Pancake air compressors are a great support for beginners who are looking for something lightweight, stable, and low maintenance. These compact yet highly powerful tools are used for a variety of tasks, from pumping tires to using these with pneumatic tools and so on.
These traditional types of compressors are also reasonably priced for users with a decent power range and fast delivery that makes them famous among users. In addition, having lightweight constructions and ergonomics designs, these machines are significantly portable.
If you are currently looking for one, this article brought together a comprehensive buying and review guide of the best pancake air compressors. So, you can facilitate your small repairing works ideally. So, dive right in and choose the one that works for you.
At a Glance:
6 Best Pancake Air Compressors
1. BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor-Air Compressor PancakeStaff Pick
I am starting my list of the best pancake air compressors with this machine from Bostitch, having an absolutely efficient motor and a suitable pressure that serve you well. This one is known for its high-flow regulator and durable construction that extends its life and provides you with smooth airflow.
Additionally, one of my favorites in this model is the brushless motor that is equally energy-efficient and cuts costs from the electricity bills. When it comes to performance, this one is able to deliver upto 150 psi range that is great for painting and other related applications.
It also has a notable tank capacity of six gallons with an air delivery rate of 2.5 SCFM, making it stand among others. Apart from being energy-efficient, the motor pirates on 78.5 dB that is considered noiseless and quiet for the most part.
In the end, the design comes with a carrying bag and compact size that provides you with portability, not to mention a sturdy stainless steel construction. Likewise, it has a 10-piece accessory kit that maximizes its utility and helps you with versatility. Finally, I absolutely love the two hose options that let two users do the job, saving time and struggle.
- Impressive power range
- Durable and lightweight
- Great air delivery rate
- Large tank capacity
- Air hose needs improvement
- Not for big jobs
In essence, this Bostitch Pancake compressor is a great choice for small-scale jobs, having a great power range and impressive airflow. It is designed with a large tank capacity, smooth delivery, sufficient pressure, and a powerful motor that serves you well. Similarly, the durable and lightweight construction, not to mention ten noteworthy accessories, makes it stand among others.
2. CRAFTSMAN 6 Gallon-Convenient Air Compressor Pancake
Here is the runner-up in my list with absolute power and a fast delivery rate, not to mention convenient and easy to operate. This one is famous for its 0.8 HP motor that is able to facilitate heavy-duty applications and provides you with a decent pressure range and stability.
Similarly, I absolutely loved the frostproof function that helps you in using this machine even in harsh and cold winters. Speaking of the design, this one is equipped with a lot of accessories and an ergonomics handle that provides you with a decent grip and improved utility.
It further integrates three tire inflation adaptors and rubber tips that help you with stability and ease. If you are someone who is always struggling to find a quality hose, this one with a PVC air hose (with pug assembly) is undoubtedly a great alternative for you.
Lastly, when it comes to performance, many high-budgeted premium models cannot stand with this Craftsman compressor. It is equipped with a 0.8HP powerful motor that operates on regular voltage and offers 2.6 SCFM ratings, absolutely perfect for big professional jobs.
It also has a psi range of 150 that is directed towards beginners and helps them with smooth airflow and a high delivery rate through the process.
- Offers great stability/ balance.
- It is powerful and quiet.
- Great value for money.
- Ideal for professional jobs.
- Durability is not the best.
- Setup can be tricky.
In conclusion, this Craftsman compressor is a great deal to accommodate heavy-duty jobs with a powerful motor, stable construction, and a suitable pressure range.
It integrates a lightweight design with a suitable pressure range and fast delivery rate that helps you through the process. Similarly, the fact that parts are easy to find across the market with an oil-free pump mechanism makes it low maintenance.
3. PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, Pancake-Large Capacity Pancake Air CompressorBest Pick
Here comes another quality product from Porter-Cable with a large tank capacity and powerful delivery process. It is an oil-free compressor that provides you with easy setups, a suitable psi range, and noiseless operations all along.
Additionally, the lightweight design is absolutely perfect for home-based DIY projects. I really like this one for its air spray hose and easy pumping mechanism that is highly serviceable for newcomers.
Moreover, talking about the design, it incorporates a large 5-ft power cord with a 120 V motor that is specifically designed for homes and workshops. So, you don’t have to worry about the safe production of energy and potential accidents.
It further integrates a built-in thermal protection function that helps you in making the process safe and prevents overheating. The oil-free design is also low maintenance and easy for beginners.
Last but not the least, it is equipped with a 2.6 SCFM and 150 psi range that helps you with high airflow and fast delivery rate throughout the process.
Likewise, the tank is also six gallons that is quite impressive for a home-based DIY machine. The only downside to this model is that it can be a bit noisy, so this is not for you if you are someone who can’t tolerate sound.
- Ideal for beginners.
- Large tank capacity.
