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Rolair JC10 Compressor

Rolair JC10 Compressor Review on the ACC Job-site

Compressors can be the heart of a job-site, often time being the most vital contributor to the progress of a build or project. Naturally, you want this integral part of your work site to not only perform well but also satisfy some important criteria to keep you, your crew, and your clients happy.

When it comes to some tools, in a sea of features and considerations, sometimes you have to boil down a tool to a few features. When it comes to compressors, three things often jump out to me about any model.

First, size or more specifically, overall capacity. How many and what size guns can you run off of the compressor?. Second, reliability. Does the compressor start consistently? In all temperatures? Does it stand up to job-site abuse? And finally, and perhaps most noticeable, is the noise level. Which can drive your crew crazy and more importantly your customers.

One of Rolair’s most popular compressors, the Rolair JC10 Compressor, is a trim compressor geared toward both the professional and savvy DIYer. A small, lightweight, heavy-duty, and whisper quiet model that can keep up with the speed of a professional, but integrates some user protection to ensure longevity and the oil less compressor keeps the maintenance to a minimum which is great for both pro and DIYer.

We first saw the JC10 at STAFDA 2013 and instantly fell in love with the whisper quiet compressor.






Out of the Box

First things first this Rolair JC10 Compressor not only comes in one box but TWO! Okay so it’s not that exciting, but we definitely appreciate the caution that Rolair puts into shipping their products, especially because Rolair does not sell their products at the big box stores, so the only way to get one is at your local lumber yard or online.

In addition to the exceptional packaging, the Rolair JC10 is also constructed with quality materials. A steel roll cage to protect the motor and other vital components, thick rubber feet coupled with a thick rubber mount under the motor to reduce vibrations, a two cylinder motor, and stainless steel reed valves. This is professional grade.

This first thing that stood out to me when opening the packing is a small zip lock bag containing a small bulb, with a plastic tube extending from the side, and a threaded male end at the center. I immediately went to the manual to see where this goes. Lo and behold this is one of the most critical components that makes this compressor so quiet.

The small bulb turned out to be the Intake Filter that doubles as a silencer. And the difference is more than significant once its installed, not to mention the protection the filter gives the internal components of the compressor, bottom line don’t operate the compressor without it!

Finally the Rolair JC10 Compressor features a unique Pressure relief solenoid valve that ensures that the head pressure on the compressor is released so the next time the compressor starts it doesn’t have to fight itself to start, prolonging the life of the motor and reducing maintenance for you!


I primarily used this compressor solo, it easily handled my 15Ga finish gun, and it seemed to recover about every 10 shots or so. It was easy to transport, I find about 30-40 pounds is the ceiling weight of a tool or load of material that is easy to carry up stairs, ladders, or long distances. The Rolair JC10 weighs in at just under 40 pounds so it is easy to load, unload, and carry.

I suppose the most important aspect of performance for this particular model is how loud it is, since the model is so well known for how loud it isn’t. And it isn’t loud at all! Decibel ratings are a great way to gauge the performance of a product, but for me hearing is believing! The Rolair JC10 Compressor is so quiet and dampens vibrations so well that in each home I brought it into customers with little knowledge of compressors commented on how quiet the unit is. And aside from protecting my hearing, keeping my customers happy is a great selling point for this unit.

My primary complaint with the Rolair JC10 is the placement of the pressure gauges, they face out on the front of the compressor making it very difficult to see the gauges when you’re not facing the unit on level ground.

To give you an idea of the performance of the Rolair JC10 Compressor I shot some 2″ nails into a 4 x 4 mahogany post. I shot a few volleys to see how many nails it could sink before recovery, which would last about 10 seconds, and as I mentioned previously the unit would recover at about 11 or 12 shots.

Additionally I just started shooting nails like a mad man, about 1 shot per second, on bump fire mode to see if the unit could keep up. I drove 53 nails without issue, save for a section that is either not sinking due what I figure must have to be user error or there is an ultra hard section of the post. Either way you’ll notice a line of nails not sunken on the top half of the face of the post.

Finally, although from my experience and the few tests I performed as an example of it’s performance, I am confident that this unit could run several trim guns simultaneously as advertised. The Rolair JC10 Compressor can handle a single framing gun, but it was not designed specifically for these applications, so performance is not ideal (lots more recovery), but it’ll get the job done.


Overall Impression

The Rolair JC10 Compressor is a quality product made from high quality materials with a very smart design. The unit only draws 8 amps which is a breath of fresh air, since compressors are notorious for dimming lights or popping breakers. The two piston, low rpm design coupled with the silencing intake filter is great and produces a whisper quiet compressor.

This oil-less compressor requires probably the minimum amount of maintenance a compressor could require and the folks at Rolair make it easy for you to schedule the JC10’s maintenance with a handy schedule and not to mention the unparalleled customer service that Rolair provides to help you troubleshoot problems, order replacement parts, or just answer your questions. This is a definite recommendation for trim carpenters, serious DIYer, or hobbyists.

The Rolair JC10 Compressor: ACC approved!

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