What do you think is the best heavy-duty cordless air compressor? Based on the title of this article it It should be no surprise that we select the Dewalt DCC2560T1 FLEXVOLT, a 60V air compressor for the modern world. Its existence is a testament to the creative engineers at Dewalt who are redefining the boundaries of battery-operated power tools.
We think you’ll be impressed by how good a cordless air compressor can be. Keep reading to learn the facts, and in the end, you can decide for yourself.
Intro | Cordless Air Compressor
If you use pneumatic tools, an air compressor is one of the most important items that you own. Until recently, using an air compressor meant that you had to have a 120V or even 240V AC power supply. For contractors working on a site where there is no electrical supply, this means using a generator. Now, things have become a lot easier. Battery-powered tools and equipment have come a long way and the DeWalt FlexVolt system is probably the best that you’ll get. So if you’re looking for a cordless air compressor, the DeWalt DCC256T1 is going to drastically change the way that you do things.
VIDEO | Learn about the design of the Dewalt Walt DCC256T1
Taking advantage of the DeWaltFlexVolt system is already a great reason for you to consider the DeWalt DCC2560T1. These batteries are just about the best, offering you dual voltage (20V or 60V) with the option of a 3AH, 6AH, or 9AH. The fact that they automatically adjust the voltage to the tool that they’re plugged into, means that you can use the FlexVolt battery in any of the FlexVolt range of tools and all the older 20V MAX tools. This gives you the greatest variety of tools that can be used with the same battery. The FlexVolt range has an amazing selection of powerful 60V DC tools and a few high-powered 120V DC tools.
This makes the DeWalt DCC2560T1 the first option for most people looking for a powerful air compressor that can work anywhere. We will be giving you a complete review of this fantastic machine and offer a cheaper alternative for you to consider. The Ridgid R0230 is a smaller, less powerful, air compressor but is somewhat cheaper than the DeWalt DCC2560T1. So for people who might see the DeWalt as being above their price range, the RIDGID R0230 will come as a refreshing alternative.
Modern cordless air compressor powered by Dewalt’s 60V Max FlexVolt battery.
Application Use : Air Brushing, Blow Cleaning, Brad Nailing/Stapling, Finish Nailing, Hobby Nailing, Inflation
- Drive up to 1,220 nails per charge
- Brushless motor paired with a heavy duty oil-free pump provides cordless convenience with the power of a corded tool
- OneTurn regulator for fast, accurate pressure adjustments
- Lightweight and portable at only 21.5 lbs
- Heavy duty roll cage for jobsite application
- Compressor Made in the USA with Global Materials
- 79 dBA operational noise level (tested per ISO 3477)
- 1.2 SCFM @ 90 PSI (tested per ISO 1217)
- Product Weight (lb.) : 21.5lb
- Tank Material : Steel
- Tank Style : Pancake
- Decibel Rating (Outdoor) : 79 dBA
- Horsepower (hp) : .4
Overview | DeWalt DCC2560T1
Calling the DeWalt DCC2560T1 a heavy duty air compressor might seem like an overstatement if you’re going to compare it to large 20-gallon compressors with a lot more horsepower. Though if you’re looking at portable air compressors and battery-powered models, in particular, it’s going to be hard to beat the rugged DeWalt DCC2560T1. This machine is built to be tough, it’s made by DeWalt so that’s what you’d expect. It also provides a lot of power for a cordless air compressor.
The DeWalt DCC2560T1 has a very efficient 0.4 HP, brushless 60V DC motor. This motor is connected to a heavy-duty oil-free compressor pump. The machine is powered by a FlexVolt battery, you get a DCB606 FlexVolt (6AH) battery and a fast charger with your purchase. By my calculations, the 6AH battery should run the compressor pump continuously for around 45 minutes. Because a compressor never runs continuously, it switches on and off as the air is used, you’re not going to get this exact runtime.
VIDEO | Dewalt Flexvolt cordless air compressor
A compressor motor uses more power to start than it does to run, so your actual runtime will be affected by how many times the motor starts while you’re working. My guess is that people buying this size generator will use it mostly for nail guns – the DeWalt DCC2560T1 is perfect for this. On the DeWalt website, they express the battery time as 1220 nails per charge – this is an impressive figure for a battery-powered air compressor. Working with a nail gun, you’ll be able to work for about an hour without stopping – possibly longer. With a few 6AH batteries, you’ll get a full day’s work done without interruptions. You can increase your battery time by 30% if you upgrade to the 9AH (DCB609) FlexVolt battery.
