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Review | Portable DeWalt compressor / air pump 12v, 18v battery & 230v

I've worn out several compressors in the meantime and the DeWalt compressor is the first that hasn't broken after a few weeks. So it's high time for a proper review!

Who a camper or vehicle with air suspension, will have to regularly adjust the hardness of the air suspension along the way. Then there are for the 4×4 and overlanding enthusiasts, also the moments where you might go off-roading. When off-roading you will often have to lower your tire pressure for extra grip or to avoid sinking into the sand or mud. Afterwards you will have to inflate your tires again for the paved road.

In short, a good compressor is a must have gadget for world travelers exploring city and country with their own vehicle.

Cheap is expensive

After having worn out two 'cheap' 12v compressors of a few tens (read: burned by overload when inflating the tires…), I went looking for a decent device. A device that is small enough to take with you on a trip and also not unimportant; affordable.

Offroading at Yellowstone National Park, USA
Offroading at Yellowstone National Park, USA

I started doing where I am good I am. Googled, read reviews and of course I asked a number of 'overlanding experts' in a large Facebook group for advice.

DeWalt compressor / air pump

After weighing all the pros and cons, I arrived at this compact, portable DeWalt air pump. The reason? The device is not too expensive to start with – it costs around 130 euros and is here for sale.

In addition, you can use it in many different ways. It works on your 12v lighter, a standard 18v DeWalt battery (not included) or via a 230v plug (also not included) in the socket. You can not only inflate your air suspension, but also your car tires or air mattresses. In addition, it is very portable (like a mini suitcase with a handle), so you don't have to build it somewhere under your hood or elsewhere. That was also important to me. Buy, load and go.

Read or set tire pressure

What is a handy feature to start with is that you can read the tire pressure on the DeWalt compressor. You do this by connecting the device and turning it on. Another much nicer feature is that you can set the pressure on the device. You do this by turning the rotary wheel and reading it on the LCD screen. This is useful for precisely inflating car tires.

Inflating large off-road tires is no problem | DeWalt DCC018N air pump / compressor
Inflating large off-road tires is no problem | DeWalt air pump / compressor

With the two previous compressors I had to do this manually. That is anything but pleasant, because you have no idea how hard or soft the tires are unless you constantly monitor the pressure.

The DeWalt compressor switches off automatically when the pressure is reached. You therefore do not have to constantly pay attention to it. Useful. In the meantime, you can read exactly how far he has pumped on the left LCD screen. This way you can also estimate how long it will take to inflate.

The LCD screens and dial for air pressure / tire pressure | DeWalt DCC018N air pump / compressor
The LCD screens and dial for air pressure / tire pressure | DeWalt air pump / compressor

Tip:: There is also a light in the device, if you want to use it in the dark. With the middle button above the LCD screens, you switch between the compressor (hose on the left) and the air pump (thicker hose on the right).

Use on 12v = start car

I actually only use the DeWalt compressor on the 12v plug, the lighter of the car. That goes fine, but I have to start the car first to keep the voltage on the 12v plug constant. Logically, the device requires quite a bit of power to inflate our large off-road tires. If I don't do this, the device will switch off after a few seconds. This is because otherwise it will not receive enough power from the battery.

6 months of intensive use

All in all, this device after 6 months of intensive use proved to be perfect for inflating the air suspension and car and bicycle tires. It has also been used extensively for football and of course for inflating air mattresses and toys for the beach, in the swimming pool and at the campsite.

Even when I have to inflate all four car tires in succession after a day of driving at the beach, the device continues to work as it should, without burning out.

Also read: Amelia Island | 4×4 camper on the beach in Florida | Roadtrip USA

Speed ​​and air pressure

De maximum air pressure of this device is 11 bar, which is more than sufficient for almost all applications. In terms of speed? The device inflates an empty 235/70R17 tire according to official figures up to 2 bar in about 6,5 minutes. With an official capacity of 0,35 l/[email protected] bar and 0.6l/min@2 bar you can roughly calculate how long it will take for your tires. I do notice that when I have to pump up my big tires to 3 or 4 bar, it takes a little longer. Rather 10 to 15 minutes.

Not particularly fast, but quality

Admittedly, inflating 4 large off-road tires is not super fast. But, the DeWalt compressor pumps everything neatly full like a small diesel without looking back, because you can adjust the voltage and it does so without getting hot. The latter is special, since compressors often break down due to overheating during intensive use.

The user manual states that you should let the device cool down after 10-15 minutes of intensive use. This is more of a warranty thing, I guess. I've ignored the Florida 35-degree warning several times and checked the device's limit, but it didn't break. Don't pump at full power even after 30 to 45 minutes. Worth a compliment!

De Wereldreizigers.nl 4x4 RV with low tire pressure on the beach in Florida
De Wereldreizigers.nl 4×4 RV with low tire pressure on the beach in Florida

Adapters and reducers

Adapters and reducers to car and bicycle valves, balls, air mattresses etc. are included. They are all cleverly incorporated into the sides of the device. They did that really well.

The reducers are cleverly incorporated into the side of the device | DeWalt compressor
The reducers are cleverly incorporated into the side of the device | DeWalt compressor

Tip:: The DeWalt compressor comes standard with a cable to connect it to the 12V socket in the car. Optional is a 230V adapter available (article number N557515), but I personally think that this one unnecessary amount of money costs (+/- 50 euros). It is also difficult to obtain.

Do you not want or cannot use it on the 12v connection? Then you're probably better off with a DeWalt 18v battery (here available for +/- 40 euros), which you can click at the bottom of the device. These are the same batteries that are used in other DeWalt devices such as screwdrivers.

So if you already have another DeWalt device with a battery, you don't have to purchase it extra.

Conclusion DeWalt compressor

I have used the DeWalt compressor intensively for about 6 months now. It is an honest review written entirely from my own experiences.

That said, I can say that I am extremely happy with the portable DeWalt compressor. That he still does it is a minor miracle. I've tried pushing the device to the limit by inflating 4 off-road tires in one go at 35+ degrees in Florida with no problems.

It is also really compact and weighs only about 2 kilos. It is therefore easy to carry in a motorhome or vehicle where weight and space are of great importance. For 130 euros you have a small but decent 12v air pump / compressor with you. Anywhere in the world.

I therefore give the DeWalt compressor 4,5 out of 5 stars. If you are also considering purchasing one, you can do so via the order button below.

Good price / quality
DeWalt Portable 12v / 18v / 230v Compressor
€ 129,95

The DeWalt DCC018 is a special, compact and very well-functioning 12y / 18y / 230y air pump. Perfect for inflating air suspension and car and bicycle tires.

Inflating all kinds of objects for the beach and camping, such as air mattresses, is a piece of cake for this device.

The 12v plug, adapters and adapters to car and bicycle valves, balls, air mattresses and other large volume inflatables are included.

  • Works on 12v, 18v (battery) and 230v!
  • 12v plug included
  • Small and powerful
  • Versatile
  • Many reducers
  • 230v plug not included
  • 18v battery (excl.) costs 40 euros
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Owner or Wereldreizigers.nl | Discover the world!
– Traveled 3+ months per year, 10 years in a row
– Traveled a year in USA & Canada in 2022

Stubborn & decisive world traveller
– Life is short, make the most out of it in literal sense.
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