DeWALT 200 PSI Quiet Trim Compressor - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

A good blend between cost, quality, and performance in a compact, quiet compressor.

DeWALT 200 PSI Quiet Trim Compressor

DeWALT 200 PSI Quiet Trim Compressor



Compact, portable, light weight air compressors are a real boon for professional and hobbyist woodworkers, renovators, cabinet installers, finish carpenters – in fact, anyone who uses air tools on an intermittent basis, and especially for those of us working in small shops.

The new DeWALT 200 PSI Quiet Trim Compressor (model DWFP55130) is the latest entry in an already crowded field. While it doesn't offer any innovative features, it does provide greater air storage capacity than other comparable models, and offers a good blend between cost, quality, and performance.

The oil-free DWFP55130 has a capacity of 200 PSI (pounds per square inch), which refers to the amount of pressurized air it can store in its 2.5 gallon tank. With a higher PSI rating the compressor will run longer before it has to recycle (refill the tank), though it will take longer to recycle than a compressor with a lower PSI rating.

At 90 PSI the 
DWFP55130 consumes 3 SCFM (standard cubic feet of air per minute), which provides sufficient capacity for the air tools that I use – pinner, brad nailer, stapler, and dust blow gun. At 40 PSI you can use tools that consume up to 4 SCFM.

The compressor is powered by a 1.1 maximum horsepower induction motor that has a 12-amp draw, which you'll appreciate if you're shop has a limited number of electrical circuits or if you use it powered by a generator on a job site. The motor runs at 2,300 rpm, which accounts for its low noise rating (71.5 dBA), but adds to the tank refill time.

The 50-percent duty cycle is fairly standard for this class of compressor. It means that the compressor can operate for 15 minutes over a 30-minute period, then it needs to cool down for 15 minutes. If you use air tools intermittently then you don't have to worry overmuch about exceeding the duty cycle. However, extended overuse is likely to cause excessive wear on the compressor pump or overheat the motor. 
 
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Robust roll cage

The DWFP55130 has a robust roll cage that does a good job of protecting the motor and compressor pump – a feature that anyone who needs to transport a compressor to and from a job site will appreciate. The compressor can be used in either a vertical (left photo above) or horizontal position. This is a nice feature, as it enables you to store the unit in as small as a 12" high space under a work table.

At 36 pounds the compressor isn't that heavy, and the roll cage provides one long continuous handle. 


Overall, the fit and finish on this compressor is very good. Joints are nicely welded, and everything is securely bolted in place.

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Large rubber feet help absorb vibration

In the vertical position (upper photo, right) there are four large rubber feet that help absorb motor vibration. In the horizontal position two of the feet are replaced by smaller rubber 'button' feet. When used in this mode I found that there was a slight tendency for the compressor to move about the floor when the motor came on.

On all compressors the drain valve is located on the bottom of the tank, which usually means you have to bend down, or drop to your knees, to reach it. Because this compressor is light enough I just lift it up to turn the valve. 

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(L) Safety valve; (R) power cord wrap

The safety valve, located on one side of the compressor, is easy to reach. On the opposite site is a convenient power cord wrap. At 6' the cord is shorter than I would have liked.

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Conveniently tilted up control panel

I appreciate the upward tilt of the control panel, which makes it that much easier to read the gauges and access the regulator. The gauges have reasonably large dials that are easy enough to read. Dual couplers enable you to run two hoses – and two air tools – simultaneously. It's a feature I never use, but in a larger shop or on a job site it allows for two people to use the compressor at the same time. The dust sealed on/off button is located on the front of the unit.

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Tank pressure gauge cuts out at 190 PSI

I did notice that the tank pressure gauge consistently stopped at 190 PSI. This could either mean that the compressor only recharges to 190 PSI, or that the gauge isn't working properly. Regardless, it's not a serious issue. 

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Small, unobtrusive, and quiet

The pump-up time to fill the DWFP55130 is 90 seconds, while it takes about 12 seconds to recharge the tank. I found that I could shoot about two dozen 1-3.8" 21-gauge pins before the unit began recharging. This isn't a hang of a lot different from other similar sized compressors that I've used. The low decibel rating means that I can run the unit without having to resort to hearing protectors, which I really appreciate in my small shop that is windowless and has concrete floors – a real sound trap. The one year warranty is a bit meager, but seems to be standard for this style of compressor.

For anyone who uses a compressor on an intermittent basis – furniture makers, trim carpenters, cabinet installers, and the like, as well as most hobbyist woodworkers – and who use air tools that require no more than 3 SCFM (at 90 PSI), the DeWALT DWFP55130 is definitely worth considering.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Horsepower: 1.1 
  • AMP Draw: 12
  • Tank Size 2.5 gallons
  • Pump Speed: 2,300 RPM
  • Capacity @ 40 PSI: 4.0 SCFM
  • Capacity @ 90 PSI: 3.0 SCFM
  • Noise level: 71 dBA
  • Dimensions: 12.5" H x 20.5" L x 16.75" W
  • Weight: 36 lbs
  • Dual couplers
  • Power cord wrap
  • Warranty: 1 year

COMPANY:DeWALT
MODEL:DWFP55130
PRICE:$299.00
MADE IN:China
SOURCE:Find a Retailer
December 2014

Author: 
Carl Duguay
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