This is a very compact and lightweight air compressor, ideal for site work. It weighs only 21.5 LBS and stands 15.5” tall, is 12.5” wide and has a length of 14”. Carrying this machine around or fitting it into a vehicle is really easy. The carrying handles at the top of the compressor provide plenty of positions to hold the machine with one or two hands. It is enclosed in a thick plastic frame that not only protects the machine but also provides several other positions for gripping it when transporting. The DeWalt DCC2560T1 is definitely designed for portability.
For a small air compressor that gives you excellent mobility, the DeWalt DCC2560T1 has a lot more working power than you’d think. It has a 2.5-gallon tank with a maximum pressure of 135 PSI. At 40 PSI, the compressor has a recovery rate of 1.5 CFM and 1.2 CFM at 90 PSI. It runs really quietly too, only 79dBA.
The DeWalt DCC2560T1 has a really user-friendly control panel with a OneTurn regulator. Unlike conventional pressure regulators that you turn in and out, the DeWalt OneTurn regulator is a dial with marked pressure settings. So you can set the exact pressure that you want by simply turning the dial. It also has a single pressure gauge right next to the pressure control dial. A single brass quick coupler fitting is positioned for easy access at the side of the control panel. The drain valve is a ball valve design, making it quick and easy to drain the tank.
The DeWalt DCC2560T1 will come as a godsend to many contractors. It’s a lightweight cordless air compressor with a heavy-duty pump and is very portable. The trusty DeWalt is going to work as hard as you need it to and won’t give up. I know that many people prefer to see “Made in the USA” when buying a local brand. For these guys, the DeWalt FlexVolt tools will come as great news. They’re all made in the US at one of their many factories around the country.
If you’ve never owned a DeWalt tool before, you haven’t yet experienced their fantastic technical support and customer service. Let me tell you, DeWalt is one of the best in this field. When you buy a DeWalt product, you also get one of the best warranty agreements ever. This is a 3-year warranty on the product, a 1-year free service plan and a 90-day money back guarantee.
Visit the Dewalt site to learn more about this and their extensive line of tools and power equipment loved by professionals and homeowners alike.
Cordless air compressor. Drive up to 1,200 brad nails with two 5Ah batteries.
- Dual-power draw allows the compressor to run on both 1 or 2 batteries
- Brushless motor technology for superior power and runtime
- 1 Gal. tank portable size for job site mobility
- Locking regulator holds knob in place to prevent unwanted pressure changes
- Universal push-to-connect quick coupler accepts both 1/4 in. automotive and industrial plugs with easy single-hand connection
- 1/4 in. turn ball valve tank drain – drain tanks quickly with one easy turn
- 120 maximum PSI provides ideal pressure for an extended range of work (for finish, trim, and inflation applications)
- Powerful enough to drive 2.5 in. nails flush into the toughest surfaces
Hose wrap for efficient hose storage management
We’re including the RIDGID R0230 as a cheaper alternative to the DeWalt DCC2560T1. As a cheaper option, it’s not quite in the same league as the impressive little DeWalt. It will still provide you with a tough little cordless air compressor that will handle a nail gun with ease. Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot of information on this product – it would have been nicer to see more technical specifications for the RIDGID R0230 on their website. Though by all indications, it’s a similar machine to the DeWalt but has a smaller tank and it seems to be a slightly less powerful air compressor.
VIDEO | RIDGID R0230 — See it up close and personal
The Ridgid R0230 is a nice looking machine and appears to be built for durability. It has an aluminum tubing frame that wraps around the front of the machine and this doubles up as a handle for carrying it and forms a solid base on which the air compressor stands. The 1-gallon tank is a lot smaller than that of the DeWalt DCC2560T1 and this will mean that the motor will be working harder to constantly recover the pressure as you work. There are no specs for CFM, so there’s no telling what the recovery rate will be. The maximum pressure is 120 PSI (also lower than the DeWalt), this will also affect how many times the motor has to switch on in order to recover the pressure. A smaller tank with a lower maximum pressure means that the tank pressure will drop more rapidly as you use it.
It has a great control panel, slanted at an angle for better visibility. On the panel, it has two pressure gauges, a regulator and quick connect coupler. Like the DeWalt, it also has a ball valve to drain the tank – which makes it just as easy to use. As far as portability goes, the RIDGID is slightly better than the DeWalt, it weighs only 19 LBS and the smaller tank makes it more compact.
The RIDGID R0230 has an 18V brushless motor and uses the RIDGID18V 5Ah battery. It is capable of using one or two batteries simultaneously. Using two batteries, the guys at RIDGID claim a battery charge capable of driving up to 1200 nails. When I look at this statement, they are either being very optimistic or DeWalt is being overly pessimistic. 2 X 5AH 18V batteries works out at 180 watt-hours.
