Best Oil Filter

Shopping for an oil filter can be confusing with so many different brands to choose from. It’s not uncommon for an identical filter to be sold under a number of different brand names, further adding to the confusion. However, the internal construction and the quality of the filtering element can greatly differ between two brands, and many filters from the most popular brands are of very poor quality.

The following filters were picked for their objective filtering performance based on the quality and surface area of their filtering element where the particles are trapped. The construction of the anti-drain back and bypass valves is also important since they maintain hold oil pressure. Finally, we picked the following oil filters for their overall value since there's no need to purchase an expensive filter in order to have solid, basic performance.

Purolator PureONE Oil Filter

Purolator's PureONE filters are popular because they provide great filtering performance at an affordable price. The filter element is packed densely to provide maximum filtration, though oil restriction issues can surface in some applications. Read Full Review

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    Why it's best:

    The PureONE consistently performs at the top when it comes to filtering capability. The paper/fiber element has more filtering material and surface area than other filters and internal construction is very good. There are some concerns about oil restriction because the filter element is so dense, and if you have a high performance engine you may be better off with the more expensive Mobil 1 oil filters. However, the PureONE’s excellent filtering capability, high quality construction, and affordable price make it a top overall pick.

    Pictured is the Purolator PureONE Oil Filter #PL14610.

    Purolator PureONE Oil Filter

    Mobil 1 Extended Performance Oil Filter

    Mobil 1 is a leading synthetic oil producer, so it should come as no surprise that their synthetic-medium oil filters also earn accolades. The synthetic filter medium captures microparticles and contaminants far better than standard filters can, though the higher price is a small consequence for the increased performance. Read Full Review

    Why it's best:

    Mobil 1 oil filters are fairly expensive, but their fully synthetic fiber elements do a much better job filtering small contaminants than the conventional paper elements found in cheaper filters. Despite their excellent filtering capability, these filters still flow well.

    The Mobil 1 oil filters are manufactured by Champion Labs and can be purchased at many retail locations. They are virtually identical to the K&N oil filters which feature a welded nut at the end for easier installation and removal, but the K&Ns are harder to find at retail locations. However, if you can find a good deal on them online, the K&Noil filters are equally recommended.

    Pictured is the Mobil Extended Performance Oil Filter #M1-102.

    Mobil 1 Extended Performance Oil Filter

    Purolator Classic Oil Filter

    Purolator's Premium Plus oil filter offers nothing special but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. This oil filter is extremely affordable and does a great job of capturing contaminants in your engine's oil. Read Full Review

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      Why it's best:

      If you’re looking for an oil filter that’s cheap and easy to find, the Purolator Classic Oil Filter is an excellent choice. This filter is essentially the same as the old Purolator Premium Plus oil filters, with only very minor changes and a new name. It’s well constructed and the paper element does a good job filtering out small particles. This protects your engine and extends its life, preventing damage from contaminants. You can find these filters just about anywhere and at around $4 the Purolator Classic Oil Filter is an excellent value choice.

      Pictured is the Purolator Classic Oil Filter #L14459

      Purolator Classic Oil Filter

      WIX Spin-On Oil Filter

      WIX oil filters are a popular choice due to the solid build quality and good filtration characteristics. These filters are cheap, plentiful, and a good option for any driver looking for a standard replacement oil filter. Read Full Review

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        Why it's best:

        WIX filters feature high quality construction and good oil flow, making them easy to recommend. This is a company that’s been around for a long time, which serves as testament to their quality and durability in terms of both design and construction. Even with heavy use these filters don't break down over time while the affordable price tag offers some of the best bang for your buck available. They are readily available at most major retailers and WIX also manufacturers the NAPA Silver and Gold-level filters.

        Pictured is the WIX Spin On Oil Filter #57002

        WIX Spin-On Oil Filter

        Baldwin Oil Filter

        Baldwin oil filters are commonly found in trucks, which is a testament to how durable these filters are. These distinctive red filters are inexpensive, and are just as good for cars as they are for trucks. Read Full Review

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          Why it's best:

          Baldwin makes filters for all vehicles, yet regardless of the whether the vehicle is a car or a truck, their oil filters offer excellent durability and overall reliability. As a company that’s been in business for a long time, they can be trusted to make good products. Good design and construction allow these filters to effectively protect your engine from damage caused by contaminants. Readily available at most major retailers for affordable prices, these filters are an excellent all-around choice.

          Pictured is the Baldwin Oil Filter #B160.

          Baldwin Oil Filter
          Leave a Question or Comment
          40 comments
          • George Jetton-AMSOIL Dealer George Jetton-AMSOIL Dealer

          When Amsoil is used as Amsoil recomends it is the least expensive oil and filter that money can buy.

          Posted on 11/13/2013 7:30 pm | Reply
          • pat.treudy pat.treudy

          I've been running Napa Gold or Wix for over 15 years now and Wouldn't switch to another brand.

