Finding the Best Plate Compactor – Top 10 Picks Reviewed for 2019

the Best Plate Compactor

If you’re working on a big construction project or your home improvement where youneed to compress any material, the tool you need is a compactor.

Selecting the right plate compactor will help you to compact easily any sub- base or a asphalt on your driveway. This is also useful equipment for working on parking lots and other small repair tasks. According to some professionals, plate compactors are perfect for those jobs where larger rollers can’t reach.

It may be tough for you to select the perfect plate compactor from various available options. Only proper research and knowledge can help you to take the right decision.

But this research is pretty much time consuming and not possible for one with busy schedule.

That’s why I’ve tried to summarize my experience about selecting the right machine and also give you a list of top rated products today.

Plate Compactor:

Compactor is a type of machine which is used to reduce the size of material like- gravel, sand, biomass, waste or soil to enhance their density through compaction. In old days, soil compaction was performed by bulky rollers drawn by horses or any other livestock.

These drawn compactors were gradually replaced by steamrollers and now is done with the vibratory or plate compactor. This compaction technique is essential for landscaping, construction or paving.

Usually, compactors are powered by hydraulics and this hydraulics are powered by the electric or gas powered engine.

Today, modern compactors are available in different designs and sizes. Though they perform their task in a similar way, they are suitable for different tasks according to their type.

Such as-

For heavy-duty projects, you need the large one and for smaller projects and home use, you can use a small one.

Comparison Chart - Best Plate Compactor for 2019

Preview
Multiquip MVC82VHW Honda GX160 Plate Compactor with Water Tank, 18" Wide
Editor’s Choice
WEN 56035T 7 HP 4500-Pound Compaction Force Plate Compactor, CARB Compliant, Black
Tomahawk Power 5.5 HP Honda Engine Forward Plate Compactor Walk Behind Vibratory Dirt Asphalt Soil...
NorthStar Close-Quarters Plate Compactor -With 5.5 HP Honda GX160 Engine
9TRADING 6.5HP Gas Power HD Plate Compactor Tamper Rammer with Water Tank
VP 1340A Value Vibratory Soil Plate, 13 kN, 40mm/15.5in
Product
Multiquip MVC82VHW Honda GX160 Plate Compactor with Water Tank, 18" Wide
WEN 56035T 7 HP 4500-Pound Compaction Force Plate Compactor, CARB Compliant, Black
Tomahawk Power 5.5 HP Honda Engine Forward Plate Compactor Walk Behind Vibratory Dirt Asphalt Soil...
NorthStar Close-Quarters Plate Compactor -With 5.5 HP Honda GX160 Engine
9TRADING 6.5HP Gas Power HD Plate Compactor Tamper Rammer with Water Tank
VP 1340A Value Vibratory Soil Plate, 13 kN, 40mm/15.5in
Star Rating
-
-
Prime Status
-
-
-
-
Preview
Multiquip MVC82VHW Honda GX160 Plate Compactor with Water Tank, 18" Wide
Product
Multiquip MVC82VHW Honda GX160 Plate Compactor with Water Tank, 18" Wide
Star Rating
Prime Status
Editor’s Choice
Preview
WEN 56035T 7 HP 4500-Pound Compaction Force Plate Compactor, CARB Compliant, Black
Product
WEN 56035T 7 HP 4500-Pound Compaction Force Plate Compactor, CARB Compliant, Black
Star Rating
Prime Status
Preview
Tomahawk Power 5.5 HP Honda Engine Forward Plate Compactor Walk Behind Vibratory Dirt Asphalt Soil...
Product
Tomahawk Power 5.5 HP Honda Engine Forward Plate Compactor Walk Behind Vibratory Dirt Asphalt Soil...
Star Rating
Prime Status
-
Preview
NorthStar Close-Quarters Plate Compactor -With 5.5 HP Honda GX160 Engine
Product
NorthStar Close-Quarters Plate Compactor -With 5.5 HP Honda GX160 Engine
Star Rating
Prime Status
-
Preview
9TRADING 6.5HP Gas Power HD Plate Compactor Tamper Rammer with Water Tank
Product
9TRADING 6.5HP Gas Power HD Plate Compactor Tamper Rammer with Water Tank
Star Rating
-
Prime Status
-
Preview
VP 1340A Value Vibratory Soil Plate, 13 kN, 40mm/15.5in
Product
VP 1340A Value Vibratory Soil Plate, 13 kN, 40mm/15.5in
Star Rating
-
Prime Status
-

