pancake air compressor

Best Pancake Air Compressor For The Money in 2022|Buying Tips

Finding the best pancake air compressor is a must if you hope to make the very best of it. We understand that fact only so well that is why we have lined up pancake air compressors reviews and buying guide for you.

Table of Contents

At A Glance

Potential Uses Of The Pancake Air Compressors

Listed below are some of the potential uses of the pancake air compressors:

  • Applying the paint to the vehicles
  • Sanding wooden surfaces or the bodies of the vehicles
  • Generating snow at the ski hills for the sake of entertainment
  • Operationalizing the pneumatic nail guns while roofing
  • Expediting medical services especially those that border on dentistry
  • Powering a variety of tools in a typical workshop or repair shop
  • Powering an air blowgun to cleanse the machinery used in workshops

Best Pancake Air Compressors – 2021 Reviewed

We now review some of the best pancake air compressors the markets have to offer as of now:

#1 Porter cable 6-gallon air compressor Porter Cable C2002

PORTER CABLE Air Compressor

Seeking a durable pancake air compressor to make use of every day for a longer duration of time? This best 6 gallon pancake air compressor is the one we might ask you to tap into as it is stronger and more enduring in nature.

150 maximum psi tank pressure

Its maximum air pressure output is 150 pounds per sq. inch and is thus able to tackle many of the heavy duty chores. This notwithstanding, this porter cable 150 psi 6 gal oil free pancake compressor is portable enough & easy to carry it around seamlessly.

Faster recovery time

This air compressor is able to ensure a faster recovery time thanks to the 2.6 standard cubic feet per minute at 90 pounds per sq. inch (scfm at 90 psi). You won’t have to wait for too long to have your way with this air compressor hence.

Exceptionally stable

As you make use of it, you will find it exceptionally stable to utilize. That stems from its wider base and the rubber feet. With it, you may say goodbye to the potential injuries that are generally likely to arise.

Low Amp 120V motor

A powerful yet low ampere motor that bears the 120V rating rounds up all that the gadget has to offer. Thanks to this low ampere rating, the best pancake compressor is able to start easily and conveniently even in cold weather.

  • Requires limited maintenance on your part
  • Easier to engage thanks to the simplified handle
  • Bears and works alongside many other vital accessories
  • Lends easy support to two users simultaneously
  • Light enough for expedited portability
  • Not really powerful for those strenuous tasks

#2 Craftsman 6-gallon portable air compressor cmec6150

craftsman pancake air compressor

Happen to move around every now and then? Your answer lies in the acquisition and use of a portable air compressor of this kind. This pancake air compressor is also compact enough to enable easier to store when not in use.

6-gallon capacity

Standing out from among the many offerings, this portable air compressor has to supply is the 6-gallon capacity. This capacity is sufficient enough for many regular household chores and is also light enough to haul around.

Durable oil free pump

A durable oil free pump ranks next among its many offerings. By virtue of its durability and oil-free nature, this pump type requires limited maintenance on your part and is hence useful for prolonged engagements.

Wider applicability

By and large, this portable air compressor is able to exude an air pressure output that stands at 150 pounds per sq. inch. This pancake air compressor is capable of expediting many regular everyday chores with absolute ease.

Quicker recovery time

With the 2.6 standard cubic feet per minute at 90 pounds per sq. inch, the pancake compressor manages a quicker recovery time indeed. You don’t have to wait for too long to have your way in it.

  • Enables seamless portability indeed
  • Hardly sustains damages that may require maintenance
  • Useful for a vast array of applications
  • Takes a shorter time to recover after use
  • Made by the Craftsman reputable brand
  • Has a smaller carrying capacity

Also Read: DIY Air Compressor Cart

#3 Bostitch btfp02012

BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor

Seeking a pump to use for your common everyday applications? Get hold of this from Bostitch and dedicate it to your engagements. This bostitch pancake air compressor blends portability and maintenance-free operations to enable this.