          Posted on 5/10/2013 7:56 am | Reply
          • exboyracer exboyracer

          How come for the last 10 years on the internet there have been countless tear downs of filters -- based on construction filtration, the Wix is always number one and the fram is always number last. I have an engine in a car that on startup with 20/50 the oil pressure spikes to 130 psi. The wix does not blow its seal a temporary fram leaked like a sieve. I use Wix on everything based on seeing the insides of a bunch of filters thanks to various OCD documeters on the net.

          Posted on 2/17/2013 9:31 am | Reply
          • sammy.samuelson.7 sammy.samuelson.7

          I have been using Amsoil Synthetic Oil for 34 years,changing at 25,000 miles or one year ! Using Oil Analysis to discover any problems before they become disasters,and to safely go the 25,000 miles, actually 30,000 miles has been my average! I now use a Washable,Cleanable,and Reusable Oil Filter,that does a remarkable job too ! And a Foam Air Filter that is sprayed with a wax like material on one side that dries and stops dirt at its source,meaning no dirt ever reaches the engine.

          Posted on 1/31/2013 8:46 pm | Reply
          • alexandergrate alexandergrate

          "The K&N HP-2010 High Performance Oil Filter is highly recommended.It gets great reviews on the web.Read more: http://www.istumbledupon.com/kn-hp-2010-high-performance-oil-filter/"

          Posted on 11/11/2012 6:17 pm | Reply
          • Herb Herb

          Want less contaminantes and dirt in your oil, the AMSOIL Ea high efficiency oil filter has the best rating in the industry. No other oil filter comes close. I would say this filter list needs to be revised.

          Posted on 9/18/2012 10:28 am | Reply
          • Herb Herb

          Filter ratings are an often misunderstood area of contamination control. On several recent occasions, I have witnessed someone describing a filter by its nominal rating. A nominal rating is an arbitrary micrometer value given to the filter by the manufacturer. These ratings have little to no value. Tests have shown that particles as large as 200 microns will pass through a nominally rated 10-micron filter. If someone tries to sell you a filter based on an "excellent" nominal rating of five microns, run away.Absolute Rating Another common rating for filters is the absolute rating. An absolute rating gives the size of the largest particle that will pass through the filter or screen. Essentially, this is the size of the largest opening in the filter although no standardized test method to determine its value exists. Still, absolute ratings are better for representing the effectiveness of a filter over nominal ratings.

          Posted on 8/10/2012 6:34 am | Reply
          • Herb Herb

          You have to understand oil filter bata rating not just look and see a filter is claiming 99.9% efficiency rating making it better than a filter with a 98.7% most filters are Nominal and they don't tell you that on their website. Here is a example: P1 might claim 99.9% at 20 micron and Amsoil Ea 98.7% at 20 micron. Most will think P1 is better. This is not true, The P1 is a Nominal rating while the Amsoil Ea is "Absolute" rating. Meaning trapping a absolute rating @ 20 mircon VS a Nominal which it's only going to trap around 50% of 20 micron dirt. Same with Mobil 1 filters.

          Posted on 8/9/2012 11:59 am | Reply
          • motormax motormax

          I wish you guys would to different evaluations... sometimes I just want to know whats ranked best based just on performance ALONE with the ranking not including price of the item as part of the ranking... Just a thought

          Posted on 6/24/2012 7:06 pm | Reply
          • Uber1911 Uber1911

          Hello Anon, I doubt you will ever see this but I had to reply anywayz! Howz do you define emptrical evidence? You may have issues with the person who gathered the evidence, the methodology applied in gathering the evidence and even the final observation of the resultant evidence but dismissing it as non-empirical lacks understanding and seems foolish! It would seem in your initial statement you actually meant to say " The empirical evidence presented, in my opinion, is worthless and therefore of no value to me". Best regards

          Posted on 5/22/2012 1:41 am | Reply
          • lugnuts lugnuts

          Anyone have any information related to similar testing of Professional Products Powerfilter? This unit is presented as a high flow washable S/S filter element in an O-ring sealed housing with a magnetic drain plug. There is no bypass (because of high flow) so all oil is filtered. I am fanatical about my automotive toys and am curious how this really stacks up. I can see it for race engines but not sure on day to day commuters. Only information I can find is from Professional products and I would like some info from a non-biased source. Anyone?The idea is sound and eco-friendly but I would like to know how well they did before I trust one of my engines to one.