Top 10 Plate Compactor Reviews

High Range Compactor

Multiquip Plate Compactor with Water Tank

Features

  • Engine: Honda GX160;
  • VPM: 5,600 VPM
  • Plate Size: 17.7 x 22.4 inches.
  • Force:  4,496 lbs. per square feet.
  • Weight: 198 lbs.
  • Travel speed: 72 feet per minute.
94%
Our Score

Review

If you are looking for an energy efficient plate compactor for your living, then this compactor from multiquip can be your right choice. With only 0.31-gallons per hour fuel consumption, this machine will save your bucks on oil for years. 

On asphalt and granular grounds, this MULTIQUIP compactors moves and turns smoothly due to its curved edges. With an elegant design and powerful engine, this machine will last longer than others.

Its low oil shutdown mechanism and seated belts, you are less likely face any problems related to engine damage. It is proven that, the vibration if creates is felt 50% less during performance. Its price is on the higher side, but who will not pay for these advantages?

Things We Liked

  • Suitable for professional jobs;
  • Low oil consumption;
  • Seated belt;
  • Easy to use on asphalt. 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Expensive.
WEN 4500-Pound Compaction Force Plate Compactor

Features

  • Engine: 212cc/7hp; 
  • VPM: 5,400 VPM;
  • Plate Size: 24 x 17-3/4”
  • Force:  4,496 lbs. per square ft.
  • Weight: 207 lbs.
  • Travel speed: 82 ft/min.
95%
Our Score

Review

This plate compactor by WEN is equipped with a highly powerful motor to create high vibration. The forward speed is also impressive, lets you finish your compaction faster than other machines. 

When it’s time for refueling, the engine shuts off automatically to protect the motor from running over low oil. With over 200 pounds and no wheels, this compactor is hard to transport. There are lifting bars attached to it for carrying but it needs two people to do the job.

Vibration isolators and swing over handles are great to minimize the vibration on the operator’s hand. However, this is a affordable one, so, its build and performance are not high end. This compactor is a good option for DIY home improvements.

Things We Liked

  • Easy assembly;
  • High speed;
  • Shuts down upon low fuel;
  • Powerful engine.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Very heavy. 
  • Sides of the plate digs in.
Tomahawk Power 5.5 HP Honda Engine Forward Plate Compactor

Features

  • Engine: 163cc / 5.5 HP Honda GX160 
  • VPM: 5,400 VPM.
  • Plate Size: 22” x 20” inches;
  • Compaction Capacity: 12 inches
  • Torque: 3,400 lbs. per square feet.
  • Weight: 198 lbs.
  • Travel speed: 78 feet per minute.
93%
Our Score

Review

Your compaction will be faster, more appropriate and convenient with this plate compactor by TOMAHAWK. The best part of this vibratory compactor is, you hardly feel any vibration due to its dual anti-vibratory handles. 

The compactor is smaller compared to other items of this list, which is less appropriate for large area. However, it was meant for narrow spaces; so, the small base plate can perfectly serve its purpose.

The finished performance is also extraordinary with this compactor. The curved edges of the base plate leaves no trails of compacting, leaving a perfect finish on the ground. Attached water tank can be easily removed for refill and cleaning. The price is on the higher side, but  the ease of use is beyond comparison of this compactor.

