The 5 Best Oil Filters Review

So you’ve spent hours working out the best oil for your engine, you head to a shop and buy all the supplies you need, you’re ready to go. Or at least you think. Agreed, oil is the life blood of an engine, but the blood needs to be kept pure and you need this guide for the best oil filters to let you know how to keep your engine running pure, free from contaminants, and help reduce premature wear.

The 5 Best Oil Filters Comparison Table

How Do Oil Filters Work?

Probably not a question that crosses your mind on a daily basis, but if you’re like me, you want to know what’s going on inside that mysterious canister.

Oil filters are made from metal and include a base plate (the end with the holes/threading), with a sealing gasket that allows a tight fit against your engine block and prevents leaks. (Tip: Always check the old gasket is removed prior to installing new filter; otherwise, you will get oil all over the place).

The threaded hole screws on to your engine (ALWAYS tighten to specified torque). The internals of the can include the filtration media (can be synthetic, cellulose, or paper), an anti-drainback valve (keeping oil in the filter to prevent dry starts), and some filters (more expensive one) come with a bypass valve which allows for oil flow should the filter become clogged.

When you start your engine, oil beings to flow to critical components by way of your oil pump. During this cycle, your oil is pumped to the filter. The oil enters the filter under pressure (typically 40-60psi) through the smaller holes in the base plate.

From there, the oil flows through the filter media into the large central hole (threaded hole) and is pumped back into the engine, hopefully, cleaner than when it went in.


‘Buy cheap, pay twice’ and oil filters are no exception to this rule. A good rule of thumb for oil filters is, the higher the price tag, the better the filter.

Expensive filters contain the highest quality materials and offer a greater rate of filtration for tiny contaminant particles. Cheaper filters do not offer the same protection, could fail under high pressures, or even catastrophically fail leading to serious engine damage (causing you to pay twice).

As with anything these days, the information surrounding oil filters is overwhelming. You could spend hours trying to find which oil filter best suits your needs, budget, and the type of oil in your engine.

We’ve filtered through the technical data and determined the best oil filters out there, but you still need to determine if this filter is the best for your vehicle. Always check part numbers and compatibility before starting the motor. This could save you a headache down the road, so to speak.

The 5 Best Oil Filters

#1 Mobil 1 Extended Performance Oil Filter 

Mobil 1 has been providing the market with incredibly well researched and developed oils for decades.

Their M1 Extended Performance oil filters; like their oil, come to market with some huge claims, touting “one full year of guaranteed protection” if paired with their oil.

The M1 filter is well made. Its heavy-duty canister can take 9 times the normal pressure of your engine preventing catastrophic burst failures.


An anti-drainback valve is inside and your oil will be filtered using a synthetic blend media which is 99% effective at removing particles above 30 microns.

With its superior filtration, durable components, and longevity, the M1 is the best oil filter we compared. By pairing this filter with Mobil 1 Synthetic oils, your oil change will be an annual affair, leaving you more time to complete those other projects you didn’t finish!

 The M1 filter is expensive, but again, with oil filters, you really get what you pay for and no one wants mom telling them they are about to pay twice.

Pros:

  • Durable components
  • Incredible filtration
  • Longevity 
  • Silicone anti-drainback valve 
  • 28.0 gram contaminant capacity

Cons:

  • Gloss black finish– a little hard to grip with oily hands 

#2 Royal Purple Extended Life Oil Filter  

Royal Purple have truly hit the market with force. When it comes to oil changes, many enthusiasts have been pouring the purple life blood into their engines. But are they also screwing on a Royal Purple oil filter?

The Extended Life filter is the only filter Royal Purple produce, meaning, they put their heart and soul into it. Royal Purple use a 100% synthetic micro-glass media which is 99% effective at removing contaminants as low as 25 microns.


As with the M1, Royal Purple tout a thick canister material, which is resistant to high oil pressures and road debris.

The filter also has a center tube designed to prevent filter collapse. The nitrile gasket also reduces torque during installation and removal, allowing for an easier job.

All sounds pretty impressive, but Royal Purple don’t reveal their mileage claims, which gives the M1 a slight advantage over the Royal Purple.

Will this filter last 20,000 miles like the M1, who knows? If you are changing oil frequently or need the extra features of the Royal Purple, go for it!

