Is an Oil-Free Compressor Really Better?

The debate about which air compressors are the best has been going on for years. People mostly argue about oil-free air compressors versus oil-lubricated models. The consensus is that oil-free compressors are better in terms of longevity, noise reduction, and the ability to withstand high temperatures. Is it true, though? Let’s explore the idea. 

How Oil-Free and Oil-Lubricated Compressors Work

The main differentiator between an oil-lubricated compressor and an oil-free compressor is that the oil-lubed model gets lubricated by dippers that splash oil onto the internal parts. Some air compressors are lubricated in that manner frequently. Oil-free compressors do not use oil for lubrication. Instead, the manufacturers coat them with chemicals that reduce friction. For some reason, people tend to think that this method makes the compressors more reliable than splash lubrication.

Are Oil-Free Compressors Noisier?

One of the biggest myths about oil-free compressors is that they are much noisier than oil-lubricated products because they don’t have splash lubrication to put oil on them to quiet the parts. This is simply not true. Older models might have been a little loud in the past, but technology continues to advance every day. Thus, more manufacturers use sound-reduction technology to keep oil-free units quiet. The newer models are just as quiet as the oil-lubed compressors these days. 

Do Oil-Lubed Compressors Last Longer?

Some people believe oil-lubed compressors last longer because the oil works as a preservative. While oil-lubed compressors have a slight advantage when they are well maintained and frequently oiled, the other compressors can still give them a run for their money. The newer units have technology that allows them to operate at cooler temperatures, lowering the amount of wear and tear on them. The chemicals the manufacturers use to protect these devices were also much more protective than when they crafted yesteryear’s models.

Can Oil-Lubed Compressors Withstand More Heat?

Oil-lubed compressors can stand very high temperatures because of the oil’s coating on the internal parts. However, oil-free items can handle high temperatures as well. They now come with dual-pump technologies that keep their operating temperatures down drastically. Oil-lubed units might still be the best choice for environments where the temperatures are always high. They’re more capable of getting rid of the heat and fighting rust and corrosion. 

Should You Get an Oil-Free or Oil-Lubed Compressor?

The choice is ultimately yours or the shop owner as to whether the facility should use oil-lubed or oil-free air compressors. Both units have pros and cons, and what works for one person may not work for another. The disadvantage of oil-lubed compressors is that they are heavy and not very portable. They also require a lot of maintenance.

Oil-free compressors are beneficial because they are quieter and neater, and they do not require as much care as the other items. They are also lighter and much more portable than the oil-lubed systems. They might be right for you if you’re a mobile mechanic or someone who needs to haul your compressor around. An oil-lubed system may be better for a single shop.  

You know some of the differences between the two systems now. Think long and hard about which product is best for your establishment, and don’t hesitate to speak to a professional about it.      

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