In order to make your job of choosing the right Air Compressor for your projects, we’ve decided to make it our job to review the most popular air compressor brand on the market.
You see, there are a lot of different air compressor brands out there, you’re going to be met with tens, if not hundreds of option to choose from, all with different claims and technology…it’s all a bit overwhelming!
Today’s review is for Dewalt Air Compressor.
Anyone who is in the market for a good air compressor will likely have heard of the well known Dewalt brand – a trusted brand when it comes to construction gears and equipment. DeWalt is an American power tool company targeted towards the high-end market and based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
In this in-depth Dewalt Air Compressor review, we are going to take a look at the best Dewalt Air Compressors for various needs. For example, a Dewalt D55146 is powered with 5.4 CFM at 200 PSI can handle various kinds of home projects down to small tasks like inflating tires and inflating inflatable materials, while a 120 psi maximum Air Compressor is not suitable for extended use on large jobs.
With this guide, you’ll be able to pick out the right Dewalt air compressor for the job at hand.
Reviews | Best DeWalt Air Compressors
DEWALT D55140 Compressor | Easy to carry around and Quiet
This air compressor provides 0.75 SCFM at a rate of 90 PSI which can be stretched to a maximum of 135 PSI. It allows users to run a variety of air tools and let two framing nailers at a single time. It also possesses quick recovery time which makes it easier for a repeated number of times.
The DEWALT D55140 Compressor has a one-gallon tank that is enough to use it with an impact wrench, a ratchet in small spurts and a hammer.
This air compressor is ideal for finish carpenters, woodworking projects, remodeling, and installation work. It is also good for installing trim and testing plumbing line pressure, but it will not put up with work on big professional projects.
Like most of Dewalt air compressors, an impressive feature of this compressor is the low level of noise. At 69dB, it provides users with quieter performance over other models but still requires hearing protection if you’ll be exposed to it running for a more than a few minutes.
It is relatively lightweight, which is important when you are using an air compressor at home. Weighing only 24 pounds and wide 9 inches, it can be easily carried to wherever the job demands and can be store to anywhere in the house, car or boat. Additionally, this air compressor can operate with an extension cord, which improves the portability of the unit.
The main drawback of this unit is that it cannot be used continuously for very long periods of time. Though you can use it to power an impact wrench and other small air tools for a small amount of time, if you want to go longer, you need to wait somewhere between 35-60 minutes so that can fill up and provide air. That sometimes makes users frustrating. With that said, we are going to take a look at both the pros and cons of The DEWALT D55140 Compressor.
- Lightweight, small size
- Quite powerful
- Quieter than other comparable models
- Used for small jobs around the house
- Good price
- It waits too long for the tank to fill up and provide air
- When the fuse blows, it is not easy to repair, it may take you a lot of time to open up the compressor and replace the fuse
The DeWalt 200 PSI Compressor (Model DWFP55130) is one of the high-quality DeWalt air compressors and offers a good blend of cost, quality, and performance. Lightweight and low noise output are two main features that you can see in this unit. Which makes it ideal for simpler jobs at home or on-site.
The motor runs at 2300 rpm, coming in at only 71.5 dBa, so we can expect this air compressor is quieter than most of its competitors, but certainly, it’s not a totally-silent compressor and is louder than the first model.
While the oil-free DWFP55130 doesn’t offer any innovative features, it does provide greater air storage capacity than the competitors.
This unit has a capacity of 200 PSI, which refers to the amount of pressurized air it can store in its 2.5-gallon tank, while consumer-grade compressors usually have a maximum rating of 135-150 PSI.
With a higher PSI rating, you have more usable air in the tank for longer tool runtimes, though it will take longer to recycle than a compressor with a lower PSI rating.
This unit produces 3.0 Standard Cubic Feet per Minute (SCFM) at 90 PSI. That volume is enough to run up to three finish nailers at once, although other users will find only two quick couplers on it.
This Dewalt air compressor runs on 110-120 V that makes it ideal for indoor tasks. Equipped with a low 12 amp draw motor, which you will appreciate if you use it powered by a generator on a job site or you’re shop has a limited number of electrical circuits.
