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What are the best pancake air compressors?  What is the best way to choose a good air compressor for your home needs? We have all of these questions answered in this full-length article. You will also find product reviews and helpful tips on how to make sure you are getting the right one!

A pancake air compressor is a type of air compressor that has a small footprint and is easy to carry around. It gets its name from the fact that it looks like a pancake, with a circular shape and short height. Pancake air compressors are popular among hobbyists and DIYers because they are affordable and easy to use.

Pancake air compressors are often used for small jobs such as inflating tires, sports equipment and other inflatables. They can also be useful when doing projects around the house like sanding or staining furniture. Can you paint with a pancake compressor? Yes! You can use it to do many things around your home including painting and varnishing because it is portable enough that you don’t need an electrical outlet nearby.

Pancake air compressors have a pump, motor and tank. When its trigger is pulled the switch starts the compressor which draws in room-temperature outside air, pressurizes it to 120 PSI (pounds per square inch) and forces it through an output hose into your project for fast inflation or other uses.

The tank holds compressed air and the motor is what keeps the compressor running. When you release the trigger, a valve closes which stops the pump from drawing in more air. This prevents over-inflation and saves energy. The size of the pancake compressor’s tank will determine how long it can run without needing to be refueled.

Best Pancake Air Compressors Reviews

Porter-Cable C2002 Pancake Compressor

Porter-Cable C2002 Pancake Compressor

This is an excellent compressor that can be used for a variety of purposes. It delivers high performance and saves energy with its oil free pump, which also makes it very quiet. The two gauges allow you to monitor the pressure in both the tank (in PSI) and output (in CFM), so you’ll always know how much air you have left at either end of use.

This model comes with 25ft coil hose but no accessories like other models on this list do; if you’re looking for different accessories, you’ll need to purchase them separately. The weight of this compressor (35 pounds) and size (18x13x14 inches) make it easily portable, so you can take it with you wherever you go. It also has a 120-volt motor and comes with a one-year warranty.

  • Oil free pump saves energy and is very quiet
  • Two gauges let you monitor pressure in both the tank and output
  • Portable design makes it easy to move around
  • None
Hitachi 6-Gallon Pancake Compressor + Brad Nailer Combo Kit

Hitachi 6-Gallon Pancake Compressor + Brad Nailer Combo Kit

Lightweight and well-balanced, the NT50AE2 2″ 18-Gauge Brad Nailer is a great tool for maneuverability. With its reliable and rugged performance, the EC710S 6-Gallon Oil-Free Pancake Compressor can operate multiple nailers depending on the application. The 25′ x 1/4″ Hybrid Air Hose features industrial fittings, is spiral reinforced for durability, features heavy-duty bend restrictors and remains flexible in extreme cold temperatures.

The air compressor is built with the unique ability to work in different applications. It has an oil free pump, which offers low maintenance costs and less mess than other models. The NT50AE Brad Nailer Kit also features a lightweight ergonomic design for reduced operator fatigue, rubber grip handle for comfort during use, 30-day money back guarantee from Hitachi and comes complete with a case.

Pancake compressors have been used by professionals of all types for several decades now because of their dependability and affordability when it comes to power tools around your home or business. Most pancake compressors are equipped with wheels that allow you to easily move them from one place to another without having to lift its weight manually. And just like the name suggests, they are compact in size and can fit into small places.

  • The compressor provides air power for different pneumatic tools
  • It is oil free which means you do not have to spend time maintaining it and there are no messes with greasy hands or clothes
  • None
Porter-Cable 135-PSI 3.5-Gallon Pancake Compressor

Porter-Cable 135-PSI 3.5-Gallon Pancake Compressor

The Porter-Cable 135-PSI Pancake Compressor is a great choice for the DIYer or home contractor. This compressor has a durable cast iron pump that ensures long life and consistent performance. The tank features a large, easy-to-read pressure gauge and an on/off switch with automatic reset that prevents accidental start-ups.

At 135 max psi, it’s perfect for powering most pneumatic tools–from framing guns to finish nailers. With its low amperage draw (only 12 amps), this compressor can run off of any standard outlet without tripping the breaker. And thanks to its pancake design, it’s exceptionally portable and easy to store in even the smallest tool sheds.

The only setback is that it’s not compatible with high-pressure nailers, but for most applications–from blowing out water lines to running brad guns and staplers–it can’t be beat!

