Last Update: 17 Sept 2020

Best Pancake Compressor Review

Recommended Best Product
BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor

BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor

5/5

Best Choice

Recommended Best Product
10 Best Pancake Compressor Review 2020 1

DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor

5/5

Best Value

Recommended Best Product
10 Best Pancake Compressor Review 2020 2

PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor

5/5

Premium Pick

James Kelly
James Kelly

Hi! This is James. I'm a professional writer and working on this field for a long time. Basically I love to write about everything related to tools, diy and home improvement. All my writings speak for itself as I'm passionate about this. I love to explore new things as well as new places whenever I get free time. You'll never find me free for this reason!

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The best pancake compressor is a handy tool that gets small projects done. If you have ever taken on home renovation, the best guess is that you have used a pancake compressor. Surprisingly, many people shy away from buying one for fear of getting ripped off. Buying compressors online is not as easy as advertised. Why? The descriptions and adverts are often misleading. Read our pancake air compressor reviews to cover the features of the best products in the market.

Pancake compressors are different; they are more suited for light tasks. The name comes from their pancake-shaped tanks. The product is not built for massive industrial operations. Plus, it offers enough max pressure that won’t disappoint for a smaller task. So we won’t only be showing you the best products, we will tell you how to buy the compressors and answer a few questions.

Top 10 Best Pancake Compressor Review

1

BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor

BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor

The BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor is Oil-Free and 150 PSI. The compressor boasts low noise level, high-flow regulator, and an oil-free performance, among many other exciting features.

Easy to operate for beginners

The pancake air compressor by Bostitch gets you up to a tank pressure of 150PSI, and it does so quickly. The product has two connectors that let you power two pneumatic tools concurrently. The compressor offers excellent and consistent pressure, and releasing pressure after use is a breeze. To release pressure, you only need to pull on the ring and open the valve.

Great balance

The product comes with a comfortable handle that balances the body properly. Rubber feet also protect your floor, and the noise level is quieter than most. The controls on the compressor are easy to read as they are sensibly placed and illustrated for easy comprehension.

Key Features:

Specification:

Brand                  Bostitch

Dimensions      17 X 17 X 19.25 Inches

Weight                31 Pounds

2

DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor

DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor

The DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor is another handy compressor that is easy to run and promises reliable performance.

Packaged with care

The air compressor is packaged and transported with care to prevent damage to the unit. Deemed as pretty light by many buyers, the compressor weighs 32 pounds and comes with a sturdy handle on top to carry it.

There is also a place to wrap the power cord to keep it out of your way. The three feet beneath the compressor are covered in a rubber cover to keep the noise level down. It also maintains consistent inflation pressure for a few minutes before kicking on.

Nice placement and adjustments

The regulator on the compressor is variable and easy to adjust to the desired setting. The drain valve is also located beside the tank. Placing it here instead of the center bottom prevents water accumulation.

Key Features:

Specification:

Brand                    Dewalt

Dimensions           17.2 X 16.6 X 20.1 Inches

Weight                   32.1 Pounds

3

PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor

PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor

The PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor looks small; however, the 6-gallon compressor packs enough punch with an induction motor for optimum performance.

User-friendly design

The air compressor tank is stable and comes with a drain valve for letting water out of the compressor. It also features rubber feet that won’t mar or scratch your surfaces. The most prominent body design is its oil-free pump that takes your mind off maintenance and spills.

Hence, you can use the tool efficiently and cleanly. Upgraded shroud and console cover ensure optimal protection, and a durable handle makes it easy to carry about.

Compact and powerful design

The air compressor is portable at 34 pounds and lightweight for use in the home and workshop. Hence, it comes in handy for handling a different range of tasks. The efficiency of the compressor is further aided by its 120-volt motor and low amp. The motor features extension cords and replaceable brushes, plus, it starts in freezing weather.

Key Features:

Specification:

Brand                   PORTER-CABLE

Dimensions        19 X 19 X 18 Inches

Weight                 31.2 Pounds

4

Hitachi KNT50AB Brad Nailer and Compressor

Hitachi KNT50AB Brad Nailer and Compressor

The Hitachi KNT50AB Compressor is a bit of everything as it includes a 6-gallon pancake tank, air hose, and brand nails.

