Best Portable Air Compressor 2023 – Pancake Tank Style Review

Porter-Cable C2002-WK Air Compressor with 13-Piece Accessory Kit

This unit comes with a 6 gallon tank that holds 150 PSI. This is big enough to inflate all four tires on your car without having to wait for the tank to recharge air pressure.Expert Reviewer: John Lenard

Quick Summary:
The recharge rate on the tank is a phenomenal 2.6 cubic feet per minute at 90 PSI, which means your 6 gallon tank, if totally discharged, would refill in a minute or less and get back up to 150 PSI within two minutes. This home compressor is good for the tires, yes, but it also can be used to paint, spray chemicals, blow trash, and operate tools. It offers far more functionality than a tire inflator.

Portable Air Compressor Uses

I recently researched portable air compressors to find the best one for my needs. The first choice was whether to get a small compact one that could work off the car battery, or a home compressor that needed to be plugged into an electrical outlet.

The small compact compressor is ideal for those situations a variety of situations where all you need to do is top up your tire pressure, or if you have a flat away from home and just need enough pressure to get to a service station, or maybe you’re at the beach and have some inflatables to blow up.

Size of the Compressor

There is an almost bewildering choice of pounds per square inch (PSI) pressure/tank capacity (gal) combinations. If you get a tank too small for your tasks, you’ll spend a lot of time waiting for the tank to be refilled. If you get a compressor with too low of a PSI, it will affect what you can inflate and what air tools you can use.

Just imagine if you were spraying wood preservative on a large deck in your backyard in the fall and didn’t want to spend a lot of time out in the cold (or the game was starting in a couple of hours).

After much investigation and deliberation and video watching, I chose the Porter-Cable C2002-WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor, which was listed at Amazon with an accessory kit.


This unit comes with a 6 gallon tank that holds 150 PSI. This is big enough to inflate all four tires on your car without having to wait for the tank to recharge air pressure. I had a one gallon / 100 PSI compressor once, and it could barely inflate one tire with a few pounds of air pressure before having to recharge the tank.

The tank is in a round “pancake” shape which is compact and doesn’t take up as much space in your garage as the long cylinder shape tanks. A sweetener for me with this tank is that it has TWO factory installed “quick connect” connectors on the tank. You can save time making your hose connections, and if you’re using multiple tools you can connect two at once, so you don’t waste time swapping them on and off a single connector (or you can use two tools at once like a drill and an air gun to blow drill debris away).

The tank also has a drain plug so if you get condensation in the tank you can release it and help keep your tank from rusting out. The pancake style gives you stability and has three little rubber feet, so it won’t tip over if you pull a little too hard on the hose.

The electric motor is 120 volt you can plug into any standard outlet, but the nice thing is its low amperage. If you’re using your compressor in cold weather or running a long extension cord, the low amps will help the motor start easily.

The compressor pump is oil-free which means you don’t have to worry about having to occasionally put drops of oil in it. Even my air powered grinder needs oil after a day of heavy use.

The design of the unit has a shroud that covers the vital parts of the compressor motor so if you have to use it in an emergency while it’s snowing or lightly raining, there is some protection (make sure you’re plugged into a GFCI outlet). The owner’s manual does state, in order to avoid electrical shock, to never operate the compressor outdoors when it is raining or in wet conditions.


The accessory kit is quite useful. There’s a 25 foot ¼” PVC air hose with the coupler and plug already assembled on it; a tire gauge (nice touch); tire chuck; blow gun with a safety nozzle; and several adapters that will let you pump air into footballs, basketballs and other inflatables.

This compressor is designed for home use, however in an emergency, if you needed it out in the middle of nowhere, its portable weight of only 30 pounds, and its low amperage would allow you to use a DC/AC converter and run it for a few minutes off your car battery (keep the engine running – you ARE in the middle of nowhere).

The truth is, if you’re looking for an air compressor, this Porter-Cable pancake compressor is my recommendation for you. The Porter-Cable company is a well-known maker of air compressors ranging from 1 gallon to 80 gallons and their equipment is used by roofers and framers.

When I saw what was being offered on Amazon, I didn’t hesitate. Even if you only use it once in the fall and once in the summer, you’ll get your money’s worth over the years.

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