Oil vs Oil-less Air Compressor. Which One is Better?

Oil or Oil-less Air Compressor? Which one of them is better? We will try to answer this question and compare the pros and cons of each.
The main advantage of oil-less compressors is that they do not require periodic replacement of oil. Sliding piston is carried through the use of materials with a low coefficient of the friction. Oil-less air compressors are much lighter but not very powerful.

Oil air compressors require special compressor oil, which must be replaced periodically. You must to monitor the oil level in the system and if it is getting too low, refill to the correct level. These compressors are more powerful and have higher performance.

If you want to buy an air compressor and do not know which one to choose oil or oil less air compressor, in that case, you need to choosing it based on the area and operating pace it will be used.

Oil-less compressor is usually used for infrequent work (by necessity).  Its recommended to use it for periodic work in workshops, cottages, houses, garages.  Oil-less compressor is made of modern materials with very low coefficient of the friction and wear resistance but have a quite short work duration, which is limited to 10-12 minutes per hour. Exceeding the allowed time limit may result in overheating the tool and its failure. This is great for a small painting, tire pump or blower. Resource capacity of the oil-less air compressor reaches up to 1,000 hours with proper maintenance. It has the optimal ratio of the quality and price, small dimensions and weight, and therefore it easy to move it.

Oil Air compressor is suitable for your daily work. It can be used for continuous operation but no more than 20-25 minutes per hour, as otherwise it may also overheat and prematurely fail. Of course, there are some minor inconveniences: oil is consumed in the considerable quantities, and it generates more noise. With proper maintenance its resource capacity is about 3,000 hours.

For daily work during the work day is better to buy piston oil air compressor with a belt drive, as it more intended for heavy duty work. The most popular among them are single-stage and two-stage oil compressors. And, although they will not be able to work around the clock, but to work for one shift they can fine. Their resource capacity is about 5,000 hours.

For working 24 hours a day would be the best rotary screw compressor, because their service life is 3-4 times higher than the piston, but unfortunately they are more expensive. Screw oil compressor resource may reach 40,000 – 50,000 hours. It can also be oil less.

Table A. Comparison: Oil vs Oil-less Compressor.

Oil Air Compressor Oil less Air Compressor
Resource capacity 3,000 hours and more about 1,000 hours
Continuous operation 20 minutes per hour and more about 10 minutes per hour
Dimensions and weight higher lower
Cost higher lower
Best suited for use at home and work at home

We hope that this information has been useful for you and you can be able to make the right choice.