Top 10 Best Pancake Air Compressors 2020 – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

best pancake air compressor

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Back to Basics in Pancake Style Air Compressor

A pancake air compressor is a handy tool to have in your workshop or garage. Its versatility makes it an indispensable tool of any contractor’s toolkit. You can use it for a variety of tasks.

Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or a professional involved in manual tasks, a pancake air compressor will be of great importance. Pancake air compressors have many uses around homes and job sites, explaining why you should have one in your kit.

Editor Choice: 3 Best 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressors

Bostitch Pancake Air Compressor BTFP02012

Small compact design that makes its storage easy.

Tank capacity: 6-Gallon
Max. pressure: 150 PSI
CFM: 2.6
popular

Craftsman Pancake Air Compressor CMEC6150K

Oil-free pump making it long-lasting and maintenance-free.

Tank capacity: 6-Gallon
Max. pressure: 150 PSI
CFM: 2.6

Porter cable 6 Gallon Air Compressor C2002

Seamless operation and impressive functionality w/o breaking the bank.

Tank capacity: 6-Gallon
Max. pressure: 150 PSI
CFM: 2.6

Pancake Air Compressor Uses

An air compressor can link to pneumatic tools for:Pneumatic demolition hammer

  • Impact Grinders
  • Inflatables
  • Impact wrenches
  • DIY auto repairs
  • Pneumatic demolition hammers
  • Pneumatic drills for construction sites
  • Paint spray instead of using a brush
  • Blowgun for surfaces and machinery cleaning
  • Pneumatic nail guns
  • Sandblaster for removing dust and rust

With a pancake air compressor, you will find it easier to carry out plenty of tasks around your home or job site.

Unfortunately, if you are looking for the best pancake air compressor in the market, you may feel overwhelmed due to the many brands making these tools. A quick search online will reveal dozens of models from different manufacturers.

Quick Comparison of 10 Pancake Air Compressors

ProductKey SpecificationsMore Info
Bostitch Pancake Air Compressor
Bostitch Pancake Air Compressor
Weight:  29 lbs.
Tank capacity: 6-Gallon
Max. pressure: 150 psi
CFM: 2.6
Price
Craftsman Air Compressor CMEC6150K
Craftsman CMEC6150K Air Compressor
Weight:  32.5 lbs.
Tank capacity: 6-Gallon
Max. pressure: 150 psi
CFM: 2.6
Price
Porter cable Air Compressor C2002
Porter-cable C2002 Air Compressor
Weight:  31.5 lbs.
Tank capacity: 6-Gallon
Max. pressure: 150 psi
CFM: 2.6
Price
Dewalt Air Compressor DWFP55126
Dewalt DWFP55126 Air Compressor
Weight:  32.1 pounds
Tank capacity: 6-Gallon
Max. pressure: 165 psi
CFM: 2.6
Price
Ridgid 6 Gallon Air compressor
Ridgid 6 Gallon Air compressor
Weight:  35 lbs.
Tank capacity: 6-Gallon
Max. pressure: 150 psi
CFM: 2.6
Price
Hitachi Air Compressor KNT50AB
Hitachi KNT50AB Air Compressor
Weight:  47 lbs.
Tank capacity: 6-Gallon
Max. pressure: 150 psi
CFM: 2.8
Price
Campbell Air Compressor DC060500
Campbell DC060500 Air Compressor
Weight:  62 lbs.
Tank capacity: 6-Gallon
Max. pressure: 125 psi
CFM: 2.4
Price
Metabo Air Compressor KNT50AB
Metabo KNT50AB Air Compressor
Weight:  35 lbs.
Tank capacity: 6-Gallon
Max. pressure: 150 psi
CFM: 2.8
Price
Campbell Air Compressor FP2028
Campbell FP2028 Air Compressor
Weight:  14.7 pounds
Tank capacity: 1-Gallon
Max. pressure: 110 psi
CFM: 0.36
Price
Briggs & Stratton Air Compressor 074019
Briggs & Stratton 074019 Air Compressor
Weight:  77.2 pounds
Tank capacity: 5-Gallon
Max. pressure: 200 psi
CFM: 6.0
Price

Top Rated 10 Best Pancake Air Compressor Reviews

So, how do you spot the best one for you? Well, we are here to help. We have compiled reviews of top-rated tools to make your work easier.

