As a versatile handyperson, especially one that requires a lot of power to get a project completed, we know how important an air compressor could be. However, most air compressors are unnecessarily bulky and hard to work with it. An air compressor that is compact and easy to operate facilitates the completion of our tasks, hence the need for a pancake air compressor.
The compact, low-maintenance features of a pancake air compressor make it a go-to tool for most handypersons. Regardless of its uniqueness, there are still a variety of pancake air compressors in the world today, and knowing which is the perfect fit for you might be difficult. To ease the burden of endless trials & errors and throwing away money, we decided to create an extensive review of the best electric pancake air compressors for you.
Let’s get started!
Top 8 Electric Pancake Air Compressor
First on our review today, we present to you the best 6-gallon portable electric pancake air. The CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K Air Compressor features an oil-free pump, which makes it easier and cheaper to maintain; compared to other pancake air compressors you might come across.
Another reason why we love this tool is the capacity of its pressure gauge. With a maximum of 150 PSI, you can use this air compressor to perform any heavy-duty or light-duty jobs. Whether you need to connect a nail gun or a driller to it, it has just the right amount of pressure needed to complete any task.
The CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor also has the capacity to hold at most six gallons of air, which is just the right amount needed to work for prolonged hours. With a 2.6 SFCM at 90 PSI, you don’t have to take long breaks waiting for this tool to be ready to function again.
This air compressor weighs a little over 30 pounds. While this is not as heavy and difficult to carry as other compressors, you might still have troubles carrying it anytime you need to work. It is also durable and will last a long time before any repairs or replacements would be required. The CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor operates on 75 DBA for quiet operation.
- The portable air compressor is proudly made in the USA with…
- PORTABLE: 6 gallon capacity maximizes portability and stored…
- NO MAINTENANCE: Durable, oil-free pump of the 6 gallon air…
- It is oil-free for low maintenance
- Quick recovery time
- Starts up easily in cold weather
- High air tank capacity
- Includes accessories
- Durable and easy to use
- It is quite heavy
PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Model is another great pancake compressor to consider. It features thermal overload protection that keeps its motor from overheating and encourages you to work for longer periods. This tool also has rubber feet for stability and shock prevention while on the job.
Having this pancake air compressor means spending fewer costs on repairs and maintenance, as its oil-free feature keeps it from damaging easily. You can store a large amount of air with its 6-gallon capacity. A quick recovery time that reduces the time spent on a project is one out of many unique features this tool possesses. With a recovery time of 2.6 SFCM at 90PSI, getting any project done on time will be possible.
Filling the tank up is also quick and easy, as it features a regulator and couplers with a high flow. Like the CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K, the C2002-WK works with a high-pressure of about 150 PSI, making it versatile and powerful enough to work with any power tool for a long time.
PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Air Compressor has a protective structure that keeps its vital components from harm’s way. Even in the cold, the C2002-WK’s 120-volt motor starts quickly. There are no DBA ratings on this tool, but it can get pretty noisy during use. Use earplugs during use to be on the safer side.
- 150 psi max tank pressure of the portable air compressor…
- 2.6 SCFM @ 90 psi of the electric air compressor allows for…
- 6 gal Pancake style tank of the PORTER-CABLE air compressor…
- Features a water drain valve
- 150 PSI for versatility
- 6 gallon storage tank
- Easy to store
- Regulators and couplers with high flow
- Instructions are poorly written
- Accessory kits are purchased separately
Next on our review, we have a top-notch air compressor from BOSTITCH; the BTFP02012 Model. Featuring an 80 DBA rating, its low operational noise level brought our attention to this tool. How ironical. With its low DBA rating, completing your job done without disturbing your neighbors is made possible.
We also put the BTFP02012 model on our review because it has enough air storage capacity for prolonged use. A 6-gallon air tank will definitely increase your efficiency and reduce your work hours. With a pressure gauge of 150 PSI, you sure can work with a variety of heavy-duty power tools for increased efficiency and productivity.
