Pancake air compressors provide stability, power and portability which is why they have become one of the most demanded air compressors among house owners, workshops and jobsites. Picking the right product can be tricky especially when you have to consider durability and efficiency within a budget.
Looking for the best pancake air compressor you can take to different locations and use at your convenience without spending on maintenance? There are numerous choices in the market but only a few can fit the best category.
So we have narrowed down your search with three of the top rated pancake air compressors to help you select the best.
Table of Contents
Reviewed pancake compressors
PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, 6-Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free (C2002)
DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, 165 PSI (DWFP55126)
The Porter-Cable C2002 ranks at the top of our list. The features compared to other two more accommodating for low-profile usage as well as heavy-duty duty. With a price range that is affordable for home-owners and industries, it serves as a highly efficient air-compressor in its category.
In terms of functionality, maintenance and weight, this product surpasses most of the other products with the same functions. Considering the amount of work that can be easily done with the help of this compact pancake air compressor, it fits price and would consider it a valuable investment.
It has an extended tool running time because it has 150 PSI tank pressure that accumulates more volume of air
The 2.6 SCFM @ 90 psi makes it possible for quick recovery time when it is used for an extended period
The 6 gallon pancake-style tank makes it more stable when in use
It also includes rubber feet under the tank and valve for draining water
With 120v motor, the air compressor allows easy start even during cold weather
You can also use an extension cord to start the low amp motor
Does not require maintenance or oil-refills
Protected vital components and shroud handle makes it durable and easily portable
Inbuilt regulated air couplers supports two users
Lightweight at 30lbs and cold wrap for portability
The main highlight of the C2002 pancake compressor is that even if it looks compact, it is jammed with power and efficiency. What makes this product stand out is that it allows two users with the support of a 6 gallon tank. The low-amp motor run on normal household circuit and does not require any maintenance. It is durable and safe for long-term use because the vital components are covered with protective layering that also gives it a sleek look. Most importantly, it only weighs 30lbs which makes it highly portable. You can take and use it anywhere to fill in tires, balloons at parties or fire nails to build or repair household furniture.
There are a bunch of reasons why we have chosen the Porter Cable C2002 as our first choice.
Firstly, it is compact and lightweight. The C2002 is only 30lbs which means that you can carry it around at home, jobsites or workshop. It is convenient whenever you need to refill a flat tire, or inflate an air-mattress or blow up some balloons at a kid’s party. You can also use it install trims around the house by yourself. It is just so handy and efficient for use anywhere!
Secondly, it is power packed. In spite of its compact and lightweight body, the Porter Cable C2002 is amazingly powerful. It runs at 2.6 SCFM at 90PSI at six
gallons of tank. This means you will be able to do your job longer without having to stop for recharge very often.
Thirdly, it is user friendly. Even without studying the manual, the components and functions of the C200 is pretty straight-forward. It has an oil-free pump which eliminates the mess and maintenance. Every job site with the C2002 is clean and efficient.
Lastly, you can use it anywhere. With the help of an extension cord, you take the product outside and refill tyres or repair flats. The low amp motor does not require powerful engines to keep it running. You can easily connect it to the house circuit and use it even in extreme cold weather.
The C2002 is highly efficient in its functions but some of the features that we had a problem with are:
Firstly, the vibration is too strong on wooden floors. Even though the rubber foot pads absorbs it a bit, it is still very noisy and disturbing for the people living next door. I would advise giving out a disclaimer before using it.
Secondly, reading the manual was confusing. Since there were no page numbers, we had a hard time assembling the components according to the manual. I would advise just leaving out the manual and figuring it on your own even though that can be a bit risky.
Low amp motor
DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Compressor with 6-gallon 165 PSI
Dewalt is a trust hardware company that has been manufacturing reliable products for many decades. With its high reputation, we have ranked it second
in our top list because of its 75.5 dBA feature compared to it noisy counterparts and the simplicity in its features.
The functionality and power of the Dewalt DWFP55126 is almost similar to the Porter Cable C2002 and same gallon tank but slightly smaller in dimension.
It has 165max PSI 6 gallon tank which makes it powerful enough to perform low to medium duties efficiently.
Delivers 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI pump that allows longer run time and quick recovery.
