What Is The Difference Between Oil-Free And Oil-Lubricated Compressor

oil free compressor

Oil-free compressor vs. oil lubricated compressor

You are unsure whether an oil-free compressor or an oil-lubricated compressor is right for you? Depending on the requirements you place on your compressor, different models are possible.

When choosing the right device, it helps to ask yourself the following questions: Do you need a highly compressed air power, about 10 bar or 15 bar, or is a lower pressure sufficient?

Should the compressor be oil-free or is an oil-lubricated model better suited for your purposes?

Which type of compressor is more economical? Do you need the compressor as an endurance runner, that is, will it be in constant operation or is the compressor used at intervals?

In addition, the question arises as to whether the compressor is quiet must be (so-called quiet running compressors) or the sound insulation plays a minor role (e.g, when operating in a separate room).

Below you will find an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of oil-free compressors compared to oil-lubricated compressors, their applications, and quiet running compressors.

Oil-free compressors

In some purchasing decisions, the question of a comparison with the oil-lubricated air compressor is not. In certain applications, an oil-free compressor is essential or mandatory:

  • the oil-free compressor in the laboratory
  • Dental medicine
  • Spraying
  • Environmental Measurement
  • Food u. beverage industry
  • pharmaceutical industry
  • chemical industry
  • Electrical engineering

In addition, best quiet air compressor is more and more oil-free compressors are also used in areas where an oil-lubricated compressor could also be used. The main reasons for this are the low environmental impact and the minimal maintenance effort. The Airwin oil-free compressors we offer also have the advantage of being particularly quiet.

 Advantages and Disadvantages At A Glance

Oil-Free Compressor Advantages

  • minimal maintenance
  • clean, oil-free compressed air
  • no oil change / oil separation required
  • no oil filter replacement necessary
  • especially environmentally friendly
  • Treatment and disposal costs are eliminated

Oil Free Compressor Disadvantages

  • limited operating pressure up to 8 bar
  • high investment costs for equipment with a relatively high intake volume.

Oil Lubricated Compressors Advantages

  • higher operating pressure possible
  • simultaneous lubrication (eg important for compressed air tools)
  • long lifetime

Oil Lubricated Compressors Disadvantages

  • higher maintenance costs
  • Oil change & disposal of used oil required
  • Oil leaks can occur
  • Air / environmental pollution


An oil-free air compressor offers many advantages. The lower maintenance costs are not only reflected in the lack of purchase cost of compressor oil and air filter, but also include the amount of time an employee or a maintenance service has to do.

Oil level controls are eliminated, there is no hazardous waste (waste oil), and you can also save oil filter and oil separator.

For certain areas (see above), a compressed air compressor that operates without oil is also essential.

The compressed air containing trace amounts of oil can not be used in sensitive areas, e.g, in the production of food, medical and hygiene articles, in the laboratory and in research, or in the processing of paints and varnishes.

Oil-free compressors are  well-suited for

  • Paint processing,
  • Blowing with clean compressed air,
  • For airbrushing,
  • In the production and processing of food and beverages,
  • In laboratories,
  • In dentistry or dental technicians / dental laboratories,
  • In the dust removal,
  • In the field of production of electronic parts
  • In the pharmaceutical or chemical industry,
  • To prevent contamination with oil.

Another advantage is the lower volume of oil-free Air Win compressors over ordinary reciprocating compressors.

The oil lubricated compressor then the better choice if the required compressed air, or the speed could only be achieved with very expensive oil-free compressors and the oil for the lubrication of e.g, pneumatic tools is advantageous.

In addition, when investing in your compressed air system, remember that an oil lubricated compressor has a longer service life than a device without oil.