How to Choose Between Oiled and Oil-Free Compressors

Whether you’re a diligent homeowner or an enterprising business owner, there are numerous reasons to keep an air compressor on hand. Homeowners can use oilless or oiled compressors in Wisconsin to blow up bike tires and clear away dust and debris in a hurry. Dentist offices use air compressors to keep pneumatic tools running. Body shops use compressors to power their commercial spray paint. Roofers use compressors for pneumatic nail guns.

If you’re wondering whether an air compressor is worth the investment, the answer is absolutely yes. The only real question is whether or not to choose an oiled or oil-free compressor.

Firing the piston

Every kind of air compressor works in essentially the same way. Air is drawn in from the surrounding environment with help from a quick-firing piston. In oiled compressors in Wisconsin, oil is used to lubricate the compressor’s piston. In oilless compressors, this piston is coated in a protective layer of Teflon. The no-stick quality of the Teflon keeps the piston operating without external lubrication.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, oiled compressors require more maintenance than their oil-free counterparts. After all, oil compressors require refilling on a regular basis in order to keep running at peak efficiency.


On the whole, air compressors that work without the benefit of oil tend to be less expensive. This is because these compressors are made with fewer parts. The stripped-down nature of oilless air pumps makes them lighter and more portable, as well.


You may not think there would be a big difference in the noise level of an oiled vs. and oil-free air compressor, but you’d be mistaken. Because their pistons are lubricated from an outside source, oiled air compressors run much quieter than oil-free compressors. In other words, while an oil-free air compressor may seem ideal for at-home projects, it’s essential to consider the environment where you’ll be working.

Frequency of use

Though an oilless air compressor may sound ideal, it’s worth noting that, on average, oiled compressors can last far longer than the oil-free alternatives. Consider this: once the Teflon coating around a piston begins to wear down in an oil-free air compressor, there is no way to replace it. You simply have to go buy a new one. As a result, if you’re planning to make a lot of use of your air compressor, it’s best to go with an oiled compressor to make sure you’ll get a longer lifespan.

Come to the pros who know

Need a little more help to decide between oilless or oiled compressors in Wisconsin? Come to Wenniger Compressor Co.! Since we opened our doors all the way back in 1932, we have worked tirelessly to establish a reputation for top-notch merchandise and a level of customer service that simply cannot be surpassed.

We offer a massive selection of compressors, pumps, hoists and all the accessories you need to keep them running their best. That’s our promise to you. Call Wenniger Compressor Co. or visit us online today to learn more.

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