I was talking with an HVAC tech yesterday, and sold them on the Dewalt 20V Max cordless air compressor.
They had some common-seeming requirements, and my advice was fairly generalized, and so I thought a quick discussion would be interesting.
It all started with a question about Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel cordless air compressor.
They saw my M18 air compressor test sample, and asked how I like it.
I’m very pleased with this model. But, why the M18? I asked the tech, as their cordless power tools were from the Dewalt 20V Max platform.
They were considering the M18 cordless air compressor, as well as the Packout vacuum.
The tech is also considering going with Milwaukee Packout to better organize their van. For our job, the tech had a small Veto Pro Pac bag, and if I recall correctly, a small bucket with Workpro tool organizer.
The Milwaukee cordless air compressor is quite good, but it’s designed around the Packout footprint. It doesn’t attach to Packout tool boxes, but can ride on top.
Dewalt’s cordless air compressor has a more compact footprint, which isn’t very surprising as this is a major selling point of pancake-style air compressors in general.
As the tech already had Dewalt 20V Max batteries and chargers, it makes sense to stick with Dewalt.
The DCC2520B is a 20V Max FlexVolt Advantage model. When powered with a Dewalt 20V Max battery, its 2.5 gallon air tank can be pressurized to 125 PSI. If you need more than that, powering the air compressor with a FlexVolt battery allows it to be filled to 140 PSI.
Forget about storage systems. If you have to move an air compressor around, the Dewalt is noticeably lighter – the Dewalt weighs 21.5 lbs, and the Milwaukee 31.25 lbs.
The Dewalt has a higher capacity tank (2.5 vs 2.0 gallons), but is noisier (80 dB vs 68 dB).
For portability, Dewalt’s is better. If you’re already on Dewalt’s cordless power tool platform, the Milwaukee air compressor is great, but not worth the added expense of buying into another system.
If you want an air compressor that can be easily transported on top of a stack of Packout tool boxes, that’s where the Milwaukee definitely has an advantage. Or, if you need a quieter air compressor, there’s a big difference in favor of the M18 Fuel model.
As I have access to both cordless systems, I have yet to part with either model – both are fantastic performers. I tend to use the Milwaukee for longer projects where I don’t plan to move it around too much, and retrieve the Dewalt instead for quicker ones.
Dewalt’s FlexVolt model is still available, which is surprising, as I thought it was going to be replaced by the 20V Max FlexVolt Advantage model. The 20V Max model, when powered by a FlexVolt battery, achieves a higher fill pressure (140 PSI) compared to the FlexVolt model (135 PSI).
I’m wondering if I should have tried harder to steer the tech towards Milwaukee. There are other brands as well, but I couldn’t think of any that offered more than these two models, at least not for this particular user’s needs.
Would you have made a different recommendation?
The Dewalt 20V Model is available by itself (DCC2520B), while the FlexVolt model is commonly available in a kit format with FlexVolt 6Ah battery and fast charger (DCC2560T1). The Milwaukee M18 model is typically sold by itself.
At the time of this posting, the Milwaukee model is eligible for a free 5Ah battery.