I have been contracting for about 30 years now. I like oiless because
we use them for roofing every day. No worries about oil leaks,
breaking the site glass, snapping off the fill/dip stick, and not
problems with the oil leaking out of the head when the compressor is on
its side or oil thickening up when on a frosty jobsite.
I have had plenty of both. In my shop, I run an oiless. It goes
nowhere, never is at any kind of damage risk, and has only seen one or
two jobsites. It lives in a quiet corner under a noise barrier/dust
shroud. It isn't THAT much quieter than my three oiless comps. But it
was on sale and had the specs I wanted to run a couple of large finish
nailers at a time.
My oiless comps kick ass though, as they are almost indestructible.
Here in South Texas it easily hits 100 degrees plus in the summer, and
hoisted onto a papered roof, the surface temps hit 145 or so on the
surface where we put them to run two to three roofing guns. Never had
one of my CH Extreme oiless comps fail.
Think about this when you want to decide about reliability: One 28
square roof has about 10,000 nails in it. This is only a box and a
half... some more some less. So when we do three roofs a week after
hail season, this is about 30,000 nails. A week...
Go to a month... 120,000 nails. We don't use them that hard all the
time, so I'll say 7 months a year. 840,000 a year. (You should see my
fastener bills!) These compressor still shoot more though. When we go
inside, they also power our finish guns and we have done a lot of room
addition type framing with Bostich and Hitachi framing nailers. We
have no other compressors in the field BUT oiless.
Oh yeah, remember my newest CH comp is about three years old. We did
have to buy a new regulator for that one though, since one of my
knotheads screwed down the knob as tight as he could get it to get more
Good luck on this. If I were you I would go with the best deal and
house the compressor (oiless or oil) some way if it is for your shop to
cut down on the noise and the dust it will eventually suck in to the