10 Leading Small Compressor Models In 2019 (Reviewed After Research)

People often find it complicated in finding the right small air compressor. The choices can be overwhelming. Let’s try to settle down together for the best pick. Small compressors comes with low profile and low cost for light duty tasks. Homeowners, DIYers always prefer these models for their nature of applications. Professionals also keep one as a secondary unit when they need a compressor to carry here and there frequently.

People have a misconception on the limitation of small unit thinking that they can not run all the air tools as large size device does. Our experiments come up with different results. Similar to big air compressor, a mini air compressor having at least 2.0 CFM can operate almost all the tools available in the market . 

The difference is in the run-time. Whereas a compressor with large tank can run a spray gun for long time, for small model the air storage finishes shorty after few time operation.  In that case you have to wait until the tank fills again with high pressure. 

All the models reviewed here are highly popular among both experienced users and first time users. In this list, there will be products of varied price range. Some units are very cheap and ideal for intermittent users. Some units are a bit pricey and profiled with increased longevity. You can use them years after years without any replacement of key components. They are for regular users.

Top picks:

The lists include

  • 5 Pancake Style Air Compressor
  • 3 Hot-Dog Style Air Compressor
  • 1 Oil-Lubricated Air Compressor.


Porter-Cable PCFP02003 3.7 CFM Air Compressor

Specifications

  • 3.5-Gallon Air Tank
  • 0.8 HP Motor
  • 82 dBA Noise
  • 3.7 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • 135 PSI MAX
  • 26 Pounds
  • Oil-Free Pump

Light weight and user friendly, Porter-Cable C2002 is made for tire inflation and medium duty woodworking applications. With a rated 3.7 CFM @40PSI and 2.6 CFM @90 PSI and a big 6-gallon air tank, the unit also allows you to use medium size spray guns in a pinch.

The .8 HP motor with low 10 amperage draw can max out 150 PSI maximum pressure into the tank. Being profiled with oil-less piston pump,you need not worry about regular maintenance and oil checking.

Porter-Cable C2002 is profiled with 50% to 75% average duty cycle with the benefit of longer operational time. The short 20 seconds recovery time made it favorite unit to many homeowners. with an 82 dBA level, it is a bit louder than many other home-compressors.

The key mechanisms in the compressor are covered with protective plastic shroud. This 23 pounds compressor is 9 inches high.

To sum up, Porter-Cable C2002 is versatile and intended for intermittent users who need various ranges of output pressure and need to be used once or twice in a week. It is literally a multi-use unit with pretty high SCFM rating. When it comes to longevity, they tend to last less compared to other professional grade oil-lubricated units in the list.

Porter-Cable C2002 comes with a one year limited warranty.

P​ros

  • Powerful enough to run even impact wrench
  • Versatile enough to run many air tools
Cons

  • Noisier than other pancake style compressors
  • No included accessories

Porter-Cable C2002-WK 2.6 CFM Air Compressor

Specifications

  • 6-Gallon Air Tank
  • 0.8 HP Motor
  • 82 dBA Noise
  • 2.6 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • 150 PSI MAX
  • 34 Pounds
  • Oil-Free Pump

P​ros

  • Cheap in its class
  • Versatile enough to run many air tools
  • Easily portable
  • Comes with 13-piece accessory kit
Cons

  • Noisy in its class
  • Manual is not user-friendly
  • Requires BREAK-IN PROCEDURE which is not mentioned in manual
  • Has noticeable vibration

Bostitch BTFP02012 2.6 CFM Air Compressor

Specifications

  • 6-Gallon Air Tank
  • 0.9 HP Motor
  • 78.5 dBl Noise
  • 2.6 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • 150 PSI MAX
  • 29 Pounds
  • 450 Hrs Life Span
  • Oil-Free Pump

Bostitch BTFP02012 comes with an industry rated 450 hours survival time. If you can compromise with the longevity, no other features will dissatisfy you and it’s guaranteed. At around medium price range is the Bostitch BTFP02012 from the trusted and famed brand Bostitch.

