Home Air Compressor Reviews DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor Review

DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor Review

A portable 6-gallon tank that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg is hard to find, but look out because here comes the DEWALT DWFP55126 in the mid price tier. The maximum PSI is 165 with 2.6 SCFM delivered from a 90-PSI pump. There are some definite power deficits that we will get into later, but I wouldn’t expect a powerhouse from 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 good indication of what to expect whether it’s at peak output or just during general usage. High performance is guaranteed from the air tools due to the high flow regulator and couplers, which get the most air to your tools rather than lagging their performance.

This is all pretty good going for a 30-pound package, which amazingly includes a 6-gallon tank. 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 marking your work area or any surfaces you put the machine on. For users that visit several work sites in a day, the cord-wrap feature will come in handy as a way to keep all of your tools 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.

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Power

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 smoothly and hums along steadily, the entire compressor is a bit too weak for all of the attached tools to handle. A 6-gallon tank with a max PSI of 165 would work okay when being used by one person on a mid to light task. But adding a second user creates a a bottleneck, one that’s immediately evident 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 power as possible, but when there’s nothing left to draw from, you’re out of luck.

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The horsepower for the entire unit is well hidden, but is listed as a disappointing .9 total. Again, a single user won’t notice any performance drops, but once you add a second the power will dip, to the point where it makes 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 you might be somewhat disappointed. We’re not sure if the second coupler was added on as an afterthought, but if you use this daily for multiple tasks you’ll see for yourself rather quickly if you’re on a team of contractors.

Extras

We were surprised to see that the outlet tube was rerouted, which is vital to keep it from being the catch point. This is not majorly innovative but a nice enough feature that I wish more air compressor units would do it. The motor is still one of DeWalt’s 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 optimization tricks in the manual that you may want to read over before putting into full operation. Even if there’s lot you already know, make sure to skim through it just in case there are tips you may not be using.

The required maintenance for the unit is minimal, 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 found in the manual that may save you time or the hassle of 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.

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Summary

Lacking the 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 certain 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. DeWalt even managed to nab some of the high end features of higher priced models. Unfortunately, it missed the most important part and capped the power, which in the end makes this a great 1-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.