Easy to use

The Compressor combo kit has all you need for bike tires and small air tools. Although it is heavy, you don’t have to move it as it comes with a hose long enough to reach across your garage.

The hose is also small enough not to obstruct your project. It combines functional design with exceptional quality as the brads go in effortless and sink to the depth set on the nailer. Do note that the bard nailer does not come with a case for the nailer.

Reliable performance

The hose is not only flexible but reliable. The instructions are clear to make setup easy. Nicely placed support grips on the compressor makes it easy to move around. Plus, the compressor builds up pressure quickly to make it dependable and easy to use.

Key Features:

Specification:

Brand               Koki Holdings America, Ltd

Dimensions     17 X 18 X 22 Inches

Weight             47 Pounds

5

PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 Pancake Compressor

PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 Pancake Compressor

The PCFP02003 Pancake Compressor is another product by Porta- Cable that promises lasting use with no need for maintenance.

Portable design

The unit is perfectly-sized with no compromise to its portability. Due to its size and weight, the compressor is easy to carry around. The handle on the unit is strong and nicely moulded into the powerful electric motor housing. It takes about 2 minutes to fill and shut off the compressor entirely. There are two controls on the product that includes the regulator turn-knob and the on/off switch. The drainage knob on the bottom of the tank lets you evacuate air and condensation efficiently.

Durable and sturdy

Soft rubber feet on the air compressor are tough enough to allow use on an asphalt driveway. As a plus, it is also quiet enough for use on hardwood floors without leaving any marks. The power cord can be shoved in for storage, and the carrying handle makes it easy to transport the compressor.

Key Features:

Specification:

Brand                  PORTER-CABLE

Dimensions        18.13 X 17.25 X 18.5 Inches

Weight                26 Pounds

6

Campbell Hausfeld 6 Gallon Portable Quiet Air Compressor

Campbell Hausfeld 6 Gallon Portable Quiet Air Compressor

Finish your project like a professional with the Campbell Hausfeld 6 Gallon Portable Quiet Air Compressor. An excellent product from a company that has been around since 1836.

Low sound level for quiet performance

The oil-free compressor is designed for durable, soft, and reliable performance. Rated as 50% quieter than most products in the market, the compressor at 68dBA lets you work in a calm environment with low sound features. As a result, you can use the product indoors without worrying too much about noise. It does weigh a considerable amount thanks to its heavy-duty motor.

Reliable performance

The compressor features maintenance and an oil-free pump for a user-friendly experience. It also boasts of 125 MAX PSI for handling various projects. The dual-piston pump system on the compressor is engineered to produce more air for durable and high performance. Its oil-free operation also ensures superior motor performance.

Key Features:

Specification:

Brand                Campbell Hausfeld

Dimensions       16 X 23 X 16 Inches

Weight               62 Pounds

7

Campbell Hausfeld Pancake Air Compressor

Campbell Hausfeld Pancake Air Compressor

The Air Compressor, 1 Gallon, Pancake is another product by Campbell Hausfeld that makes our list of the top-rated pancake compressors for good reasons.

Do you like simple?

The air compressor makes it easier to finish your project with its simple and lightweight design plus a sturdy handle. The compressor supports DIY projects and is ideal for brad nailing, airbrushing, stapling, and other inflation applications.

However, what makes it a DIY compressor is its oil-less pump design. Like most of the pumps we have reviewed above, it requires no maintenance. The product package contains two inflator nozzles, needle adapter, air chuck, and a recoil hose. A detailed instruction manual is also a plus.

Portable and powerful

The placement of the gauges on the compressor allows one-glance monitoring of the air pressure. The lightweight design also makes it comfortable to carry the product from one place to another. The recoil hose measures 25-feet to provide a broad and long reach area.

Key Features:

Specification:

Brand                Campbell Hausfeld

Dimensions       12 X 12 X 16 Inches

Weight               14.7 Pounds

8

Excell SAC22HPE Ultra Quiet Air Compressor

Excell SAC22HPE Ultra Quiet Air Compressor

The Excell SAC22HPE Air Compressor changes the approach to a noisy work environment with its 61 dBA sound output.

Industry-leading quietness

The motor and heavy-duty pump unit in the compressor achieves constant use; however, the most fascinating is its zero maintenance and quiet operation. Designed for trim works and finish, the compressor is rated as 80% quieter than most standard oil-free counterparts in the market. This, coupled with the low voltage requirement of 90V, makes it suitable for areas or buildings where power is deficient.

