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If you are experiencing a significant drop in the engine’s power output then it might be due to poor compression in the cylinders.
A reliable way to understand the issue is to use compression testers. These small devices are used to determine the pressure in each of the cylinders present in an engine during a compression cycle. Moreover, conducting a compression test can also help determine the engine’s overall health and performance capacity.
Hence, it may be a good idea to get the best compression kit for your vehicle. It will eliminate the need to take your vehicle to the mechanic more often as you’d be able to maintain it on your own.
These kits are easy to use and require no special knowledge or skills.
A properly working cylinder should have a pressure of more than 100 PSI in each cylinder. Connecting the kit will tell you the exact pressure so you can decide if you need professional help.
So, without further ado, let’s have a look at the six best compression kits on the market:
- Top 6 Best Compression Kits For The Money 2023 Reviews
- 1 Mityvac MV5532 Digital Compression Test Kit
- 2 INNOVA 3612 Compression Tester – 4 Piece Kit
- 3 INNOVA 3615 OHC Compression Tester Plus – 7 Piece Kit
- 4 OTC 5605 Deluxe Compression Tester Kit with Carrying Case for Gasoline Engines
- 5 Lisle 20250 Compression Tester
- 6 Actron CP7828A Professional Compression Tester Kit
- Best Compression Kits: Buying Guide
Top 6 Best Compression Kits For The Money 2023 Reviews
|Name||Weight||Dimensions||Tools Included||Case Included||Rating|
15.8 x 11.8 x 3.4 inches
Adapters, hose, air holder
|(4.3 / 5)|
12 x 15 x 5 inches
Side release valve, adapters and hose.
|(4.3 / 5)|
12 x 6 x 2 inches
Hose and adapters
|(4.2 / 5)|
14.8 x 9.5 x 3.5 inches
Deep well connector, hose and adapters
|(4.5 / 5)|
Lisle 20250 Compression Tester
14.5 x 4.8 x 2.8 inches
Hose and adapters
|(3.4 / 5)|
1.5 x 12 x 5 inches
Rubber o rings, hose, side release valves, adapters and a repair kit
|(3.7 / 5)|
1 Mityvac MV5532 Digital Compression Test Kit
Mityvac MV5532 Digital Compression Test Kit is perfect for gasoline engines. It offers an easy to read display that makes the job easier.
Highest Pressure Recording: Most compression kits show the temperature and delete the data when the device is turned off. This is not the case with Mityvac MC5532.
It will not only show pressure readings on the display but will also store the highest pressure value. This comes in handy when you want to compare your engine performance after a few days.
Plus, the unit can store data of 12 different cylinders, making it a good option for pros as well.
Digital Tester: This digital tester comes with a digital scale. Thus, expect accurate readings without any difficulty.
LCD Display: The tester incorporates a well-lit LCD that shows easy-to-read numbers and letters. This also helps to take readings during low light conditions.
Easy Access On Hard To Reach Ports: The good part about this compression kit is that it comes with a number of standard adapters including:
- 18 mm standard reach thread x 12 in. (305 mm) hose adapter
- 18 mm reach male thread x 14 mm standard reach female thread plug adapter
- 16 mm male thread x 14 mm standard reach female thread plug adapter
- 14 mm standard reach thread x 6.5 in. (165 mm) hose adapter
- 14 mm standard reach thread x 12 in. (305 mm) hose adapter
- 14 mm reach thread x 12 in. (305 mm) hose adapter
- 12 mm male thread x 14 mm standard reach female thread plug adapter
- 10 mm male thread x 14 mm standard reach female thread plug adapter
Thanks to these adapters, you can access any port and check the pressure with great ease.
Power Saver: This tester works on power conservation and turns off the backlight after every 3 minutes so that it consumes less power.
Protected: The tester comes enclosed in a rubber casing that prevents it from sustaining scratches. Hence, it will run for a long time as it stays safe against damage.
- Grease oil resistant.
- Shows accurate data.
- Extended battery life thanks to power conservation feature.
- Extremely durable.
- A bit expensive.
- Not ideal for 2-stroke engines.