  • Durable cast iron pump
  • Large, easy-to-read pressure gauge
  • On/off switch with automatic reset
  • Not compatible with high-pressure nailers
Bostitch 6-Gallon Oil-Free Air Compressor

Bostitch 6-Gallon Oil-Free Air Compressor

The Bostitch oil-free pancake compressor is a great choice for light-duty tasks around the home and shop. This compressor features a powerful motor that delivers 150 max psi, making it perfect for powering most pneumatic tools. It also has a low amp draw (only 12 amps) so it can run off of any standard outlet without tripping the breaker. And thanks to its compact pancake design, it’s exceptionally portable and easy to store in even the smallest tool sheds or garages.

The Bostitch compressor also features a built-in regulator and moisture trap, which helps to keep your air tools running smoothly and reduces the amount of moisture that can enter the system. It’s also equipped with a quick-connect coupler so you can easily swap out tools without having to fumble with hose connections.

  • 150 max psi delivers suitable power for most pneumatic tools
  • 12 amp draw is low enough not to trip any breakers when plugged into standard outlets
  • Built in regulator and moisture trap help reduce wear on your tool’s components, prolonging their lifespan.
  • Not suited for exceptionally demanding tasks or projects that require high PSI levels (this compressor will still work but may need longer run times between refills
DeWalt 165-PSI Heavy-Duty Air Compressor

DeWalt 165-PSI Heavy-Duty Air Compressor

The DeWalt air compressor is a little more powerful than the Bostitch model, but it’s also larger and has a separate tank. This combination makes it great for bigger projects that require higher PSI levels (this unit can reach 165 max psi). It also features an adjustable regulator with gauges to help maintain consistent pressure during use.

In addition to being capable of powering pneumatic tools, this compressor is compatible with most tire-fill applications as well due to its dual couplers and universal connector system. And just like the previous models we’ve talked about today, it comes equipped with quick connect fittings so you can easily switch out your equipment without having to worry about cumbersome hose connections getting in your way.

  • Powerful motor capable of reaching up to 165 max psi
  • Separate water tank for longer tool use between refills
  • Features a universal connector system and two couplers that allow the compressor to be used with multiple tools at once.
  • Although it has a powerful motor, this unit is not as quiet in operation compared to other models we’ve talked about today.
Campbell Hausfeld 6-Gallon Air Compressor

Campbell Hausfeld 6-Gallon Air Compressor

The Campbell Hausfeld air compressor is a smaller unit that features an oil-free pump for quieter operation. It can reach up to 150 max psi and comes with several convenient accessories like a needle inflator, inflation hose connector, tire chuck, accessory adaptor and more.

In addition to being capable of powering pneumatic tools at the same time as filling tires or putting air in balls etc., this model also includes a separate pressure switch for controlling two tools simultaneously. The Campbell Hausfeld compressor also has a thermal overload protection system to help prevent the motor from overheating.

The downsides of this model are that it doesn’t have a very long runtime before needing a break and it’s not as durable as some of the other models on this list. But, for the price, it’s a great option for someone who wants an oil-free pancake air compressor with lots of features.

  • Oil free pump for quiet operation
  • Separate pressure switch for controlling two tools simultaneously
  • Short runtime before needing a break
  • Not as durable as other models on this list
Excell 1.5-HP 6-Gallon Air Compressor

Excell 1.5-HP 6-Gallon Air Compressor

The Excell is another good choice for those looking to purchase an air compressor. It has a powerful motor capable of running several tools at once, and it comes with all kinds of extras that make using the unit easier than ever before.

One of our favorite features about this pancake air compressor is that it automatically shuts off when the tank reaches maximum pressure – which means you don’t have to worry about anything becoming overinflated or damaged because you can rest assured knowing the system will protect itself. The Excell also comes with quick-connect couplers so changing out equipment takes just seconds, as well as rubber feet designed specifically for quieter operation (this feature makes me wish I had purchased one years ago). There are even two separate air outlets so you can use two different tools at the same time.

The best part of this unit is that it’s one of the most affordable models on my list, yet it offers many more features than what I expected for such a low price. If you are looking to get started with an air compressor but don’t want to make any costly mistakes in your decision, then this might be just right for you!

  • Automatic shut-off
  • Quick connect couplers
  • Rubber feet for quieter operation
  • Two separate air outlets
  • Lacks a carry handle
PowRyte Elite Oil-Free 4-Gallon Air Compressor Kit

PowRyte Elite Oil-Free 4-Gallon Air Compressor Kit

The PowRyte Elite Oil-Free air compressor kit is a great option for those looking for an affordable, reliable and durable air compressor. The cast iron pump provides durability and the oil-free design means there’s less maintenance required. This compressor also has a large capacity tank which makes it perfect for larger projects.

