Pancake air compressors are all about functionality. Home owners and contractors frequently use these for their own personal use, as these products can be used to inflate motorbike tires, pool rings, and even air mattresses. Although compact in size, they’re still quite practical and come at reasonable prices.

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 compressor 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 compressors below.

Pancake Air Compressors

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 Air Compressor, 6-Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free (C2002)

$139.00
$129.00
 in stock
26 new from $99.00
Amazon.com
as of July 5, 2022 1:17 pm

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. 

Pros

  • Powerful & durable
  • Stars easily in cold weather
  • High air delivery
  • Comes in different styles

Cons

  • Louder
  • Gauges is too small to read
  • Weak for big jobs
  • Air hose could be longer

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)

$129.00  in stock
8 new from $129.00
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of July 5, 2022 1:17 pm

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)

$149.00  in stock
8 new from $149.00
6 used from $143.04
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of July 5, 2022 1:17 pm

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. 

Pros

  • Quiet & Powerful
  • Rubberized feet
  • Parts are easy to find
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Poor quality accessories

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)

$169.00
$149.00
 in stock
8 used from $117.71
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of July 5, 2022 1:17 pm

Features

  • The portable air compressor is proudly made in the USA with Global Materials in Jackson, Tennessee
  • PORTABLE: 6 gallon capacity maximizes portability and stored air for CRAFTSMAN air compressor
  • NO MAINTENANCE: Durable, oil-free pump of the 6 gallon air compressor is made for long-life and no maintenance
  • PRESSURE: 150 Max PSI to ensure adequate cut-inch pressure for a variety of applications
  • QUICK RECOVERY TIME: 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI allows for quick compressor recovery time

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.

Pros

  • Powerful workhorse model
  • Compact and lightwight
  • Fast recovery and extended run time

Cons

  • Louder
  • Flimsy air nozzle
  • Has tendency to run hot

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. 

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

$196.73  in stock
11 new from $196.73
Amazon.com
as of July 5, 2022 1:17 pm

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. 

Pros

  • Ergonomically-designed
  • Comfortable grip for easy movement
  • Quick and simple nail extraction

Cons

  • Issues with the spring-loading

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 lubricants. 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)

$375.00  in stock
1 used from $375.00
Amazon.com
as of July 5, 2022 1:17 pm

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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Some users say this model isn’t very stable

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.

Excell U256PPE 6 gallon Pancake Air Compressor

 out of stock
Amazon.com
as of July 5, 2022 1:17 pm

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.

Pancake Compressor used with a fine nail gun
Pancake Compressor used with a fine nail gun

What Type of Jobs Can be Done by Pancake Air Compressors?

Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a professional contractor, a pancake air compressor is a great addition to your toolkit. Here are just a few of the many jobs that can be done with a pancake air compressor:

  • Inflating tires
  • Powering small air tools, such as nail guns or staplers
  • Blowing up pool toys
  • Filling air mattresses
  • Inflating sports balls

So, if you’re in the market for a new air compressor, be sure to consider a pancake model. They’re versatile, powerful, and portable – everything you need in an air compressor.

But Why Should I Prefer Pancake Compressor Over a Traditional One?

If you’re in the market for an air compressor, you may be wondering why you should choose a pancake compressor over another type. Pancake compressors have a few benefits that make them a better choice for many people.

One advantage of pancake compressors is that they’re small and lightweight. This makes them easy to carry and store, which is ideal if you don’t have a lot of space.

Another advantage is that pancake compressors tend to be more affordable than other types of air compressors. This makes them a great choice if you’re on a budget.

Is Pancake Air Compressor Better than Hot Dog Compressor?

  • Pancake air compressors have a number of advantages over hot dog compressors, including:
  • Pancake air compressors are more compact and portable, making them easier to store and transport.
  • Pancake air compressors typically have a higher PSI rating than hot dog compressors, making them more powerful.
  • Pancake air compressors generally have a longer warranty than hot dog compressors.

It entirely depends on individual preferences. Some people may prefer pancake air compressors because they are smaller and more portable, while others may prefer hot dog compressors because they have a higher capacity.

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 its 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 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. 

Pancake Air Compressor
Older Pancake Air Compressor

Why Choose a Pancake Compressor

Durability

A pancake compressor will work reasonably well to inflate car tires although you may need to run it for quite some time to reach higher air pressure. If you plan on using it more frequently, then a heavier-duty model will save you time and energy as it can power through these jobs with ease.

Look for an air compressor with a solid metal casing to protect the internal components from damage while giving the unit extra durability in any environment.

Portability

All pancake compressors are pretty portable. However, some make it easier to carry than others.

If you plan on using your portable compressor for moving from one place to the next, look for a large handle at the top of the canister so that it will be easy for you to carry by hand.

The handle should be situated near the bottom of the canister so that you won’t knock anything over or end up dropping the heavy appliance inadvertently.

Weight – With 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.

Pump Type

Your pancake air compressor pump can come in two styles — oil or oil-free. Oil-free models are convenient because they’re typically lighter and tend to be inexpensive than their oiled counterparts. You don’t need to bother adding up for expensive parts for the unit. It also runs cleaner, which is great if you’re using it in an industrial setting such as a workshop or garage.

Conclusion

There are a lot of great pancake air compressors on the market, but the best one for you will hinge on your specific requirements. If you need a powerful air compressor that can handle big projects, then the industrial-grade pancake air compressors are the way to go.