What oil for air compressor? -8 Important Things

What Is Air Compressor Oil?

Just like engine machinery needs Oil, air compressor also need Oil to operate correctly. The Oil is used in an air compressor to lubricate the moving parts. It helps the internal components to cool down and the friction caused by the movement of the machine. The lubricant acts as a thin film, which reduces friction between the moving parts of the machine. The Oil will protect the bearings and pistons, thus preventing them from wearing down.

Oil is vital for the operation of an air compressor; without it, the air compressor could not run properly. It has to be replaced periodically to ensure that it does not block the compressor intake port; it has to be replaced once the oil level reaches a certain level. The Oil in an air compressor must be changed at the right time and correctly to avoid contaminating the motor. And for this you must know what oil for air compressor to use.

Do all Air compressors need Oil?

All air compressors require Oil at some point to function. However, do not assume that all air compressors need Oil. Not all types of air compressors need Oil. Some of them do not require Oil at all. These are called oil-less air compressors. Oil-less air compressors don’t need Oil. They are oil-free because the mechanical parts don’t need Oil to operate. The required only Oil is used to lubricate the bearings of the compressor, which is already given inside the air compressor by the manufacturing company. You won’t need any oil at all.

If you don’t know or are confused, It can be a good idea to check the user manual that comes with the air compressor to see whether it requires Oil. You may need to apply Oil at a specific time if it does. This should prevent the compressor from getting clogged up with dust. Oil-lubricated air compressors have more life span than oil-free air compressors.

what oil for air compressor

Types of Oil For Air Compressor

There are two types of air compressor oil.

  • Synthetic Oil
  • Standard Oil

Synthetic Oil

The synthetic Oil of air compressors is the best option to use because it lasts longer than the other Oil. This type of Oil is made using a synthetic base. This Oil undergoes lots of processing and that is why synthetic Oil is more refined than other Oil. This Oil is also biodegradable. It has excellent lubrication properties and can reduce friction and sludge formation. In addition, the synthetic Oil does not absorb moisture and is completely odorless.

Standard Oil

It is mineral-based and cheaper Oil than other Oil. Mineral oil is used in the lubrication of air compressors because it is more resistant to breakdown. It has a higher viscosity index. If you are a homeowner, it is good to use standard Oil for the air compressor. If you are going to use your compressor constantly, you should buy synthetic Oil. It will cost more but it will last longer than mineral oil.

What to use Synthetic or Standard Oil?

Air compressors are used for almost everything that has something to do with air and is related to air-powered machinery. So, it is important to choose the best oil. The type of Oil used in air compressors is generally either synthetic or mineral Oil.

Synthetic Oil is the best option when it comes to operating a compressor for long periods of time and which air compressor has a bigger tank. The reason is that it is more stable, and resistant to oxidation. Mineral oil, on the other hand, is less effective and loses its properties over a short period of time. Synthetic Oil is more refined and mineral oil is less refined.

If you need to use your air compressor for a long time you can easily use synthetic oil; if you don’t need to use the air compressor regularly you can use mineral oil. But synthetic Oil can reduce the heat of the air compressor properly than standard Oil and can make your air compressor more quieter.

Duty Cycle Of Air compressorSynthetic OilStandard Oil
Light dutyOk-100%Best-100%
Heavy dutyBest-100%Ok-100%

Air Compressor Oil Characteristics

There are three main factors when choosing an air compressor oil.

  • Temperature range
  • Viscosity
  • Additive

Temperature range

Temperature ranges are extremely important. If the compressor oil isn’t maintained at the correct temperatures, it can affect the performance of the compressor oil. The best compressor oil for your application is the one that has the correct temperature range. Temperature range is not only an important factor in compressor oil, but it is also essential for compressor oil. Many Air compressor oils have the correct level of viscosity, but they might not perform properly in every temperature range. Freezing temperature or high-temperature range affects their ability to lubricate the piston and its cylinder walls.

Temperature is the single most significant contributor to the failure rate of compressors. For the best efficiency and performance, the compressor oil should maintain a range between 100 and 120 degrees F. If the compressor oil is maintained too low, it will fail to give the best performance.

