If you are looking for a workhorse of a pancake air compressor, you shouldn’t look any further than the DEWALT DWFP55126 portable pancake air compressor.

You won’t be disappointed in the reliability or performance of this air compressor, no matter what kind of job site you are supporting.

Based on our research, Porter Cable C2002 is the best pancake air compressors because it is construction grade and is the most affordable option.

However, if you like to consider other options, feel free to review other top pancake compressor below.

Top Pancake Air Compressors

1.Porter-Cable C2002 –  Best Budget Portable Air Compressor

For job site performance and ease of use, nothing beats a good pancake air compressor. The small footprint and lighter weight bring ease of use and convenience.

If you are looking for a small compressor to keep in your garage, a pancake compressor is a perfect choice. They are easy to store, easy to use, and easy to maintain.

Porter-cable has been in the air tool and compressor business for many years, and the quality of its products is unsurpassed.

The Porter-Cable C2002 pancake compressor is no exception. This compressor reflects Porter-Cables history of providing high-quality tools to the construction sector at reasonable prices.

If you are looking for a full feature, construction-grade air compressor at a budget price, the Porter-Cable C2002 should fit the bill nicely. It doesn’t lack anything you could want on your job.

Features

  • 6-gallon pancake-style with rubber feet for stability
  • Durable oil-free pump for long life with minimal maintenance
  • 2.6scfm means quicker recover and cooler running
  • Lightweight construction for easy portability
  • Twin factory-installed regulated couplers supports two users
  • 2 gauges
  • Includes regulator

The Porter-Cable C2002 gets the nod as our Best Budget portable air compressor.

The Porter-Cable reputation for quality and service and the impressive list of features is enough to make this a top pick in any list of portable air compressors.  

Factor in that this little compressor is available for less than $100 and it becomes an instant best budget portable air compressor pick on our list.

PORTER-CABLE Compressor, Oil-Free, UMC Pancake, 13-Piece Accessory Kit, 6-Gallon, 150 PSI (C2002-WK)

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2.Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon 150 PSI Oil-Free Compressor

The Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon uses a maintenance-free pump that has a 6-gallon tank with a maximum of 150 psi.

The 0.8 horsepower motor still manages to reach this maximum psi within a few minutes. We like the device’s high-flow regulator and couplers that offers great air tool performance and recommend this as an ideal air compressor for airbrush devices.

BOSTITCH brings us a pancake compressor at a price that isn’t too steep. This is probably one of the best pancake compressors based on value alone. Let’s check out some features. 

Great Power

The BOSTITCH pancake compressor runs up to 150 PSI with an air delivery of 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI. The two gauges will allow you to keep track of the air pressure in the tank as well as how much air is being delivered.

You can adjust the flow by using the high flow regulator. This compressor may be small, but it works great for medium to heavy-duty jobs. Additionally, it won’t give you an issue when it comes to starting it in cold weather. 

Durability

When it comes to durability, the BOSTITCH ranks very highly. It is constructed from steel, which means it won’t corrode or rust over time. It will ensure a long-lasting piece of equipment. You will also find thick rubber feet at the bottom of the compressor to ensure it does not move from the vibration. 

Lightweight & Portable

So not only is this compressor durable and powerful, but it’s portable and lightweight. It only weighs 31 pounds, which is lighter than most of its competitors. It also has a handy carrying handle at the top of the machine that allows you to carry it from room to room. BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI (BTFP02012)

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Pros

  • Powerful
  • Durable
  • The motor isn’t affected by cold weather 
  • Comes in different styles
  • High air delivery

Cons

  • Louder than other compressors (78.5 dB)
  • Gauges may be too small to read 
  • Too weak for big jobs
  • Noisy
  • The air hose could be longer

3.Dewalt DWFP55126 

Some times you need a tool that stands head and shoulders above the rest. In the case of pancake portable air compressors, that would be the DEWALT DWFP55126.This pancake compressor rises to the top as an exceptional piece of job site equipment.

DEWALT has been manufacturing tools for years. Their reputation for innovation and quality is well known and they haven’t left anything on the table in designing the DWFP55126 portable pancake air compressor.

