Air compressors take in air and pressurize it, creating clean, compressed air that plays a vital role in industries such as textiles, electronics, food, automotive, and packaging. Air compressors are at most job sites given their varied applications. There are different types of air compressors that you can purchase for industrial use, and they vary in weight, size, output performance, and overall benefits. Knowing the distinctions between oil-free and oil air compressors will help you pick the right type for your project.

What Is an Oil-Free Air Compressor?

Click to Expand oil-free air compressors

Oil-free compressors use alternative lubrication, cooling, and sealing methods, such as water lubrication, pre-lubricated cylinders, and intercoolers. Although some of these compressors do technically contain oil, the oil can’t come into contact with the compressor, which eliminates the risk associated with oil contamination and provides high-quality air for manufacturing. Air contamination from oil could harm equipment components or damage a company’s manufactured products.

Some of the industries that use oil-free air compressors and benefit from the lack of contamination risk include:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Paper
  • Power generation
  • Medical
  • Chemical
  • Food and beverage

Oil-Free Air Compressor Benefits

The advantages of using oil-free compressors include:

  • Portability. Most of these compressors are portable and have a compact design.
  • Weight. Oil-free compressors are lighter, so you can carry them easily during different commercial applications.
  • Noise reduction. The modern oil compressors are quieter than traditional ones due to the dual-piston, direct drive, and sound-reducing technology.
  • Cleanliness. Oil-free compressors are preferable in cleaner applications such as food and beverage processing because they produce quality air without contamination risks.
  • Lower maintenance and cost. With lower energy usage and fewer maintenance concerns handling leaks, oily condensate, and separator and filter replacement components, oil-free compressors can be a cost-effective solution.
  • Lubrication. You don’t have to lubricate this equipment manually.
  • Environmental concerns. These compressors reduce environmental impacts and toxic emissions since oil-free compressors do not need scheduled oil changes.
  • Safety. Oil-free compressors limit the likelihood of compressed air pipeline fires resulting from oil carryover.

Oil-Free Air Compressors vs. Oil Air Compressors

Oil-Free Air Compressors

One of the most notable features of an oil-free air compressor is the noninteraction between the compressed air and lubrication oil. This results in a better quality air supply, which is valuable in applications such as cleanrooms and dentistry. Also, oil-free compressors weigh much less than oil-lubricated compressors. This makes them ideal for commercial applications in medical air supplies, tire inflation, pneumatic tools, and jackhammering.

Oil Air Compressors

In oil-lubricated air compressors, however, the oil running the unit interacts with the output air, potentially introducing contamination. Oil droplets, liquids, mist, and vapors can get into the compressed air. Also, oil air compressors are often mounted as they are heavier and more cumbersome. As a result, they work best in applications that don’t need continual relocation.

Featured Oil-Free Air Compressors

Some of the oil-free compressor types available include:

    • PureAir Oil-Less Air Compressors. These compressors have advanced features and meet exacting standards to ensure better air quality. You also enjoy less maintenance and noise as some of the system’s benefits.
    • PureAir II Oil-Less Air Compressors. The PureAir II compressors feature a pressure-based, mounted, oil-less design that is ideal for continuous operation.
    • EnviroAire Series Oil-Free Rotary Screw Compressors. These EnviroAire units are water-injected compressors that operate at a lower temperature, providing low power consumption, high efficiency levels, and near isothermal compression.
    • Ultima Oil-Free Two Stage Variable Speed Compressors. These unique design units have a dry screw air end which provide the ultimate in efficiency.

Click here to learn more about Gardner Denver’s updated Oil-Free compressor solutions

Oil-Free Air Compressors From Energy Machinery

Oil-free compressors are becoming popular in many industries for their various applications and lack of risk for oil contamination. At Energy Machinery, Inc., we have a comprehensive range of oil-free compressors to suit almost any industrial need.

If you would like to find out more about our line of oil-free compressor solutions, please feel free to view our equipment catalog or contact us today. You can also request information for other products such as reciprocating compressors, variable speed compressors, lubricants and repair parts, used machinery, refrigerated air dryers, and more.


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