The 0.9 running HP motor at only 15Amps, it has the ability to support harsh jobsite. Two universal couplers is the top feature of this unit, double tools can operate simultaneously without hiccup. Mounted on a rubber a feet, the unit will not leave scratch on work surface. The rubber fit also functions in minimizing vibration. The less vibration a compressor has, the more longevity is ensured. In addition, balanced installation of the unit on three rubber feet saves it from tilting.

The top carry handle planted on the cover gives extended portable feasibility, just grab it and carry; you will feel very compact and balanced.

Where the Bostitch BTFP02012 stands out from the crowd is the loudness at 78.5 dBA. Among all pancake style air compressor, this unit wins the crown due to low noise level. Moreover, the heaviness is quiet impressive at only 29 lbs.

The main part of Bostitch BTFP02012 is shrouded heavily for increased protection. The fantastic placement for the meter gauges will give you vest view at any angle. You should not break your back to have a look.

Other features:

  • Air Intake Filter
  • Motor Switch
  • Relief Valve & Drain Valve
  • Air Tank Pressure Gauge
  • Output Pressure Gauge
  • Regulator
  • Quick Disconnect
  • round shaped vibration-dampening rubber feet

Crazy Combo Offers:

Bostitch BTFP02012 comes with a combo package named “BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT 3-Tool and Compressor Combo Kit”. The package includes a 18 GA Brad nailer drives, a 16 GA Straight Finish nailer drives and a 3/8" Crown Stapler drives. With the combo offers you will get 1/4" x 25' PVC air hose with fittings

The package is really a good bargain. Individual buy of each item will cost two times higher. So why not grab the package.

P​ros

  • Solid and user-friendly
  • 6-Gallon tank stores enough air
  • Comes with 3 different combo packages
Cons

  • Pressure regulator does not deliver right pressure
  • Louder than advertised
  • Accessories are not good quality

Hitachi EC710S 6-Gallon Oil-Free Pancake Compressor

Specifications

  • 6-Gallon Air Tank
  • 1 HP Motor
  • 73 dBl Noise
  • 2.8 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • 150 PSI MAX
  • 46.7 Pounds
  • Oil-Free Pump

Whereas giant bands like Dewalt, Bostitch is predominant in the area of pancake compressor, Hitachi comes up with Hitachi EC710S 6-Gallon Oil-Free Pancake Compressor to grant the challenge. Originated in Japan, Hitachi is an international manufacturing company which produces mass products in the field of automotive electronic, power tools, healthcare and many more.

There are lots of pancake compressor out there who claim to have very low noise emission, but the ultimate winner is Hitachi oil-free 6 gallon compressor at only 73 dBA. Whereas PORTER CABLE C2002 and Bostitch BTFP02012 reviewed earlier top out at 82 and 78.5 dBA respectively, this unit is the quietest pancake compressor ever.

The oil-free pump requires almost no maintenance and 1 HP motor is intended to start at any weather. That’s pretty cool. Ergonomically built Hitachi Pancake Compressor tops out 2.8 CFM (90 PSI) and operate on single-phase power plug. Steel constructed 6-gallon cylinder ensures prolonged lasting from rust and decay.

This 46.7-pound pancake compressor features a rubber grip handle to let you carry easily. Though the weight is greater than the previous two pancake compressors, but don’t regret for that. The weight is for its firm built quality and heavy materials.

The exposed gauges and dual outlet hose will increase your work efficiency at your workstation. Steel roll cage for protection, rubber feet to sit on any uneven terrain firmly and 150 PSI impressive tank pressure attribute this unit to our favorite lists 

Hitachi KNT50AB finish combo kit includes Hitachi EC710S pancake compressor, 18-Gauge Brad Nailer, Hybrid Air Hose, protective glasses and air tool lubricant.

Combo packs are good bargain and if you don’t have any of those tools, you should buy. The individual buy of each item will cost a lot more money, which you don’t want.