Looking at the features that come with the DEWALT DWFP55126 portable pancake air compressor makes it clear why this is our pick for the best portable pancake air compressor. Very similar to hyper tough

Features

  • 165lbs Max pressure for longer work time with fewer compressor starts and stops.
  • Quiet operation at 75.5 dB for a quieter work environment
  • Oil-free operation for less maintenance
  • Two factory-installed outlets support dual users
  • High flow regulator for higher performance
  • high-efficiency motor optimized for easy start-up in cold weather 
  • Lightweight 30lb weight for easier deployment
  • Ball-type drain valve for quick removal of water
  • Low profile stable design for maximum job site safety

DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, 165 PSI (DWFP55126)

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4.Craftsman CMEC6150K

Craftsman is another name that you see a lot in workshops, on construction sites, and more. It’s as popular as DEWALT and is the same cherry red color as the Porter-Cable equipment. There are a lot of great features that come with this compressor. Let’s check some of them out. 

Powerful

This Craftsman compressor is rather powerful. It has a 150 PSI maximum air pressure rating and 2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI. It runs off of a 0.8 hp motor when plugged into a 120V outlet. Since it has such a large 6-gallon tank, it’s able to hold pressure longer, but it may take a little longer to fill up. 

Versatile

For such a small compressor, it sure can do a lot. It has a front-mounted regulator with quick-connect outlets. These allow you to easily and quickly switch between different air tools. 13 accessories come with the compressor that includes a 25’ ¼” PVC air hose, blow gun, tire gauge, tire chuck, three inflator adapters, and three male fittings. You can use these accessories to run power tools, inflate tires, toys, and more. 

Durable

There is a maintenance-free pump equipped on the compressor as well as heavy rubberized feet. These feet will keep the compressor from walking from vibration. Additionally, there is a should and console cover to protect the components inside of the compressor as well as a handy handle. 

Craftsman Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free with 13 Piece Accessory Kit (CMEC6150K)

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Pros

  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Parts are easy to find if repair is needed
  • Rubberized feet
  • Quiet operation
  • Powerful

Cons

  • Poor quality accessories

5.PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor

Our number three rating goes to The Porter-Cable C2002-WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor. This compressor has a six-gallon air tank with a maximum of 150 PSI tank pressure.

Many users have reported that this compressor can handle up to 3 nailers at once and requires less maintenance than most other options on this list. We like using this as an air compressor for spray gun and similar devices.

This compressor has enough power to reach 110 psi in only a few minutes while offering extended use for your air tools. We also enjoy how compact and light it is. If you enjoy DIY projects, then this compressor is an excellent choice. However, this is one of the louder options on this list.

Also, the air nozzle feels flimsy. We notice it tends to run hot, which can spell problems for extended use. 

Advantage 

  • Powerful workhorse model
  • Compact and light enough for home use
  • Fast recovery and extended run time

Disadvantages 

  • Louder than many options
  • Flimsy air nozzle
  • Has a tendency to run hot

PORTER-CABLE Compressor, Oil-Free, UMC Pancake, 13-Piece Accessory Kit, 6-Gallon, 150 PSI (C2002-WK)CHECK PRICE NOW

6.Hitachi KNT50AB – The Best Pancake Air Compressor For Finishing Nail Gun

This combo kit by Hitachi includes the popular NT50AE2 2″ 18-gauge brad nail gun that is both lightweight and well-balanced for easy transportation.

What we are particularly interested in is the EC710S 6-gallon oil-free pancake compressor that delivers reliable and steady performance. This air compressor can operate multiple nail guns at once, depending on the job’s requirements. 

Comfortable Design

Its 1-HP electric motor is powerful enough to generate 150 PSI of max working pressure for finishing nail guns. The operational air delivery is set at a consistent 2.8 CFM at 90 PSI.

The ergonomically-designed simple flip actuation switch allows the user to select bump fire or sequential fire modes easily. 

Industrial Hose Included

In the box, you can also find a lightweight 25′ x 1/4″ hybrid air hose with industrial fittings. The hose is spirally-reinforced for extra durability. It features some heavy-duty bend restrictions that allow it to remain flexible in freezing weather.

Lots of Additional Goodies

In the kit, there are a couple of safety goggles and some pneumatic tool lubricant. The combo kit also has a tool-less, easy to clear nose for quick and simple nail extraction, should a nail jam during operation. The elastomer grip adds comfort and facilitates the combo kit’s transportation.

