The PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor is our best pancake compressor and it comes with an accessory kit that contains 13 pieces. Being completely oil-free in its design, the pancake style tank gives you superb stability. It also runs at 90 psi under 2.6 SCFM which gives you recovery time that is very fast and it adheres to the standards of ISO 1217. It has a capacity of 6 gallons and the max tank pressure is 150 psi which lets the air compressor operate for longer times due to more air storage. It comes with pre-installed plug and air coupler on the air hose and this factory setup makes it safe from leaking. Its air tool performance is long-lasting.
Our step-up pick is the DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165-PSI Pancake Compressor and the noise level is only at 75.5 dBA which makes it an efficiently quiet pancake compressor to work with. The max pressure is at 165 PSI and it has a capacity of 6 gallons on its tank (equivalent to 22.7 L). The pump delivers 2.6 SCFM at 90 psi and the motor can start up easily due to its high efficiently in cold weather. The motor can be used with an extension cord and it comes with couplers and high flow regulator for better tool performance. The extension cord can be 14-gauge or larger than that, with a recommended length of 50 feet or less.
The budget pick is the PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 3.5-Gallon 135-PSI Pancake Compressor and a low amp pancake compressor that runs on 120 volts on its motor. It delivers 2.0 SCFM at 90 PSI using its pump and it has a max pressure of 135 psi. The pump has an oil-free and durable design which makes it highly maintenance-free and it weighs only 26 lbs which makes it super portable. It has a capacity of 3.5 gallons so it is for smaller operations and you can enjoy a quicker recovery time with this easy pancake compressor.
A Little Background
An air compressor is something that fills up and powers up any air-powered tool that you will mostly need during repairs, DIYs and mechanic work. If you are not that much of a serious DIYer and you only go for a small shop, garage or only do repair on your home for very small periods of time then you might need a smaller air compressor for your needs. Not all air compressors are bulky in design – some are just built for home use. For instance, there are portable air compressors such as pancake compressors.
Pancake compressors are mainly used for smaller consumption tools such as nailers (nail guns) and staplers. Because they are rated to be used only for air tools that have a max pressure of 150 psi, anything below that such as nail guns which typically consume very low pressure, will definitely work. As a warning, they are not meant for bigger air tools such as die grinders and such.
Pancake compressors are designed for portability and for home use at the very most. Because not everyone can carry around a big and hulking tower of an air compressor tank, portable pancake compressors have been made to match the smaller demands of the home DIYer. Pancake compressors are made for less frustrating jobs such as finishing and simple nailing.
If you have a small carpentry shop or job, you can use a pancake compressor to effectively use a nail gun for speeding up your work. They are ideal for use on general carpentry finishing such as working on cabinets, framing and the like. If you already have a small nail gun or stapler, you can definitely put your pancake compressor to good use and only consume the needed air pressure with an easy to use pancake compressor on the go.
How We Picked
This is how we decided on the best pancake compressor:
Does the pancake compressor have a good amount of max pressure? The pressure is often around 150 psi or lower for any standard pancake compressor and this defines how much tools you can use for it and how long will it take for you to refill the tank once again. A pancake compressor with a great amount of max pressure is an affordable buy overall. If you want to save time and effort as well as air consumption then you should get a pancake compressor with a high max pressure.
What is the capacity of the tank of the pancake compressor? At the very most you will want to have a pancake compressor that has 4 to 6 gallons of max capacity. Some cheaper pancake compressors do have smaller than that but it depends on your application. You should first know how often you will need to use the pancake compressor before you buy a pancake compressor that has your needed gallon capacity of the tank.
Will the pancake compressor’s inner parts and components be fully protected? The shrouding of the pancake compressor should be very durable and a steel shroud is a big plus. This makes the pancake compressor all the while durable against wearing out due to its inner parts being protected.
Does the pancake compressor come with additional accessories and freebies? You will most likely encounter a pancake compressor kit that also includes nail guns and staplers. Those will be very helpful for those people who are still new into the hobby of DIY and home repair. So if you do not have a nail gun or stapler yet, feel free to grab the opportunity of the pancake compressor kits. However, make sure that these staples and nailers will have high-end or at least maintain a good standard in its specs.
Was the pancake compressor tested under worldwide certifications and standards? Some pancake compressors are certified and tested under a couple of ISO certifications, which is great when it comes to the versatility and quality of the pancake compressor.
How quiet is the pancake compressor? Typically, you want a pancake compressor that runs silently and does not disrupt your workplace noise levels. A good noise level range to choose from is from 60 to 80 dB at the very least. Take note that the pancake compressor’s low noise level should not sacrifice the quality of the compressor itself.
