The 4 Best 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressors, and how to choose one

Pancake air compressors are a popular choice among homeowners and contractors alike. Their small and lightweight design makes the pancake air compressor ideal for a compressor that needs to be moved from job to job. Its small and compact size makes it ideal for homeowners that do not have much storage space.

There are, however, a few things to keep in mind when choosing a smaller compressor. All the pancake air compressors have an air supply capability of only 2.6 -3.0 SCFM @ 90 PSI. This is just fine for airing up light passenger car tires or using it to run all your nail guns. However, using high air-consuming tools like blowguns, sanders, or bead blasters is not recommended. If you are unsure if this size compressor is suitable for you, we have a detailed article on choosing the right compressor for your needs.

Before we get into the 4 best pancake compressors, a word of advice.

Firstly, choose the right size compressor for the job. A lot of the negative reviews on these compressors stem from a consumer trying to use a compressor that is too small for the job at hand. If you want to fill up your class “A” motor home tires to 120 PSI, it’s not going to happen with this size compressor, no matter which one you choose.

Secondly, open the box immediately, even if you do not need to use the compressor right away. Make sure all the accessories that the unit said it comes with are there. Lastly, plug the compressor in and make sure everything works correctly. Over 70% of the one and 2-star reviews had nothing to do with the compressor’s quality or operation.

Instead, the complaints were of missing accessory items or damage that happened in shipping. Often the damage or missing parts were not discovered until after the return window had closed. Now dealing with damaged or missing components is not ideal, but it is way easier to deal with as soon as you receive it rather than three months later.

CRAFTSMAN 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor Model CMEC6150K

Craftsman 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor

About this item and specifications

  • The portable air compressor, proudly made in the USA with Global Materials in Jackson, Tennessee
  • PORTABLE: 6-gallon capacity maximizes portability and stored air for CRAFTSMAN air compressor
  • NO MAINTENANCE: Durable, oil-free pump of the 6-gallon air compressor is made for long life and no maintenance
  • PRESSURE: 150 Max PSI to ensure adequate cut-inch pressure for a variety of applications
  • QUICK RECOVERY TIME: 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI allows for a short compressor recovery time

Dimensions: 16.5″X 16.5″X 17.88″

Weight: 32.5 Pounds

Maximum Pressure: 150 PSI

Maximum Air Volume: 2.6 SCFM @90 PSI

Tank Size: 6 Gallon

Noise Level: 82 dBA


12872 total customer ratings, with 10683 being five-star ratings

Quick Recharge time

Light and portable, one of the smallest 6 Gal pancake air compressors on the market

Good value for the money


The compressor can be very loud

The compressor can get hot, with the risk of burns

Some customers reported air leaks. Make sure to close the air tank drain before use.

The Craftsman name in tools has been around since 1927 as a division of the Sears retail stores. You will find the Craftsman brand name on everything from wrenches and automotive tools to shop vacuums and compressors.

Porter-Cable 6 Gallon Pancake Air compressor Model C2002

About this item and specifications

  • 150 psi max tank pressure of the portable air compressor allows more air in the tank for longer tool runtimes
  • 2.6 SCFM @ 90 psi of the electric air compressor allows for quick compressor recovery time, per ISO1217
  • 6 gal Pancake style tank of the PORTER-CABLE air compressor is made for stability, includes water drain valve and rubber feet
  • The Low Amp 120V motor of the 6-gallon air compressor starts easily in cold weather or with an extension cord.
  • Durable oil-free pump for long life and no maintenance
  • Shroud, handle, and console cover protects vital components, makes the unit easier to carry, and includes cord wrap.
  • Two regulated, factory-installed air couplers to easily support two users

Dimensions: 19″ X 19″ X 18″

Weight: 31.2 Pounds

Maximum Pressure: 150 PSI

Maximum Air Volume: 3.7 SCFM @ 40 PSI and 2.6 SCFM @90 PSI

Tank Size: 6 Gallon

Noise Level: 82 dBA

Porter-Cable Air Compressor


4105 Total customer ratings with 3284 giving it five stars

Slightly lighter than the Craftsman compressor

Built-in carry handle and cord storage


The compressor will tend to move around because of vibration while running

Bigger physical size means it will take up more space when being stored

Some customers report air leaks from the pump area

Porter-Cable is a tool company founded in 1906 as a machine and tool shop. They released their first retail merchandise in 1910. Porter-Cable has been manufacturing tools ever since

