Dewalt Air Compressor Review: Buyer’s Guide

dewalt air compressor review

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In this article we will take a look at the DeWalt brand of air compressors. We will look at what features are available in a DeWalt air compressor that might make this brand better than the competition. We also will compare different models of DeWalt air compressors and see which one offers the best overall value.


What Is a DeWalt Air Compressor?

DeWalt is a trade name for power tools offered by the Black & Decker company. One of these power tool categories is air compressors, and DeWalt makes different sizes of air compressors with different features, each aimed at meeting different customer needs.

Before we look at DeWalt air compressors specifically, let’s look at what air compressors are, the jobs they are intended to do, and what general features customers may be looking for when they are shopping for different classes of air compressors.

What Is an Air Compressor?

An air compressor is a device that converts power (generated from a source such as an electric motor or a gasoline engine) into potential energy in the form of compressed air. Air compressors force air into storage tanks under increasing pressure until some storage and performance limit is reached. The tank can then be used to store the compressed air until it is needed.

What Jobs Can an Air Compressor Do?

Many tools, for example nail guns and air-powered paint sprayers, can use the pressurized air inside the tank to perform tasks. Nails can be driven rapidly and with one pulse of air (instead of many strikes of a hammer), thus saving a lot of time, and paint can be evenly and accurately applied using a controlled flow of air through a paint gun.

In addition, smaller air compressors and inflators can do such tasks as inflate tires, footballs and basketballs, and other items requiring inflation (like flotation devices).

What Is the Difference between an Air Compressor and an Air Inflator?

The main difference between an air compressor and an air inflator or tire inflator is in the size and power of the unit. Air compressors can be very large: so large and powerful they would send too much air too rapidly into many smaller inflation chores, like inflating car tires. So smaller compressors called inflators have been developed for these low-power applications. One of the DeWalt air compressors we will review below is an inflator.

What Features Make a Good Air Compressor?

Generally, this  will depend on the size of the air compressor. The air compressors we are going to compare in this brand review are smaller and emphasize portability as their key feature.

Unlike larger air compressors, which may use large air reservoirs (or tanks) mounted on large support platforms and may weigh hundreds of pounds or more, these smaller air compressors and air inflators weigh a fraction of that, and are designed to go where these larger units would be too big and cumbersome to rely upon. In addition, some of these portable units run on batteries and DC current from a vehicle.

DeWalt Air Compressor Product Specs

Because DeWalt offers such a large number of air compressor models, we will examine the ones that provide portability as a main feature.

The problem with that approach is the portability is a relative concept in air compressors. Some fairly large units that weigh much more than the models we are comparing here are still counted as portable air compressors if they can be moved about from one work site to another. But the kind of portability we mean here is different.

All the DeWalt air compressors we are reviewing emphasize portability and compactness.

They are quite small units (all weigh less than 40 pounds) compared to most air compressors and are aimed at either personal use, as in the Max Inflator, or relatively small pneumatic jobs using air-tools. The one model where that is not the case is the DeWalt Quiet Trim, which is still a fairly small, light-weight, and in this case quiet air compressor; though it boasts sufficient power to run multiple air tools.

Another approach to portability that DeWalt has been on the forefront of developing the past decade or so is the use of cordless air compressors. In addition to small size and light weight, cordless units can be employed in places that units requiring corded access to power would not be able to go.


DeWalt air compressors vary greatly in price, depending upon the model. Larger units, ones capable of producing higher air pressures and longer operations between recovery, are going to generally cost more.

Even smaller air compressors and inflators, where portability is the key feature, will have pricing differences based on features and the relative performance of different models within the class of portable units.

With those variables in mind, prices on smaller DeWalt air compressors run from around $100 to $400. Buyers should keep in mind that such things as rechargeable batteries and charging cables (not always included) can increase the overall price of the basic air compressor.

How They Compare

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.

DEWALT DCC020IB 20V Max Inflator
DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor
DEWALT DWFP55130 “Quiet Trim” Air Compressor
DEWALT DCC2560T1 “FLEXVOLT” Air Compressor

DEWALT DCC020IB 20V Max Inflator

The DeWalt 20-volt Max Inflator is a corded or cordless inflator. Intended mainly as a small, portable, device intended to inflate items such as tires, sporting equipment (footballs, basketballs), and larger items such as inflatable beds and flotation devices.

Price                                            $

Around $80 to $99.

Ease of Use                               4.5-Stars

This is a small, relatively inexpensive, air inflator intended primarily for personal use. The controls for the Max Inflator are very simple to use, and easy-to-read digital gauges provide users clear information they will need to stay in control of the inflation/deflation process. It is easy to use the wheel button to dial up the desired psi for the target (from low pressure in footballs to higher pressure in tires).

A bright LED light provides illumination in low-light situations, and this combined with the ability of the tool to work with 12v adaptors in vehicles (e.g. via cigarette lighter inputs) makes this portable tool a highly useful emergency tire inflation kit that can easily store in a car, van, or truck.

Weight                                      4.5-Stars

5.5 pounds. The weight on this unit is a bit more than less expensive devices. But this reflects better, more durable construction.