It features a 75.5 dBA noise level which other air compressors do not have, which means a quieter work environment and less fatigue
Does not require oil-refill or maintenance as it runs on electricity
The outlet has a reroute tube to avoid catch point
Equipped with two universal couple to accommodate two users which makes it efficient for light industrial work
Built in cord-wrap feature for convenient storage
It comes with a high air flow regulator to prevent wastage and optimize air flow
Since it runs on low voltage and has a powerful motor is able in cold weather and is compatible with external extension cord
Console protector for safety and durability
Lightweight at 30lbs
Installed drain valve for quick draining
Rubber covers on stand for stability
What’s impressive about the Dewalt DWFP55126 is that it is slightly more compact than the other pancake air compressor with 6 gallon tank. The bright yellow equipment is lightweight and highly portable. Since most air compressor without oil tend to produce a lot of noise, the Dewalt DWFP126 only exudes 75.5dBL of noise which is comparatively low when it comes to all pancake air compressors.
Firstly, it is much quieter than the previous product. The 75.5dBL is still loud but bearable.
Secondly, it is also more compact than other products with the same functional features and capacity
Thirdly, the size is just right for everyday use anywhere. It is portable enough for jobsites and home use.
Lastly, it is convenient for two users because it features 2 universal coupler that make working more efficient and less time-consuming.
The bad/ what I didn’t like
I found that there was a slight leak on the hose that was provided by the manufacturers. This was a major flaw but I am hoping others did not have the same problem. Luckily, they are replaceable and easily available in the market.
It functions properly but the packaging and installation from the manufactures were carelessly done.
All weather compatible
High quality product
Potential leaking hose
BOSTITCH BTFP02012-WPK Oil-Free Compressor with 6 gallon tank
Another pancake air compressor from a reputable brand is the BOSTITCH BTFP02012-WPK Pancake air Compressor. We added this product also because of the low-noise feature. Its calibre and features are at par with the best products in the market but at a slightly higher price range. If budget is not an issue, this is an equipment you would consider as a high value investment.
It is oil free and does not require refills which makes it clean and efficient
No maintenance hassle
It weighs lesser than 30lbs which makes it lighter than the other products and more portable
The compact design allows portability and easy storage anywhere
Reduced noise level at 80dBa for quieter work environment
It also includes a compressor, 50’rubber/pvc blend hose and blow gun accessory.
The PVC air hose is flexible enough for all types of temperature. It is abrasion resistant and much lighter than rubber hose.
The air consumption level is 40PSI which makes it reliable for heavy duty
It also has a high air flow regulator to keep the unit from malfunctioning and for optimum usage
The best part about this product is the sophistication of the finishing and the wholesome equipment provided by the manufacturers. Unlike other brands that come with some parts missing, Bostitch has additional parts that are specially made for the unit. It has a reduced sound feature and is much lighter than the previous two products.
In an overview, you will also notice that it is more compact and features two universal couplers that makes it highly efficient for use at home or at a job site.
Firstly, it is much smaller than the other pancake air compressor which means that it can be easily stored and carried around anywhere
Secondly, it is also powerful. It has the same calibre as the other air compressors around the same size and it needs zero maintenance effort.
Thirdly, it eliminates the noisy work environment. Noisy machine is one of the major problems that users face but the Bostitch BTFP02012 is much quieter.
Fourthly, it comes with a number of compressor parts so you don’t need to buy them separately. It saves a lot of money and hassle.
Lastly, besides it being compact and lightweight, it is also very powerful and does not take much time to start. The gap between the rest time and the maximum power is also much lesser compared to other machines.
The external material and housing does not feel sturdy enough. It felt cheap and unstable for heavy duty even though it does perform the work quite efficiently.
Although the description mentioned that there are numerous accessories provided along with the item, there were some parts missing.
Compact, Lightweight and portable
Flexible and all-weather quality hose
Oil-free and maintenance free
High flow regulator
Poor quality housing
Buyer’s guide: How to Choose the Best Pancake Air Compressor
With those products out in the market, there are still many things to consider while choosing the right pancake air compressor for your use. There are features that you might not need but pay extra for them. Other times, you might end up choosing one that does not have enough power to fulfil your task.
So here is a guide on how to choose the best pancake air compressor.