Read our compilation of individual best portable pancake air compressor review posts 2020;

So, let’s get started.

1. Bostitch BTFP02012 6-Gallon Portable Electric Pancake Air Compressor, Oil-Free

Pancake Air Compressors

Tank capacity: 6-Gallon
Max. pressure: 150 PSI
CFM: 2.6

Major Features
  • It has a six-gallon tank
  • Maximum PSI of 150
  • Quieter operation
  • Oil-free pump operation
  • It weighs 29 lbs.

Bostitch makes quality industrial tools, and their air compressors are not disappointing. Bostitch 6 gallon air compressor BTFP02012 is one of the best-rated pancake air compressors in the market because of its superior features, including a high-performance motor that works even in cold weather conditions.

This tool has a small compact design that makes its storage easy. The impressive tank size of six gallons allows you to work for longer. With a 14″ width and 29 lbs weight, this Bostitch pancake air compressor is quite portable. Bostitch air compressor BTFP02012 operates at about 78db; although not the quietest operation, it is much lower than that of other pricier and less powerful pancake air compressors.

When it comes to performance, at 90 PSI, this tool delivers 2.6 SCFM. This is enough to perform all inflation tasks on small devices that don’t need too much power, such as nail guns, airbrushes, etc. It has two connecting outlets that allow you to run two air tools at a go. This unit takes less than 5 minutes to reach its maximum PSI 150 from 0 and has a quick recovery time of about 20 seconds to reach 150 PSI from its 120 PSI cutting point.

This tool’s compressor’s duty cycle is 75%, 25% higher than most compressors of the same price. 75% duty cycle means that you can operate it for 45 minutes per hour, only allowing a 15 minutes’ break.

What We Liked Most:

What Could Be Better:

2. Craftsman CMEC6150K 6-Gallon Portable Electric Pancake Air Compressor, Oil-Free

Pancake Air Compressors

Tank capacity: 6-Gallon
Max. pressure: 150 PSI
CFM: 2.6

Major Features
  • Has an oil-free pump
  • It has a six-gallon tank
  • Maximum PSI: 150
  • It weighs 30 lbs. and measures 16.5 x 16.5 x 17.9 inches
  • Has an in-built carry handle
  • Operates at an 82-decibel noise level

Looking for the best pancake-style air compressor kit? Look no more. Craftsman 6 gallon air compressor CMEC6150K is a 13-piece accessory kit that includes three inflator adaptors, a 25″ x 1,4″ air hose plus plug, a tire chunk plus plug, tire gauge, blow gun plus plug, coupler, and a rubber tip. The kit comes with all the accessories required for immediate use.

This tool has an oil-free pump making it long-lasting and maintenance-free. It comes with a carry handle and weighs 30 lbs, which makes it lightweight and portable. It has a maximum tank capacity of 6 gallons. The 150 max PSI facilitates sufficient pressure for robust operations. With 2.6 standard cubic feet per meter at 90 PSI, this unit has quick recovery time and long service, making it ideal for inflating bike and car tires.

Besides, Craftsman air compressor CMEC6150K has two quick coupler outlets that make it easy to use and facilitate the simultaneous use of pneumatic tools. It has a sturdy build and rubberized feet to keep it stable when in use. With a 1-year warranty and below $150 cost, this tool gives value for the money.

What We Liked Most:

What Could Be Better:

3. Porter-cable C2002 6-Gallon Electric Pancake Air Compressor, Oil-Free

Pancake Air Compressors

Tank capacity: 6-Gallon
Max. pressure: 150 PSI
CFM: 2.6

Major Features
  • Weighs 31.3 pounds
  • It measures 19″ x 19″ x 18″
  • Max PSI: 150
  • Pancake-style tank capacity of 6 gallons
  • Oil-free pump

If you are looking for the best budget pancake air compressor that offers excellent value for your money, we highly recommend Porter-cable C2002. This air compressor is user-friendly and straightforward, even without reading the manual. It gives you seamless operation and impressive functionality without breaking the bank.

