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Published Aug. 9, 2021

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran who is looking for a new spring compressor or a DIY mechanic who has recently learned the value of the strut spring compressor, you’ll know that you need to find the best coil compressor for your money. Not only that, but you’ll need one that is safe, secure and easy to use, without any risk to your vehicle or your hands.

If you haven’t heard of these handy contraptions before, you’ll be pleased to learn everything there is to know about strut compressors in this article. Keep reading to find our top picks, as well as answers to any of those burning questions you might be wondering about, and a general overview about what you should consider about the best spring compressor tools and how to use them.

The Best Strut Spring Compressors

Coming up at the top of our choices is the spring compressor from OEMTOOLS, as one of the safest tools to use and available at the best possible price. This is a great tool for novices and pro’s alike, as it covers the majority of uses on domestic vehicles and has a wide range of compatibility.

Customers mention how quickly this compressor works, which allows you to significantly cut down the time spent on removing or refitting your strut springs and vehicles coils, which can be a significant improvement, even when compared to many of our other options.

Key Features
  • Wide range
  • Highly rated
  • Added safety features
Specification
  • Brand OEMTOOLS
  • Model 25550
  • Weight 7.15 pounds

Featuring a reinforced, ACME thread and additional safety pins to allow for a secure grip, the ABN strut compressor is considered a universal coil compressor thanks to the wide range and easy use. Meanwhile, the strengthened safety features allow users to complete their task in confidence and security, creating a happier mechanic and quicker repair after use.

The simple compatibility and heavy-duty material allow this compressor to be used on a surprising range of domestic vehicles, even for regular users, without fear of bending or breaking. Better yet, these tools come in a blow molded case that allow for easy transportation and storage.

Key Features
  • Carrying case included
  • Wide range
  • Durable
Specification
  • Brand ABN
  • Model 5824095447
  • Weight 8 pounds

The biggest benefit to this compressor tool from Shankly is easily the double-claw of the hooks, which is provided at one of the compressor, to ensure a firm grip and easy lock. That said, if your coil is damaged or has a different degree of coil, you might struggle to fit this on, securely. Be aware that this works best on a maximum width of 9.5 inches, although you may have to check on the diameter, if your coil is bent, warped or broken as this won’t attach as securely as others on our list.

Of course, if you’re simply looking for a compressor tool to shift the coil out of the way as you get on with another task, this is easily one of the better options available. Created using top-quality materials and with a drop forged enamel body, this is one of the toughest and most durable options available- perfect for regular use.

Key Features
  • Attachable security hooks
  • Drop forged enamel body
  • 90-day guarantee
Specification
  • Brand Shankly
  • Model B1008
  • Weight 6.05 pounds

If you’re looking for a compressor that is required for use on a daily basis (or more) this is the option that you, or your business, should choose. This comes with some versatile mounting options but can also be used freehand, although this can become a little more complicated than is necessary for occasional jobs- especially as the mounting options give way to a more permanent fixture than may be required by a hobbyist.

Great for use on heavy-duty vehicles such as light trucks and SUVs, customers have regularly mentioned how impressed they were with the sheer ease-of-use with this compressor, as well as the overall strength of the compression. This is partly due to the reinforced thread which gives a greater grip and the elongated handles for additional torque.

Key Features
  • Steel construction
  • Can be mounted
  • For heavy duty use
Specification
  • Brand Branick
  • Model 7600
  • Weight 98 pounds

An interesting bit of kit that can take a little extra time to get used to but provides a fast, secure way or compressing springs on both heavy-duty domestic vehicles and light-duty commercials, this is a great “bridge” option between the more expensive but stronger wall-mounted options and the lighter but cheaper offerings out there.

Despite its large frame, this is a fairly lightweight offering, coming in at only 19 pounds. This makes it a great choice for providing the extra security require for extra-tough or warped springs without compromising on space and affordability.

Key Features
  • Can be used with impact wrench
  • Can fit a wide width of struts
  • High quality compressor
Specification
  • Brand OTC
  • Model 6494
  • Weight 18.3 pounds

This drop forged steel constructed compressor from Performance Tool is surprisingly versatile for such a cheap option. It comes with locking pins for additional security and replacement parts are easy to find thanks to the nature of the seller, who specializes in parts for automotive replacements. This, in turn, gives added security about the longevity of the tool, which is ideal for those seeking a starting compressor, before investing in more heavy-duty options.

