On Power Tools Ninja we’ve reviewed a variety of compressors at not only different price points, but different performance levels. Recently we went in depth with an extremely capable unit, the Makita MAC2400, but we’ve also looked at smaller units like the Porter Cable PCFP02003.
This air compressor review focuses on the DeWalt DWFP55130 Heavy Duty 200 PSI Quiet Trip Compressor.
Immediately you will notice some important words in the name. First of all there’s ‘Heavy Duty’, but then there’s also ‘Quiet Trim Compressor’. Can a compressor be both heavy duty and suited for lightweight tasks? Let’s find out in this Dewalt DWFP55130 review.
What do You Need in a Compressor?
Whenever you’re thinking about buying a compressor, you should first ask yourself what you’re going to use the compressor for. One thing that needs to be understood is that there is no perfect compressor for every user, or for every job. Compressors vary in their output, their power demands, their level of portability, and even in how easy they are to use or maintain. In the case of this DeWalt unit, the compressor is squarely aimed at home DIY users and enthusiasts, and to some degree at professionals who need a lightweight compressor for touch up jobs.
The fact that DeWalt has chosen to use ‘heavy duty’ in the marketing of this product could be misleading for some. Yes, the product is ‘heavy duty’, but this relates to the construction, rather than the application.
‘Quiet Trim Compressor’ is the more important information you can take from the full model name. You won’t get away with using high draw tools with this compressor, and trim finishing is precisely what it excels at. At some points you may be able to use tools approaching heavy duty, but this will be in a pinch and you won’t be able to run them continuously or with any real efficiency.
Because the unit is quiet, it is perfectly suited for home workshop use, provided you are aware of the limitations. As we get to the performance section further in the review we will detail specific tool examples that you can run from the DWFP55130.
Can this Compressor be Run All Day?
Again, we run into the ‘heavy duty’ naming convention that DeWalt has chosen to go with.
You might assume that a heavy duty compressor would allow for long operating cycles, however this is not the case with the DWFP55130.
Like most compressors in its class, it has a 50% duty cycle. This means that the compressor motor should not be running for longer than 30 minutes of every hour. For small trim jobs this won’t be an issue, however intense work and long run times can cause the compressor to overheat.
How Portable Is the Dewalt DWFP55130?
Anyone who is interested in a trim compressor for light tasks will expect the unit to be portable. DeWalt has done a fantastic job with keeping weight down, and also with incorporating a user friendly design.
Barely weighing more than 40lbs, this compressor will easily be moved around a workshop, the home, or even carried on a truck or RV to be used with a generator or inverter. The roll cage has been designed in a way that allows it to double as a handle, and the unit can be oriented vertically or horizontally for storage and operation.
Does the DeWalt DWFP55130 Require a Dedicated Power Outlet?
Rated to draw 12 amps at full power, you won’t have any trouble running this compressor from your standard 110v outlets at home.
One thing that owners do need to be careful of is running other high drain devices off of the same circuit. Most household breakers trip at 15amp, so other power tools, washing machines, and fridges etc. should be run from separate circuits.
The included Power Cord is 56” long so you will need to be relatively close to the outlet that you want to use.
How Does this Unit Perform with Pneumatic Tools?
We’ve already identified that this compressor would be best suited to light home DIY and enthusiast use, but what does this actually mean when you look at performance in the real world?
First of all, the CFM and PSI ratings are important to any work that you want to do. Tools should be matched to the capabilities of the compressor, so that means you won’t be able to use anything that exceeds 3 CFM @ 90 PSI. When it comes to the tank, it can store up to 200 PSI, but the regulator will only release 135 PSI at the maximum setting.
Taken from our guide on understanding CFM and SCFM, here are the most suitable tools to use with this DeWalt Compressor;
- Brad Nailer
- Pneumatic Stapler
- Framing Nailer
- Tire Inflator
Now you may consider this list to be rather limited, but it needs to be understood that this compressor is for light tasks. You could run some heavier tools on it, but productivity would be so low that it would not be worth the time. For example, a 3/8” impact wrench is theoretically within the CFM limitations, but you would only be able to use it one or two times before having to wait for the motor to restore air in the tank.
Another example would be the use of framing and brad nailers. You could perform improvements on your home, but professionals wouldn’t want to use this compressor for major renovations and construction. The air storage capacity is simply not there. Overusing the compressor will trip a protection circuit inside, causing the unit to shut down.
In short, accept the limitations of the compressor and you will be very impressed, just make sure that you are well aware of the tools you would like to use before purchasing the compressor.
Is the Tank Big Enough?
2.5 gallon is a relatively small rating for an air compressor, but this size was necessary to keep the unit as portable as it is.
Because this is a trim compressor, the tank is sufficient for home DIY nailing and stapling tasks. 200 PSI is impressive for a unit in this class, and it will help you to get more shots out of your tools before the compressor cycles to recharge air.
Is the Compressor As Quiet as Advertised?
In short, yes! So far, the quietest air compressor we’ve reviewed has been the California Air Tools CAT 6310. That unit has a rating of 60dB which is impressively quiet.
This DeWalt unit produces 71.5 dB, which while not as quiet as the CAT, is still more than acceptable for home use. You can easily hold a conversation next to this unit, and you could even use it at night without disturbing the neighbors, or even those within your home.
Gauges, Pump Type, Hose Outlets
This is an oil-free compressor, which is why it is able to achieve such lightweight portability. The pump takes almost two minutes to fill from empty, but cycles quickly once already in use.
