Fram vs k&n oil filter: Which Oil Filter To Chose & Why?

In the quest of choosing the best oil filter for your engines, you might get stuck trying to figure out which will perform better than the other. This might become difficult when the comparison is between big brands like Fram and K&N oil filters.

Both Oil filters are popular high-end oil filters. However, Fram filters are one of the cheapest oil filters in the market. Buying them at a cheap rate does not automatically mean that they are worth the purchase, the price must match the performance.

There are a lot of positive reviews about K&N oil filters. But, you can’t assume that they are the best filters because someone said so.

This article will offer a detailed comparison on Fram vs K&N oil filters, to help you make the best market decision.

In A Hurry!

K&N Oil Filter is a better choice. They have a high construction quality, flow, and strength. They are great choices for racing and long service use.

Fram vs k&n oil filter: what are they?

about Fram Oil Filter

For over 88 years in production, since 1934, Fram has maintained its renowned stand as the leading brand for high-quality filters. The Fram Oil filters are available in four forms; Fram extra guard, high mileage, tough guard, and ultra synthetic. 

The levels of efficiency differ with these filters. Their compatibility with different oils and attained mileage are among the numerous differences between these oil filters. However, the overall standard of Fram Oil filters remains the same.

It is normal to read a lot of negative reviews of Fram Filters on the web. The truth is, Fram filters are not as bad as what the internet presents them as.

Fram Filter uses resin-impregnated end caps. This is better than the popular metal end caps which are harder to stick with paper filter media. 

Fram media are a combination of fiber and resin, achieving an efficiency of 97-99% efficiency. This is against the claims that they are made of cardboard and strings.

Fram Oil Filter uses a silicon bypass valve. More importantly, Fram tests the quality and durability of its oil filters with the ISO 4548-12 industry standard.

Who makes Fram Oil Filters?

Trico Group makes Fram Oil Filters. The manufacture of Fram Oil Filters is now done in Trico’s facilities. Trico Group started overseeing the manufacture of Fram Oil filters after buying the Fram group in 2019. This acquisition included Autolite spark plugs.

Where is Fram Oil Filter manufactured?

Fram Oil Filters are manufactured in the USA. The production of Fram Oil filters is now in Trico’s production plants. The manufacture of Fram Oil filters was pushed from Nevada, Missouri to Michigan, Kentucky, and Ohio. This was after the Trico group acquired Fram.

about K&N oil filter

K&N Oil Filters are designed with a high-level efficiency, capacity, and strength to achieve high-level performance. They are reinforced with advanced synthetic fibers, a wrench-off design that makes them easy to remove, and a heavy-duty frame for enhanced durability and longevity. The K&N filters are compatible with all engine oils; conventional, synthetic, synthetic blends. 

However, the K&N oil filters are split into three categories for different car needs; heavy-duty, Powersports, cars, and trucks. The classification of the K&N filters is further split into performance Gold oil filters and performance Silver oil filters. The change in their design and structure is to capture the varying needs of drivers and their vehicles.

Who makes the K&N oil filter?

Champ Labs makes K&N Oil Filters. Champ Labs are one of the global leaders in the production of automotive filters. Champion Laboratories makes a lot of oil filters for different brands. Champ Labs makes sure that its production of K&N oil filters meets the standard of the brand.

Where is the K&N oil filter manufactured?

K&N Oil filters are made in the USA. K&N is produced in Riverside, C.A, USA. There are chances that you will stumble on a few rumors that insist that K&N Oil filters are made in China. 

K&N has a lot of production plants scattered across the continent; China, the Netherlands, and England. However, K&N oil filters are produced at the company’s headquarters in Riverside, California.

difference between Fram and k&n oil filter

FeaturesFram Oil FilterK&N Oil Filter
Anti-drain back valveJust Introduced to recent upgrades (Silicon)Yes (Silicon)
Gaskets Cross-section diameter.150.165 – .203
Baseplate Weight (g)114130 – 143
Filter Media thickness0.3 – 0.40.23 – 0.3
Filter media Outer Diameter (OD) and Inner Diameter (ID)2.71 (OD)
1.55 (ID)
2.72 – 2.8 (OD)
1.66 (ID)
Bypass ValvePoorly DesignedBest
Can Thickness0.0150.02
Can Outer Diameter (OD) and Inner Diameter (ID)3.003.16

1. Gaskets

Gaskets play a phenomenal role in the performance of an oil filter. They help prevent leaks, oil spillage and also keep the filter in a firm form.