1. Consider the kind of work you will be using the compressor for
It is necessary to know if you will be using the air compressor on a daily basis or occasionally. For a heavy duty work, you will need a powerful and larger air compressor whereas an pancake air compressor is enough for occasional use at home or outside. You will need a higher air volume for doing heavy-duty work and a small tank capacity for air brushing or inflating daily-use objects.
2. Check out the different types of air compressor
Although pancake air compressors are efficient for a lot of work, sometimes they do not provide the amount of power needed for bigger tasks. Assuming you have considered the pancake air compressor sufficient for your duties, check out the length of the hose, tank capacity and power requirement before making your final decisions.
3. Compare the Cubic Feet per Minute.
CMF is the measure of air flow is volume. It varies on the psi of the compressor so two tools with separate psi won’t give out the same amount of CFM. A standard CFM is 14.5 PSIA at 20degrees Celsius. The best pancake air compressors run on 2.6 SCFM at 90. Ensure that you are buying a product that range around the same number.
4. Consider portability and space
Most pancake air compressors are popular because of the compact and portable features. If you are not planning on using it anywhere else, you might want to consider buying an air compressor that is bigger and more powerful. But if you wish to use it whenever and wherever possible, consider the portability factor. Is it light enough or too bulky? Will it consume too much space in storage? These are the things you should ask yourself before you buy one.
5. Consider the source of power
Most air compressor use electricity. However some pancake air compressor use higher voltage while others can run on regular household circuit. The best pancake air compressors usually run on low voltage and can be powered with an extension cord. The low voltage power requirement is also a bonus when the temperature gets too cold.
6. Is it too noisy and does it vibrate too much
Most pancake air compressors are loud and send out powerful vibration because they do not require oil. However, some compressors are louder than the others and makes them unbearable for users. For a quieter work environment and cleaner place, makes sure that you try out the product and test the noise level before you buy them.
One of the most common problems that users face while buying pancake air compressor is leakage on the hose and faulty gauge. Both the hose and the gauge should fit properly so that there is maximum air flow. Also, the housing of the product should be covered with sturdy, heat resistant material for maximum durability.
Benefits of Pancake Air Compressors
Pancake air compressors are easily portable and does not take up storage space
Pressure output is more powerful than two stack compressors
Even though pancake air compressors are noisy, they are still much quieter than any other air com
They consume lesser power and can run on low volts which make them convenient for residential use.
Pancake air compressor does not require any maintenance effort. Once you have it, you have it for as long as it lasts.
They do not have any belts and are oil-free which also contribute to their low-maintenance feature.
The tank capacity varies from 1 to 6 gallon which is often sufficient for low to medium heavy duty work.
How much does pancake air compressor weight?
On an average, high quality pancake air compressor weight between 18lbs to 30lbs. The weight of the compressor also depends on the materials used for the housing and the components used.
Are they powerful enough to inflate four car wheels?
Most pancake air compressors have 160psi so depending on the size of the tire, you will be able to inflate 2 to 6 tires.
What type of couplerS are mostly used for pancake air compressor?
Most pancake air compressors come with two universal air compressors. The most common type of coupler that is compatible in all these compressor is the industrial style coupler.
Can the output be controlled?
Yes, you can change the output from 30 psi to 40 psi. This control is done by the air flow regulator.
How do you recharge or refill the air?
All pancake air compressor comes with a cord. Once you plug it in the plug and switch it on, it will automatically recharge. Once it indicates that it is fully charged, to 150 or 180 PSI, depending on the capacity of the unit, it will automatically shut down and ready for use.
Can it be used for framing nailers?
If the air compressor has a framing nailer feature, yes. The compressor is powerful enough to frame nailers.
Do you need to cap one of the coupler if only one is in use?
No, the coupler automatically seals off to prevent leakage and give out maximum pressure when only one coupler is used.
Considering all the products listed here and based on the guide and functions of some of the best pancake air compressors, it would be safe to say that the top product is a matter of personal choice.
While all three exhibit great potentials and efficiency with slight flaws, reading others feedback and reviews also plays an important part in choosing the best.
While the Porter Cable is a high contender, it is noisy but cost effective compared to the Dewalt and Bostitch BTFP02012. If brand reputation and price is not an issue, the Porter Cable seem like a solid deal.