Longer run time

When all factors are taken into consideration, this pancake compressor is indeed capable of managing a longer run time. It has great features of the quicker recovery time to ensure smooth and seamless operations.

BOSTITCH high-efficiency motor

Existing to furnish you with the torque you badly need to operate is the BOSTITCH high-efficiency motor. It churns out a higher level of air pressure that also makes for simplified startups even in cold weather.

Lower noise level

Though it generates some noise when operating, its noise output is comparatively low. That stands at roughly 75 decibels and hence ensures proper engagement even in areas that are sensitive to noise.

Exceptionally lightweight

Rounding it all up is the exceptionally lightweight stature of this bostitch air compressor that comes to about 29 pounds. With this arrangement in mind, you are certain to enjoy unparalleled portability as you move about.

  • Maximizes its overall performances
  • Helps you to regulate the flow appropriately
  • Accords exceptional support to multiple users simultaneously
  • Light enough for you to carry it around comfortably
  • Compact enough for simplified storage
  • Unsuitable for commercial or large-scale applications

Recommended Article : 6 Best Hot Dog Air Compressor Reviews

#4 Dewalt dwfp55126

Dewalt dwfp55126

Have some difficult tasks to tackle? The Dewalt manufacturer will get the job done for you. It lays claim to this stake by virtue of being stronger and enduring not to mention also fitting many areas of use.

High-efficiency motor

A high-efficiency motor takes the first spot of all that it has to confer. Its higher level efficacy enables simpler startup even in areas or times that are ordinarily too cold for the others of its kind.

High-flow regulator and couplers

Taking the second spot in the series of high-flow regulators and couplers. These jointly maximize the performance of the tool while also enabling two or more persons to use this dewalt dwfp55126 pancake air compressor at once.

Console cover

It does have a console that showcases and displays the progress of the use of this dewalt dwfp55126 pancake air compressor. This console has a cover that protects it from external elements and suppresses the damages that potentially come along.

Ball drain valve

At the last place is the ball drain valve that works to make for quicker and thorough drainage of the tanks. The valve of this pancake air compressor is easier to make use of while also regulating the pace of the outflow seamlessly.

  • Appropriately designed to minimize confusion when handled
  • Compact size and design allows for simpler storage and handling
  • Emits low noise (75 decibels) and hence is great for areas that are sensitive to noise
  • Has an impressive capacity of 6 gallons
  • A convenient cord wrap exists for easier storage
  • Some users may not have the expertise to handle it

Also Read: Top 5 Advantages Of Pancake Air Compressor

#5 RIDGID 6 Gal. Portable Electric Pancake Air Compressor

best 6 gallon air compressor

From its designation, this pancake air compressor derives its power from the mains electricity and thus negates the input of personal muscle power or effort. It is one you want to tap into if you have an industrial purpose in mind.

Electric pancake compressor

As noted in the introductory segment, this pancake compressor derives its operating power from the mains electricity source. Thus, it does not demand excess muscle power from you as is the norm with others.

Powerful compressor

Given its electrical power source, this pancake compressor is really powerful. It is as a matter of fact able to manage a whopping 150 pounds per sq. inch of air pressure output for you. Use it to trim and finish jobs.

Dual universal quick connectors

Also existing are some dual universal quick connectors that facilitate the handling and engagements of two or more people concurrently. In this manner, it cuts down the time you would otherwise waste.

Best-in-class oil free pump

Contrary to the other compressors, this durable oil free pump is one of the best in the class. When compared to the prevailing alternatives, it is easier to engage and is more productive.

  • Performs the trim and finish tasks freely
  • Allows many people to make use of it at the same time
  • Its oil free pump stands out from the pack
  • Incorporates all the vital accessories you might need while working
  • Derives its operating power from the mains electricity
  • Has a shorter range due to the electrical power source

#6 Hitachi pancake compressor KNT50AB

Hitachi KNT50AB

Just if all you are looking for is an air compressor for the purpose of finishing jobs, none could be better for the task than this. This hitachi pancake air compressor is structured for the purpose of finishing cabinetry and other furniture projects.

