More often than not, air compressors require lubrication systems to operate sufficiently and avoid mass amounts of maintenance. Oil tends to be used as lubrication, and it primarily helps to reduce the friction between the components in the pump of the air compressor. This in turn will produce less heat from the friction, consume less energy and provide a longer machine cycle life.
It must be noted, that air compressors are also available oilless… (or Oil-Free) this does not imply that they don’t require lubrication, but instead, they are pre-lubricated and do not need user maintenance to sustain and change the oil inside the compressor. Visit our Oilless Air Compressors vs. Oil Compressors guide for more information!
If you’re wondering how to choose the right kind of compressor oil for your air compressor, which is the best compressor oil, or any other frequently asked questions about air compressor oil – then this ultimate guide to air compressor oil has you covered!
What Kind of Oil Goes in an Air Compressor?
A very common mistake made by a lot of people is that all oils are the same. There is an oil specifically made for air compressors, and it is a certain type that is referred to quite simply as, air compressor oil. They are dubbed ideal, due to being formulated for industrial uses and do not have any significant differences in the cost compared to regular motor oil.
It’s very important to follow any guidelines relating to using air compressor oil provided by the manufacturer of your air compressor.
What is Air Compressor Oil?
Air compressor oil has specific additives to make it perfect for the duty cycle it sees inside your air compressor. In contrast to conventional motor oil, which is more commonplace, air compressor oil doesn’t contain a detergent and typically has lower levels of sulfur (sulfur) and carbon.
Carbon and sulfur content are ultimately measured as a percentage by weight – but can also sometimes be referred to as a ratio on the bottle. Air compressor oils can also sometimes be labeled as “low sulfur” or “low sulfur” depending on which part of the world you’re in.
Air Compressor Oil vs Motor Oil
Air compressor oil is specially formulated for use within air compressor pumps. Unlike motor oil or engine oil, air compressor oil doesn’t contain many additives used to clean, restore and preserve the inside of an engine. Motor oils are designed to operate in lower temperatures and greater volumes.
Compressor oils on the other hand, when produced go through several processes, such as; solvent extracting, desalting, and evaporation – all designed to make them robust and effective at high temperatures.
How to Choose an Air Compressor Oil?
This rule to follow about what compressor oil to use is simple. If your air compressor is under warranty, then you should use the oil that is recommended by the manufacturer and usually noted in the compressor manual/guidebook. If the warranty period for the air compressor has ended, then you could buy suitable compressor lubricating oil from a hardware store to use in your compressor.