As a handyman with years of experience, I cannot explain just how important an air compressor is to ensure pneumatic tools run smoothly. I decided to purchase a new air compressor and had to decide between the Rolair JC10 and the Makita MAC700.
I purchased both of them and have been using them for the last two years now. I can help you decide which one is better and why it is better based on my experience with both.
Makita MAC700 is a more powerful compressor with a higher output capacity and powerful motor compared to Rolair JC10. However, the Rolair JC10 is a more compact model that has an oil-free lubrication system that runs at much quieter levels.
Read on as I discuss the various differences between the two products in detail. To help you understand them better individually, I have also reviewed them independently and listed their various PROs and CONs in my opinion.
Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links.
Rolair JC10 vs Makita MAC700
For first-time buyers who are confused about how to pick the right air compressor for them, I have included a buying guide to help you make the right choice and maximize your investment when you purchase a new product.
It will also help you understand what aspects to prioritize so that they align with your requirements and expected usage.
Difference between Rolair JC10 and Makita MAC700
- Pump type: The Roland JC10 has an oil-less pump mechanism while the Makita MAC700 sticks to the classic pump design of lubricating oil.
The JC10 made life for me as I did not have to worry about topping up the oil reservoir regularly. I’m also quite sure that this technology will lower the maintenance requirements and costs, which would be a great outcome.
However, this came at the cost of having a slightly lower-powered compressor, which made it more suitable for home purposes.
On the other hand, the MAC700 was designed to be a long-lasting product that can power more powerful pneumatic tools. As a result, it was more convenient to use in my workshop, while having sufficient capacity to handle the more powerful tools I owned.
I also felt it was built to last for a longer time with regular maintenance, making it a great long-term investment for me.
- Motor performance: The Makita MAC700 is equipped with a 2 HP motor that offers much more power and performance and draws more current at 12.4 amps. On the other hand, the Rolair JC10 draws just 7.5 amps of current while being powered by a 1 HP motor.
Many of us may be willing to sacrifice a bit of motor power when it comes to a pump. However, on using both these products, I realized there was a massive difference as the MAC700 was much more powerful by a mile.
It also had a slightly larger tank that allowed me to run the machine for just that bit longer compared to the JC10.
There was a difference of around 1 CFM between the 2 models at a common PSI value. It allowed me to use impact wrenches and blowguns, which were not compatible with the lower output of the JC10. As a result, it solidified my stance that the JC10 was a better fit for the house.
- Sound level: Despite the proprietary Big Bore technology that improves piston efficiency and reduces noise levels, the Makita MAC700 could not outperform the Roland JC10 when it comes to keeping the noise to a bare minimum.
In fact, one of my friends who had visited me when the latter was running could hardly believe his ears when I told him that the compressor was running.
This makes the JC10 a pleasure to be around, especially when you are running a number of tools in your garage. The MAC700 performs decently compared to most other models in the market but has nothing outstanding when it comes to noise insulation.
You may want to think twice about buying the MAC700 if you do not have a dedicated workshop or want to maintain the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.
- Portability: The Roland JC10 is a lighter product than the Makita MAC700 despite both of them having a rather compact design. As a result, it is more convenient for contractors to load the machine on the back of their trucks and travel to different job sites.
However, both these models are heavy compared to other portable models designed for the purpose of easy transportation and frequent moving.
For those of you who are looking for a comparison of the technical aspects of the two products, here is the table comparing various parameters:
|Rolair JC10||Makita MAC700|
|Capacity||2.5 Gal.||2.6 Gal.|
|Pressure||2.35 CFM at 90 PSI||3.8CFM @ 40 PSI & 3.3CFM @ 90 PSI|
|Power||1 HP||2 HP|
|Pump Type||Oil-Free Pump||Oil-Lubricated|
|Weight||42.9 pounds||59.6 pounds|
|Dimensions||17 x 16 x 15 inches||18 x 22 x 10 inches|
|Motor RPM||1725 RPM||1730 RPM|
|Motor AMP||7.5 Amp||12.4 Amp|
Rolair JC10 Plus Review
Rolair has fast grown into a renowned brand in the market when it comes to its air compressors.
The Roland JC10 offers the perfect combination of user-friendly performance and value for money, making it a hot selling product amongst customers looking to purchase their first compressor.
Keeping the user experience while using this product as the priority, one enjoys a much quieter operation when this compressor is turned on.
This allows you to work in a location with poor sound insulation without disturbing your surroundings.
It was this quietness that caught my attention when I first turned on the compressor, giving me much-needed relief from the usual groan of older machines.
It is quite compact for a 2.5-gallon air compressor. It also incorporates a roll cage in its design to ensure more ruggedness, especially during transport.
However, its weight makes it less than ideal for easy carrying around, requiring a lot of effort to shift from one place to another with just a single person. I could barely catch my breath by the time I could load the JC10 in the back of my vehicle.
The oil-less technology was a welcome feature that reduced the maintenance to a bare minimum. As a result, I did not have to worry about the machine running out of oil or inspecting the oil levels frequently, which made operating the JC10 all the more convenient and simple. This makes it a great product for beginners with a lack of experience around compressors.
PROs and CONs
- Prompt customer service
- Minimal maintenance due to oil-less technology
- Very quiet operation
- High-quality materials used in construction
- Concise product manual for easy understanding
- Gauges are not very visible
- On the heavier side, affects portability
- Issues of models having a relatively shorter life
- Exposed air filter requires frequent cleaning and changing
Makita MAC700 Review
The Makita MAC700 is a very popular air compressor model that is renowned for its powerful and reliable performance that is a trademark of the brand.