You also get to cut down on the daily maintenance routine, as these pancake air compressors are oil-free. No need for oil replacements or cleaning up oil stains when you use the BOSTITCH BTFP02012 for your DIY and professional projects. For maximum air tool performance, this pancake air compressor also features a high flow regulator and couplers.
Low-maintenance cost is also guaranteed with the oil-free pump, which makes it more convenient to use. Its motor with high-efficiency makes starting this tool quick and easy in the cold. Weighing about 31 pounds, lifting and transporting it wouldn’t be an issue. Plus its compact size makes it easy to store when not in use.
- The portable air compressor has a long-life oil-free,…
- 150 max PSI 6.0 gallon tank (22.7 L) and 2.6 SCFM* delivered…
- BOSTITCH high efficiency motor of the 6 gallon air…
The DEWALT DWFP55126 is unarguably one of our best competitors in our review. It is no surprise we have it on our extensive list, as DEWALT is known for making high-quality power tools for DIYers and craftspersons around the globe. The DWFP55126 model isn’t any different and you’re about to see why we love it.
If you have little storage space or you transport you have little car space for when you need to work on the go, this tool has a compact size with a 17.2 x 16.6 x 20.1 inches dimension. We also admire its recovery time. Operating with 2.6 SFCM at 90 pounds per square inch reduces work hours and increases productivity.
Working quietly is also possible with the help of this tool. With a DBA rating of 75.5 decibels, it can operate in a quiet environment without disturbing your neighbors. Its motor is also super efficient, so getting it to start up quickly during the cold seasons won’t be a difficult task.
The DWFP55126 model also features an oil-free pump that makes it easier to maintain. You also get to have this air compressor to keep for a long while, as it is durable and its oil-free pump gives it an added advantage.
For better performance, it has a high flow regulator that increases its efficiency. The removable console cover protects its vital parts, and that is one out of many reasons we find this air compressor really appealing.
- 165 max PSI 6.0 gallon tank (22.7 L) and 2.6 SCFM* delivered…
- High efficiency motor of the electric air compressor is made…
- 75.5 dBA** noise level of the 6 gallon air compressor is…
- 5 PSI
- 75 decibels for quiet operation
- Protective console
- Prone to leakages
- Accessories need an additional purchase
The Campbell Hausfeld DC060500 is rated as one of the quietest pancake air compressors we’ve ever come across. It has a DBA rating of 68 decibels, which is 50% quieter than other pancake compressors on our review. The ergonomic design of this tool makes moving it easier. It has a steel handle with a soft-grip that lets you lift it without trouble.
With an oil-free piston pump, you wouldn’t need to do a lot of routine checks than usual. The Campbell Hausfeld DC060500 is built to last for a long time. Replacement and multiple repairs won’t be necessary. With a maximum pressure gauge of 125 PSI, you can work with a variety of power tools.
Working for a long time is possible, all thanks to its 6-gallon air tank that stores in enough air at once. A 2.4 SFCM at 90 PSI also boosts its recovery rate for increased productivity. The Campbell Hausfeld DC060500 weighs about 62 pounds, which is quite heavy to lift. It is the biggest pancake air compressor on our review, so it is best for industrial use.
We enjoyed using this tool, as it was quiet and we could have a little chit-chat while it was in operation. Working in quiet environments is totally possible if you purchase this pancake air compressor.
- Super quiet
- 6-gallon air tank
- comes with a couple of accessories
- it is relatively bigger and heavier compared to other pancake air compressors.
The Ridgid Portable Electric Pancake Compressor is also another excellent tool that gets all your pneumatic power tools to function effectively without draining your energy or wasting your time. With a 6-gallon air tank, you can store as much compressed air as you need to buy you enough time to work.
Finding a storage space that’ll fully accommodate this tool would never be an issue, it has a 17.13 x 17.1 x 19.7 inches dimension, which is compact, and easy to transport if you need to travel to a different location to use your air compressor. It also weighs about 35 pounds, which means it is relatively easy to lift during or after your work is done.
