Lubricated or Oil-Free Compressors?

When it comes to selecting the best industrial compressor, businesses need to take into consideration their industry’s level of air purity and decide between Oil-Lubricated or Oil-Free.

Oil-Lubricated machines can generally operate at a higher psig. At a rate of 2 ppm carryover, an oil-flooded 100 hp compressor operating for one year (8000 hrs) will introduce over 4 gallons of lubricant into a compressed air system.

Then there is Oil-Free, or “dry screw compressor”. For industries that require compressed air to make their products, the higher the quality of the compressed air, the better the product and the lower the cost to produce it.

Still not sure about your best option? Learn more about the differences between Oil-Lubricated and Oil-Free.

Determine your best air compressor option to meet your demands

If you think about it, it’s pretty incredible that man has found a way to take ambient air and transform it in a way that powers manufacturing plants, cleans hospital room air, automates processes and is used as an every day convenience. With that said, do you know which type of compressor would best meet your demand? Oil-lubricated or oil-free? Unfortunately, there aren’t a whole lot of guidelines that recommend which compressor type to choose, so understanding if there are any industrial codes or certifications, as well as knowing the benefits of each unit and your job requirements, will help determine the best compressor for your business.

These are the different types of Oil-Lubricated and Oil-Free Compressed we distribute at John Henry Foster.

Oil-Lubricated Compressors

•   Ingersoll Rand Turbo-Air: Centrifugal 200 HP – 2500 HP
•   Kobelco: Rotary Screw: 20 HP – 500 HP
•   Powerex: Super quiet scroll and reciprocating: 3 HP – 40 HP
•   Gardner Denver: Water sealed: 20 HP – 150 HP, Rotary Screw: 100 HP – 400 HP, Reciprocating: 3/4 HP – 15 HP
•   Thomas: Diaphragm, reciprocating and rotary vane, fractional to 2 HP


Oil-Free Compressors

•   Quincy: Rotary screw/reciprocating: 1/2 – 350 HP
•   Gardner Denver: Rotary screw: 5 – 500 HP, Reciprocating: 1/2 – 30 HP
•   Hydrovane: Rotary vane: 2 – 60 HP
•   Sauer Compressors USA: Reciprocating 2-4 stage high pressure compressors and boosters 100 – 6000 PSIG


John Henry Foster’s goal of providing innovative and state-of-the-art products continues to expand and now includes a range of industrial robots. Our team of experts are positioned to support your productivity and efficiency needs with our versatile products and services.  Please contact us today at 651.452.8452 or email us to learn more about our line of air compressors, vacuum equipment, engineering and design capabilities, or any of our product offerings. You can also read more about on our website.

As a leading provider of premium quality compressed air and automation solutions since 1938, John Henry Foster delivers customized automation products and design-to-build solutions to clients in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and northern Iowa. Our talented and innovative employees serve customers in virtually every industry that utilizes motion control technology and power generation.

For updates and other information about John Henry Foster, visit our website, Like us on Facebook or follow JohnHenryFoster on Twitter.

Contact Us

651-452-8452 | 800-582-5162


Signup to our newsletter below