Reviews

LAST UPDATED: October 7, 2019

Best Strut Spring Compressors: Safely Fix Your Suspension

These top strut spring compressors simplify suspension work

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The Review Team

  • Product Network

    21 Products

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  • Reviews

    8 Reviews

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PUBLISHED ON October 7, 2019

If you're fixing your vehicle's suspension, one essential tool is a strut spring compressor. It aids in reducing the size of your springs so they are easier to remove. You need to find a tool that is sturdy, durable and won't compromise your safety, because handling springs can be dangerous. This buying guide narrows down the best spring compressors that will help you complete the job carefully and efficiently.

  • Best Overall
    OEMTOOLS MacPherson Strut Spring Compressor
    Summary
    Summary
    This product compresses most MacPherson strut springs. It locks into place, includes built-in detent pins, and features forged hooks, a hardened center screw, a heat-treated forcing screw, and safety latches
    Pros
    Pros
    This tool is robust yet affordable. It's easy to use, and the safety pins keep everything locked in place. The steel is of high quality, and the case is nice and compact.
    Cons
    Cons
    The compressor will not work on every vehicle and is intended for small cars and light-duty suspension. The pins may bend and may not retract after you're finished with the job.
  • Best Overall
    OEMTOOLS MacPherson Strut Spring Compressor
  • Best Value
    ABN 11.5in Strut Spring Compressor Tool
    Summary
    Summary
    This MacPherson spring compression set features an acme threaded rod with broad spring contact and built-in detent pins to lock the coil spring in place. It features forged hooks and a hardened center screw.
    Pros
    Pros
    This is a nice, simple tool that is inexpensive and works well. It is easy and fast to set up and is designed to withstand extreme pressure in any environment.
    Cons
    Cons
    It may be difficult to use on truck springs. The threaded rod may stretch out, or the tool may fail completely during use.
  • Best Value
    ABN 11.5in Strut Spring Compressor Tool
  • Honorable Mention
    Branick Strut Spring Compressor
    Summary
    Summary
    Considered "the standard in the industry," this all-steel, premium product does not require any adapters and uses heavy-duty acme thread. It features versatile mounting options and multi-position hooks.
    Pros
    Pros
    It handles the heaviest coil-over-shocks on light trucks and SUVs and has longer handles for extra torque. The corkscrew design makes it easy to compress, and spring tension aides in decompression.
    Cons
    Cons
    It is quite expensive, so it's not worth the investment if you casually work on your vehicle. You need to position the top arms properly, or you won't have enough clearance.
  • Honorable Mention
    Branick Strut Spring Compressor

    If you're fixing your vehicle's suspension, one essential tool is a strut spring compressor. It aids in reducing the size of your springs so they are easier to remove. You need to find a tool that is sturdy, durable and won't compromise your safety, because handling springs can be dangerous. This buying guide narrows down the best spring compressors that will help you complete the job carefully and efficiently.

    Best Strut Spring Compressor Reviews & Recommendations 2020

    Best Overall

    The OEMTOOLS MacPherson Strut Spring Compressor kit is our pick for the Best Overall Strut Spring Compressor for 2020. This is an externally-mounted kit that locks onto the coils of your spring and compresses them for easy removal.


    We like that this tool’s construction makes spring compression a safer job. The hooks are forged steel, so they won’t break or wear out easily after a few uses. Also, the threaded rods are strong and well-machined, so as long as you keep them clean and well lubricated, this kit should last you a while.


    There are a few things to look out for when using your OEMTOOLS MacPherson Strut Spring Compressor. This is a light-duty kit, so it’s only good for working on cars and light trucks. The detent pins may actually do too good of a job. Several users have stated they were unable to loosen and remove them after use.

    Best Value

    Our pick for the Best Value in Strut Spring Compressor is the ABN 11.5-inch Strut Spring Compressor Tool. This tool comes as a set of two MacPherson compressors that work in conjunction to compress your coil spring during suspension changes and adjustments. This set also features detent pins as an added safety measure.


