Porter Cable Air Compressor Review

Porter-cable is a reliable brand among DIY contractors and seasonal handymen for producing the most powerful yet portable air compressor. Instead of going on reputation, checking some Porter Cable air compressor reviews will be a smart decision to have the most appropriate model for a certain task. Thus, after spending hours researching, we have reviewed some of the best portable cable air compressors.

Handyman’s pick: Top 7 Porter Cable Air Compressor Reviews

These air compressors are different in size and capability, and they are intended for a unique purpose. But all the compressors are quiet, versatile, easier to use, require less maintenance, and especially fit into the budget.

You can have the most suitable porter cable air compressor for your work site and enjoy improved performance. Despite a full guide and review includes some handy tips for using a Porter Cable air compressor, a buying guide, and some pros and cons for informed choice.

Top Porter Cable Air Compressor

PORTER CABLE 3.5 Gallon Pancake Compressor

PORTER CABLE 3.5 Gallon Pancake Compressor

  • This portable air compressor has a strong oil-free pump for longer service without maintenance.
  • It is designed with a low-amp 120V motor for a quick start-up even in cold weather.
  • This lightweight air compressor can deliver 2 CFM at 90 PSI to run plenty of air tools conveniently.
  • This pancake-style air compressor has three rubber-sealed feet for improved stability.
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If you are looking for a higher capacity porter cable air compressor without compromising with portability, this PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 Pancake Compressor is the way to go. With only 26 pounds, this pancake air compressor has a robust handle molded into the electric motor housing to allow it to be carried easily. Comes in a compact design with a fully assembled, it’s a ready-to-go air compressor that can be placed behind the truck seat for easy transport.

If you consider the power and performance, this porter cable pancake air compressor will once again impress you. This compressor features 135 max PSI with a 3.5-gallon air tank and a 120V motor. Combine these features, this portable air compressor ensures easy start-up in cold weather while being able to run lots of air tools for different projects, including inflating, blowing, and framing jobs.

  • This porter cable air compressor is suitable for light to medium-duty jobs with its 135 max PSI and 3.5-gallon tank. It requires minor installation and maintenance while offering longer service. The air compressor is lightweight, portable, and includes a 1-year warranty.

  • The air compressor is a bit loud and the tank pressure gauge may start leaking after a couple of months.

Runner Up

PORTER CABLE 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor

PORTER CABLE 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor

  • This portable air compressor has a 6-gallon air tank with 150 mas PSI for a longer air tool run time.
  • The porter cable air compressor can deliver 2.6 SCFM @ 90 psi to ensure quicker recovery time and efficiently run through the air tools.
  • This pancake air compressor has a handle, a console cover, and rubber feet for improved stability and portability.
  • Design with an oil-free pump and two regulated air couplers, this compressor can run two air tools at a time while needing less maintenance.
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Perhaps you understand the reason for adding this PORTER-CABLE C2002 air compressor to our list if you have already read the previous Porter-Cable air compressor review. This PORTER-CABLE compressor will be suitable for the DIYer who wants improved stability, portability as well as performance. Compared to the previous model, this porter cable air compressor includes a 6-gallon air tank, obviously pancake style, 150 PSI air pressure, 2.6 SCFM at 90 psi delivering ability.

More importantly, this Porter Cable 6 gallon air compressor has two regulated air couplers to double up the productivity. Though the manufacturer may have increased its performance ability, it didn’t sacrifice the compressors, stability, portability, and lighter weight. It’s only a 30 pound weight compressor that has a shroud, handle, and console cover to protect it for easier portability, keeping the vital parts safe.

  • This lightweight and portable air compressor will increase productivity with a higher tank size, max psi, and two air couplers. Besides, it needs less maintenance, is easy to start in cold climate, and includes a 1-year warranty.

  • The user may need ear protection while operating this compressor and its drain valve is cheesy. But replacing the valve will solve the problem.

Best 20 Gallon

PORTER CABLE 20 Gallon Air Compressor

PORTER CABLE 20 Gallon Air Compressor

  • This porter cable air compressor is designed with a fully enclosed shroud to keep the vital components protected.
  • Constructed with a Twin-V cast iron pump and steel air tank for improved durability.
  • This Porter Cable 20 gallon air compressor has a 1.5 HP motor and a 50 max PSI for longer runtime.
  • Design with rubber feet and thicker, semi-pneumatic wheels to enhance stability and mobility and fit in tight spaces.
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Next, we have a PORTER-CABLE 20-Gallon air compressor that will ensure consistent air tool operation. In particular, this vertical porter cable air compressor comes with an oil-free 1.5 HP induction motor for improved performance. The motor also has a low starting torque to allow it to start at low voltage.

