Pancake air compressors are perfect for household use due to their compact size and powerful output. You can use a pancake air compressor for an impact wrench, spray painting, roofing, etc. And the best part of all is, you can easily connect a compact pancake-style air compressor to a household electric circuit to get the project started.
Besides small household DIY projects, there are many benefits of pancake air compressors. You can use it to inflate air toys or fill the air to inflated tires simply by setting the air pressure. But before beginning with the best pancake air compressor reviews, let us throw a light on what a pancake air compressor is and how it is different from a regular compressor.
Why it’s called a pancake compressor?
The shape of the air compressor is similar to that of a ‘pancake’ which gave it the name, pancake compressor. But besides shape, the working of the pancake compressor is also different from that of a hotdog air compressor. A pancake-style unit is portable and ideal for home use where you do not have to operate heavy machinery.
A good quality pancake air compressor will produce adequate pressure to power small tools and equipment. For example, a 6-gallon oil-free air compressor is best for spray painting small DIY projects, filling the air in a flat tire, etc. In short, the oval-shaped tank that compresses air gives it the name, pancake air compressor.
1) CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free
Finish small jobs around the house effortlessly with Craftsman 6-gallon air compressor. This compact unit delivers a maximum of 150 PSI to complete various household tasks. With 2.6 air delivery SCFM at 90 PSI and 2.5 air delivery SCFM at 100 PSI, the Craftsman air compressor is ideal for brad nailing, stapling, framing nails, etc.
The unit comes along with 13 pieces accessories kit that includes a 25’x14-inch PVC air hose with coupler and plugs assembled, a blow gun with plug, tire gauge, blow gun with OSHA safety nozzle, rubber tip, and 3 inflator adapters. In short, it includes all the basic accessories that you’ll need to get started with small projects around the home.
Featuring a 6-gallon tank and oil-free pump, the Craftsman small air compressor requires little to no maintenance at all. Also, no use of oil in the pump means less operating noise. The universal motor has a quick recovery time to avoid waiting for long periods while the work is on. Thus, it is an ideal air compressor for small tasks around the home.
2) PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, 6-Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free (C2002)
While some projects take a couple of minutes to finish, few household projects take longer to get the work up to the mark. And for long jobs, you require a reliable electric air compressor like Porter-Cable that offers 150 PSI max tank pressure. This means the tank is capable of storing more air to support longer tool runtime.
The pancake-style tank is equipped with a water drain valve. This valve collects the condensed water which is easy to remove by opening the valve. Such a design ensures the longevity of the tank by avoiding rust and corrosion. Besides, rubber feet on the bottom keep the air compressor stable and safe to use on various surfaces like wood, Formica, carpet, etc.
Thanks to a low-amp 120-V water motor that starts easily in cold weather. It also comes with an extension cord to get the best of it. Besides, replaceable brushes make it easy for you to maintain the unit. Speaking of maintenance, you’ll not have to worry much about it as the small pancake air compressor features an oil-free pump. This results in zero oil spills and no tedious cleaning after work.
3) BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon
Lightweight and portable, the Bostitch pancake electric air compressor is an excellent choice for home use. With maximum tank storage of 150 PSI, the machine is ideal for long jobs of nailing kitchen cabinets, microwave cart, and similar furniture. Use the high-flow regulator to maximize air tool performance by changing the air pressure accordingly.
Just like the above two units, the Bostitch pancake air compressor also features an oil-free pump that requires no daily maintenance. The pump operates around 80 dBA which is a quite normal sound at max 150 PSI. However, it is not completely quiet but not too loud for your ears if you keep the unit a few feet away from the actual work spot.
Thanks to 2 universal couplers that lets you and your partner work on different projects at a time. Besides, a high flow regulator controls the air output and delivers the exact amount of pressure you need to get your job done just right. This makes the air compressor best for power tools.
4) DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, 165 PSI (DWFP55126)
Dewalt specializes in making power household tools and gardening equipment. And if you wish to go with the popular brand then Dewalt 6-gallon pancake air compressor is perfect. With 165 max PSI, the unit delivers enough pressure to work with power tools such as impact wrench, drills, nail guns, etc.
Not only the Dewalt compressor works powerfully but also operates at 75.5 dBA for quiet work settings. While the sound is not completely low but it is low as compared to other models of the same range. In short, you’ll not need earplugs or noise-canceling headphones while working with the Dewalt air compressor.
The universal motor delivers stable pressure for the best output. You can flawlessly complete your small DIY project with stable 10 amps power. In addition to a reliable motor, Dewalt is equipped with a high flow regulator and 2 universal couplers. While the regulator maintains the set pressure, the 2 couplers allow 2 people to use the same compressor at the same time.
5) Campbell Hausfeld 6 Gallon Portable Quiet Air Compressor
Motor noise is common with the compressor on. You cannot expect the machine to run completely quiet but if loud irritating noise bothers you then Campbell Hausfeld portable air compressor is what you need. At just 68 dBA, the low sound output offers a quiet work environment. This makes the machine convenient to use indoors to finish mini-projects without using earplugs.
Just like a majority of units on the market, Campbell’s electric quiet air compressor features an oil-free maintenance-free pump. And when combined with a 6-gallon tank capacity, the engine boasts a maximum PSI of 125 that is ideal for a variety of projects including nailing, bolting, stapling, inflation, etc.
Campbell’s powerful dual-pistol pump is engineered for high performance. It is capable of producing up to 25% more air as compared to other 1.0 HP compressor motors. Ultimately, you get the motor running for a long time to complete the project in one go. Plus, you can easily shift the pancake compressor from place to place by lifting it safely with the built-in rubber grip steel handle.
6) Metabo HPT Air Compressor Combo Kit, Pancake
Are you still making the furniture the old way by using a hammer and nails? Then it’s time to upgrade with Metabo HPT pancake-style air compressor. This powerful unit with 6-gallon oil-free compressor tank comes with a finish combo kit that includes the popular NT50AE2 2-inch 18-gauge brad nailer.
The included nailer kit helps trim furniture and other fine work applications. And with a 360-degree adjustable exhaust port, you’ll not have to worry about dirt, fine particles, and oil accumulation inside the tank. Simply open the knob to release all dirt, dust, and debris and complete the project without any disturbances.
Unlike other models, Metabo HPT corded electric pancake air compressor features a visual nail reload indicator. This indicator alerts you when the nail quantities are low to avoid blank drives. In addition to the reload indicator, the unit features selective actuation to select bump fire or contact fire modes with a simple flip of the switch. In short, it is an excellent unit for various household DIY projects.
7) Ridgid 6 Gallon Maintenance-Free Portable Electric Pancake Compressor
Don’t have a high budget to spend on a compressor but still need one to get the basic work done around the house? Then buy the Ridgid portable electric pancake compressor. This powerful unit has an inexpensive price tag that is perfect for budget seekers. But do not let the low-budget of the product fool you with its performance as the powerful compressor is ideal for various DIY projects around the home.
The rigid portable pancake air compressor features a locking regulator that holds the knob in place to prevent unwanted pressure changes. Speaking of pressure, the unit offers 150 maximum PSI for the toughest jobs. You can use the unit to finish nailing, framing nailing, trimming, and inflation.
The horizontal air compressor is made of sturdy steel that is less prone to rust and corrosion when use or stored outdoors. Besides, it comprises of a 1/4-turn ball valve to drain the tank quickly with one simple twist. While the 2 universal push-to-connect quick couplers accept both 1/4-inch automotive and industrial plugs. Also, these plugs are easy to connect using a single hand.
8) Ryobi 6 Gallon Pancake Compressor 2 Tool Combo Kit
Get the power you need for your project to finish flawlessly with Ryobi 6-gallon portable pancake compressor. Ryobi is a popular name in American households for manufacturing outdoor and gardening tools. And if you wish to go with the brand then this Ryobi air compressor is perfect.
With a maximum of 150 PSI output, the unit is perfect for use around the home or small Jobsite. Besides, a 3-step loading side-loading magazine allows for safe and quick nail changes. This feature helps a lot while putting a piece of furniture together. Plus, the exhaust port swivels for easy adjustment of exhaust direction for perfect detailed work.
The best part about buying Ryobi compact air compressor is, it comes with impressive accessories. These include an 18-gauge 2-1/8 inch brad nailer, a 16-gauge 2-1/2-inch finish nailer, and a 25 ft hose. These accessories connect quickly to the right ports and help with a wide variety of applications.