Things We Liked

  • Removable water tank;
  • Vibration free handlebar;
  • Suitable for heavy duty applications;
  • Incredibly powerful. 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Pricey.
Wacker Neuson VP 1340A Value Vibratory Soil Plate Compactor

Features

  • Engine:5.5 hp Honda Air -Cooled , 4 -Stroke Gasoline Engine; 
  • VPM: 5,800 VPM;
  • Plate Size: 23 x 15.5 square inches;
  • Force:  2925 lbs. per square ft.
  • Weight: 163 lbs.
  • Travel speed: 75 feet per minute. 
94%
Our Score

Review

In landscaping profession, its better to own machineries which are meant for abusive use yet requires less maintenance. WACKER NEUSON compactors are durable, long lasting and perfect for demanding jobs. Its enclosed belt and belt guard needs minimal service whereas the exciter bearings needs minimal maintenance. 

To own this compactor you must have a big fat budget but with fuel consumption of 0.48-gallons of fuel per hour, this machine will save your fuel cost in the long run. It is not bulky nor heavy; its ergonomically constructed lifting handles are good for lifting this machine with lot less fatigue.

This compactor is high capacity and expensive, hence, it is more suitable for professional landscaping rather than occasional DIY projects.

Things We Liked

  • Requires minimum maintenance;
  • Heavy-duty projects;
  • Durable. 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Expensive.

Mid Range Compactor

Dirty Hand Tools 104001 Vibratory Plate Compactor

Features

  • VPM: 5500;
  • Plate Size: 540mm x 420mm/2.44 sq. ft;
  • Force: 2,922 lbs. per square feet.
  • Travel speed: 49 feet per minute. 
90%
Our Score

Review

This compactor from Dirty Hand Tools is ideal for narrow patios, pathways and other cramped spaces of residential premises. Its base plate is made to fit in those places whereas its powerful motor creates high force on small plate to get a compaction of 4 to 8 inches. 

In an hour, it burns only half a liter fuel to flatten 2,922 lbs. per square feet. Its weight is a problem to carry it, because there is no wheel attached to it, you must purchase one or take help from others to lift it.

It is a little bit pricey compactor, but backed by a long warranty for a hassle free performance or years to come.

Things We Liked

  • Less fuel consumption;
  • Suitable for medium to heavy applications;
  • Ideal for cramped space;
  • Long warranty. 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • No cons;
Close-Quarters Plate Compactor

Features

  • Engine: 163cc 5.5 HP Honda GX160 OHV;
  • VPM: 5,700 VPM;
  • Plate Size: 13 3/16 x 14 ¾ inches
  • Force:  2,270 lbs. per square feet.
  • Weight: N/A
  • Travel speed: 65 to 82 feet per minute. 
93%
Our Score

Review

I recommend this compactor from NORTHSTAR to homeowners, who are doing long term projects on their own. It is cheap, but not cheaply made. it is made small to fit in small areas like pavement, patio, driveway perfectly. 

The first thing I noticed about this compactor is, it creates less noise; it is an important feature for a compactor specially if you are using one in a residential neighborhood. Another convenient matter is,its adjustable handle. When needed, you can move the handle to vertical position to store or use it in small space.

This machine is suitable for less demanding job. Its price fits in a tight budget; so, it will be wiser to purchase one rather than renting one over and over again.

Things We Liked

  • Noise free;
  • Budget friendly;
  • Ideal for small areas. 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Not for demanding applications.

Low Range Compactors

YARDMAX Plate Compactor with Wheels

Features

  • Engine: 79 cc 2.5 HP  Yardmax Engine; 
  • VPM: 5,900 VPM;
  • Plate Size: 12.5" x 20" square inches;
  • Force:  1850 lbs. per square feet.
  • Weight: 110 lbs.
  • Travel speed: 75 feet per minute. 
85%
Our Score

Review

From this compactor by YARDMAX, you will realize how true is the saying ‘less is more’. This machine is small and lightweight, making it easy to run and turn. 

