How to Choose an Oil Free Compressor

Air  compressors  are widely available in oil-less and lubricated models and choosing the correct unit for your application can be a difficult decision.

The key differences are that conventional lubricated units require oil to operate and need to be monitored just like a car engine. However, these units are generally more durable than their oil-free cousins and perform best in continuous, heavy use environments.

Oil-less air  compressors , on the other hand, are ideal for lower volume applications, are low maintenance and can work at steep angles where lubricated units struggle.

Oil free  compressors  are ideal for certain situations. For example, when the air is used in a medical or clean room environment, it is vital that the air that comes from the  compressor  is free of oil. There are a few options that you have when choosing a suitable unit for your application.

Some are designed specifically for these needs and are generally much quieter than their non-oil free counterparts. Usually these are used indoors where noise levels are an important consideration.

The decisions you will make when purchasing or hiring an oil free  compressor  are basically the same as you would make for an oiled  compressor . You need to determine how much airflow, air pressure and noise level that you need for the unit you choose. However, there are some key differences that you should take into consideration.

The first thing that is different about these two types of  compressors  is the working temperature. Typically, oil free units run hotter than those lubricated with oil. Consider the amount of work that you will require from you unit. This is an important consideration when you are choosing to buy one. If you must run your air  compressor  for long periods of time, make certain that it can handle the workload.

Air filters can eliminate the lubricating oil from reaching the air that is operating your tools. If you are working with paint it is important that the air that is operating your spray tool be free of oil or you will end up with oil in the paint. A filter can often resolve this problem.

It is important that you select the right filter for your unit or you will be spending a great deal of time dealing with a clogged  compressor  and poor performance from your tools. Some of the considerations needed for choosing a filter are the quality of the air, the size of the  compressor  and your airflow needs. Choose the wrong filter for your requirements and you will simply end up wasting a great deal of time unclogging your equipment.

Cost is obviously a consideration when choosing oil free  compressors . In the past they were usually more expensive than those that were lubricated with oil, but in recent times the costs are becoming much more comparable. Make sure you are getting the  compressor  that offers you the most airflow, air pressure and filtering for your money.

Unless you have past experience of using an oil free  compressor  it is highly recommended that you seek professional advise which can usually be found at the point of purchase.