Bear in mind that the hooks on this option are a little smaller than many of our other choices, so might not be best for those who are working on multiple vehicle types. However, if you’re sure that this option will fit your current car, or a car that you’re working on, then it’s a great, affordable option that will complete the task without fuss or excessive effort.

Key Features
  • Drop forged steel construction
  • Includes locking pins
  • Highly rated
Specification
  • Brand Performance Tool
  • Model W89322
  • Weight 6.45 pounds

The Powerbuilt Tools Strut Spring Compressor Kit makes it both safe and straightforward to work with your vehicle’s coil springs. Whether you’re an experienced pro or working with springs for the first time, this handy kit provides you with everything you need to get the job done — and it’ll reduce your risk of potential danger or injury.

Inside this kit’s durable and organized storage case, you’ll get two strut spring compressors along with clear, step-by-step instructions and photos that’ll guide you through the installation and removal processes. The instructions are developed by a professional, so you can trust their guidance regardless of your experience level. And when it comes to the compressors themselves, they feature a built-in locking safety pin to prevent the tool from slipping out of place. In addition, their heavy-duty construction can prevent misalignment or jamming, and the forged steel spring hooks and heat-treated screws can survive plenty of wear and tear.

Key Features
  • Designed for use with MacPherson struts
  • Includes two strut spring compressors inside a storage case
  • Comes with step-by-step instructions
  • Safety features like bars, steel spring hooks, and heat-treated screws are strong
Specification
  • Brand Powerbuilt Tools
  • Model 648627
  • Weight N/A

If you’re searching for a strut spring compressor that’s tough enough to handle plenty of use and years of auto work, then you’re going to want to take a close look at the K Tool International MacPherson Strut Spring Compressor. This tool is built for durability, and its reliability is incredibly trustworthy, thanks to one key detail: its lifetime warranty.

When you choose this strut spring compressor, you’re getting the manufacturer’s protection for the entire lifespan of the tool. Should anything go wrong within normal use, you’re covered for a replacement. And this compressor is quite hardy. Able to work on most MacPherson strut assemblies, you can put it to use on or off most vehicles. It features an acme threaded screw for extra durability, and it’ll work easily on bent or damaged struts and strut parts.

Key Features
  • Designed for MacPherson strut assemblies
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty
  • Made durable with an acme threaded screw
Specification
  • Brand K Tool
  • Model KTI70370
  • Weight N/A

This handy tool is more than just effective at its job of compressing strut assemblies; it’s incredibly versatile too. With this single tool, you can tackle all kinds of struts in just about every position possible, and you can make quick, simple work of removal and replacement.

This strut spring compressor will increase your ability to hold and compress all sizes and types of struts and springs. It isn’t limited solely to MacPherson assemblies; it’ll work with any variety. And regardless of the position of the struts, this compressor can handle upright or upside-down. It’s equipped with a 14-inch holding vice and stands 20.5 inches tall. Thanks to the universal adjustable holding arms, you can adjust the height and get the job at hand done in as little as 10 seconds.

Key Features
  • Can be fastened to the floor or moved around your garage
  • Stands 20.5 inches tall
  • Can be adjusted to fit and compress all types of struts in any position
  • Features universal adjustable holding arms
Specification
  • Brand Jackson
  • Model SK3000
  • Weight N/A

Strut Spring Compressors Buying Guide

Things to Consider When Buying a Strut Spring Compressor

Material

One of the best ways to tell whether your spring compressor will be strong enough to handle the tough work of compressing your vehicle’s springs, is through the materials of the strut spring compressor.

It’s vital to get a compressor that can handle the pressure, as one slip can cause serious—and harmful—issues that can cause damage to yourself or your vehicle. In particular, the tougher the spring, the stronger your coil compressor needs to be, which means you’ll need a durable, well-made tool that can handle the pressure without bending or snapping at the key moment (when your coil is fully compressed).

Size/Capacity

In order to find the best strut spring compressor for your needs, you’ll need to get a tool that is made to fit the right width and length of each coil you need to work with. Firstly, you should choose an item that can span the full length of the coil, as this is where your compressor will be attached to the coil.

