My experience as a handyman has helped me understand how crucial it is to upgrade your air compressor along with other tools.
In the process, I purchased both the Makita MAC5200 and Dewalt D55146 compressors as I was confused about which one was better. After my time with both these machines, here are the major differences between the two.
Makita MAC5200 is lighter and has more capacity. It also has a more powerful motor compared to the Dewalt D55146. D55146 has a higher maximum pressure output as well as an oil-free running mechanism, allowing it to run at lower RPMs.
|40PSI at 6.9CFM & 90PSI at 6.5CFM
|40PSI at 6.5CFM & 100PSI at 4.9CFM
|29 x 19.5 x 19 inches
|33.5 x 23 x 15 inches
|Check Latest Price
|Check Latest Price
Do read on as I discuss these differences in detail for a better understanding. If you are looking for more information about these products individually, I have added individual reviews for the MAC5200 as well as D55146, with the PROs and CONs highlighting their individual strengths and weaknesses.
If this is the first time you are purchasing an air compressor, the buying guide will help you understand these machines better. I hope to help you make the best decision that will ensure a wise investment for your future needs.
Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links.
Differences between Makita MAC5200 and Dewalt D55146
- Power: The Makita MAC5200 is powered by a motor with peak output of 3HP, while the Dewalt D55146 is powered by a motor that provides an output of 1.8 HP.
While it may seem to many that the MAC5200 is outright more powerful, the average power rating is around 2.1HP, which is closer to the D55146. Both of them are handy tools that offer good performance.
However, the MAC5200 was able to cope with tools requiring higher power with relative ease. As a result, I preferred it in high-power applications.
However, the MAC5200 ran at much higher speeds compared to the D55146. This meant that there were more vibrations and loads on the mechanism. As a result, I had to inspect the compressor and spend a considerable amount of time in maintenance.
- Size: The Makita MAC5200 has a larger tank of 5.2 gallons over the 4.5 gallon tank of the Dewalt D55146. This allows the former to run for longer times, making it a useful application in workshops needing a constant supply of air.
It is important to note though that both these models have much smaller tanks compared to other models in the same category.
The Makita MAC5200 is slightly larger and heavier than the Dewalt D55146. However, both these models are not the ideal option for those looking for the convenience of portability from their compressor.
While wheels and handles help in shifting these machines around, you will definitely need two persons to be able to lift and transport these compressors from one place to another. As a result, they are best suited for use within a fixed space like a workshop.
- Noise levels: The Dewalt D55146 has an output noise level of 78 dBA while the Makita MAC5200 has a rated noise level of around 90 dBA
For those who have not had the experience of working in a workshop, the sound levels of various tools and processes can be very distracting.
However, having the D55146 was much easier on the ears, as I did not have to hear the constant drone of the compressor blasting into my ears while in operation.
However, the MAC5200 was one of the loudest compressors I have come across in the category. It was quite annoying and had a direct impact on the quality and efficiency of my work.
- Pump type: The Dewalt D55146 has an oil-less pump mechanism while the Makita MAC5200 has a traditional lubricating mechanism that requires oil.
For those who find maintenance a tedious task, the oil-free mechanism of the D555146 is a welcome change. I did not have to set up a schedule to top up the oil reservoir or check the oil levels.
This also helped reduce maintenance costs, which made it another plus point. However, this limited the output power of the compressor, compared to the MAC5200.
The MAC5200 sticks to traditional designs, allowing it to be more powerful. As a result, it was more convenient to use in my workshop with tools that required a lot of power.
While the frequent maintenance was an aspect that annoyed me at times, I was well aware that this would have great benefits in the long run. In the next section, I have reviewed both these products independently to help you understand them better individually.
Makita MAC5200 Review
Manufactured by Makita, one of the leading brands in power tools, the MAC5200 offers the blend of performance and efficiency that the MAC series is known for.
With proprietary Big Bore Technology and 2 stroke technology incorporated in this model, the MAC5200 maximizes the output, giving users compatibility with some of their most powerful tools.
I was able to power most tools in my workshop with ease. I was also able to make use of the additional 90 PSI in certain applications that required a lot of power.
The high-quality materials used in the construction gave me the confidence that the machine was built to last. It operated smoothly with minimal vibrations, which is proof that the MAC5200 is a well-designed product.
The roll cage design protects internal components from any kind of damage in case of falls. To further ensure customers enjoy their experience, the company provides a 1-year warranty on the product.
Other features include industrial-grade air filters for higher CFM output and copper finned discharge tubing for better heat dissipation. One can also store the required tools and accessories within this product, making it the ideal compressor for your workshop.
PROs & CONs
- Powerful performance and high capacity of 6.5 CFM at 90 PSI
- Inbuilt storage and convenient design
- Copper fins for better heat dissipation
- Wheels and handle for easy movement
- Easy oil and filter changes
- 1-year parts and repair warranty
- Very heavy, difficult to transport
- Difficult to understand manual with no diagrams
- Very loud
- Cannot be used with an extension cord, limits range
Dewalt D55146 Review
Dewalt is another legendary brand known for its range of power tools. The Dewalt D55145 stays true to the brand’s philosophy of ensuring a great user experience by combining technology and performance in one.
One of the best features that stood out for me was just how quickly this compressor could be used again after usage.
I was able to use the D55146 after just 20 to 25 seconds, which is a commendable achievement.
It had a low-speed mechanism which could have a positive impact on the longevity of the product.
In daily applications, I could barely feel any vibrations, which was further improved by the sturdy steel construction of the casing.
The use of an oil-less mechanism also makes it convenient for those who do not wish to adhere to strict maintenance routines.
However, it was majorly let down by the weight of the product, which made it an inconvenience when it came to shifting in and out of vehicles.