Hitachi KNT50AB Brad Nailer and Compressor Combo Kit, 6 Gallon Pancake Air Tank, 5/8" to 2" Brad Nails, Includes 25' Air Hose (Discontinued by the Manufacturer)

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Pros

  • Comfortable grip for easy towing around the job site
  • Easy to clear nose for quick and simple nail extraction
  • Ergonomically-designed simple flip actuation switch

Cons

  • Issues with the spring-loading mechanism have been reported

7.Excell U256PPE – The Best Pancake Air Compressor For Framing nailer 

Nail guns are beneficial when one wants to build a hut in the mountain or fix their fence so that the neighbor’s dog doesn’t ravage their garden. They are also good for regular around-the-house upgrades.

It can be difficult to know what the best compressor to power up all of the different nail gun models is. Our tireless experts and testers have established that Excell’s U256PPE model is the best small air compressor for such applications.

It’s got a 6-gallon tank and has a solid and rugged construction. Its air pump requires very little maintenance, while the 1.5-HP motor generates 2.8 CFM at 90 PSI.

Low Voltage Startup

The U256PPE can hold up to 150 PSI of maximum air pressure so that it can take care of most tasks without issue. The motor’s low voltage startup capability of 64 volts makes this model very suitable for projects in rural areas, where the power supply may be unstable.

Protected Components And Appealing Design

The fully enclosed motor and pump components are well-protected from job site abuse by a nice plastic shroud. One of the best things about this air compressor is the ergonomic handle. It feels terrific to hold and makes this machine easy to move around. 

Well Place Controls

Its got an oil-free pump and motor design, which provides longer operation and fewer costs. It’s always nice to be able to see your gauges easily, and this model has them mounted directly on top. Everything you need is all in one place, right at your fingertips.

Below Freezing Operating Temperatures

Cold starts are not an issue at all with this machine. Its got a proprietary cold weather start system, and it will function at temperatures as low as -24° F (-31° C)!

The Excell 1.5 HP oil-free 6-gallon air compressor is a great model for basic inflation needs such as blow cleaning, brad nailing, stapling, finish nailing, hardwood flooring, and light-duty bolting & wrenching.

Pros

  • Extremely versatile
  • Guaranteed startup in cold weather
  • Conveniently located control panel

Cons

  • Some users say this model isn’t very stable 

How To Choose The Pancake Air Compressor

It takes more than just looks and power to be considered a great air compressor. There are many other considerations that have to be made for it to work for you the best that it can. Here are some of the characteristics of a great air compressor that you should be on the lookout for: 

CFM

One Of the first things you should look at when comparing air compressors is the CFM. This is what tells you how fast the compressor can supply the air.

If you are using a tool that uses air quicker than the compressor can give out, you will have to stop doing what you’re doing and wait for the compressor to catch up. So with this said, you will want to make sure that the CFM is enough to keep up with your tools. 

Tank Size

You will find that most small compressors for home use are between 1-6 gallons. The larger tanks will hold more air than the smaller ones and will allow you to work longer. However, this also means that it will take longer for the tank to fill. 

As for the smaller tanks, you won’t be able to work as long as you would with the larger tank, but it also won’t take nearly as much time to fill back up. With that said, if you need a lot of air volume, tank size won’t matter, CFM will. 

Noise

There’s no denying that air compressors can be noisy, sometimes requiring you to wear earplugs or headphones. Noise is measured in decibels, and most smaller air compressors run at around 60 to 87 dB. The lower the number, the quieter the machine is going to be.

 A machine that is rated at 70 dB will be twice as loud as 60 dB and an 80 dB compressor is going to be four times louder. Consider where you will be using the compressor. Is it going to be in a garage? In a workshop? Outside? 

Portability

If you have a job where you frequently travel and need to take your air compressor with you, it’s best to consider the weight and shape of it. If you are going to be carrying it around a lot, you may want a slim compressor as wider ones are a bit awkward to carry. Also, does it have a handle? If so, this is an important feature as it makes carrying a lot easier. 

Durability

When investing in a machine like this, you will want to ensure that it will last for many years to come.

Look for a compressor that is composed of a heavy-duty material that won’t corrode or rust. Also, you may even be able to find one that is surrounded by something like a roll bar. This will keep your compressor protected from accidental drops and dings. 

Why Choose a Pancake Compressor

Why choose a pancake air compressor over a more traditional style with a horizontal tank or a vertical tank? There are several reasons.

Portability – Pancake air compressors offer better portability than wither horizontal tank or vertical tank compressors.

WeightWith their smaller tanks, pancake compressors are lighter than other styles of compressors, making them more efficient on a job site where frequent moves are necessary.

MaintenanceMost pancake-style compressors are designed with oil-free pumps. This makes the pump assembly almost maintenance-free.