How portable is the pancake compressor? It must be easy to carry with a sturdy build but light weight. Typically, you would want a pancake compressor that weighs from 30 to 48 lbs or so. This makes it very convenient for you to work your way on any project using the pancake compressor.
PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor
The PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor is our best pancake compressor in which the max tank pressure is 150 psi. This lets the air compressor operate for longer times due to more air storage. Moreover, it also comes with an accessory kit that contains 13 pieces and its pancake style tank gives you superb stability.
As a matter of fact, this factory setup makes it safe from leaking while the air tool performance is long-lasting. Being completely oil-free in its design, the PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Compressor runs at 90 psi under 2.6 SCFM which gives you recovery time that is very fast and it also adheres to the standards of ISO 1217 for quality standards. Moreover, it comes with pre-installed plug and air coupler on the air hose and it has a capacity of 6 gallons.
The PORTER-CABLE UMC Pancake Compressor is a low amp pancake compressor which runs on a 120-volt motor that can start up easily even in cold weather. In fact, you can use an extension cord with this pancake compressor. The shroud has been upgraded on its design with a consol and hand to protect inner components of the compressor.
Moreover, the PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK comes with a nylon hose which spans at 25 feet of length and it also comes with a cut-in pressure of 30 psi bonus air. The attachments and a blow gun are included and the pressure regulator that comes with a pressure gauge is included on the compressor in which the output can be controlled. It also comes with Teflon tape, quick coupler, tire chuck, plugs and tire gauge on its accessory kit while the pancake compressor weighs 34 lbs for greater durability. In addition, it includes a High-Flo air regulator which safeguards against pressure drops and all of its compressor components are backed by a 1 year limited warranty.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
The only known flaw about the PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor is the fact that there are break-in procedures that you must perform for the compressor first, before you use it. Some people also only recommend it for small uses such as home and DIY use.
DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165-PSI Pancake Compressor
With a motor that can start up easily due to its high efficiently in cold weather, the DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165-PSI Pancake Compressor is our step-up pick. It comes with couplers and high flow regulator for better tool performance and the noise level is only at 75.5 dBA which makes it an efficiently quiet pancake compressor to work with. The extension cord can be 14-gauge or larger than that, with a recommended length of 50 feet or less and the max pressure is at 165 PSI.
What’s more, the pump delivers 2.6 SCFM at 90 psi and it also has a capacity of 6 gallons on its tank (equivalent to 22.7 L). The motor can be used with an extension cord for convenience. The DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon Compressor weighs only 30 lbs so it is easy to store and carry around as a portable compressor.
In fact, you can easily drain the tank due to its ball drain valve. Additionally, it comes with 2 universal couplers. You can easily repair the pancake compressor due to the removable protective rubber leg and its console cover which also protects the inner components and it delivers great power and builds up pressure quickly.
Ideally, most people will use nail guns, tire inflators, brad nailers and many low-consumption air tools. The DEWALT DWFP55126 is backed by a 1 year limited manufacturer’s warranty. Overall, it is a very easy to handle pancake compressor.
PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 3.5-Gallon 135-PSI Pancake Compressor
Our budget pick is the PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 3.5-Gallon 135-PSI Pancake Compressor in which it has a capacity of 3.5 gallons so it is for smaller operations. It is a low amp pancake compressor that runs on 120 volts on its motor and it has a max pressure of 135 psi. You can enjoy a quicker recovery time with this easy pancake compressor as the pump has an oil-free and durable design which makes it highly maintenance-free.
The PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 Compressor furthermore delivers 2.0 SCFM at 90 PSI using its pump and it weighs only 26 lbs which makes it super portable. Its quick coupler has been factory installed so you can access regulated air quickly. The compressor comes with two gauges.
Moreover, the PCFP02003 3.5-Gallon Compressor has a noise level of 82 dBA and it is ideal for small nailers that will be used for trim finishing, roofing, framing, blowing, inflation and many other purposes as well as other air tools that use SCFM. Being rated at 10 amps, it has a unique oil-free pump design and is backed by a 1 year limited warranty for the compressor components.
Best Oil-Free Pancake Compressor
Porter-Cable C2002R Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor
A pancake compressor which runs at 3.5 SCFM on a tank with a capacity of 6 gallons, the Porter-Cable C2002R Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor is an ideal compressor in which the performance of the motor is longer-lasting due to its induction technology. It also comes with 30 psi bonus air due to the cut-in pressure of 120 psi.
The motor runs smoothly with a soft start. The Porter-Cable C2002R Pancake Compressor is also great for use on normal household and DIY use and is an oil-free pancake compressor that is easy to carry around with a max pressure of 150 PSI for more running time.
