PORTER-CABLE Pancake Compressor
Last updated: May 28, 2019
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We looked at the top Portable Air Compressors and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Portable Air Compressor you should buy.
The oil-free pump on the PORTER-CABLE Pancake Compressor makes it easy to maintain. It's a bit noisier than newer competitors, with a noise output of 82 decibels (although this is fairly standard for air compressors). At only 32 pounds, this model is more portable than other options. Its size makes it a great choice for those who pln to regularly transport their compressor.In our analysis of 94 expert reviews, the PORTER-CABLE Pancake Compressor placed 6th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
PORTER+CABLE Pancake Compressor is constructed with a pancake style tank for optimal stability, water drain valve, rubber feet and a 150 PSI. The higher pressure design provides longer air tool performance and features a 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI allowing for a quick recovery time. Includes an oil free pump for no maintenance, low AMP 120V motor easily starting in cold weather or with extension cord, upgraded shroud with hand and console cover protecting vital components. Made for easy transporting and contains cord wrap with a 6 gallon capacity. Product includes a one year limited warranty on compressor components and a 13 piece accessory kit. This highly portable oil free pancake-style air compressor packs a punch with an induction motor that provides improved performance and extended life, whether you’re filling tires or firing a nailer. Complete with a soft-start motor, the C2002-WK can easily run off of normal household circuits and is able to run at 3.5 SCFM for faster recharge of its 6-gallon tank. The motor features replaceable brushes in order to extend motor life and 150 PSI max pressure to allow for extended run time. It also includes 120 PSI cut-in pressure that provides 30 PSI “Bonus Air” and High-Flo air regulator to protect against a large pressure drop. The C2002-WK includes a 13-Piece Accessory Kit with a 25-foot nylon hose, blow gun and attachments, tire chuck, tire gauge, quick coupler, plugs.
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Portable Air Compressor Rankings
An air compressor is a must-have tool for any DIYer. Even if you only ever use it to make sure your vehicle tires stay properly inflated, it’s handy to have around. You can use an air compressor for everything from spray painting a wall to doing minor car repair work. But perhaps the biggest reason to buy an air compressor is to power tools like nail guns, air impact wrenches and air hammers. You can also use a portable air compressor to quickly clear debris from a work area, boosting its versatility.
In a portable air compressor, it’s important to take weight and size into consideration. Some air compressors come with wheels, but that won’t help while taking it up and down stairs. If you opt for a larger air compressor without wheels, consider purchasing a cart with wheels or casters if you need to even occasionally move it around.
You should also consider size when choosing an air compressor. Chances are, you’ll want it out of the way when it’s not in use, but some can be massive, especially for an air compressor billing itself as “portable.” Take a look at where you’ll store your air compressor, and pay close attention to dimensions to make sure you don’t end up with a space hog.
You’ll likely put your compressor through some challenges during use, especially if you’re transporting it on a daily basis. If you fear you might accidentally drop it, it might be worth it to look for a model that builds in protection against shock.
Of course, you’ll also need to consider noise. It can never hurt to have even a slight reduction, even if you aren’t concerned with disturbing neighbors. You’ll find many air compressors output between 80 and 90 decibels, but newer models cut this down as low as 75 dB. At the lowest ranges, you’ll find that people can even carry on conversations near where you’re working without extra effort.
- Air pressure is important when choosing an air compressor, and that’s measured both in operating pressure and output. The DEWALT Pancake Compressor and PORTER-CABLE Pancake Compressor are the leaders in this area, sustaining an operating pressure of up to 165 PSI and 150 PSI, respectively. The Makita Big Bore Sir Compressor maintains an operating pressure of 130 PSI, and the California Air Tools Steel Tank Air Compressor also impresses, maxing out at 125 PSI.
- It’s also important to consider output, not only for effectiveness but also recovery time. The California Air Tools Steel Tank Air Compressor handles up to 5.60 cubic feet per minute at 40 PSI and 4.40 CFM at 90 PSI. Compare this to the PORTER-CABLE Pancake Compressor, which outputs 90 PSI at 2.6 CFM. It’s important to pay attention to this number because some power tools have a minimum PSI per CFM. You’ll need more air output than the tool states. For instance, if a tool says it needs 5.0 CFM at 90 PSI, you’re going to need an air compressor that outputs 6.25 to 7.5 CFM at 90 PSI.
- All that power can push your utility bills up a little, though, so consider power usage when you’re shopping. Although it’s powerful, the 2.5 HP motor in the Makita Big Bore Sir Compressor is built specifically to minimize draw on your power supply. That not only means lower electric bills, but also less worrying about tripping a breaker during your next project.
- If you’re shopping for a portable air compressor, chances are you want it to be portable. The DEWALT Pancake Compressor is the lightest, at only 30 pounds. Its size also makes it easy to store. The PORTER-CABLE Pancake Compressor comes close, at only 34 pounds. Although it’s a whopping 90 pounds, the California Air Tools Steel Tank Air Compressor has wheels, so you can easily move it around if you plan to keep it in the same area. Its massive 18.7-inch X 16.2-inch X 29.6-inch size would hardly make it inconspicuous when you aren’t using it, though. The Makita Big Bore Sir Compressor is 81 pounds with no wheels, although you could put it on a cart with wheels. Unlike the California Air Tools Steel Tank Air Compressor, the Makita Big Bore Sir Compressor is small enough to remain out of the way when not in use.
- Portable air compressors can go through some tough challenges, especially if you’ll be tossing them in the back of your truck to take to job sites. The Makita Big Bore Sir Compressor boasts cast-iron components, as well as a metal roll cage to protect it if you accidentally drop it. The low RPM also keeps it going longer than air compressors with more robust motors.
- Experts differ in whether you need an oil-lubricated pump or one that is oil-free. On the one hand, oil-lubricated pumps like you’ll find on the Makita Big Bore Sir Compressor keep the air compressor going longer and avoid overheating by keeping operating temperatures low. An oil-free pump, though, like the ones found on the California Air Tools Steel Tank Air Compressor and the PORTER-CABLE Pancake Compressor reduce maintenance needs, making them more convenient to operate.
- Depending on how and where you want to use your air compressor, noise levels may be important to you. You’ll usually find air compressors put out 80 decibels or more, making it tough to work while having a conversation or in close quarters. The California Air Tools Steel Tank Air Compressor and DEWALT Pancake Compressor operate at 75 dB and 75.5 dB, respectively. You’ll find the Makita Big Bore Sir Compressor a little noisier, at 79 dB, but still quieter than the PORTER-CABLE Pancake Compressor, at 82 dB.