Best Coil & Strut Spring Compressors Reviewed

Compressing strut coil springs is no easy task, and can often prove to be a dangerous job – especially if you are using an inferior compressor that is prone to slipping.

If your time and safety is important to you, a new compressing machine will pay for itself many times over.

While there are less expensive units (like the OTC 6494 Clamshell Strut Spring Compressor) that are passable for infrequent use, a high-quality coil spring compressor is a necessity for both professional mechanics, and also for the home mechanic that knows the value of good tools. And choosing the right one is important, because in many cases quality is directly related to both safety and functionality.

If you decide to try to save a few dollars by purchasing a cheap compressor you run the risk of injuring yourself while using it. And since time is money for a mechanic, wasting time fighting with an inferior tool, or having to replace one that breaks after a few uses just isn’t worth it. A good tool will last for a long time, and pay for itself many times over.

When it comes to coil spring compressors there are a variety of manufacturers offering many different models to choose from. We narrowed our focus down to some of the higher-end machines that will stand up to either commercial or heavy home use. We give detailed reviews of each below, but for those in a hurry here are our top choices:


Preview

Product Name

Type

Weight

Check Price

Branick 7600 Strut Spring Compressor

Branick 7600

Wall-Mounted

98 lbs.

Jacktech SK-3000 Strut Compressor

Jacktech SK-3000

Freestanding

56.2 lbs

Performance Tool W89311 Coil Spring...

Performance Tool W89311

Internal Handheld

3.8 lbs

OTC 6637-ST Strut Tamer with Stand

OTC 6637-ST

Freestanding

178 lbs.

OEMTOOLS 25550 MacPherson 10.75 Inch Strut...

OEMTOOLS 25550 MacPherson

External handheld

7.15 lbs.

ABN 11.5in Strut Spring Compressor Tool –...

ABN 11.5in Strut Spring

External handheld

8 lbs.

Shankly Spring Compressor Tool (2 Pieces) -...

Shankly Spring

Handheld external

10.1 lbs.

OEMTOOLS 27035 Coil Spring Compressor

OEMTOOLS 27035

Handheld internal

6 lbs.

XtremepowerUS 10' Coil Spring Compressor...

XtremepowerUS 10”

Handheld external

1 lb.


Types of Strut & Coil Spring Compressors

  • Freestanding Strut Compressors
    As their name suggests, this type of strut compressor is equipped with some type of frame that allows it to stand up on its own. Often, this allows these models to be used with minimal effort. Usually, some assembling is required, especially if you purchase one online.
  • Handheld External Spring Compressors
    External spring compressors often take on the form of twin clamps that are attached to the strut in question and tightened by hand. These models are the most common and can adapt to a wide variety of spring sizes.
  • Handheld Internal Spring Compressors 
    Internal spring compressors are operated manually, much like their external associates. However, these models are placed within the spring and draw the spring together using a single clamping motion (rather than the dual motion of external compressors).

Advantages of Owning Spring Compressors

First off, spring compressors are a must-have for any professional or amateur body shop. Spring compressors add a high degree of safety when working with a vehicle’s suspension. Also, spring compressors make it easy to replace key components of your vehicle’s shock absorption system without needing to pay a massive amount out of pocket.


Choosing The Best Spring Compressor for Your Garage

Material

When in use, a spring compressor will be put under a great deal of stress caused by the coil attempting to return to its uncompressed state. Accordingly, you'll want to pick out a model that can stand up to this degree of wear without degrading or losing structural integrity. Most models use reinforced metals throughout their frames. Those with rubber components (such as grips) should receive a second look due to their probability of such components to degrade under duress.

Size

Struts and springs come in a variety of sizes, making it necessary to choose a spring compressor that is compatible with your chosen strut size. Most spring compressors can be adjusted up and down within a specific size range, allowing the user to safely gain a greater volume of torque as they compress their spring.

Ease of Use

Spring compression can be a little bit laborious regardless of your chosen model. You should identify those models that provide features that reduce the physical demands placed on the user. Some models will accomplish this through a locking system or an in-line weight distribution system.

