This post contains affiliate links.
Real Tool Talk may receive a commission from qualifying purchases.
Pancake Air Compressors are small, lightweight compressors, perfect for home use. They are oil-free, meaning they are virtually maintenance free, making them easy to use. Their portable, compact design makes them a go-to compressor for a variety of people.
However, everyone is going to have different needs when it comes to picking which pancake air compressor is right for them. While some people are going to need a higher tank capacity, others are going to want the quietest compressor they can get. SCFM (Standard cubic feet per minute) also plays a large role in determining an air compressor. To determine how much SCFM your air tools require, check out this Air Compressor CFM chart, compliments of Tool Tango
That is why we compiled a list of the top 5 best pancake air compressors, based on tank capacity, maximum air pressure and SCFM, decibel rating and whether they are best for home or professional use.
To jump ahead to a certain Pancake Air Compressor check out the Table of Contents. Otherwise, let’s start at the top, with the Bostitch BTFP02012 Pancake Compressor.
- 1 Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon 150 PSI Oil-Free Compressor (Affiliate Link)
- 2 DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor (affiliate link)
- 3 Excell U256PPE 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor (Affiliate Link)
- 4 PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free Pancake Compressor (Affiliate Link)
- 5 Campbell Hausfeld DC060500 6 Gallon Pancake Quiet Air Compressor (Affiliate Link)
- 6 Final Thoughts – Our Top Pick
The 29 pounds, 17 x 17 x 19.25 inch Bostitch BTFP02012 is a quality option for home users looking for a lightweight portable air compressor. This compressor operates at 78 decibels, which makes for a quieter work environment compared to its competitors. However, it is still recommended to use hearing protection if in confined spaces, as it can still be quite loud.
Users love the 150 PSI 6 Gallon tank that is capable of 2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI. The Bostitch BTFP02012 comes with high flow regulators and couplers to maximize air flow. However, it has been reported to be hard to regulate air flow at lower pressures. There are also two couplers that come with this model to allow for multiple users to work at the same time.
The Bostitch BTFP020212 features an oil-free high-efficiency motor for easy starts in cold weather. It also ensures for optimal performance when using an extension cord, up to 50 ft. and includes a 5-foot 120-volt power cord.
Generally, users are really happy with their purchase. They are impressed with its quick refill times and state that it is quieter than other compressors in its class.
- 6 Gallon Tank
- 90 PSI @ 2.6 SCFM
- 78 Decibels
- Pressure regulator hard to control at lower PSIs
Bostitch BTFP02012 Pancake Style Air Compressor ~ 6 Gallon (affiliate link)
6 GALLON PANCAKE STYLE AIR COMPRESSOR
Second on our list is the Dewalt DWFP55126. The 30 pound, 16 x 16 x 17.5-inch pancake compressor is a strong competitor on our list. It is an excellent product for professional use as it’s 165 maximum PSI is capable of running two airlines at once, without taking too much toll on the motor.
Much like the Bostitch compressor mentioned above, the Dewalt DWFP55126 has a 6-gallon air tank and operates 2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI. And with the 165 PSI max pressure, you will be able to run air tools longer, before the motor will have to kick in.
The Dewalt DWFP55126 comes with an oil-free pump for minimal maintenance. It also has a high efficiency .9 HP motor for easy start-ups in cold weather or for using an extension cord up to 50ft. And even with the oil-free design, this motor is rated at 75 decibels.
In general, users enjoy this solidly built and dependable pancake compressor. And while it is an excellent choice for professionals, it is also an affordable option for homeowners as well.
While users typically find that this compressor performs satisfactorily, it has been noted to have issues leaking from the coupler fittings. So if your interested in this compressor, it might be worth updating the fittings.
- 165 Max PSI
- 2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI
- 75 Decibles
- Potential Leaks
- More expensive than competitors, but still affordable
Check it out on Amazon!
Next, we have the Excell U256PPE pancake compressor and it comes in at #3 on our list. Certain features put this compressor above the others, but because of certain specs, we felt that there were better options.
The Excell U256PPE has a very similar footprint as the Bosctich mentioned above, 17.9 x 17.3 x 21.7 inches. However, even though they are similar in size, the Excell weighs in at 39 pounds. It also features a 6-gallon tank and a maximum of 150 PSI.
One of the features that drew us to this pancake compressor was the 1.5 HP oil-free motor. With that powerhouse attached to the 6-gallon tank, it is capable of 2.8 SCFM @ 90 PSI. Which is one of the most powerful pancake compressors on this list.
