Makita MAC5200 Portable Air Compressor Review
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Portable air compressors make life easier for technicians, mechanics, workshop owners and contractors carrying out projects at different jobsites on different days.
While gas compressors were commonly used in the past, portable electric units have reduced the overall noise and emissions making portable air compressors even more convenient and desirable.
In view of above, we present Makita MAC5200 review to shed light on pros and cons of this portable electric air compressor that is a worthy recommendation for anyone looking to invest in such a piece of equipment. Without further due, let’s begin.
One thing that stands out as soon as you unbox Makita MAC5200 is its solid build. It is made of heavy steel tubing that gives it a durable feel and rugged construction for jobsite. The main specifications are as under,
Tank Volume Capacity
Max. Airflow @ 40 PSI
Max. Airflow @ 90 PSI: 6.5 CFM
The unit is suited for running pneumatic power tools on jobsites such as framing nailers, brad nailers, roofing nailers, finish nailers and other types of nail guns on woodworking projects or running impact wrenches, air ratchets, sand blasters and paint spray guns in automobile workshops.
Although it can easily be used for inflating tires, it is an overkill if used solely for that job. The suitability of Makita MAC5200 air compressor lies between the two extremes of occasional homeowner use and everyday contractor use.
The overall performance of the unit is commendable. It has received positive reviews from people using the tool on the jobsite all day long. It fills the tank to the desired pressure in under 2 minutes and maintains the pressure even when both of the hose connectors are utilized.
It has been in the market for more than 5 years with good reputation which in itself is a proof of its solid performance.
However, don’t expect the tool to run heavy duty impact wrenches and impact drivers all day long as heavy duty pneumatic tools require much greater CFM than this compressor can offer and using such tools with this compressor can cause it to run steadily or too frequently.
There are two main features that stand out with respect to efficiency of Makita MAC5200. Its automotive style air filter and copper finned discharge tube.
The air filter on intake of compressor has been designed like an automotive air filter. The main advantage of this style is the large surface area of the cartridge filter that allows greater air intake without compromising filtration quality. Moreover, filter requires less frequent cleaning and replacement as compared to if a small air filter is used.
Secondly, the copper finned discharge tube that carries the air from compressor to tank provides greater heat dissipation creating an overall positive effect on compressor’s efficiency.
Makita MAC5200 Features an Automotive Style Air Filter & a Discharge Tube with Fins for Better Heat Exchange
The gauges on Makita MAC5200 are neatly installed over an ergonomic panel that gives it an operator panel feel.
There are two gauges installed side by side, one for tank pressure and the other for regulator pressure. The regulator knob is located just under the regulator pressure gauge. The overall layout is very intuitive and makes identification of pressure gauges very simple.
There are two hose connectors on Makita MAC5200 that allow two pneumatic tools to be connected at once. Moreover, both hose connectors are of quick connect type (plug and play) that save time in engaging and disengaging hoses with the compressor.
The strategic placement of rubber both on the main handle above the compressor and the secondary handle beside the tank offer comfortable grip.
The sound level of Makita MAC5200 is not available on Makita’s website or manual, however, it is neither too loud nor too quiet for a compressor of its size and capacity. It is loud when used in a closed environment such as a garage but not so loud for an open environment jobsite.
Pressure Gauges & Hose Connectors on Makita MAC5200 are arranged in an ergonomic operator panel configuration
Convenience of storage and portability are key features of portable air compressors. Most people invest into the type of compressor we are reviewing because they want a portable solution to be carried from one jobsite to another for different projects.
Makita has made its horizontal design enjoy the advantages of a vertical compressor design by incorporating a large handle with the compressor frame. When fully extended, the handle makes the otherwise heavy compressor to be towed wherever required in a very comfortable posture by the user.
The unit is easy to move in a comfortable posture
Vertical handle collapses
The handle can be collapsed and locked in place to allow the unit to become compact for storage in confined spaces.
Another important feature is the set of large wheels mounted on ball bearings. In older models, the tires were pneumatic but in newer ones, they are solid rubber tires. Nonetheless, carrying the unit around is convenient and comfortable with these tires that are intended for rolling on rough terrain.
Large tires are ideal for rough jobsite terrain
The handle and frame also feature hangers for tools and hoses. Once it reaches the jobsite, Makita MAC5200 can be your mini tool storage spot.
A set of hangers on the outside of the frame are dedicated wrapping up to 50 ft. of 3/8” hose that does not need to be removed even when the handle is collapsed for storage.
Talking about tools, the unit also has a dedicated small compartment for storage of compressor accessories as well other small hand tools such as a set of pliers and your favorite Philips screwdriver.
Tool hangers are very handy on Makita MAC5200. You can use it to hang power tools with a rafter hook.
Storage compartment with a black lid just above the gauges stores hand tools
One drawback of Makita’s rugged construction is its heavy weight of 88 lbs. that makes it difficult to be loaded on your semi-truck. However, the weight is not felt when the unit is rolling on its wheels. We believe, it is a small compromise in front of great features of the compressor.
All air compressors require upkeep and maintenance. An important aspect here is how convenient is it for the user to maintain the compressor. In this regard, Makita MAC5200 has good design with respect to maintainability.
Although the pump is not oil free – a feature found in many competitor models, the oil level sight glass and oil drain screw is located at the front of the pump for easy access whenever an oil level check or oil replacement has to be performed.
Sight glass & oil drain screw are easily accessible
Another common maintenance task on air compressors is draining the tank after service to get rid of moisture that builds up over use and may harm the compressor tank from the inside in the long run. To make it easy, Makita MAC5200 features a lever handle ball valve located at the bottom of the tank that allows the tank to drain in a simple rotation of this handle.
The tank drain valve is easily accessible
One drawback we observed with respect of maintenance was the air filter housing design. It is located very close to the compressor chassis that makes it difficult to extract the cartridge filter out of its housing while the housing itself cannot be removed.
Portable air compressors move from jobsite to jobsite and are exposed to rough and tough environments. Under such conditions, it is important that these units have design features to prolong their life and survive under rough use.
In this regard, an important feature Makita MAC5200 has is the roll cage design of the chassis on which compressor and motor assembly are mounted. The chassis is made of strong steel tubing and surrounds the motor and compressor assembly to protect it from damage such as if another piece of equipment accidentally hits your compressor.
Another aspect here is that you may use the compressor for extended periods of time to meet the deadline of your construction project or just because you are too excited to finish your DIY work. Prolong use has the tendency to overheat the motor.
To deal with such a scenario, Makita has included a built-in thermal overload protection that trips the power to the motor in case the motor heats up to protect it from permanent damage. The unit can only be restarted manually after such an event.
Makita MAC5200 comes packed with he following accessories,
Last but not the least, a good warranty is good insurance policy that gives you peace of mind by securing your investment in the tool. Makita offers 01 year warranty on MAC5200 and 30 days money back guarantee.
While the warranty terms are good, we found competitors to be offering up to 2 year warranties for their portable compressors such as Northstar, Industrial Air and Emax.
Nonetheless, a 01 year warranty is not something to be complained about as it provides ample time for any manufacturing defect to manifest itself.
At a price of under $600 at the time of this review, we consider Makita MAC5200 worthy of a recommendation based on its durable construction, reliable performance and good ergonomics.
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