Your Guide To The Best Compressor Tester
If you are dealing with engines and engine repairs all the time you will know that a compression test is a diagnostic test that is conducted to determine the health of an engine and its performance capacity. Why borrow this lightweight and compact tool from friends and neighbors when you can own one of the best compressor testers at a reasonable price.
The compressor tester is a very basic non-invasive diagnostic tool used to check the condition of the pistons in a gasoline engine. There are two types of testers:
1- The Push-In Type
These testers have a short stem with a rubber tip that fits spark plug holes of any size. The tip is pushed into a spark plug hole and a few compression cycles run to gauge the correct measurements. To use this type you need two people – one to hold the gauge and the other to start the engine. Another disadvantage of this type is that it is not suitable for the modern engines.
2- The Screw–In Gauge Type
Here there is a threaded adapter that can be screwed securely into place. Furthermore, it comes with a long hose making it more useful to reach places not accessible to the push in types. The readings are more accurate with this method and you can single-handedly do the test.
Where time is of the essence, you need a reliable guide that will help you to buy the best compressor tester that is affordable and cheap. We have checked out the top sellers on the market today and seen which ones get the job done right. Check out our compression tester reviews below to see what we think.
#1 OTC 5605 Deluxe Compression Tester Kit
[Editor’s pick! Best compression tester for the money]
One of the secrets to a good compression tester is versatility. If you are looking for one kit that can work for almost all gasoline engines, you must check out the 5605. It’s particularly good as a small engine compression tester, and for all your diagnostic problems, this tester is the fallback guy. Its 300 PSI gauge is suited for all automobile motors; it’s a complete package. This is standard in most garages – you can’t go wrong with an OTC compression tester!
With this kit, you are not restricted to using the gauge just for your car engine, but you can also use it for your motorbike because it has a variety of specialty adapters. These adapters are suited for both flat and tapered plugs.
The gauge is well designed and has a textured surface that provides better grip during usage. Even the long hose of 25” is not only effective in reaching hard-to-reach spaces but is also easy to find in a cluttered compartment. The length of the hose makes it ideal for jet skis and motorbikes.
Compact Carrying Case
There are several small pieces in the kit and if they are not stored properly, you will either hunt for spare parts or look for a new set altogether. To overcome this drawback, the kit is well packed in a nice carrying case with a place for all the tiny parts.
- A 8” deep well with a14mm connector that can be used on recessed plug well style heads.
- A 5” flex ford triton engine adapter with a 16-mmadapter
- 12” flex with a14mm long reach
- Extra 10mm,12mm,and 18 mm thread adapters
- All the plug heads are nickel plated to resist corrosion
- 25” flex hose
- The gauge is 2-1/2” and has a stylish chrome bezel and a hard protective cover. It can read 0-300 PSI and 0-2100 kPA.
Overall, if you are looking for quality and accuracy in one bundle the 5605 is your choice. This kit has pretty much everything you will need for your car engine and even your motorbike. The nickel plating ensures that the plugs don’t rust easily. Care should be taken while mating the adapters because some buyers had issues mating the two plugs. In conclusion, the OTC 5605 Deluxe Compression Tester Kit is a great money saver when you use it multiple times. It is presently trending at around $70 in the online market, but prices may vary between websites.
#2 INNOVA 3612 Compression Kit
The Innova is cheap and real value for money, and one of the best compression kits around. This diagnostic tool helps in identifying worn out piston rings, burnt valves, and blown head gaskets. Innova 3612 is suited for conventional, electronic and computerized vehicles.
Easy To Read
The Innova compression tester is an attractive tool with a white-faced dial that is easy to read. You can measure up to 300PSI. The gauge is easy to grip.
Easy To Setup
The installation is very simple and quick. It is very easy to disconnect the pressure release valves and adapters and take readings in no time at all.
The gauge is well built and sturdy and will last a long time. The hose is 15” long and sufficient to reach traditional car engines. Several reviews also state that customers have successfully used the gauge for their motorbikes and marine vehicles and also Jeep Cherokee, GMC suburban, and a 58 Harley motorcycle.