Safety

Without question, you should place a spring compressor’s safety qualifications above all other features and specifications. That is because spring compression can be very dangerous if it is improperly handled. Ideally, your chosen model should be rated to handle loads far above your expected average while also including components that prevent spring slippage or dislodgement.

Price & Warranty

As with all of your tools, you should look for the best deal. While this naturally calls for finding the most affordably priced model on the market, you should also factor a productive warranty into the set’s final evaluation. These types of warranties can save you a lot of money down the line, especially if your chosen model performs below expectations or breaks soon after its first use.


9 Best Strut Spring Compressor Reviewed

Below are reviews of what we believe to be the top three coil spring compressors on the market right now:

1. Branick 7600

Our Top Pick

Type

Wall-Mounted

Item Weight

98 lbs.

Safety Feature

Locks tight after each stroke

Warranty

None Listed

When it comes to strut spring compressors, the Branick brand is top of the line. This particular compressor – the Branick 7600 – is known for its safety features and longstanding durability. Because of that, it is often referred to as the industry standard model of strut spring compressor. Let’s take a look at this highly rated unit.

Pros

  • No Adaptor Needed
  • Strong
  • Durable
  • Safe
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Not the Cheapest Option Available
Advantages - Explained
  • No Adaptor Needed – This Branick machine can handle even the heaviest of coil over shocks on any large SUV or light truck without needing to utilize any additional adaptor. With this product you can save yourself a time-consuming trip to the hardware store searching for an adaptor, as most other compressors require a specialized adaptor in order to use them.
  • Strong – The design incorporates a heavy-duty acme thread that is made to withstand large amounts of stress, which gives the user the ability to use this machine on virtually any compressor project. It also features longer handles that give the user additional torque power, so this capable machine has proven itself to be strong enough for anything.
  • Durable – This model is constructed of all steel, keeping the machine sturdy and durable throughout use. Products that are made out of a lesser grade material may run the risk of breaking during use, causing damage to you or whatever item you are using it on.
  • Safe – All of the components in this product work together to enhance its safety. For example, the fully steel construction ensures that it will last you for years to come without malfunctioning and causing you harm, and the heavy-duty thread guarantees your safety whenever you replace any springs or shockabsorber.
  • Versatile – Thanks to the high-quality construction giving it top notch safety and strength attributes, this machine is versatile enough to be used on any type of vehicle. The stroke has a longer compression that can handle a structural integrated ring guard or even a Jeep KX model Cherokee Trailhawk.
Disadvantages - Explained
  • Not the Cheapest Option Available – It is true that you could find a cheaper compressor option out there somewhere, but that doesn’t mean this model isn’t a great bang for your buck. Remember – you don’t want to compromise the quality of an item just to save a few bucks, especially if that item is something that could largely affect your safety while in use like this one.

One feature we wish the Branick 7600 had was portability. The unit is built to mount to a fixed position. But it would be much more useful in our opinion if you could move the compressor around the shop to where it is needed. The good news is that the Branick 764 Portable Cart For 7600 is designed specifically to meet that need. It does add to the overall cost, but if you are doing a lot of struts or don’t have a fixed space to mount the 7600 it might be the perfect accessory.

The Branick manufacturer’s warranty is very helpful and available to those who purchase it new for an additional cost, which can add a lot of peace of mind to your purchase. Although this model is a little more expensive than others available on the market, it can achieve maximum flexibility with its upper spring hooks that can be arranged in multiple positions to easily fit coil spring configurations on a factory level.


Overall, users have enjoyed using this product and verify its longevity, their reviews alone being enough to testify to the manufacturer’s claim that it will last you for years to come.

