Porter-Cable PCFP02003 Pancake Compressor Review

Porter-Cable PCFP02003 Pancake Compressor

When you are choosing an air compressor, it is imperative that you choose one that will help you to achieve the task that you have at hand with minimal hassles. The Porter-Cable PCFP02003 is one of such best units. The air compressor has been designed to be easy to use and to run a handful of air tools. Needless to say, it is perfect for household repairs and makeover drives. And while we can go on and on claiming how good an air compressor this unit is, do not take our word for it. Below is a detailed review of what this compressor has to offer.

Porter-Cable PCFP02003 Pancake Compressor Review

#1. Technical Features


The Porter-Cable PCFP02003 is powered by a low amp 120V motor. The motor on this unit has the ability to generate a whopping 0.8 HP. With regards to the air delivery supplied, the unit has the ability to deliver 2.0 SCFM at 90 PSI which is more than sufficient for simple air tools designed for home use.

Smaller pneumatic tools require anything between 0 and 5 SCFM. And given that the air density will change with the temperature and the pressure, the SCFM is the preferred comparison rating between air compressors.

The Hitachi EC510, Husky BS1003, and the Powermate VPP1080318 are some models available and that provide 2SCFM at 90 PSI. Each of these individual units has varying pros and cons but with regards to the price, this Porter-Cable PCFP02003 is by far the most cost efficient.

More to this, the unit can deliver a whopping 135 PSI at maximum though you still will find some units like the Porter-Cable C2002-WK with even larger tank pressures of 150 PSI. Many air compressors are, however, designed to operate between 90 and 100 PSI.

Now, while it is easy to get through the day with this unit, it does not mean that the Porter-Cable PCFP02003 is an industrial solution. The manufacturer recommends about 50-70% of average duty cycle. This is to mean that you should not have the compressor running continuously for more than 45 minutes. The maximum and ideal run time for every cycle is 30 minutes.


Being a portable air compressor, it is expected that this unit will be lightweight. And true to its labeling, this unit weighs just 26 pounds. This makes the unit highly portable and even better, the unit comes with a recessed handle at its top which compliments the light weight design and increases the portability of the unit.

The unit features a top-heavy design although it comes with leg mountings which help to make the unit sturdy while in use. The 26 pounds is impressive in comparison to the 34 pounds the Porter-Cable C2002-WK comes packing. But in its defense, the weight is largely due to its larger tank capacity.


The unit has a tank capacity of 3.5 gallons which is enough for a portable pancake tank air compressor. It is worth noting that most air compressors in the same price range as the Porter-Cable PCFP02003 such as the Campbell Hausfeld FP2028 and the PowerPro 22010 both sport smaller tank capacities.

The dimensions of the product are 18.1 x 17.2 x 18.5 inches. This compact design further complements the portable nature of the air compressor.


Reading consumer reviews, you will notice that there is a slight complaint with regards to the noise levels and vibrations as well. At 82 decibels, the noise level rating is surely on the higher side. But even as this is the case, it is worth noting that the surface you place the unit on plays a very big role in the amount of noise produced. A flat steady surface, one that is somewhat padded will work to absorb most of the vibrations and in the process the noise.

#2. Other Features

  • Hose Outlet: There are two quick connectors that come connected to the outlet of the air compressor hose. These allow you to run two pneumatic tools simultaneously. However, even when Porter Cable has made this possible, it is worth noting that the Porter-Cable PCFP02003 will only achieve maximum efficiency when running a single air tool. The connectors are the standard female types and as such will perfectly fit with the male quick connectors.
  • Oil-free pump: this feature gives this compressor a maintenance free card. There is, however, precaution to be taken for the unit to have a long life. After using the tank, be sure to drain it completely so as to eliminate any condensation that may cause corrosion and failure in the long run.
  • Automatic Switch: this stops the motor when the tank pressures hit the cut out settings. Complementing this switch is a safety valve designed to prevent the unusual pressure build up in the tank. The safety valve releases air from the tank when the cut out settings are achieved.

#3. Accessories

This Porter-Cable PCFP02003 is sparsely packaged and for the price that it comes at, it should not be surprising that the unit does not come including accessories. And though it would be nice to have an air hose, this is not exactly a deal breaker for the unit. An industry standard 0.25 inch industrial quick connect can be perfect to mate the accessories to this unit.

#4. Price

This unit is quite affordable. But when compared to other units that have larger tank capacities and potentially more features like the Bostitch BTFP02012 which is a 6 gallon unit and comes with higher air pressure (150 PSI) and goes for the same price, the affordable Porter-Cable PCFP02003 price suddenly does not feel like a bargain.

Supporting the Porter-Cable PCFP02003 price is the construction from a high-quality and durable material that increases the longevity of the unit. Along with this, you will have the unit with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer as proof of the confidence that they have in the product.

#5. Pros/Cons


  • Superior portability and lightweight design
  • Durable and tough aluminum casing for prolonged life and service
  • Quick recovery time in just under two minutes
  • Oil free operation needing easy maintenance
  • 3.5 gallons tank capacity enough to power most midsized and small air tools
  • Convenient and fast to start with the dedicated switch


  • Emits low sound when in use but this is considerably lower than most compressors in its range
  • The top heavy design at times tends to reduce the stability of the compressor

Who Should Buy?

This air compressor was designed and constructed with the home user in mind. What is even more impressive is the fact that the unit works just great, is consistent not to mention, reliable. With this unit, there may not be many features or additions that might blow your mind away but the quality and the decent amount of power sufficient for all your home projects is impressive enough.

Last Updated on January 19, 2019 by Tom Bradly

Our Score
Tom Bradly

My entrepreneurial journey started in 2006, when I dropped out of university. I wanted to work with my hands, to build things. Now I mix my background with computers with my first-hand experience with woodworking to provide insights into the tools I like best. I love everything about woodworking and have been building stuff for over 20 years of my life. I hope to pass some knowledge and expertise. See more at TomBradly.com

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