Best Plate Compactors

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 23, 2018
When you need to lay a foundation for a small house or simply install pavers, there is no better tool than a plate compactor. We took a look at the best plate compactors on the market so you could choose the one that suits your particular tasks. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Engine
Compaction Force
Travel Speed
Plate
Extras
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

The 3.5-gallon water tank simplifies the compaction process and reduces the build-up of the dirt on the plate.

CONS

The VPM handle positioning is somewhat inconvenient.

OUR VERDICT

The plate compactor from Tomahawk Power features a modern motor and a massive cast iron plate that allows to cover a large area at once and to compact it effectively regardless of type and thickness of the soil, which makes it one of the best models for its price.

detailed parameters
Type

Single-direction

Engine

163cc / 5.5 HP Honda GX160 Engine

Compaction Force

3400 lbs per sq.ft. (at 5400VPM)

Travel Speed

Up to 78 ft/min

Plate

22" x 20"

Extras

Vibration-control lever, Engine protection frame, Anti-vibration handle (foldable), Dual side lifting handles and lifting hook, 3.5-gallon water tank

Weight

198 lbs

Warranty

1 year (3 years for motor)

PROS

Special transport wheels make transportation of this model hassle free. On top of that, the handle is foldable so you can hide the wheels when you don't need them.

CONS

The motor power is less than impressive.

OUR VERDICT

This model is perfect for beginners and DIY landscapers who enjoy improving their yard. A small and lightweight plate tamper that is powerful enough to compact medium-sized areas.

detailed parameters
Type

Single-direction

Engine

79cc / 2.5 HP Engine

Compaction Force

1850 lbs per sq.ft. (at 5900VPM)

Travel Speed

Up to 75 ft/min

Plate

20" x 12.5"

Extras

Vibration-control lever, Anti-vibration handle (foldable), Fold-up transport wheels

Weight

110 lbs

Warranty

2 years

PROS

Vibration isolators reduce the vibration from the engine, thus improving the comfort of use. In addition to that, the isolators extend the service life of the device.

CONS

A bit heavy, which complicates the process of transportation.

OUR VERDICT

One of the most powerful vibratory compactors on the market that will be suitable for professionals who are engaged in paving and ground jobs on a daily basis. An essential tool for small construction teams.

detailed parameters
Type

Single-direction

Engine

212cc / 7 HP engine

Compaction Force

4496 lbs per sq.ft. (at 5400VPM)

Travel Speed

Up to 82 ft/min

Plate

24" x 17.75"

Extras

Vibration-control lever, Anti-vibration handle (foldable), Dual side lifting handles and lifting hook

Weight

207 lbs

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The angle of the handle can be adjusted as well as its height, which allows people of different sizes to operate the tool with ease and comfort.

CONS

Replacement of the air filter is a tiresome task.

OUR VERDICT

Despite the fact that this model has a standard engine from Honda, the manufacturer was able to achieve a stunning power level of 7,000 vibrations per minute. Suffice it to say, with this model in your hands, the process of compacting will be as easy as it gets.

detailed parameters
Type

Single-direction

Engine

163cc / 5.5 HP Honda GX160 Engine

Compaction Force

~3000 lbs per sq.ft. (at 7000VPM)

Travel Speed

Up to 75 ft/min

Plate

20" x 14.5"

Extras

Vibration-control lever, Anti-vibration handle (foldable), Engine protection frame, Lifting handle and lifting hook

Weight

132 lbs

Warranty

1 year (3 years for motor)

PROS

An upgraded ignition system allows for a lightning fast engine start. This design solution makes this model fairly easy to use. It also reduces fuel consumption.

CONS

The plate is relatively small.

OUR VERDICT

The model is specifically designed for close-quarters operation. Where regular-sized tools struggle, this plate compactor shines. Simply put, this is the best tool for DIYers who perform constructing jobs at home.

detailed parameters
Type

Single-direction

Engine

163cc / 5.5 HP Honda GX160 Engine

Compaction Force

2270 lbs per sq.ft. (at 5700VPM)

Travel Speed

Up to 82 ft/min

Plate

13.2" x 14.75"

Extras

Vibration-control lever, Accessories bag, Anti-vibration handle (foldable), Lifting handle and lifting hook

Weight

152 lbs

Warranty

2 years (3 years for motor)

Tomahawk Power TPC90H

The Device You Can Rely On

The forward plate compactor from Tomahawk power is a regular-sized device that will be suitable for all kinds of projects that include landscaping.

Thanks to GX160, a 4-stroke, 5.5HP motor from Honda, the device is able to compact cohesive and granular soils down to 12 inches deep. Furthermore, this little but powerful compactor is capable of delivering a compaction force of up to 3,400 lbs/ft² at 5,400 vibrations per minute. The model has a curved 22” x 20” cast iron base plate with seamed edges that are self-cleaning. The edges help when it comes to minimizing the build-up of dirt and rocks on the body of the device.

Unlike many other compactor models, this one has a big 3.5-gallon water tank for moisturizing the surface below the plate so the process of compaction would be more efficient.

The device features a convenient handlebar that absorbs the vibration from the motor and the compactor itself, which adds an extra level of comfort during use. On top of that, the handle is foldable and that makes transportation of the tool a much easier task. As for the transportation means, the compactor has a special hook on top of the housing just above the engine, so you can lift it with a pickup crane.

All in all, the TPC90H is a versatile and reliable tool that will handle the landscaping projects of any difficulty without breaking a sweat.