Pros:

  • Thick shell
  • 100% synthetic filter media
  • Bypass valve – giving flow when the filter is clogged (but, bypass means not filtered)
  • Silicone anti-drainback valve

Cons:

  • Gloss purple finish – reduces grip
  • Unknown longevity

#3 Bosch Premium FILTECH Oil Filter   

Bosch. They’re German. And like anything German, you expect incredible engineering detail, attention to quality, and a component you can rely on. It will do what you want it to do every single time. But does this filter live up to that?

The Bosch filter media boasts their FILTECH technology. This tech is a natural and synthetic blend which is “30 percent thicker” than a regular filter and also claims to be “42 percent larger”.


Like other premium filters we have reviewed, the Bosch has a silicone anti-drainback valve and a bypass valve, both of which keep oil where it needs to be during cold starts or periods of filter failure.

However, the filter element does not have metal endcaps, which can fail under high pressure or load. Bosch also states that their media can hold 14 grams of contaminants, half that of the M1, meaning you need two Bosch filters to do the work of one M1.

Pros:

  • Silicone anti-drainback valve
  • Price (if you are on a budget)
  • Double-lock seam for leak prevention

Cons:

  • Non-metal filter end caps
  • Only 14g capacity (half of M1)
  • No nonslip finish

#4 K&N Pro Series Oil Filter ​​​​   

K&N have been the leader in air filter technology for years, but does this filter to their oil filter technology? K&N released the Pro Series Oil Filter in “recognition of [their] partnership with NASCAR”. However, NASCAR engines do not use a screw on type filtration system.

K&N state that the filter’s redesigned for “professional installers and service providers” with rolled threads to prevent cross threading upon install. K&N claim their filter can be installed and removed with a traditional filter wrench (just like every other filter).


The Pro Series filter designed with a filtration media that is high flow and low restriction. This sounds awesome; however, this comes with a tradeoff. Higher flow and low restriction mean that this filter isn’t filtering as well as its competitors.

When K&N released filters with the ‘wrench-off’ design, people were blown away. Unfortunately, the Pro Series doesn’t come with this feature; thus, it may be worth springing the extra few bucks for this feature.

Pros:

  • Rolled threads prevent cross threading
  • Anti-drainback valve

Cons:

  • No 'wrench-off' feature like other K&N oil filters
  • High flow likely comes with a filtration trade off

#5 Motorcraft FL Oil Filter    

If you’re anything like me, you want to keep your car as OE as possible. Well, if you own a Ford, then the Motorcraft FL filter may be for you. Motorcraft say that their filters “are engineered to the high quality standards of the Ford Motor Company.” Sounds good, right?

The Motorcraft FL uses a paper media for filtration. Motorcraft claim that the media is “efficient” and has the “ability to capture more engine-harming particles.”


However, paper filters do not remove as much dirt as their synthetic counterparts.

The Motorcraft does, however, have a silicone anti-drainback valve which will prevent dry starts.The filter also boasts a pressure relief valve which Motorcraft state will “help minimize the chance of contaminated oil circulating back into the engine.”

The Motorcraft FL filter is a good OE replacement for the Ford family of vehicles, but with its paper media filter, it will not remove as many contaminants as its competitors. Moreover, the oil filter is made in China. 

                  Pros:

    • OE endorsement for Ford, Lincoln, Mercury
    • Silicone anti-drainback valve

                Cons:

    • Paper filter media
    • Weaker canister than competitors

Oil Filters Data Comparison

Product Name

Media Type

Anti-drainback vale

Bypass valve

Origin

Mobil 1 Extended Performance​​​​

Synthetic Blend

USA

Royal Purple Extended Life

Synthetic Blend

USA

Bosch Premium FILTECH

Synthetic Blend

USA

K&N Pro Series

High flow pleated media

USA

Motorcraft FL

Paper

China

Conclusion

Overall, the best oil filter is the Mobil 1. The Royal Purple filter is an extremely close second, but with the Mobil 1 filter able to be used for 20,000 miles when paired with their synthetic oils, it’s a clear winner.

The Bosch and K&N filters provide a good level of protection for those on a budget, but the recommendation is to spend the extra few dollars on the M1 to truly filter your engines life blood.


Related Posts:

1. Best Synthetic Motorcycle Oil Review

2. The 4 Best Automatic Transmission Fluids Available

3. The 6 Best Gear Lubricants for your Vehicle

4. The Best Synthetic Grease for Complete Automotive Care

5. What is the Best Synthetic Oil?


>
Scroll Up