Despite of the small plate, compaction will be faster due to its travel speed. You will not need a hand to transport, operate or store this compactor, it comes with folded wheels to get these jobs done all by yourself.

The earlier makes of this series used to come with stamped pad on its plate, but newer ones don’t have any stamped pad. It is super economic and convenient for residential use. The advertisement recommends this compactor for professionals as well, but I would recommend investing in a high capacity compactor for professional landscaping.

Things We Liked

  • Comes with wheels;
  • Economic;
  • Easy to use. 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • No stamp pad.

8. Wowdeal Compactors - The Best Vibratory Plate Compactor

Wowdeal 6.5HP Plate Compactor With Water Tank

Features

  • Engine: 6.5 hp 4.8 KW Air Cooled 4 -Stroke Gasoline Engine ; 
  • VPM: 6500 VPM;
  • Plate Size: 25 x 18 square inches;
  • Force: 4000 lbs. per square feet.
  • Weight:163 lbs.
  • Travel speed: 98 foot per minute. 
82%
Our Score

Review

You don’t always have to break the bank to purchase a professional grade machine. You can purchase high end products in half price from less popular brands. This compactor from WOWDEAL is a high capacity compactor but costs surprisingly less than most of the compactors of this list. 

First of all, this one is suitable for slopes up to 20 degree. Its 4 stroke engine creates high vibration and force which is sufficient for compacting the hardest landscape. With its fast traveling speed, you get 3229 square foot area compacted in an hour.

This vibratory machine does not weight much, though comes with a wheel kit for easy transportation. Despite of all these positivities, we could not mark this one as our top pick because, it did not get much review on amazon. So, its longevity is not proven, but still it worth trying due to affordable price range.

Things We Liked

  • Perfect for demanding applications;
  • Comes with wheel kit;
  • Can be used on sloped areas;
  • Affordable. 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • No cons.
CORMAC KaPa Engine Plate Compactor

Features

  • Engine: 6.5 hp 4.8 KW Gasoline Kapa Power Engine ; 
  • VPM: 7000;
  • Plate Size: 22.6x17.3 square inches;
  • Force: 3370 lbs. per square ft.
  • Weight:198 lbs.
  • Travel speed: 90 foot per minute. 
80%
Our Score

Review

Unlike other compactors, this one is powered by a KAPA engine, not HONDA. This one is even more powerful than that of the honda engine compactors. The speed and vibration it creates, can flatten up 8300 square foot area in an hour. 

To protect the engine from drop or bump, a protective frame is placed on it. The plate is open and self cleaning type. Besides, sealed belt and belt cover keeps dirt away from the machine. So, it requires less maintenance despite of heavy dirty jobs.

This machine is affordable but not widely used; hence, there is hardly any review available from its users. Though it is not renowned, investing in it is less risky because of its low price and high capacity.

Things We Liked

  • Affordable
  • Self cleaning plate;
  • Comes with protective frame;

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Heavy.
9TRADING Plate Compactor with Large Base

Features

  • Engine: 6.5 hp 4-stroke, gasoline GENERATION III ENGINE; 
  • VPM: 6500;
  • Plate Size: 25 x 18 square inches;
  • Force: 4000 lbs. per square ft.
  • Weight:190 lbs.
  • Travel speed: 95 foot per minute. 
82%
Our Score

Review

9TRADING has launched this compactor with the latest HONDA engine inside. It is also equipped with a bigger base plate. A powerful engine in combination with a large plate makes compacting faster and more precise. 

Its latest engine is great to create high vibration and force. This high force makes this machine suitable to flatten asphalt and hard soil. This compactor is also able to ride on slopes up to 20 degree and compacts 3229 square feet soil in an hour.

Though it is a mid range compactor, a wheel kit is included in this price, which makes the pricing even more reasonable. This machine is good to run on large area due to its larger plate.

