Best tool money I've spent in a long time

  • Advertise with us
Review by dddddmorgan posted 02-06-2016 03:56 PM 5994 views 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Best tool money I've spent in a long time No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I will add my .02 and second the love for this air compressor.

I’ve had several Porter Cable pancake compressors, mostly a special included with a nail gun purchase from the big box store. Like everyone else this has produced a love/hate relationship. Love the light weight and portability but hate the racket.

Since we purchased the house were in I’ve been working on setting up shop in the garage and I was thrilled when my boss let me buy a big Porter Cable air compressor that we weren’t using at work. I thought to myself “This will be better” yeah right…

I get in trouble with the wife because I will be working in the garage and forget to turn the compressor off and when it fills up at 1:00 in the morning you can hear it throughout the whole house.

I’ve been putting up with these issues for three years until now. Stopped in to a local supply for some sandpaper, I’m build an altar and prayer rail for a local church (side work). My little PC pancake is so annoying that I bought another 100’ hose to put the thing outside. Talking with my salesman about my problems he steered me to this beautiful little Rolair.

This compressor solves all my issues.
1. It runs my nailers fine.
2. If I forget to turn it off nobody knows. When I hauled it into the chapel the Vicar gave me a dirty look until I turned it on, then he gave me his most angelic smile.
3. Oil-free, no worries about taking it someplace nice.
4. Sturdy little roll cage, no more broken gauges.

2. Induction motor, powerful enough to top off the tank in seconds (also the reason for all the quiet it makes).
3. Durable, induction motors last forever compared to others.
4. MADE IN AMERICA, my money went to a local business and eventually ever left the United States.

For me five out of five!

-- Maintenance Man - I do precision guesswork based on unreliable data from people of questionable knowledge...

View dddddmorgan's profile


91 posts in 2627 days

13 comments so far

View ellen35's profile


2750 posts in 4931 days

#1 posted 02-06-2016 04:36 PM

Bought one a couple of years ago. It is a great little compressor. I too bought it for the noise level.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View fuzzface's profile


69 posts in 3369 days

#2 posted 02-06-2016 06:31 PM

Like you, I have a Porter Cable pancake compressor from HD, and it sounds like a lawn mower when I turn it on. I see Ace Tool is selling the Rolair JC10 for $239. They have a demo video on their website, and the quietness is amazing. Thanks for the review. I think I’ll be following up on this.

-- I'm a LumberJock and I'm OK.............. I sleep all night and I work all day !!

View GFactor's profile


82 posts in 3098 days

#3 posted 02-06-2016 09:27 PM

Not to be a buzz kill, but the JC10 is “NOT” made in America… However, it is tested in the US before it ever hits a store.

Rolair also uses the term “Assembled In the USA” as they do use parts from over seas (Honda Motors on certain models).

With that said, they are still a incredible Wisconsin based Company who ONLY builds compressors, and they Kick Butt! Their inspection process ensures even the over seas products work like they should before we ever receive it.

They do things the right way, and their quality shows!


-- To Steal Ideas From One Person is Plagiarism; to Steal From Many is Research…

View AndyPickler's profile


19 posts in 2872 days

#4 posted 02-07-2016 03:52 AM

Yeah…here’s the skinny right from them:

Seems like a pretty straight-up company, but indeed their smaller pancake compressors are made overseas (and then inspected at their plant in Wisconsin). Their statement above is worth a read in my opinion.

View dddddmorgan's profile


91 posts in 2627 days

#5 posted 02-07-2016 12:25 PM

Well as they say “The devil is in the details!”

I didn’t get to all that fine print.

Their honesty is refreshing, they hide nothing.

Overall they are as good a quality as you can get for the money, and in my opinion the best bang for the buck in this size.

I decided to keep my big “rattler” for the occasional task, that is until I can afford a bigger Rolair.

-- Maintenance Man - I do precision guesswork based on unreliable data from people of questionable knowledge...

View oldretiredjim's profile


206 posts in 3884 days

#6 posted 02-07-2016 04:30 PM

I have the VT20TB and love it. 1700 rpms instead of 3500. Big piston. Plenty of air and I can work in the shop while it is running. I used to move the pancake out for everything. It was too noisy even with ear protection. Rolair is expensive but worth it.

View jeff's profile


1471 posts in 4963 days

#7 posted 02-07-2016 08:31 PM

Thx for the review.

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View 6744's profile


7 posts in 4314 days

#8 posted 02-08-2016 03:59 PM

Bought one three years ago. Thumbs up! No problems.

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3795 days

#9 posted 02-08-2016 06:44 PM

When my PC pancake dies I’ll be getting one of these or a Senco. Problem is I don’t think the PC is gonna die any time too soon.

View Tim812's profile


13 posts in 2351 days

#10 posted 02-08-2016 08:33 PM

Thanks for the review. I’ve been looking for a new air compressor for a while now, but haven’t decided on which one yet. Noise level is my main concern as I want to work in the evenings in my garage. The Rolair is definitely one to add to my shortlist. I had a quick look on their website and see that they rate it at 60 db! Very impressive. I’ve looked at quite a few air compressors online and the CAT 6310 is the only other air compressor that can match that db rating. The CAT is a bit cheaper, but not sure if the quality will match the Rolair.

-- Dust and coffee = ideal day

View bobasaurus's profile


3749 posts in 4683 days

#11 posted 02-08-2016 09:03 PM

Almost bought one of these, but went with the Senco instead. The Senco is oiled, which I believe will last longer, but it’s a noisy beast. Kind of wish I went with the quieter Rolair.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View dddddmorgan's profile


91 posts in 2627 days

#12 posted 02-08-2016 10:19 PM

Well for what it’s worth my experience is that the oil lubricated motors won’t last any longer than a quality induction motor. My big thing is I don’t have to worry about spilling oil if I take the compressor inside. Most of the side work I do is in very nice homes that I couldn’t afford to replace carpet or marble and such. But you could be right, the oil lubed might last longer, I have no empirical evidence, just the limited use I’ve had. Quite honestly I don’t think I’ll use it enough to ever wear it out.

Bob, check out the other compressors in the Rolair line that are bigger. They are rated at a whopping 70 db! Still quieter than my old PC pancake.

-- Maintenance Man - I do precision guesswork based on unreliable data from people of questionable knowledge...

View Tjet's profile


2 posts in 2336 days

#13 posted 02-09-2016 06:52 PM

My brother-in-law steered me to this compressor and it is well worth the money. Quiet, clean, easy to handle and move about the shop. I love it! Would highly recommend to a friend. Made in the good ole USA too!!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics