California Air Tools Vs. DEWALT Vs. Rolair Air Compressor

Do you need the most extended service of airpower for your pneumatic tools? Then you have to invest in a durable induction motor and a corrosion-resistant tank. Naturally, the faster the motor rotates, the faster it wears out. However, if you have large pistons and heavy-duty pumps, then the load on your motor reduces giving your air compressor a longer life. Once you get the best pump, you are close to the best value air compressor.

The other important factor is the tank. Your tank needs to be large enough to store the air and maintain pressure for long to reduce the number of times the pump turns on. These are the features that put these three air compressors at the top of any shopping list. They are a combination of power and high pressure carrying anything you need for your finish applications, inflating, or running any pneumatic tool.

If you intend to get more air with more runtime, Cat 8010is your go-to air compressor. It is a premium build air compressor with dual pistons and an 8-gallon tank to give you all the runtime you need. DWFP55 is the best unit from DeWalt that builds up a giant pressure of 200PSI. It delivers 3.0CFM at 90 PSI running any tool you may have. Rolair FC2002 is like the middle ground of these three featuring a 4.3-gallon tank with a high-speed motor.

Whichever your preference, you need to ensure you understand your tools to make an informed choice on the compressor. The CFM rating needs to be higher than the sum of the CFM of all the tools you intend to use simultaneously. You also need to consider location and mobility, which is why we analyzed every aspect of these great air compressors based on performance to make your choice easier to make.

1. California Air Tools 8010 8-GAL Air Compressor

California Air Tools 8010 Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 1.0 hp Steel Tank Air Compressor, 8 gal, Silver


If you are looking for a powerful air compressor with a large tank and a quiet motor, this is your best pick. It is a pocket-friendly air compressor with dual pistons that help build up pressure quickly and also reduce the recovery time. Its most significant advantage quiet operation that runs at just 60DB giving you a comfortable work environment.

Its 8-gallon tank also stores all the air you may need to run tools that need continuous airflow such as sand-blasters, impact wrenches, and spray painters. These features make it a versatile compressor for any project in a shop or at home. It is also oil-free, so you don’t have to worry about maintenance.

It has a large air filter and 2 heavy-duty iron-cast pistons that help fill up the tank in 165 seconds, reducing the time you have to wait between refills. It has a durable 1.0HP four-pole induction motor rotating at 1700RPM. The low RPM rating reduces power consumption to 8.5Amps on a 120V plug allowing you to install it on your home plug.

This air compressor also has a top-rated performance at 3.1CFM at 40 PSI and 2.2CFM at 90PSI. It can be used for painting or nailing continuously without overheating. Its large tank also allows the air to cool, condensing all the moisture to reduce water problems in the pipes.

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It is made of durable metallic parts, including a durable steel tank and iron-cast pistons. This air compressor is also portable thanks to the wheels at the back and the raised front handle. It accepts universal parts, including a ¼-inch connector, so the parts are easy to find and replace.

Key Features

  • Maximum Pressure: 120PSI
  • Motor: 1.0HP,1700RPM
  • Pump: Oil-free, Dual pistons
  • Power: 8.5Amps,120V
  • Tank size: 8.0 Gallons
  • Sound: 60 DB
  • Weight: 54lbs
  • Performance: 3.1CFM at 40PSI, 2.2CFM at 90PSI

Pros

  • It has wheels for ease of mobility
  • Corrosion-resistant tank and frame
  • The oil-less pump needs no maintenance
  • Dual pistons build pressure quickly
  • Short recovery time
  • It is quiet and comfortable for indoor use.

Cons

  • It is heavy weighing 54lbs
  • Not suitable for multiple users

Top FAQs

Q: What is the difference between this air compressor and the 5510 from CAT?

A: 5510 has a 5.5gallon tank, 8010 has 8.0-gallon tank

Q: What is the recovery time of this compressor?

A: About three minutes

Q: Can this compressor power an impact wrench?

A: No. You need 5CFM or more for that

Q: Can I use a ½-Inch connector?

