Makita MAC2400 vs MAC5200: Which one is Better & Why

I was recently looking to buy a new air compressor from a reliable and well-known brand. As I was doing my research, I realized I was leaning towards the Makita MAC2400 and the Makita MAC5200. This made me wonder; what are the differences between the MAC2400 and the MAC5200.

The MAC5200 is a larger and heavier air compressor with a bigger motor. It has a higher-powered motor and twice the duty cycle while having a larger air tank than the MAC2400. The MAC5200 is a portable model with wheels for easier transportation.

Listed below is the specification sheet for these two air compressors manufactured by Makita.

Makita MAC2400Makita MAC5200
Motor2.5 HP, 4 pole 3.0 HP, 4 pole
Volume4.2 CFM @ 90 PSI6.5 CFM @ 90 PSI
Power sourceElectric motorElectric motor
Weight77 lbs88 lbs
Maximum Air Pressure (in PSI)130 140
Tank Size4.2 gallons5.2 gallons
Duty Cycle50%100%
Dimensions 20” x 18” x 18.75”29” x 19.5” x 19”
Warranty1-year parts and labor1-year parts and labor
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I felt like I had a basic idea of what these two compressors offered, but it was not enough. I wanted to make a well-informed decision so I dug up more information about these models during my research. 

I have done a detailed comparison between these two Makita compressors. Do read on as I have explained the differences and similarities between the models while giving you my opinion of which model I think is the better one.

I hope that by the end of the article, you will have your doubts resolved about these two products, which will give you an idea of which one is best for you. 

Differences Between MAC2400 and MAC5200

  • Air Pressure and Tank Size

The major difference between the MAC2400 and MAC5200 when it comes to its technical specifications is the air pressure-related parameters and the tank size.

The MAC2400 has a maximum air pressure of 130 PSI. At 90 PSI, this compressor is capable of pushing out 4.2 CFM of air. It has a maximum tank capacity of 4.2 gallons. These aspects of the MAC2400 make it a great model for those with a basic need for their power tools. 

Differences Between MAC2400 and MAC5200

The 4.2 CFM capacity is sufficient for most regular applications, giving users the flexibility they need for a range of tools they might want to operate.

The MAC5200 has a maximum air pressure of 140 PSI. At 90 PSI, this compressor is capable of pushing out 6.5 CFM of air. It has a maximum tank capacity of 5.2 gallons. 

As a result, this compressor from Makita is more than capable of providing the compressed air needed by most power tools. Its high capacity allows it to be used for the most intensive purposes. 

It is the ideal compressor for usage in automobile and woodworking workshops, as well as construction sites. It is one of the oldest and most reliable products in the Makita lineup.

  • Duty Cycle and Motor Capacity

The duty cycle determines how long you can run your air compressor before it needs to be given a rest period. The motor capacity is the rated power output of the motor in the compressor, which helps increase the pressure and the volume of the air that is compressed and given as output.

The MAC2400 has a duty cycle of 50% and a motor capacity of 2.5 HP. This makes it sufficient for homeowners and enthusiasts with the occasional need for using power tools on DIY and hobby projects. 

The capacity of the motor is sufficient for these needs, with a good amount of airflow being supplied at high pressures. The dual-port facility also allows the users to connect low CFM devices for use at the same time.

On the other hand, the MAC5200 has a duty cycle of 100% and a motor capacity of 3 HP. As a result, this machine can be operated continuously, without having to stop it for a recovery period. 

This makes it a great product for those with a daily requirement for an air compressor, with professional automobile workshops and handymen finding it very useful. It is capable of handling most power tool requirements, giving them the extensive range they need from their compressor while on the job.

  • Weight and dimensions

The weight and dimensions of the compressor are important factors to assess the portability of the machine.

The MAC2400 weighs 77 lbs and has dimensions of 20” x 18” x 18.75”. While it is the smaller of the two products, it is also the lighter model. This is mainly because of the lower-powered motor and the smaller tank onboard this machine. 

However, the device is not the most convenient to carry around. It does not have easy-handle provisions, which makes it quite cumbersome to handle and walk around. It is definitely a task for a single person to move this machine.

On the other hand, the MAC5200 weighs 88 lbs and has dimensions of 29” x 19.5” x 19”. The larger tank and higher capacity of the onboard motor contribute to this weight and dimension increase. 

Makita MAC2400 vs MAC5200

The provision of a handle and wheels on this model makes it very user-friendly and easy to move from one place to another. The wheels and handle are part of the packaging and can be assembled easily. 

Once this is done, the user does not have to fret too much about shifting this air compressor. They can push it around, making it very convenient for transportation. Another feature that the MAC5200 incorporates in its design is onboard storage, which is not available in the MAC2400. 

It allows the storage of air fittings, accessories, and upto 50ft of ⅜” air hoses within the machine. It also has a tool hanger to store tools when the machine is not in use.

Similarities Between MAC2400 and MAC5200

  • BigBore cylinder and bore technology

The MAC2400 and MAC5200 air compressors both belong to the Big Bore series of compressors. As a result, they have iron cast cylinders that have an increased bore as well as stroke. 

This allows for increased compression and reduced noise levels while in operation. This trademarked technology of Makita has helped them establish a good reputation in the air compressor industry, with a focus on efficiency and performance.

  • Motor and pump technology

The MAC2400 and MAC5200 both run on 4 pole motor technology. As a result, they do not need a gearbox and can also function efficiently to produce high power outputs. This makes them good for air compressors like these that need an increased power output. 

Another benefit of this motor technology is that it has a lower speed, which allows it to be quieter. As a result, operating these machines will not be a nuisance to your surroundings. Both these motors draw a maximum amperage of 15 amps while in operation.

