reduced to an atmospheric level. Turn off the inlet switch or disconnect the compressor supply cable from the electricity network.
- Wait until the oil in the compressor will cool down after the operation. The liquid has to be at least 176 F.
- Unscrew the filler plug located on the piston block (at the top of the crankcase).
- Loosen the drain plug located at the bottom of the crankcase.
- Find the old waste container to collect used oil and put it to the drain hole. Unscrew the drain plug completely and run the oil off.
- Tighten the drain plug.
- Fill new oil into the filler hole, intended to reciprocate compressors.
- Remember that the oil level in the crankcase must be within the red mark of the sight glass.
- Tighten the filler plug.
Now, when all the necessary procedures have been completed, you know how to oil an air compressor. Now you can turn the compressor back on to the electric mains and start working.
How to Choose the Best Oil for My Compressor?
Sometimes there appears a question: “What kind of oil goes in an air compressor?”, and the answer is hidden in technical documentation. There you can find the exhaustive characteristics of consumables and find the best oil for air compressors. Important: if the compressor’s manufacturer clearly indicates the brand of lubricant, the recommendations should be followed at least until the end of the warranty period. Otherwise, you can lose the possibility of free-of-charge repair.
If the mentioned way is not available for you, then you should find the details of the best synthetic air compressor oil (or standard) on the official website of the device’s manufacturer; go to the store of the official dealer and get the data from the seller or contact a service center.
If the required information could not be obtained, simply select the oil by analogy with other compressors, which have similar parameters and operating principle. It is especially important to observe the restrictions on the temperature that are reflected in the technical documentation.
When should I Add More Oil to My Compressor?
The successful performance of an oil compressor depends hugely on the oil that acts as the liquid for lubricating, cooling, and sealing. Hence, if the compressor lacks oil, it will immediately start working worse. First of all, the lack of oil will definitely cause faster heating of the air processed inside the compressor. In consequence, the item will often become shut down. automatically due to overheating. Secondly, you may also notice that your compressor barely reaches its maximum pressure, as the lack of oil results in poor sealing. If you notice both of these two symptoms, then it is high time for you to think about adding more oil in air compressor. You can also check the oil sight glass that can be found in some models, but that is not an option for each and every device.
When speaking about how often compressors require oil changes, it is rather difficult to give a precise answer. Due to the fact that there exist different models and different types of this very useful mechanical device. The most effective way is to stick to the user’s manual that always goes with the item. However, if you cannot find the one for your model, you may rely on the following statistics saying that oil must be changed once in 3 months in reciprocating air compressors and after every 1500-2000 hours of performance in rotary screw compressors. For other compressor types, there are no exact rules that work in the same way for all models. Therefore, you should better try to track the signs of overheating or pressure level decrease before the product begins working significantly worse due to the poor lubrication.
How Much Compressor Oil do I Need?
Unfortunately, each model has its own requirements and technical characteristics, so you cannot be sure that the same amount of oil will work for several devices at once. Before adding oil to air compressor, it is imperative to read the user’s manual to find out the exact amount. However, in most cases, oil is filled a bit lower than the top, as the compressor should have some space to withstand the pressure of the oil that is aerosolized by the compressor’s discharge. In such a way, you will ensure appropriate support of the mechanical device.
My name is Brandon, and I’ve been interested in cars since I was a kid. I got a bachelor’s degree in Automotive Technology and worked in a private car workshop. I have two cars that have been completely upgraded with my own hands. So I successfully put all my knowledge into practice.
Last update on 2020-04-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API