Mityvac MV5532 Digital Compression Test Kit can be a good pick as it comes with a hose, adapters, air hold adapter, and a quick change coupler. It might be a bit expensive but if you want quality then this product won’t disappoint you.
2 INNOVA 3612 Compression Tester – 4 Piece Kit
Innova 3612 is a budget-friendly compression tester that will take care of your pressure reading needs like a pro. It offers many features. Plus, it is also quite easy to use as well.
Points Out Damages: This compression tester is good at identifying damages in various parts of the engine including pistons, valves, gaskets, rings, etc.
It is also a versatile compression tester that will work with electronic, computerized and conventional vehicles.
Dial Face: There’s a large 2.5 inch dial face on the compressor that shows pressure readings between 0 to 300 PSI and 0-2100 kPa. It is a dual calibrated unit that has color coded scales for better readability.
Accuracy And Easy Installation: The compression tester incorporates a heavy -duty bourdon tube meter movement that finds and displays accurate readings.
Apart from that, installing the unit is a breeze thanks to the quick disconnect feature it comes with.
Repeated Tests: There’s a side valve included in the kit that eliminates the need to disconnect the hose to test repeatedly.
Accessories: It might not come in a case but you can store it easily in the trunk due to its compact dimensions. The kit includes 12mm, 14mm and 18mm adapters. It also comes with a 15 inch hose and a side release valve.
- Can be used In ATVs, snowmobiles, motorcycles and vehicles.
- 1-year warranty.
- Identifies damages in various engine parts.
- Can perform repeated tests.
- No digital display.
INNOVA 3612 Compression Tester – 4 Piece Kit is durable and accurate at the same time. It is easy to use and comes with 3 adapters of various sizes.
3 INNOVA 3615 OHC Compression Tester Plus – 7 Piece Kit
Innova 3615 OHC is a 7-piece kit that comes with excellent features and a broad range of pressure reading scale. It works on all gasoline engines and shows accurate readings.
Pressure Range: With this compression tester, you can check pressure between 0-2100 kPa and 0-300 PSI. It has easy to access spark plug holes that make the job easier.
Used In Many Applications: Since it comes with four various sized adapters of 8mm, 10mm, 12mm and 14mm, you can use it in many applications such as ATVs, automobiles, snowmobiles, etc.
8mm and 14mm adapters are designed to get easy access to long reach spark plug holes.
In fact, the 8-inch adapter is a universal one and can be used with almost any compression tester available on the market.
Dial Face: The tester has a 2.5 inch dial face that shows color coded readings for better readability. You can switch between PSI and kPa metrics if you like.
Side Release Valve: It comes with a side release valve that allows you to conduct multiple tests one after the other without disconnecting the hose.
This is possible thanks to the direct shaft attachment it offers for immediate testing.
- The hose comes wrapped in a steel casing for protection.
- Supports quick release fitting.
- Long reach adapters make it easier to access hard to reach ports.
- Durable and accurate.
- Works on gasoline engines only.
If you are looking for a solid compression tester that can cater to gasoline engines then consider Innova 3615 OHC. It shows accurate data and is able to perform tests repeatedly using the side release valve.
4 OTC 5605 Deluxe Compression Tester Kit with Carrying Case for Gasoline Engines
OTC 5605 is a complete package that can find accurate pressure in your engine. It comes in a compact carrying case with many accessories.
Versatile: The tester comes with 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 5″ flex Ford Triton 16mm and 18mm adapters. This huge variety of adopters ensures it covers most of the engines.
It’s a perfect fit for gasoline engines. Plus it works perfectly on flat and tapered seat plugs.
Durable: The items come enclosed in a rugged, blow molded hard case that makes it easier to store the goods. It also has a removable lid that will keep the items safe inside.
Dial And Pressure Range: The dial on this tester is a solid 2.5 inch piece that shows accurate readings. It is made up of chrome bezel and has a rugged out boot that protects it from external damage.
The tester allows you to check pressure between 0-300 PSI and 0-2100 kPa.
Resists Corrosion: All the metal components are coated with nickel to prevent the accumulation of rust. This prolongs the life of the materials.
- 25” flex hose offers great access.
- Comes with a quick coupler for easy installation.
- Ideal for both tapered and flat plugs.
- Doesn’t work on diesel engines.