Lightweight and well-balanced

When all is said and done, this pancake compressor is both light in weight and properly balanced. As such, it is unlikely to pose some injuries in the course of handling and execution of the duties.


Apart from the task of finishing the exterior of furniture, this pancake compressor may also operate many nailers at the same time. Both of these are made possible by the rugged and reliable engagements it has to provide.

Spiral reinforcements

Some spiral reinforcements that are ergonomically designed also exist as vital components of this pancake air compressor. They are not only durable but also flexible enough for use in areas of extreme cold.

Simple flip actuation switch

Crowning it all up is the simple flip actuation switch that plays the role of choosing the preferred mode of operations. You may engage it to switch back and forth the sequential and the bump-fire modes respectively.

  • Accompanied by a pneumatic lubricant and a pair of safety glasses
  • Delivers a mix of rugged and reliable performances
  • Maintains the 150 max psi output for a longer time
  • Capable of operating multiple nailers at the same time
  • Its elastomer grip adds comfort while preventing slippage
  • Limited to the tasks of finishing alone

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#7 Central pneumatic pancake air compressor

CENTRAL PNEUMATIC 3 gallon air compressor

When working in hot areas, it is uncommon for the electrical circuits to blow up. You want an appliance that is extremely safe and unlikely to suffer this feat. This air compressor has overload security to guarantee that.

Thermal overload protection

As hinted above, this pancake compressor bears some thermal overload safeguard whose role is, to prevent the voltage from overshooting the safe threshold. It hence guarantees your own safety while working.

Wider applicability

By its sheer versatile shape and form, you may use this central pneumatic pancake compressor for a wider array of uses. These include but are not limited to airbrushing, brad nailing, stapling, and inflation. The benefit of maximum returns is yours.

“Pancake” low-profile construction

In its entirety, this pancake compressor comes about in a “pancake” low-profile construction. For this reason, it saves greatly on space, makes for easier transportation, and allows you to carry it around comfortably.

Compact compressor design

Complementing the construction above is the fact of compact compressor design. On the strength of this design, this pancake air compressor is by and large capable of delivering all the air power you might require while engaging it.

  • Has a decent capacity of 3 gallons
  • Enables the easy regulation of the air via an existing drain valve
  • Bears built-in accessory storage for holding your extras
  • An easy-to-learn pressure gauge displays the readings
  • Its thermal overload protection exists for your own maximum safety
  • Quite clumsy to understand and engage

#8 Ryobi 6 gallon air compressor

Are you a general do-it-yourselfer? Get hold of this air compressor and dedicate it to your job. It is optimized for many of the ordinary chores in the home area and is also simple to engage.

Innovative design

The air compressor is packaged in an innovative design that brings along the best-in-class features. Due to this, the air compressor is capable of meeting and exceeding the expectations of its users.

3-step side-loading magazine

At its core is the 3-step side-loading magazine. The overall make of the magazine allows it to change the nails faster and comfortably. It hence cuts the time you would otherwise waste when attempting to have your way.

Exhaust port

This air compressor does have an exhaust port. In contrast to other compressors, the one for this gadget swivel to enable easier adjustments and alterations of the direction of the outputs.

Nonslip rubber grip

Closing the sum total outstanding benefits it has to offer is the nonslip rubber grip. As you may have guessed, this anchors the air compressor firmly on the ground to prevent it from possibly fidgeting or falling off.

  • Has a decent capacity of 3 gallons
  • Adjusts easily to take on many settings
  • Unlike to mar or instill ugly marks on the surfaces
  • Suited for many do-it-yourself applications
  • Relatively simpler to engage all the while
  • Cannot be used for complicated undertakings

#9 Campbell Hausfeld DC060500

Campbell Hausfeld 6 Gallon Portable Quiet Air Compressor

Is the place you intend to devote these air compressors sensitive to the risks of noise pollution? If at all it is, we draw your attention to this quietest pancake air compressor that is a whopping 50% quiet air compressor than many others.