Making it even more convenient, the unit stores and operates horizontally or vertically. With a small 36 pound body and a handle, this air compressor can be carried by hand. It’s also very thin at 12.5 inches, which can be stored in many small places. This comes into place most when you need to take it along with you in a truck or a car, and you can also stow it away easy.
However, as expected with a unit of this size, it is a bit underpowered and can’t be expected to even run at recommended specs consistently.
Another drawback of The DeWalt DWFP55130 is it is not included a hose with the unit, that sometimes makes the first-time buyers frustrating. So with that out of the way, pros and cons, shall we?
- Well constructed
- Rated at 200 PSI Max – The most significant benefit of a higher rating is a greater volume of stored air
- Relatively quiet
- It can be laid down or vertical
- Offers enough power for staplers and light nailers
- Compact and efficient but not overused air compressor made for small to middling jobs
- Won’t work for tools that required constant airflows such as paint guns or pneumatic sander
- The hose doesn’t come with the unit
Top Pick: DEWALT DWFP55126 Compressor | Compact, with extra power
If you’re looking for a compressor that pushes the upper limits of the six-gallon range, then this one deserves serious considerations.
DeWalt FP55126 Air Compressor is a great option to consider if you need a portable compressor for nail guns, tire inflators, paint sprayers, or blowing dust from tools.
This air compressor provides a max PSI of 165 which have more air in the tank and enabling an extended tool to operate time along with quick recuperation. The additional PSI can give you that little bit of extra capacity for jobs where the other six gallons can keep up. It can reach an air delivery rate of 2.6 CFM at 90PSI and 3.7 CFM at 40 PSI. You can control the air pressure by turning the regulator knob clockwise or counterclockwise.
SCFM is one of the most important ratings to consider when shopping for an air compressor. The rating indicates the flow rate of a gas in standardized conditions. The higher the CFM requirement is, the sooner you’re going to reach the cut-in pressure and have the air compressor start up again. So while you can use air tools like a small impact wrench, use would be infrequent and require regular pump operation. Smaller tools like staplers and nailers would be able to shoot 20-30 times before reaching the cut-in pressure.
While almost all air compressors make too much noise, some make less. This oil-free Air Compressor produces 75.5 dBa of sound, it is relatively quiet. To lessen the noise level, after starting the compressor stay at least 3 feet from the air compressor and you will get around 10db of sound.
The tank’s capacity is 6 gallons, the amount of the air is enough to instantly feel a big truck tire or an air mattress and you can even air up two different accessories. It only takes 2 to 3 minutes to fill up the tank after running out of the air.
This air compressor is surprisingly lightweight with 32.3 pounds, so you really can take your air compressor exactly where it’s needed.
But let’s take a look at the pros and cons below.
- Very affordable
- Compact and lightweight, can be moved and stored easily
- Less noise than many compressors in its size range.
- Oil-free and low maintenance
- Suitable for small-scale jobs like inflating tires or cleaning up equipment
- Not for large and demanding jobs
- Doesn’t come with an air hose
The Dewalt Two-Stage Cast Iron Industrial Air Compressor is a heavy-duty stationary air compressor with key advantages that cost 5 times more than your average 120-150 PIS residential air compressor system.
The compressor features a strong 5-horsepower motor that will deliver air at 175-PSI to effectively power more than one air tool or device simultaneously. Additionally, it is equipped with the 80-Gallon ASME air receiver holds more air for longer run times on multiple air tools. That’s why it has been rated as a 100% continuous use compressor.
That type of air pressure guarantees great performance when using your air tools. It also features one of the best-integrated control panels you will find on any air compressor out there.
This air compressor is a stationary air compressor, so it is meant to be placed on a workshop floor or garage floor. But it can be a challenge when moving it around since it weighs a massive 471 pounds, you will need to use a crew and hoisting tools to that. But all that weight is not for nothing, this 31.9″-77″-34.79″ beast features a steel tank and industrial quality parts. It features durable cast iron construction in its motor and every part of this compressor is tough and heavy, made either of steel or aluminum.
The Dewalt Two-Stage Cast Iron Industrial Air Compressor is also designed with a conveniently integrated control panel that includes airflow, tank and working pressure gauges, two quick-connect air outlets and a pressure relief valve.
