Oil-Free Vs Oil-Lube Air Compressor


Oil-free vs oil-lube air compressor. Which one is good for operation? Are you thinking about it? Both type of air compressor designed with good features also has some cons. We will discuss oil-free and oil-lube air compressors.

An oil-free air compressor is a machine that compresses air without using any lubrication. This type of compressor is typically used in applications where the compressed air will be used in a clean environment, such as a food or beverage factory.

on the other hand, an oil-lube air compressor uses oil to lubricate the internal parts of the machine. This type of compressor is typically used in industrial applications where the compressed air will be used in a dirty or dusty environment.


Differences Between: oil-free vs oil-lube air compressor

Oil-free air compressors operate without oil and oil-lube air compressors operate with oil. Both compressors are good for specific tasks. You will get advantages and disadvantages from both types of compressors. Then which one is good for you? Are you confused about that? Don’t worry, we will discuss oil-free vs oill-ube air compressors. Read the article thoroughly.

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What is Oil-Free Air Compressor

An oil-free air compressor operates moving parts with coated friction material such as Teflon.  This system prevents overheating and wear without using oil—an oil-free air compressor best for home use and light-duty applications.

In the following, we will point out the features of oil-lube air compressors.

1. Do not require lubrication and thus are maintenance-free.
2. Require regular lubrication in order to function properly and prevent wear and tear.
3. Typically more expensive than oil-lube air compressors.
4. Available in both portable and stationary models, while oil-free air compressors are typically only available in stationary models.
5. Typically have a longer lifespan than oil-free air compressors.
6. Design with quieter features.
7. Provide clean air.
8. Require less frequent servicing than oil-free air compressors.
9. Available in a variety of horsepower ratings.
10. Suitable for both industrial and home applications.

Difference Between Oil-free and oil-lube air compressors

ApplicationsOil-Free Air CompressorOil-Lube Air Compressor
Operate timeAble to constantly perform  for a long time Not able to constantly perform for a long time 
Noise levelCreate less noise levelCreate a high noise level
PSIProvide higher PSIProvide less PSI
CFM Provide higher CFMProvide less CFM 
PriceMore expensiveLess expensive
WeightSmall and lightweightHeavyweight
MaintenanceLess maintenanceRequire more maintenance
LifespanLonger lifespanShorter lifespan
PowerNeed less powerNeed more power

What is an Oil-Lube Air Compressor

This type of air compressor requires oil to lubricate and cool the moving parts of the compressor. Oil-lubricated air compressors are suitable for heavy-duty applications. It prevents overheating, and tearing, and mitigates wear.

Manufacture made two types of oil-lube air compressors. One is splash lubrication which is continuously splashed oil on the crankshaft and cylinder walls by small dippers during operation. Another is pressure lubrication which is pupped oil in key areas. This system is more expensive and less common.

In the following, we will point out the features of oil-lube air compressors.

1. More durable and require less maintenance than oil-free models.

2. Provide a longer lifespan.

3. Tend to be more expensive than oil-free models.

4. require regular maintenance and oil changes, which can be messy and time-consuming.

5. Create a high noise level.

6. Produce more heat than oil-free models.

7. Difficult to clean.

8. Difficult to operate.

9. Emit fumes and other pollutants.

Oil-Free Air Compressor: Pros & Cons


  • Require low maintenance
  • More portable and easy to transport
  • Easy to operate
  • Suitable for use in very cold weather
  • Supply clean compressed air
  • Low cost


  • Not suitable for heavy-duty application
  • Not suitable for continuous use
  • Most of the models are louder
  • More expensive

Oil-Lube Air Compressor: Pros & Cons


  • Good for heavy-duty and industrial applications
  • Suitable for continuous use
  • More powerful; provide higher CFM and horsepower rating
  • Create less noise level than other compressors
  • More durable and long-lasting


  • Require more maintenance and maintenance cost is high
  • More expensive to lubricate
  • Not easy to transport for heavyweight
  • Have a risk of oil leakage


What is the advantage of an oil-free air compressor?

There have so many advantages of an oil-free compressor.

  • Cost-effective
  • Suitable for continued operation
  • Require low maintenance
  • Elimination of expensive oil filters to clean the compressed air
  • Easy to operate

How long will an oil-free compressor last?

An oil-free air compressor shorter lifespan than an oil-lubricate air compressor. Normally the lifespan of an oil-free air compressor is 50,000 hours.

Is an oil or oil-free air compressor better?

Both are designed with good features. Which one is better for you depends on your work type. The oil-lubricated air compressor is suitable for longer operation and industrial work. they have long lifespans and durability.
the oil-free air compressor is good for home use and suitable for small tools. There has a short life span.


We discussed oil-free vs oil-lube air compressors. Hope that you can understand their difference. If you are still unsure about the difference between oil-free and oil-lube air compressors, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Both types of air compressors come with different features. Which one is good for you, we can’t directly answer you. It depends on your preference and work type.