Coming out of the compressor are two 1/4 inch standard industrial quick connectors. You could run two tools simultaneously, but beware of overloading the device and running into excessive recharge cycles.
The gauges on the unit are well protected by a raised surround, and they’re the usual high quality DeWalt offerings. They are clear, easy to read, and accurate.
Accessing the controls on the unit is easy whether it’s laying upright or horizontal, and there’s even the nice addition of a rubber protector over the power switch. This helps to prevent moisture and dust entering the unit.
Oil-free means that the compressor motor requires no maintenance. The only thing you will need to do is keep the unit clean and dust free, and drain the tank after every use.
Draining the tank is important because it will prevent moisture buildup and damage that could lead to air leaks. Owners can easily drain the tank from the ball joint valve at the bottom of the unit.
How Well Is It Built?
This compressor is built like a tank, and that’s no exaggeration. For a portable unit it’s hard not to be impressed.
Everything from the steel roll cage, the steel tank, and the heavy duty plastic shields on the compressor are top notch. Next to some of the Makita units, this is one of the best made portable compressors on the market.
Small touches like the vibration absorbing feet, the raised protector surround on the gauges, and even the quarter turn ball joint release valve all indicate quality and attention to detail.
Does DeWalt Include Accessories?
There are no accessories included in the package, so most first time compressor users will need to purchase the necessary attachments and hoses. It’s not unusual for manufacturers to ship without accessories. It means that all of the effort, and indeed cost, went in to producing the best compressor for the retail price.
Three essential accessories for new users that we recommend from our own research are;
- A High quality hose like the Flexzilla.
- This popular tire inflator with pressure gauge.
- A universal accessory kit.
Is there Documentation Included?
DeWalt has included a comprehensive manual that covers everything from the compressor components, to grounding the unit and draining the tank, and even troubleshooting steps for common problems.
It’s refreshing to see such a good manual included, because it will help owners to get the most from the product.
Tips For New Users
There are three golden rules to owning an electrical start compressor like the DeWalt we have reviewed here. Make sure that you always;
- Drain the tank after every use.
- Never exceed the duty cycle of 50%.
- Only use an extension that is a 3 wire / 3 prong example, with at least 14 gauge AWG wire. Extension cords should be no longer than 50ft.
Remember that in the case of overuse and overheating, the compressor will automatically shut down. Wait at least 30 minutes before attempting to use the unit again.
The break-in procedure is essential to any compressor.
- Unpack the compressor, remove all coverings, and plug it into a compatible outlet.
- Before turning on the compressor, open the ball drain valve at the bottom of the tank.
- Turn on the compressor and let it run for 20 minutes. Pressure will not build during this time.
- Close the drain valve and let pressure build to maximum (200 PSI).
- At this point the break-in is complete. You can begin using the compressor, or release the stored air and pack the compressor away until you need to use it.
What Are People Saying About This Compressor?
Consumer reviews are a strong indication of the quality of a product. DeWalt DWFP55130 air compressor reviews The unit manages to gather high rating reviews from all online retailers.
Considering that this compressor is not absolutely perfect, at Power Tools Ninja we give the unit a commendable 4.7 / 5.
This is a nice video review that we think will help you better understand the capabilities and the features of this compressor.
How Much Does it Cost?
This unit can be had for a relatively low price when you choose to purchase online from a reputable merchant.
Shipping and Packing
Boxed in cardboard, the unit is adequately protected on the inside with further cardboard surrounds. It also comes completely sealed in plastic. There should be no risk of damage when ordering one of these compressors online.
This is another video to watch the unboxing of the unit.
Does DeWalt Provide Good Support?
Besides the high quality manual, DeWalt offers phone support, as well as support through their network of dealers. Resolving issues and organizing repairs is stress free with this company.
Our Dewalt DWFP55130 Review: Final Thoughts
Our DeWalt DWFP55130 review has confirmed what many consumers have said about this compressor.
It is a solid unit that performs well within its limitations, however it’s not the most versatile compressor you could buy. Whether this suits your needs or not will determine what you want to do with an air compressor.
Perfectly suited for nailing, stapling, and inflating, the DeWalt is a well-made portable compressor that impresses with quiet operation and build quality that rivals more expensive units.
If you want to learn more about air compressor technical features and what to consider when buying, check out our air comprehensive air compressor buying advice.
Also, if you want to have a look at other air compressors, check out our air compressor reviews list.
Dewalt DWFP55130 Air Compressor Summary Review
|IMPORTANT FEATURES||PROS & CONS
|-1.1 HP Motor|
-Dual Hose Outlet
-200 PSI Max Pressure Storage (Actual Regulated Max 135 PSI)
-3.0 CFM @ 90 PSI4.0 CFM @ 40 PSI
-Low amp Operation
-Portable and Lightweight
Exceptionally solid construction
Quiet, even for use inside
Can be used horizontally and vertically
Easy to read controls and an accurate regulator dial
Two outlets for dual use
Low amp rating
-Low tank capacity
-Slow to build pressure initially
-Short power cable has been an issue for some owners
Specifications and Dimensions
- Pump Type: Oil Free
- Model: DWFP55130
- Height: 46”
- Width: 66”
- Length: 38”
- Capacity: 2.5 Gallon
- Weight: 36 lbs
- Cut In/Cut Out Pressure: 165 PSI / 200 PSI
- SCFM @ 90 PSI: 3.0
- SCFM @ 40 PSI: 4.0
- Noise Level: 71.5 dB
- Quick Connect Fittings: ¼” (6.4mm) Standard Industrial Connectors
- Origin: Manufactured in China