In case, you’re wondering what kind of applications the DeWalt DXCMV5048055 air compressor can be used, here’s a few – Brad nailing/ stapling, Airbrushing, bolting/ wrenching, blow cleaning, cutting, drilling, frame nailing, grinding, HVLP painting, sanding, roof nailing, hobby nailing, inflation and surface preparation.
As you may notice, most of the applications are industrial or commercial. But you can use the DeWalt DXCMV5048055 for inflating tires and sports equipment, just keep in mind to be careful while doing so as it will inflate stuff much quicker than your average residential grade compressor. Its industrial duty two-stage compressor pump is designed to put out 18 CFM (cubic feet of air per minute) at 90 psi of pressure, meaning that it delivers anywhere between 7 to 9 times more air per minute compared to a portable home-use air compressor.
- Can be used for almost all kind of applications
- Capable of running multiple tools at the same time
- Having one of the highest powered single stage motors
- Delivers about 8 times more air per minute compared to a portable home-use air compressor
- A bit loud
- It does leak some oil at the side
If you’re the one who uses your air compressor all the time, you may want to find a 200 PSI air compressor that is powerful, portable and durable for using your air tools. If so, your search is almost over with this DD55146 air compressor from DeWalt.
This heavy duty air compressor is designed to withstand difficult conditions, professional use, workplace as well as home use.
The DeWalt DD55146 air compressor has a 200 psi max tank storage pressure, which is roughly 80% more than the industry leader. It has a great high-pressure motor and a rating of 5.00 CFM at 90 PSI that can easily handle both large residential and large commercial painting projects.
With this air compressor, it possible for you to power a variety of air tools. It could handle, nailing and stapling the most demanding applications such as terraces and healthing. It is also flexible enough to meet the needs of the large carpenter cutting equipment or remodeling.
This compressor features a dual hose connection and an advanced design cooling system. It has short recovery time compared to most other models. The handle on it is collapsible to make it easy to transport from job to job.
This oil-free compressor has a 4.5-gallon tank that provides enough capacity to support two roofing nailers or three framing nailers at the same time.
Weighing 80 pounds, it is not a lightweight machine. Fortunately, with its large rubber tires, its 10″ non-flat foam wheels and sturdy metal tubing carriage, it can easily be moved around your house and even the most demanding job sites.
The DeWalt DD55146 air compressor is also one of the quietest DeWalt air compressors we have found and we truly impressed by the low noise level in this unit. With the 78dBA of operational noise, you can use it for indoor use.
Sure, as with many other air compressors, there are good things, and then there are not so good things, same is the case with the DeWalt DD55146, and we are going to list down the cons and the pros below.
- Constructed with a large capacity pressure tank and a heavy-duty motor
- Offers more than any other
- Maintenance free and oil free
- For various nail guns and tools can work simultaneously
- Relatively quiet
- Easy to relocate as of its collapsible wheels and handle
- Not a 100% continuous use compressor for commercial application
- Not a lightweight unit
- A bit expensive
Overall, the Dewalt is a solid choice compared to other brands out there. Despite its extra power (DeWalt air compressors often offer more CFM than any other models in the market), it feels lighter than it is due to the smart design of the handle and provides most of the benefits of the other air compressors. As with many Dewalt air compressors, the quality and attention to detail separate it from less expensive alternatives.
Guide for choosing the right air compressor for your DIY project
Well, our top 5 list is based on what we like. This might not suit you, so we prefer you to have a look at the detailed guide below. That will help you in choosing your right air compressor.
Air Compressor Terms
PSI – Pounds Per Square Inch
Of course, as you remember from school physics class, PSI is a measurement of the air pressure of force. To be exact, how many pounds of air pressure is applied per square inch. The higher the PSI the higher the volume of air that can be compressed into a tank.
The PSI rating is one of the important ratings in the air compressor to understand as each type of pneumatic tool requires its own ratings for PSI rating. For example, a nailer often requires 90 PSI, a spray gun usually needs 50 PSI. Most homeowners will be fine with single-stage compressors which can normally handle a combined 135 PSI, but in case you need more you better check out stationary models.
