Review: DeWalt 6 Gallon Pancake Compressor

Are you looking for a fairly quiet air compressor for an interior project that needs to be completed? Would you like to own an air compressor that can be used virtually anywhere, start in almost any environment, and even work fairly well with extension cords? Then you’ll want to take a look at the DeWalt 6 gallon pancake air compressor.

This air compressor delivers a maximum 165 PSI with its oversized 6 gallon tank. You’ll receive 2.6 SCFM delivered at 90 PSI with the oil-less high efficiency motor that starts well even if the temperature dips below freezing. When measuring decibels at 3-6 feet, we found the 75.5 dB rating to be right on the mark.

How Does the DeWalt 6 Gallon Pancake Compressor Perform? 

Unlike other air compressors in this category, we found this DeWalt model does a really good job of working consistently with most air tools. This is because it has a high flow regulator and couplers equipped to the unit so that any air tool can receive a maximized performance. We didn’t have any problems using any of our air tools designed for at-home use.

Our favorite use for this air compressor is for interior design work. Door trim goes up ridiculously fast when you’re using this air tool. The finishing nails get placed where you want them to be without the hammer damage or splintering you get from other tools. This allows you to fill that nail hole with a minimum amount of putty for a seamless look.

We’ve also used this compressor with air tools to repair a door jamb, install pressed-wood counter top, and put in flooring. The bottom line is this: the DeWalt 6 gallon pancake air compressor isn’t going to replace a contractor-grade product, but it comes pretty close to it.

Our Issue with the DeWalt Drain Valve 

This DeWalt pancake compressor uses a ball drain valve to help you make sure any water compressed out of the air and stuck in the tank can be removed. For the most part, the valve does the job pretty well. You just need to make sure you kind of “tip” the tank so that the water can drain out.

This is where the oversized design of the pancake tank is a little bit of a disadvantage. The curve of the tank “traps” water as you are draining it, so without tipping it out, there’s a little water that always stays in there and that can lead to a premature failure of the unit.

The ball drain valve also has the tendency to open on its own from time to time thanks to the vibration of the air compressor while it is filling the tank. The rubber leg covers are a nice addition to help reduce this problem and limit marring of your ground surface, but you’ll want to place the unit on a surface that can absorb vibrations even more if at all possible. We used a rubber floor mat with success.

Overall we have no problem recommending this 30 pound DeWalt 6 gallon pancake air compressor for general use. As long as you take care of it, we have found that it will take care of you as well.

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