Having the best strut compressors is vital when you are changing the struts on your vehicle. The strut compressor is specifically designed for the replacement of strut cartridges and assembly parts. It will safely compress the vehicle’s door springs that will make it easy for you to remove it and install the replacement. Depending on the compressor, pins will allow you to securely lock the springs for your safety.
In this post, we are going to discuss everything you will need to know before you buy a strut compressor. We will talk about the factors you might want to consider, with the top 5 recommendations for the best ones in the market, some of its types, and lastly, tips in using a strut compressor. We hope that after you read this post, you will be able to make a more informed decision and prevent yourself from making an expensive mistake.
What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing The Best Strut Compressors
Before you start searching for a product that will provide you great value for your money, below are some of the considerations you might find helpful:
- User reviews and ratings: These are very important because they reflect the opinions of the actual buyers. Make sure you read each review carefully to know how the product has worked out for its buyers. Ratings, on the other hand, will give you a summary of what the buyers think of the product as a whole.
- Compatibility: Because struts come in varying sizes, not all compressors will guarantee that you may use on multiple sizes. Our recommendation is that you buy the strut compressor that will be able to accommodate as many spring sizes as possible.
- Sturdiness: Given the fatal threat of changing the struts in your vehicle, it is imperative that you buy the sturdiest and strongest out of all the products. In addition, strut compressors are used for heavy-duty applications and that’s why they need be strong.
- Replacement parts: Just like any other toolbox, some or many of the parts may need replacement over time. You should go for the product that offers warranty, or even easily available replacement parts so that you won’t have to worry about buying a new set in case you only need replacement for just one part.
- Ease of use and transport: This is also a very important factor, given how delicate changing struts are. The one you should buy must be easy to operate and must have the option of proper storage. If you have your tools stored, it is less likely that parts will go missing; and it will be easy to transport.
- Safety: This might be the most important factor you have to consider. Handling struts may be a hazard, which can happen especially if you do not have the correct tools. You should buy the one, which can offer the safety you will need.
- Price: You should buy the one that has the best features, instead of the cheapest and low quality ones. There should never be a price for your safety. One way to do this is to evaluate all the features, pros, and cons carefully for you to be able to come up with an informed decision.
Top Picks For The Best Strut Compressors
|Product (Amazon Link)
Goplus MacPherson Fork Strut Coil Spring Compressor
If you still don’t have a strut compressor in mind, in this section, we will provide you a run down of the 5 best options that are available in the market.
1. ABN MacPherson Strut Spring Compressor
The ABN MacPherson strut spring compressor will be able to take tension off that will allow you to safely remove both spring and strut assemblies. It features a forged construction, built-in detent pins, and acme threaded rod. These pins will securely lock the spring in place for safer compression while the rod allows for smooth and durable compression.
- Allows easy repairs on damaged struts
- Features forged construction
- Has built-in detent pins for safety
- Comes with a threaded rod
- Offers hardened hooks and center screw
- Item weight is 8 pounds and product dimensions are 1.2 x 1.2 x 0.3 inches.
- Easy to use and set up
- Durable and strong construction
- Offers convenient storage and transport
- Lubricating will extend the product’s lifespan
- Safe for use of DIYer and professional mechanic
- Some buyers found the product very difficult and unsafe to use
- Might break on first use
2. Performance Tool Professional Strut Spring Compressor
The Performance Tool strut spring compressor is another great option for the best strut compressors. This product can be used on most light truck and automotive applications. It has a sturdy steel construction that will guarantee its users a long period of outstanding service. In addition, there is no need to worry about replacement parts because it is readily available and can be bought from the manufacturer.
- Comes with locking pins for increased safety
- Constructed with forged steel
- Allows easy operation and use
- Can be used for automotive and light truck operations
- Item weight is 2.9 kg and dimensions are 34.5 x 20.8 x 6.9 cm
- Manufacturer has replacement parts
- Easy to use and set up
- Locking pins ensure outstanding safety while using it
- Constructed with durable steel
- Parts are easy to replace
- Manufacturer does not offer warranty on parts
- Might not be suitable for full size light truck applications
3. OTC Clamshell Strut Spring Compressor
The OTC Clamshell is a well-known brand that provides quality automotive products to the customers. This time around, the brand offers an outstanding strut spring compressor. What makes this product excellent is that the locking pins would be able to keep the compressor jaws in its position. To add, it only weights 19 pounds and is built to withstand pressure when you are using it.