Quiet Operation

Its quiet operations are largely made possible by the similarly quiet motor. Get hold of it and dedicate it to those installations that are largely averse to the risk of noise pollution like library settings.

Reliable Power

When dedicated for use, this pancake compressor does just out a stream of reliable power output. Its power gets to 125 pounds per sq. inch and is suitable for tackling a wide variety of allied jobs.

User-friendly experience

This pancake air compressor is largely capable of bringing about a user-friendly experience for you. A combination of the portable 8-gallon pancake tank, maintenance free pump, and oil-free operations combine to make this possible.

Soft-grip steel handle

To carry it along, you will tap into its soft-grip steel handle that is not only comfortable but also able to provide the assist you badly need to engage this pancake compressor with absolute ease.

  • Lasts up to four times longer than other alternatives
  • Delivers the outputs to the remote and hidden areas conveniently
  • Concludes your projects at a pace that is somewhat faster
  • Upholds a fairer degree of quietness all the while
  • Maintains a tighter grip when deployed for use thereof
  • Cannot accept many other accessories

#10 Metabo HPT Pancake Air Compressor, 6 Gallon

Metabo HPT

Different air compressors are intended for different purposes. If you are short on cash, you badly need a pancake air compressor that is similarly cheaper to come by such as this. It is overall cheaper to come by.

Awesome tank capacity

An awesome tank capacity ranks at the very top of many of its offerings. This stands at a whopping 6 gallons and is strong enough to guarantee rugged performances all the time of intended use.

Powerful motor

Ranking next is the exceedingly powerful motor that bears the 1 horsepower rating. It is strong and reliable enough for exceptional startups even in moments of poor weather.

Regulators and gauges

Quite a few gauges and regulators adorn the entire length and breadth of the air compressor. They are easier to engage and hence guarantee the adjustments of the maximum PSI readings pretty accurately.

Multiplicity of purposes

By its sheer powerful and versatile stature, this pancake compressor is suitable for a multiplicity of purposes. Among these is the ability of more than one nailer per unit time. Thus, this air compressor acts to save your time considerably.

  • Powerful and reliable for rugged performances
  • Holds and maintains its pressure for longer
  • Comes in a pancake style for the sake of easier handling
  • Its engine is very quiet and less likely to imperil the comfort of those nearby
  • Starts up smoothly at all times even in cold weather
  • Lacks the sophisticated parts that are needed for professional applications

#11 K Tool International Oil-Free Pancake Air Compressor

K Tool International Oil Free Pancake Air Compressor

Prepping for those tasks that are overall tougher and more rugged? Get your hands on this specific tool. This free pancake air compressor is for all practical purposes tougher, more durable, and rugged enough to enable the attainment of that end.

Induction motor

Its motor is unlike any other as it comes in the form of the induction variety. Then again it bears the 1/3 horsepower rating that is tough enough for the accomplishment of many kinds of jobs and crafts.

1-gallon tank capacity

A tank whose capacity is 1 gallon also adorns the entire length and breadth of this air compressor. Its capacity is just sufficient for most of the duties that a typical work site may have to endure.

Oil-free design

This free pancake air compressor also comes about in an oil-free design that enables smoother and seamless operations. The oil-less design reduces the possible incidences of damages and the need for repairs that come thereafter.

Higher maximum working air pressure

Concluding the sum total overall benefits that this pancake compressor has to provide is the upper maximum working air pressure of around 100 pounds-per-square-inch. This air compressor tackles even the hardest jobs with ease on account of this.

