Are you looking for one of those large air compressors with giant airpower and large wheels to pull around? Well, there are many of those around, although getting the best one may not be easy if you don’t have details on how each of them performs. The powerful pumps and high CFMs provided by these air compressors make them invaluable on construction sites, workshops, and homes. Their limitless power, however, attracts a high price, which is why you need to evaluate each feature before buying.
Investing in such a huge air compressor should at least guarantee you a high air pressure to air volume ratio. This was our main focus when examining the two best seller wheeled air compressors for industrial use from Makita and Rolair. It is also advisable to invest in universal coupler compatibility, which comes in handy whenever you need to change the tubing to either a shorter or longer one. The last important aspect is a continuous duty cycle on the motor. This ensures your pump runs for as long as you need to accomplish those demanding projects.
Once you are sure about your tools and the projects you need to accomplish, you can then narrow down your search to the best air compressor within your budget. There are lots of options in the market, and while we are not dismissing them, we only tested these two portable air compressors from the top manufacturers.
Here is a detailed review of each of these air compressors
1. Rolair VT25BIG 2.5hp Wheeled air compressor
The most outstanding features visible on this air compressor are the high foldable handle and heavy-duty wheels, which ease mobility. The construction is also durable, and most importantly, the pump has splash lubrication, which improves the lifespan of the motor. It is an industrial-grade air compressor that can work in many environments, including construction sites, metal works as well as woodwork workshops.
The Motor and Pump
The most attractive feature on this air compressor is the 100% duty cycle of the pump. The pump is made of heavy-duty cast iron for durability. It is a single-stage pump meaning it only has one cylinder, which reduces the pressure exerted on the motor with each stroke. It is an oiled pump that reduces friction on the cylinders extending the life of the pump. The oil tank is transparent, allowing you to track the oil. It also comes filled with oil, ready to work at purchase.
This air compressor is powered by a 13.8-Amp four-pole 2.5hp motor, which is powerful enough to run the big pump but also regulated to run on a regular 15-Amp breaker. It runs at 3400RPM, which increases the strokes filling up the 5.3-gallon tank in less than 2 minutes. The motor runs on a regular 110/120V plug and is fitted with ball bearings to reduce the friction resulting from its high speed.
This air compressor has a 5.3-gallon cast iron tank, which stores enough air to run the 100% duty cycle on most power tools. The large tank allows the compressed air enough time to cool, preventing the flow of moisture through the outlets. It has a corrosion-resistant coating enabling you to use it in any outdoor environment. It has a bottom facing drain valve to remove all accumulated moisture from the tank. It is also equipped with an automatic pressure overload protection, which can be reset manually before storage.
VT25BIG has one of the highest output to size ratios in the market delivering 6.5CFM at 90 PSI of air despite its small tank size of 5.3 gallons. It can power multiple tools, which are also easy to mount thanks to its dual universal couplers. It builds up a maximum pressure of 135 PSI, allowing it to power any range of tools from 40 to 100 PSI. It can handle up to six 0.9CFM finish tools and up to two standard impact wrenches and hand drills, allowing multiple users to work concurrently on site.
Rolair is famous for quiet air compressors, especially their smaller models, but this is a big oiled compressor that works hard and fast. It produces 86db of noise, which is regulated considering its motor size, although it can get uncomfortable if you are working indoors. You need ear protection for comfort.
The wheels on this air compressor are big and flat-free, allowing you to roll it through any surface. Its handle is high, making it comfortable to pull around. It is also foldable, allowing to reduce the size making the compressor more storage-friendly. It weighs 104lbs, which is hard to carry, but it is not an issue thanks to its wheels.
- Big heavy-duty wheels
- Foldable handle
- Dual outlets for multiple user convenience
- Durable iron-cast cylinder
- Roll cage design protects vital parts
- 100% duty cycle for more productivity
- You need ear protection when working in closed spaces
- It requires a regular oil change
Q: Is this compressor suitable for spray painting?
Q: What is the size of the coupler?
A: It has a regular ¼-Inch quick coupler
Q: How many nail guns can it power?
A: It has a CFM of 6.5 at 90 PSI which handles at least three nail guns and five trim guns
2. Makita MAC5200 3.0hp air compressor
Makita air compressors have some of the most powerful motors, and this one is especially popular for its 3.0hp motor and big bore pistons. It has a 100% duty cycle that allows you to work continuously, increasing productivity. This air compressor is also fitted with a high foldable handle as well as heavy-duty wheels for mobility. It also comes with a 50ft 3/8-Inch hose allowing you to work far from the compressor.
The Motor and Pump
This air compressor has a cast iron pump that uses oil for lubrication. It is known as the big-bore cylinder because of the increased cylinder diameter that compresses more air in one stroke than regular cylinders. It also features large air filters like the ones used on big trucks and machines to provide sufficient clean air for compression. Moreover, it has a transparent oil tank that allows you to track and change the oil in time.