P​ros

  • Packed with brad nailers, safety glass and other accessories in low price tag
  • The quietest pancake compressor in the market
Cons

  • Comes in packages-no option to buy the  compressor separately
  • Brad nails tends to jam often

DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Compressor

Specifications

  • 6-Gallon Air Tank
  • 0.9 HP Motor
  • 75.5 dBA Noise
  • 2.6 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • 3.7 CFM @ 40 PSI
  • 165 PSI MAX
  • 30 Pounds
  • Oil-Free Pump

​​​​DEWALT DWFP55126 is one of the popular pancake model of air compressor designed to power mid-ranged air tools used by DIYers and homeowners. For woodworking and inflating job, this unit is recommended by our specialists, Jérome Le Madec.

Though this model comes at high price tag compared to other pancake air compressors like PORTER-CABLE C2002 & Bostitch BTFP02012 & Excell U256PPE, consumers are pretty satisfied for its dual-user feature and longevity.

Portability is the top feature of this model. At only 30 pounds and 17.2 x 16.6 x 20.1 inches dimensions, it is very compact and lightweight air compressor. The carry handle is very useful to lift and move.

Producing 75.5 decibels, DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Compressor is a perfect choice for the home users because the sound is not louder than a running shower or a dishwasher.

6-gallon tank and 2.6 CFM output pressure is more than enough when the air compressor is not for professional purpose. The Oil-less motor installed does not require maintenance.

This compressor doesn’t require any maintenance only if you can keep it safe from all types of debris and dust. The machine is made from top quality materials. None of the parts are vulnerable.

Plastic built console cover gives protection to sophisticated components like regulator, couplers, and two gauges. The cover is easily removeable when needed.

0.9 HP rated motor does not require much amperage thus easy to start in cold temperature. Three rubber feet protect any surface from marring. You can use this compressor in various DIY projects quite easily like woodworking and inflating truck and car tires

In short, DEWALT DWFP55126 is very simple and user-friendly. Take out from the box and start your project. Even this unit does not need break in procedure as claimed by the DeWalt customer care. 

P​ros

  • Light-weight
  • Powerful and heavy duty.
  • Able to power up roofing and framing nailers.
Cons

  • Expensive than other popular pancake models
  • Included accessories are cheap built quality 
  • Louder than proclaimed

MAKITA MAC700 High CFM  Air Compressor

Specifications

  • 2.6-Gallon Air Tank
  • 2 HP Motor
  • 79 dBA Noise
  • 3.8 CFM @ 40
  • 3.3 @ 90 PSI
  • 130 PSI MAX
  • 59.6 Pounds
  • Oil-Lubricated Pump

MAKITA MAC700 is an oil-filled home use compressor ideal for serious hobbyists, DIYers, professionals, and home improvement contractors. Some people don’t like oiled devices due to the hassle of frequent oil checking and changing when needed.

Do keep in mind that an oil-filled compressor certainly outlasts any oil-lesscompressor. Oil reduces wear and tear in the pump and the Teflon ring lasts years after years. In case of oil-less pump, you have to replace the Teflon rings after 400 to 500 hundred hours of use.

The device is packed with 2.0 HP power motor drawing only ampere 12 volt. So, you can plug it into your regular home outlet and no hassle of frequent circuit breakers.

Here Makita stands out from the crowd. They manufactured the motor and pump with top notch technology to ensure increased efficiency.4-pole induction technology made the motor very powerful and capable to operate continuously.

Thanks to Makita’s big bore pump. They have packed their pump with big bore and wide cylinder to ensure very short recovery time. Being a quality product, MAKITA MAC700 comes with many additional features and accessories.

P​ros

  • Meant for heavy duty application
  • Big bore oil-lubricated pump last longer than oil-less pump.
  • At 3.8 CFM, very powerful than size
Cons

  • Oil-Filled pump requires maintenance. 
  • Heavy enough for size
  • Expensive for periodical users

Rolair JC10 Quietest Air Compressor

Specifications

  • 2.5-Gallon Air Tank
  • 1 HP Motor
  • 60 dBA Noise
  • 2.35 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • 125 PSI MAX
  • 42.9 Pounds
  • Oil-Free Pump

Introducing Rolair JC10, the quietest and maintenance free air compressor with 100 % duty cycle making it ideal for small carpenter crews,professionals, serious hobbyists and DIYers. 100% duty cycle means you can run as long as you want. This guy doesn’t need rest.

