The new Ridgid 15-gallon air compressor has a combination of portability and power that will give Pros a good reason to pull the trigger. Its 200 max PSI and 5.0 SCFM at 90 PSI give it more potential than most portable electric compressors. Let’s see how it compares to the competition.
- 15-gallon vertical tank stores well in a trailer or corner of the shop
- Oil-free pump
- 200 PSI, 5.0 SCFM @ 90 PSI will run almost any common job site tool
- Lower price ($369 regular, $339 on sale) than its closest competition
- Needs a 20-amp circuit (common to all compressors in this class)
- Can’t handle air-hungry automotive and woodworking air tools (common to all compressors in this class)
The Ridgid 15-Gallon Air Compressor delivers enough air to run most any tool on the job site with enough CFM to run a pair nailers or smaller air tools in a DIY garage. Once you move into tools like sanders and grinders, you’ll want to look into a compressor that can deliver more air or switch to electric or cordless models.
Ridgids vertical tank design is one of my favorites. Looking like a mini shop compressor, it’s a great design for serious DIYers looking to make the most of their garage or shop space.
For Pros, it travels really well. It tucks in the corner of your trailer without taking up a lot of floor space. It’s a little tougher if you’re transporting it in the back of a truck, but you should still be good if you strap it down.
Ridgid uses a 14.5-amp universal motor for its power source and is labeled with “Strong Start” technology. There are some pros and cons of going this route, but it mainly spells good news for you.
Universal Motor Cons
- Shorter lifespan than induction motors
- Carbon brushes eventually need replacing
Universal Motor Pros
- Less expensive than induction
- Lighter weight
- Lower in-rush current at startup
- Higher power to weight ratio
- Less prone to stalling
So the big deal is that the universal motor helps keep the cost down. By going with a larger universal motor, Ridgid gets over the issue of inconsistent startups – hence the “Strong Start” designation.
Even though the motor is 14.5 amps, you’ll still to connect it to a 20-amp circuit to deal with the inrush current. Also, make sure you’re not sharing it with another tool so you don’t trip the breaker.
Pro Tip: Make sure you check the manual and use a heavy enough gauge to match the length of your extension cord.
Additional Ridgid 15-Gallon Air Compressor Features
- Locking regulator – prevents unwanted pressure changes
- 1/4 in. turn ball valve tank drain – drains tank quickly and easily with 1 turn
- 1 universal push-to-connect quick coupler – accepts both 1/4 in. automotive and industrial plugs with easy single-hand connection
- 2 in. pressure gauges – for better viewing of regulated and tank pressure
- Ergonomic handle design – for easy mobility and comfortability when carrying
- Accessory storage – keeps your accessories organized and within reach
- 8 in. flat-free wheels – allows for easy maneuverability in tough jobsite condition
One of the reasons to move up to this size compressor is simply the convenience of its 15-gallon capacity. More volume means fewer recharges.
Ridgid’s main competition comes from DeWalt, Industrial Air, both with the same 15-gallon vertical tank designs around the same price point. Both of those push a bit more max PSI at 225. However, Ridgid’s 200 PSI is going to get the job done for just about anything, including letting you split the coupler to run a couple of framing nailers.
The bigger concern for most Pros is SCFM – the volume of air it can deliver. Ridgid’s 5.0 SCFM at 90 PSI is right on par for this class, though it does drop behind slightly for its 40 PSI rating. That will run all of your nailers along with 1/2-inch or smaller impact wrenches, most air ratchets, and some grinders. You won’t have enough air to run sanders, large grinders, and shears.
What that means for the Ridgid 15-Gallon Air Compressor – and the class, in general – is that this makes a great job site compressor, but gearheads and hard-core woodworkers will need more.
If there’s an area that Ridgid stumbles, it’s in its decibel rating. While the other 2 are humming along at 78 dB(A), Ridgid is a full 8 points higher at 86 dB(A).
Here’s how Ridgid stacks up to its closest competition in price:
- DeWalt D55168: $349 (sale – regular price is $399.00)
- Industrial Air C1511: $379
- Ridgid OF150200A: $339 (sale – regular price is $369)
*Prices as of December 21, 2018
Ridgid clearly comes out the winner in price, though it’s not as much a gap as we normally see between them and DeWalt. Sales aside, these are all within $20 of each other.
Ridgid’s 3-year warranty exceeds DeWalt’s 1-year and Industrial’s 2-year warranties, tipping the scale a little more in Ridgid’s favor.
The Bottom Line
The vertical tank design lets Ridgid’s 15-gallon air compressor sit well in the corner of a shop or transport easily without taking up a ton of room in your trailer. It’s a great design for Pros that want more volume and air delivery without moving to a gas engine. Just be aware that you need a 20-amp circuit to run it on.
Ridgid 15-Gallon Air Compressor Specifications
- Model: Ridgid OF150200A
- Voltage: 120 V
- Horsepower: 1.6 hp
- Amperages: 14.5 A
- Air Delivery SCFM @ 40PSI: 6.2
- Air Delivery SCFM @ 90PSI: 5.1
- Maximum Pressure: 200 PSI
- Compressor Tank Capacity: 15 Ga
- Decibel Rating (Outdoor): 86 dBA
- Weight: 94 lbs
- Height: 41.62″
- Width: 17.62″
- Warranty: 3 years limited
- Price: $369