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A Complete Guide To Compressor Wheel Variations

A Complete Guide To Compressor Wheel Variations

Compared to many other auto components, turbochargers have a simplistic design. They consist mainly of a compressor and a turbine wheel, which work together to generate power.

As technology has evolved, so have turbochargers. And as turbochargers have evolved, so have their components. This includes the compressor wheel. In this complete guide to compressor wheel variations, we'll explain what compressor wheels are, what function they serve, and what the different kinds of compressor wheels are.

What's a Compressor Wheel?

The compressor wheel is a main component of turbochargers. It's attached to another main component, the turbine, by a steel shaft. Appearance-wise, compressor wheels look like disks with metal, fan-like blades attached.

So, what does a compressor wheel do? How does it work? To understand that, you need to look at how the turbocharger functions as a whole. Below is a simple explanation of how turbochargers work and how compressor wheels work.

How Turbochargers Work

The turbine takes in exhaust gas from the exhaust and starts to spin. This spinning turbine is what drives the compressor wheel. The compressor wheel draws in massive amounts of air, compresses it, then pushes it into the cylinders to be using during the combustion process. It's as simple as that!

What Are the Different Compressor Wheel Variations?

To accommodate the high-speed whirling and toasty temperatures of modern turbos, new and improved kinds of compressor wheels were invented. It wouldn't be a complete guide to compressor wheel variations if we didn't talk about the different kinds of compressor wheels, so here are some of the most common ones.


The flatback is the original compressor wheel design. Only a small number of manufacturers continue to use this design, but it remains an effective option for low boost turbos.


The superback is a modified version of the flatback that's designed to handle faster speeds. It reinforces the back of the compressor wheel, which prevents it from tearing from the bottom up.

Deep Superback

The deep superback is an upgraded version of the superback that features a doubly reinforced exducer. This further protects the compressor wheel against damage.

Deep Superback (Extended Tip)

The extended tip variation extends the width of the exducer's diameter, improving airflow and boost response.


This type of compressor wheel features a piece of thread that goes roughly halfway up. It's used on applications with increased load.


Threaded compressor wheels, like boreless compressor wheels, have a thread. The one on this variation goes all the way up. Also, like their boreless counterparts, they're ideal for applications with increased loads.

In need of a new compressor wheel for your turbo? Turbo Turbo carries a variety of turbocharger compressor wheels, from flatbacks to extended tips. Come shop with us today!

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