What is Best Compression Tester

Several diagnostic types of equipment have added features to enable you to detect faults in your vehicle. One of these critical tools is the compression tester. A compression tester is one of the crucial tools every car owner should possess. This tool helps in revealing your car’s condition, measuring the level of compression, and helping you know where leakages occur in the cylinder gauge of your vehicle.

This article is for you if you are looking for the best compressor tester with different specifications and adapters to fit your car engine. Below are the best compressors available in the market with the best reviews;

The Grade-A Compression Testers

1. Deluxe OTC 5605 Compression Tester

A product from OTC with a comprehensive package and a fantastic tool for professionals and car owners. Deluxe compressional testers are considered for their accuracy and durability. They function on dual-scaled gauge, flat and elongated seat plugs. It has a long hose enough to position a gauge inside the car at a visual angle. Its incredible features enable it to be the best in bad valves revealing when they have a disorderly partition.

Highlighted Features

  • Has thread connectors of twelve, ten and eighteen millimetres
  • Flexible twelve-inch and fourteen-inch connectors
  • Has a nickel-plated finish that is corrosion resistant
  • For the Ford Triton it has a connector of sixteen millimetres.
  • Has a molded plastic case

2. Professional Engine Cylinder 8MILELAKE Compression Tester Kit

The compression tester kit from 8MILELAKE comes with a dual scale gauge and an excellent air sealer. It also has four specified fittings that respond well to many vehicles—not forgetting a long extension hose, two multipurpose adapters, and rubber shaft end.

The compression tester lets you perform assessment carbon buildup and checking the health of the rings and valves. The 8MILELAKE compression tester kit comes packed in a blue mold case, allowing you to safely store it in your garage.

Highlighted Features

  • Has a dual scale gauge of 0.20 kPa and 0-300 PSI
  • Comes with a spark plug of 14mm and 18mm
  • Has angled and straight fittings to be used by most vehicles
  • Extension hose of diameter ½inch and 14-inch
  • Comes with a blue molded case for easy storage.

3. Pro Fuel Injection BETOOLL Compression Tester Kit

This injection compression tester from BETOOLL comes with a dual dial, and it is easy to assemble. It is designed to work with any car engine—gratitude to the collective operative coupler connection and pressure gauge. The compression tester can quickly be built and stored with different adapters and hoses inside its red molded case.

Highlighted Features

  • Proficient coupler connection
  • Easy to store as it comes packed in a red molded case
  • Has a dual dial for practical readings
  • Has a fuel injection kit

4. 5606 OTC Gasoline Engines Compression tester

This compression tester is designed for testing gasoline engines. In the tester kit, it has adapters to work in both the tapered and flat seat plug. An extra dual scale gauge with a reading of 0-2100 kPa and 0-300 PSI. Its 25-inch extension hose can easily be attached to the efficient coupler to check the valves’ state without the chaotic section’s intervention.

It has a resistant and long-lasting element due to its nickel-plated finish. The compression kit comes with a removable and heavy-duty case to make it easy to arrange and organize the 5606 OTC elements of the compression tester.

Highlighted Features

  • Has a hose of 25-inch for easy viewing
  • Has long standard reach adapter of 12-inch by 14mm
  • Comes with an extended reach adapter of 12-inch by 14mm
  • Thread adapter of 10mm by 12mm and 18mm
  • Has a nickel-plated finish that is corrosion resistant
  • Comes with a heavy-duty case with a removable lid

5. 3612 INNOVA Compression Tester

INNOVA compression tester is widely known for its several uses. It is enriched with features like the coded scale dual dial and an extended 15mm rubber oil resistant hose- making it easy to disconnect hose tanks due to side discharge valves. It has two 12mm adapters that are harmonious with most vehicles.

Highlighted Features

  • 15-inch long grease and oil-resistant rubber hose
  • Dual coded and calibrated face
  • Side release valves that make it easy to do repeated tests
  • Versatile tube meter program

6. PMD Products Engine Cylinders Compression Gauge

The PMD compression tester comes with a piston ring and a checking valve to check for late timing and carbon buildup. The kit has a dual-color three-inch scale gauge with a PSI of 0-300. Its meters have a rubber protector and a quick push-button release. It has a wide range of adapters that are friendly with many vehicles. Has long extension hoses of 10.5mm with brass coupler and Schrader valve inserts, making them corrosion resilient.

Highlighted Features

  • Push-Button release valve
  • Reach hoses of 10.5inch
  • The dual scale of 3inch with a 0-20kPa and 0-300PSI
  • Rubberized gauge protector
  • Packed in a red blow shaped case

7. 3615 OHC INNOVA Compression Tester Plus

This 3615 INNOVA compression tester makes it easy to handle compression testing for spark plugs holes of vehicles that are hard to access. The compression tester comes with a stainless steel hose 15-inch long, numerous adapters, and a side release valve for dual testing. The adapters can be used in marine and boat engines and motorcycles.