Rugged construction

Dual pump design on the compressor operates at slower speeds to reduce the tear and wear rate on the moving parts. As a result, the compressor can last up to 4 times longer than other products. This feature aided by its direct drive induction motor, and an oil-free pimp takes maintenance worry off your list. The roll cage on the compressor provides a comfortable handle for transportation.

Key Features:

Specification:

Brand                 EXCELL Air Compressors

Dimensions       18.9 X 17.8 X 14.8 Inches

Weight              40 Pounds

9

PowRyte Elite 4 Gallon Air Compressor

PowRyte Elite 4 Gallon Air Compressor

If there were a price for stylish appearance without sacrificing functionality, then the PowRyte Elite 4 Gallon Portable Air Compressor would emerge a winner.

Innovative design and top-rated features

The compressor comes in handy for supporting small air tools and more than one finishing nailer. The vertical tank is portable and features an improved center of gravity. It also comes with a low amp 120V motor that is easy to start either with an extension cord or frigid weather. It also features a universal push-to-connect coupler for flexible use. The couplers accept ¼-inches industrial, ARO, and automotive plugs with single-hand connections.

More than a compressor

Unlike most cheaply made compressors, the PowRyte Elite 4 compressor features a stapler and nailer kit. As a result, you don’t need to purchase a stapler kit separately. Other accessories include a nylon coil air hose, tapered nozzle, 18-gauge air nailer, and safety nozzles.

Key Features:

Specification:

Brand              PowRyte

Dimensions    13.98 X 13.98 X 15.75 Inches

Weight             26.4 Pounds

10

Ridgid 6 Gallon Electric Pancake Compressor

Ridgid 6 Gallon Electric Pancake Compressor

Last on what looks like an endless list is the Ridgid 6 Gallon 150 PSI Maintenance-Free Portable Electric Pancake Compressor.

Great little compressor

The compressor is portable, reliable, lightweight, and solidly built from an excellent company. Unlike the cast iron tank, the product features a solid steel tank for durable performance. The product works with different sizes and lengths of air hose. As a result, you can use as much hose that makes you comfortable.

The compressor is excellent for finish, and trim works with its 150 max Psi. Two universal quick connectors on the unit also let multiple people work with it at the same time. It also supports up to two nailers at once.

Reliable with no maintenance

The compressor comes with an oil-free pump for regular and safe use. More than use for powering crown staplers and nailers, the compressor also doubles as an air blaster.

Key Features:

Specification:

Brand                 Ridgid

Dimensions       17.13 X 17.1 X 19.7 Inches

Weight               35 Pounds

Things to Consider Before Buying pancake compressor

The Tank Size

Since it is pretty well apparent that a compressor that only stores air and does not produce it, it is crucial that the tank is considerably big. Not just this, it must be powered by a heavy-duty performance motor and pump. This way, you can always have sufficient air supply. The issue with a small tank is that it is not often dependable for continuous operation.

Conversely, a small compressor with a fairly big tank is an excellent way to save pressure for more than one job. On the downside, since you can’t always have your cake and eat it, a big tank might eliminate the portable features of a compressor. A small pancake air compressor is compact, and pressure build-up is quicker. If you prefer a large tank, we recommend checking for a portable means of carrying it.

Horsepower

An excellent way to determine the size of the compressor that is suitable for your need is to check the horsepower rating. However, the amount specified is not always accurate with the actual amount. In a scenario where you can’t estimate the genuine HP, check how much power it requires to run.

A single-phase 5HP motor, for example, runs on 24 amps with a 220V circuit. Other engines like 2 HP should draw about 15 amps on a 110V circuit. Another measurement that you could settle for is the standard cubic feet per minute. The SCFM measures the volume of air that the compressor delivers.

Air Pressure

The air pressure or PSI measures the amount of pressure delivered by the compressor. The higher the pound per square inch, the more volume of air the compressor can provide. Most compressors operate around 90 and 100 PSI.

However, to maintain this rating, the compressor must come with a higher shut-off pressure. While the smaller compressors are usually having a rating of about 125-135 PSI, the industrial compressor PSI can measure up to 175 PSI. This type of efficiency is common with two-stage compressors that build up pressure gradually.

