DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor
A portable 6 gallon tank is hard to find that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, but look out because here comes the DEWALT DWFP55126 in the mid tier price range. Max PSI is 165 with 2.6 SCFM delivered at 90 PSI pump. There are some definite power drawbacks here that we will get into later, but I wouldn’t expect a powerhouse on this one. The noise level is pretty manageable at 75.5 dBA so it shouldn’t be the loudest piece of equipment in your vicinity. That level maintains itself even during high usage, so it’s a representative of what to expect whether it’s in peak or just general usage. High performance with the air tools are guaranteed due to the high flow regulator and couplers which gets the most to your air tools rather than cutting their performance down.
This is all pretty good in a 30 pounds package, and is amazing how they managed to get a 6 gallon tank attached to it. A removable console cover protects the important components of the unit and still gives you access when needed. Tank draining is handled by the ball drain valve which is easy to access and a familiar resource for users that have handled air compressors before. The legs are protected with rubber to keep them from marring your work area or any surfaces where you may put the machine while it’s in operation. For users that visit several worksites in a day the cord wrap feature will come in handy as a way to keep all of your work ready to go in one unit. There are some power issues that may be of concern for anyone wanting to use the dual tool features of the unit, but for a 6 gallon portable air compressor this is a great buy.
There are some misconceptions about the power of this unit, especially since it supports dual users. But even with a high efficiency motor that starts up buttery smooth and keeps humming along, the entire compressor is a bit underpowered for all of the pieces attached to it. For a 6 gallon tank to have a max PSI of 165 it would work okay when being used by one person on mid to light task. But then you add in the second person there is going to be a bit of a bottleneck, one that can be seen in great detail when you try to use it with dual tools for the first time. Granted the high flow regulator does do a wonderful job of making sure it squeezes out as much performance as possible, but when the well is dry there really isn’t a lot to squeeze from.
The horsepower for the entire unit is well hidden, but is listed as a disappointing .9 total. Once again if using with a singular user you won’t notice any performance drops, but once you add on that second there are certain spikes that you will hit, to the point where it would make more sense just to continue on with one person rather than two. The fill time is barely adequate and if you’re looking to use the full features of the unit it can be call mildly disappointing. Not sure if the second coupler was added on as an afterthought, but if you use this daily for multiple tasks you’ll see what I mean rather quickly if you’re on a team of contractors.
Was surprised to see that the outlet tube was rerouted, which is vital to keep it from being the catch point. Not innovative but a nice enough feature that I wish more air compressor units would do it. The motor is still one of their best, and it holds true to starting up in cold weather with a very low draw. You’re not going to get a lot with this besides a 1 year limited warranty and an owner’s manual. There are some important optimizing tricks in the manual that you may want to read over before putting into full operation. Although a lot of it is things you already know, make sure to skim through it just in case there are tips you may not be using.
Maintenance is low on the unit, but if you plan on using it with multiple tools take good care of the universal couplers, or at the very least protect them when you can. The removable console cover is a bonus but will only benefit those with the know how to fix the unit. This once again points to some basic troubleshooting that you can find out if you look through the manual that may save you some time with sending the unit back to the manufacturer. Unlike other portable units this one has to sit vertical at all times, so be wary of that when storing or using it as it is a pancake compressor.
With a lack of power that would have put this air compressor over the top, it’s really disappointing to see it capped so much. A 6 gallon portable tank is a gift from heaven, but if teams of two can’t use it effectively then it is basically a 1 man compressor with a lot of unusable features. Some optimization tricks may help in some cases, but in the end this is a great unit that will forever be held back by its root mechanics. It’s durable, dependable, easy to use and has a lot of premium features to play around with. They even managed to nab some of the high end features of higher priced models. Unfortunately the missed the most important part and capped the power, which in the end makes this a great one man air compressor, and an average dual air compressor. This is still a recommended buy based solely on some of the other killer features that are hard to find in one unit.