A: Yes. If you have the adapter because the discharge valve is for ¼-inch connectors

Q: Does this air compressor overheat?

A: Only if you use it for a very long time without allowing the motor to rest, say three hours.

2. DeWalt DWFP55130 1.6HP Quiet Trim air compressor 

DEWALT DWFP55130 Heavy Duty 200 PSI Quiet Trim Compressor

DeWalt has the most versatile tools in the market with the highest pressure to size ratios, which is why this small air pressure has a giant maximum pressure of 200PSI. It delivers 3.0SCfm at 90 PSI, which can run most air-powered tools at home for a long time. It is also very compact, weighing just 36lbs and very slim for space convenience. It has a 2.5gallon tank that fills up fast and allows the compressor to recover quickly from projects.

DWFP55130 has a roll-cage design that protects the essential elements of the compressor. This air compressor has premium parts that deliver enormous air power and are also designed to last. The pump is oil-less working at 2300RPM, which fills up the tank rapidly, allowing you to continue working for longer. It has a 1.1horsepower motor drawing 12-Amps at 120V for convenience with any plug. It is also easy to set up and read because its pressure gauges face upwards.

It is still very quiet for an oil-less compressor releasing just 71.5DB of sound, which is manageable and doesn’t need you to wear ear protection. It is fitted with two quick couplers allowing multiple users to work simultaneously for higher delivery. It weighs only 36lbs and can be lifted or rolled on the ground at your convenience. It can also be stored either on the side or upright.

Key Features

  • Maximum Pressure: 200PSI
  • Motor: 1.0HP,2300RPM
  • Pump: Oil-free, Single piston
  • Power: 12.0Amps,120V
  • Tank size: 2.5 Gallons
  • Sound: 71.5 DB
  • Weight: 36lbs
  • Performance: 3.0SCFM at 90PSI

Pros

  • It is light weighing only 36lbs
  • It can be stored both vertically and horizontally
  • Fills up quickly and also has a short recovery time
  • It has a thorough ball drain valve
  • It has wheels for portability

Cons

  • The pump is on top affecting the stability when stationed upright
  • A small tank limits your runtime, especially when using multiple tools.

TOP FAQs

Q: How long does the tank take to fill up?

A: 90 seconds

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Q: What is the duty cycle for this air compressor?

A: 50 percent

Q: Can I use this on a ½ inch impact wrench?

A: It can if you get an adapter for ½ inch coupler for the discharge. You still have to stop frequently for recovery. The pressure is OK, but the air is limited.

Q: Will this air compressor power two nail guns for long?

A: It can install a whole bunch of high-gauge nails as long as you allow the pressure to build up effectively.

3. Rolair FC2002 2.0HP Twin Stack air compressor

Rolair FC2002 2 HP Twin Stack Compressor with Overload Protection and Manual Reset

Rolair is famous for creating heavy-duty air compressors with 100 percent duty cycle, which allows you to work nonstop. It is a 2.0HP oiled air compressor designed to run medium-range tools for professional contractors as well as home needs. Its greatest advantage is the two 4.3-gallon tanks that provide sufficient pressure for prolonged projects. It performs at 4.1CFM at 90PSI, allowing you to load multiple pneumatic tools at a time.

This air compressor is famously known as the bull because it has a nonstop duty cycle. It has a maximum pressure of 125PSI and takes less than 3 minutes to build up maximum pressure. It has an oil-based iron cast pump designed to serve you longer than standard oil-less models. Its main deal-breaker is the large piston-cylinder size that delivers sufficient pressure with each stroke.

The motor is super-fast, delivering 3400RPMwhich serves to fill up the twin tanks in a short time. It is a four-pole motor with optimized power consumption at 13.8Amps with a voltage of 120V. It also has a cold start valve to make starting easy in cold weather. The noise level is 80DB, which is on the higher side because of the large piston size.

