The best Rolair air compressor models offer a perfect blend of power, versatility, and efficiency. Many contractors using then as the single power source for a range of tools and applications, including painting, airbrushing, fastening, blasting, and nailing.
All their air compressors feature high-quality parts and construction for enhanced durability, even in the more demanding work environments. Just as is the case with other brands, Rolair air compressors come in different sizes and capacities to meet varying needs.
While shopping for the right one, you should consider the type, horsepower, CFM, PSI, and a tank capacity of the air compressor. Reviewed below are the top five Rolair air compressors you should consider:
Best Rolair Air Compressors 2020
|Air Compressor Model||Horsepower||CFM||Duty Cycle|
|Rolair JC10 Plus 1 HP Oil-Less Compressor||1HP||2.3 @ 90 PSI||70%|
|Rolair FC2002 Air Compressor||2HP||4.1 CFM @ 90 PSI||100%|
|Rolair VT25BIG Air Compressor||2.5HP||6.5 CFM @ 90 PSI||100%|
|Rolair VT20TB Air Compressor||2 HP||4.2 CFM @ 90 PSI||100%|
The Rolair JC10Plus is an oil-free, low-speed direct drive compressor designed to offer years of trouble-free and silent operation. The next generation compressor features a cord wrap and longer cylinders that may be flipped to double the service life of the unit. For enhanced safety, it features a safety-relief valve.
The valve is designed to discharge tank pressure at a predetermined setting when a systems failure occurs. The motor on this compressor is equipped with automatic thermal overload protection. The protector interrupts supply and automatically shut down the motor to protect it. The new model is fitted with a larger tank, upward-facing gauges, and a sturdier roll cage.
It is powered by a low-amp draw motor that runs at 1700 RPM for optimized efficiency. The heavy-duty, industrial-grade motor uses ball bearings for improved durability. The single-stage Oil-Less pump on this model is super silent in operation, rated 60dB.
Pros & Cons
- Fitted with quality intake filters, which also double as silencers.
- Features an automatic internal overload protector, and a pressure switch
- The inbuilt regulator makes it easy for you to adjust the output/line pressure of the model
- Equipped with a sturdy roll-cage that protects the pump and motor from damage by impact
- The model has a safety-relief valve
- The low-amp draw motor used on the JC10Plus model is highly efficient, requiring just 7.5 amps
- You may find the 2.3-gallon air tank on this compressor a bit small for heavier and continued use.
2. Rolair FC2002 Air Compressor – The Best Single-Stage Rolair Air Compressor
Looking for a powerful air compressor for light-duty applications? The 2HP Rolair FC2002 Air Compressor will offer you a 100% duty cycle, allowing you to use the compressor continually. It will offer you high output and consistent production rated 4.1 CFM at 90 PSI.
The unit is powered by a 2HP S-1 rated electric motor. This low-amp draw motor offers a continuous, uninterrupted cycle, and features manual-overload protection for longer life. It is also fitted with Industrial-Grade ball bearings for great durability.
The compressor uses a single-stage pump that features a cast-iron cylinder, stainless-steel Reed valves, and splash lubrication for extended durability. The oversized crankcase used in this model will maintain oil viscosity for a longer period, and protect the pump, especially when used on uneven surfaces.
Pros & Cons
- Equipped with a pressure switch with an On/Off lever
- Offers 100 percent duty cycle
- Comes with a regulator that features an air pressure gauge
- The pump features an enlarged, 12oz crankcase that is pre-filled with oil
- The unit is factory tested and features a safety relief valve for enhanced safety
- Features a corrosion-resistant finish for enhanced durability
- The motor on this unit is not well protected from weather elements. You will also be required to change the oil more regularly.
3. Rolair VT25BIG Air Compressor – The Best Rolair Wheeled Air Compressor
The VT25BIG boasts of a higher air output of any direct drive air compressor in the Rolair line-up. The continuous-duty motor-pump delivers a whopping 6.5 CFM at 90 PSI. It features a foot-actuated folding handle and heavy-duty flat-free tires, making it easy to move the VT25BIG around the job site.
It is powered by a 2.5 HP, 115 Volt, 60 Hz motor that has been designed to offer a continuous duty cycle. The low-amp draw motor features overload protection, with a manual reset lever. It is a heavy-duty motor that is fitted with industrial-grade ball bearings that last longer.
This motor is coupled to a Single-Stage cast-iron cylinder pump. The pump boasts of stainless steel Reed valves and splashes lubrication for extended durability.
Pros & Cons
- Offers a 100 percent dirty cycle, and has a 5.3-gallon cast iron tank for continuous operation
- Fitted with heavy-duty wheels, and a collapsible handle for easier maneuvering
- The handle is foldable, to save on space during storage
- Comes with a Start/Stop pressure switch with an On/Off manual lever
- Features a rather intuitive user panel that includes quick-disconnects and gauges
- The low-amp draw motor only requires 13.8 Amps to start
You may need to wear ear protection while using this air compressor as it is comparatively loud in operation.
4. Rolair VT20TB Air Compressor – The Best Rolair Heavy-Duty Air Compressor
The VT20TB Rolair air compressor has been designed with portability and convenience in mind. It has heavy-duty flat-free tires and a built-in toolbox, allowing for easy movement of the compressor and essential tools at the job site.
The low speed, 115 Volt, 60 Hz continuous-duty motor-pump combination is quite powerful, delivering 4.2 CFM at 90 PSI. The motor has overload protection, including a manual reset as well as industrial-grade ball bearings that enhance its durability.
