Best mid sized portable for nail guns

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Review by CyberDyneSystems posted 09-11-2014 07:56 PM 5392 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Best mid sized portable for nail guns No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Makita MAC5200: A very well designed easy to use compressor!

My shop used to run on a multi-thousand dollar Ingersoll rand 120 gallon 7 horse power 3 phase, 2 stage compressor circa 1969.

We stopped using it for spray painting back in the late 1980’s so it’s been overkill for decades.
It’s finally on it’s way out, and at the same time our portable Porter Cable Job Boss C3151 has died. Some of my review will directly compare the Makita MAC5200 and the PC Job Boss as they are similarly priced compressors.

Until I get a 80 gallon stationary, I needed something for the shop to power our air nailers of various sizes.
Also, the shop is near two large venues in which we often need to bring a portable compressor to assemble scenic units on stage, previously the job of the Porter Cable unit. For now the Makita is doing double duty.

I’ve only had the Makita for a few weeks now, but I can tell you it is one of the best made, best designed tools I’ve bought new in a while @ the “Depot”
It is also a very handy wheeled portable compressor.

In shopping around, I did not want the “oil-less” styles that have become popular. They are loud and tend to feel disposable. The reviews and round ups I read all seemed to indicate this was money well spent @ about $400.00

It’s delivering all the power we need and then some, it kicks in quietly only seldom under loads from our nail guns.

Set up was a cinch, pour in included oil, run for 20 minutes with the tap open, for “break in” and then go.
It was even easy to get it out of the box! You know how some things you open the top of the box but you CAN’T lift it out of it’s tight packing material? With the Makita, it’s in the box on it’s side. You open the top, tip the box on one side and roll it out like a shopping cart. It was easy for me alone with my bad back.

My favorite aspects of this are in fact those little touches. Next is build quality, It is very solid, nothing is obviously going to break. (A rare thing these days)

The little touches:
- The Makita has three solid padded carrying handles for lifting into and out of trucks etc… places it can’t roll. on the job boss it is unclear where to lift it

- The MAC5200 rolls very nicely, remaining upright, again like pushing a shopping, cart no lifting. the PC Job Boss lays flat on it’s side and needs to be lifted onto it’s wheels to get it to roll. Once up it won’t stay there, it will fall if you let it. It has to be laid back down. This is a lot of work on my back.

-It has two sets of studs on the push handle to coil up and hang your air hoses, as well as a dedicated set of studs to coil it’s own electric cord. PC Job boss has none of these niceties

-The MAC has a convenient storage bin right on top for oil for the guns etc. again, nothing like this on the PC

Compared to the older oil-less Porter Cable model we used to death, it is so much easier to deploy, and runs much quieter, and tops off less often. There is very little plastic involved, mostly steal tubing and even some cast iron! Some very effective connectors for the air hoses, and a perfectly responsive pressure adjust.

I would highly recommend the Makita MAC5200 as a superior design and performing compressor to others in our near it’s price range.

-- Without the wood, it's just working

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306 posts in 2958 days

3 comments so far

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9550 posts in 3098 days

#1 posted 09-11-2014 11:06 PM

You really can’t go wrong with Makita imho…..

Their generators are also very, very well built

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View Woodknack's profile


13383 posts in 3149 days

#2 posted 09-12-2014 07:55 PM

Good review, I’m needing a compressor. Makita has a solid reputation, I almost never read anything negative about them.

-- Rick M,

View CyberDyneSystems's profile


306 posts in 2958 days

#3 posted 09-03-2016 04:55 AM

Just an Update,

Two years later under constant use, this compressor has soldiered on perfectly.
I’ve added oil twice, but only tiny amounts.

We did not get the new stationary compressor last year due to cut backs. The stationary will finally go on line this year, and thus, this has been our 100% on no down time full shop compressor for more than two years!

-- Without the wood, it's just working

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