    This is another well-built tool meant for multiple uses. We like that the coil hooks are forged steel construction, meaning they’re built to hold up to the pressures coil springs can exert. The hardened center bolt is also durable, so as long as it’s maintained, it shouldn’t be an issue. The pin detents are a key feature, so we like that this value model comes with them.


    As far as cons go, some users have experienced a few dicey situations with this set. It may have been due to poor maintenance, but there have been complaints of the threads on the rods completely stripping, and there has even been mention of total failure. While this may have been caused by heavy-duty use of a light-duty tool, you should still keep an eye out.

    Honorable Mention

    While it may be overkill for most shops, the Branick Strut Spring Compressor deserves our Honorable Mention spot on the list of the Best Strut Spring Compressors. The Branick model is the benchmark for nearly all stand-style compressors, and the quality is second to none.


    The Branick can handle nearly anything you throw at it. Aside from the heaviest-duty work, the Branick easily compresses struts and springs by use of a corkscrew bolt and handle. The Branick strut compressor is also much faster when it comes to compressing springs, as it only requires one fitting to be tightened instead alternating sides like the other compressors on our list.


    The Branick is expensive, however, and you should be aware that it may be more compressor than you need before you purchase it. Unless you’re often doing suspension repairs, you should probably save your money. Also, the coil hooks on the Branick don’t have detent pins. While we recognize that this system is less likely to slip, there’s still a possibility of it happening.

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    Benefits of Strut Spring Compressors

    • Safety. Even lifted off of the ground, your suspension springs can still be under quite a load. This static energy can spell disaster if you don’t use a spring compressor to control the springs’ decompression. 
    • Saving Money. Performing your own automotive repairs can save you a lot of money. Buying a new tool and employing it is often the cheaper option over taking your car to a repair shop. 
    • Custom Tuning. Many car enthusiasts and part-time racers like to tune their vehicles. The suspension is a popular area for modifications, and you can swap your suspension out for coilovers, race springs, or adjustable struts anytime you’d like if you have the tools.

    Types of Strut Spring Compressors

    Internal Strut Spring Compressors

    Internal strut spring compressors are also known as conventional spring compressors. These types of compressors are meant for use on vehicles with separate struts and shock absorbers. They work by utilizing two hooks on a steel threaded bolt. The assembly is fit through the inside of a coil spring and the hooks latch onto the coil. When you tighten the threaded bolt, the hooks squeeze the coils together, temporarily shortening the spring height.

    External Strut Spring Compressors

    External strut spring compressors are also known as Macpherson strut spring compressors. These tools work similarly as an internal or conventional compressor, but they come in pairs and are fitted to the outside of the coil spring. There are two sets of threaded rod, each with 2 hooks and pin detents to latch onto the spring coil. You have to work slowly and tighten each side a little at a time, but they can help you safely compress a spring’s height.

    Stand Strut Spring Compressors

    These compressors are most often seen in repair shops, but they can be affordable for someone who does enough suspension work in their own garage. These strut spring compressors work with threaded handles on large bolts to compress springs for suspension work. These compressors only work on struts and springs that are not installed in a car. They can’t be used on a vehicle, so if you have to compress your spring inside of a wheel well, these are not for you. 

    Top Brands

    OTC Tools

    OTC Tools has been a subsidiary of Bosch Automotive Service Solutions since 2012. This Warren, Michigan company produces top-notch automotive diagnostic and repair tools. This OTC Clamshell Strut Spring Compressor available on Amazon is a simpler approach to MacPherson compressors.

    Branick Tools

    Fargo, South Dakota’s Branick Tools is one of the most recognizable names in tire and suspension tools. Their strut spring compressor set the standard for all standing compressors today. Branick recognized that these heavy machines aren’t easy to move around a shop, so they developed the Branick Portable Cart for 7600 compressors.

    ABN Tools

    Also from South Dakota, ABN, or Autobody Now, produces tools and equipment for the automotive repair world. This ABN Coil Spring Compressor Tool is the conventional spring option they provide through Amazon.