It uses a low-speed Rolair cast-iron pump for that reliable and quiet performance in various environments. The Single-Stage Rolair air compressor pump has stainless steel Reed valves and applies a splash lubrication mechanism for improved efficiency.
Pros & Cons
- Equipped with a low-speed electric motor for reduced operational noise
- Mounted on a dolly-cart with Wheels for easy maneuvering
- Comes with a convenient toolbox and the initial 10 oz. The oil fill is included
- Features a safety relieve valve, and Start/Stop Pressure Switch with an On/Off Lever
- Fitted with a user-friendly control panel that includes two quick-disconnects couplers, air regulator, and gauges
- If not well taken care of, the couplers may start to leak as you turn the hose.
Things You Need to Know Before Choosing a Rolair Air Compressor
Regardless of the brand, air compressors are mechanical devices that increase air pressure by reducing its volume. Owing to their versatility and convenience, Rolair air compressors are used in a myriad of industrial and manufacturing applications.
In order to get the best from your air compressor, you just have to choose a model that is best suited for the intended application. In this regard, here are some of the important considerations you need to make:
Air Compressor Type
Air compressors may be broadly classified into two categories: centrifugal, and positive displacement compressors, as explained below.
Positive Displacement Compressors
Most Rolair air compressors fall into this category. In their functioning, positive Displacement air compressors are designed to compress the air in order to reduce its volume. Such models are often powered by electric motors.
Positive Displacement air compressors may be further categorized into three types based on their models of Operation, including:
Rotary Screw Compressors
These use a helical screw instead of a piston to compress the air. Rotary-screw air compressors are known to offer a higher compression ratio and a significant amount of flow in a single stage. As such, rotary-screw air compressors are comparatively smaller, as compared to piston compressors of the same class.
The pressure delivered by such units varies from one model to another, with the smaller single-cylinder models delivering about 5 bars. The larger multi-stage rotary screw air compressor models are quite powerful, with some delivering up to 13 bars.
The leading models have a duty cycle of 100%, allowing for continuous operation. Some of the best Rolair rotary-screw units feature variable speed settings. In an effort to optimize their energy needs, such air compressors are designed to adapt their rotation speed in relation to compressed air requirements.
Depending on the required output, piston air compressors can be either single-stage or multi-stage. The smaller models are single-stage compressors with only one piston. As such, they only have a lower pressure rating
Multi-stage compressors have multiple pistons to compress the air in stages. As compared to screw compressors, piston models are more affordable and best suited for the intermitted operation. As such, most of them have a duty cycle of 50 to 60%.
The downside to these compressors is that they are comparatively noisier in operation.
Rotary Babe Compressor
Vanes are essentially plates that are designed to slide in eccentric rotors in order to compress the air. Owing to their design, rotary vane compressors are energy efficient and run at a lower rotational speed. This results in reduced wear and tear on its parts, allowing for enhanced durability with minimal maintenance requirements.
Centrifugal Air Compressors
Also referred to as dynamic compressors, centrifugal models use the same principle of Operation as a turbocharger. In this case, air will be drawn through the compressor by the rotation of a radial impeller.
Rolair Centrifugal air compressors are best suited for applications that require a high flow rate at a higher pressure continually.
This being the case, you will find centrifugal air compressors ideal for such applications as energy production and chemical industries.
A good number of them are fitted with an integrated reducer, which ensures that the engine operates at the optimal speed at all times.
The power of an air compressor can be rated in several ways. Regardless of the type, you need to ensure that your preferred model is powerful enough for the intended application.
To help you get the best air compressor, here are the compressor performance ratings you should consider:
Air Flow Rate (CFM)
The rate of flow of air at the output is expressed in cubic feet per minute (CFM). This rating shows the volume of compressed air an air compressor can give out per unit time at specific working pressure.
This will directly affect the type and number of pneumatic tools a compressor can power simultaneously.
Heavy-duty applications will require a model with a relatively high CFM. To be on the safe side, you should consider the tools you will be using with the compressor and their respective CFM requirements. Supposing you need a compressor to power a spray gun rated 6SCFM.
To get the right air compressor CFM for any application, you should multiply the tool SCFM by 1.2. in the above example: 6SCFM x 1.2= 7.2CFM. For such a spray gun, you should get an air compressor with at least 7.2CFM.
The pressure of the compressed air delivered by a compressor is expressed in Pounds per Square Inch (PSI). The higher the PSI, the more compressed the air is allowing for a larger volume to be stored in a smaller space.
This is the power rating of the electric motor or gasoline engine used to drive your air compressor. The more the HP value, the more powerful the engine or motor. A more powerful engine or electric motor is capable of producing higher PSI, making the air compressor suited for heavier applications.
Heavy-duty air Rolair air compressors are equipped with compressed air storage tanks of different capacities. While a larger tank will come in handy for continued operation, it will also make the air compressor bulkier.
A compressor that has a more powerful engine/motor and a larger tank is capable of producing compressed air at higher PSI for a longer period. To get reliable performance, it is advisable to get a tank Capacity that is six times the SCFM rating of the tool(s) you will be using.
Rolair is a leading manufacturer of air compressors. Their compressor models are designed to meet a vast array of application requirements. The five Rolair air compressor models reviewed above are renowned for their efficiency, reliability, and extended duty cycle.
All of them are fitted with relatively large air storage tanks to ensure that you get consistent air supply, even when the motor is not running. Other than the VT25BIG model, the other compressors reviewed in this guide are quieter in operation and may even be used for indoor applications.