HP – Horsepower
This is the unit of measurement for the power your compressor’s motor produces. Depending on the size of a compressor, it could boast anywhere from 1.5 to 500 HP. It is not a direct measurement of the power of the compressor itself, but compressors with high horsepower rating tend to produce greater PSI and are capable of carrying a heavier workload.
For most common light-duty household tools like a type, occasional airbrushing that require finish or brad nailer, an HP rating from 1 up to 1.5 is ideal. The rule of thumb is that 1 HP should produce 3.5 CFM to 5 CFM. For more heavy-duty tasks like using power tools almost on a daily basis or working on a construction site, a 2 or 4 HP motor will deliver the right amount of air power you need.
While horsepower is related to air compressor performance, it is not nearly as important as CFM when comparing air compressor performance. Some off-brand compressors boast a higher horsepower but a lowers CFM because the pumps they employ are smaller. These units tend to run hotter and give out sooner than others. So when looking for an air compressor, pay attention to the CFM rating first and all else second.
Note: When checking a compressor’s horsepower, look at the “Running Horsepower” and not the “Peak Horsepower”. Peak horsepower represents the surge of power a motor has when first starting and can be 2 to 3 times the amount of power generated during normal operation.
CFM – Cubic Feet Per Minute
CFM is the volume of air delivered in one minute of an air compressor running at its optimal conditions. High CF ratings mean an air compressor can provide more air – making higher CFM units more practical for larger applications.
CFM is one of the most important purchase considerations when choosing an air compressor because that will determine the number of tools that you will be able to operate at one time and the overall power capacity.
If you plan on powering more than one tool or pneumatic device off of a single compressor, you will have to add up the CFMs for each to make sure you have enough output to power them all. You will also want to consider exceeding the total by anywhere from 25% to 35% to allow for a buffer and prevent overworking the compressor.
Certain pneumatic tools have very specific CFM requirements which are usually listed on the packaging and can also be found on the manufacturer’s website. Tools which require the highest CFM include sanders, grinders and other pieces of equipment that often run continuously. Tools that are only used intermittently tend to require lower CFM ratings.
To choose the right air compressor which will meet the tool requirements, use this formula. Select the tool that requires the highest CFM at the highest PSI. Then add 50% to the required CRM as a safety margin. For example, if a tool requires 3 CFM at 90 PSI, choose an air compressor that provides at a minimum 4.5 CRM at 90 PSI.
Like horsepower, the tank size has little to do with its CFM performance. It can tell you how much air is compressed and give you something of an idea of how long you can operate your air tool for at a time. The other factors that affect how long you can run pneumatic tools for are the PSI and horsepower of the engine itself as these factors determine how quickly your air supply is replenished.
Most compressors that are designed for residential industrial use, range from 1 gallon up to 8 gallons. The general rule is, the bigger the tank, the more work you can do. If you’re using air tools that require continuous air, then you should consider a bigger tank as it will be depleted less often.
However, an air compressor with a smaller tank and higher discharge pressure is actually capable of doing more work than an air compressor with lower discharge pressure and a large tank. That is because a smaller amount of compressed air at higher pressure is always better than a large amount of compressed air at lower pressure. But it also depends on your tools and the pressure requirements for that particular tool. Some compressors even allow you to hook up external storage tanks.
Types of Residential Air Compressors: Portable vs. Stationary Compressors
There are several kinds of air compressors on the market, but there are two common types of residential air compressors based on portability – portable and stationary models. Each has pros and cons:
Portable air compressor
As the name implies, these machines are designed with portability in mind. They have smaller storage tanks and handles so you can carry them around in your hands. And some also come mounted on carriages containing 2 to 4 weeks that allow you to easily move them to different work sites.
Obviously, the advantage of these machines is the ability to take it anywhere, powering pneumatic in an endless range of work environments without needing extra long air hoses to stretch from a stationary site. This type produces less power overall when compared to bigger models, therefore usually falls within the reciprocating family.
