Best Pankcake Air Compressors

When you're thinking of purchasing an air compressor, it's important to consider the different styles made to ensure you buy the best for your particular needs. Air compressors can be very useful around the home, are great for many outdoor activities and can be an essential piece of equipment for many different jobs. Air compressors also come in many different sizes and designs. 

Those with larger tanks may have wheels for rolling and some are so heavy that they are considered stationary equipment. If you're looking for a smaller unit that is portable and lighter, the pancake style design is a good option. They work well for most smaller scale jobs around the home. The pancake style compressor got its name from the shape of the tank which is a somewhat flat, but round, shape. 

They are usually very portable, lightweight and easy to store in a small garage or storage building. They are also convenient to take in a work truck or recreational vehicle. Pancake style compressors are functional for everyday jobs like filling up tires and inflatable equipment but can also work to power pneumatic tools. The following 7 pancake style compressors are some of the best available for purchase online.

This air compressor from the well known Porter-Cable brand has a maximum pressure of 150 PSI. The unit has a tank capacity of 6 gallon and is portable with a handle on top for easy carrying. It weighs 34 pounds and has rubber feet for stability on a variety of surfaces. 

This compressor is powered by electricity and has a soft start motor that runs on household circuits without flipping circuit breakers. It comes with a 13 piece accessory kit that includes a 25 foot nylon hose, a blow gun with various attachments, a tire gauge and tire chuck as well as several plugs, a quick coupler and Teflon tape. 

This unit has a shroud over the working parts to prevent damage and protect the user. It is equipped with an oil-free pump which means no regular maintenance is required. The air coupler and plug are pre-installed to prevent air leaks and the unit is able to work efficiently so that refills aren't needed frequently.

Dewalt has built a very powerful pancake style compressor with a maximum pressure of 165 PSI. This is one of the higher priced options on the list. It's best for those who are looking for a portable unit that doesn't take up much space but can also do many different tasks around the home or work space. 

It has a 6 gallon tank and can produce 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI. The unit weighs 30 pounds and has a convenient handle on top for portability. One of the best benefits of this particular compressor is that it's relatively quiet and can be used in all types of settings without disturbing others. 

It also has a high flow regulator and couplers to make it work more efficiently. The electric powered motor is designed to start easily even in cold weather working conditions.

The 6 gallon capacity compressor from Bostitch is a lightweight option that offers plenty of power to get most any job done. It weighs 29 pounds and offers a quiet working environment and its operational noise is rated at 78.5 dBA. 

It has a maximum PSI of 150 and puts out 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI. The compressor has a small footprint and a carrying handle making it a good option to keep in a vehicle for work or in the case of an emergency. It features high flow regulators which helps it work efficiently and allows for plenty of use before needing a refill.

The pump in the unit is oil-free which means little to no maintenance. The unit has user-friendly gauges on the top that are also easy to read. It comes with two universal couplers that should allow the user to power many types of tools and equipment.

The 1 gallon unit offered by Campbell Hausfeld is an affordable option for those looking for a simple piece of equipment to do small jobs and power small tools around the home. It is one of the most affordable options on the list. 

This unit is very small and weighs only 14.3 pounds so it's ideal for keeping in a vehicle or RV for things like pumping up a low tire. It does have enough power to provide for many types of tools and has a maximum pressure of 110 PSI. 

It has an easy to read gauge to monitor pressure during usage and a carrying handle on top of the unit makes it portable. It comes with an accessory kit that has a 25 foot hose, female coupler, male plug, air chuck, an inflation needle and inflation nozzles. It is designed to eliminate pulsations caused by piston action to make the job easier.

This is a smaller unit from Porter-Cable that has a tank capacity of 3.5 gallon. It weighs about 26 pounds, lighter than some other options. It has a convenient spot on the top to help carry it easily and also features easy to read pressure gauges. 

The motor features a long lasting oil-free pump that requires no maintenance to help save time and money. This compressor has a maximum PSI of 135 and has a quicker recovery time than many comparable units. 

It is capable of delivery 2 SCFM at 90 PSI and should be able to power most any type of pneumatic tool along with being a useful tool for adding air to tires and other household or recreational equipment. The motor is a low amp 120V which means it can be powered by a standard home electrical unit.

The 3 gallon air compressor from Central Pneumatic is an affordable option, and is likely best for the casual user rather than professionals. It has 1/3 horsepower capability and can power many pneumatic tools like nail guns, staplers and sprayers. 

The motor is equipped with an oil-free pump for little to no maintenance. It has a maximum PSI of 100 and features thermal overload technology for protection of the unit. It's a gas powered unit that is relatively small and weighs only 21.2 pounds. 

The small size and carrying handle make it an ideal option for using while doing recreational activities and can also be kept in the vehicle for emergencies.

This unit is one of the heavier on the list at 33.2 pounds with a tank capacity of 4 gallon. It is powerful and has a maximum PSI of 135. The unit features a convenient handle on top to make it very portable. 

It has easy to read gauges on a simple control panel at the top of the unit to monitor pressure while in use. It also has a built in storage area for accessories which is very useful when working with several different tools and attachments. 

It comes with a 25 foot hose and the motor is equipped with an oil-free pump for no maintenance. It works well for inflating tires as well as powering tools like nail guns and sprayers.


Pancake style air compressors are smaller units that are usually more portable than other designs. A pancake unit usually weighs less than 35 pounds and they tend to be small enough to not require a large storage space. The design allows for the compressor to be kept in a work truck or recreational vehicle for convenience. The price on these units can vary significantly based on the tank size and power provided by the unit. 

Most are capable of doing small jobs around the house and some are designed with the professional in mind. When shopping for a pancake air compressor, consider the jobs you'll be doing most often and read reviews of past purchasers to find the best fit for your particular needs. You'll also want to consider where you'll be using the unit as many are electric powered, but there are options that have a gas powered engine that can be used when you may not have access to electricity. 

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