          Posted on 2/3/2012 8:22 am | Reply
          • OilMan OilMan

          If your like me and really take care of your cars and know every little scratch or nic on it, then you want the very best in your oil and filters. Try the Amsoil Signature oils. You can purchase one of the best with longer drain intervals like the 5W-30 or [or whatever weight you use] and change it at 25,000 miles or 1 year with the Amsoil oil filters, they are made with a nano-fiber technology. These oil filters are 98.7% efficient and will go the distance. I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with 150,000 miles on it and my entire drive train is all synthetic oils, the trans has Amsoil ATF +4 synthetic in it and its the best, smoother shifting quicker response. The best part is you can sign up as a preferred customer and buy at wholesale prices and you can even buy Mothers Waxes for you car and NGK spark plugs, Trico wiper blades, and air filters made with the same nano-fiber technology. Check out the website at http://www.synthetic-oil-tech.com/1982486

          Posted on 3/12/2012 12:58 am. In reply to lugnuts | Reply
          • testerdahl testerdahl

          I know it's not exactly related to the oil filter comparison at the top of this thread, but I think the data and analysis in this Toyota Tacoma/Toyota Tundra oil filter comparison might be interesting to everyone anyways. There are lots of photos, some hard data, and some interesting info on general oil filter design.http://parts.olathetoyota.com/tundra-oil-filter-comparison.htmlhttp://parts.olathetoyota.com/tacoma-oil-filter-comparison.htmlI realize it was created by a Toyota dealer, but it seems like they tried to be unbiased.Anyways, I liked it.Tim

          Posted on 12/7/2011 7:33 am | Reply
          • ArtRead ArtRead

          Interesting reading I had not known about the PureONE criticisms. If you believe as I do that frequent oil changes with great oil and great filters lead to long engine life then you might want to look at Dimple Magnetic Plugs. (just search on Goggle and you will find the web site). I put them in my oil sump, differential and transmission for all cars (BMWs and Vovlos). They are 1400X stronger than the next best plug and you can do an entire car for under $100. Works on any engine that has cleanable fluids that can accumulate metallic filings. Small company and the owner answers the phone...former rocket scientist...no, really.

          Posted on 8/13/2011 7:48 am | Reply
          • Herb Herb

          AMSOIL Ea Oil Filters have one of the best efficiency ratings in the automotive/light-truck market. Ea Oil Filters provide a filtering efficiency in accordance with industry standard ISO 4548-12 of 98.7 percent at 15 microns, while competitive filters containing conventional cellulose media range from 40 to 80 percent efficiency at 15 microns. No other oil filter comes close.

          Posted on 2/19/2011 9:01 am | Reply
          • OilMan OilMan

          You got it Herb, the nano-fiber technology is what does it. I have them in my car and my wifes car, both cars have over 100,000 miles on them. Some garages will tell you that with that many miles on the car you don't need synthetics, bull I've been a firm believer in synthetic oil for a long time and have been running it in my car since I bought it. The garage wants you to continue to come back every 3-5,000 miles for an oil and filter change. I use Amsoil synthetics in my engine, trans, and drivetrain and I can extend my drain time from 4,000 to 25,000 or 1 year with their oil and filters, thats a big savings in the long run. Jiffy Lube gets about $40.00 every oil change with pennzoil, but I change it once. Depending on your cars mine takes 6.1 qts so I may pay more for the oil and filter, like $60-75 but it only once a year, Jiffylube gets you $40 about 5 times a year, you do the math and it better for the engine and I get better gas mileage, save even more by becoming a preferred customer with them and buy at wholesale and save even more $$$ check it out at http://www.synthetic-oil-tech.com/1982486

          Posted on 3/12/2012 1:17 am. In reply to Herb | Reply
          • Icecap Icecap

          How does the Fram Tough Gaurd Oil filter rate in comparison to the other filters mentioned??I had heard that the only good fram filter manufactured was the tough gaurd which was suppose to be equal to the pure one??

          Posted on 1/28/2011 11:54 am | Reply
          • OilMan OilMan

          Icecap, check out you tube, they have a video of a guy taking a Fram filter apart and found the inside made of cardboard and in colapsed and wasn't do any good anymore. Check out the Amsoil oil filters they have the best on the market, you can also find a video of the Amsoil filters as well check the website at http://www.synthetic-oil-tech.com/1982486

          Posted on 3/12/2012 1:23 am. In reply to Icecap | Reply
          • karlalan1812 karlalan1812

          Greetings Jeff,Why haven't you reported on the Synthetif material filters from AmsOil or SynLube? I see these are far superior to the TOP NAME BRANDS and last far longer.Karl Alanhttp://www.synlube.comhttp://www.AmsOil.com

          Posted on 12/22/2010 5:24 pm | Reply
          • Michael Michael

          To settle a point of contention with my neighbor; He states that a screw on oil filter when installed by hand only,and at the point of which the rubber gasket ring makes contact,3/4 's of a turn more towards tightening is all that's required.And if this being done, a filter wrench will never be required for removal and that there will be no leakage! My method(learned approx. 1965) is to tighten by hand to the point of snugness, then turn approx. 1/4 turn more(of course moistening the gasket w/oil prior to installing). I always have to use a filter wrench to break the filter loose when removing. Some kind of physics involved here.Any comment or scientific explaination out here ?? PS:Mine do not leak

          Posted on 11/13/2010 8:47 am | Reply
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