The 4 Best Compression Testers For Maintaining a Healthy Engine

Checking the health of your engine is such an important aspect of vehicle maintenance that it cannot be overlooked. After all, if you’ve got problems with your engine, the rest of your vehicle is going to suffer. However, not all of us have the time, nor the skill, to take the engine apart to check every individual part.

At the same time, not everyone is going to want to take it into a mechanics to get it checked over for a costly service fee. With all this in mind, a compression tester, or compression testing kit, is the best solution to check the quality and performance levels of your engine without having to take it all apart.

At its core, a compression tester is simple. Most standard models will be constructed from a hose or pipe, a gauge for monitoring the read-out and some fittings that will connect to your spark plugs. To use the said tester, you’ll simply need to remove the head of your spark plugs, connect the tester, disconnect the fuel pump and crank up your engine, making sure that you make a note of the readout.
You’ll then repeat the test on the rest of your cylinders, and you’ll have a clear idea of how well your engine is performing and whether there’s anything you need to be concerned about. But how do we know that the compressor we’re using is right for the job and giving us the readout that we’re looking for? After all, you’re going to want it to be as accurate as possible.

This is why we’ve searched high and low for the best compressor tests that are currently available on the market, helping you to narrow down your choice so you can be sure that you’re buying the best. Let’s jump straight in to see what we’ve got!

INNOVA 3615 OHC Compression Tester Plus - 7 Piece Kit

INNOVA 3615 OHC Compression Tester Plus – 7 Piece Kit

Coming in at number one in our top four list is a complete kit that comes with everything you need to test the compression of your engine in the most accurate way possible, despite also being on the most affordable. This makes it ideal for vehicle owners of any budget and is perfect for home use.

What really makes this compressor set stand apart from all the rest is the fact that you can test all your spark plugs and your cylinders without having to disconnect the hose once, ensuring that your compression tests take no time at all and you can complete it in the most stress manner possible.

This level of functionality is only increased by the fact that the connection hose is designed to fit even the most hidden and inaccessible plug tops. This is ideal for complicated engines that your conventional testing kits with fixed hoses won’t be able to access.

Inside each kit, you’ll find 15-inch high pressure withstanding hoses, all enclosed in a durable stainless-steel casing as well as multiple adapters for reaching those hard to reach places. These include 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, and 18mm.

There’s even an included 14mm long-reach adapter for those even more difficult to reach places. These adapters have been made to be universal with the vast majority of existing compression testing kits, so you can mix them up if you’ve already got an existing one, making this one of the most complete testing kits of the market.

PROS
  • Long-lasting product designed to last decades
  • Quick release feature for effortless compression tests
  • A range of adapters for easy testing
  • Accurate pressure gauge for clear results
CONS
  • Gauge is poorer quality than the adapters
  • Mid-range price bracket

Mityvac MV5532 Digital Compression Test Kit

Mityvac MV5532 Digital Compression Test Kit

While the Mityvac Digital Compressor Kit sits in the lower end of the higher price bracket, this is a kit that pulls out all the stops when it comes to giving you the most accurate reading possible and all the equipment you need to get the job done. In short, this is the only compression kit you’re ever going to need.

Since this is a digital compression testing kit, the gauge isn’t a dial, but rather a digital screen that provides you with a pinpoint accurate result down to the nearest .0. This ensures you know the exact condition of your engine, without the hassles and stresses that come with taking it apart.
Furthermore, within this kit you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits that come with five uniquely sized rubber, high-pressure hoses which are all varying lengths and adapters, making it easy for you to find the perfect hose to take the most accurate measurement, minimizing the challenge of having to fiddle around in the more difficult parts of your engine.

This entire set is incredibly easy to use, highly durable and designed for many years to come. While not in use, you can store all your parts safely and securely in the hard travel/storage case that comes with your purchase, only prolonging the lifespan of this incredible compression testing kit.

PROS
  • Digital gauge for the most accurate readouts
  • A range of adapters and high-pressure hoses for accurate testing
  • Comes with a hard travel/storage case for a long-life product
  • Dump valve to release pressure quickly
CONS
  • Not suitable for 2-stroke engines
  • Needs calibrating (but made easy with instructions)

OTC 5606 Compression Tester Kit

OTC 5606 Compression Tester Kit

If you like the idea of using a compressor kit for the most accurate readout of your engine’s health, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a kit, the OTC 5606 Kit is exactly what you’re after. Falling into the higher end of the lower price bracket, this compression tester kit is a compact solution that comes with all the features and functions you could need or want.

To start with, as you would expect from a leading solution, all the parts of this kit come in a professional storage hard case to ensure that it’s well protected against typical garage pollutants like dust and moisture. This is to expand the lifespan of your product dramatically.

Inside, you’ll find detailed instructions on how to use the kit, making it ideal for beginners and all the parts and adapters you’ll need. In short, there’s four included high-pressure hoses and a gauge that reads from 0-300 PSI, giving you all of the measurements you could possibly need.

The longest hose you’ll find in this set reaches 25-inches, but there are three other varying lengths to choose from, making it easy to plug into the even the most difficult to reach places.

PROS
CONS
  • Not a digital gauge
  • The higher end of the lower price bracket

Lisle 20250 Compression Tester

Lisle 20250 Compression Tester

Finally, to conclude our list of the best vehicle engine compression testing kits out there, we’ve chosen this super affordable, highly accurate and minimalist compressor testing that does everything you want and needs it to do straight out of the box.

In terms of functionality, the gauge of this device measures from 0 to 300 PSI, or 0 – 2,100kpa, the recommended level for a compression testing kit. The gauge itself is then connected to a high-pressure rubber hose which is incredibly flexible, allowing you to reach those hard to reach places effortlessly.

The end of the rubber hose is connected to the testing connector and comes with 14mm and 18mm adapters which are sure to fit your spark plugs and cylinder tops. Just make sure you measure before you make your purchase! The entire kit comes skin-packed and weighs a tiny 15oz, making this an easy yet essential compressor testing kit that you can keep in your garage for whenever you need it!

What’s more, this is one of the most affordable, yet accurate compression testing kits on the market, making the ideal solution for drivers and vehicle owners who have a high-quality reading for a low price.

PROS
  • Lightweight 15 oz design
  • Multiple 14mm and 18mm adapters
  • Flexible hose for those hard to reach places in your engine
  • High-quality build to last many years to come
CONS
  • Can be inaccurate on smaller engines
  • The hose may not be flexible enough to reach very hard to reach cylinders

Summary

As you can see, when it comes to choosing the perfect compression testing kit for your engine, there’s so much choice available that it’s hard to know where to begin. Before making your purchase, make sure that you measure both your spark plugs and cylinders, so you know exactly what adapters you need to be buying.

Then, take your price and budget into consideration, and you’ll be all set for testing the health and condition of your engine, giving you all of the information you need to make the right decisions for your vehicle.

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