What is the difference between Compressor Oil and Hydraulic Oil?

This is a frequently asked question our team gets with the two types of oils having similar characteristics.

Compressor & Hydraulic Oil differ in terms of their use and application:

  • Compressor Oils are used to lubricate and cool moving parts in a variety of pneumatic compressors including rotary, piston and vane.
  • Hydraulic Oils transfer power through the means of its incompressibility to provide a mechanical output, in various types of machinery and heavy equipment.


Both types of oil contain specific additives to enable them work well in their intended use:

  • Compressor Oils are zinc free due to the sensitive types of materials found in compressors and they have higher levels of anti-oxidants as they are subjected to elevated temperatures.
  • Hydraulic Oils are designed to protect the all aspects of the hydraulic system including reducing wear & corrosion on components and materials, as well as being able to maintain the fluids viscosity in order to transmit power.


Millers Oils would always recommend to use the correct oil for the application, and as such we have dedicated ranges of Compressor (Millair) & Hydraulic (Millmax) Oils in a variety of viscosities and base oil types to meet a wide range of requirements and specifications.

Find out more here:

Millers Oils Millair Range – Compressor Oils

Millers Oils Millmax Range- Hydraulic Oils

Our in-house Technical Support team are always happy to discuss any further questions you have.

Call our technical support team on: 01484 475060

Or e-mail them at technical@millersoils.co.uk