A pancake air compressor is a great option if you’re looking for a portable compressor that doesn’t compromise when it comes to functionality.
By placing the air tank at the bottom of a compressor, it allows for a low center of gravity, and a smaller overall footprint.
Just because pancake compressors are relatively small, it doesn’t mean that you will have to settle for a tiny tank, and there are plenty of mid-sized options, such as a Porter Cable 6-gallon air compressor, or even a portable Bostitch air compressor.
Whatever you end up choosing, the following ten models will be a great starting point, and you’ll get a good feel for what is available, while learning some of the differences between the most popular units.
Porter Cable 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor Model C2002-WK
Table Of Contents
- Porter Cable 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor Model C2002-WK
- Bostitch BTFP02012 Pancake Air Compressor
- DeWALT Pancake Compressor Model DWFP55126 6 Gallon
- Porter Cable PCFP12234 Combo Kit
- Hitachi KNT50AB Finish Combo Kit
- Campbell Hausfeld Quiet Air Compressor 6 Gallon
- Porter Cable PCFP02003 Pancake Pump Compressor
- PowRyte 500042 Pancake Compressor
- Rockford CAT944 1 Gallon Air Compressor
- Campbell Hausfeld 1 Gallon Pancake Compressor
- Experience the Benefits of a Pancake Air Compressor
This entire package, with the included accessories, weighs less than 34 lb.
This is important if you need a compressor that you can carry around a home or a jobsite, and with this one you’ll be able to get plenty of work done.
It can be powered from a standard household circuit and produces up to 2.6 CFM of air movement @ 90 PSI. If you lower the pressure, you could get up to 3.5 CFM @ around 40 PSI.
The 6-gallon tank is an excellent feature that will allow you to run demanding tools for longer, without needing to wait for the recharge cycle. For general stapling and nailing for one operator, this would be a great investment.
This particular package includes all of the basics that you need to get going, including a nylon hose, an air gun attachment for cleaning, as well as a tire pressure gauge and inflating attachment.
The C2002 also comes in a base model without the accessories, which is a good option if you’re looking for the lowest price point.
If you want more details about this excellent unit, then you can check out our full review here.
Bostitch BTFP02012 Pancake Air Compressor
This excellent and highly popular unit can provide up to 150 PSI of pressure, with a flow rating of 2.6 CFM when operating at 90 PSI.
It uses an electrically powered, oil-free pump, which means that there is virtually zero maintenance, aside from cleaning and draining.
Compact and weighing just 29 lb., this unit is easily portable and will be just as useful for home projects as it would be for light duty work on a jobsite.
The noise produced by this Bostitch air compressor is just 78.4 dB, which means that it’s knocking on the door of the ultra-quiet air compressor category.
It runs quieter than the average washing machine, and you won’t need to use hearing protection when using this device in most environments.
DeWALT Pancake Compressor Model DWFP55126 6 Gallon
DeWALT is a great brand if you’re looking for excellent quality and high performance.
This unit comes in a standard pancake design, and weighs just a little over 30 lb., making it easily portable.
It’s quiet in operation, running at just 75.5 dB, and despite its small size it can run 2.6 CFM @ 90 PSI, and will produce maximum pressure of 165 PSI.
The 6-gallon tank sits right on the sweet spot for portable compressors, so you will find that this is comparable to many of the competing units on the market. Nail guns, pneumatic staplers, and airbrushes are some of the ideal tools for use with this device.
Running at 100 PSI, the 6-gallon tank should allow for up to 20 shots from a finish nailer, before the unit begins its recharge cycle.
Feel free to check out our Dewalt DWFP55126 full review.
Porter Cable PCFP12234 Combo Kit
When it comes to the best pancake air compressors on the market, you may be interested in a device that includes some of the basic tools that you will need to get your project done.
If you’re a hobby craftsman, or even if you want to perform odd DIY jobs around the home, it can make sense to get a package that includes the nailers and staplers that you need.
This Porter Cable air compressor comes with a 16-gauge finish nailer, 18-gauge brad nailer, and a heavy duty pneumatic stapler. The compressor itself is physically the same as the C2002 model, which is one of the highest rated pancake air compressors on the market.
Go for this package if you only need to perform specific tasks and don’t want to spend too much time looking for compatible pneumatic tools for your compressor.
Hitachi KNT50AB Finish Combo Kit
Here’s another compressor that gives you a high quality tool and hose for your basic nailing jobs.