Summary


Here is a YouTube video from Branick demonstrating the operation of their coil spring compressor:


2. Jacktech SK-3000

Runner Up

Type

Freestanding

Item Weight

56.2 lbs

Safety Feature

Double Clutch Disc systems

Warranty

2 Year Parts Warranty

Let’s be honest – shop-grade equipment can be pricey, and put a strain on any budget. If you’re looking for a quality coil spring compressor that will do the job but represents a little less steep of an investment as the Branick 7600, the Jacktech SK-3000 may be the right fit. Let’s look at the specs of the SK-3000, to see how it stacks up against the Branick.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Dependable
  • Easy to Use
  • Efficient
  • Heavy Duty Capabilities
  • Mobile

Cons

  • Not as Durable
Advantages - Explained
  • Affordable – This product is the least expensive on this list, but that does not mean that its performance can’t compare to the more expensive options. To the contrary, this item actually has quite a few features that are game changers and hold it steady on any top compressor list.
  • Dependable – The Jacktech SK-3000 features a rack and pinion gear set as well as a double clutch disc system, both patented, that are designed with safety and longevity in mind. These features incorporate durability into the model and added safety to ensure that it will perform well for the user for a long time.
  • Easy to Use – Some machines are difficult to operate alone and may require an additional person to help make sure the process runs smoothly, but this Jacktech model can easily be used by a single person. Single person operation is absolutely necessary for many people to be able to get jobs like this done in their own garage as opposed to going to a costly service shop.
  • Efficient – Aside from being easily operated by a single person, this system works impressively fast and takes less than 10 seconds to compress any spring.
  • Heavy Duty Capabilities – This solid machine can be used on virtually any four wheeled vehicle’s struts, regardless of how heavy duty of a job it is facing.
  • Mobile – The holding vice that is 14” and the high that is 20.5” are both completely adjustable, allowing the user to compress and fit any kind of strut in any position, whether it is upside down or standing upright. The SK-3000 is free standing, where it can easily be relocated around a garage for maximum mobility but it can also achieve high levels of stability by being fastened to the ground, so it really has the best of both worlds.
Disadvantages - Explained
  • Not as Durable – Since this model does not have an all steel construction like the Branick, it is naturally not as durable or stable. However, this Jacktech makes the best of what it has, and users have hardly had any complaints about it.

The fact that this product can be both strong and stable while achieving maximum mobility and flexibility has been a deal sealer for many users, and overall this model performs very well. This product is best for those who are not looking to spend too much money on their next strut compressor but still want a solid, long lasting machine.

Summary


Here is a YouTube video from Jacktech demonstrating the operation of their coil spring compressor:


3. Performance Tool W89311

Best Coil Spring Compressor Tool

Type

Internal Handheld

Item Weight

3.8 lbs

Safety Feature

Coil Springs accessible from the center of the coil

Warranty

Yes, lifetime limited

Among the options available on the market today, the Performance Tool W89311 certainly stands out as one of the best coil spring compressor tools. In fact, this particular model sees a lot of use in the standard automotive and light truck industry, primarily because this model can handle springs with a maximum of 5-5/8" outside diameter.

With an internal handheld spring compressor such as this, absolute durability would also have to be present in order for that model to be considered among the “best.” Luckily, the Performance Tool W89311 provides on this front as well, thanks to its combined chrome and steel construction.

Pros

  • Durable tempered chrome/steel construction
  • Can handle springs up to 5-5/8" in outside diameter
  • Primarily used for standard automotive and light truck repair
  • Comes with a molded storage case

Cons

  • Some slippage due to lack of rubberized grips

4. OTC 6637-ST

Easy to Move

Type

Freestanding

Item Weight

178 lbs.

Safety Feature

Locking Trunnions

Warranty

Yes, manufacturer’s warranty (requires registration at the time of purchase)

The OTC company has built up a reputation for itself of providing high-quality products to users for years. Given that fact, it is only natural that their OTC 6637-ST Strut Tamer would also perform well in our review of the best coil spring compressors, and make the #3 spot on this list. Let’s look at the features that make the Strut Tamer a worthy competitor.