    Strut Spring Compressor Pricing

    • Up to $50: Strut spring compressors in this range are usually basic MacPherson or conventional kits. They’ll do the job, but their durability is questionable when it comes to multiple uses.
    • $50 to $250: This range contains most of the entry-level professional tools that can be used several times without fail. They’re made of higher-quality materials and machined better.
    • $250 and Up: These compressors are suited for professional shop uses. These are usually stand-type compressors with multiple fittings and adapters to work with a wide range of vehicle suspensions.

    Key Features

    Detent Pins

    It’s extremely important that if you’re using an external compressor set, that it be fitted with detent pins. These pins latch the compressors to the coils of the spring, making it more difficult for them to slip off and the spring to go flying. These springs are under so much pressure that if they slip and you’re in the way, you will get seriously injured.

    Forged Materials

    These compressors need to be built from the strongest materials to withstand the forces exerted by coil springs. The last thing you want is the spring-contact to break or the threads on the bolt to let go. Make sure that the compressor you purchase is forged steel construction and that the threaded rod is high-quality.

    Other Considerations

    • Keep Your Compressor Lubricated. To ensure that your compressor will remain in good working order for the entire time that it’s in your ownership, make sure that it is well lubricated and clean. Dirty or dry threads will become damaged with use, and that can spell disaster if they fail.
    • Storage. Your strut spring compressor should come with a good storage case that you can use several times without breaking. Having a safe, clean, dry place to store your compressor tool is paramount to its longevity and usefulness.
    • Proper Use. Most of the kits that you can purchase at your local auto parts store are meant for light-duty vehicle springs. This includes cars and small trucks. Any vehicle beyond that will require heavier-duty tools, so don’t attempt to use a light-duty compressor or you may get hurt.

    Best Strut Spring Compressor Reviews & Recommendations 2020

    Best Overall

    The OEMTOOLS MacPherson Strut Spring Compressor kit is our pick for the Best Overall Strut Spring Compressor for 2020. This is an externally-mounted kit that locks onto the coils of your spring and compresses them for easy removal.


    We like that this tool’s construction makes spring compression a safer job. The hooks are forged steel, so they won’t break or wear out easily after a few uses. Also, the threaded rods are strong and well-machined, so as long as you keep them clean and well lubricated, this kit should last you a while.


    There are a few things to look out for when using your OEMTOOLS MacPherson Strut Spring Compressor. This is a light-duty kit, so it’s only good for working on cars and light trucks. The detent pins may actually do too good of a job. Several users have stated they were unable to loosen and remove them after use.

    OEMTOOLS MacPherson Strut Spring Compressor}
    Amazon

    The OEMTOOLS MacPherson Strut Spring Compressor kit is our pick for the Best Overall Strut Spring Compressor for 2020. This is an externally-mounted kit that locks onto the coils of your spring and compresses them for easy removal.


    We like that this tool’s construction makes spring compression a safer job. The hooks are forged steel, so they won’t break or wear out easily after a few uses. Also, the threaded rods are strong and well-machined, so as long as you keep them clean and well lubricated, this kit should last you a while.


    There are a few things to look out for when using your OEMTOOLS MacPherson Strut Spring Compressor. This is a light-duty kit, so it’s only good for working on cars and light trucks. The detent pins may actually do too good of a job. Several users have stated they were unable to loosen and remove them after use.

    Click Here to See Prices on Amazon

    Best Value

    Our pick for the Best Value in Strut Spring Compressor is the ABN 11.5-inch Strut Spring Compressor Tool. This tool comes as a set of two MacPherson compressors that work in conjunction to compress your coil spring during suspension changes and adjustments. This set also features detent pins as an added safety measure.


    This is another well-built tool meant for multiple uses. We like that the coil hooks are forged steel construction, meaning they’re built to hold up to the pressures coil springs can exert. The hardened center bolt is also durable, so as long as it’s maintained, it shouldn’t be an issue. The pin detents are a key feature, so we like that this value model comes with them.


    As far as cons go, some users have experienced a few dicey situations with this set. It may have been due to poor maintenance, but there have been complaints of the threads on the rods completely stripping, and there has even been mention of total failure. While this may have been caused by heavy-duty use of a light-duty tool, you should still keep an eye out.