  • Light enough to carry around easily
  • Takes up limited storage ease
  • Available in an ergonomic and stylish design
  • Its motor generates awesome power output for you
  • Made by a reputable and reliable brand overall
  • Only for the expert and experienced users

#12 NuMax S3GI12CK 3 Gallon 1/2 HP Portable Electric Oil-Free Pancake Air Compressor

NuMax S3GI12CK

This is one of the most popular portable air compressors to go for if all you want is to power your pneumatic tools. Not only is it portable but also does it do a comparatively great job of adorning the exterior of items and surfaces.

1/2 HP electric motor

The motor of this portable air compressor is able to generate some good power output and it bears a ½ horsepower rating. It subsequently maintains some quietness while also requiring limited maintenance.

Easy carry handle

For expedited transportation and handling, this portable air compressor comes along with an easy carry handle. This makes the process of moving about and in a room a really simple undertaking.

Easy-to-read gauges

As you engage this pancake compressor, you will easily peek into the progress of so doing thanks to the easy-to-learn gauges that form a vital part and aspect of the air compressor overall.

Anti-vibration rubberize feet

At the base of the portable air compressor is anti-vibration rubberized feet that anchor the item firmly on the ground while also minimizing fidgeting. This approach, it lets you have all the confidence you need to work all along.

  • Attaches to a hose that measures 25 feet
  • Compatible with the 18-gauge brad nails
  • Its body is ergonomically engineered for proper performances
  • Manages extended usage and engagements thanks to the super-tough makeup
  • Adjusts smoothly for tackling many tasks
  • Gives off reduced returns (limited to pneumatic tools alone)

Consideration Before buying A Pancake Compressor

Most air compressors buying guide

Here now are some of the factors to consider when hunting for the top pancake compressor:


The carrying capacity of the pancake style tank should be your primary consideration. A good air compressor on the basis of this consideration should be sufficiently large enough to meet all of your air compression needs. For this to happen, you must ascertain the scope of your task first and foremost.

Power output

This refers to the level of the pressure with which the pancake compressor juts out the shrunk air. It is designated in the pounds-per-square-inch. Of course, the higher the rating, the more likely it is that the air compressor is able to tackle tougher tasks and vice versa.


There are many brands or manufacturers of pancake air compressors. Not all of them may do the same types of work. Some of these brands stand out exceptionally well.

They include Porter Cable, Craftsman, Bostitch, Dewalt, Rigid, Hitachi, Central, Ryobi, Campbell, Metabo, K Tool International, and NuMax. Give them a top priority when considering one of the best pancake compressors.


For your own added peace of mind, you need a good pancake air compressor that is appropriately backed by great after-sale service and warranty. The former is to guarantee the technical support you might need in the event of damage after use whereas the latter is to care for any financial losses that may arise.


These small pancake air compressors do not come for free. You have to part with some cash to afford them. Though this is an eventuality you will ultimately confront, you need not spend too much. That calls for you to assess your financial resource endowment first and foremost before embarking on a hunt for one.

Vertical/horizontal position

There are two main kinds of air compressors on the basis of their orientations. These are the vertical and the horizontal respectively. You have to make a choice depending on the amount of space you have at your disposal. As a general rule, a vertical portable air compressor is space-saving and hence great for cramped-up rooms.

Different Pancake Air Compressor Sizes

Below are some of the different sizes:

  • 3-gallon – This is one that you want to tap into for emergency situations and tasks that require as minimal delays as possible.
  • 4-gallon – Moderately sized and great for regular uses especially those areas that demand an impromptu supply of compressed air.
  • 6-gallon – Has the largest capacity and is hence used for larger projects that are beyond the scope of the do-it-yourself .
  • 1-gallon – Possesses by far the smallest capacity and is hence useful only for touch-ups and other lightweight devices.

