Review: DeWALT D55146 200psi Portable Compressor with Wheels and 4-1/2-Gallon Tank



DeWALT D55146 Summary

See Long Term Update Below

An amazing compressor that serves shop duty as well as field duty, proving against all odds that one really can almost have it all.

DeWALT D55146 Details

  • 200 PSI max pressure provides 80% more usable air
  • 5.2 SCFM @90psi provides surprising continuous air volume
  • allows the compressor to recover quickly after its initial tank charge is exhausted
  • Unit can be placed vertical or horizontal for maximum flexibility in transport or in use
  • 78 dBA means quiet quiet quiet
  • Even the 10-inch flat proof foam tires strike a great balance between durability and utility.

So Should You Buy The DeWALT D55146?

DeWALT designed the D55146 to be portable, but also built it to be a truly heavy duty air compressor. While it’s a hefty guy (at ~80 lbs), it’s 4.5 gallon tank, 200psi capacity, and cleverly designed chassis w/ wheels and a protective full metal cage and shrouds helps it strike an excellent balance between utility and the ease of hauling and handling. The only downside will be getting it into your truck, but once it’s time to ge to work, you’ll be glad you brought this unit rather than a trim compressor. However, but if ultra portability is more important to you, and you mostly just run nail guns or impact tools, then may want to consider a smaller trim compressor as they are more portable.

It’s also very quiet (for an air compressor, that is) at 78db, meaning your customers won’t complain about the noise in their house and your wife won’t complain about the noise in your garage.

On the power side, it’s a very capable unit, powering several full size nailers or a full range of impact and ratchet tools. With a 200psi capacity, it’s set to cycle on at around 160 meaning you never end up finishing half driven nails by hand. You can spray texture and do some grinding and drilling, although if you do a lot of grinding, drilling or continuous paint spraying you should still consider a full size shop compressor. But for nailer and impact tools this is the best unit in its class.

But for everyone else, homeowner, handyman, and professional alike, this little gem is all you need.

JAN 2015 Long Term Update:

There are two glaring design flaws with this compressor which have become annoying to the extent that we are changing our recommendation.

  • The compressor is connected to the tank with a rubber hose that has to bend and wind in such a way that you can’t get a hose clamp to seal, and you can’t get in to it in order to use a crimp clamp instead. A stupid 50 cent part causes the compressor to hiss, leak, and cycle constantly.
  • The chassis of the compressor has a horizontal support brace that extends below the frame itself causing it to catch on steps when moving the unit up or down stairs. This has resulted in significant damage to stair treads and also to one truck tail gate. Another very stupid design decision.

This unit should be avoided.

Get a Makita MAC5200 if you want something mobile, or Quincy QT-54 for the shop.

List Price: $339.99 USD
New From: $269.98 In Stock
Used from: $250.00 In Stock

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