OTC 5605 is a versatile and reliable compression kit that comes with all the necessary adapters and has a long hose length to reach difficult areas. It’s an affordable kit that will run for a long time thanks to its durability.
5 Lisle 20250 Compression Tester
People who are looking for a simple to use compression tester that will help them read pressure in the engine cylinders should go for this one. It comes with various adapters and supports most gasoline engines as well.
Flexible Hose And Many Adapters: This compression tester has a flexible hose, hence no risk of damage. Plus, this feature ensures the hose can reach the port without any trouble.
It comes with many adapters including 10mm, 12mm and 14mm. They can be used in a variety of applications including marine applications, snowmobiles, ATVs, etc.
Pressure Range: This one can read between 0 to 300 PSI and 0 to 2100 kPa of pressure.
Color Coded Dial: It incorporates a reliable dial that shows accurate data. Since it is color coded, you can see the digits in low light as well.
Easy To Store: It doesn’t come with a case but due to its compact dimensions, you can store it easily in any place.
- Budget friendly.
- Shows accurate data.
- Supports a wide range of gasoline engines.
- Extended reach with flexible hose.
- No side release valve makes it a bit difficult to install.
Lisle 20250 Compression Tester is easy to use and hence perfect for beginners.
6 Actron CP7828A Professional Compression Tester Kit
If you know your way into engines then you need a professional compression kit that can detect worn out pistons, blown gaskets and pressure related issues.
Actron CP7828A is one such compression kit. it allows you to check pressure accurately and has a 17-inch flexible hose that can reach even difficult to reach corners.
- Side Release Valve: With the side release valve, you can perform multiple tests repeatedly without having to disconnect the hose. The valve has a push button that makes it easier to use.
- Pressure Range: It offers a pressure range between 0-2100 kPa and 0-300 PSI. You can perform a pressure test on any gasoline engine with this unit.
- Good Accuracy: This compression tester has a heavy duty bourdon tube meter that is capable of finding accurate readings.
- Adapters: You get many adapters with the compression testing unit including 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 14mm long reach, and 18mm adapters. Apart from this, a repair kit and o-rubber rings are also provided.
- Flexible Hose: There’s a flexible 17” hose attached to it which is both grease and oil resistant.
- 1-year warranty.
- Comes with an instruction manual.
- The adapters are durable.
- Comes with an 8 inch extension tube.
- Doesn’t work well with flathead motors.
Actron CP7828 is a little expensive hence suitable for pros as it offers some advanced features that may not be suitable for a new user.
Best Compression Kits: Buying Guide
There are a number of compression kits out there, each claiming to be the best compression kit. The huge number of options can make it difficult to pick the right one.
To help you in this regard, here are a few things you must consider when picking a compression kit.
Gauge Type: Gauges are either digital or dial.
- Digital Gauge: Digital gauges are modern and easy to read as there is no need to follow the needle and note the temperature. It can be a good option for people who are in a hurry or have a weak eyesight.
- Dial gauge: This one is the old school type of gauge that needs you to read the needle. It can be a little slow to read but the results are quick.
Accuracy: If you are a professional then you must know how important accuracy is. Here’s where digital gauges reign supreme. The room for error is little to none, unlike gauge compression testers.
Tools: Pay attention to the type of adapters offers, in addition to other accessories. The kit must come with all the required adapters so that you have no trouble in using it.
Moreover, it should include a flexible hose so that you can reach hard to reach places.
Build: A durable tester is what you need to go for. Some testers offer oil and grease protection and come enclosed in a rubber foot or casing.
Such units tend to run for a long time and are also durable.
Case: Imagine the hassle of carrying all the tools in your pocket. It’s troublesome, hence it’s best to find a product that comes with a case or is compact enough to fit into a small case.
Easy To Use: A compression tester that’s easy to use will save you time. Find one that has a color coded dial or an LCD display feature so that you can read in low light conditions as well.
While all the compression kits mentioned in the article are worthy, there is one that qualifies to be called the best compression kit, Mityvac MV553.
It is far better than other compression testers because of the features it offers such as power saving, pressure reading recording, digital display, etc.
However, it is best to pick a unit according to your own needs and requirements.