The compressor has a number of user-friendly features that ensure customers get the best blend of efficiency and performance.
The Big Bore piston design allows the compressor to pump out large amounts of air at 90 PSI. This was very useful to me as I could run my pneumatic tools that need a large CFM output without any hassles.
I also liked the addition of the handle that assisted in portability, although it was not the most convenient to carry around due to its weight.
However, the heavy construction was thanks to the cast iron body and components used, which offered much more durability and stability while operating.
With the addition of features like a large air filter to ensure good quality of air coming out and radiating fins in the discharge tubing to reduce condensation of water, I was truly convinced that Makita had taken one step forward in making sure their customers owned a product that required less maintenance and offered great value for money.
PROs & CONs
- Tank fills up quickly
- Low maintenance required
- Works smoothly for long periods of time, offers a great return on investment
- Trademark Big Bore technology for greater efficiency and durability
- Powerful motor with low amperage drawn reduces tripping due to overload
- Smooth and quiet motor operation at low RPM, increases the lifespan of the compressor
- On the heavier side, not portable
- Reports of drain plug leakage
- Multiple users complained of faulty machine out of the box/damage due to shipping
Air Compressor Buying Guide
As mentioned above, air compressors are used to operate a variety of pneumatic tools. As a result, there are a number of options that one can choose from while purchasing a new air compressor. This buying guide will broadly classify the products to help you identify one that suits your requirements.
It is important to understand if you require an air compressor for basic home projects and applications or need a heavy-duty compressor that is more suited to industrial needs.
For small workshops and home usage, a single-stage compressor will be enough. It consists of a single-piston that compresses the air in the tank.
While they deliver lower volumes of air at reduced PSI levels, they are affordable and can get the job done. Most models of this type are also portable, allowing users to carry them to different job sites when required.
On the other hand, heavy-duty compressors are usually two-staged compressors that allow the air to be pressurized by two pistons. This ensures greater pressure and higher outputs of air from the machine, which makes it suitable for industrial applications that need high pressure.
However, they are expensive and complex, requiring to be installed permanently and having high maintenance costs.
There are three main specifications that one must understand before buying their air compressor; the horsepower (HP) of the motor, the Pressure per Square Inch (PSI) as well as the Standard Cubic Feet per Minute (SCFM) of the compressor.
The HP defines how much power output the motor produces. Having a compressor with a higher HP value means a larger motor that is capable of compressing greater amounts of air. However, the true HP value can vary depending on the power source.
The PSI value indicates the air pressure generated within the tank. Most single-stage compressors have a PSI rating of 90 PSI as it is the basic requirement of most pneumatic tools. Industrial two-stage compressors are capable of producing higher PSI values as it also requires higher shut-off pressure.
The SCFM value, commonly indicated as CFM in most manuals, indicates the amount of air required by the pneumatic tool connected to the compressor. This value is often indicated at a particular PSI value.
As the PSI value increases, the CFM value decreases. Ensure that the compressor you purchase is capable of providing sufficient or more CFM to your tools.
- Power Source
There are two major sources of power to the motor of an air compressor. It can be powered by a gasoline motor or an electric motor.
Air compressors with electric motors are the most commonly used models. They require to be connected to a regular power outlet in most cases. They are easy to maintain and often produce lower sound levels, making it convenient to use in houses and smaller workshops.
Electric compressors used in industrial applications are expensive and require a dedicated power source. However, they are much more efficient than gasoline compressors with higher ratings.
Gasoline-based compressors are a popular choice amongst contractors looking for portable options. However, they are not suited to be run indoors as they require sufficient ventilation. Customers also enjoy the added advantage of choosing higher HP motors in compact versions.
- Duty cycle
The duty cycle of a compressor determines how long the machine can be operated in an hour before having to shut it down. A 50% duty cycle means you can run the compressor for 30 minutes before giving it a break for 30 minutes.
A 100% duty cycle effectively means that you can run your compressor continuously without needing a break. However, these models are quite expensive and have complex working mechanisms.
Having an air compressor with a lower duty cycle is ideal for DIY projects and occasional household work that does not require continuous running times.
However, if you are looking to power multiple pneumatic tools in your workshop, then it is better to have a higher duty cycle on your compressor for more efficiency and continuity while completing the job.
I would love to own both these air compressors as each one of them have unique features that I really liked. However, when it came to the decision of buying a product, I decided to go with the Makita MAC700 for the following reasons.
If you are looking for a household-friendly compressor that can be used for occasional weekend use and DIY projects, then the Roland JC10 may be the right product for you.
However, I needed a product that would meet the requirements of a professional handyman in a workshop environment, which were met by the MAC700.
The MAC700 was a product that was built to last for a long period of time, suiting the time frame for which I wanted to make the investment.
This was evident in the decision of Makita to include an oil-lubricating pump in the design. While it was not as quiet as the Roland JC10, it was still on the quieter side compared to other models in its category.
The major difference was the higher CFM output as well as the 2HP motor that was a lot more compared to the JC10. As a result, I was able to run more powerful pneumatic tools that were used in my workshop.
It also made me feel like I could use this product for basic household applications as well as moderately heavy use in my workshop, which was exactly what I was looking for.
I hope this comparison has given you a better insight into both these products and helped you understand better about each one of them. I am sure that you will now be able to choose clearly between the two when it comes to making a purchase.