Home Air Compressor Reviews PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 3.5-Gallon 135 PSI Pancake Review

PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 3.5-Gallon 135 PSI Pancake Review

This nice looking Porter-Cable unit is a low-priced option for those that don’t want to break the bank but want to get started with a couple of low to medium sized projects. It has SCFM delivered at 90 PSI, thankfully with a spacious 3.5-gallon tank so you have more time to finish your job without waiting for it to recover. The max 135 PSI is pretty decent for the size, with an oil-free pump that will keep you in business for a very long time without having to worry about maintenance issues. It uses a standard 120-V motor but the unit won’t get overtaxed like some older models tend to do. The entire weight of the air compressor is just 26 pounds total for easy portability.

The quick coupler option is included so you have easy access to regulated air while the decent 82 dBA won’t deafen you. The unit works great for small framing/roofing jobs, multiple trim finishing nailers, general inflation and blowing up toys and hobby equipment. The amperage capacity is only 10 amps rather than the usual 12, so don’t worry about overtaxing your circuit breaker when starting this up. For protection you’ll have a 1-year limited warranty on compressor components, not super useful so early after you purchase. If something does go wrong you have a great customer support team — one of the best in the business — to take care of your issue. There are no major complaints about this air compressor, as it does the job it is intended to do well without any problems. When you factor in the price of the model it really is a bargain for both beginners and people looking for a replacement.

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Power

This is another unit that suffers from being a bit underpowered, but since there is only 1 quick connect coupler it is not as big of a deal as a unit that promotes using two tools simultaneously. The HP sits at about .8 but the low amp draw of 10 is a plus, which, if you look around your house, is almost half that of several common household appliances. The piston pump type it uses is a bit undervalued at this point in the market but it’s that same pump type that’s responsible for the lack of power. It still can be used error-free with blow cleaning, bolting/wrenching, air brushing, brad nailing/stapling, finish nailing, and hobby painting.

Read Also: DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor

There aren’t a lot of single-stage ETL-approved air compressors for such great value. The recovery time is pretty decent, although it could stand to be a bit better. But since Porter-Cable opted for a 3.5-gallon tank rather than a measly 1.5 gallons, you’re already off to a great start. Check out the owners manual to get a better idea of some of the great projects you can do with this unit and you’ll be surprised with what it supports.

Noise Level

There have been some moderate complaints about the noise level of the unit as well as the vibration (the “feedback”) when it’s in use. At 82 dBA it’s on the higher end of air compressor noise levels, especially when it rattles convulsively. The surface that the unit is sitting on plays a big part in this and can make the noise level worse when you have to work for long periods of time. You want a steady surface that prevents the unit from moving around too much. If you look at the two gauges on the unit you can pretty much see when it’s going to be the noisiest. It’s easy to hear it through walls and it’s safe to say that people nearby might be a little bit irritated depending on the setup.

Extras

Th unit doesn’t really have a handle, it is more of a groove, which isn’t really comfortable for carrying the machine from place to place. It also has an unusual design meaning that storage options might be limited depending on where you want to put it in your workspace. There is no cage design or protection for the gauges at all, so you’re going to have to be extra careful when you use this unit in a crowded area. This particular unit is not recommended for use in crowded areas, unless you want to take advantage of that limited warranty sooner rather than later. Put it in a stationary position away from everything and everyone else to keep it as safe as possible. Crafty users will be able to create their own protection for this unit, so that’s always an option.

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Summary

This air compressor was made from the ground up for the home user and it works great just as that: a consistent and reliable home-use air compressor. There aren’t any remarkable features or extras that will blow you away, just wonderful quality and a decent amount of power to get you through just about all of your home projects. The red and black is aesthetically pleasing, a professional touch that personifies the Porter-Cable brand. Professionals should probably avoid this model since there are more powerful choices to pick from. For everyone else, this is a prime air compressor that will pay for itself within the first month of use.