Being ideal for most nailers and similar air tools that are small enough for pancake compressor use, the compressor uses a High-Flo air regulator to protect against the dropping of pressures. It is currently backed by a 1 year warranty and it is great for blowing fans and filters.
Fully Shrouded Pancake Compressor
PORTER-CABLE CMB15 150-PSI Oil-Free Fully-Shrouded Compressor
The PORTER-CABLE CMB15 150-PSI Oil-Free Fully-Shrouded Compressor is a pancake compressor with a capacity of 1.5 gallons which makes it ideal for smaller operations. It has a max pressure of 150 PSI and it is an oil-free pancake compressor that has been completely shrouded to protect the inner parts well for longer lasting durability.
The PORTER-CABLE CMB15 150-PSI Compressor runs at a low voltage of 120 volts with an easy start feature. It is highly applicable for use with an extension cord or even during the cold weather outdoors. While being certified by ISO 1217, it has a quick recovery time for the compressor.
It runs at 2.0 SCFM at 90 psi and the rubber feet makes it stable on any place or position. The PORTER-CABLE CMB15 also includes a water drain valve for convenience and the oil-free pump design makes it maintenance-free. The storage of air at 150 psi max makes it last longer and the compressor comes with a coil hose which measures a length of 25 feet.
In fact, an accessory kit of 8 pieces is included while the motor runs quietly at only 79 dB and was tested under the standards of ISO 3744. Being very portable and easy to lift at only 20 lbs, the PORTER-CABLE CMB15 150-PSI Compressor backed by a warranty of 1 year and it has been rated at 10 amps of power. It will work on most nail guns or any air tool that requires pressure less than 150 psi.
Pancake Compressor with Nailer
BOSTITCH U/BTFP2KIT 2-Piece Nailer/Compressor Combo Kit
A complete set with 2 nailers and a pancake compressor, the BOSTITCH U/BTFP2KIT 2-Piece Nailer/Compressor Combo Kit and the pancake compressor runs at a motor that is highly efficient. It also has a max pressure of 150 PSI which delivers 2.6 SCFM and it has a capacity of 6 gallons.
The brad nailer is 18-gauge and accepts 5/8 inch to 2 inch nails for a variety of purposes while the straight finish nailer drives 16-gauge nails from 1 1/4 inches to 2 1/2 inches. In addition to that, a tool-free depth adjustment is included with the brad nailer as well as a jam clearing which requires no tools and a no-mar pad is over-molded on the brad nailer as well.
Moreover, a trigger lock off can be found on the brad nailer as well as a 360-degree exhaust. What’s more, the straight finish nailer weighs only 4 lbs and also has a 360-degree exhaust while a jam clearing feature and a tool-free depth adjustment is also included in the straight finish nailer which also has a contact trip that has been swept-back in its design.
Going on to our main product, the pancake compressor runs at 78.5 dB on its noise level so it won’t disturb you at work while the composite shroud is guaranteed impact-resistant for longer lasting durability. The oil-free pump is maintenance-free for longer use. In addition to that, the motor of the pancake compressor can survive even in cold weather due to its efficiency. The pancake compressor has a weight of 29 lbs with an ergonomic handle for a better grip.
This whole set is ideal for crown molding, finish work, base trimming, shoe molding, interior trimming, cabinets and woodwork and many others. With the BOSTITCH U/BTFP2KIT Combo Kit, all tools included are backed by a 1 year limited warranty.
Super Quiet Pancake Compressor
California Air Tools CAT-3010 Air Compressor
Being made from a sturdy steel tank for longer lasting durability, the California Air Tools CAT-3010 Air Compressor runs very quietly at a surprising 60 dB of noise level and furthermore, this pancake compressor runs at 1 HP which makes it extra powerful.
It has a capacity of 3 gallons. As for power, it has a peak power of 2 HP. The CAT-3010 Air Compressor is an oil-free pump design makes it maintenance-free and it is very easy to carry despite being made of steel at only 41 lbs.
Moreover it can operate at 1,680 RPM and it runs at 8 amps of power. It is rated for use on 110 volts and it is an ideal pancake compressor to depend on for low noise which is conveniently backed by a limited warranty of 1 year.
Complete Pancake Compressor Tool Kit
PORTER-CABLE PCFP12234 3-Tool Combo Kit
The PORTER-CABLE PCFP12234 3-Tool Combo Kit is a combo tool kit including a pancake compressor which also includes a finish nailer, a brad nailer, a crown stapler, an air hose as well as a plug and coupler.
Going on with the components, the pancake compressor runs at a max pressure of 150 psi with a capacity of 6 gallons and you can easily charge the tank while driving a lot of nails with the included nailers. The air hose measures 25 feet in length with a diameter of 1/4 inch and it is rated for use on 120 volts and weighs only 47 lbs overall.