- Offers low maintenance.
- Suitable air delivery rate.
- It can feel a bit heavy.
- It produces noise.
Final thoughts, this Porter-Cable machine is one of the best pancake air compressors if you are a beginner and want something budget-friendly. It is designed for home-based small repairing jobs with improved delivery rate, airflow, and a suitable pressure range. It is also lightweight and durable, which makes it of great value. However, it can produce a lot of noise that can be a struggle to deal with.
4. DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor-Professional Use Pancake Air Compressor
Dewalt is a reputable brand when it comes to air compressors for its affordable and high-end models with exceptional services. This one from the manufacturer is designed specifically for professional users with a decently powerful motor and a sufficient delivery rate.
Similarly, the oil-free pressure pump mechanism and the easy setups, not to mention a lot of accessories make it of great value. Furthermore, the first you will notice about this model is its six-gallon capacity that provides you with a long-lasting application.
The 9 HP exceptionally powerful motor is able to deliver up to 165 psi and 2.6 SCFMrange, having a fast delivery rate and suitable airflow. I also love the hose that lets two airlines work at once. Here, the fact that this machine comes with an oil-free pump makes it low maintenance and easy to operate.
In the end, it is made up of cast aluminum that adds to the portability and durability. All in all, you will not have any issue related to sound as it operates only on 75dB that is pretty quiet for the most part.
The ball-type drain system is another remarkable feature that helps you in easily removing the water from the pipe, with safety ensured. Overall, it is an effective machine for beginners and professionals yet is a great value for money.
- Offers great power.
- High-pressure delivery rate.
- Great value for money.
- Offers quiet operations.
- It lacks stability.
- Not the most durable.
In conclusion, this Dewalt Pancake air compressor is a great choice for anyone looking for a pocket-friendly yet highly efficient machine for big repair jobs.
This one is known for its impressive power range, large pressure delivery, and noiseless operations that facilitate you in the best manner. Lastly, the lightweight design with a number of accessories available gives it an edge over others.
5. Metabo HPT EC710S Pancake Air Compressor-Lightweight DesignBudget Pick
To begin with, this one from Metabo is a well-suited option for budget enthusiasts like me who are looking for a serviceable compressor to serve basic DIY jobs. This is best known for its decent capacity, fast delivery rate, and large tank capacity that serve you along the way.
In addition, the lightweight design and inclusion of accessories make it perfectly suitable for newcomers. Furthermore, when it comes to design, the first thing you will notice here is its 1HP powerful motor that is ideal for small jobs and energy efficiency.
So, you don’t have to bother about electricity bills anymore. It also integrates quality PVC hoses and universal quick couplers that make the process convenient for you. It also comes with a carry case that helps you in traveling with this machine and adds to the portability.
In the end, it is equipped with a 90 psi range and 2.8 CFM range that helps you in serving a number of applications. The motor operates on a 73dB noise level that is considerably quiet and doesn’t disturb you along the way.
Lastly, it is worth mentioning that the device operates on an oil-free pump mechanism that is easy to set up and low maintenance. However, there are no accessories included in this package.
- Offers impressive power range.
- It is considerably noiseless.
- Offers easy setups.
- Includes oil-free pump.
- No accessories included.
- Durability is not the best.
Wrapping up, this one from the Metabo is best known for its powerful motor, suitable power range, and oil-free mechanism that serve you well. It is designed with a suitable airflow and delivery rate for small-scale applications. It also is easy to maintain and manage, all thanks to its ergonomic design and lightweight construction. All in all, it is stable, powerful, and noiseless for the most part.
6. Hitachi KNT50AB 6 Gallon Pancake Air Tank
First of all, this Hitachi pancake compressor is specifically designed for small-scale repair jobs with decent power value and tank capacity. It is extremely lightweight and offers you an easy transport facility. So, you can carry it wherever you want.
Additionally, it is worth mentioning that this machine can operate with multiple nails at the same time, making it an efficient and reliable option. Secondly, this one is equipped with an ergonomics design that incorporates a carrying handle, two air hoses, and a universal adapter that maximizes its utility.
Here, another thing that makes it extremely valuable is its six gallons capacity tank that works for the longest time. Also, I noticed that through the process, there weren’t any sequential fires or flips. So, you don’t have to worry about safe energy production.
Finally, when it comes to performance, this one comes with a 1 HP motor that is powerful enough to deliver up to 150 psi range and 2.8 CFM ratings. It also has a hybris hose, so you can perform a variety of tasks with this machine.
In the end, the fact that this one has a number of accessories, including safety goggles, lubrication tools, and easy nail extractions, makes it of great value.
- Sturdy and durable.
- Offers great portability.
- Ideal for basic repair jobs.
- Great value for money.
- It can produce noise.
Final thoughts, Hitachi has been a leading brand when it comes to air compressors, and this one from the manufacturer is absolutely worth your investment.