Having this compressor tool in your possession doesn’t put you through the stress of emptying or changing its oil, as it features an oil-free pump. So you have little to no maintenance troubles to worry about when using this tool.
With a pressure gauge of 150 PSI, you can work with a large number of power tools to complete your tasks. It is made of durable metal, damages and repairs might be harder to come across if you subject this tool to the right conditions only.
- 150 PSI
- 6-gallon air tank
- Sturdy construction
We have our first oil-lubricated pancake air compressor on our review today. The WEN 2287 Horizontal Air Compressor looks different from its competitors and had only a couple of features which we found pretty amazing and worthy to be on this list.
The 6-gallon air tank of this tool is just enough to store in enough compressed air to keep you working for a while. It has a 13A high-efficiency motor that starts it quickly in cold seasons and makes it able to provide up to 125 PSI.
The WEN 2287 features an auto-shutdown function that forces this air compressor to power off when it has reached its maximum PSI, to avoid damages and accidents. You get two airflow rates of 3.2 CFM at 90 PSI and 4.2 CFM at 40PSI. This tool weighs 51 pounds, which is quite heavy for most. Even so, it has two wheels and an ergonomic handle that makes transporting it easier.
- Provides air flow rates of 3.2 CFM at 90 PSI and 4.2 CFM at…
- 6-gallon tank constructed with reinforced steel for a…
- Features an easy-to-reach quick drain valve, 1/4-inch NPT…
- Easy-to-reach quick drain valve
- Dual airflow rate
- Rubber foot legs and two wheels for balance
- It is heavy
- Oil pump requires frequent maintenance
Last but not the least, we have this amazing air compressor from Metabo (formerly known as Hitachi). Although they have a new name, we were sure they would still provide high-quality products. So, we gave Metabo KNT50AB HPT Air Compressor a try, and we weren’t disappointed.
The combo kit of this air compressor is just one out of many unique features this tool possesses. They include an oil-less tank with a six-gallon capacity (EC710S Model), an 18 Gauge Brad Nailer (NT50AE2 Model), a Hybrid Air Hose that is 25ft long, Safety glasses, and a lubricant for pneumatic tools. Looks like the perfect combo kit for any handyperson.
It weighs 35 pounds, which is light and easy to transport for a person with average strength. It also has a 6-gallon compressed air storage tank for prolonged work hours and shorter breaks. It features an air hose with heavy-duty bend restrictors that remain intact even in the cold seasons.
- Same tools. New name. Hitachi power tools has renamed to…
- Kit includes the popular NT50AE2 2″ 18-Gauge Brad Nailer…
- Kit includes the EC710S 6-Gallon Oil-Free Pancake Compressor…
- 6-gallon air tank
- Includes heavy-duty air hose
- Manual isn’t entirely easy to understand
Pancake Air Compressor Buyer’s Guide
Knowing what to look out for in a pancake air compressor can prove to be important in selecting the right one for your projects. Below are a couple of features to look out for when you need to purchase the perfect pancake air compressor;
Having a pancake air compressor that is portable is a huge advantage. It eases the burden of finding enough space to store it when it is not in use. The whole point of having one of these tools is to have a compact air compressor. Purchasing one that is large or unusually heavy ruins the whole essence of getting yourself one. Choose a pancake air compressor that you can lift easily and store in limited space.
Purchasing a pancake air compressor with enough capacity to store air is essential in increasing your productivity. Holding more compressed air can help you work for longer hours before your air compressor takes a break to be filled with compressed air again. The nature of your project should determine the size of the air tank you choose to buy.
Oil-less or Oil Pump
Pancake air compressors with oil pumps are usually highly effective and have a longer run time than its counterpart. However, it is difficult to maintain, as you have to empty the oil or change it to keep it in good condition and avoid damages. For oil-less air compressors, Teflon is used to reduce friction, and it is less messy to operate.