Bostitch 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor model BTFP02012-WPK

Bostitch 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor

About this item and specifications

  • OIL-FREE: Requires no daily maintenance and eliminates the risk of oil stains on work surfaces
  • LIGHTWEIGHT: 29-pound weight and narrow tank diameter make the unit easy to carry/store
  • HIGH FLOW REGULATOR AND DUAL COUPLERS: Maximizes air tool performance
  • LOW NOISE LEVEL: 80dBA** operational noise level for a quiet work environment (**tested per ISO 3744)
  • KIT INCLUDES: BTFP02012 Pancake Compressor, 50′ Rubber/PVC Blend Air Hose, 10 Piece Inflation, and Blow Gun Accessory Kit

Dimensions: 16.9″X 16.5″X 19.1″

Weight: 29 Pounds

Maximum Pressure: 150 PSI

Maximum Air Volume: 3.7 SCFM @ 40 PSI and 2.6 SCFM @90 PSI

Tank Size: 6 Gallon

Noise Level: 80 dBA


3964 Customer ratings with 3330 giving the compressor a 5-star rating

It comes with a High Flow Regulator built-in

One of the lightest 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor on the market

Lots of kit purchase options, with nail guns and staple guns


Included Accessory items are not the best quality

The compressor gets very hot with extended use

Nail gun kits do not include any nails or staples

Bostitch is a tool company founded in 1896 by Thomas Briggs under the name Boston Wire Stitching company. At first, they specialized in making wire stitching machines and staplers. In 1965 Bostitch introduced the first coiled feed nail gun. They are known today for creating high-quality lightweight nail guns and compressors for the construction industry.

Other Bostitch Compressor Packages Available

Bostitch Air Compressor Combo Kit, 3-Tool

Bostitch 3 gun Air compressor Kit
Click to purchase on Amazon

BOSTITCH Air Compressor Combo Kit, 2-Tool

Bostitch 2 gun air compressor kit
Click to purchase on Amazon

BOSTITCH Air Compressor Combo Kit with Brad Nailer

Bostitch 1 gun compressor kit
Click to purchase on Amazon

DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, 165 PSI (DWFP55126)

About this item and specifications

  • 165 max PSI 6.0-gallon tank (22.7 L) and 2.6 SCFM* delivered @ 90 PSI pump, enable long tool run time with quick recovery for the portable air compressor
  • The High-efficiency motor of the electric air compressor is made for easy start-up in cold weather or extension cord application. [14 ga or larger, 50 ft. (15.2 m) or less]
  • 78.5 dBA** noise level of the 6-gallon air compressor is made for a quiet work environment
  • High flow regulators and couplers of DEWALT portable air compressor are designed to maximize air tool performance.
  • Long-life oil-free pump for maintenance-free operation
  • The console cover protects controls and is removable to allow easy repair.
  • Outlet tube rerouted to avoid being catch point.

Dimensions: 17.2″X 16.6″X 20.1″

Weight: 30 Pounds

Maximum Pressure: 150 PSI

Maximum Air Volume: 3.7 SCFM @ 40 PSI and 2.6 SCFM @90 PSI

Tank Size: 6 Gallon

Noise Level: 78.5 dBA

Dewalt 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor


3024 Customer Ratings with 2447 Customers giving it a 5 Star Rating

One of the quietest compressors in this style

Capable of delivering higher pressure “165 PSI Maximum pressure.”

The compressor includes a ball valve air tank drain. Instead of seat type drains.

High-efficiency motor


The compressor is more expensive than other pancake compressors

Some customers have complained of air leaks

The DeWalt Tool company was founded in 1922 by Raymond DeWalt. While working at a local sawmill, he developed the first radial arm electric saw for cutting lumber. DeWalt continued to build contractor tools through the 20 century. In 2000, DeWalt acquired the Emglo Compressor Company and began developing and building its own line of compressors.

So, which 6 Gallon Air Compressor should you choose?

All 4 of these compressors are great products. They are the perfect size for running nail and staple guns of any size. They are also great for the homeowner that needs occasional air for car and bicycle tires. When it comes to choosing one, I went for the Bostitch.

I have owned Bostitch branded nail guns for over 18 years now. I like the quality and how light the tools are. Bostitch is a brand that I do trust to provide a quality tool at a reasonable price.

When choosing your compressor, bear in mind its intended use, choose the right size and quality for your needs, and you won’t be disappointed…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *