Best 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressors (2021 Buying Guide)

Cody
| Last Updated: January 30, 2021

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It can be stressful when you don't know what to look for in an air compressor.

We'll show you some of our favorites and what features to look for when shopping for a pancake air compressor. 

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below are the best 6 gallon pancake air compressors:

  1. DeWalt DWFP55126
  2. Craftsman CMEC6150K
  3. Porter Cable C2002

Comparison of the Best 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressors:

Product

Our Rating

Price

DeWalt DWFP55126

  • 165 PSI
  • 6 Gallons
  • 120V
  • 75.5 dBA

Craftsman CMEC6150K

  • 150 PSI

  • 6 Gallons
  • 120V
  • 13 piece accessory kit
  • Oil-free pump

Porter Cable C2002

  • 150 PSI
  • 6 Gallons
  • 120V
  • Two Couplers
  • Oil-free pump

Bostitch BFTP02012

  • 150 PSI
  • 6 Gallons
  • 120V
  • 29lb Weight

Ridgid 6 Gallon Air Compressor

  • 150 PSI
  • 6 Gallons
  • 120V
  • Easy Drain Switch
  • Locking Regulator

Are All 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressors The Same? 

6 Gallon Pancake air compressors are all similar. Yet, a few key differences set some apart from others. The Dewalt pancake air compressor operates at 75.5 decibels, like a vacuum cleaner's noise. In contrast, the Bostitch gives off around 80 decibels, equal to heavy rush hour traffic. 

Another difference is weight; the Bostitch weighs only 29 lbs compared to the Craftsmen, which is 32.5 lbs. Other differences include a warranty with the product as well as extra accessories. 

How Much Will a 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor Really Hold?

A 6 gallon tank is only useful if it has a long enough runtime or strength for the tasks you’re carrying out. Most 6 gallon pancake air compressors will be able to provide 150 max PSI. This 150 PSI capacity will operate most air tools.

However, the runtime won’t be long enough for anything more than small construction, DIY tasks or household chores. A 6 gallon tank will operate continuously for around 3 - 5 minutes. 

What is a 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor Used For? 

6 Gallon pancake air compressors are small and relatively lightweight, mainly for portability, but just because they’re small doesn’t mean they lack quality. These air compressors can be used on a variety of small occasional tasks

Construction 

Pancake air compressors are great tools for simple construction tasks. Projects requiring a nail gun or even cleaning up shavings around the site are made easier. Most air compressor tools need a minimum of 90 PSI to operate. 

DIY 

People buy a pancake air compressor for many reasons; DIY is probably the most common. You could use a sanding attachment to strip old paint from a piece of furniture to then repaint using a spray gun. By using an air compressor, it can significantly limit the time it takes to complete these tasks. 

General Chores 

A pancake air compressor can halve the time it usually takes to carry out specific tasks. They're commonly used in day-to-day housework. Trivial tasks such as pumping up a bicycle tire, cleaning the gutters, or working on the car, can be done with a pancake air compressor.

Review of the Best 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressors

You tend to get twice the amount of work done in half the time when using an air compressor. Many would agree it's an excellent addition to your arsenal of tools. Whether it's being used for DIY, construction work, or chores, they can be used to complete almost any task. 

Best Overall:
DeWalt DWFP55126

PROS

  • Operates at a lower noise level
  • Couplers support two users at once
  • Doesn't require regular maintenance
  • The motor allows for easy start-up in cold conditions

CONS

  • Air can escape through loose fittings
  • Doesn't come with any accessories or hose

Our Review 

The Dewalt Pancake Air Compressor was voted our overall best for several reasons. The 165 max PSI means you can use a more comprehensive array of tools compared to other standard models that operate at a lower PSI. The dual coupler provides two users to work at the same time. It is ultimately maximizing performance and efficiency. 

The oil-free motor limits the need for regular maintenance. Meaning there's no need to change the oil or worry about oil not reaching the pump while working on a slope. At only 75 decibels, similar to a vacuum's noise, it's quiet compared to other models—the quiet operating noise is well suited for small construction jobs or residential areas. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out? 

The main standout feature would be the low noise. While 75 decibels is still noisy; it is relatively quiet for a pancake air compressor.

Most Pancake air compressors sit around 80-85 decibels. So the quiet nature, coupled with its efficient motor, is what made this take our best overall spot. 

Runner-up:
Craftsman CMEC6150K

PROS

  • Starts without a hitch in cold weather
  • Less maintenance than other compressors that use oil
  • Two couplers improve efficiency by allowing two users at once
  • The 13 piece accessory kit, especially the safety nozzle, is a welcome addition

CONS

  • Not the quietest, operates at around 80 decibels
  • One of the heavier Pancake air compressors weighing at 32lbs

Our Review 

The Craftsman Pancake Air Compressor was voted our runner-up. For a start, they include a 13 piece accessory kit. All accessories, including the compressor, are covered by their 1-year warranty. The 6-gallon compressor provides 150 PSI, making it useful for various tasks with different tools. Whether you're doing housework or working on a construction site, it should be suitable for whatever you throw at it.

You can have two users at once or swap between two tools, thanks to the dual couplers. You'll appreciate it has almost zero need for maintenance thanks to the oil-free pump. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out? 

The accessory kit includes useful attachments such as a tire gauge and a blowgun with a safety nozzle. The attachments allow you to carry out most tasks, whether DIY or everyday chores around the house. 

Best for the Money:
Porter Cable C2002

PROS

  • Will easily start in cold weather
  • Relatively stable thanks to the solid rubber feet
  • An oil-free pump means very little maintenance
  • Great value for money compared to other pancake air compressors

CONS

  • One of the heavier products, weighing 34lbs
  • At 82 decibels, this compressor is on the louder side

Our Review 

The Porter-Cable pancake air compressor is a budget-friendly product without sacrificing much quality. The coupler tool allows two users at a time, along with the 150 Max PSI, you'll be able to carry out light construction work like nailing. 

The 6-gallon pancake tank, along with the rubber feet, ensures stability when in use. Similar to the other compressors, you might believe this trumps the rest. However, the 82-decibel noise sets the product back. Another issue we encountered is the 34lb weight, making this compressor one of the heaviest featured. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out? 

The Porter-Cable model stands out for its low price while providing high quality. If you're looking for more accessories, you can buy the compressor along with a 13-piece accessory kit. Considering it's budget-friendly, this compressor would be suited for DIY or simple housework. 

Best Bostitch 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressors:
Bostitch BFTP02012

PROS

  • Allows two users to work at once
  • An oil-free pump means less maintenance
  • Purchase includes a 10-piece accessory kit
  • Easily portable as it's pretty lightweight with a narrow tank

CONS

  • 80 decibels is on the louder side

Our Review 

This Pancake air compressor has a few features that set it up to be named our Best Bostitch 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor. The purchase includes a 10-piece accessory kit with everything you need for day-to-day work like inflating tires or other inflatables. The 80 decibels aren't the loudest, but it's still louder than most are comfortable with. 

Like other models on the list, the Bostitch has a coupler that allows two users to operate the compressor simultaneously. The oil-free pump means very little maintenance, regular oil changes, or mess. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out? 

The product offers standard quality while being far lighter, at only 29lbs. The narrow body of the tank helps when finding a place to store it. The Bostitch is much more portable than other models mentioned. The compressor would be best suited to anyone doing occasional DIY or housework. 

Best Ridgid Pancake Air Compressors:
Ridgid 6 Gallon Air Compressor

PROS

  • Can easily start in cold conditions
  • Easy drainage with the easy drain switch
  • A three-year warranty protects the product
  • The locking regulator stops any major pressure changes

CONS

  • Is on the heavier side, weighing 35lbs
  • Louder than other pancake air compressors

Our Review 

Like other pancake air compressors, it provides a coupler allowing two users to work at once. The 150 Max PSI means you'll be able to operate many standard DIY or construction tools. The locking regulator is also important, as this allows you to work with less chance of pressure leaks. 

If there are any faults, the three-year warranty should cover you. We found the only real downsides were that it's heavier than other compressors featured, weighing 35lbs. The 80-decibel noise can also be an issue for some. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out? 

The feature that stands out most is the locking regulator. Many models' common problem is a sudden drop in pressure due to loose parts; this locking mechanism effectively rules out these issues. The Ridgid model would suit DIY or construction tasks due to the heavier weight of the product. 

Hold up, are you interested in other topics related to air compressors? If so, these might be something to check out: 

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying? 

Showing you some of the best pancake air compressors is helpful, but we believe that keeping you informed on what to keep in mind is just as valuable. 

Noise Level 

When looking for a Pancake air compressor, a common thought would be what noise level it operates at? Many models range between 80 - 85 decibels. However, there are a few that operate at 75 decibels. You want to consider buying an air compressor on the lower side of the scale, especially if you live in a residential neighborhood. 

Weight and Portability 

Pancake air compressors are usually a lot lighter, narrower, and easily portable than their horizontal counterparts. In our review, they range between 29 - 35lbs. We'd recommend finding an air compressor that's light, narrow, and easy to carry. 

Conclusion

If you know how you're going to use the product, along with what we've mentioned above, you'll be ready to make a decision. All compressors mentioned have slight differences that suit different people and projects.

People Also Ask 

When writing our reviews, we try to be as detailed and helpful as possible. We've answered some frequently asked questions about Pancake air compressors to help even further. 

How Much Does A 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor Weigh?

Most pancake air compressors weigh, on average, 30 lbs. Most featured are around this weight, which is relatively lightweight and easy to carry around. You'd struggle to find anything lighter than this while also providing the same quality. 

How Much Is A 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor? 

You'll find the standard price range is between $120 - $180. However, if you're looking at getting accessories included, this could range between $200 - $250. It's always worth shopping around to see which brand provides the best deal. 

How Long Will A 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor Last? 

Oil-less compressors don't last as long as oil-lubricated compressors. Don't worry about this too much, though; it isn't a problem if you're using this on simple DIY tasks. A decent pancake air compressor can last for up to 10+ years if you don't continuously overload it. 

Cody

My name is Cody and I've been a writer for Tool Tango for quite some time now. I've always had a knack for building things with my hands and creative writing, so being able to combine the two has been great. I love being able to give back to the DIY-community, while also learning a thing or two along the way. When I'm not writing, I enjoy watching Netflix with my girlfriend, fishing, and working in the shop.