This is a 125 PSI, 120-volt electric hand-carry compressor for home use with 1 Horsepower motor rotates at low 1700 RPM. Very few compressors have such a low RPM rating. When the question is about longevity, compressors with low rating of RPM last longer compared to the unit having higher rating of RPM.

This small and light weight compressor tops out2.35 SCFM @ 90PSI and capable to sink six 3ʺ framig nails, eleven15 gauge 2-1/2ʺ finishing nails and nineteen 18-gaugebrad nails before the motor restarts. It is pretty satisfying performance for such a little beast.

Thanks to Rolair’s cutting edge technology START VALVE that makes Start in the morning quite easy. Very few compressors in the market come with this feature. Apart from this, some other additional features like industrial grade muffler, anti-vibration rubber feet, and an automatic power on/off switch have made this unit very compact and user friendly.

Rolair JC10 is mounted on a steel built roll cage to shield from your tough job site. A rubber hand grip is fitted in the center of the unit that maintains good balance when carried.

Thanks to cast aluminum built 2.5-gallon Cylinder that makes it very light and increases longevity. Majority of the compressors come with iron made tank. Those are heavy and start to rust if not taken care of properly.

The test result demonstrates that this little guy can sink 6 (3 Inch) framing nails, 11 (15 gauge 2-1/2 Inch) finishing nails and 19 (18-gauge) brad nails before it had a kick on. With finish gun and brad nailers, we did start shooting randomly and didn’t have to stop until the nails have finished. The motor kicked on and off but never failed to produce required air pressure.

This slender device weighs only 39 pounds and produces the lowest noise level at 60 decibels. You heard right. This is the quietest home use compressor in the market.

In brief, Rolair JC10 is built with great care to give best user experience. Though it is a little bit pricey but the price comes for its superior component and solid built quality.


P​ros

  • The quietest in its class
  • Built for professionals
  • Made with quality components for extended longevity
Cons

  • Expensive than pancake models
  • The air filter extends beyond the roll cage

Porter-Cable CMB15 Fully Covered Air Compressor

Specifications

  • 2.5-Gallon Air Tank
  • 0.8 HP Motor
  • 79 dBA Noise
  • 2.0 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • 150 PSI MAX
  • 20 Pounds
  • Oil-Free Pump

Introducing one of the lightest air compressor Porter-Cable CMB15 featured with 1.5-Gallon tank, 2.0 CFM delivering pressure and oil-free pump. This unit is meant for cleaning, inflating, powering air brush and other small projects. You can run brad nailers at a pinch but using roofing nailer is not doable.

The unit comes with 8 pieces accessory kits and a recoil air hose (25-feet). The kits are very useful for any kind of inflating job. The kit includes tire chuck (25 inches), tapered sapphire nozzle (2 pieces), spalding inflating needles, and 2-piece inflator/deflator nozzles for inflating air mattress beds, inflatable cushions, swimming ring, boats,

Porter-Cable CMB15 operates at 79-decibel of noise rating which is perfect for indoor use. You are not going to disturb your neighbors or family members at home.

The tank pressure is 150 PSI maximum thus ideal for continuous use. Porter-Cable CMB15 has an amazing short recovery time powered by a powerful 0.8 HP motor.

The oil-less pump lasts years after years without any strenuous maintenance. With 1.5-gallon tank this unit is very handy and takes less space wherever you store.

Porter-Cable CMB15 draws low amp and operates at 120 volts. Porter Cable has optimized the motor of this device for east start at any temperature. Running the air compressor in the morning will not be hectic for you.

In short, this air compressor is very well designed and ideal for what it is meant for. If you don’t have any heavy-duty task, you can start with this little beast. You will also get one-year warranty on components.