It comes with a powerful 1 HP motor that is safe to produce energy and provides you with a smooth power range and fast delivery rate. All in all, it is pretty economical, lightweight, and durable, which makes it stand among one of the best pancake air compressors.
What to Look for While Buying the Best Pancake Air Compressor: Everything You Need to Know
Pancake compressors are more of a traditional machine, famous for their portable designs, low maintenance, and ultimate efficiency. A quality pancake air compressor is the one that helps you with functionality, convenience, fast delivery, and efficient tank space. If you are someone currently looking for the best pancake air compressor, here are some things you should always consider;
CFM and PSI Range
The first and foremost thing you should always consider before buying the best pancake air compressor is its pressure range. Most commonly, it is measured in either PSI or CFM.
CFM, in simple words, tells you how fast the delivery rate of your machine is. Hence, the better the CFM range is, the faster and quicker the operation will be, and so on.
In contrast, the PSI range is the pressure range of your pump. So, if you are a beginner, having anything between 30 and 40 PSI is more than enough for small repair work.
However, for big and large-scale jobs, it is ideal that you go for something higher such as 90 PSI and above. So, based on your skill set and work demands, you can choose the one.
Tank size or capacity is another most important thing you should consider while buying a pancake compressor, depending on your skillset and working environment.
If you are most likely to use your compressor at home or in a workshop, having something between 1 and 6 gallons is more than enough for basic repair and DIY work. In contrast to that, if you are looking for something large, make sure that it is sufficient to accommodate your needs and has the ability to work for the longest time.
Portability and Durability
While buying the best pancake air compressor, it is significant that you have a perfect balance of durability and portability. If your job involves carrying the machine here and there, it is ideal that you go for a lightweight and travel-friendly machine.
For this purpose, you can go for the one that is equipped with a carrying bag or a carrying handle. Here, buying slim ones is also wise of the users. Likewise, durability is the determining factor of how long your machine is going to serve you.
Thus, to extend the life and working of your device, it is recommended that you go for materials that are not prone to rust, corrosion, and physical damage. Most commonly, you can find stainless steel, aluminum, and PVC compressors, each of which is long-lasting and durable. So, always choose wisely.
Noise is another thing that can be pretty disturbing for some users, depending on their tolerance level and preference. However, one cannot deny the fact that air compressors are really noisy and demand that users wear headphones.
Most commonly, they run within the range of 60 and 87 dB (decibels). The rule of thumb says the less the value, the quieter your machine will be. Thus, based on your comfort level and budget range, you can choose any value that works for you.
Maintenance and Ease
It is equally important to choose a compressor that is easy to set up and maintain, especially if you are new to this business and want to explore more of it. For this purpose, having an ergonomics design that has a perfect combination of portability and durability can ideally help you.
The first thing you should always make sure of is the tool-free assembly to make the process convenient. Similarly, there are many contemporary options that are equipped with oil-free pump mechanisms. So, you won’t have to worry about constantly lubricating the device.
Apart from this, go for thermal overload protection and carrying handles as they can help you with easy traveling and prevent chances of overheating accidents.
Finally, based on these essential features and your individual requirements, you can choose the right one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a pancake compressor better than a hot dog compressor?
Pancake compressors are lightweight, small, and are designed for basic repair work, having easy and convenient mechanisms. On the other hand, hot dog compressors possess relatively powerful motors and large tanks. So, you can use these for large repair jobs or DIYs. Thus, based on your work requirements, you can choose the one that suits you well.
Are pancake air compressors worth it?
Yes, pancake air compressors are absolutely worth it. These are best known for their small sizes, lightweight construction, powerful motors, and suitable pressure range that helps you with small repair works at home or workshops. You can use these alternatives for pumping the tire or even use a pneumatic tool by attaching it to the hose.
How does a pancake compressor work?
These are the traditional type of compressors that fill up the tank until it is pressurized. It comes with a powerful motor and hose through which most of your compressed air comes and fills up the tires. You can also use these impressive alternatives for pneumatic tools, painting being one of them. Through the process, compressed air is pumped into the tire while the tank is refilling the pressure.
Pancake air compressors are a great addition to your collection if you want simple and easy mechanisms, lightweight designs, and a suitable power range. These traditional types of compressors are also reasonably priced for users with a decent power range and fast delivery that makes them famous among users. If you are looking for recommendations, here are some of my favorites from the list;
- DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor is known for its suitable power range, fast delivery rate, and noiseless operations.
- CRAFTSMAN 6 Gallon Air Compressor Pancake is one of the best with an affordable price, decent pressure range, and ergonomics design.
- BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor is famous for its fast delivery rate, portable construction, and easy setup.
Finally, based on this review and buying guide, I hope that you will choose the best pancake air compressors that work for you.