Next, the claws that attach to the coil will need to be the right size to comfortably fit over the width, as these will ensure that your coils and springs don’t fall out of place and hurt you or cause damage to your vehicle.

Features

Every tool is bound to come with a series of features that enhance the safety, ease-of-use or convenience of a product- the trick is to find the best features that work for you. In the case of strut spring compressors, those features are likely to include ways to make it easier to compress the spring- such as the OTC Clamshell, which can be used with an impact wrench, unlike many of the others on our list.

They are also likely to come with spare parts, which cuts down on concerns about replacements, or a toolbox, which is ideally suited for your new bit of kit and can make it easier to carry your tools with you, if you travel to your customers.

Budget/Yield

You should be able to get a decent strut spring compressor for a low price, but you should be aware that these are usually made out of cheaper materials and most likely won’t be suitable for tougher jobs or continuous use. However, you might find that you don’t need to buy a strut compressor that is too expensive, either- especially if you’re only using your new tool on occasion.

Naturally, if you’re looking for a strong, versatile option that will be put through its paces, you should definitely opt for one of the more expensive items that will yield consistent results, no matter how much you need to use it.

Safety

Easily the most important factor in buying your coil compressor is the safety of your item. Compressors that are poorly made are likely to bend and break, which can lead to the spring causing damage to you or your vehicle, so it’s important to buy a high-quality tool that put these concerns to rest.

You should also consider how each of the above factors can affect the safety of your piece. Ideally, you should go for a strut spring compressor that has been made to withstand extreme pressure, as well as having a heavy-duty thread that ensure no movement once locked into place.

Repair of the suspension car

Benefits of Strut Spring Compressors

Do you really need a strut spring compressor? You might think these tools are just another piece of gear to add to your garage or your tool kit. However, there are plenty of reasons these tools are considered essentials by mechanics. Working with spring assemblies can be a dangerous task — and if you don’t have the right tool to help you out, you could put yourself and your vehicle in harm’s way. Learn about some of the most significant benefits of a strut spring compressor right here.

Increases Your Safety

Shock absorbers and springs can be incredibly dangerous to work with. These parts are compressed and coiled, ready to spring and expand when given the opportunity. And when you’re working with these auto parts, they can fly off with great force, causing serious injuries. Whether you’re installing or removing strut spring assemblies, you need to keep your safety in mind. These strong parts require special consideration and caution. Fortunately, a compressor designed to help you handle these parts — a strut spring compressor specifically — can reduce your risk. These compressors will increase your safety and limit many of the biggest dangers of vehicle springs. With a strut spring compressor, you’ll be able to replace and remove springs from your vehicle with security. It’ll help you keep springs secure and stable, lowering the odds of injury or damage.

Easy to Use

Strut spring compressors make it quite easy to remove and install spring and shock assemblies. These handy tools allow you to work safely and simply — and many even work one-handed!  While some strut compressors are large and meant to be kept in your garage, the bulk of those available today are small and perfectly portable. So, you can carry your compressor (or even a set of compressors) with you, which adds convenience and ease of use. They take up little space, and they allow you to dive right into spring assemblies without requiring a ton of extra gadgets and accessories. Additionally, most compressor tools come with instructions and manuals. This makes it easy to know what you’re doing, regardless of how much experience you have.

Stability and Security While Working Alone

Because working with compressed springs can be a tricky, dangerous job, it’s one you’d think you might need assistance with. However, if you choose one of the best strut spring compressors, you can actually handle this repair by yourself. Many of today’s compressors give you flexibility and freedom. They keep springs stable and secure, which allows you to work with a lower risk of harm. You also can get the job done on your own, potentially even with one hand. This means you can work without concern — or without any help. That can allow you to get spring assemblies swapped out in less time and with less effort.

Types of Strut Compressors

External Spring Compressors

These are perfect for the standard spring and one that you will see the most of in our list. These grip the spring from the outside of the coil and will grip from two points. Once attached, you simply use a good wrench to tighten the two claw-like clamps, which will slowly come together to the center point of the tool. In doing so, they will bring the coil to a closed position (making the spring shorter and allowing it to easily be removed from your vehicle.

