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Winter 2013-2014

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Makita MAC700 review

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I read every review of this product and came nearly to buying it a year ago, but backed off in fear that I'd get one of the ones broken in shipment. Those stories are worrisome---getting one returned or fixed made some buyers tear their hair out. But my DeWalt compressor was SO very unsatisfactory---ear splittingly noisy, had a relief valve necessary for start up, but which would hang up, bleeding air and slowing pressure build-up fatally unless fiddled with. I reviewed every other possibility. I tried getting the Makita locally---if they arrived broken, then I'd buy one delivered safely to a dealer, even if I had to pay more.... But, no go. Nobody carried one. The compressors I could find at Lowes, Home Depot, Ace, and several local dealers all were unsatisfactory for a variety of reasons---having owned a bruiser for several years, I knew enough to know what I didn't want. 

No lower price anywhere! 


So, I bit my lip and ordered the Makita from Amazon. Amazon is great, as you all know, and I like Makita products (some of the best---I could write stories about the cordless drills I've owned!), and I even like UPS. But, somehow the combination.... Well, I waited in fear. 

UPS came. I examined the box carefully. It was dinged. Before I could stop the UPS driver, he was gone. I could readily see just how these compressors were so easily damaged---their "works"/"stuff" is mounted on one end, unprotected, and very susceptible to end-to-end movemen in the box. Despite a very heavy shipping cartoon, Makita apparently has done little or nothing to correct the problem which disables so many of these good compressors. 

Mine had deep indentations in the cardboard where the "stuff" (to borrow the famous airliner travelers expression!) had banged up against the cartoon. But against all odds, the compressor appeared undamaged. Hurray! I was destined to be one of the lucky ones... I'm no fool when it comes to equipment---I usually don't have to resort to reading the manuals (well, heck, maybe I AM a fool...) In this case, I had to read the manual, almost cover to cover. The various "holes" where intake filter, and oil plug had to be added on, were not labeled, and though they seemed "sort of" intuitive, mistakes wouldn't be pretty. I could not find a single diagram which showed these parts effectively. In the end, it was a leap of faith, but I added the oil (seeing the oil level in the little window is NOT a piece of cake---Makita has put a big red dot in the glass---and it actually inteferes with seeing anything). The intake air filter is a good idea, but it's a tiny little blob of foam---I can't imagine it not clogging up quickly and repeatedly. 

You start up the compressor and let it run without back pressure for 20 minutes---a good idea, but I never had a compressor which needed THAT before. 

But, blissfully, it was---well, when they say "quiet" it's all relative (no air compressor is really 'quiet')---but compared to the Emglo/DeWalt, this one is a mere baby's murmur. 

So, it's got a tiny little tank---what about it's capacity, and re-generation time? Well, for my uses, it pumped itself up in fairly record time, and keeps air flowing all the time I need it, and besides which, if it's running all the time you're using it, no big deal---'cause it's 'quiet'"----such a relief. 

So, my rating? A big fat 5 stars. Could I make it better? Yeah, I'd redesign just where the "stuff" is so it couldn't be broken so easily. And I'd put a bigger intake air-filter on 'er. And I'd write a much better manual with a big, and actually helpful, diagram. I'd take the silly dot off the oil-level window. 

But I grinned all the way to the dump where I threw the Emglo with gusto! 

New low price!