- There is a large white-faced 2-1/2-inch dial with accurate Bourdon tube meter movement. It is dual-calibrated and has color-coded scales. You can read 0-300 P.S.I and 0-2100 k.P.a.
- The Flex hose is 15” and is resistant oil and grease.
- There is a side-release valve which allows repeated tests without disconnecting the hose
- Two additional 14mm and 18mm adapters that fit most vehicles are present for long reach spark plug applications
- A 12mm adapter is provided for use with motorcycles, ATV’s, snowmobiles and marine applications.
A great buy and a great tool for the DYI mechanic; it will save you several hundred dollars in trips to the mechanic. The issues that some users have had could be more because of the improper usage than any major defect in the tool. It doesn’t come with a carrying case, but then isn’t it easy to store four pieces?
#3 OTC 5021 Universal Diesel Engine Compression Gauge
If you like a bit of grunt in your vehicles and are a bit of a diesel bug, we’ve found the compression tester for you. OTC’s Universal Diesel Engine Compression Gauge will work on any diesel engine, and is super accurate and easy to use.
Easy to Use
This OTC diesel compression checker comes with standard check valve, push button compression release, and quick disconnect fitting on the hose end. You have straight and 45 degree hose connectors with quick-connect fittings included. For a diesel engine compression tester kit, it’s everything you need to keep your vehicle in tip top shape.
Easy To Setup
The installation is very simple and quick. It is very easy to disconnect the pressure release valves and adapters and take readings in no time at all. If you don’t already have the right connectors you will need to get them, but they should be easy to find.
Tests compression up to 1000 psi and 7000 kPa.
- Works on any diesel engine
- Straight and 45-degree connectors included
- Tests up to 1000psi/7000kpa
- Push button compression release
- Quick disconnect
If you have a 7.3 Powerstroke, you may have tried one of those budget diesel compression test kits to no avail. If that’s the case, I’m happy to tell you the OTC kit is exactly what you’re looking for. Easily the best diesel compression tester for the money that we know of. See the full details here.
#4 Actron CP7828A Professional Compression Tester
It might not be one of the best compressor testers in the market but it most certainly does its job of accurately diagnosing the engine leaks from rings, burnt valves, and blown head gasket. This Actron compression tester is compatible with all standard spark plug threads. You can avail a one year warranty on the product.
Quick And Easy Disconnect
It is easy to disconnect the coupler from the hose and reconnect to the engine to save time and effort. Further, the push button for the side release valve also ensures that you can test repeatedly without disconnecting.
Unlike other user manuals which often leave you more confused than knowledgeable, the Actron comes with a manual that has step-by-step instructions on how to conduct a test efficiently and safely.
- Adapters of all sizes like 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 14mm long reach, and 18mm standard spark plug threads present
- Extra O-rings and valves provided
- A well-molded storage kit is provided to keep all the small parts.
- Easy to read 2-1/2” gauge connected with a Bourdon tube for accurate measurement
- Heavy-duty rubber boot protects gauge
- 1-year warranty
According to some of the customer reviews the Actron CP7828A Professional Compression Tester is a splendid addition to your toolkit not only for its utility but also for its price. There are issues with the threads not fitting properly, but nothing major that can’t be taken care of with a little Loctite.
#5 Pitbull 8 Pc Spark Plug Cylinder Compression Tester
When you are looking for a cheap yet best compressor tester you can’t overlook the compression kit from Pitbull because it is very cheap at just around $20. For all needs right from looking for burnt valves and rings to performing a carbon build-up inspection test on a wide variety of vehicles, this kit is up for the challenge.
There are 8 testers compatible with various spark plugs and hence can be used to test compression on a variety of gasoline motors both domestic and imported. The gauge is well protected and it can test upto 0-300 PSI and 0-20 KPa.
Sturdy Mold Case
You need never fear to lose any of the small parts that come with the kit as the case has a place for all the parts.The organized toolkit not only saves time but also improves your efficiency.
- Spark plug thread adapter sizes are M10 x 1.0, M12 x 1.25, M14 x 1.25, M18 x 1.5
- 6 Adapters Extension hose Straight and angles fittings
- The fittings are coated with brass to avoid corrosion
- All plugs are provided with O-ring for better sealing.
- The side button for release of pressure.
Not one of the most accurate compression testers in the market, it does its job though. When you want a fair idea of the compression you can use the product but if you are looking for accuracy look elsewhere, this tester is not for you.
#6 ATD Tools 5573A 2-Gauge Cylinder Leakage Tester
The5573A is a two gauge cylinder tester that will ensure that you get accurate results every time your test. The piece is easy to use and also allows precise control of the air pressure. It is suited to pinpoint the exact cause of the problem.
Identifies Exact Spot Of Problems
Based on the compression test or the cylinder balance test it is easy to predict the exact spot where the problem is with a gasoline motor. The 2 gauges help monitor the input air pressure accurately. It uses shop air to detect leakage source.
Great Design And Looks
The body of the gauge is anodized and has permanent laser etchings. It is sleeker than other models. It is designed with the new industrial quick coupler making usage with standard adapters fairly easy. The gauge is easy to read.
The reduced length of the adapter means you can use any ¼ inch male quick connect plug thereby increasing the versatility of the tester.
- Easy to read large gauges with color coding for measuring both high and low leakage.
- The gauge is well protected and has a scale of 0-100%. There is a 0-7 BAR also.
- 2 gauge design ensures accurate testing
- You can control input air pressure with an easy-to-use regulator
- Reducer adapter allows use of any 1/4″ male quick connect plug
- The hose is 26” long and it comes with a short M14 thread adapter and along thread adapter
- 1/4″ female x 1/8″ male reducer adapter
This high-pressure leakage setup is suitable for gasoline engines of all sizes. It is quick to set up and provides accurate readings. The length of the hose is nice and long and you won’t end up with a back pain hunched over the engine.
#7 GZYF Multi-Function Compression Gauge Test Set
Another diagnostic tester that does the job and does it well is this compression test that is cheap and affordable. Packed in an attractive red molded carrying case, there are adapters that fit all kinds of spark plugs. This kit can be successfully used to inspect for carbon build up. You don’t need to thread the head, this is the push in type of compressor
- Adapters to suit a wide variety of vehicles of varying spark plug types and depth
- 2 rubber cones for pushing in the head
- An easy to read gauge with a dual-color scale and 0-300 PSI and 0-20 KPa.
- There is a rubberized gauge protector
- The gauge has a push button release valve
- The adapters are M10, M12,M14,M18 with the O-ring.
- 14” hose with a ½” diameter.
This PMD compression tester might not be known as the best compressor tester for accuracy as much as for its versatility. It can be used with a wide range of gasoline motors. It can be used for both the 4 strokes and two stroke engines and lawn movers – a one-time affordable diagnostic tool for all the motors in your household. The only drawback is that there is only check valve instead of two.
#8 Mityvac 5530 Professional Compression Tester Kit
The best is always saved for the last as is the case with the Mityvac compression tester. It is probably one of the best compressor testers around. It is a professional kit which can be used for compression testing of automotive, industrial, marine and even small engines.
It features a hold quick connector which allows the user to attach the air supply to valve stem seal replacement without removing the cylinder head.
The spares are plenty and the gauge is of good quality The unit comes packaged in a good compact case, has plenty of fitting sizes.
Mityvac also makes many other great tools for the garage, and we particularly like their digital compression tester which you can see details of here. If your budget allows for it, we’d definitely recommend the upgrade.
- AN air hold connector that ensures that you don’t remove the cylinder head for valve seal replacement.
- The kit can be used for automotive, industrial, marine, and small engines
- The gauge is sturdy and 2-3/4” and comes with a 10” hose.
- There are other sizes of hoses and adapters that fit chain saws, trimmers and lawn mowers in the kit
- The kit is molded to fit each part perfectly
Overall, when you are looking for something more advanced and long lasting you must be willing to spend a little more. Though the Mityvac is more expensive and probably the best compressor tester because it has solution to all the motors in your household – marine, lawn mowers, industrial and automotive.
After several reviews and customer feedback, we have found that each customer has a specific need and there is no one model that suits all. Some have budget constraints while others want multipurpose testers.
Keep in mind that the best compressor tester should be able to identify the problem in your engine irrespective of its looks and packaging. Read reviews and check out product websites before making an informed decision.