I often get requests from people who ask me to recommend an air compressor. This can often be a difficult task if I’m not given enough details as to the performance they want or the sort of tools they want to drive. Last week however I receive quite a detailed specification and this made the task much easier. The spec was 10 to 15 gallon tank size, around 4 CFM (cubic feet per minute) at 90 PSI, easily portable, value for money and above all it had to be as quiet as possible since his workshop is quite close to neighboring businesses.
There are several portable air compressors that meet the air flow performance detailed in his specification. But when looking for a quiet compressor and value for money it was easy to narrow the search down to one particular model, the Dewalt D55168 Portable Workshop Compressor. As you will see in the following review, there are many reasons for choosing this model above others.
Certainly when it comes to money, the discounts available make this exceptional value.
- Quieter working environment provided by the low 78 dBA operational noise level
- Recently reduced in price
- Quick compressor recovery times
- Unique EHP (efficient high pressure) technology delivers exceptional air-tool runtimes
- Oil-free maintenance-free pump
Excellent Small Shop Compressor
This is a great compressor, which has no limitations as long as you don’t expect it to replace a larger air compressor. One of the best things about this Dewalt model is that it is relatively small in comparison with other compressors with a similar rating. As you would expect with Dewalt, the build quality is excellent and this heavy duty unit is hard working and very durable.
I particularly like the fact that the Dewalt D55168 is so quiet. If I compare it against a similar unit such as the Craftsman I would say it makes about half the noise, which makes an incredible difference to the way you work. When the unit is running in the workshop with the doors and windows it is only audible up to 50 yards or so. Once the windows and doors are shut I believe I could run it all night without affecting the neighbors in any way. This helps to make your work very flexible both in the places you can use it and at what times.
Oil-Free Design Makes for Less Mess
Many compressor users raise an eyebrow when they hear about a compressor running without oil. Dewalt have spent a lot of time developing their oil-less system and it works flawlessly. It works by way of using a unique coating technology which works just as well as oil. You should have no worries about using this compressor in the shop or at a job site as it is designed for heavy use every day of the week – no different to an oiled compressor.
While you can basically take it out of the box and make use of it, you really must break it in properly and according to the operating instructions. This is a simple operation, which if followed will improve the lifetime and performance of the compressor. You only need to run it for 15 minutes or so with no load.
Apart from draining the tank at the end of each day there is nothing to do. The oil-free design really does help to make life easier.
Plenty of Power
The Dewalt D55168 compressor has plenty of power for jobs such as filling tires, blowing out parts or running small tools such as impact wrenches and air ratchets. Recharge is quick and in fact it takes a long time for the tank to kick back in when using these smaller tools.
This air compressor is outstanding for several functions. For filling up tires, it’s great. For blowing out parts, it’s wonderful. It’s also perfect for running air ratchets, nailers and impact tools (such as impact wrenches). The recharge is pretty fast and when using something such as an impact wrench, it works quite a while before the tank kicks back in.
While it is rated at 200 PSI you have to realize that this figure refers to the tank pressure and not the hose pressure. While the tank does indeed charge up to 200 PSI, you will get something like 125 PSI as a hose pressure. This is fine for most air tools.
Dewalt D55168 is Lightweight and Portable
This is an easy compressor to move around the shop or to any job site. Being ideal for home and small shop use, your life is made cleaner and easier by its oil-free design and the quiet 78 dBA noise level of the pump. Providing 5.4 SCFM at 90 PSI operation it is powerful enough to carry out a multitude of tasks…Buy NOW
Portable Compressor Review DEWALT D55168 Rating:
DEWALT D55168 Price
Dewalt D55168 Product Specification:
Weight – 104 lbs
Performance – 5.4 SCFM at 90 PSI
Noise – 78 dBA operational noise level
Max tank storage pressure – 200 PSI
Capacity – 15 Gallons…See more
What CFM Do You Need?
The power of air tools is measured in terms of CFM or Cubic Feet per Minute. Different air tools have different CFM ratings and when you buy an air compressor you have to know if the compressor will actually drive your air tools. The ratings are measured as Average CFM, which assumes a twenty-five percent duty cycle. In other words using the tool for 15 seconds in every minute.
Obviously if you already own your air tools then it is important to use the CFM figures supplied by the manufacturer. If you are buying an air compressor to cover all your future requirements, you need to have an idea of what the different air tools typically require.
Here are some common tools and their typical average CFM ratings at 90 PSI:
Rotational Sander: 8-12
Angle Disc Grinder: 5-8
Grease Gun: 4
Dual Sander: 11-13
Framing Nailer: 2.2
Ratchet (1/4″): 3-45
Ratchet (3/8″): 4-5
Hydraulic Riveter: 4
Brad Nailer: 0.3
Impact Wrench (1/2″): 5
Impact Wrench (1″): 10…Read More
Get all the information you need about air compressors with Northern Tool + Equipment’s Air Compressor Buyer’s Guide…
Power Tools and Fasteners – ToolBarn.com offers a large selection of online power tools and fasteners for sale to contractors and home owners…
Read Lowe’s Air Compressor Buying Guide for advice on how to choose the right air compressor for your projects.
Dewalt D55168 review on video:
Video Rating: 4 / 5