Like most of the other pancake air compressors we have reviewed here, C2002 comes with a maximum air pressure of 150 PSI thanks to its powerful 10Amp electric motor. It runs 2.6 SCFM at an air pressure of 90 PSI with a six-gallon tank. The power is sufficient for domestic and small to medium commercial tasks. It comes with a 2-user coupler and double pressure gauges, compactly fit in the user panel.

Further to robust operation, this tool has an oil-free pump making it maintenance-free and eliminating the mess caused by oil spillage. The critical components of Porter-cable 6 gallon air compressor C2002 are coated with a protective layer that gives this unit a sleek appearance and makes it durable. At 31.3 pounds and with a compact design, C2002 is lightweight, easy to store, and portable.

Another great feature of this pancake air compressor is its rubber feet, which provide some anti-vibration aspect to protect surfaces. Overall, this is a sturdy, lightweight, user-friendly, and compact design unit that delivers value for your money.

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What Could Be Better:

4. Dewalt DWFP55126 Cordless Air Compressor, 6-Gallon

Pancake Air Compressors

Tank capacity: 6-Gallon
Max. pressure: 165 PSI
CFM: 2.6

Major Features
  • It weighs 32.1 lbs.
  • It measures 17.2″ x 16.6″ x 20.1″
  • Tank capacity: 6 gallon
  • Noise level: 75.5 decibels
  • Max PSI: 165
  • It has a ball drain valve

Dewalt is a premium, reliable power tool brand that has been in the industry for many decades. Their DWFP55126 features in our review list of best 6 pancake air compressors because of its tolerable noise level operation of only 75 decibels, which remains constant even under high usage.

One more impressive feature is its 165 max PSI with 2.6 standard cubic feet per meter delivered at 90 PSI, which is higher than the other pancake air compressors featured in this review. It weighs 32 lbs. and comes with a tank capacity of six-gallon. Another great feature of this unit is that its bearings are permanently lubricated. Therefore, its pump has free oil operation making this a low maintenance unit.

When it comes to safety, Dewalt Pancake Air Compressor DWFP55126 comes with a detachable console cover that protects critical parts of this toll while still giving you the necessary access. Furthermore, the legs are rubberized to prevent denting of surfaces the unit is placed.

This tool has two couplers: it can simultaneously power two items, such as nail guns, tire inflators, spray painting guns, etc. Besides, it comes with a ball drain valve to facilitate speedy tank draining. The 10 Amp universal motor is highly efficient and starts quickly, even in cold temperatures.

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What Could Be Better:

5. Ridgid 6 Gallon Air Compressor 150 PSI Maintenance Free Portable Electric

Pancake Air Compressors

Tank capacity: 6-Gallon
Max. pressure: 150 PSI
CFM: 2.6

Major Features
  • Corded electric power source
  • Horizontal tank capacity of six gallons
  • It weighs 35 lbs.
  • It measures 17.13″ x 17.1″ x 19.7″
  • Max PSI: 150
  • Oil-free pump operation
  • Noise levels of 80 decibels
  • Has a ball drain valve
  • It is electric-powered

One unique feature of this pancake air compressor is its locking regulator that secures the knob to prevent unwelcome pressure changes. It also has a ¼ ball drain valve that allows you to drain the tank seamlessly in a single turn. The drain valve is tucked beneath the rim for protection and quick reach when needed.

This unit’s compressor has a maximum air pressure of 150 pounds per square inch, making this unit powerful enough for finishing and trimming tasks. It has a 6-gallon horizontal tank that reduces cycle frequency. At 90 pounds per square inch, this tool has 2.6 standard cubic feet per meter air delivery, while at 40 pounds per square inch, it has 3.5 standard cubic feet per meter.

An additional critical feature of this tool is its 120V universal motor that starts even in low voltage circumstances. The motor’s construction has a thick plastic cast that makes it durable and gives it a sleek finish. This tool’s double universal connectors are compatible with both 1/4″ industrial and automotive plugs, making it an excellent choice for operation by more than one person at a go.

Overall, this Ridgid 6 gallon air compressor with a tiny handle, oil-free pump operation is reliable and low-maintenance.