Design Quality                         5.0-Stars

DeWalt built this unit to be easy-to-use, versatile, and durable. The Max Inflator can serve as an emergency tool, stored in cars and trucks to help top off low tires or inflate flat tires. It is more versatile than competing inexpensive inflators because it uses three kinds of power input: 20-Volt Max battery, 12v-DC, and 110V AC. And the Max Inflator is designed to last, using better quality materials in its high-power hose which insures quick and reliable inflation of larger objects such as inflatable beds and flotation devices.

Warranty                                   5.0-Stars

Three-year limited warranty.


  • Very easy to use
  • Great extra features (such as LED light)


  • More expensive than other small inflators
  • Items like batteries and power cords extra

See the DEWALT DCC020IB 20V Max Inflator at Amazon.

DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor

This DeWalt air compressor uses a “pancake” design, often found in smaller units. However, this portable air compressor has a much bigger tank (6 gallons) and this compressor is designed for heavy-duty air-tool jobs like powering nail guns and air-powered paint sprayers.

Price              $$

Around $150 to $160.

Ease of Use                                 4.5-Stars

Operating this DeWalt air compressor is fairly easy. Once the unit is powered up to the desired pressure, you connect your device via the inputs to the regulator, and begin to work. One aspect of ease of use that many people might not consider is addressed in this model: it is a relatively quiet machine. At 75.5 dBA you will not be upsetting neighbors with your work.

Weight                                         4.5-Stars

About 30 pounds. While this is of course much heavier than the inflator we described just above, this air compressor is designed to do much more, and in fact this weight is ideal and shows this unit is truly portable and easy to move about.

Design Quality                            4.0-Stars

Of course output demands on an air compressor will depend upon the output device, but generally this portable unit is capable of powering and keeping up with most small jobs or single-person work on a bigger job. Sometimes you may have to moderate your work pace just a bit to allow the machine to recover, but this is usually not an issue.

Warranty                                     4.0-Stars

One-year limited warranty.


  • Portable, light weight
  • Can handle most small jobs


  • Sometimes unit recovery slows work pace

See the DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor at Amazon.

DEWALT DWFP55130 “Quiet Trim” Air Compressor

This DeWalt air compressor provides oil-free air compression at 200 max psi, meaning this unit is ideal for a variety of air tool applications, including multiple tools connected to it without needing excessive recovery times.

Price               $$$

Around $220 to $320.

Ease of Use                                  4.5-Stars

The Quiet Trim emphasizes good power performance, so it can keep up with a job without needing constant recovery. And of course DeWalt emphasizes its quiet operation (at 71.5 dBA), which as we noted above is also important to ease of use. The unit otherwise is very easy to operate.

Weight                                          4.5-Stars

36 pounds. Just a little heavier than the pancake unit described above, but this air compressor has a lot more performance.

Design Quality                             5.0-Stars

This portable air compressor still packs enough power to run three nail-finisher guns at once! DeWalt built the Quiet Trim to operate in—not dominate—the workplace. Its relatively quiet operation means workers can still communicate without having to yell over the air compressor. And its 3.0 SCFM delivered at 90 PSI pump means that it can keep up with the job—with long run times and quick recovery times. The unit is also a snap to put away as it stores vertically or horizontally.

Warranty                                       5.0-Stars

One year limited warranty.


  • Portable but still has good power
  • Quiet operation


  • Hoses and adaptors are extra

See the DEWALT DWFP55130 “Quiet Trim” Air Compressor at Amazon.

DEWALT DCC2560T1 “FLEXVOLT” Air Compressor

This cordless DeWalt air compressor provides cordless portability, and it delivers for a variety of air-tool jobs.

Price )            $$$

About $280-$300.

Ease of Use                                 4.5-Stars

As with all of the DeWalt air compressors, operating this model is fairly easy. Its portability and light weight make it extra versatile for jobs requiring air compressors in smaller spaces.

Weight                                         4.5-Stars

21.5 pounds. Small, light-weight, and very easy to move around on jobs.

Design Quality                            4.5-Stars

Each battery charge allows for up to 1,220 nails, providing the run time to complete a variety of applications. That said, this is a cordless unit, and so performance and recovery time will depend on the type and and speed of the work required. Most users report this is a good and reliable unit for small jobs. Its portability makes it ideal to do one-person finishing work with nail guns and sprayers in smaller spaces.

Warranty                                     5.0-Stars

3-year limited warranty.


  • Portability for small jobs
  • Good performance for a cordless


  • At 79dBA noisier than other units here
  • Not for larger jobs
  • Yes, you’re paying for portability but still!

See the DEWALT DCC2560T1 “FLEXVOLT” Air Compressor at Amazon.


All the DeWalt air compressors and inflators we examined in this review provide good quality for the money. Even the Flexvolt, which seems a little expensive given that it isn’t as powerful as the Quiet Trim, is priced in accord with its superior flexibility—it is cordless and so can go anywhere to do a job!—and that can be a lifesaver.

While the Max Inflator and the Quiet Trim are not really competing models, we decided that based on what the products were aiming to deliver, both these DeWalt models scored the highest in our comparison with 4.75 average stars.

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