FC2002 comes mounted on a stable iron-cast frame for location convenience. It weighs 64lbs, which makes it hard to move it around unaided. Its balanced handle, however, makes it possible to lift it with less strain. It has a pressure overload protection and manual reset, which makes it very easy to operate.

Key Features

  • Maximum Pressure: 125PSI
  • Motor: 2.0HP,3400 RPM
  • Pump: Oil-based, Single piston
  • Power: 13.8Amps,120V
  • Tank size: 4.3 Gallons
  • Sound: 80 DB
  • Weight: 64lbs
  • Performance: 4.2SCFM at 90PSI

Pros

  • Wide iron frame for stability
  • It has 100-percent duty cycle, no time wasted
  • Twin tanks deliver continuous flow for a long time
  • A corrosion-resistant steel tank
  • Oil-based pumps plus ball bearing shaft reduces wear

Cons

  • It is heavy and doesn`t have wheels
  • The noise can get uncomfortable in small spaces

Top FAQs

Q: Can I use universal parts to replace in case there is a leak?

A: Sure. FC 2002 uses universal standard consumer-grade parts including hoses

Q: Can I use this compressor to fill up large truck tires?

A: Absolutely. Tires only need 30-35PSI, this one can deliver up to 100PSI.

Q: What is the duty cycle on the air compressor?

A: 100 percent. It can work nonstop

Q: How many couplers does it have?

A: It has one, but you can get a multiple outlet coupler for multiple users.

Direct comparison

Pump

The pump is the most critical component of any air compressor. It is always advisable to invest in a powerful motor and pump for durable service. The amperage and horsepower tell you just how powerful your pump is. In this review, Rolair FC2002 has the most potent pump consuming 13.8 Amps and delivering 4.2CFM of air at 90 PSI. It can power more demanding tools than the 3.1 from Dewalt DWFP55130 and 2.2 from California air tools 8010.

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California air tools, however, get the credit for the fastest air compression thanks to its dual-piston pump, which is an added advantage. Dewalt has a powerful pump able to compress air up to 200PSI, which increases the value of each CFM released. This reduces pressure on the motor in the long run, making it more durable.

All the pumps in this review are iron cast and designed to be weatherproof, increasing the lifespan of your air compressor. Rolair FC2002 has an oil-based pump which, despite being louder and needing frequent maintenance, lasts longer. CAT8010 and DWFP55130 are oil-lees, need less maintenance but naturally wear out faster due to high friction.

Tank size

Longer projects need a larger supply of compressed air, meaning the larger your tank, the longer you can work before the motor sets in. Large tanks also allow air to cool, reducing moisture that passes into the pipes. FC2002 is a twin-stack model with 4.3-gallon tanks making it the best option in this regard. CAT 8010 also has a high gallon capacity of 8.1 gallons allowing it to run continuously for long. DWFP55130 has a gallon capacity of just 2.5gallons.

Performance

Most tools operate at a PSI of 90, which is why the CFM at 90 PSI is the most important performance indicator on an air compressor. The maximum pressure level also determines the period of service your compressor can deliver steady pressure. DWFP55130 has the highest pressure at 200PSI. It delivers 3.1CFM at 90 PSI.

Rolair FC2002 has a maximum pressure rating of just 120 PSI. Its large tank size, however, allows it to perform at 4.2CFM at 90 PSI, which means it can run more tools effectively. CAT 8010 has a CFM of 2.2 at 90 PSI limiting the number of high-power tools you can bring on board.

Noise levels

CAT 8010 is the quietest air compressor in the review, releasing just 60DBof sound. It is the best air compressor to use indoors. DWFP55130 is also comfortable at 7.1DB, which is still manageable; you don’t need ear protection. Rolair PC2002 is louder, releasing 80DB, which can get uncomfortable in a closed space.

Final Comment

Whether you are buying your first air compressor or seeking an upgrade, you now understand what to look for and how well each unit can perform with your tools. This review was created to shed light on the performance of these top three mid-range air compressors designed to give you value for your money. Once you have read the review and examined all your pneumatic tools, you are able to buy your best air compressor from the review at the best price.

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