- Product dimensions are 10.7 x 5.7 x 16.8 inches
- Item weight is only 18.3 pounds
- It can compress springs of 4 to 9 inches outer diameter
- Should be used with an impact wrench
- Lock pins will securely hold the compressor jaws in its place
- Fits a wide range of struts
- Does not require special adapter shoes
- Durable and strong
- Suitable for use on a wide range of struts
- Features locking pins for safety
- Long lasting
- Incomplete packages were received by some customers
- Might not fit on latest BMW models
4. Branick Strut Spring Compressor
The Branick brand has a reputation for being the standard in the automotive industry. This is because this product will be able to handle the heaviest coil-over-shocks without ever requiring extra adapters. It can also be used for most SUVs and light trucks applications. Not only that, it can withstand extra torque because of the longer handles. Lastly, it offers flexibility due to the multi-positioned upper spring hooks.
- Constructed with sturdy steel
- Can be used for light truck operations
- Features multi-position hooks
- Can be used to compress different sizes of struts and springs
- Item weight is 44kg and dimensions are 110 x 49.5 x 46.2 cm
- Durable and strong
- Safe to use and prevents spillage
- Hooks can firmly compress the springs
- Manufacturer offers warranty on parts
- Might require you to mount it too high on the wall
- Will be inconvenient for both tall and short people
5. Goplus MacPherson Fork Strut Coil Spring Compressor
You would never go wrong when you buy the Goplus MacPherson strut coil spring compressor. It is considered the safest way to replace your coil springs. It features a safety lock that securely holds the spring in place during compression. This tool is essential when you want to make reparation on your vehicle. What makes this product one of the best is that it comes with a molded case for easy storage and transport.
- Features jaws with safety locks
- Maximum jaw opening is at 12-1/2 inches
- Constructed with #45 carbon steel
- Complete package includes a coil spring compressor set and a storage case
- Comes with 3 pairs of different sized interchangeable yokes
- Crafted with sturdy carbon steel
- Easy and safe to use
- Comes with a storage case for easy transport and storage
- Long lasting
- The product will only be able to grab one side of the spring
- The snap ring might break or get distorted during heavy applications
Different Types Of Strut Compressors
If you are a first-time buyer, you might be a bit overwhelmed with the list presented above. In order for you to make a decision on what to buy, it is also important that you are familiar with the different types of strut compressors.
1. External Strut Compressor
- Normally used in a strut-type situation wherein there is a shaft that runs through the center of the spring.
- Comes with 2 devices that look like C-clamps
- Can be hooked on the spring from the outside
- Should be tightened down through the use of wrench
- Clamps should be placed evenly around the coil
- Manufacturer’s recommendations on lubrication and proper storage should always be followed.
2. Internal Strut Compressor
- Opposite of external strut compressor, as it is used even without obstructions at the center of the spring
- Can easily be installed and removed
- Consists of shaft with 2 threaded arms that will take hold of the spring
- Similar to external strut compressor in terms of even spacing around the coil
- To avoid damages, the manufacturer’s tips on storage and proper care should be followed
3. Klann-type Strut Compressor
- Involves a telescoping jack shaft and plates
- Suitable for many high-tension spring operations
- Extremely strong and straight
- Easy and convenient to use
Quick Tips In Using Strut Compressor
Once you have the best strut compressor, you might want to consider the below tips to enjoy its maximum functionality:
How to remove old struts:
- You have to replace the entire strut if you do it without using a compressor tool. If the only thing that is not damaged is your shock absorber, it might be better to replace the whole thing. It is deemed a lot easier to do but will cost more. This is the reason why if there is nothing wrong with your vehicle’s strut spring, you can just keep on using it.
- Jack up your vehicle if you wish to replace a strut unit. Turn the wheel after you jacked it up. This will allow you to access the parts of the strut easier. Disconnect the ABS line and then do the same to the brake line that is linked to the strut. You might want to use a flathead screwdriver to take the clip of. A breaker bar would also be essential to remove the bolt attached to the base of the strut.
- Put a wrench around the sway bar end link to remove the bolt. You might need to jack up your car in varying quantities just until the bolt straightens. Remove the bolts from the strut tower and this would separate your old strut from your car entirely.
How to install new struts:
- Safety should be of utmost priority when using the strut compressor. Did you know that the spring has the force that can be fatal and dangerous for its user, especially if something goes wrong? You have to remember to pay close attention, as well as follow instructions and practice safety all time.
- Place one clamp on either side evenly and then push the pins in. You may now tighten the nuts on each side. Remove the nut found at the top and slide the shock absorber out. Slide in a new one then screw it back on.
To summarize, the best strut compressors will be able to deliver you a safe and strong handling of changing the struts of your vehicle. As mentioned earlier, safety is very important, as this application can be fatal if you do not have the right tools. Even if you have the best strut compressors, you must seek professional help if you are not comfortable handling the task by yourself.
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