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6.Hitachi 6 Gallon Air Compressor KNT50AB Includes 25' Air Hose

Pancake Air Compressors

Tank capacity: 6-Gallon
Max. pressure: 150 PSI
CFM: 2.8

Major Features
  • Max PSI: 150
  • It features a combination of an 18ga brad nailer and a pancake air compressor.
  • Has a 25-foot-long air hose
  • It weighs 47 lbs.
  • It measures 17″ x 18″ x 22″
  • Noise levels: 73 decibels

This Combo Kit by Hitachi Power Tools, now known as Metabo HTP, makes it to our best air compressor review list because it is an excellent purchase for those looking for cabinet works and complex finishes. This versatile kit includes a reliable NT50AE2 18ga brad nailer, a Hybrid air hose, a pneumatic tool lube, safety glasses, and an EC710S Hitachi pancake air compressor.

The air compressor of this 150 max PSI and a 6-gallon tank delivers an ample 2.8 SCFM at 90 PSI. This ensures superior performance, and it can operate different nailers while still allows for longer runtimes. The 18ga brad nailer is lightweight and perfectly balanced for easy maneuvering.

Another crucial component of this kit is its 25 foot by ¼ inch Hybrid Air Hose with industrial fittings, spiral, sturdy bend restrictors, and remains malleable even in cold weather conditions.

Hitachi 6 gallon air compressor KNT50AB uses a contractor-grade motor for a longer lifespan. The highly-efficient motor facilitates a dependable, quick startup even in cold weather conditions. What’s more, this tool has a ball drain valve for fast draining of the 6-gallon tank, rubberized feet to protect denting of surfaces, and a steel cage to protect critical parts of this Combo Kit.

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7. Campbell Hausfeld Pancake Air Compressor DC060500 6 Gallon Portable Quiet

Pancake Air Compressors

Tank capacity: 6-Gallon
Max. pressure: 125 PSI
CFM: 2.4

Major Features
  • 68 dBA noise level
  • Dual piston design produces more air
  • 6-gallon tank capacity
  • 1-year limited warranty

If you want to work indoors without disrupting neighbors, then the Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor DC060500 is a great option for you. It’s one of the quietest pancake air compressors in the industry with lots of power. It registers an impressive 68 decibels and can handle any task effortlessly.

It’s among Campbell Hausfeld’s “Quiet Air Compressor Series” models designed specifically with the noise level in mind while keeping the major components safe for a long time. This brand has many fans for its efficient and high-quality compressors, air tools, and accessories.

One of the DC060500 convenience features is a dual-piston oil-free engine for hassle-free maintenance over its lifespan. With this high-efficiency pump, you don’t need to replace oil in the future, and you have a guaranteed start even when the weather gets cold. The 2 pistons can generate more air compared to 1.0 HP models.

The 6-gallon steel tank provides a maximum PSI of 125 and air delivery of 2.6 CFM @90 PSI, suitable for powering air nailers. It can also perform other light tasks like inflating tires, pool toys, and sports equipment. All important components are designed to last up to 4 times longer than other models. Although the model is a little pricier, it’s worth every penny.

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8. Metabo Air Compressor KNT50AB Pancake Includes Brad Nailer 25 Ft Air Hose

Pancake Air Compressors

Tank capacity: 6-Gallon
Max. pressure: 150 PSI
CFM: 2.8

Major Features
  • Includes an NT50AE2 brad nailer
  • Consists of a 6-gallon oil-free pump
  • Has a 25-inch 1.4” air horse
  • 2.8 CFM air delivery
  • 150 PSI maximum pressure

Hitachi power tools changed their name to Metabo but with the same quality and efficiency. This company has always provided users with excellent value for their money, and the Metabo HPT pancake compressor is no different.

The kit has all you need to start building tools for your home shop, including the famous 18-gauge 2-inch brad nailer and a durable oil-free engine. They even added a bottle of pneumatic tool lubricant, a 25-foot air hose, and safety glasses for value. So, it’s definitely worth the price considering that other similar models are priced for the compressor alone.

This is also an oil-free compressor that won’t require any maintenance and features dual pistons to generate more air. The only downside with this pancake compressor is that the side does not side the gauges like other models, which may be less convenient.

The air nailer can hold up to 18 nails with a 360-degree adjustable exhaust port to clear off debris. There is a visual nail reload indicator that lets you know when the quantity is low. In the case of nail jams, the nailer offers a simple-to-use latch for hassle-free performance.