Highlighted Features

  • Motorcycles and ATVs adapters of 10mm and 12mm long
  • Projected for hard to access vehicle spark plug holes
  • Its long adapters of 10mm and 12mm are useful for ATVs and motorcycles
  • Has dual adapters of 14mm and 18mm
  • The extended adapter of 14mm for spark plug use
  • The 8-inch adapter is sufficient for use with any compression tester

8. Shankly Compression Tester

The Shankly compression adapter gives car owners consistent and precise readings. The tester comes with a broad gauge and an extended adapter to enable dual and easy compression reading. It is easy to repeat compression testing as it has a side release valve.

Its long hose and universal adapters make it needless to remove the air and steering adapting features. The Shankly compression adapter is designed for both imported and domestic trucks and vehicles.

Highlighted Features

  • Extended reach adapter of 14mm
  • The elongate flexible adapter of 14mm
  • The solid short adapter of 14mm by 18mm
  • Broad dual scale gauge of 2-1/2-inch
  • Friendly with imported and domestic vehicles.

Buying Guide: What to Consider When Choosing Compression Tester

when choosing compression tester

As a car owner, you may not be sure what it takes to get the right compression tester for your vehicle. With the below-buying guides, you are well sorted in getting the proper diagnostic equipment. The following are some of the principles to consider:

  • Durability

To know the type of compression tester to choose, check its durability and its finishing-they should be nickel made and corrosion-resistant.  They should have a rough outer boot to prevent it from breakage and protecting the gauge. With a complete kit with a compression tester and its components, the package should be rust-resistant, allowing you to save plenty of cash in the long run. Getting the stainless steel collections is significant as the tools are durable and fabulous in their fitting and useful compression analysis.

  • Features

The majority of the air compression testers not only comes with the necessary equipment, but it is also loaded with a comprehensive kit that has additional adapters and fittings to help an engine check. This is a significant feature to vehicle owners with more than two cars, or they need to check their motorcycle valves or their vehicle terrains.  Some compression tester models have long extension hoses letting you perform tests and record readings without getting tangled partition.

  • User Friendly

Compression testers are easy to use for attach with a user-friendly edge. It comes with a comprehensive guide manual to help use the tools efficiently and perform absurd practical. It has a dual large scale gauge that allows vehicle owners to perform compression testing and health of their damaged valves- at the comport of their garage without incurring further charges when getting mechanical services.

  • Accurate Gauge

As you go out to look for a compression tester, check the one that offers precise reading results to either the analog or digital car engines.  Knowing the amount of compression your engine needs allows you to understand what action to take and become knowledgeable of your car engine. Getting the digital gauge lets you speedily save reading of different cylinders and get accurate results. With this feature, it becomes expensive to purchase than the regular compression testers. As you look for a compression tester, keep in mind that they should be hefty enough to handle and easy to read. It should have extra features like a dual scale to show both the PSI and metric value.

  • Multipurpose Adapters

The other feature to consider when buying a compression tester is its versatile adapter. This feature is excellent to handle hard to reach spark plug points. The quality makes it easier and smoother to handle the process. It would be best if you went for a multifunctional adapter as it is also well-suited to any engine and vehicle model. Make sure the adapter has the small-sized and standard plug option if you have to use the compression tester to check your boat or motorcycle engine.

  • Storage Case

Numerous compression tester models come handy with a molded case that makes it an easy store and effectively organizes your compression tester tools. The case helps you pack the tool you need to test your boat engine during summer or snowmobile during winter. Some model cases come with an instruction manual on their lids, and as a beginner, you will have handy information on how to go about the compression testing process. The case also helps in handling the tools in pristine condition, keeping of destructive components.

  • Warranty

These compression testers do not promise one a long life without breakage. Its gauge, which is usually glass made, can break or crack when it comes into contact with hard flours. Its sharp needle can malfunction, also leading to an inaccurate reading result. When your compression tester has warranty coverage, it makes it easy to fix your broken gauge and kit without incurring further charges.

Why Contact an Engine Compression Test?

A compression test is necessary as it helps you know your car engine condition and the problems it might be experiencing. Your engine valves and piston rings can wear and tear at times, and testing them regularly lets you preserve your car engine.

With the right tools, it becomes easy to perform the tests in the comfort of your place. If you get readings of up to zero, it is a sign that your head gasket has blown; it can also be due to a damaged camshaft.  In the case of high readings, it might be as a result of excessive carbon buildup. It can be severe to the point of needing chemical removal.

How to Use a Compression Tester?