Things We Liked

  • Wheel kit included;
  • Large base plate;
  • Reasonably priced.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • No cons.

How to Choose the Best One:

There are so many different features in different types of compactor. While buying your plate compactor you should look for what you actually need from the machine. Today, I’ve some must look features you must check before buying your one. And they are-

1. Directional Plates:

You can choose from a single- plate compactor or a little bit complex- reversible plate compactor. single - plate compactors are the most common one, they can only move forward and for this, they are good for simple and easy tasks.

But if you are looking for something more, you can get the one with the reversible plate which is able to move forward & reverse. It will give you more freedom to do the job however you want.

2. Size of Plate:

The available size of the plates are from 15” to 25”. If you’re working on a project that takes a lot of space you need a large size of plate. But if you need to do some small job you should prefer a smaller one.

Because if you get the plate larger or smaller than your working area you may face trouble to compacting the area.

3. Centrifugal Force:

A plate compactor can put a force between 3000- 4000 pounds of itself which give you the real power. More centrifugal force ensures that you get more power and strength from the plate which helps you to compact the material down into the flat sheet.

4. Water Tank:

A water tank in the compactor creates a barrier between cold compaction plate and the hot asphalt. If you get a plate compact without a water tank, the plate can get stick to the hot asphalt. So a water tank, specially a large water tank will give you enough time and versatility to the machine.

5. Plate Material:

You should choose a heavy- duty plate which can serve you with a lot of power and long lifespan. Before purchasing your plate compactor, make sure that you get the cast ductile iron or the steel which is able to compact anything & everything efficiently which you need. Because heavy-duty metals help you to compact any material with a higher amount of centrifugal force.

6. Base Plate Shape:

The shape of the plate also makes difference at the performance. A slightly curved plate keep it from gouging the material you’re going to press and also make easy to work in smaller spaces. So look at the bottom of the compactor to check whether the plate is slightly curved or not.

7. Handle Style:

You should also check the handle style of the plate compactor you are going to buy. A handle with anti-vibration will give you comfort and let you work with for a long period of time without any pain or fatigue.

On the contrary, a handle with swinging can multiply your maneuverability and helps you to move the machine easily wherever you want around the working area.

Selecting a plate compactor combining both of these features will help you to perform more with the unit.

8. Forward Speed Per Minute:

You should also check the forward speed per minute of the compactor. Because if the machine has a higher speed, you’ll be able to complete your job quickly.

Safety Tips to Use Plate Compactors:

To confirm a nice finishing with good experience for your project, you can follow these simple but useful safety tips-

  • You should always follow the guideline set described in the instruction manual.
  • Never operate a compactor inside of a building or a place which is not properly vented.
  • Always keep your clothing and hands away from moving parts of the machine.
  • Avoid using alcohol or any kind of drugs when you are about to operate the machine.
  • Refuel your compactor when the engine is fully off and cool.
  • Clear all debris from your work area before you use the machine.
  • Wear proper safety equipment, like- ear and eye protector and headgear before start working with a compactor.
  • Never use your machine on non- yielding or fully compact surface cause this may damage the compactor.
  • To maintain the machine follow the manufacturer’s instruction manual.
  • After finishing the task, store your plate compactor properly.
best plate compactor

photo credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org

Conclusion:

So these are the few basic features you should check while purchasing a compactor for construction or home use.

I’ve also listed some top selling products for you to choose from. They all are great for their features and performance. You can pick any of them according to your need.

If you are going to use the machine for professional purpose, you can go for Multiquip Plate Compactor. It is designed to perform any kind of professional job and most importantly it has low oil consumption facility which can save you money.

If you don’t have enough time for maintenance of the compactor you can get Wacker Neuson High-End Vibratory Soil Plate Compactor. It is durable, doesn’t require enough maintenance but can complete any heavy-duty projects.

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