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9. Campbell Hausfeld FP2028 Pancake Air Compressor, 1-Gallon

Pancake Air Compressors

Tank capacity: 1-Gallon
Max. pressure: 110 PSI
CFM: 0.36

Major Features
  • 1-gallon tank
  • Offers 0.33 HP power
  • Weighs about 13 pounds
  • Delivers 0.36 CFM @90 PSI

The Campbell air compressor FP2028 is one of the best stationary pancake air compressors but can still be moved from one place to another. It runs on 120 volts. The motor produces 1 HP, making it ideal for lighter jobs. It is one of the best pancake compressors for the money, with a 1-year warranty covering replacements.

The handle is made heavy-duty, with a rubberized grip that makes it easier to carry it to the job site. Besides, it is compact and lightweight than most options, making it ideal for people with less storage space. The air compressor weighs about 13 pounds, with dimensions of 11.8” x 12.7” x 11.8.

Despite the small size, it has an impressive maximum pressure of 110 PSI and an airflow of 0.36 CFM at 90 PSI. The machine can be used for tire inflation, air staplers, powering air brad nailers, and airbrushes. It can also be used as a pressure washer.

Despite the pocket-friendly price, the Campbell Hausfeld FP2028 is noisy at 93 dBA, so you should be located where noise is not an issue. The one-gallon tank is also small, meaning it will shut down quickly. The unit also includes a 25-feet hose, needle & needle adapter, two inflator nozzles, and onboard storage to keep the accessories.

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10. Briggs and Stratton Air Compressor Pancake 5-Gallon

Pancake Air Compressors

Tank capacity: 5-Gallon
Max. pressure: 200 PSI
CFM: 6.0

Major Features
  • Oil-free pump
  • Weighs 77.2 pounds
  • 5-gallon air tank
  • 2 horsepower motor
  • Built-in accessory storage
  • Tank pressure: 150 maximum PSI

Whether you are a homeowner or a contractor, the Briggs and Stratton 074062-00 model is one of the best 5-gallon air compressors in the market. The product is an excellent option if you are looking for an ideal product to power most of your tools with convenient air couplers for two users depending on use.

Briggs and Stratton’s company have a reputation for producing some of the best pancake air compressors. One advantage of this compressor is it’s very stable, and the small size means it can fit into a tight space.

Whether you inflate your RV tires or power a nail, you’ll love the Briggs and Stratton 074062-00 compressor. It comes with an adequate 6-gallon tank capacity to enable you to run your operation for hours without any delays.

The powerful air compressor offers a maximum pressure of 150 psi, which is ideal for most garage tasks. Besides, it also offers up to 6.0 CFM at 40 psi beating most of its competitors. The compressor is a bit heavy, but the wheels ensure you don’t drag it, so no scratches on your floor. Also, this model features built-in accessory storage for easy organization of your accessories.

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Best-rated Pancake Air Compressor Buyer’s Guide

Although we have tried to narrow your list to the top 10 best-rated pancake air compressor models, you may still experience a hard time knowing the right air compressor for your needs. In fact, what may work perfectly for one homeowner or contractor may be a poor choice for you. So, how will you know the right pancake air compressor for your needs?

Well, this buyer’s guide will help you know the right one for your needs.

Here are factors to consider when buying pancake air compressors;

Electric or gas-powered?

Pancake air compressors are either electric-powered or gas-powered. The source of power determines the PSI a tool has. The most common is the electric air compressors, but they have one major downside- range. Electric models have to be used with an extension cord, which means the distance you can cover is limited. Also, if there is no power outlet nearby, your air compressor will be of no use.

On the other hand, gas-powered models do not have this issue, and thus you can use them anywhere you go. You can take them from one job site to another. Typically, gas-powered models are the best option for contractors. However, many homeowners prefer gas-powered models as well. The main downside of this type of air compressor is that they rely on gas and thus have to be re-filled now and then. Also, they tend to be pricier.

CFM and SCFM

scfm acfm icfmWhen comparing pancake air compressors, you will need to pay close attention to CFM and SCFM as these two factors determine the volume of air a compressor produces when operating.