— Also read: Is it Bad to Leave an Air Compressor Pressurized?

The cast iron pump used in both these motors is oil-lubricated. The high quality of the seals used in the design allows for reduced maintenance while ensuring increased efficiency while operating the machine. 

The industrial air filter, similar to those found in automobiles, ensures better efficiency and air intake for these compressors as well. Both these compressors have a dual-port output, allowing you to use these machines for multiple purposes at the same time. 

  • Design and safety

The design of the product ensures ease of access to the user. The lever-handle ball valve tank drain differs from standard designs, allowing the operator to release the air tank easily and facilitating easier maintenance. 

The oil sight glasses ensure easy monitoring of oil levels, facilitating maintenance at the right time. It also has copper finned discharge tubing that increases the surface area.

This in turn allows for improved dissipation of heat, while reducing the amount of water that accumulates in the tank.

These air compressors also have a couple of facilities to protect the machine from damage due to rough working conditions. This includes built in-thermal overload precautions that prevent the motor from getting damaged in case of a power surge. 

The roll cage design of the compressor gives it increased durability while protecting the motor and pump assembly.

Which one is Better & Why

After careful research and consideration, I feel that the Makita MAC5200 is the better product out of the two. Although both of them work well as air compressors, the MAC5200 had a few features that made it stand out as the better model, even though it was more expensive compared to the MAC2400. Here are some of those features.

Makita MAC5200 vs MAC2400
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  • Portability

The MAC5200 is a heavy machine like most air compressors, weighing around 88 lbs. However, the inclusion of wheels and a handle that came with the packaging meant it was more convenient to move around. 

Assembly of the mechanism was easy and hassle-free, and once completed improved the ease with which a single person could move the machine around.

This was especially critical for me as I usually do my work alone. As a result, I do not have the luxury of getting extra help when I need to move my equipment. Having a portable model ensured that I was self-dependent. 

The addition of onboard storage meant I could save a lot of time, making it a better choice for my requirements.

  • Better operating parameters

As a handyman who works regularly on power tools, I needed a product that was able to meet all my requirements without burning a hole in my pocket. The MAC5200 met all my criteria and fit my budget well. The great value for money it offers is one of the reasons why it is the better model.

Similarities Between MAC2400 and MAC5200

The biggest plus point of this product was its 100% duty cycle, which allowed me to operate the compressor for hours together without having to give it time to recover.

The 3HP motor has good pressure and air volume stats, allowing upto 140 PSI of compressed air. 

The 6.5 CFM air volume output at 90 PSI is sufficient to power many tools that need an air compressor. 

The dual-port feature that allowed users to operate multiple low CFM devices at once was an added plus point.

Combined with the 5.2-gallon tank, it gave me the versatility I wanted from a new product to operate all the tools I need while running my workshop.

  • Established model

The Makita MAC5200 has been available to customers since 2004. Makita is a renowned brand known for making high-quality power tools. Even then, the product has survived the evolution of the market, fulfilling customer requirements even 17 years later. 

Minor tweaks to the design based on user feedback have been made to constantly improve this product.

As a customer, this gave me the confidence that it was a great product. The classic design along with proprietary technology ensured that I was a happy customer who did not have to compromise on the quality I was getting from the air compressor. 

It also meant there was a large community of users that I could contact and discuss things with to get the most out of it.

Buying Guide for an Air Compressor

Choosing an air compressor is not the easiest task, especially if you are not aware of the know-how of this machine. If you are confused about how to go about the purchase, I have included a buying guide to help you have the basic knowledge you need to make this purchase!

  • Types of compressor

There are two main types of air compressors. Portable compressors and stationary compressors.

Portable compressors are those that can be moved from one place to another. They have a horizontal design to make them more compact. They are usually equipped with wheels and handles that make them easy to transport. They are good for less intensive applications like nail guns and air-brushing.

On the other hand, stationary compressors are permanent installations that are used in industrial applications. They are fixed in one place and made vertical to save space. 

They have highly powered motors and large tanks that allow users to run the compressor for long periods of time. These compressors work well for heavy-duty applications.

  • Power source

There are two main sources to power an air compressor; an electric motor and a gasoline engine.

Electrically powered compressors use an electric motor to compress the air. They are quieter and more efficient while being connected to a 120V power outlet supply. 

However, they are better equipped for lower-powered applications. The main disadvantage of such compressors is the reduced range due to the corded power supply, which restricts its outdoor usage.

Gasoline-based air compressors have gasoline engines to compress the air. They are used in very high-powered applications as they can produce much larger outputs. They are also great for portable applications as they run on fuel. However, these compressors are more expensive and noisier.

  • Duty cycle

The duty cycle of an air compressor determines how long the compressor can be run continuously. The ratio of the runtime to the downtime is the duty cycle percentage. 

A 50% duty cycle means the compressor can be operated for a period of time, say 10 minutes, and will then have to take a break for the same duration of 10 minutes. A  100% duty cycle means the compressor can run uninterrupted.

Compressors with lower duty cycles need larger breaks to recompress the air, as a result of which they are ideal for low-powered applications. As the duty cycle increases, the cost also increases, but the compressor can be run for longer periods before having to be shut down.

  • Features

Some compressors come with oil-free motors, which ensures easier maintenance that is less messy as the possibility of oil leaks is completely removed.

Thermal overload protection is another feature that manufacturers offer to customers, ensuring that the sensitive internal circuitry does not get damaged in case of voltage fluctuations.

The number of output ports determines how many tools the compressor can power at once. However, the outputs will have a reduced CFM value for a given PSI level, with the airflow being shared.

Another common feature is a belt-drive system, which is seen commonly in gasoline-based compressors. This makes the compressor operation much quieter, while also giving extra power to the motor system if and when needed.

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