One of the best features of this compressor is that it comes with a 25-foot coil hose which gives you plenty of reach for those hard to get to spots. Additionally, the twin tanks allow you to work on two projects simultaneously – reducing your down time.

The PowRyte Elite also has an intelligent start/stop feature which helps prolong the life of the unit by automatically shutting off when not in use. This compressor is perfect for both home and professional users who need a durable and reliable air compressor that can handle multiple tasks without breaking a sweat.

  • Cast iron pump
  • Oil-free design
  • Large capacity tank
  • Intelligent start/stop feature
  • No cons yet!
Ridgid 6-Gallon Portable Pancake Compressor

Ridgid 6-Gallon Portable Pancake Compressor

The Ridgid pancake compressor is a great choice for those looking for an affordable, compact and reliable air compressor. This unit has a small footprint which makes it perfect for tight spaces, and the lightweight design means you can take it with you wherever you go.

The Ridgid also comes with a variety of features that make using the compressor easier than ever before. It has an automatic start/stop feature which turns the unit off when not in use to help prolong its life, as well as a pressure gauge so you can always stay on top of your project’s progress. Additionally, this compressor comes with two quick-connect couplers so you can easily switch between tools without having to waste any time.

This compressor is very quiet, which can make it one of the best choices for those who work at home. It’s also easy to carry around and provides great performance on almost any job site. With a max pressure rating of 150 psi, this unit is perfect for light-duty applications like inflating tires or powering nail guns.

  • Auto-stop safety feature
  • High PSI rating for its size
  • Only comes with one coupler for multiple tools

Things to Consider Before Buying a Pancake Air Compressor

Pressure Rating and Amperage

The pressure rating and amperage of the compressor you choose should be based on the type of tools that will be used with it. For example, if your primary need for a pancake air compressor is to power an impact wrench, look for one with at least an 115-PSI maximum pressure level and at least 18 amps (for 120 VAC models) or 20 amps (for 240 VAC models). If you’ll simply use it infrequently for tasks like blowing up pool toys or footballs, lower ratings are fine.

Tank Size

Tank size is another important consideration, as it will determine how long the compressor can run before needing to be refueled. Larger tanks provide more running time between fill-ups, but they also tend to be heavier and take up more storage space.

The best pancake air compressors are typically smaller in both size and weight so they’re easier to move around, with tank sizes ranging from 0.25 gallon to 0.75 gallon . If you frequently need to use your compressor for extended periods of time or have a lot of equipment that requires air power, you may want to consider a model with a larger tank size.

Pump Type

The most common pump types are piston and diaphragm. Piston pumps provide more power for larger air compressors that can run longer without needing to be refilled, but they’re also the noisiest type of compressor on the market today . Diaphragm pumps are quieter than piston-type models , which makes them ideal if you plan to use your pancake air compressor in a residential setting.

Both pump types work equally well when it comes to inflating tires or powering tools, so noise level is really where you’ll need to make your decision between the two options. If possible, try out different brands’ models with each pump type before making a purchase decision just so you know what kind of sound volume you can expect.

Maximum Pressure and Air Flow

It’s also important to consider the maximum pressure and air flow your pancake air compressor can produce. This will help you make sure it has enough power for all of your needs. A minimum PSI rating of 90 is usually sufficient if you only need the unit occasionally, while 115-PSI models are preferable for powering high-demand tools like impact wrenches . If think that might be necessary, look at higher end models with 120 or even 150-PSI capabilities .

The CFM (cubic feet per minute) rating is another key consideration when choosing an air compressor. The average person won’t notice a difference in performance between compressors rated below 0.75 cfm , so opt for one with this level of power if you don’t foresee needing more. For larger tasks that require greater airflow, however, look for a model with a higher cfm rating between 0.75 and at least one .

How Loud Is It?

Noise level is a common concern among pancake air compressor buyers. If you plan to use yours in your garage or shop, this may not be much of an issue, but if it’s going to reside indoors where noise could bother people , look for units with lower decibel ratings . Most models produce between 60 and 80 dB at maximum capacity , which is still quite loud on its own.

If possible, try out different brands’ products before making any final purchasing decisions so that you can choose the quietest model around. Many manufacturers will let you test theirs out first or return them later on if they don’t live up to expectations after purchase . Just make sure there are no restocking fees involved!

Portability and Weight

Lastly, you’ll need to consider how portable your pancake air compressor needs to be. If it’s just something for infrequent use around the house or garage , any standard unit will do. However, if you plan on transporting yours often or taking it with you camping , boating or tailgating , then opt for a lightweight model that can easily be carried by one person .

