The 10 Best Strut Compressors
This wiki has been updated 26 times since it was first published in February of 2016. If you do a lot of work on your own vehicles or have a professional auto shop, then one of these strut spring compressors will be an essential addition to your equipment. They're great for removing coils and allow for easier repairs on bent struts, dampers, and other damaged pieces. Always follow the manufacturer's directions, though, as improper use can be dangerous. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
September 10, 2020:
Removed the 8milelake SZ6915 in favor of the Lisle 62300.
We felt that the Lisle 62300 should be included given that it is one of the safest strut compressors available. Removing coils is unnerving precisely because you know that jawed compressors can easily slip off a coil, especially if you don't tighten both sides evenly. Jawed models like the OEMTools 25550 use pins to keep the coil in the grooves but this is designed to fit loosely as opposed to the Lisle, which can be tightened down over the coil very snugly. For any of the threaded compressors to work, you should grease the threads to prevent binding and to allow for smooth operation and extend the life of the tool. Make sure you get the right model for the cars or trucks you'll be working on. Full-sized trucks use thick coils that may not fit into the grooves of some compressors once the pin is extended. You should not operate the tool unless you can fully extend the pin because otherwise there is nothing that would interfere with the spring causing serious damage if it slips.
Wall-mounted strut compressors are the quickest and easiest to use. The Branick 7600 and the Jacktech SK-3000 rank highly because they use universal hooks so they don't require swapping adapters and they are highly adjustable to accommodate most coil sizes including most width and height variations.
May 14, 2019:
Without the proper equipment, installing or removing struts is practically impossible, not to mention extremely dangerous. Even when using one of these purpose made tools it is important to follow the manufacturer's directions and never exceed the rated capacity, as doing so can result in injury. If you have an automotive shop, the wall-mountable Branick 7600 and OTC Tools 6637 Strut Tamer II Extreme, or floor-mountable Jacktech SK-3000 are your best options. They can all handle light- and heavy-duty spring coils, so you won't have an issue whether your next client pulls up in a Prius or Ram 2500. Of course, these industrial-quality models are pricey, so the home mechanic may want to look at some of the more affordable options. Despite each unit being capable of producing over 6,000 pounds of crushing force, the hydraulic-assisted BestEquip Three-Ton is one such option. It is an exceptional value and allows even the casual user to compress springs and struts with relative ease. All though slightly more expensive, the OTC 6494 Clamshell also allows you to let something else do the heavy lifting, in this case your impact wrench. If installing struts is a once-every-few-years activity for you, you can get by with one of the manually-cranked options, like the OEMTools 25550, ABN 9210, Shankly B1025, Powerbuilt 648627, and 8milelake SZ6915. These are generally very affordable and small enough for convenient storage.
QSP DB-8000-XL A fully air-powered model, this unit doesn't require you to exert any force whatsoever. Simply set the spring coil in place using the four adjustable and interchangeable clamps, flip the safety switch on, and depress the foot pedal. In a matter of seconds your strut will be compressed and ready to place in a vehicle. It is rather expensive, but for busy automotive shops, the benefits will far outweigh the costs. qsponline.com