Which Type of Oil Goes in an Air Compressor

If you have an air compressor in your home and do not change the oil, it will ultimately not work correctly. So the main reason for the failure of an air compressor is when you are not changing the oil. When you do not do the proper oiling of an air compressor, its parts are ultimately damaged, and it fails.

1. Is there a need for using air compressor oil in an air compressor?

Yes, there is a regular need for putting air compressor oil in a compressor. With time, the oil will make your compressor immortal. The primary purpose of using compressor oil is to increase the life of your air compressor. Using oil will lower the temperature of the compressor by almost 20 to 40 degrees less.

Don’t worry about the cold temperatures as your compressor, after oil, can work below zero temperatures. You can easily find many compressor oils that can help the compressor work even below -50 degrees in the market. In these situations, there is no metal-to-metal contact on the initial start-up of your compressor.

2. Benefits of Air Compressor Oil

The first thing which you are getting from using air compressor oil is longevity. There are many benefits of using air compressor oil. Check it out.

compressor oil

  • Resists water contamination

Water contamination is the main factor slowing down the air compressor. So when there is no oiling, there is unwanted water and oil emulsions. It may be caused when water from condensation builds up in the compressor.

Unfortunately, it leads to rust and corrosion. Most surprisingly, the oil is hydrolytically stable and prevents acid formation. Its function is to separate the water in the air compressor.

  • Improves compressor efficiency

The efficiency of air compressors also increases because when you use air compressor oil, it decreases friction.

  • Controls foam formation and reduces wear

Many best air compressor oils come with anti-foam additives. Keep in mind that any additive is not present in a compressor oil. So with the help of this additive, it gives your air compressor an anti-wear feature. With the use of oil, high contact regions are protected against wear. Therefore, it increases the compressor life and lowers maintenance costs.

  • Resist heat and oxidation

Along with simple oils, air compressor pump oil is also present that helps resist heat and oxidation. They are composed of specialized antioxidant additives to resist carbon and acid formation. These compressor oils are much better than petroleum oils, especially during hot operating conditions.

3. What will be the change in your engine after using compressor oil?

  • Less waste oil
  • Efficient running engine
  • Fewer emissions
  • Low maintenance
  • Low repairs
  • Increased horsepower
  • Increased longevity
  • High performance

4. What is compressor oil?

Air compressor oils are considered the specialized lubricant used to prevent premature wear and tear. If we talk about air compressor oil type, then usually it is of two kinds.

  • Natural compressor oil
  • Synthetic compressor oil

It should be noted that both these types of oils are different in terms of additives and viscosity.

5. How commercial compressor oil and lubricants work

Compressor oil is specially designed to help you out in three critical functions inside your equipment. The primary function of compressor oil is to lubricate all the moving parts. The lubrication will be helpful in better efficiency without binding or wearing.

Secondly, you will quickly assess how the best compressor oil provides the cooling of the equipment. So when the parts inside the equipment move, the oil lubricates, carrying the heat away and cools the parts.

This is why the compressor oil is necessary because the internal components get heated up during everyday use. The air compressor oil also assists in tight sealing, gaskets, and o-rings. Therefore, it prevents the gaps in the machinery. Thus, the oil is essential in three functions which are lubricating, cooling, and sealing.

6. What oil goes in an air compressor?

In this section, we will discuss air compressor oil types. Here you will evaluate which oil is better: synthetic or Mineral oil. So the choice between standard mineral oil or synthetic oil depends on your usage.

Whether you are using your equipment frequently and continuously for a certain period, keep in mind that standard compressor oil, also called Mineral oil, is cheaper than synthetic compressor oil. The viscosity and formulation are also different. So Mineral oil is considered more volatile because it readily evaporates as compared to synthetic oil.

7. Mineral oil: The standard oil for Air compressors

Mineral oil is considered to be the standard oil for air compressors. They are generally cheaper and most frequently used. On the other side, synthetic oil is made by undergoing a significant amount of processing.

According to different experts and manufacturers, it is usually recommended to use the particular oil based on the nature of use. If you are not using your air compressor continuously, you should go with a standard mineral oil lubricant.

However, if you are using your equipment frequently, then synthetic oils are a perfect choice. Synthetic oil is best suited for industrial use. This is because synthetic blends are ideal for regular use.

8. Benefits of synthetic oil

According to different people’s reviews, if you use synthetic oil in your air compressor, it will run a lot smoother and quieter. In addition, it will also give you a more excellent temperature range and more protection against the overheating of the air compressor.

9. What weight is compressor oil?

According to different potential manufacturers, the compressor oil weight should be 20 or 30. Make sure that it is a non-detergent compressor oil. It also depends on whether you are using standard compressor oil or synthetic blend compressor oil. However, you must stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations to avoid any mishap.

10. Is pump oil and compressor oil the same?

No, pump oil and compressor oil are not the same. As the name depicts, pump oil, also called vacuum pump oil, is used in mechanical vacuum systems. On the other hand, we all know very well that compressor oil is used in air compressors. It is used for the lubrication of the inner parts of the compressor, such as cylinder, piston, etc.

11. Atlas Copco compressor oil

Atlas Copco is famous for producing high-quality and unique compressor oils. It is specially designed for portable compressors. Mostly, the oils from this company are of premium quality with a high viscosity index.

Atlas Copco compressor oil

Moreover, the additives in the oil will make it more appealing to purchase. These compressor oils have great film strength with superior anti-wear features. Overall, the compressor oil from Atlas Copco comes up with excellent performance and efficiency even in the most critical equipment.

