Last month, I purchased the highly impressive JC10. Today I’ll be talking about another Rolair product, the AB5.
I wanted to test this compressor for two reasons.
First off, the JC10 was my first Rolair product and I pretty much loved it from day one. And secondly, I wanted to know if Rolair could deliver a quality product at a more reasonable price.
If you read my Rolair review, you’ll see that my only real complaint was the price. And the AB5 just so happens to be 100 dollars cheaper.
Is it cheaper for a reason? Well, yes, it’s a lot less powerful. But if that’s not a deal breaker for you, keep reading.
The JC10 was never the most powerful tool to begin with. The AB5, well, it sets the bar even lower.
Max pressure is identical at 90 PSI but CFM has been cut all the way down to .7. And sadly, this makes it largely unsuitable for the vast majority of air tools. It also has a .5HP motor which is about as impressive as it sounds.
In other words, this is the kind of product that a carpenter buys. It will handle some light detailing, some light finishing but it’s never going to even the smallest of impact wrenches.
Where the AB5 really does shine, however, is in the usability department. In fact, it comes with two pretty serious perks.
For a start, it’s ultra portable. The dimensions are minimal, but what really sets the AB5 apart is its weight. Despite the inclusion of multiple accessories, all in, we’re looking at just 25 pounds.
The weight combined with the handle and smooth sides make it the ideal tool to carry around with you. That’s not something that you can generally say about air compressors.
Then there’s the decibel factor. The downside of a .5 HP motor is obvious. The upside however is that it does it’s thing at just 68 decibels. In other words, it makes less noise than some vacuums.
Again, I’m reminded of carpentry. For fans of the hobby, or even those who make a living from it, it’s well known for its tendency to relax. A screaming compressor kind of kills that. The AB5 won’t. You can pretty much have a conversation over the thing.
I’ve used this compressor for a grand total of one week. The AB5 has been reviewed on Amazon for a grand total of 3 times on Amazon. In other words, I have absolutely no idea how long this compressor will last. It seems well made. And I’m starting to love Rolair. But, for the time being at least, I offer no comment about durability. I’ll update this review when the time comes.
I’m not going to recommend this compressor outright but only for one reason i.e. I have no idea how long it’s going to last. I’d also like to reiterate the fact that the AB5 will not now, or ever, power a hammer, wrench, drill or basically anything even remotely power hungry.
If you can get past these potential flaws however, there’s certainly a lot to like. And given the wallet friendly price, it may well be worth taking a chance on.