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Air tools are generally lighter and more powerful than their electric cousins, but if you’re using an electric compressor, you still need a source of electricity.  With gas-powered air compressors you’re truly free of the plug.  While they’re not a new concept, DeWalt has added a couple new models that you might want to consider.

The two compressors really only differ in their capacity and number of wheels.  The D55690’s dual tanks have an eight-gallon capacity, and a 10″ semi-pneumatic wheel mounted between the tanks gives the compressor more mobility, while the D55695 uses a more traditional-looking 17-gallon tank perched upon two of the same 10″ wheels.

Driven by a 270cc, 9 HP OHV engine, both compressors output 150 Max PSI and 16.3 SCFM @ 100 PSI.  DeWalt achieves these pressure and flow ratings with a four-cylinder cast iron pump.  The engine features an automatic idle control for reducing fuel consumption, and it’ll shut off when the oil’s low to protect the pump.  Finally, a ball drain valve allows you to quickly drain the tank.

The compressors take an 18V XRP battery to start the engine — they both ship with the battery and a 1-hour charger. The D55690 runs $1,600 to $2,000, and the D55696 is about $100 more at $1,700 to $2,100.

D55690 [DeWalt]
D55695 [DeWalt]
D55690 Street Pricing [Google]
D55695 Street Pricing [Google]


8 Responses to Air Power Without The Cord

  1. Patrick says:

    Nice, but really, for close to $2000, the irony of needing electricity to charge the battery with the included charger can’t be overlooked.

    Yes, they include a pull-start, but if the cool part is an electric-start gas motor, then forget about the additional charger and add the components to the machine that’ll allow recharging of the battery.

    That way, you can pull-start it the very first time, charge the battery, use the battery to start it subsequent times, and use the port to recharge the battery, and other batteries, while the unit is running!

  2. @Patrick:

    Thanks for pointing out the fact these compressors don’t need the batteries to start, they can be pull started too. An important point I forgot to mention — although you can clearly see the pull cord in the pictures.

    I’m right there with you on recharging the battery. My initial impression before I took a closer look was that the compressors also charged batteries, not that it needed them for the electric start. Wouldn’t that be cool, take your cordless tools anywhere you take the compressor. After reading further I too was disappointed that it wouldn’t charge batteries.

    The battery point is a minor issue though, it seems like there are always nagging little problems with tools that detract from their real usefulness.

  3. Patrick says:

    Oh, no doubt, Benjamen, it certainly is a minor issue, and an amusing one!

  4. jeffrey immer says:

    it seems to me like a ploy to get you to carry or purchase the dewalt battery system. i wonder how many starts you get with the new nanophosphate ( and apparently unattractive looking) battery. not sure why it can’t just be a stand alone tool with a battery built in if it needs it to start.

  5. Adam says:

    I get the impression that it’s not so much a “nagging little problem” that the electric start uses a battery, as it is a moderately useful feature.

    Usually, you’d probably start it with the pullcord. But, if you happen to have some DeWalt cordless tools with charged batteries hanging about, then you can pop one into the compressor and use that to start it.

    If you need to charge a bunch of batteries on site, then maybe you just get a generator.

  6. Adam says:

    But really, why not just make it so you can start it with your drill, racecar style?

  7. fred says:

    We have one Emglo gasoline-engine hot dog compressor for those times we are working on larger properties (Gazebos, etc.) where stretching a cord would probably require a length of #4 wire to avoid the voltage drop. I believe that Black and Decker acquired Emglo and the Dewalt line is the result. I also believe that the Porter Cable Line of compressors – look a lot like the older DeVilbiss products (Black and Decker owns DeVilbiss, Porter Cable and Dewalt too.). If they keep up the quaility that we’ve observed with our Emglos (both the 1 engine-driven and the several electrics) then the Dewalt line should be great.

  8. _Jon says:

    Nice idea.
    I am certain future models will include an outlet for charger or a built-in charger.

    I think the drill-starter is a great idea.

    More than likely, those were considered, but pushed off in order to give “next year’s” model a new feature to woo new customers…. (sales, marketing, and planned obsolescence, and all that.)

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