12. Best oil for air tools

Before going towards the best oil for Air tools, you should know what an air tool oil is. Air tool oil, also known as pneumatic lubricator oil, is usually used in the tools airline. It is an aerosolized stream of oil to lubricate the internal working parts of pneumatic tools.

On the other side, this type of air tool oil is also used in other devices such as walls, motors, and actuating cylinders. As air tool oil is used for tools in the airline, they have low viscosity and are usually atomized. Therefore, they can be easily moved in the compressed air in the pneumatic system.

13. Best oil-free air compressor

Before, we talked about using the compressor oil for the air compressor. Now, we will discuss oil-free air compressors. It is also known as an oil-less air compressor. We can easily understand that these are air compressors that do not require any compressor oil.

Typically, these types of air compressors are used by DIY homeowners or in the construction industry. Keep in mind that oil-free air compressors are portable with wheels. They are very lightweight, having a large air tank.

14. The oil in an oil-free air compressor

Most people have the perception that in oil-free air compressors, no oil is used strictly. But still, there is oil in the device, but it would not come into contact with the compressor. The oil is usually present in the gearbox. Keep in mind that the gearbox is responsible for the functioning of the two compressor elements through the electromotor.

Make sure that some oil should be present in the gearbox as it needs lubrication for proper functioning. If your gearbox does not function properly, then it will cost you a lot. Its maintenance is necessary where the oiling of the gearbox will lubricate the bearings and internal gears.

15. Napa air compressor oil

NAPA air compressors are famous for their durability and longevity. Keep in mind that the napa air compressor is used in various applications, and usually, people like it for its high quality and performance. Most surprisingly, they are rigid and can undergo any stress.

Also, you do not have to do a lot of maintenance of these types of air compressors. The reason is that they will not cause any trouble during use. SAE 30 is the napa compressor oil that helps promote the life of the compressor.

16. Oil for Campbell Hausfeld air compressor

The oil for the Campbell Hausfeld air compressor has 30% weight. Consequently, it is high-quality compressor oil as well as non-detergent.  It is also single-viscosity oil for perfect lubrication.

17. Oil for craftsman air compressor

The Craftsman air compressor is made for everything from tire inflation to driving pneumatic tools. For craftsman air compressors, usually 20 or 30 weight synthetic oil is recommended. As the craftsman air compressor oil is generally used for industrial purposes, synthetic oil is generally used rather than Mineral oil.

18. Oil for husky air compressor

A particular type of oil is used for husky air compressors, known as Husky air compressor oil. Make sure that you are referring to your compressor manual before purchasing the oil. Actually, by seeing your manual, you can easily decide which Husky oil is compatible with your air compressor.

19. Oil-free vs. oiled air compressor

The main difference between oil-free and oiled air compressors is that the inside chamber is usually lubricated in oiled air compressors, unlike oil-free air compressors.

There is a piston in air compressors used to compress the air into the storage tank. In oil air compressors, the piston is lubricated. In oil-free air compressors, the cylinder is lubricated with Teflon. This is permanent lubrication in oil-free air compressors.

20. Maintenance of air compressors

Many people do not know that oil compressors need more maintenance as compared to oil-free ones. The reason is that in oil air compressors, you have to change the oil more often. It also depends on the design and size of the air compressors.

On the other side, oil-free air compressors do not require any maintenance. They are also not very costly because they are composed of very few parts with a simple design.

Although we discussed earlier that oil-free air compressors are lighter, not very costly, do not need much maintenance, the oil air compressors are considered to be more durable.

Also, with time, there is the wearing off of the Teflon layer in oil-free air compressors. Therefore, oil-free air compressors are ideal for use in homes when there is less requirement of usage. This is the main reason they are mainly used for non-commercial purposes.

21. List of Synthetic Air Compressor Oils

  • 1 Quart Amsoil Synthetic Commercial Grade Air Compressor Oil ISO-100
  • Powermate PX P018-0084SP 100% Full Synthetic Air Compressor Oil
  • Triax Kompressor MV ISO 46, Multi Vis, Full Synthetic Air Compressor Oil


How much oil should I put in an air compressor?

Usually, 6 to 8 oz of oil is required to be used in small air compressors. These small air compressors must have a 1 HP electric motor. However, on the other side, you must also keep in mind the manual of the air compressor. In some situations, it is tough to determine how much oil is needed.

What kind of oil should you use in a two-stage air compressor?

As I also discussed earlier, you must use 20 or 30 weight non-detergent compressor oil. Make sure that you are considering the manufacturer’s recommendation while using the compressor oil.

Now it depends on whether there is a need for synthetic compressor oil or mineral oil. So sticking to the manufacturer’s recommendation is always a good option.

Which type of oil can you use if you do not have compressor oil?

Make sure that your priority should be the compressor oil. In a critical situation, if you do not have it, you can go for synthetic oil. It may be the best option because it enables your compressor to work correctly even in high and low temperatures. They also can prevent your compressor from overheating. Consequently, the use of synthetic oils will not cause much noise.

Final thoughts

After gaining a lot of information about compressor oils, their types, and much more, you will be happy to know. Make sure that you are considering the manufacturer’s recommendations before doing any activity.

Also, keep in mind which type of oil you are using for the particular air compressor. If you are not using your air compressor frequently, then you can go for an oil-free compressor. However, on the other side, the oil air compressor is best for industrial purposes.

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