Review of Tomahawk Power TPC90H Forward Plate Compactor, Vibratory, Dirt, Asphalt, Soil

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

YARDMAX YC0850

Simple and Efficient

First things first, this model from YARDMAX weighs 110 pounds, meaning that the transportation of the device can be difficult without any additional help. Fortunately, the tool features two wheels on the back of the handle, so you can fold them beneath the device and conveniently move it around the construction site or to your car when you don’t need it. With wheels attached, the compactor can be easily transported even by one person.

The vibratory plate compactor is able to deliver a force of 1,850 lbs/ft² at around 5,900 blows per minute within the 12.5” and 20” plate area. The plate itself is a single piece that has no welding beads. This design solution prevents the device from rusting and provides additional stability for smoother and flatter results. Thanks to its self-propelled, 79cc (2.5 HP) Yardmax engine, the device is capable of traveling with the speed of up to 75 feet per minute on debris, soil, and aggregate, which creates a perfect foundation for all of your paving projects.

This particular model requires no assembly, all you have to do is just screw the handle and the wheels with the provided screws to the body, pour some gas and oil into the compactor, and the device will be ready to do its job. Simple and reliable, the plate compactor from YARDMAX will deliver when it matters most.

Review of YARDMAX YC0850 Force Plate Compactor

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

WEN 56035

An Essential Landscaping Device

The plate compactor from WEN is an ideal choice for both professional builders and DIYers alike. Modestly priced, this 207 lbs tool packs a real punch. With a powerful 212cc engine on board, it is capable of driving the plate with the compacting power of almost 5,000 lbs/ft² at 5,400 vibrations per minute. On top of that, a single 24" x 17.75" plate has what it takes to travel with the speed of up to 82 feet per minute. As for the plate itself, it has contoured edges that prevent the device from digging in the surface.

Some users may find that the cap of the gas tank is positioned somewhat inconveniently. To be more specific, the cap is placed directly below the crossbar that features a pick support, so you will have to pour the fuel with caution to avoid spilling the gas over the tank itself.

As for the convenient features, the compactor has several vibration isolators between the engine and the steel plate that significantly reduce the vibration from the engine. On top of that, they prolong the service life of the motor itself. In addition, two lift handles in combination with a central load bar make this model relatively easy to transport.

In conclusion, despite its heavy weight, the WEN 56035 is an exemplary landscaping device that can compete even with premium models on the same level.

Review of WEN 56035 Plate Compactor, Vibratory Asphalt/Soil Plate

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

CORMAC C60H

Power is the Key

The CORMAC C60H features a rubberized padding that makes the operation of the device more comfortable and reduces the overall vibration of the engine. Moreover, the padding is quality-made and designed for heavy duty, so it will last you for a long time. Plus, the handle can be folded at any time for an easy transportation.

The single cylinder engine of this model, which is air cooled and operates in 4 cycles, has what it takes to compact the surface with a stunning force of 3,000 pounds per square foot at a frequency of 7,000 VPM. With so much power at your disposal, you will be able to compress soil, dirt, sand, and even asphalt with ease.

This particular model weighs almost 140 lbs and transporting it could prove to be a problem for most users. Thankfully, the tool has a lifting hook that will allow you to lift the compactor when you need to use it elsewhere.

Thanks to an open plate, the device requires little to no cleaning even after the most complicated jobs on the construction site. On top of that, the radius base plate allows for accessing difficult corners and places you simply cannot reach with a regular jumping jack compactor. To sum up, the plate tamper from CORMAC is a high-quality tool and a viable alternative to some of the more expensive models.

Review of CORMAC C60H Plate Compactor

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

NorthStar JPC-60

An Ideal Tool for Daily Use

Although the JPC-60 from NorthStar looks a little bit small compared to other similar models, it weighs 152 lbs, which in combination with its size makes it perfect for all regular landscaping projects.

The base plate dimensions (13.2” x 14.75”) of this model may seem relatively small as well to some users, however, the small plate allows for compacting the surface in spots that are otherwise hard to reach when using regular-sized devices. On top of that, the handle of the tool can be moved to a vertical position, which simplifies the operation of the device in close quarters.

This electric plate compactor features a 163cc (5.5 HP) Honda engine that is capable of producing a compacting force of 2270 lbs/ft² with a frequency of 5700 vibrations per minute. Moreover, the base plate is able to compact the materials such as soil, gravel, dirt, sand, and fresh asphalt that is 14 inches deep with a travel speed from 65 to 82 feet per minute. The engine has a cast metal cylinder sleeve that maintains its high power operation and keeps the fuel consumption minimal.

To wrap things up, the NorthStar JPC-60 is a budget-friendly plate compactor that will be suitable for both experienced and beginner landscapers who don't feel like wasting their money on an expensive device or a subpar alternative.

Review of NorthStar JPC-60 Close-Quarters Plate Compactor

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

What Is a Plate Compactor?

Back in the day, the soil compaction was done by using bulky rollers that were drawn by horses or other livestock. Later on, the drawn compactors were replaced by steamrollers. Today, the vibratory compaction is done by using vibratory or plate compactors. The main purpose of these tools is to compact materials such as sand, gravel, or soil to increase their density. This is needed in construction, landscaping, or paving. The modern compactors come in different sizes and designs, although they are all similar in the way they perform the process of compaction. Normally, the compactor is powered by hydraulics. The hydraulics in their turn are powered by a gas-powered or electric engine.

Each type of compactor is suitable for a particular task. The ones that are relatively large are meant for daily heavy-duty projects and the small ones are meant for much smaller tasks or home use. Since these devices are able to deliver the force of several thousand pounds, they are mostly used on cohesive or semi-cohesive materials.

If you are looking for additional renovation tools, you may also be interested in concrete mixers and power drills.

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Publish Date: 2018-05-31 12:54:52