Belt Drive or Direct Drive compressor

Belt driven compressors are often splash lubricated thanks to dippers beneath the connecting rods. It is this dipper that gets oil around the crankcase of the compressor. What this means is that the pumps will last as long as the crankcase has enough oil. The direct-drive compressors are connected to the shaft of the motor. As a result, it turns at the same fast speed as the motor.

However, it is noisy and has a lower life expectancy short of a low RPM compressor. The difference between the two types is that while the drive driven compressors are faster, belt-driven ones are slower. As a result, the pump does not spin as fast as the motor, and it reduces wear and tear at more efficiency.

Condensation problem

Water comes out of the compressor when the heated condensed air cools. The more you use the compressor, the hotter it becomes, and more moisture problem to deal with. The solution is to purchase a reasonably big tank that won’t have to work as hard as small compressors and risk getting too hot. More than overworking the compressor, humidity can also cause inconsistent moisture.

A moisture trap collects water droplets in a low spot but not the vapor. Hence, while the moisture is tagged to the hot air, the vapor stays condensed in the hose. One way to deal with this is to let the air cool before the moisture gets trapped. You should mount the trap from your compressor.

Power source

Electric and gas power are two ways of powering a compressor. For indoor use, we recommend an electric power source as it eliminates harmful fumes. However, the voltage must be right to prevent fire hazards and damages. You can use a gas-powered compressor for outdoor use; however, you should pay attention to the exhaust as it could be problematic.

Noise level

The ability to use your compressor without enduring hours of loud noise is a win. Unfortunately, not every compressor offers quiet operation. But you shouldn’t have a problem picking a compressor with low sound output from our pancake air compressor reviews.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How often should I change my oil?

Answer: The frequency of changing oil depends on your type of compressor. Although it is recommended that you change the oil every three months, this measurement is not always correct. The oil in a rotary screw compressor, for example, should be replaced when it is used for 7000 hours. For a more accurate measurement, we recommend checking the product manual for the manufacturer’s information on the oil change.

2. What will happen when my compressor stores too much water?

Answer: Most compressor tanks are either made of steel or cast aluminum. What this means is that the compressor will rust if the water is left unattended in the tank. Although there are ways of getting water out of your compressor, as we discussed earlier, severe conditions require professional help. If the manual does not detail instruction for getting rid of water, we recommend that you check in with a compressor service center for ways to get rid of the problem.

3. What is the right compressor tank size?

Answer: The suitable tank size depends on how much air you want to store. The motor of compressors with large tanks does not start and stop as often as compressors with smaller tanks do. This feature is the primary benefit of having a large-tanked compressor. If you don’t require too much air, we recommend that you purchase a moderately-sized tank. Besides, smaller tanks are cheaper and often more comfortable to use.

4. Will water damage my lines?

Answer: A small or failed compressor dryer or condensation trap could cause water to get trapped in the lines. When this happens, you need to clean the trap or replace it. You can also replace or repair the air dryer with a giant dryer if a failed or small dryer caused the problem.

5. What voltage should I run?

Answer: Small compressors run on 110-volt outlets. However, larger models run on up to 460 volts. We have included the voltage required for every product that we have reviewed so you shouldn’t have much problem.

6. Are cheap compressors any good?

Answer: A Cheap pancake air compressor is not a bad compressor. In contrast, most small and cheap compressors pack enough punch to get you through your project with ease. The problem is purchasing an overly competitive compressor. It is this type that is bad. You can substitute a too cheap compressor for a cheap or expensive one if you must. However, if you cannot afford it, look for a cheap compressor that offers enough functional features.

Final Verdict

It is not only after we have reviewed the best pancake compressor that we realized you could do so many things with a relatively small product. While the products differ in size and look, one connecting factor is that each compressor promises a neat and satisfying job. Unlike heavy compressors, pancake compressors are portable and are easy to carry about. As such, the products can be used anywhere under different conditions, including cold weather.

The BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon is our top-rated model from the list. It caught our eyes as the favorite thanks to its exceptional portability, oil-free performance, cold weather operations, and many more discussed above.

Your quest to find the best compressors that promise value for your investment should end with this review. All the products we have listed above promise reliable performance. They feature sturdy construction, functional motors, High PSI, and improved features for lasting use.

10 Best Pancake Compressor Review 2020 3