If you live in a quiet neighborhood, purchasing an air compressor with a DBA rating that is low enough not to cause any disturbances is a must. Even if you have your earplugs on, chances are that your neighbors aren’t having a great time listening to all that noise.
The pressure gauge of your air compressor usually determines its compatibility with other power tools. If you use a lot of heavy-duty tools for your projects, purchase an air compressor with a high PSI for improved versatility.
How we picked the best pancake air compressors
When we were first challenged to make a review on the best pancake air compressors money can buy, we had no idea how. There were so many on the market and that’s when we had to dig deeper till we came up with the best eight.
Firstly, our top picks all have a 6-gallon air tank for prolonged use. Since we were making this for handypersons who needed air compressors, powerful enough for home and minor workshop projects only, not industrial. We found the 6-gallon air tank sufficient for this purpose and made this our first feature in shortlisting the pancake air compressors out there.
Secondly, we wanted our readers to be able to purchase pancake air compressors that can work for a large number of power tools efficiently. What better way to do that than to look for air compressors with high pressure. So, we selected pancake air compressors with a pressure gauge of at least 125 to 150 PSI. This is enough pressure to start your power tools.
Finally, we decided to focus on how quiet these tools can perform. For your safety and your neighbor’s, selecting pancake air compressors with a low DBA rating became our next priority. We also made sure these air compressors were sturdy enough to withstand harsh conditions.
Our selection was based on these features, and background checks on the integrity of each manufacturing company. It sure was a tough one, but we were super excited after making these picks. Mission completed!
All you need to know about pancake air compressors
A pancake compressor is a portable pneumatic device that compresses air into a tank, which is later released as kinetic energy that powers compatible pneumatic tools and gets them to function effectively. Here are a few more things you should know about pancake air compressors:
Types of air compressors
Air compressors are usually categorized based on two principles: positive displacement compression and dynamic compressions.
Positive displacement compression includes;
- Piston Compressors (Reciprocating)
- Rotary screw compressors (single rotor)
- Scroll compressors (double rotor)
Dynamic compressions work at a constant pressure. Unlike positive displacement compression that works with a constant flow.
The pancake air compressor can be used to fill up gas cylinders, supply low-pressure air to divers, filling tires, and many more.
The horsepower of your pancake air compressor determines the amount of work it can get done. The motor of your air compressors is rated using horsepower.
The air compressor tank
The tank can only store air, not produce it. Having a big pump and powerful motor is better than having a big air tank, as you can produce as much compressed air as you’d need to work. However, a big tank increases the start and stop time.
Single-stage and Two-stage Air Compressors
Single-stage air compressors consist of one or more cylinders that all pump air into the tank directly, while the two-stage air compressor consists of two or more cylinders, whereby the first cylinder pumps air into the next then into the tank.
Q: What can you do with a pancake air compressor?
A: You can use a pancake air compressor to spray paint, for drilling, cutting, fastening, and many more.
Q: Are pancake air compressors any good?
A: Yes. They are perfect for a variety of uses
Q: Is it OK to leave an air compressor full?
A: Yes, but you’d need to drain it after use.
Q: Do air compressor tanks expire?
A: Yes, they do.
Q: How long does an air compressor last?
A: If properly maintained, a standard air compressor can last for more than 12 years.
There you go! We have featured the top 8 pancake air compressors that would sure come in handy when you need to work with your pneumatic tools. With a lot of options out there, finding the perfect one sure gets difficult, and we sure are glad we got to help you downsize your options.
While we were testing these air compressors, the DEWALT DWFP55126 came out as the best-rated Pancake Air Compressor. Its low operational noise level is unmatched, and it is super durable. The CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K Air Compressor is top on our list because it is a lot easier to operate, portable, and inexpensive too.
Well, that will be all for now. We sure hope our review comes in handy when you need to purchase a pancake air compressor. Good luck!