Stationary air compressor
These bigger and heavier models, on the other hand, are meant to stay in one place. They are designed for placement in a shop or garage. They typically come with a vertical design that reduces the amount of floor space they require. If the location of your air compressor has limited space, a vertical tank may be a better choice over a horizontal tank.
Stationary air compressors provide greater CFM and PSI output. They are high-horsepower units with large storage tanks to allow for longer periods of time as compared to portable models. They also require special installation considerations that often include extra hosing drilled through walls and mounted above work areas. Higher end rotary screw compressors are commonly among this variety.
Styles of Portable Compressors
Whether you choose a portable or stationary air compressor, there are a number of styles to choose from. In fact, tanks are designed in numerous ways to meet the various requirements of different professional usages. Fortunately, the design of the tank itself will not impact a given tank’s performance: Generally, designs are a matter of application, floor space, and portability.
Portable compressor tanks are offered in various designs. Which one is right for you will depend on the power requirements of your tools and the type of portability that best fits your needs.
These style of compressors take their name from their appearance – they have round, flat storage tanks mounted on the bottom of the models and they make up the bases, which like the pancakes you cook for breakfast in the morning.
The pancake is one of the most portable units on the air compressor market. This special design adds stability and takes up less space than other styles, so you can place them in a discreet corner of your garage or storage area. They are ideal for both industrial and Do-It-yourself home applications. They are generally used at home for crafts, inflation, soccer balls, and outdoor clean-up.
Unlike the first style of compressor, these ones usually have only one tank instead of multiple reservoirs. They are distinctive because of their horizontal design. They have a hotdog-shaped cylindrical tank that sits on a stand, which means it can be placed against the wall out of the way and the handle helps you to maneuver it around your work position.
When looking for a hot dog air compressor, you will want to search for a unit with maintenance-free pumps.
Twin-stack compressors have two horizontal, cylindrical tanks that are mounted on top of each other. The stacked tank design gives you double the amount of air power without increasing the floor space the unit needs. The main disadvantage of this type of air compressor is that they can be bulky, requiring more storage space.
These compressors are ideal if your project requires a large amount of power. However, if you require minimal power from the air compressor, you can go for the single-stack air compressors.
These compressors are similar to twin stack compressors but they offer wheels and handles that are attached to the tank which allows you to move them from one room to another in a construction project. The wheel is of particular importance because wheelbarrow compressors are heavier than wheel-less twin-stack compressors.
With two tanks, you have double the amount of air you need, giving you more juice to work on projects before you need a refill. However, because of its heavyweight, you will not want to use this unit unless you’re going to use it for industrial applications.
Power: Gas vs. Electric Air Compressors
As you weigh the advantages of different types of compressor, you should also consider your power source. In general, you will have a choice between two options: gas engines and electric motors.
Gas-powered compressors are a great choice in rural areas and job sites where electrical sources cannot be accessed. While these models offer flexibility to where they are used, they are not designed to be used indoors. They also require more maintenance (refilling with gas, oil change) and are often higher priced than models with the same horsepower electric motors.
These compressors can weigh in excess of 200 pounds in some cases. So you will want to find some models that are designed with special portability features in mind, such as the wheelbarrow units which are often used by teams that need to transport heavy compression tool arsenals to remote work sites.
You want to ask yourself if you will have the luxury of electricity at all time. If so, you will want to choose a drive system with an electric motor.
Electric compressors are typically light, compact and environmentally friendly that can be used safely in enclosed spaces. Most electric models will run on 110V (US), but some large models that produce higher CFMs may require access to higher voltage. It’s also worth noting that this type requires longer air hoses as some experts discourage the use of extension cords with compressors.
To determine the amount of power necessary for your projects, you’ll need to verify the necessary air flow (CFM) and choose the most appropriate tank size (PSI) – These factors decide the efficiency of an air compressor in various settings. The great way to avoid being underpowered is to choose a unit that features at least 1.25 to 2.5 CFM higher than what your tool requires.
As a general safety rule, electric models should be used indoors where conditions are free of humidity and gas-powered ones should only be sued outdoors.