For Dry Test

  1. Start by pulling the wire going leading to the coil at the center- If your car has a distributor. Get it far from the spark plug.
  2. If it doesn’t have a distributor, you have to disconnect your electric connector on the ignition control module. If you are not sure how to go about it, check with your neighboring mechanic for help.
  • The third step is to make sure you have charged your engine fully before beginning your test. You might end up getting false results if your motor has low battery power.
  1. The next step is to make sure you get the right compression tester for your car model. The gasoline fueled cars use different compression gauge than the diesel-fueled vehicles.
  2. Deactivate the fuel injection system to inhibit gasoline vapor from going through the spark plug, which might cause a fire hazard.
  3. Detach the pump fuel before starting your vehicle. Let it run until it runs out of gasoline.
  • The cold engine detaches the primary wire leading to the ignition coils, and the fuel pump relaxes. This is crucial as sparks and fuel will not muck while in the procedure.
  • Clean and take note of the sparks’ location and order before you eradicate them- the sparks must be returned in the same order later.
  1. Take away the spark plus, be cautious not to destroy the ends.
  2. Take your time and observe each tool for any clues why the combustion chamber has problems.
  3. Note down the number of each cylinder. If the numbers have a slight difference, it is said to be expected. In case the numbers are far most different from each other, have a qualified mechanic check your engine. It would be best if you did the compression tests at cranking engine speed. Leave your gauge for ten seconds to get the right combustion pressure of the cylinder.
  • Once you are done with the testing, please take out the compression tester by loosening it from the cylinder.
  • Go ahead and attach the sparkplug into the cylinder gently after checking for any damages.
  • Mount the plug wire in its rightful place. Push it definitely on the sparkplug terminal- all this while testing the cylinder manner. They should be on the 5% level of each other.

For Wet Test

Perform the wet compression test when the spark plugs are detached. Take one teaspoon of oil and add it to the spark plug point. Do this in a repeated manner before you take another compression reading while comparing the different test results from the wet and dry test.

The use of oil in the wet compression test is necessary as it wets the ring seal. In case there are increased compression test results in the wet compression test, it shows a recognized problem in the piston rings of your car cylinder.

How to Care for Your Compression Tester?

You should take care of your compression tester as if you were caring for your health. Little carbon or sand particles might cause the compression tester needle to fail. You should make sure you wipe the gauge from any grease or oil at the gauge-which surface, which hinders inaccurate reading results.

Store it in a cool and dry place away from moisture and heat-when you use it the next time, and you will be sure of appropriate testing results. When you are done using the tester’s attachments, please return them to their respective places in the molded case. With the compressed air, make sure you clean your car’s spark plug. This helps take off any grime or dirt that may have settled on the gears.

Importance of a Compression Tester

  • Tell about the condition of your engine. The compression tester reveals the health of your engine valves, valve seal, and piston rings. It is also useful in showing the parts of your vehicle that has worn out.
  • It is an early problem indicator. When performing the compression test, it is easy to get the engine failure such as faulty piston rings, bad valves, and excess carbon buildup.
  • Protective repairs. It is crucial to conduct a compression testing process to detect the problems your vehicle might be incurring. With this, you can prevent the faults at an early stage. Keep in mind that it is way too cheap to fix at its early stage than waiting for the car to break down completely.

Types of Compression Tester

There are two types of compression testers:

  • Rubber Plug compression tester

The rubber plug compression tester is efficient as it has a rubber plug. To use it in performing the compression test, drive the rubber plug to the spark plug shack, then go ahead and eccentric the engine with the starter. This compression starter is impressive, but it has one significant limitation; you will need two people when performing the compression test.

One person to accelerate the engine, while the other person holds the tester and perform the test. The other disadvantage of the rubber plug compression tester is it is not useful to use with the significant digital engine with hard to access spark plugs.

  • Screw-in Compression Tester

The screw-in compression tester has a hose fixed to it with a fitting at the ends. You have to attach the screw into the engine spark plug hole and clasp it with a ring. This compression tester works on any type of engine and doesn’t need two people’s labor to make it functional.  The screw-in compression tester is the best gauge if you are planning on handling your engine tests alone.


  • Always have numerous adapters for your compression tester. It is not all vehicles that use the same adapters for the compression testing process. The adapter’s length is also essential- you may have cars with hard to access spark plugs, and it will need you to use an extended extension adapter.
  • As a vehicle owner who will need to regularly use a compression tester, always have a devoted space in which you can store your compression tester kit. It should be in a cool and dry place away from moisture. As most compression testers come handy with a molded case, use it to store all your equipment. In case it comes without a compression tester molded case, consider getting one. It is worth it as you will not have to worry about the kit’s damages if inappropriately stored.
  • Lastly is checking on the condition of your compression tester kit. Be sure to keep it clean and safe if you want to get significant readings during the compression testing. It is also necessary to check your tester’s cleanliness as dirt will make it impossible to know the appropriate condition of your vehicle engine. When storing your compression tester, please keep it in a protective case away from dirt and contamination.

Final Word

For compressors testers with the best test readings, consider the one with long hoses and versatile adapters. It will make it easy to handle the compression testing of any vehicle engine and model. It will be more comfortable also to get access to the hard to access spark plugs. Do not forget the importance of keeping your compression tester clean all the time.


  1. https://www.thedrive.com/reviews/30322/best-compression-testers
  2. https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/a8520/cars-101-how-to-do-a-compression-test-14912158/

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