With a 6-gallon tank, it sits comfortably in the entry-mid level pancake air compressor market.
There’s an 18-gauge brad nailer inside, as well as a hybrid air hose with standard industrial fittings.
If you need nailing for finishing, carpentry, or DIY, then this is a good option at an affordable price. The kit also includes safety classes and tool oil, and the compressor will produce 2.8 CFM @ 90 PSI, with 150 PSI of total working pressure.
Hitachi is well known for quality, and this compressor integrates a good carrying handle that also serves as a protection cage for the electric motor.
With the nail gun included, the total package is just 47 lb. While Hitachi doesn’t state official noise figures, owners have noted that this unit can run loud, so hearing protection is advised when working indoors.
Campbell Hausfeld Quiet Air Compressor 6 Gallon
Producing just 68 dB while running, this compressor easily fits into the ultra-quiet category.
That means it is great for running indoors or outdoors, and could even be used in a garage at nighttime without causing too much disturbance. Despite the low noise output, it features a 6-gallon tank, produces 2.4 CFM @ 90 PSI, and has a maximum of 125 PSI stored.
This would be a great quiet unit for inflation, nailing, stapling, and hobby painting, or running any other tools or accessories that require less than 3CFM for efficient operation.
Porter Cable PCFP02003 Pancake Pump Compressor
If you’re looking for something even smaller than 6-gallons, then you should be interested in this Porter Cable 135 PSI air compressor.
Slightly less capable that its larger siblings, it’s an ideal unit when portability is your main concern, and when your tools only require low CFM performance.
When running at 90 PSI, this compressor will produce 2.0 CFM. It weighs just 26 lb., thanks to the 3.5-Gallon tank, and it features a maintenance free electric motor that will allow for long life and regular working sessions.
Despite its small size, the unit includes excellent hardware and comes with a standard Porter Cable one-year warranty.
PowRyte 500042 Pancake Compressor
If you’re looking for maximum affordability, then you will need to step away from some of the more well-known brands, but does that mean you’ll have to sacrifice when it comes to performance and quality?
In the case of this pancake air tank compressor, the answer is no.
It features a 6-gallon tank like the majority of the other compressors featured here, and it produces 2.6 CFM @ 90 PSI, which is also comparable to leading units.
The pancake design allows for an efficient gravity drain system on the bottom of the pancake air tank, and it uses familiar ¼ inch automotive quick connect couplings.
At just 31 lb., it ticks all of the right boxes for a portable air compressor, and it can even boast positive customer feedback with a 4.3/5 average consumer rating.
Rockford CAT944 1 Gallon Air Compressor
Small and highly affordable at a sub-$50 price point, this is an ideal pancake air compressor if you need a tool for inflating and cleaning, rather than for operating powerful pneumatic tools.
This compressor would work great if stored on your RV, for helping to inflate recreational craft and sports equipment.
It would also be ideal in a garage, and could also be used for air cleaning other tools or general equipment.
With only a 1-gallon tank and max storage pressure of 100 PSI, it’s definitely not as capable as more expensive units, but providing you know its limitations, it could be a great and cheap addition to your home power tool collection.
Campbell Hausfeld 1 Gallon Pancake Compressor
Competing for the same market segment as the Rockford, is the Campbekk Hausfeld 1 Gallon oilless air compressor.
A low CFM rating of 0.36 @ 90 PSI might seem like a small figure, but considering that this compressor is intended for light inflation, airbrushing, and light-duty finish nailing, this should not be a major problem.
Just like the Rockford, you need to be aware that this is not a machine intended for a jobsite, and should only be used for light inflation and DIY at home. Weighing under 13 pounds, it’s definitely one of the lightest compressors that you could buy.
Experience the Benefits of a Pancake Air Compressor
All of the mentioned units have some things in common.
The small footprint, easy portability, and relative light weight will all combine to make any of these a good option when you’re on a budget.
Pancake compressors are also easy to gravity drain, which reduces the risk of tank corrosion, and because they’re all electrically powered they can be used both indoors and outdoors.
When comparing these units, always keep your needs in mind, and check the CFM rating of any of the tools that you will be using. When you choose carefully, you’ll enjoy a capable unit for the right price, providing you with plenty of pneumatic power for your future projects.
If you want more advice so you can become more educated about your air compressor buying decisions, then you can check out our air compressor buying advice section.
Also, here are some detailed reviews of air compressors we have selected to present.