Single Stage Air Compressor vs. Two Stage Air Compressor
Air compressors use a pump to takes the ambient air and compresses it into the tank. Compressor pumps come in two types: single and two stage. Most single stage air compressor pumps can deliver up to 155 PSI and have CFM ratings below 100 PSI. Two-stage pumps deliver at least 175 PSI and the CFM ratings are over 100 PSI. While a single stage pump compresses the natural air directly into the tank, a two-stage pump will pump the air twice in each stage before final discharge pressure is reached. The choice between a Single Stage or Two Stage pump should be based on the CFM requirements in your line of work.
If you have a small space, you will want to choose one of the smaller models on the market, for example, a pancake compressor, which takes up little space while in use, and can easily be tucked away in a closet after the work is done. One of the cons of these small models is they have a limit on the range of tools that you can use, so it is not a great choice if you need a machine for high-powered functions like car repair.
Oiled or Oil-free
Some compressors need oil lubrication in order for the parts to move. And the pistons also need lubricating to work reliably for long periods. Without oil, the joints would wear down. Oil-free models use pistons rings in place of oil, this variety requires no lubrication and is often lighter than their oil-counterparts due to the use of aluminum components in place of cast iron.
These days oil-free air compressors are becoming more and more popular as they are generally a more lightweight and compact machine. Moreover, no oil means no maintenance, which is why they are also considered as maintenance free compressors.
Features Found on Air Compressors
Air compressors will come with a wide variety of features and you want to know if a given machine will have the features most applicable to your projects before purchasing. Here are some of the common features you will find on most of the air compressors on the market.
Thermal Protection – If an overload occurs, this will automatically shut off the motor to prevent damage to the machine.
Exhaust adjustment – Exhaust can be dangerous, especially if you’re using a gasoline engine. This adjustment allows you to direct the exhaust away from your work area.
Multiple couplers – If you operate a variety of tools from your compressor, couplers will give you an ability to handle different tasks without connecting and disconnecting tools.
Some air compressors even come with additional tools and gadgets such as nailers, blowing guns, hoses, and other tools that you’re going to need. Note that not all compressors will come with the air hoses.
The 3 Most Important Air Compressor Questions
Now that you’ve got the very basics of Air Compressors, here are some questions that will help you make your decision…
Where will you be using your air compressor?
If you need to move your compressor from project to project, you will want to consider a portable air compressor. However, smaller units sometimes are not able to sufficiently power some certain tools and you don’t want to sacrifice performance for portability. So you should be paying the most attention to the PSI and CFM airflow requirements and the horsepower. The higher these are the more power you’ll get out of your air compressor.
You also want to consider the level of use: Is it used for maintenance and craft projects around the house? Or is it for construction projects on the job site? This will help you determine how much of an investment really makes sense for your air compressor.
Which tools will you want your air compressor to operate?
Will you be using a brad nailer to finish up your wood shop projects? Or are you using an impact wrench in an assembly line automotive project? Again, the demands of your tool will determine the PSI and CFM airflow requirements and the horsepower of your air compressor.
If you intend to run one tool at a time, use the tool with the highest CFM and PSI requirement. If you will be using multiple tools at the same time, you will need to total the CFM’s required by each tool.
The key is to choose a compressor exceeds the CFM and PSI airflow requirements of your highest rated tool. The best results are obtained when you buy a compressor with 1.25 to 2.5 times more CFM airflow at the recommended PSI than your tools require.
The demands of your most intensive tools will also be a determining factor for whether you’ll need s single stage compressor or a two-stage compressor.
What will be your ideal air tank size?
Whatever your air demands might be, you will want an air tank that’s large enough to produce the levels required for your projects. You should consider how much space you have for an air tank – the difference between a horizontal or vertical tank could be a deciding factor: A vertical tank requires less room, but tanks of that design do not exceed 10 HP.
Ready to Buy your new Air Compressor for Your DIY Projects?
Now that you know the details on air compressors, it’s time to choose wisely a unit that will power your tools for years to come. As always when choosing a new machine, know precisely how you plan to use it when making the purchase. Keeping this in mind will always lead you to the right tool for the job.
If you’re ready to invest in a high performance, long-lasting air compressor which will reduce hours of work into minutes with only a fraction of the effort, then the DEWALT DWFP55126 Compressor is worth serious consideration.