Plate Compactor VS. Jumping Jack: Which Should You Hire?

Hunting for a solution to choose between plate compactor VS. jumping jack? You found the right platform. This is going to be a thorough guideline to decide the right tool for your construction project. 

Plate compactors and jumping jacks are the two most common types of compactors. Although they both work for creating a firm and dynamic base in any construction site, they differ in their basic characteristics.

If you are considering hiring them for a short project, then you must know which will work for what purposes. Or you might want to check their compatibility by hiring them before making a purchase.

In both cases, we would like to request you to read the following narration. You will absolutely love the detailed comparison of these two prominent compactors.

plate compactor vs jumping jack

Plate Compactor VS. Jumping Jack Analysis

There are some fundamental factors that make these two contractors different despite being used for the same purpose. Let’s try to analyze on what basis they vary from each other. 

Soil Type  

The first basic consideration is the soil type of your construction site. There are generally two types of soil-

  • Granular/Gravel soil
  • Cohesive soil

These two types of soils demand two different types of compacting equipment. 

As granular soil consists of no clay, it doesn’t have any cohesive strength. As a result, you can compact it both in the wet or dry state. Besides, they consist of large and visible particles. 

As these types of soil are well responsive to vibrations, plate compactors are the best suited to compact them properly. Also, vibrating plate compactors have wider areas to spread the vibration. That’s why they work the best to settle down the granular materials better. 

Cohesive lands, on the other hand, contain clay materials. So, it’s hard to compact them when dry. A specific amount of moisture is needed to compact them properly. 

Because of the small plate, a jumping jack or rammer will be the best to work on cohesive soils. As they are suitable for 13% moisturized soil, you can count on them to have better compaction on clay-based soils. 

The smaller plates use more power to provide better compaction when they are firm. They also help you solidify soils deeper than the plate compactors. The direct force by the plates makes the difference. 

plate compactor

Wider or Narrower Spot

As stated above, plate compactors are wider than rammers. Consequently, they are more suitable for contracting in larger areas. So, they are easier to use in flat areas. 

For instance, you can create a similar layer while working on parking lots, asphalt areas, sub-base surfaces, etc. by compacting with vibrating compactors. 

Jack rammers, on the contrary, work great on smaller and tighter areas or trenches. Where you cannot reach with a plate compactor, a tamping rammer will easily get the job done. 

The smaller plates with sleek and slim design will let you compact perfectly on a narrow spot. 

Fast and Facile Filling

In this case, the jumping jack/ rammer is the race winner. As it provides deep compaction, you can work much faster by filling more soil into every layer. Also, it will compact a deeper amount of soil quite efficiently because of the forthright force from the plates. 

So, any tradesman will love the easier filling process by a jumping jack than a plate compactor.

Easy Operation

Along with competency, comfort is equally important while working with a compactor. Vibrating compactors are better for skillful maneuver. Many machines come with handles for reducing vibration as well.

While jumping jacks are handy with smaller plates, they need more power and effort for a successful operation. Although, they deliver professional-level outcomes as well.

jumping jack

Which You Should Hire

Before hiring a piece of compaction equipment, you should study your project first. Based on the previous factors, you will easily understand which type of machine your worksite demands.

While working on a wider area with a flat surface, plate compactors are the safest option to choose. But a jack rammer will be ideal to work on tighter spots or trenches. 

If the soil type is granular, a jumping jack will do no good. Instead, a vibrating compactor is the only machine to save you. Also, you must decide whether you need easy handling or a pro-level performance. The first one, of course, suggests hiring a plate compactor. Go for the second option if your priority is fast filling with deep contraction.

As an expert, I would recommend trying a jumping jack or a plate compactor based on the location demand. You should see what you are compacting and then decide the ideal compactor.

Only using the right equipment for the right project will bring the expected outcome. Otherwise, your sweat-earned money will be wasted.

However, to make you better understand, we have prepared a table below with the contradictory factors of both.

 Plate CompactorJumping Jack
Soil TypeGranularCohesive
Compaction MethodVibrationDirect Force and Impact
Suitable forLarger and Flat SurfacesTight Spots and Trenches

Final Verdict

Talking about a plate compactor and a jumping jack, both are efficient enough to deliver a well-compacted base for a construction job. But their ways of compacting are different. 

One is appropriate for granular soil while the other is for cohesive soil. Based on the soil you will be compacting, you should decide on your ideal pick. One is not fit for the other soil type.

Both these tools run on fuel and prepare a solid base to reduce unsettlement and volume change in the soil. We hope you find this discussion helpful to find out your correct compactor out of these two.

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About Gavin Ford

Hi, I am Gavin Ford. I am a full-time power tools salesperson and a part-time mechanic. I help my friends and neighbors with their tools. Which one to buy, how to buy it, how to use it, methods to fix broken tools, and so on. In I will do the same for the rest of the world. You will get everything you need to know about tools for regular and professional use.

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