CFM, which stands for Cubic Feet per Minute, specifies how fast a compressor fills. Gasses, just like air, change density, and weight at different humidity and temperature levels. Therefore, you will need to be sure that the model you go for work in low-temperate regions, especially for people who live in areas with cold weather.

SCFM, which stands for Standard Cubic per Minute, measures how well a machine performs at different temperatures and pressure. This helps you to compare the performance of different models.

If you want an air compressor that can power pneumatic tools, you need to go for one with the highest number in CFM and SCFM.

Many homeowners tend to look for a model with a larger tank capacity, but we must say that larger tank capacity doesn’t translate to a higher maximum air draw of a compressor.

If the tank size is close to the CFM or SCFM rating, go for larger tank size. Larger tanks allow you to use the compressor for lengthy periods.

It is also important to look at the pressure measurement when evaluating CFM and SCFM. This is the best strategy when comparing how different air compressors perform.

Motor

Motor use in cordless tire impact wrenchIt is also important that you pay attention to the power output of a tool. The horsepower of the motor helps to determine the refill action of a tool. If you are a contractor, make sure you go for a tool with high horsepower.

Oil-free operation

In our pancake air compressor reviews, you will notice that we chose models that offer oil-free operation. Oil-free air compressors are the preferred choice for homeowners and contractors as they require less maintenance.

However, it doesn’t mean that you will not have to worry about oil leaks if you go for models with oil-free operation as you have to keep your workshop and home clean. The benefit of going for models with oil-free models is that you will not need to check oil levels every time before you start the machine.

Oil-based compressors require you to replace air dryer’s time to time, thereby increasing maintenance costs. That’s why you should go for oil-free compressors as they have the same long-service life just as oil-based machines. However, on the downside, oil-free pancake air compressors tend to be louder than their oil-free counterparts.

Tank capacity

This is another consideration for contractors who have different tools working simultaneously through split lines.  For DIYers who go for a powerful machine with a high SCFM, you don’t need to worry about tank capacity. However, be prepared to pay more for these machines.

For homeowners looking for a tool to use around the house, you shouldn’t focus on tank size as you don’t have many needs.

Pounds Per Square Inch; PSI

Another important consideration for choosing an air compressor is the PSI a machine produces during operation. PSI indicates the pressure a compressor requires to operate in a normal environment.

Air compressors need at least 90-PSI for them to be effective. Therefore, avoid air compressors that offer less than 100PSI. For contractors who will be linking air compressors with pneumatic tools, the operating pressure of more than 125-psi will be effective.

Most air compressors have a two-stage operation– in the fast stage, the machine builds its air pressure to around 90-psi. In the 2nd stage, the machine boosts the pressure to between 125-200psi depending on your model.

If you keep these factors in mind, you should have an easier time choosing the best electric pancake air compressor for tires and many other needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

All About PERFECT PANCAKE AIR COMPRESSOR
How does air compressors work?

As we mentioned earlier, air compressors operate via an electric or gas-powered motor. The motor converts electric energy into kinetic energy by drawing air into the tank where the pump pressurizes it. This pressurized air is stored in the tank and as you trigger the tool, the air gets to the tool’s head.

Should I drain out air from the compressor after use?

Yes, always drain the air left in the tank after you finish using your compressor. Leaving pressurized air in the tank may wear out pressure seals.

Can I run my compressor using a generator?

Generators often cause power fluctuation, and this can affect the performance of your air compressor. Therefore, we recommend that you avoid running your compressor on a generator.

What is the most common problem can one encounter with air compressor?

Well, the most common problem is the air compressor getting water in its air line. If this occurs, you should take your machine to a reputable local dealer to have the failed condensate trap or dryer repaired.

Can one use an air compressor to frame nailers?

If it has a framing nailer feature, yes. The compressor has enough power to frame nailers.

Bottom Line

If you are reading this, CONGRATULATIONS!

We have come to the end of our guide, and we do hope that by now you have identified the best pancake air compressor for your needs. It would be safe to say that the best air compressor is a matter of personal choice, and thus we cannot recommend any as all of them are great and suit different people.

To help you, figure out what your needs are, and how much you are willing to spend then do a comparison. If you have never owned a pancake air compressor before, you will be amazed at its many uses.

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