Maintenance Tips

Minimal maintenance of pancake compressors

Below are the leading maintenance hints you may adhere to so that you may uphold the proper functioning of your pancake air compressor:

  • Study and adhere strictly to the instruction manual to derive the inspiration you need to handle the item well.
  • Tighten the bolts and the nuts firmly to prevent the same from possibly getting loose and damaging the item altogether.
  • Clear the intake valves of all the dirt and accumulated debris that may choke the same and prevent it from operating smoothly.
  • Inspect the hoses from time to time. While at it, you should see to it that all the debris has been cleared from the hose to enable unconstrained ejection of the compressed air.
  • Change the air filters to ensure a steady and unparalleled ejection of the compressed air. You should garner and make use of only the latest air filters on the market.
  • Drain the condensate from the tanks to prevent the same from hampering the smooth tasks that you desperately require whenever you dedicate it to your usage.
  • Cleanse the fuel tank to eliminate anything that may interfere with the smooth discharge of the fuel and the proper functioning of the motor.
  • Review and examine the shutoff system of the air compressor to see to it that it operates seamlessly and that there are no clogs that may imperil the proper functioning thereof.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Let us now share you with answers to some of the commonly asked questions about these pancake air compressors:

What Is A Pancake Air Compressor?

A pancake air compressor is a small and portable tank that holds compressed air that it subsequently releases at high pressure. It is flat and oval in shape, hence the designation ‘pancake.’ The gadget is used for many common household tasks and holds smaller volumes of air.

How does a pancake air compressor work?

A portable air compressor works by holding compressed air and then releasing intermittent amounts of the same when needed. A motor generates the torque that ultimately ejects the shrunk air whereas the release valve regulates the outflow thereof. While at it, the pressure gauge keeps track of the flow.

What size air hose for pancake compressor?

Many hoses of these pancake air compressors range from ¼ inches to about 1 inch in diameter. The exact length depends mainly on where exactly you plan to use yours, the kinds of tasks you wish to engage in, and the volume of shrunk air you intend to discharge.

Can a pancake compressor run air tools?

YES, it can! There are lots of pancake compressors that are designed exclusively for running the pneumatic tools. Use these for the exclusive purpose of running your air tools. Some of the air tools it may run are the pneumatic tires, backfill tampers, impact wrenches, nail guns, and airbrushes.

How to use a pancake air compressor

Follow these steps to use a pancake air compressor:
  • Turn the regulator in a counterclockwise direction
  • Attach an air hose to the air compressor
  • Turn off the switch
  • Plug the pancake air compressor into a circuit
  • Turn the switch to the “Auto” position
  • Fix the tool at the extreme end of the air compressor hose
  • Turn the pressure regulator knob in a clockwise direction
  • Hold on until the pressure gauge reads the rated pressure
  • Switch the compressor off and unplug it from the mains socket

Can a pancake compressor run an impact wrench?

YES, it can! You only have to find one that is wholly intended for that purpose. With regards to this, it is largely used to provide the excessive force needed to turn and tighten the wrench in such a manner as to bring about the tight hold.

Can a pancake compressor inflate tires?

YES, but only for the strong tires of the tractors and trailers. Never use them to inflate the tires of smaller vehicles like bikes and wheelbarrows. They may easily inflate and burst open when tackled using the air compressors. Regardless of what tires you use to inflate them, be sure to operate strictly within the standard recommended pressure levels.

Are 110-volt pancake air compressors enough for motorhomes?

YES! This rating is comfortable for many kinds of homes and household settings we have at the moment. However, not every socket outlet may accommodate this kind of air compressor. In fact, only homes in the North American regions are appropriately suited for pairing with this rating.

Wrap Up

We bring to an abrupt close our peek into the best pancake air compressors that the markets have to offer at the moment. As you may see from above, these top pancake air compressors are highly specialized. You can never pick and use any at random as that may never really deliver to you the intended outcomes.

Rather, we ask you to really scrutinize the list of best pancake air compressors and only narrow it to that which is wholly capable of meeting your specific needs. Kindly study and adhere to the buying guide above as a plausible way forward. Do you need any further support or inspiration from us? Kindly let us know…

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