One thing that users look for in their strut tamers is the tool’s ability to handle a wide variety of springs, so that it can be used across all different kinds of vehicles. This OTC model has a spring capacity that can handle springs as large as 10 inches in diameter to jobs as small as 2 ½ inches in diameter.

The torque compression on this product is very helpful and offers a gear reduction 2:1 ratio, allowing the user to easily operate it without injuring themselves or exerting too much of their own energy. New safety standards are released all the time requiring new rules and regulations to be met, so it can be difficult to find an updated model that adheres to every last one of these safety rules. Fortunately, this strut tamer meets all of the ASME PASE safety rules, ensuring that it will safely compress even the largest of strut springs.

The OTC 6637-ST is the most expensive option on this list. This machine is certainly an investment. However, the price does reflect the product’s versatility and high performance, which is important to keep in mind.

This product is making strides in setting new standards for safety and durability for professional strut spring tamers. It works very efficiently, and the extreme heavy-duty construction makes this one of the most stable options available on the market, albeit maybe a little less mobile. Due to the steeper price, this machine is probably best for professionals and working technicians who are looking to operate on a wide variety of vehicles and strut sizes.

Pros

  • Versatile Spring Capacity
  • Great Reduction Ratio
  • Adheres to New Safety Standards

Cons

  • Price

5. OEMTOOLS 25550 MacPherson

Best MacPherson Strut Compressor

Type

External handheld

Item Weight

7.15 lbs.

Safety Feature

Safety Latching Hooks

Warranty

Yes, lifetime warranty

The best MacPherson strut compressor can be hard to find if you only shop at your local hardware store. Fortunately, the OEMTOOLS 25550 is readily available online at a fairly modest price. This model, in particular, is a significant improvement over previous models of the same architectural style because it uses alloyed steel for enhanced durability. This model's heat-treated screws follow this same attention to long-term reliability, given their ability to resist warping.

The OEMTOOLS 25550 also comes through with a couple of safety features worth noting. One feature that many previous users have appreciated is this model's safety latching hooks, which ensure that the inserted spring never budges while it is engaged.

Pros

  • Built from durable alloyed steel
  • Screws are heat-treated to prevent warping under pressure
  • Safety latches on hooks hold spring in place securely

Cons

  • Requires regular oiling to prevent screw degradation

6. ABN 11.5in Strut Spring

Best Rated

Type

External handheld

Item Weight

8 lbs.

Safety Feature

Built-in detent pins

Warranty

Yes, 1-year warranty

Much to our surprise, the ABN 11.5 has managed to punch above its class to become the best-rated strut spring compressor tool. Then again, maybe this ranking shouldn’t be a surprise given how smoothly its Acme threaded rod operates with a minimal amount of lubrication. This model doesn't require any special tools to tighten either, only a standard 13/16-inch wrench.

If you regularly work with MacPherson springs, this model will really come in handy as well. That’s because the ABN 11.5’s forged hooks and detent pins have both been designed to be compatible with most MacPherson springs types.

Pros

  • Acme threaded rod allows for a smoother compression process
  • Forged hooks and detent pins secured hold most MacPherson springs
  • Hex-shaped ends compatible with a common 13/16-inch wrench

Cons

  • Fairly short warranty period

7. Shankly Spring

Best Universal Spring Compressor Tool Kit

Type

Handheld external

Item Weight

10.1 lbs.

Safety Feature

Safety guard

Warranty

None Listed

If you won’t settle for anything less than the best universal spring compressor tool kit, then this Shankly Spring set will be a perfect match for you. Though it lacks a listed warranty and comes in a rather flimsy storage box, this set redeems itself by being compatible with nearly all common springs and struts. Indeed, this model’s jaws – which can be adjusted to sizes between 23 mm and 280 mm – really comes in handy when used in an auto shop setting.

Regardless of its capacity, this set’s compressor can hold 1,000 kg of pressure reliably. As an added assurance, though, this model makes optimal use of both a safety bar and a safety guard to protect the user.

Pros

  • Wide jaw capacity between 23 mm and 280 mm