Pancake Vs Hotdog Air Compressor: 4 Comparisons Need To Know

Photo of author
Written By Scott Angel

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur pulvinar ligula augue quis venenatis. 

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

When it comes to selecting the appropriate air compressor for small residential jobs, people often wonder which one is better between pancake and hotdog. The truth is both compressors are different from each other. In that sense, I will take you through the uses of both compressors. This will give you a clear picture of which one is best suited for your projects.

What Is A Pancake Compressor?

The pancake compressor earned its name from the saucer-like design. This compressor is popular mostly because it is portable and comes with attractive features. For starters, it has the stability you cannot find in the other portable compressors.

It is the ideal machine for roofing jobs, inflating tires and other small projects. Many people prefer this particular compressor because of its lightweight design that makes it easy to carry. Furthermore, it makes storage convenient because it takes very limited space.

Also, pancake air compressors consist of an oil-free pump. This allows for easy maintenance.

Pancake Air Compressor Pros

  • It has a tank pressure that ensures more air for a long time.
  • It ensures quick compressor recovery.
  • It has an oil free pump which means less maintenance and longer life.

Pancake Air Compressor Cons

  • You need to invest more money for the accessory kit.

Pancake Air Compressor

dewalt DWFP55126 6 Gallon pancake air compressor kit

No products found.

Key Features

  • Power: Battery or car adapter
  • Capacity: 6 gallon
  • Maximum Pressure: 165 Psi
  • Noise Level: 75.5 dBA
  • Item Weight: 30 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 17.2 x 16.6 x 20.1 inches
  • Warranty: 1 year
No products found.

What Is Hotdog Air Compressor?

The hotdog air compressor shares the same attributes with the pancake style only that this one weighs a bit more. It also has a bulky design which can pose some storage challenges. All said and done, they are compact enough to take up a reasonable amount of space.

Many of the hotdog models have oil-lubed pumps. However, there are some others which are oil-free. If you don’t mind the maintenance which comes with oil-lubed hotdog compressors, then you can go for such a model.

Another thing is hotdog compressors mostly shake when operating. For this reason, you might want to look for a machine with rubber feet. Similarly, they are typically louder than the pancake styles. These are just a few of the things you should put into consideration.

Hotdog Air Compressor Pros

  • Less expensive.
  • Upgrading is easy.
  • Broad selection of power options.
  • They are very powerful.

Hotdog Air Compressor Cons

  • Not very portable.
  • Have issues when transport to a remote distance.

Hot Dog Air Compressor

Senco PC1010 Hot Dog Air Compressor

No products found.

Key Features

  • Power: Electric-powered
  • Capacity: 1 Gallons
  • Item Weight: 20 pounds
  • Noise level: 68 dBA
  • Dimensions: 14 x 13 x 10 inches
  • Warranty: 1 year
No products found.

Common Uses: Pancake Vs Hotdog

Air Brushing And Painting

Air brushing depends on the viscosity of paint. Take for instance, the golden airbrush colors. They normally work with a fixed nozzle and low viscosity paints. The oil-less compressors are more suitable in this case. On the other hand, textile colors or a floating nozzle works best with oil-lubed compressors. This is because they have more power.

Inflating Tires

I would say that both models will inflate tires really well. However, if you are looking for efficiency then the hotdog type is the best fit. On the other hand, those people concerned about noise pollution will be more content with pancake compressors. Additionally, the pancake compressor is the best for inflation jobs.

Brad Nailing And Stapling

Both compressors are great for brad nailing and stapling. In that regard, the air delivery may be an important factor. When it comes to pancake air compressors, the waiting time needed to reach maximum pressure may be longer.

The oil-lubed hotdog compressor has a more consistent delivery power. You might have to compromise on a few things in order to get the efficiency you need. Keep in mind, oil-lubed compressors can be very noisy.

How To Choose: Pancake Vs Hotdog Air Compressor

Both the pancake and hotdog compressors are suitable for small home renovation jobs and DIY project. The problem comes when it’s time to choose between the two compressor types.  Here are some tips to help make the process less daunting;

Table could not be displayed.

Consider The CFM

CFM is the amount of air the compressor can supply at a time. It is actually the first deciding factor. If the air supply is not enough, you may have to stop working and allow the compressor some time to catch up.

Tank Size

A larger tank is better because it holds more air. In this regard, the hotdog compressor may hold more air. Usually they are a bit larger than the pancake. However, the tank size is no match for adequate cfm.

Noise Level

People who want a quieter and peaceful work environment may have to consider the pancake style compressor. Most models make very little noise. On the other hand, the hotdog style compressors can be a bit loud.


Very few people are actually comfortable with carrying out frequent maintenance. I mentioned earlier that many of the hotdog models are oil-lubed. For this reason, they require more maintenance. The pancake compressors are mostly oil-less.

Unlike the pancake, oil-lubed hotdog compressors come with more power and efficiency. Depending on your needs, you will have to decide on what to compromise.


The pancake vs hotdog air compressor both have attractive features. Similarly, they are all great for small tasks. The choice you make entirely depends on your preferences.

Leave a Comment