K&N has a thicker gasket than Fram Filters. This is because K&N boasts of a better burst strength and the ability to handle more oil pressure. 

This also reflects in the material used for its construction. K&N oil filters are made from nitrile rubber. There is no factual data to prove the material used for Fram filters.

Winner: K&N Filter

2. Base Plates

We will consider the base plates and flow area of these oil filters because of their weight and flow area. The base plate acts as the entry and exit points for the oil filter.

K&N filters beat Fram filters in weight and flow area. This proves that K&N filters achieve a higher oil flow and lubrication.

Winner: K&N Filters

3. Anti-Drainback Valves

Initially, Fram filters lacked anti-drain back valves. With recent upgrades, there are anti-drain back valves on Fram and K&N oil filters. Both valves are made of silicon material. However, we noticed that the material grades differ on both filters.

Winner: Both

4. Filter Media

K&N Filters are better than Fram Filters with more pleats, and inner/ outer diameter. Fram tops the chart with a thicker filter media. 

There is no screen backing in K&N oil filters and this might impact the media. However, the Fram filter media is taller. 

Winner: Both

5. Bypass Valve

The K&N bypass valve consists of a spring that is held by double sheet metal arms from the top of the metal end caps. Although there are slight variations in the K&N Gold design, Fram performed poorly in its design. Fram is just a nylon material that does not stick together with the component.

Winner: K&N Oil Filter 

6. Filter Can

K&N filters have a better filter can material. With a larger outer and inner diameter, it also has a thicker frame. The thickness of K&N filters is to enhance its durability and prevent bursts and damage during extreme pressures.

Winner: K&N Oil Filter

7. Steel Coil Spring

Oil Filters usually come with a coil spring that holds the filter cartridges by pressing against the can. Unfortunately, Fram doesn’t come with one. 

K&N uses steel coil springs, but Fram uses sheet metal arms. This doesn’t hold the filter cartridge as strong as it should against the anti-drain back valve.

Winner: K&N Oil Filter

k&n oil filter vs fram oil filter (4 key Similarities)

Metal end caps 

The filter cartridges of both oil filters are fitted with metal end caps. This debunks the claims that all Fram Media are made of cardboard.

Anti-drain back valve

The design of both anti-drain back valves differs, but the functionalities remain the same. K&N and Fram oil filters have an anti drain-back valve that is made of silicon.

Bypass Valve

The designs of both filters are not of matching standards but the technology remains the same. The bypass valve in both systems allows easy passage of oil when the oil filter is clogged.

Filter Media

Just like every other oil filter in the market, Fram and K&N oil filters have filter media. The thickness, diameter, and quality are not the same, but they perform the same tasks; filter the oil and prevent contamination from deposits.

people also ask

Can you reuse K&N Oil Filters?

Yes, you can. K&N rolled out an innovative product in the release of washable and reusable oil filters. The K&N reusable billet spin-on oil filters are made of high-quality aluminum components. 

You can simply wash, clean, and reuse them.

How many miles is a K&N oil filter good for?

A K&N Oil Filter is good for 10,000 miles. They can withstand long service within a 10,000-mile range before you can think of changing them.

Are Fram Oil Filters worth it?

Yes, they are. Fram is not as bad as the internet presents them. There are Fram HP products with high-quality and efficiency ratings. You should simply look for a Fram Oil filter that matches your needs and also promises superior performance.

Also read:

Fram Vs K&N Oil Filter (Some Key Takeaway)

  • Fram Oil filters are cheaper but this doesn’t mean that they are made with junk materials.
  • K&N Oil Filters are of superior quality with options for a reusable Oil filter.
  • Fram Oil Filters don’t have a steel coil spring. They use a metal sheet arm in place of a coil spring.


Who Worked on This?



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Mahir Ahmed


I'm the guy responsible for ensuring honest, informative, accurate and helpful guide to the reader.

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