Oil vs Oil Free Compressor- 3 Basic Similarities

In your search for a suitable compressor to work with, you have the dual options of the oil-lubed or the oil-less to work with. Of course, your first and foremost task is to find out the better of the two options. We are fully aware that making such a find might never be really easy.

That is why we have gladly come in here to provide the necessary support to you. In the discussions that follow, we shall define both compressors and then go ahead to compare and contrast the two of them. At the tail end, we shall give forth recommendations on just how and when each may be handy.


An oil-lubed compressor is so-called because it makes use of the lubricant to help squeeze out the compressed air. It is subsequently better placed at discharging its roles as it is less prone to overheating and the premature damages that ordinarily come along. This is besides being a little bit more reliable.

The oil-less compressor on the other hand does not rely at all on oil for its operations. Rather, it handles the air independently of oil and is thus faster. On the same note, it negates any likelihood of the air being compressed to be contaminated in the course of its handling and engagement.

Build type

Build type

Generally, the oil-lubed compressors are heavier, stronger, and subsequently more durable. They also have a higher carrying capacity and are thus largely intended or relevant for industrial-scale operations thanks to the excess quantity of the air they typically handle. On the same note, they also demand excess muscle power to tackle.

Their oil-free compressors counterparts on the other hand are overall cheaper. They also have the added advantage of demanding less to maintain. However, they tend to have a limited carrying capacity and may only be suitable hence for light everyday tasks in the home environment.


Below are the advantages and disadvantages of the oil-lubed compressors:


  • Helps to maintain the safety of the environment
  • Useful for tasks that do not require the use of oil at all
  • Generally, emits low noise when discharging its ends
  • Tends to last longer thanks to limited friction and deterioration
  • Does not overheat as it is appropriately lubricated to prevent that from happening


  • Costs a lot more than the other kinds
  • Heavier and thus more difficult to engage

Here now are the advantages and disadvantages of oil-free compressors:


  • Costs a lot less to come by than its main competitor
  • Relatively simpler to master and subsequently operationalize
  • Lighter and therefore more convenient to move around
  • Smaller and more compact thus enabling simplified storage
  • Its air output is cleaner and drier


  • Have a relatively shorter lifespan when all factors are taken into consideration
  • Tend to generate lots of noise and is hence uncomfortable to work with

Table of Contents

Scope of use

The followings are the circumstances and the cadres of users who will find each compressor handy for his engagement:

a.) Oil-lubed compressors

Industrial-scale applications

As noted above, these appliances are generally stronger, more voluminous, and enduring. They are subsequently applicable to industrial-scale engagements. These include the use in the workshops, for agricultural purposes, and in many commercial enterprises or settings. They are certain to confer higher levels of reliability under those circumstances.

Professional or experts

Owing to their more complicated stature, these compressors are also suited for expert users. Thus, only those who are well-trained and properly knowledgeable in the matters of air compressors may master and subsequently manage them. These include persons who are engaged in matters of industry.

b.) Oil-free compressors

Oil free compressors

Common everyday tasks

Due to their lighter, smaller, and more compact nature, these items are largely relevant for common everyday tasks. They are thus mainly handy and relevant at the home environments where they find much relevance and overall applicability. You just cannot use them in large-scale industrial settings.


Closely related to the above is the fact that the items are mainly used by persons who lack deeper expertise in the field of air compressors. These include people who are barely starting out or just want to safeguard their homes from emergencies. They are relevant for this task also due to their need for less maintenance.

Price range

Overall, the oil-lubed compressors are costlier. The average price of this gadget varies from $600 to $800. As for the oil-free compressor, it is cheaper by virtue of cost between $200 and $500.


When all factors are put into consideration, the oil-lubed compressors have are capable of attaining a lifespan of about 15,000 hours. That is a whopping 7 times longer than those of the oil-less compressors. You now know where to run to if you just want to accrue the benefit of long-term reliability.

A typical oil-free compressor on the other hand can only manage a paltry 2,000 hours. In fact, some have as low a lifespan as only 200 hours. This hence is not the kind of item you might want to rely on for your long-term engagements.

Ease of use

We have stated repeatedly that the oil-lubed compressors are mainly suitable for expert engagements. That is due to their similarly complicated nature and the inclination to serve only professional engagements and settings. A do-it-yourselfer might never find it handy, really hence.

Given the relatively simple nature of the oil-free compressor, it is overall much suited for those with limited to no in-depth expertise. For this reason, even a starter who has never had any prior experience in engaging such an item will find it overall simpler to engage and lay his hands on.


The dice are clearly cast! An oil-lubed compressor is largely suitable for professional and expert engagements whereas the oil-free compressor is the one to look up to for common everyday chores at the home. You should assess your own expectations first and foremost hence before embarking on a search.

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