High-temperature conditions will cause the compressor oil to solidify. This makes it impossible for it to perform effectively. If you want to operate your air compressor effectively, you need to maintain the compressor oil at the right temperatures.


There are many different types of oil and detergent additives that are useful in automobiles but they can be harmful to air compressors. An air compressor oil and its additive form can contain things like anti-foam agents, dispersants, corrosion inhibitors, lubricity enhancers, and the like. These additives can make your air compressor last longer. They can also protect the air compressor from rusting.

However, in order to make sure that the air compressor is protected and safe from additives, it is important to buy the right kind of oil and detergent additive. If you are worried about safety, then you must think about buying air compressor oil with the best safety certification. This means that it has been tested and approved for air compressor use. The additives are also available in the form of an additive concentrate.


Oils come in different viscosities. Some are very thick, while others are fragile. When you are choosing the correct type of Oil for your air compressor, you should consider your needs first. If you don’t have a preference, you can use a general-purpose oil. An air compressor oil with lower viscosity can be used for general lubrication tasks. When you use air compressor oil with low viscosity, you can expect its performance to be good. If you want to use a higher-viscosity oil, then you should make sure that the air compressor you are using has a higher viscosity rating.

If you are concerned about the thickness of the Oil, you should stick to a standard grade of Oil. There are various oils, each of which has its properties and uses. When you buy an air compressor oil, you should make sure that it is not only of high quality but also of the right viscosity. You can use 20-30 range viscosity oil for your air compressor.

what oil for air compressor?

There is much best air compressor oil in the market for single tank or double tank air compressor and for 2 stage and 3 stage air compressor . The best air compressor oils are-

Mobil 101016 Rarus

Mobil 101016 is mineral-based Oil for air compressors which is 1 gal it has SAE grade 30 and a viscosity grade is 100. It is best suitable for Reciprocating and Rotary Type air compressors With Lower Viscosity.

what oil for air compressor

Campbell Hausfeld (ST125312AV) 

Campbell Hausfeld (ST125312AV) is non-synthetic air compressor oil with 30 weight which is non-detergent and a viscosity grade is 100 which is perfect for your home air compressor.

what oil for air compressor

Powermate PX P018-0084SP

Powermate PX P018-0084SP is the best full synthetic Oil for your air compressor. It is ISO 68 grade. Powermate PX P018-0084SP Performs 50% better at 0°F than mineral oil.

what oil for air compressor

How to Check Air Compressor Oil Level?

Sometimes, it’s quite difficult to check the oil level of an air compressor. Some air compressors are equipped with an oil level indicator which will show you the current amount of Oil in the air compressor. It’s quite simple. You can also check the oil level by removing the top cap of the compressor. This is how you can find out the level of the air compressor’s Oil.

You can also use the dipstick indicator method to check the level of Oil in the air compressor. A dipstick, also called a tank gauge, as it is used to check the level of the Oil. It is recommended that you change the Oil properly. Remember to change the Oil in the air compressors using the correct type of Oil. This will ensure that your air compressor works properly.

what oil for air compressor

How to Change the Oil Of An Air Compressor?

  • First the air compressor should be completely shut down and the air compressor should be given some time to cool down.
  • Then open the head of the oil tank and drain out the remaining Oil.
  • And after that, refill the tank with new Oil.


Is it a good idea to use motor oil?

Using motor oil as an additive can affect your air compressor, and this will lead to it breaking. When you are using motor oil as an additive, the additive will evaporate, which will result in a foam that can damage your air compressor. This foam can also accumulate on the inside of your air compressor, which will make it harder to turn the knob. It may also make the valve stick if it gets stuck. If you have an old air compressor, consider removing the motor oil and adding new Oil. Always use the air compressor properly.

What will happen if Air Compressor Runs out of Oil?

When you don’t put any oil in your air compressor or your air compressor runs out of Oil, you can damage the air compressor. The reason for this is that if your air compressor runs out of Oil, the heat generated by the motor of the compressor will increase. As a result, the heat will melt the rubber seal of the tank. After the rubber seal is melted, it cannot keep the Oil in the tank. As a result, the Oil will leak out of the air compressor.

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