For example, most tank-style compressors weigh at least 50 pounds when full and are usually too bulky to accommodate smaller individuals without help from another person . There are some models available today with wheels built into their base so they can move easily across flat surfaces like driveways or sidewalks but not over curbs.

What Can I Do With a Pancake Air Compressor?

Auto Repairs

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, sooner or later you’ll have to tackle car repairs. One of the most important tools for this type of work is an air compressor. You can buy a small one to keep in your trunk, or go for a pancake compressor that will handle most jobs.

Some people use an air compressor to power their pneumatic tools. This includes drills, saws and nail guns. A pancake compressor is powerful enough for these tasks, but make sure the tool has a female connector so you can plug it in directly.

Compressors also come in handy when cleaning out your vehicle’s engine bay. The high pressure air stream blasts away dirt and grease, making it easy to see what you’re doing.

Airbrush Painting

If you’re creative, an air compressor is the perfect tool to help with your projects. It’s possible to use a pancake compressor as an airbrush by attaching it directly to the nozzle of various types of paint sprayers.

Most people who do this work on cars or motorcycles, but artisans also like them for crafts and hobbies such as model building. Different compressors provide different amounts of pressure, so make sure you get one that delivers enough power for what you want to achieve.

The best pancake air compressor will have a hose long enough for whatever project you choose. You might need two hoses connected together if the tools are far apart from each other because most pumps don’t generate very much power at low psi levels .

Blowgun Cleaning

If you own air tools, chances are they generate a lot of dust and debris. You can use compressed air to clean them out by holding the tool in one hand, with your other hand on top of it where the hose is connected . Then pressurize the tank for three seconds until enough pressure builds up inside it that when released will produce an impulse stream or blast strong enough to clear away any obstructions clogging its parts.

Blowguns are another handy tool which benefits from being attached directly to an air compressor’s outlet nozzle. These devices come in various sizes, but most deliver only about half-a-pound per square inch (psi), so don’t expect too much power out of them unless you’re using a pancake compressor .

Nail Guns and Other Pneumatic Tools

You can use a pancake air compressor for many jobs around the house or in your workshop. One of the most common uses is to power pneumatic tools such as nail guns. This article goes through some of the different options you have when it comes to choosing this type of machine, and what features are important depending on how you plan to use it.

Inflatables and Tires

You can use a pancake compressor to inflate your car’s tires, as well as pool toys and other items. Some machines come with an attachable tire inflator so you don’t have to buy one separately later on .

Some compressors are powerful enough for this job but will require more than one person since they’re heavy and difficult to carry around due to all the air inside them. However, if you want something portable that does not take up much space in your garage or tool shed, then it might be better to look at cordless options instead of those which need gas refills every now and then .

Benefits of Using Pancake Air Compressor

There are several benefits of Using Pancake Air Compressor:

  • Lightweight and easy to carry around:

Pancake air compressors are typically small and lightweight, making them easy to carry around. This is especially beneficial if you need to use the compressor in multiple locations.

  • Affordable:

Pancake air compressors are some of the most affordable types of air compressors on the market.

  • Low noise levels:

Pancake air compressors generate significantly less noise than other types of air compressors, making them ideal for use in residential settings.

  • Easy to operate:

Pancake air compressors are very easy to operate, even for novice users.

  • Versatile:

Pancake air compressors can be used for a variety of tasks, including inflating tires, powering tools, and more.

  • Provide longer run time:

Pancake air compressors are typically capable of providing much greater running times than other types of compressors.

  • Produce high pressure levels:

Pancake air compressor models can produce extremely high PSI levels while maintaining strong CFM values, making them effective for a wide range of applications.


What is a pancake air compressor?

A pancake air compressor is a small, lightweight air compressor that is easy to carry around. It gets its name from the shape of the machine, which resembles a pancake.

What are the benefits of using a pancake air compressor?

Pancake air compressors are lightweight and easy to use, making them perfect for home repairs and hobbies. They also take up less space than traditional air compressors.

How do I choose the right pancake air compressor for me?

When choosing a pancake air compressor, you should consider how often you will be using it and what tasks you will be using it for. If you plan on using it for your home or business, you will need a more powerful machine.

Are pancake air compressors noisy?

Pancake air compressors can be quite loud–it all depends on the model and power of the machine. If quietness is important to you, make sure that it meets noise standards such as those set by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).


So, what’s the best pancake air compressor for you? The answer to that question depends on your needs and budget. We recommend looking at our list of top ten pancake air compressors before making a decision. With so many options out there, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Our comprehensive reviews should help make things easier by providing all the information you need about different models in order to find the perfect fit for your home or business!