Internal Spring Compressors

Usually more expensive and placed on the inside of the spring itself, when there is no central structure that can get in the way. The internal compressor uses a jack-shaft that slip between the spaces and pull the coil together from the inside. These are a lot trickier to work with and generally aren’t used much, anymore.

Klann-Type Spring Compressors

Available more widely in Europe, this is an expensive, heavy-duty compressor that is only really suitable for constant use and heavier vehicles that require a lot more precision and care. These involve telescopic jack-shafts that use plates to make the job extremely easy and quick to finish. However, they are harder to come by and usually cost too much if you aren’t looking to use these continually.

Shock absorber car

How to Use a Spring Compressor

Using the most common spring compressor type—the external compressor—you should follow these steps to safely remove your strut springs:

  • You should first ensure that your vehicle is safely secured, and that your compressor is fully functioning and ready to use.
  • Measure out the length of your coil and have the claws on your compressor at a suitable length to reach the maximum width of the second layer of your coil, for maximum closure.
  • Carefully attach your claws to this area, ensuring that there is no movement from the compressor
  • Place your pins to secure your compressor, if these are available
  • Using your wrench, begin tightening the compressor, so that you can see the two claws moving closer together with each turn
  • Keep tightening your spring until you can comfortable remove the strut spring without having to fight against any components which might cause the coil to get waylaid.
  • To return your spring to the correct state, simply place the coil back in the correct spot, and use your wrench to loosen the coil until it is suitably placed.
  • Once you are comfortable with the length of the coil and are sure that it has reached the maximum elasticity, undo your pins and remove the compressor from your strut spring.

Best Strut Spring Compressors FAQ:

Q: What is a strut spring compressor?

A spring compressor tool works on tough springs, usually within vehicles which have tough coils that require a lot of energy and strength to compress. Using this tool creates a much safer environment, not only for your muscles, which will thank you for the helping hand, but also in terms of avoiding any entrapment from extremely tight and dangerous springs. In turn, using a car spring compressor creates a much more effective working environment around your vehicle.

Q: How does a strut spring compressor work?

Your new strut spring compressor tool will work by attaching itself, securely, to the second layer of the coil. Once firmly attached using the claws available on your coil compressor, you can compress or expand your spring until it is at the safe, desired level and can easily be removed or restored. To read more about how to safely use a strut spring compressor tool, check out our buying guide, above.

Q: How should I maintain of my strut spring compressor?

The most important aspects of the vehicle coil compressor are the claws, which need to be strong and kept rust-free for optimal grip, and the thread, which allows for added strength. To keep these in optimal condition, you should always store your tools in a clean, dry area that isn’t easily susceptible to moisture. You should also regularly grease the thread and components of the compressor to ensure that every area is working fully- it is usually recommended that this be undertaken every six months, whether or not the tool has been used frequently. Finally, you should always check your compressor is in good condition before use. If you suspect that there are any instabilities or question the effectiveness of your tool, such as a weakness over any areas, then contact your manufacturer who will help you to decide on the best course of action- whether that’s to repair, replace components or buy a new set.

Q: How much is a strut spring compressor?

The price of a strut spring compressor varies quite a lot depending on the exact product you choose. It’s possible to find these compressors as low as $50, but they can also be priced as high as $250 or more. On average, you can expect to spend between $100 to $200. If you’re in need of a budget-friendly part, you can find some under $50 and even as low as $25.

Q: Do you need a strut spring compressor to change struts?

Strut spring compressors aren’t always required when you’re swapping out struts. If your car has struts and shocks (or struts and springs) that are integrated into a single component, you’ll likely need a spring compressor.

Our Top Pick

As one of the best value-for-money tools online today, the spring compressor (25550) is a highly-rated and much-loved options from hobbyists and mechanics alike. The versatility and safety aspects of this item allow for greater reach and quicker compression and expansion of coils, at virtually no risk to the user.

The added safety features and strong material allows even the most novice beginner to feel confident in the safe movement of their springs, allowing customers to quickly cut down on the time it takes to get on with the task at hand. It’s also available at a great price- especially when compared to others of the same quality- which makes it a great addition to any toolbox, especially for regular mechanics.

Sources:

  1. Coil Spring Compressor Safety – Rally Ways
  2. Using a Coil Spring Compressor  – Do it Your Self

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