As for power, the PCFP12234 3-Tool Combo Kit runs at 2 HP and at 90 psi, the pancake compressor runs at 2.6 SCFM. The compressor has a weight of only 30 lbs, making it easy to lift anywhere while the finish nailer is a 16-gauge nailer which can drive 1-inch to 2 1/2 inch nails. The brad nailer is an 18-gauge nailer that can drive 5/8 inch to 2-inches of nails while the crown stapler is a 3/8 inch stapler for nail head setting and various applications driving 1/4 inch to 9/16 inch.
What’s more, the drive depth adjustments of all of the nailers are tool-free to make them easy to handle and all of the nailers also have convenient jam release mechanisms to remove nails without tools needed. This combo kit comes with a belt hook accessory and also includes fasteners while the compressor components are guaranteed under a 1 year limited warranty.
High PSI Pancake Compressor
PowRyte 500042 Elite 6-Gallon Pancake Compressor
A pancake compressor with a high max pressure of 150 PSI, the PowRyte 500042 Elite 6-Gallon Pancake Compressor has an oil-free pump design which makes it not only portable but also maintenance-free. What’s more, the capacity of the tank is up to 6 gallons. It has a quick recovery at 90 psi running at 2.6 SCFM.
What’s more, for durability, the shroud has been fully packed to protect it for longer periods of time and a carry handle comes for your convenience and adding to its portability. Moreover, there are 2 quick couplers that are universal and use push-to-connect mechanism and will accept any industrial, ARO or automotive plug at 1/4 inch.
This PowRyte Pancake Compressor super lightweight at only 37 lbs while its air couplers have been factory-installed for a hassle-free experience and can support 2 users at the same time. The steel compressor body adds to the overall durability. It is an ideal pancake compressor for general inflation, air tools with small SCFM, finishing nailers, roofing jobs, framing and blowing operations and is also great for use on both indoor and outdoor operations due to the low noise levels.
Pancake Compressor with Great Recovery
Thomas Compressors T-30-Horsepower Pancake Tank Compressor
The Thomas Compressors T-30-Horsepower Pancake Tank Compressor runs at 12 amps and it is an oil-free pancake tank compressor. It also runs at 1 1/4 horsepower which makes it ideal for tough jobs and it has a tank capacity of 4 1/2 gallons. The compressor runs at 12 amps of power.
As for power, it runs at 100 psi and delivers 2.7 CFM and it has a recovery time of 18 seconds when it starts at 100 psi and stops at 125 psi. Moreover, it can be operated on any 15-amp circuit as the oil-free pump design makes it a low-maintenance portable air compressor. While it is pretty heavy at 59 lbs but if you want a heavy duty pancake compressor for bigger tasks than this is the one to pick.
Being rated for use on 115 bolts, the Thomas Compressors T-30-Horsepower is backed by a 5-year warranty on its capacitor, start relay and motor and other electrical components. It is ideal for most home workshops, DIY work and garages.
Other pancake compressors out there weren’t as much as the ones we put here because they lacked quality in terms of stability, durability and pressure. Portability is also important and other pancake compressors were too pricey for their housing and max pressure.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why are portable air compressors such as pancake compressors important?
A: According to See Jane Drill, they are needed for DIY repairs for your automobile and other mechanical works. In fact, spray painting is also a great task that can be enhanced by a compressor. What’s more, air compressors are very portable nowadays due to their designs. As a matter of fact, air compressors are also very versatile when it comes to cleaning and running any job. In addition to that, pancake compressors are often used for pneumatic powered nail guns or nailers which makes the job easier for carpentry, cabinet building and the like.
Q: What do you need to remember when buying any air compressor or pancake compressor?
A: According to Lowe’s , it is important to know the power supply needed for the pancake compressor to see if it will work on your household or garage. You need to know that the standard cubic feet per minute or SCFM defines how much volume the pancake compressor delivers depending on the pressure (PSI).
Secondly, you should also know the capacity of the tank in gallons. The capacity defines how much you can use with your air tool to conserve more time and effort in the long run. In fact, some pancake compressors include free nail guns and staple guns for your convenience.
Next, do know which air tools are more recommended for your pancake compressor so you don’t have to waste on a small compressor that cannot supply enough for your tool. In fact, oil-free pumps make it easier for you to maintain the pancake compressor. You should also get a pancake compressor with multiple couplers for being able to do various tasks in one go.
Wrapping It Up
Overall, PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor is our best pancake compressor for all of your DIY home repair, garage and smaller jobs due to its reliability.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.