If you like the idea of a portable compressor, but are skeptical about small tanks and low capabilities, then the DeWalt DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor could be a model that turns your interest.
A leading manufacturer, a larger than usual tank capacity, and a strong power output do sound good on paper. Let’s find out all of the details as we move through our DeWalt DWFP55126 review.
Application – Where Can You Use This Compressor?
The DeWalt DWFP55126 is aimed at professionals and home users who require a portable compressor for use with a range of pneumatic hand tools. At 30 pounds it’s manageable for carrying around a work site, in the home for DIY, or for use as an air pump for automotive and recreational purposes.
One of the most important features of this compressor is the relatively large capacity tank and the 165 PSI maximum pressure. Some smaller air compressors like the Senco PC1010 are useful for a range of smaller applications, but will show limitations when inflating tires or using more powerful hand tools. The DeWalt has an advantage over the smallest portable compressors because 6 gallons allows you to get a lot done.
With this compressor you would be able to inflate car and truck tires without excessive waiting while the unit builds pressure. You could also use nailing tools for woodworking and floors, helped greatly by the larger capacity tank. Both 18 and 23 gauge nailers and pinners won’t be outside of the capabilities of this compressor.
You will not be able to use this compressor for more powerful tools or industrial applications. It’s simply not designed for this. Leaf and debris blowing, and heavy duty tools require more air than the DeWalt is able to maintain.
The fact that the compressor only weighs 30 lbs means that you could easily carry it around the home for DIY work, keep it in your truck, or even in a camper or on a boat.
We’ll get in to some specific application scenarios in the Performance Rating section.
Is The Dewalt DWFP55126 a Compressor You Could Run All Day?
Although the manufacturer doesn’t offer specific guidelines, if you’re running the unit for extended periods then you should allow for cool down, especially if the pressure cut-in is starting the pump regularly. 10 – 15 minutes for every hour of operation would be a suitable cool down for a 6 gallon compressor.
Is It Portable Enough to Take Anywhere?
The unit comes shipped at 34 pounds, while the unit itself weighs just 30. Let’s put that in to perspective. A full sized BMX bicycle weighs roughly 30 pounds, as does a medium sized dog. This means that the compressor can be easily removed around any space that you’re working.
Because the compressor is designed in the pancake form factor, it also has a relatively small footprint of just 23 by 34 inches. Unless you’re heavily restricted as to the space you have available, you won’t have trouble finding room to use or store the compressor.
What Kind of Power Source Does the DWFP55126 Compressor Require?
This compressor will run from any 120v household, commercial, or industrial power source that is connected to the main grid. It requires 15A, and will draw roughly 1200 watts while the compressor is running.
Portable sources like a vehicle inverter will need to provide 15A and at least 1200 watts, while 1500 watts would allow more headroom. If you have an inverter generator then even a smaller 4000 watt portable generator would be sufficient to run the DWFP55126.
How Does It Perform in the Real World?
The compressor can store air at a maximum of 165 psi, with the cut-in pressure being 135 psi. As you’re using your tools and accessories the PSI will drop, with the compressor kicking back in at the cut-in pressure.
165 psi is quite a lot for light to moderately powered tools. The compressor is rated at 2.6 CFM @90 psi. This is sufficient for infrequent or short burst use of hand tools, with the exception being tools that require continuous high pressure.
Sand blasters, water blasters, angle grinders, ratchets and larger impact wrenches are considered ‘industrial purpose’ and would exceed the capabilities of this compressor.
Examples of tools suitable for use;
• A standard brad nailer requiring 0.3 CFM.
• A framing nailer requiring 2.2 CFM.
• A smaller 1/8 inch impact wrench for infrequent use requiring 2.2 – 2.5 CFM.
• An airbrush for hobby or touch up work.
The higher the CFM requirement is, the sooner you’re going to reach the cut-in pressure and have the compressor start up again. So while you can use 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 the cut-in pressure was reached.
Other scenarios where performance is good is when inflating tires or using an air hose to clean work surfaces or electronics. Truck tires that are inflating up to 120 psi would be fully serviceable from this compressor, and likewise cars with lower pressure and smaller tires could be inflated quickly, especially when compared to something like a 12V inflator.
Always check the CFM requirements for any accessories that you intend to run with a portable compressor. 2.5 CFM is the absolute maximum that you would want to run from the DeWalt, with tools up to 2.2 CFM providing the most satisfying performance.
What Are the Benefits of a 6 Gallon Tank?
The benefit of a larger tank on a portable compressor is that you can run your tools for longer before the compressor begins pumping air again. When the compressor is running there is noise introduced, but also there is a delay of a couple of minutes before the tank is fully recharged.
The 6 gallon tank on the DeWalt allows for longer running of smaller tools. However, as we have mentioned, it doesn’t have the capacity for heavy duty continuous flow tools.
How Much Noise Is Produced?
We previously reviewed a Senco 1010 which produced 83db at the compressor. The Senco provides only 1/6th of the tank storage that the DeWalt does, yet the compressor that we’re reviewing here only produces 75db.
As you move away from the unit you can expect a drop of about 10db from 3 – 4 feet away. This means the DeWalt is no louder than a dishwasher or running shower, making it a good choice for home users.
Does This DeWalt Compressor Require Maintenance?
