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The Porter Cable Pancake Compressor Review (PCFP02003) – The Best Pancake Compressor Perhaps?

So you’re in the market for a new air compressor are you? Pancake compressors are not really edible in anyway, the pancake refers to the shape of the tank where your newly compressed air is stored.

The Porter-Cable PCFPO2003 is one of the most lauded pancake models on the market. So if you’re interested as to why this is such a popular model, even without so much as a sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon or a sausage patty in sight, just read on.

AN OVERVIEW - The Porter Cable PCFP02003 Pancake Compressor

porter-cable_pcfp02003_35-gallon_135_psi_pancake_compressor
  • CFM: 2 at 90 PSI
  • PSI: 135 PSI
  • Power Source: low amp 120v electrical motor
  • Weight: 81 pounds
  • Size: 18 x 17 x 18 inches
  • Warranty: One year

What We Love

DIY equipment always needs to be easily stored and the neat 18 x 17 x 18 dimensions of the PCFP2003 mean that after a hard day’s DIY you can store it with no fuss in a cupboard or under the stairs. Weighing in at just 26 pounds, it is also easily moved from wherever it’s stored to wherever it’s needed around the home without needing an army of helpers.

However, don’t be fooled by the apparent lightweight nature of the PCF02003. For many home DIY applications such as framing or small roofing the motor and tank combined provide more than enough compressed air. Even for more specialised DIY activities such as furniture repairs it will keep up with demand.

​The 120 volt electric motor is also a benefit. It has a low amperage which means that you are unlikely to trip out your electricity supply every time your pancake tank needs refilling when you are working on larger tasks such as nailing a roof or wall panels.

The motor also features a clever oil free design – perfect for home use as there is no need to check and top up oil levels.


What We Dont Love

Shhhh!!!! After a period of prolonged use, the noise levels produced whenever the tank is refilling might be a bit tough to live with. At 82dB, the motor won’t deafen you and you won’t need to wear ear protectors but it might just get on your pip a tad.

So, if you’ve got sensitive neighbours you may need to rule out early morning or late evening work in the garage or workshop for the sake of a quiet life – in more ways than one. If this sounds like you, take a look at our quiet air compressor reviews and ratings right here.

Strangely, the compressor comes with connectors to support two devices simultaneously. However, this can be a bit misleading as the smaller tank size just may not be enough to support multiple air tools. If you do want to run multiple tools it would be worth checking out the ratings to see if the PCFP2003 is powerful enough.​


The Verdict

Best Suited For

For most DIYers who want a no fuss plug in and away you go compressor, this really is one of the best pancake compressors on the market. The 3.5 gallon tank contains enough air and the 2 cubic feet per minute (CFM) at 90 pounds per square inch (PSI) will drive the majority of tools you’re most likely to need if you want to keep the home up together.

On the nose specifications and performance – just what you’ll be looking for.

Not So Great For

It’s also worth remembering that despite the awesome performance stats, there are some tasks that the PCFP02003 is just not beefy enough for. High demand tasks such as spraying or grinding are not really viable with this machine due to the relatively small tank capacity.


Not really powerful enough for heavy duty air needs


A great way to spend your readies of you want to up your DIY capabilities. Just remember to research the air ratings of your tools and check to see if the PCF02003 will be powerful enough. If it does, you’d be hard pushed to find a better compressor.

Its hard to beat in terms of Pancake compressors – light, portable and powerful. 4.5 out of 5 Stars