It is also a low amperage motor, 7.5 amps to be exact, so you’ll be able to use this with an extension cord. It also means that it is able to run in cold weather, down to -24 degrees F. But who really wants to do that?!
People that have purchased this compressor really enjoy it, saying that they are able to run frame nailers and staplers without any problem. People have also stated using this compressor to blow out sprinkler lines to keep them from freezing.
Among all the good reviews that people had to say about the Excell U256PPE, the only complaint was the noise level. While Excell doesn’t give a decibel rating, many users complained that it was louder than other compressors they had used. Although everyone did say that it was still bearable to use, and didn’t rattle them out of their workspace.
- 2.8 SCFM @ 90 PSI
- 1.5 HP Motor
- 7.5 amp requirement
- 39 pounds
- Louder than competitors
Check it out on Amazon!
PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free Pancake Compressor (Affiliate Link)
Coming in at #4 on our list is the Porter-Cable C2002 and it is comparable to the Bostitch BTFP020212. It is also an excellent choice for homeowners looking to complete some DIY projects. The biggest difference between the two is the size. The Porter-Cable C2002 weighs is at 34 pounds and is 18.3 x 18 x 19 inches. Even though it is slightly bigger than it’s direct competitors, it is still lightweight and portable enough for a workshop or household use.
The Porter-Cable C2002 operates at 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI with a maximum 150 PSI. It also has a 6-gallon tank. Another great feature of this air compressor is the built-in automatic thermal overload protection, which protects the motor from overheating.
This also includes a 120 volt, 5 ft power cord. And it’s oil-free design means that it is virtually maintenance free.
While most users are happy about their purchase, there are a few complaints that are worth noting. For starters, Porter-Cable doesn’t specify a decibel rating and many users find it to be louder than it’s competitors. Others are disappointed in the length of the power cord.
Overall, people find that it is a well-built compressor that had a powerful motor and quick filling tank that exceeds many of their expectations!
- 6-gallon tank
- 2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI
- 150 Maximum PSI
- Slightly heavier than competitors
Check it out on Amazon!
Finally, we have the Campbell Hausfeld DC060500 and it comes in at #5 of our list. While it is one of the quietest pancake compressors on the market, it’s size puts it lower on the list. At 60 pounds and 18.7 x 17 x 23 inches, it is one of the biggest pancake compressors in this category.
The Campbell Hausfeld was designed with its noise level is mind, so that it could be used almost anywhere. It has a 68-decibel rating and can be used in smaller or noise sensitive areas, without having to worry about disrupting neighbors.
Even though it’s decibel rating tops the list, it is slightly behind on performance. It has a 6-gallon tank, but unlike the others on this list, it has a max psi of 125. It is also only capable of 2.4 SCFM @ 90 PSI.
After reading through customer reviews on the Campbell Hausfeld DC060500, users are really excited about how quiet this compressor is. One user even stated to be able to listen to a radio while using this compressor. While another claimed the tank was able to hold maximum pressure for days at a time, without dropping air pressure.
In a few rare cases, users reported having issues with the compressor not restarting when the tank dropped in air pressure. They could only get it to restart after unplugging and plugging the compressor back in.
Campbell Hausfeld DC060500
- 68 Decibels
- 2.4 SCFM @ 90 PSI
- 125 Max PSI
- More expensive
- Under powered compared to competitors
- Rare cases where it won’t restart.
Check it out on Amazon!
Final Thoughts – Our Top Pick
Depending on what your needs are, there are a lot of good options for a pancake compressor. Based on our criteria of tank capacity, maximum air pressure and SCFM, decibel rating and home vs. professional use, we concluded that the 5 compressors on this list were the best options.
As far as which compressor we would choose, our top pick is the Bostitch BTFP020212. (Affiliate Link )This compressor is an excellent choice for a professional or a DIYer. It has plenty of SCFM to operate multiple air tools at the same time with a fast recovery time. And compared to other compressors on the market it is fairly quiet for an oil-less compressor. The Excell U256PPE would have been our top pick, however the availability of it is very sporadic, so we had to bump it from the top spot. But, this pancake compressor really impressed us. It has one of the strongest motors in its class and has just as large of tank capacity and SCFM capabilities as it’s competitors. So it works for home and professional use. And as long as your not concerned about noise level, then you can not go wrong with purchasing this compressor if you find it when it’s available.
Everyone is going to have different needs when looking for a pancake air compressor. You might be a roofing contractor, looking for a dependable compressor to get the job done. Or you might be a homeowner that is looking to remodel your bathroom and need an inexpensive compressor to run a finish nailer.
No matter what your situation is, you can be sure that one of the pancake compressors on this list will be suitable for your needs.