The compressor pump on the DWFP55126 is an oil-free zero maintenance type. This means that the only maintenance you’ll need to perform on the pump is ensuring that it’s free of dust and debris.
You can easily achieve this by using an attached hose to blow dust from the pump assembly.
What Is Usability like, and Which Hose Outlets Are Included?
On the unit is a power on/off switch, a regulator adjustor, easy to read gauges, and the hose quick connects. The unit is easy to just plug in and go.
DeWalt has installed two hose outlets on this unit, which seems to be the current trend in the market. This is convenient when you need to run two tools, or if you have two people working off of the unit. Bear in mind that if two tools are used simultaneously, the cut-in pressure will cause the pump to turn on more frequently.
The hose attachments use ¼ inch industrial couplers.
Is This Compressor Well Made?
DeWalt is a trusted name in power tools and hardware, so you can expect strong build quality on this pancake compressor. The Porter Cable units we previously reviewed (especially the Porter Cable C2002) both suffer from problems with the regulators, whereas the DeWalt doesn’t show any signs of vulnerable parts or hardware. Everything from the plastic grille over the compressor, to the durable handle and metal tank are well made and feel sturdy for long term use.
Which Accessories Come in the Box?
The compressor doesn’t come with an accessory pack, so you’ll need to provide your own hose and connectors.
Recommended accessories include a high quality hose such as a Goodyear hose, as well as ¼ inch male connectors to pair to the female hose connectors on the unit. If you have any accessories using 3/8 inch connectors, make sure you purchase adapters to work with the ¼ inch connectors on the unit.
Is Documentation Included?
The documentation provided by DeWalt is a combined quick start guide and safety manual. There’s not a lot to read up on in regards to operation, but considering the ease of use the sparse manual doesn’t negatively affect the package.
Tips and Break in – What Do New Users Need to Know?
Older compressors required an initial break in period, however DeWalt has confirmed that this one is ready to go out of the box.
The unit is essentially maintenance free, but you’ll still need to drain it after every use to prevent corrosion inside the tank. To clear the air and any built up condensation just perform these steps;
1. Turn off the compressor after use.
2. Set the regulator knob to zero.
3. Remove any connected accessories.
4. Release the safety valve until the indicator gauge shows 20psi.
5. You can then open the drain valve on the bottom of the tank, while tilting the unit towards the valve. The remaining air will expel any moisture from within the tank.
6. You can now close the valve and store the tank until next use.
The DeWalt compressor averages 4.7 out of 5 stars on the leading consumer review website, indicating overwhelming positive response.
How Much Does It Cost?
This compressor had an original list price in the $300 to $400 range, however you can find it new in stores or at online retailers for almost half this price.
Click the button below to check out the latest price and discounts offered on Amazon.
Verdict – How Does the DeWalt DWFP55126 Review Stack Up?
Overall, the DWFP55126 is a difficult compressor to fault. Its immediate benefits are obvious; a large capacity tank coupled with high quality construction and a portable design.
The large capacity tank not only lets you work for longer, but it makes it possible to use tools that simply wouldn’t be an option with a less capable compressor. Whether you’re replacing hardwood flooring, repairing a section of roofing, or even building framing for a remodeling project, the DeWalt compressor could take care of most of your light to medium duty pneumatic tool work.
Being only 30 lbs, and having a footprint that is no bigger than a vehicle tire, this compressor will fit anywhere that you can, making it easy for you to work wherever you need to. Equally at home running from an inverter on your RV as it would be in your workshop, this compressor is portable in every sense of the word. Low maintenance, dual outlets to work with a buddy or run multiple tools, and it’s even quiet to operate, there are few things to fault with this compressor.
If you’re going to use larger tools, then this 6 gallon pancake compressor is not for you. 2.6CFM is produced at 90PSI, so heavier duty grinders, continuous flow tools, or industrial grade sprayers are outside of the capabilities of this machine. As long as you match your tools to the output of the DeWalt, you will enjoy years of trouble free use. If you’re in the market for a compressor right now there are few options that rival the portability, capacity, and convenience that are combined on this model.
If you want to learn more about air compressor technical features and what to consider when buying, check out our air compressor buying advice.
Also, if you want to have a look at other air compressors, check out our comprehensive air compressor reviews list.
DeWalt DWFP55126 Summary Review
|IMPORTANT FEATURES||PROS & CONS
|-30 lbs. Standing Weight|
-Made in The USA
-1 Year Warranty
-Console/pump protective cover
-¼ inch standard industrial hose couplers
-Quiet Operation @ 75db
-165PSI Output with a 6 Gallon Storage Tank (2.6 CFM @90PSI)
-Large tank allows for longer operation and bigger tools
-The unit is one of the quietest in its class
-High quality construction
-Two hose connectors
Application is limited to smaller and non-continuous use tools
Not suitable for any large spraying jobs like painting or sealing
Full Specifications (From DeWalt)
• Weight – 30lbs
- Power – 0.9 HP
• Height – 15.5inches
• Width – 23 inches
• Length – 33 inches
• Air Tank – 6 Gallons
• Cut-in Pressure – 135 psi
• Cut-out Pressure – 165 psi
• SCFM – 2.6 @90psi
• Noise Level – 75db
• Voltage – 120V
• Circuit Requirement – 15A
• Connector – 1/4inch (6.4mm) standard industrial