5 Best Compression Testers of 2021

Jerry Wilson
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If you’ve been doing your research on compression testers and you’re wondering which one is the right product for your needs, then I’ve done the hard work for you and narrowed down the choices.

From the in-depth research I’ve done, I’m confident that you will find one of the compression testers listed below the best compression tester for your needs.

Check them out below.

NameCategoryProduct
OTC 5606 Compression Tester KitBest OverallOTC 5606 Compression Tester Kit
Lisle 20250 Compression TesterBudget PickLisle 20250 Compression Tester
Mityvac MV5532 Digital Compression Test KitUpgrade PickMityvac MV5532 Digital Compression Test Kit

1. OTC 5606 Compression Tester Kit

Our rating: 9 / 10

OTC 5606 Compression Tester Kit

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Pros:

  • Accurate and reliable
  • Easy mobility
  • Consistent results

The OTC 5606 Compression Tester Kit from Presort Inc. delivers accurate and reliable results undoubtedly. The kit comes complete with everything you need for high-precision compression readings.

Although the kit might seem a bit bulky, you can easily move it from place to place with its ergonomic design. You can use it to monitor air pressure levels in a variety of engines including those for the car, motorcycle, tractor, snowmobile, lawn mower, and chain saw.

The kit includes a compression gauge with a 2-4-5/8-inch diameter circle and a suction gauge with a 2-3/16-inch diameter circle, evenly molded on both sides, to ensure precision and accuracy. The suction gauge serves as a recording device that stores up to 500 readings. The kit also includes a 3-3/8-inch diameter ball valve, which you can use to test for the safety of suction.

2. INNOVA 3612 Compression Tester

Our rating: 9 / 10

INNOVA 3612 Compression Tester

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Pros:

  • Easy to use and read
  • Value for money
  • Good quality

The Innova 3612 is an outstanding product at a good price. It is a compact unit designed specifically to check tire pressures in accordance with TÅ¡P.

It is an outstanding product for people looking for their first pressure tester. This 4-piece set will let you check up to 4 tires at a time, and has a pressure dial that makes the process easy and straightforward.

You will be able to check your tires whenever you need to, with a sturdy and well-made tool. It is both compact and lightweight, so you can carry it with you all the time in your toolbox.

3. Lisle 20250 Compression Tester

Our rating: 9 / 10

Lisle 20250 Compression Tester

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Pros:

  • Accurate
  • Easy to read
  • Lasts a lifetime

If you’re going to be working on truck fuel systems a lot, the Lisle 20250 Compression Tester is a must-have. It goes for about a hundred dollars, but it’s worth every penny.

It comes in a beat-up cardboard box. When you feel the weight, you can expect it’s been in there a long time. The truth is that this thing is built to last. It’s made of aluminum and chrome-plated brass, and it works like a charm.

It’s an absolute necessity if you’re going to be rebuilding fuel injection systems. It checks pressure down to one-thousandth of an inch of mercury. One of the things I like most about this thing is that it’s so easy to read. The mercury sits above the hole in the gauge and there’s not a whole lot of room for error.

4. Mityvac MV5532 Digital Compression Test Kit

Our rating: 8 / 10

Mityvac MV5532 Digital Compression Test Kit

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Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Accurately gauge output pressure
  • Check gauges in a snap
  • Easy to operate
  • Meets industry standards for accuracy

The engineers at Mityvac created the MV5532 digital compression test kit to simplify the task of measuring your engine’s compression and is the best compression tester available on the market. The box includes a compression tester and gauge kit, oil pressure and vacuum gauges, pneumatic tire inflator, 12V battery and charger, 7 adapter fittings and case to store it all in.

You can check to see if your engine is low on compression, a common issue on older cars. As it is easy to use, it is tempting to check your compression at any time during the year as it will let you know if there are any other problems with your car. This compression tester provides correct gauges to correctly diagnose compression issues. This digital compression tester will allow you to check the amount of compression in your engine, how much oil is dripping out of the engine (if any), and if your oil pressure is working correctly.

5. INNOVA 3615 OHC Compression Tester Plus

Our rating: 6 / 10

INNOVA 3615 OHC Compression Tester Plus

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Pros:

  • Tester plugs into your laptop or phone
  • Takes less than 10 seconds to perform an OHC test
  • Long, reusable nozzle cartridges
  • Includes carry case
  • OHC testing is as accurate as the pricier machines

Cons:

  • Color-coded nozzle might give you a hard time
  • Plastic case looks and feels cheap

This compression tester is the most advanced I have seen so far, but it’s not the most expensive one on the market. In order to use this compression tester you need to plug it into a 12V igniter, use it with your car battery, long gas-type spark plug that has spark plugs for a diesel engine and then connect your laptop or a tablet to the kit either via USB or Bluetooth.

There’s also the option to use the machine without any extra gadgets, but you will need an A/C plug – an adapter that converts 12V to 120V.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a bad compression reading?

If your compression tester goes above 25 psi you have a problem. You might have the wrong size part. If you have the right sized part and you still have a number above 25, then you have a leak. If you have the right sized part and a number below 25, then you have a bad seal, a bad adapter or it is not into a cylinder head at 100%.

Do you have to remove all spark plugs for compression test?

Before testing your compression, remove all spark plugs, if possible. This is because, while a compression test can be used to identify which cylinder is having an issue, the spark plugs can skew these results. The reason is that they use the spark plugs to power their ignition system, meaning that they need to be able to ignite at any time.

This means that during engine tests, the spark plugs tend to stay on. So, they need to be removed to get a true pressure result. Also, be sure to turn off the ignition completely and remove anything that could accidentally turn on while you’re testing the compression.

How do you use a compression tester?

Compression testers are one of the best tools you can use in maintaining your hydraulics. Compression testers have incredibly high diagnostic potential for hydraulic systems by checking whether there is air in the system, along with overfilling or overcompressing a cylinder.

Compression testers will work on your equipment just like the name suggests. Your tester will compress the fluid inside your system which will in turn change your reading on your tester. With this changes will come notification as to what is causing the leakage or overfill.

Now that you know why they are an important to have around, you are probably wondering, “What needs to be done to maintain your compression tester?”

How much does a compression tester cost?

Compression testers are available at a price range. You can get one at a price as minimal as twenty dollars or you can spend up to two hundred on a good one. So the price range is huge and that price difference depends on the type of tester, the brand and the durability. On an average, you must be ready to spend around 40 dollars for a decent compressor tester.

The reason is that not all brands give you value for money. Some of them make the item from cheap materials which don’t last for a long period. So, you have to look for an one that is made from quality material.

Conclusion

Compression testers are an absolutely essential piece of equipment for most car owners. Knowing if your tires are in good shape is pretty important, and wanting to take care of them correctly is also pretty smart. In this post we’re going to look at what we consider to be the 5 best compression testers available today. There are a lot of different models, so we’re hoping that this post can be of some help to you. It may even help you decide if you feel like some type of tire pressure tester is something you need for your own car.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
OTC 5606 Compression Tester KitBest OverallOTC 5606 Compression Tester Kit
Lisle 20250 Compression TesterBudget PickLisle 20250 Compression Tester
Mityvac MV5532 Digital Compression Test KitUpgrade PickMityvac MV5532 Digital Compression Test Kit