If we compare this to the DeWalt 6Ah 60V FlexVolt battery that works out at 360 watt-hours, the numbers don’t add up. How can a battery with double the power only drive in 20 more nails? That’s 2% more working capability from 100% more battery power. This is why I prefer real specs, rather than “up to” claims. I was able to calculate the real working time on the DeWalt because I had the specs for horsepower and the battery. For this one, we just have to go with the claims made on their website and it looks to me like they’re overstating their battery time by quite a margin.
VIDEO | RIDGID R0230 : A versatile cordless air compressor
When you look at the RIDGID R0230, you can see its built tough and that makes it remarkable for its price. It has a 3-year warranty and I wouldn’t doubt that this air compressor is every a bit as tough (or at least almost as tough) as the DeWalt – they’re both well made. However, when it comes to the rest, the DeWalt is far superior. The absence of any real specs makes it difficult to see how they really match up, but from all that I can tell, the DeWalt beats this one. I guess it’s a case of you get what you pay for. Personally, I’d save a little longer, if I had to, and pay the higher price for the DeWalt DCC2560T1. Then again, I am quite a fan of the DeWalt brand, so there may a degree of personal prejudice here.
Visit the RIDGID site to learn more about their lineup of tools.
Choosing the Right Air Compressor
When you look at both the DeWalt DCC2560T1 and the RIDGID R0230, they’re much smaller than the air compressors that you see in most commercial (or even most home) workshops. This might leave you wondering what they’re good for.
When looking at air compressors, there are two main factors to consider, the size of the tank measured in gallons or liters and the recovery rate which is measured in Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) or Liters per Minute (L/M). Maximum pressure is a secondary factor to consider, but this is always higher than the normal 40 PSI or 90 PSI rating for most pneumatic tools.
A large tank holds more air and this means it will take longer to depressurize as you use the air inside. Pneumatic tools require a certain pressure for them to work, 90 PSI for high-pressure tools and 40 PSI for low-pressure tools. The motor that runs the compressor pump is controlled by a pressure switch that switches the pump on when the pressure inside the tank drops close to 90 PSI, this gives it enough pressure for all types of pneumatic tools. The pump will switch off when the maximum rated pressure for the tank is reached. Ideally, this would mean that you should always have enough pressure inside the tank to keep you working without interruptions.
But when the pneumatic tool is using more air than the pump is able to provide, the air leaving the tank will be more than the air entering the tank. This will cause the pressure in the tank to drop faster than the pump is able to recover it. In the end, the pressure will drop too low and you’ll have to stop working until the tank is fully pressurized again. If the pump is able to produce a CFM rate that is more than that of the tool that is being used, you won’t have to stop.
Heavy-Duty Traditional Air Compressor | Dewalt D55146
This effect can be mitigated, to some extent, by using a larger tank and having a tank with a higher rated pressure will also help. These two factors will mean that it will take longer for the pressure to drop below the rated pressure of the tool that you’re using. This is even more critical when using a spray gun because you want the most stable air pressure to ensure a quality finish to your spray job.
In the end, you want to match the CFM recovery rate that is higher than, or as close as possible to the tool that you’re using. Every pneumatic tool will have a pressure and CFM rating for that tool, this is usually displayed on the tool or you can find it in the user manual. To give you an idea of the CFM needed for the type of tool that you’re using, here’s a list of typical ratings. All of these tools use a 90 PSI pressure rating.
- Brad Nailer – 0.3 CFM
- Cut-off Tool – 4-10 CFM
- Drill – 3-6 CFM
- Dual Sander – 11-13 CFM
- Framing Nailer – 2.2 CFM
- Grease Gun – 4 CFM
- Orbital Sander – 6-9 CFM
- Speed Saw – 5 CFM
As you can see by this list, both the DeWalt DCC2560T1 and the RIDGID R0230 only meet the CFM rating for nail guns. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use orbital tools with these compressors, you’ll just need to wait for the pressure to recover once it drops below 90 PSI. The DeWalt has a larger tank with a higher maximum pressure rating and will, therefore, take longer to drop below 90 PSI. This will mean that using a smaller drill won’t really be too much of a problem when using the DeWalt compressor.
If you use a tool that requires much more than 5 CFM, it will probably become incredibly frustrating as you won’t be working for very long before the pressure drops too low. I wouldn’t recommend any of these air compressors for spray painting. For this, you need a large volume of air (high CFM rate) and a tank that can hold a lot more to keep the pressure constant.