Porter Cable PCFP02003 Pancake Compressor Review

Finding a perfect air compressor for your needs can be a daunting task considering the ton of options available at your fingertips. But Porter-Cable is renowned for its superior products and the PCFP02003 pancake style compressor simply follows suit.

Air compressors are used to power a wide range of pneumatic tools so it is important you don’t skimp on costs in return for low quality.

The PCFP02003 Porter-Cable compressor is just that, a powerful tool that is not only portable, easy to use, but also delivered efficient power for air tools.

PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 Pancake Compressor Review.












Various Applications

The PCFP02003 air compressor model is an ideal appliance for repair, renovation as well as light commercial needs and provides smooth air power to pneumatic tools over longer work periods.

Whether you use the PCFP02003 compressor for inflating tires of powering tools, it will run for extended periods thanks to its spectacular recovery time.

Good Value for Money and it Delivers a Punch

Listed at an affordable price and much below its close rivals, the Porter-Cable PCFP02003 compressor tool delivers a maximum 135 PSI and is equipped with a 120 volt motor, making it great for cold weather operation.

With regards to the motor, it is fitted with quick couplers for speedy connections and just like all Porter-Cable air appliances boasts quick recovery time.

Low Sound Levels

The PCFP02003 compressor is rather quiet and emits noise levels of no more than 82dBA, which is about average for its size and segment. The noise levels are so low that the compressor can even work indoors.


Weighing in at just 26 lbs, the PCFP02003 pneumatic tool air compressor is extremely portable and easy to transport across work sites.

Take Note

It is important to note that the compressor tank is not shielded with a roll cage so trips to commercial sites may be risky. The tank is set in a vertical position resulting in less space to store the compressor and its pancake footprint makes it compact and eliminates the burden that is often experience with power tools.

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Highlights of the PCFP02003 Pancake Style Compressor

  • 135 Psi pressure and 3.5 gallon capacity tank for quick recovery and longer runtime
  • Provides support for pneumatic tools simultaneously
  • Low amp 120 volt motor along with extension cord allows the unit to start easily in cold weather
  • No-maintenance oil free pump for enhanced durability
  • Portable design
  • Weights just 26 lbs

Design and Features of the PCFP02003 Compressor

Compact Design

The PCFP02003 air tool compressor is compact enough to fit into most passenger vehicles and won’t take up much valuable space in the back of your RV. It may come across as a heavy unit upon first glance, but is equipped with leg mounts that make it sturdy for most environments.

However, it is highly recommended that you set the unit on a rubber mat to avoid any movements especially on slippery surface such as boat decks and polished concrete.

The Gauges

The PCFP02003 Porter-Cable 3.5 gallon power tool compressor is appointed with easy to read gauges, making it easy to use where you simply need to plug it in, switch in one and you’re its ready for the workday.

The gauges are rather large but clearly marked compared to the size of the unit, a good thing of course especially if you’re working in low light conditions. The gauges are configured to indicate stored tank pressure and outlet pressure.

The Regulator

Adding to its list of appointments, the large size regulator located in front of the gauges is easy to access and use, and allows you to adjust the PSI level depending on the air tool you wish to power with the compressor. Just ensure that you have read the owner’s manual of the specific air tool and use the right pressure level in order to avoid any damage.

Dual Feed Connectors to Power Up Two Tools Simultaneously 

The PCFP02003 nail gun compressor is fitted with two quick connectors that connect with one outlet, which allow you to run two power tools simultaneously. But it is worth noting that you will enjoy more power and top notch efficiency by running just one connector and one pneumatic power tool.

Low Maintenance

The PCFP02003 power tool air appliance is easy to maintain or better yet requires no maintenance whatsoever thanks to its oil free pump design. But if you’d like to prolong the longevity of the compressor, it is highly recommended that you drain the tank after each use to eliminate condensation that can result in corrosion and may cause permanent damage to the compressor.

The correct procedure to drain the tank of the PCFP02003 nailer compressor is to reduce the pressure to roughly 60 PSI, tilt the unit towards the drain valve that is located underneath the compressor and drain the accumulated moisture. Let the unit rest in tilted position until there are no signs of moisture.

Sparse Packaging

The PCFP02003 Porter-Cable Compressor arrives sparsely packages which is something that is expected from its low price. Good news is that accessories such as ¼ inch adapters are easily available and inexpensive to connect the compressor with pneumatic tools.

Using the PCFP02003 Compressor

As mentioned earlier, the PCFP02003 pneumatic tool compressor arrives short of a few accessories that are essential to connect it with power tools. Accessories that you do receive are a female threaded ¼ inch coupler among others.

Extras That You Will Need to Get

This simply means that you need to shop around for the essential accessories, which is not such a big issue after all considering they are all available from the same place you’re buying the PCFP02003 compressor.

To connect the compressor with any pneumatic power too, you will need a pneumatic tool compatible hose, one male and one female 1/4 “ couplers, and some telflon tape to secure the quick connects.

You can simply invest in a brass connector set for your fitting requirements, which can be sourced online or at your local hardware store.

Now – Getting Started

Once you’ve gathered all the fittings, take the hose and screw the male coupler to one end and female coupler to the other, and then plug in a male quick connect to your power tools such as impact wrench, nailer, air ratchet, tire inflator, etc. With regards to power, technically the PCFP02003 compressor will render 2.0 SCFM @ 90 PSI, where the maximum pressure is capped at 135 PSI.

Once the compressor is switched on, it can achieve it can go from zero pressure to the maximum pressure of 135 Psi within just two minutes. The 3.5 gallon tank is not much, but the compressor of the PCFP02003 is designed for quick recovery or restored to maximum capacity in just two minutes.

Take note that because the low capacity and the portable design of the PCFP02003 compressor, you can expect it to turn much more frequently during use. To give you an idea of the air capacity of the 3.5 gallon tank and how far it will go, when fully loaded, it will let you inflate air into eight vehicle tires without stopping or struggling in any way, which is rather impressive for a tank of its size.

It’ll Handle Most Pneumatic Driven Power Tools

If you want to know what the PCFP02003 compressor can and can’t handle, simply refer to the SCFM (Standard Cubic Feet per Minute) requirement of the power tool.

Any pneumatic tool available in the market will be labeled with this number, which varies across power tools. Small pneumatic tools such as a finish or brad nailer will most probably have a 1-2 SCFM requirement, which means that the PCFP02003 compressor is a perfect match.

Built in the USA

The PCFP02003 compressor is made in the USA and mostly crafted of high quality metal with a few rubber components. The only real area of concern after reading pneumatic tool compressor reviews is the small plastic part of the regulator assembly, where steel or aluminum might have served better.

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Reasons to buy the PCFP02003 Compressor

  • Easy and convenient to start with a dedicated switch
  • Lightweight design and superior portability
  • Durable and tough aluminum casing enhance service life
  • Quick recovery time of just two minutes
  • Oil free operation offers easy maintenance
  • 3.5 gallon tank capacity is just enough to power most small pneumatic tools

Cons of the PCFP02003 Compressor

  • Emits low sound when used but considerably less than other similar compressors

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Final Thoughts

The PCFP02003 pneumatic compressor is a great appliance for novice as well seasoned renovation professionals, and arrives with all the necessary features to make your project a success.

It has received great reviews from several customers so if you’re looking for an air compressor that won’t disappoint you on the field, the PCFP02003 tool compressor is a great choice.

Check it out!