9) PowerMate Vx 1-Gallon Pancake with Accessory Kit
There’s no need to invest a high amount of money if you just want a unit for basic work like filling up air in car or truck tires. And PowerMate Vx 1-gallon pancake air compressor is just perfect for such small jobs. The small oil-free tank is designed with a fully enclosed shroud to protect it from dust, debris, and similar components.
Despite the small size, PowerMate Vx mini pancake air compressor features a tank pressure gauge. This gauge helps to keep a check on the pressure to prevent overinflation. Besides, there’s a 1/4-inch outlet that connects easily to universal ports to complete different types of work.
PowerMate Vx small air compressor comes with various accessories to help you start with the basic tasks. The accessories include 25 feet recoil air hose, inflation needle, 2 raft/mattress inflation nozzles, adapter fitting, ball tire chuck, quick coupler, and a male thread connector. In short, you’ll not have to look for compatible accessories separately for filling the air to inflatable pools, tires of RV truck or car.
What to consider when choosing a pancake air compressor?
Pancake air compressors are, no doubt, great for home use. But that does not mean you can buy any random unit. There are certain things to check before picking the best air compressor to get the best out of it. And below mentioned are a few things to look at/check before hitting the buy now button.
The power of any air pressure is usually determined by the maximum pressure it offers. PSI, CFM, or horsepower are the popular units to check the power of any compressor. Out of all units, CFM is given top priority. Usually, most compressors offer 90 PSI upwards that is enough to do most of the work around the home.
Tank size refers to the area where the air will be stored and compressed. The tank capacity is usually measured in gallons no matter whether it is a horizontal air compressor or a vertical one. Pancake compressors feature a tank size between 4-8 gallons while horizontal or hotdog air compressors can go up to 20 gallons or more.
CFM stands or cubic feet per meter and is an important feature to look at in any air compressor. The CFM capacity of a compressor shows how much air it can pump out. However, a unit with a large CFM will indeed deliver more air but it also hugely depends upon the PSI. A good balance between CFM and PSI delivers a stable output that helps finish your project quickly.
It is infeasible for an air compressor to work completely quiet. The compressors will make some noise while they’re on to suck air and compress it to the set pressure. Air compressors that produce noise of less than 80 dB are considered ideal for home or indoor use.
Pancake compressors are highly portable which makes them an excellent choice for small to medium household jobs. Also, most of the pancake-style compressors are equipped with a sturdy handle that often has a thick layer of rubber to transport the unit easily from place to place.
Price and Warranty
Homeowners prefer pancake-style air compressors over horizontal hotdog-style compressors as they are compact and budget-friendly. You can get a good quality unit for under $500 backed by an impressive warranty. Speaking of warranty, the warranty period differs according to the model. Generally, any model offers a minimum warranty of at least a year while some units offer a warranty period of 5 years.
Pancake or hot dog air compressor: Which is better?
The common and biggest confusion among buyers is which air compressor is best? Pancake or Hotdog? Well, both of them hold their own advantages and disadvantages. A few differences between a pancake and the hot dog air compressor will help you decide better.
A pancake compressor is lightweight and highly portable than hotdog style. In fact, these units often have a built-in handle with a rubber grip for easy transportation. Besides, an oil-free pump is one of the biggest benefits of owning a pancake air compressor. No use of oil results in zero leakage and less maintenance. And trust me, no one likes to deal with a greasy mess after the completion of work.
On the other hand, a hotdog or horizontal air compressor is heavier and bulky. It takes good muscle to move around these units, plus, they require good storage space. But on the positive side, a hotdog style compressor offers a broad selection of power options. This is because they are more powerful than pancake ones and can be used for medium to heavy household tasks.
What can I do with a pancake compressor?
Pancake compressors are versatile. They can be used for a variety of tasks around the home or office. Some powerful pancake air compressors are also ideal to use on a job site or commercially. Below are a few popular uses of a pancake-style unit.
- All type of inflation jobs
- Painting with an airbrush; spray painting
- Pin nailer
- Finish nailer
- Brad nailer
- Sandblasting(high pressure)
Lightweight, portable, and powerful, a pancake air compressor can be a great help to complete many small DIY projects. These highly portable compressors feature an oil-free pump that requires zero maintenance. In short, you can easily carry the portable pancake air compressor around the workplace, set the desired pressure, and start with the work. From filling the air to inflated tires to spray painting walls, the best pancake air compressor can help you finish the most tedious jobs within minutes.