    <strong>ABN 11.5-inch Strut Spring Compressor Tool</strong>}
    Amazon

    Our pick for the Best Value in Strut Spring Compressor is the ABN 11.5-inch Strut Spring Compressor Tool. This tool comes as a set of two MacPherson compressors that work in conjunction to compress your coil spring during suspension changes and adjustments. This set also features detent pins as an added safety measure.


    This is another well-built tool meant for multiple uses. We like that the coil hooks are forged steel construction, meaning they’re built to hold up to the pressures coil springs can exert. The hardened center bolt is also durable, so as long as it’s maintained, it shouldn’t be an issue. The pin detents are a key feature, so we like that this value model comes with them.


    As far as cons go, some users have experienced a few dicey situations with this set. It may have been due to poor maintenance, but there have been complaints of the threads on the rods completely stripping, and there has even been mention of total failure. While this may have been caused by heavy-duty use of a light-duty tool, you should still keep an eye out.

    Click Here to See Prices on Amazon

    Honorable Mention

    While it may be overkill for most shops, the Branick Strut Spring Compressor deserves our Honorable Mention spot on the list of the Best Strut Spring Compressors. The Branick model is the benchmark for nearly all stand-style compressors, and the quality is second to none.


    The Branick can handle nearly anything you throw at it. Aside from the heaviest-duty work, the Branick easily compresses struts and springs by use of a corkscrew bolt and handle. The Branick strut compressor is also much faster when it comes to compressing springs, as it only requires one fitting to be tightened instead alternating sides like the other compressors on our list.


    The Branick is expensive, however, and you should be aware that it may be more compressor than you need before you purchase it. Unless you’re often doing suspension repairs, you should probably save your money. Also, the coil hooks on the Branick don’t have detent pins. While we recognize that this system is less likely to slip, there’s still a possibility of it happening.

    <strong>Branick Strut Spring Compressor</strong>}
    Amazon

    While it may be overkill for most shops, the Branick Strut Spring Compressor deserves our Honorable Mention spot on the list of the Best Strut Spring Compressors. The Branick model is the benchmark for nearly all stand-style compressors, and the quality is second to none.


    The Branick can handle nearly anything you throw at it. Aside from the heaviest-duty work, the Branick easily compresses struts and springs by use of a corkscrew bolt and handle. The Branick strut compressor is also much faster when it comes to compressing springs, as it only requires one fitting to be tightened instead alternating sides like the other compressors on our list.


    The Branick is expensive, however, and you should be aware that it may be more compressor than you need before you purchase it. Unless you’re often doing suspension repairs, you should probably save your money. Also, the coil hooks on the Branick don’t have detent pins. While we recognize that this system is less likely to slip, there’s still a possibility of it happening.

    Click Here to See Prices on Amazon

    Tips

    • Since compressors work by compressing your vehicle's springs, they handle a lot of pressure. As a result, you need to get a tool that is tough and strong so you don't hurt yourself or damage the vehicle. The spring compressor shouldn't bend or snap when the coil is fully compressed.
    • Always check your strut spring compressor before using it. You will want to make sure it’s in good working condition and doesn’t have any damage that will affect your work or cause safety issues. 
    • If you plan on removing coil springs on larger vehicles, such as SUVs or trucks, you will need a heavy-duty spring compressor because the springs on these vehicles are particularly strong and thick.

    FAQs

    Q: What is a strut spring compressor?

    A: Some of the coils in your vehicle are very strong and difficult to compress. A strut spring compressor allows you to more easily compress the coils, especially if the springs are very powerful.

    Q: How do I use a strut spring compressor?

    A: First, you attach it to the second layer of the coil. Then you compress or expand the spring, using the claws on the compressor. If available, use pins to secure the compressor.

    Q: Do I need to clean my strut spring compressor?

    A: Yes, it's particularly important that the claws don't get rusty because that will adversely affect the grip. Be sure to store the device in a moisture-free environment. Also, grease the thread and other components of the tool regularly.

    Final Thoughts

    Our pick for the best strut spring compressor is the OEMTOOLS MacPherson Strut Spring Compressor. It's simple to use, includes safety pins for extra security, and is a good product overall.

    For a more budget-friendly option, consider the ABN 11.5in Strut Spring Compressor Tool.