Its motor is also built for the heavy-duty service needs of this air compressor. It is a 13.8 Amp Induction motor running at 3400RPM, which fills up the tank quickly and also reduces the recovery time. This motor model has more hours of service than small low amp motors that tend to blow with less than 2000 hours of service. It also uses ball bearings to reduce wearing and increase the lifespan of the motor.
Makita uses durable steel tanks finished with a powder coating that is resistant to corrosion. The tank is also more pressure-resistant, accepting a maximum pressure of 140 PSI. This tank is 5.2 gallons in capacity, storing enough air for the compressor’s unlimited duty cycle. Its drain valve is at the bottom for effective moisture removal.
It is an industrial-grade air compressor build to run any pneumatic tools that require 6.5CFM at 90PSI of air or less. Therefore, it can power six 1.2CFM nail guns, brad guns, and blowguns. It is also efficient in a garage for painting and washing due to its high-pressure output and 100% duty cycle.
It also has a cooling system that prevents overheating, allowing the compressor to run non-stop for hours. It is also efficient at inflation tools. Its 50ft long hose will enable you to use the hose across a whole construction site without losing your power.
The big bore cylinder engineering is better for compression, but it increases the noise levels. The oiled lubrication serves to suppress the noise to 90db, although it is still uncomfortable if you need a quiet working environment. It is advisable to use ear protection if you have to work close to the compressor. You can still use the long industrial-grade hose to stay far from the noise.
The wheels are non-flat heavy-duty casters that allow you to bring the compressor through any environment. The air compressor also has a high handle that allows you to pull it around without hassle. The handle is foldable, allowing you to reduce the size for storage convenience. It is also heavy weighing 88lbs, but the wheels overcome the hurdles associated with the weight.
- Big bore cylinders compress more air with each stroke
- Short recovery time
- The oiled pump is durable
- It has a foldable handle for both mobility and storage convenience
- Removable tank for easy maintenance
- It is noisy producing 90db
- Checking and changing the oil is tedious
Q: Can it run an Impact wrench?
Q: What is the duty cycle of this air compressor?
Q: Can I use a regular shop hose?
A: Yes. It accepts the universal 3/8-inch hose.
Q: Is it suitable for Sandblasting?
A: Yes. It can run large sanders.
The horsepower rating on Makita mac5200 is 3.0, while Rolair VT25BIG has 2.5hp of airpower. The Makita motor can run the larger pump cylinders compressing more air in each stroke than Rolair. The catch, however, is that both air compressors release 6.5CFM at 90 PSI, which allows them to run the same class of tools. The High Rolair CFM comes at the expense of more stress on the motor which is a concern in the long-term but not on daily service.
Equal output rating means Rolair is more economical as it comes at a lower price compared to Mac5200. In the long run, the life of Makita`s motor will, however, beat Rolair because it is better suited for sustained, heavy-duty service. Mac5200 also delivers a stable CFM flow for large tools.
Both air compressors have steel tanks that are well built to handle high pressure. The two cylinders are both 5.2 gallons fitted with quick drain valves at the bottom for efficient moisture removal. Mac5200 builds up a maximum pressure of 140 PSI, higher than Rolair VT25BIG`s 135PSI. MAC5200 can run larger tools such as impact wrenches and drills more efficiently with a stable volume of air pressure compared to Rolair.
These are wheeled air compressors explicitly built for harsh working environments such as metal workshops and construction sites. They are both fitted with large heavy-duty wheels and high foldable handles for transportation. Makita mac5200 is, however, more comfortable to roll around because it is lighter weighing 88lbs compared to VT25BIG`s 104lbs. The handles can also be folded to reduce the space taken up in storage.
From the similarity of the features seen above, it is easy to assume that these air compressors can be used in the same range of applications. It is, however, essential to note the difference in the sturdiness of the motors. Makita MAC5200 has a steadier flow of airpower, which is sustainable when running continuous airflow tools such as large sandblasters and impact wrenches. It provides sufficient power for running heavy-duty tools, which makes it the top choice for industrial applications.
Rolair CT25BIG, on the other hand, is better suited for running multiple small tools. It serves a workshop or construction site with multiple users who need to work concurrently. It is, however, not the best air compressor for powering powerful pneumatic tools that require sustained airflow for a long time. It can only handle a single large pneumatic tool at a time for a quick project.
When it comes to air compressors, you either have one that can sustain all your tools or one that doesn`t work. The type of air compressor you buy also affects the quality of your work for a long time, which is why you have to check every feature keenly. We tested two of the most resilient air compressors in the market. They can power any tools at home, in a workshop, or on a construction site. You can use this guide to choose your dream air compressor at the best price.