This product is the perfect choice for those looking for a powerful air compressor in a fixed setup.
PROs & CONs
- Solid steel construction for better durability
- Fast recovery times for better output
- Easy drainage through vertical stand up position
- 3 year limited warranty
- Roll cage to improve ruggedness
- Inconveniently located on/off switch and drain valve
- Air leaks reported around pressure regulating valve
- Multiple complaints about damage to the wheel during shipping
- Heavy, difficult to transport alone
Before going further, let’s summarize all the differences between these two:
At the end of this comparison and review, I personally was convinced that the Dewalt D55146 was a better product than the Makita MAC5200.
While the MAC5200 offered better performance and larger output, it was let down by certain critical aspects like its poor noise performance and limited range.
These were some of the things that the D55146 took care of while ensuring there was no significant sacrifice when it came to performance.
With a longer warranty period, compatibility with an extension cord, and better recovery times, it ensured that the user convenience and experience were better than the competing MAC5200.
As a result, I preferred the Dewalt D55146 for its ease of use and noise performance over the Makita MAC5200.
Do read on as I now detail a buying guide for those buying their first air compressor and looking for guidance.
Air Compressor Buying Guide
A compressor can be a vital tool for anyone working with pneumatic tools. It is often helpful to have one for home use as well.
There are several factors to consider when buying an air compressor, so it is important to learn what they are and how they work before making any purchases.
This article will provide you with information on why you should invest in a portable air compressor and walk you through the process of purchasing your own!
Why Invest In A Portable Air Compressor?
Investing in a portable air compressor will allow you access to compressed air that you would not otherwise have.
You probably already know that most items that require or benefit from compressed air need more than just an accessory requiring pressure; they require an air compressor. It is often necessary to have an air compressor for the following items:
- Removing Bumper Caps (Until recently, this was one of the most common uses of compressed air.)
- Nail Guns (A staple of any DIYer’s toolbox)
- Airbrushes and painting with HVLP paint guns (Airbrush equipment is not cheap; however, with its use, you can paint like a pro!)
- Cleaning Tools such as sandblasting equipment or carpet cleaning machines (Keep your carpets looking good longer with a portable carpet cleaning machine!)
You may be considering buying some sort of pneumatic device in order to make it easier on yourself; if so, why haven’t you already invested in a portable air compressor?
As you can see, the benefits of having access to compressed air are immense. It is also worth noting that if you have an air compressor at home, you can save money on your electricity bill because you will not need to use an accessory that requires or benefits from pressure as often!
Take into consideration all of the ways that owning a portable air compressor could improve your career and lifestyle, and imagine how much easier it would be to complete all of those projects!
How Much Should I Pay For My New Air Compressor?
Before buying anything, most people factor in the cost of the item. This is no different for an air compressor. There are several things to consider regarding cost, including brand and price.
When it comes to brands, there are a few that stand out from the rest because of their reliability and high performance.
You will often see these brands used by professionals who know a quality product when they see one: Ingersoll Rand, Dewalt, Makita, DeVilbiss, Quincy, Campbell Hausfeld, Husky.
These brands offer several different portable air compressors with varying features for all types of users; regardless of what type of air compressor you need or want, you should be able to find it within this list.
Another important factor to consider is price range. Keep in mind that the amount you pay for an item does not necessarily indicate its value or efficacy! With air compressors, there are brands that are equally high-performing but which vary in price depending on the type of compressor.
For example, if you plan to perform very specific tasks with your air compressor, you may want to use a durable one with a higher RPM (revolutions per minute).
If you are not sure about what specifications would be helpful for you, it is wise to contact an expert who can inform you of the best product for your needs!
How To Choose The Right Air Compressor For Your Needs?
Keep reading for our easy guide on how to select the right portable air compressor for your needs:
1. Determine What You Are Using It For – First things first; consider what you are planning to use your air compressor for. The following questions may help you decide:
- Are you an active DIYer? (If so, keep in mind that not all compressors are built the same; some handle certain types of projects better than others.)
- Do you plan on using it for professional purposes? (If this is the case, it may be worth investing in a higher-end brand name air compressor because these often last longer and perform more tasks with fewer issues than cheaper brands.)
2. Determine Your Budget – Decide how much money you can or would like to spend. As mentioned earlier, although the price does matter when considering portable air compressors, it is necessarily indicative of quality!
Depending on your needs (and what you are using it for) you may be able to find an appropriate air compressor that will work for you within any price range.
3. Consider The Brand – If possible, choose a brand that is well-known and trusted; these companies produce high-quality products that last longer than other brands! (We mentioned several above.) You can find many of them for sale on Amazon or at local retailers like Home Depot.
4. Determine What Features You Need – Find out if there are special features available with the product you plan to buy; some types of features may not be compatible with others.
For example, if you intend to use your portable air compressor, look for one which comes with a nozzle. This will help you to get the most out of your compressor’s performance.
5. Consider Maintenance – Air compressors, like many other tools and devices, require some routine maintenance in order to remain in perfect working condition!
If you want yours to last for a long time, always keep up with any scheduled tune-ups or maintenance that is required from the manual or manufacturer’s website.
6. Find A Sales Rep Who Can Answer Any Questions You May Have – If possible, try to find someone who has purchased an air compressor recently; they can recommend one based on what they looked for when buying one and their personal experience with it!
To make sure your questions are answered fully and correctly, we offer free consultations with our experts!
7. Read Online Reviews – Do a little research online and read reviews from other customers who have bought air compressors in your price range before! This can be a useful way to confirm that you are buying the best product for what you need it for.
8. Consider The Warranty – For added peace of mind, always check the warranty details before purchasing your air compressor! An extensive warranty indicates how confident the manufacturer is about their product’s quality and performance.