P​ros

  • Comes with 8-piece inflating kits
  • At 20 pounds, easily maneuverable.
  • Optimized for easy start up at any temperature.
  • Comes with amazing recovery time.
Cons

  • Included accessories are of low quality.
  • Not designed for even medium-duty air tools.
  • Rubber legs are very small
  • Not well balanced and fall over frequently.

SENCO PC1010 Quietest 0.7 CFM Air Compressor

Specifications

  • 1-Gallon Air Tank
  • 0.5 HP Motor
  • 68 dBA Noise
  • 0.7 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • 120 PSI MAX
  • 20 Pounds
  • Oil-Free Pump

Powered by a 0.5 HP motor, fitted with 1-gallon small air tank and weighing only 20 lbs. SENCO PC1010is one of the best compressor for home use. This compact unit is not going to give you industrial power but you will get everything you want to have in a compressor.

SENCO PC1010 is best in its class and will give you best performance what it is meant for. This is not a type of things that you will use it every day for a continuous period of time. This is ideal for homeowners who do trimming work. If you are a trim carpenter and have a lot trimming project, go for one with larger tank size and greater SCFM rating.

We tested the unit and have been quite surprised with the efficiency of this little beast. We could successfully shoot 24 nails of 23 gauge and 12 nails of 18 gauge. When it came to finish nail, it could sink 3 couple of nails before the motor kicks on.

Senco basically claims this thing will pump up the empty tank in 128 seconds from 0-120 PSI and recover in 35 seconds from 90-120 PSI. After testing, we came up with different result. It took 158 seconds to fill and 38 seconds to recover.

You will get 0.7 CFM at 90 PSI from this unit. SENCO PC1010 is one the quietest home use compressor producing only 68 decibels of noise. It runs on low breakers so you will not have any problem with blowing breaker. The anti-skid rubber feet save your floor from scratch.

Additional features:

  • Two meters to display tank pressure and output pressure.
  • metal roll bar handle gives added protection and portability
  • 6 feet long 115-volt electric power cord
  • Foam grip bar.
  • Automotive style reusable air filter.
  • Relief valve for safety.
  • Drain valve.
  • Regulator to get your desired pressure.
  • Universal ¼ inch quick connect coupler

SENCO PC1010 can run a lot of guns and give you a lot of capacity. It’s easy to lift, easy to carry and easy to transport. The compressor is perfect for light duty and punch list work and people who do craft would love this thing. It is backed up by 1 year warranty.

P​ros

  • Tiny but powerful
  • Affordable price range
Cons

  • Not ideal for tough job site

What To Look For When Buying Small Size Air Compressor

Pancake style air compressor are considered to be most suitable unit for newbies, hobbyists and DIYers. Just below you will get reviews on top models with detailed features and specifications.

Though Pancake air compressors are little in size but they are highly versatile in nature. They can inflate tires with great efficiency; they can run small to medium range spray gun; they can power various types of pneumatic tools like staple gun, blow gun, brad nailers, and finish nailers. Some units can run frame nailers in a pinch.

Some of the pancake compressor comes with combo packs and savvy customers always keep them in their list. You can save some money choosing the combo packs. The combo includes some basic tools that you will need with the air compressors like hoses. PORTER-CABLE PCFP12234 combo includes two nail guns and a staple gun.

Pancake Style Air Compressors are highly favored by the users for 3 reasons. They are light weight, versatile and cheap in price thus making it ideal for small projects at home. For intermittent Users, Pancake Style Air Compressor is ideal.

What to mean for a pancake style air compressor?

Built for multipurpose applications, you can use a variety of pneumatic tools like blower gun, staple gun, brad nailer, pin nailer and so on. You can build furniture index, upholster chairs, add chair rail, install window and frame a room. These compressors can also power other tools that do not require much air such as cut guns.

They can power small size spray guns as well. Apart from these, pumping up tires and blowing up inflatable equipment is not a big deal with this type of air compressor.

Do you know air compressor is also used used for make-up purposes? Air compressor meant for make-up is called air brush makeup kit.

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