When you purchase an air compressor you can choose between a motor that needs oil or one that does not. If you have purchased a compressor that needs oil, the company usually will include a bottle of oil. The problem is that one bottle of oil will not last the life of the air compressor. So, the question then becomes: What air compressor oil type do you use for your air compressor?
There are several different types of air compressor oil, but there are also several types of motor oil and lubricating oil. You need to make sure that you are using the correct type of oil for the type of air compressor that you have, since there are several different types of compressors, also. Depending on the type of motion your compressor uses to compress the air will help determine what type of air compressor oil to use. Although there are rumors and people who will tell you that you can use conventional motor oil or other types of oil in your air compressor, I did not find any manufacturer that did not recommend the use of Air Compressor Oil specifically in their machines. The viscosity, temperature ratings, longevity, additives and actual lubrication effectiveness of air compressor oil is specifically formulated for an air compressor, and more specifically for the type of compressor they were designed to lubricate.
The most difficult type of compressor to lubricate is the piston compressors, as they produce the highest pressures. Rotary compressors, on the other hand, are easier to lubricate because they produce less pressure. Rotary vane compressors require very specific, more expensive oil that is designed for he crankcase splash lubrication.
Jun Air Compressor Oil
The Jun-Air line of air compressors is known for their long lifetime, quiet operation, and higher pressure. They are commonly used in professional settings such as dental, health care, laboratories, fitness applications, and more. They have a wide variety so that you can not only find the compressor you are looking for, but if you need more than one compressor for different applications, you can get them all from one supplier.
Jun-Air is very specific that the only oil approved for their compressors is their own SJ-27. Failure to use this type of oil will cause the warranty to be voided in the case of failure related to compressor lubrication. Jun-Air uses the piston type air compressors, and the SJ-27 is the air compressor oil type designed specifically to work with these compressors.
Synthetic Compressor Oil
Using a synthetic compressor oil type has many advantages over other oils. To start with, synthetic compressor oil has a higher resistance to thermal degradation. High-pressure air compressors create a high amount of friction, and therefore create a large amount of heat. One of the first things to break down your oil, in any type of lubrication application, is heat. As the oil breaks down it leaves carbon, varnish and lacquer deposits that build up on your parts, causing additional friction, creating even more heat. It is a constantly perpetuating circumstance that leads to the failure of the compressor. With the use of synthetic compressor oil, these deposits, and this problem is virtually eliminated. Related to this same issue, is the issue of oxidation. Any oil, as exposed to heat and air, begins to oxidize. As oil oxidizes, it becomes thicker, reducing lubrication and reducing efficiency of the motor. Oxidation also causes the build-up of acidic components, causing the degradation of seals and components.
Since synthetic compressor oil resists thermal degradation so well, it also lasts much longer between changes. The life is extended up to eight times the normal service life of conventional compressor oil. Though the oil is more expensive up front, consider that you will need to change it so much less often. Since it helps to eliminate deposits and extend the life of your expensive equipment, its value is even greater than can be immediately measured in the cost difference over conventional oils.
As oil is heated, there is some loss due to evaporation. Over time, this will lower the oil volume, causing the need to “top off” the oil. Synthetic compressor oil has a low volatility, so there is less loss due to evaporation, so you will use less oil over time.
The higher viscosity provides excellent cold temperature starting and pump-ability. Fire and explosion possibilities are greatly reduced due to the low carbon forming tendencies and high flash, fire, and ignition points. Storing synthetic oil is much safer than conventional oil. These oils are also non-polar, so they absorb less water and separate condensed water much faster and more completely. This means that the removal of water is much easier, and less water means extended bearing life and improved rust and corrosion protection.
Synthetic compressor oils absorb less heat, therefore reducing operating temperatures and thermal conductivity. As we discussed earlier, heat is the enemy of oil. Heat also causes quicker wear on compressor parts, extending the life of your compressor.
The first air compressor oil listed on Amazon.com is the Campbell Hausfeld ST1253 Air Compressor Oil, which sells on Amazon.com for less than half the list price at only $3.35. This is a 16 oz. bottle of non-detergent, high-quality 30-weight single viscosity oil designed for air compressors. It is a mix of lubricants that is approved for all Campbell Hausfeld compressors. Unfortunately, like so many perishable products on Amazon.com, there are no customer reviews yet.
The next air compressor oil listed is Porter Cable PAS1. The price of this 32 oz. container is only $7.50. This oil is designed for single and two stage compressors. This air compressor oil type is designed for piston-style air compressors. Unfortunately, again, there are no customer reviews yet.
Finally, there is the Senco PC0344 32 Ounce Compressor Oil. This oil was reviewed at 5 out of 5 stars, and sells for just $10.30. This is premium grade oil recommended for the rotary valve, oil-splash compressors to lubricate and protect against corrosion. It is made with high-quality naphthenic distillate stocks. The reviews simply state that it does what it is supposed to do.
When you are looking for oil for your air compressor, be sure you are getting the right type of oil for the type of air compressor you are putting it in. You will also want to consider the synthetic air compressor oil, as the benefits are vast, including lower overall cost, less oil changes, and extended compressor life. As long as you use the correct oil, your compressor will last as it is expected, or maybe even longer.