The air compressor may be a bit heavy to pull out due to its 97-pound weight, but it won’t be difficult to move, thanks to its 7″ semi-pneumatic wheels and built-in handles. Apart from these, this Porter Cable 20 gallon air compressor can produce 4.0 CFM at 90 psi to tackle any project, including painting, nailing, wrenching, and inflating.

  • The air compressor is available at a reasonable price and is made of solid construction, a high-performing motor, and a larger air tank. Plus, it’s a portable air compressor that doesn’t vibrate and is heated.

  • The shipping service isn’t supportive and someone didn’t receive wheels while the other didn’t receive handles. Its warranty information is misleading.

Best 30 Gallon

Porter Cable 30 Gallon Portable Air Compressor

Porter Cable 30 Gallon Portable Air Compressor

  • This single-stage air compressor is constructed with cast iron parts and an aluminum head for durable and long-lasting service.
  • It’s a vertical Porter Cable air compressor that has a built in wheel for easier portability and storage in tight spaces.
  • The air compressor can deliver 5.3 CFM at 90 psi with its 135 max air pressure and 1.6 HP motor for convenient service.
  • Design with a Dual voltage induction motor this porter cable compressor can connect to a standard outlet.
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This Porter-Cable PXCMLC1683066 Air Compressor is the best 30-gallon air compressor available in the market. This air compressor has plenty of impressive features compared to the other 30-gallon air compressor brands. Firstly, the compressor can produce 5.3 CFM at 90 psi to run through any air tool efficiently, thanks to its 16 HP oil-lubricated Dual Voltage motor and 135 max PSI pressure.

Despite, this Porter Cable 30 gallon air compressor is constructed with a cast iron cylinder, crankcase, and aluminium head for increased durability. Even this portable air compressor comes in full assembly with a switch for ease of use.

  • The air compressor is available at a decent price, is made of cart iron parts, and includes a heavy-duty and powerful motor. Besides, it has a larger tank size and a power switch for convenient and longer run time.

  • The air compressor will require a bit more maintenance due to its oil-lubricated pump. Plus, it doesn’t have a foot, so stability can be a big issue.

60 Gallon Tank

Porter Cable 60 Gallon Air Compressor

Porter Cable 60 Gallon Air Compressor

  • This Porter-Cable air compressor features a cast iron twin cylinder and an oil-lubricated pump to endure high pressure.
  • The air compressor vibrates as it has a thermally stable cast iron cylinder body.
  • Design with a 240-volt induction motor for optimal performance and efficiency.
  • With a 3.7 HP motor, this Porter Cable 60-gallon air compressor can deliver 11.5 CFM at 90 psi for extreme performance.
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If you want an air compressor for a longer run time with extreme performance, try this Porter Cable 60 Gallon Stationary Air Compressor. It’s a heavy-duty air compressor that is suitable for running any tough air tool efficiently, including impacts, hammers, and spray. Despite the larger tank, this porter cable air compressor is equipped with a 3.7 HP motor that can deliver 11.5 CFM at 90 psi.

This means, using this Porter-Cable air compressor, you will have a quicker recovery time with extreme power to handle any heavy-duty compressed air task. Most of the vital parts of this porter cable 60 gallon air compressor are made of cast iron and aluminium to withstand any extreme job site.

  • The air compressor is available at a relatively lower price and includes a higher HP motor, cast iron construction, and larger air tank capacity. Besides, it’s a stable air compressor that has a power switch and pressure gauge for ease of use.

  • The compressor doesn’t include a power cord and other extra parts to hook up. Plus, it requires a 230-volt power outlet, which can be an issue.

Big 80 Gallon Tank

Porter Cable 80 gallon Two Stage Air Compressor

Porter Cable 80 gallon Two Stage Air Compressor

  • This Porter-Cable 80 gallon air compressor is a versatile item that can be operated both by gas and electricity.
  • It’s a stable air compressor that won’t vibrate much, even running with a 5 HP motor and 175 PSI pressure.
  • This commercial-grade two-stage air compressor has an integrated system panel for improved control over the machine.
  • Its powerful motor is designed with a thermal overload protection system to prevent voltage fluctuations.
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If you are a professional DIYer and want a heavy-duty air compressor to accommodate the highest demand at your job site, pick up this Porter Cable 80 Gallon Air Compressor. Despite the massive air tank, this vertical porter cable air compressor has a 5 HP motor with a thermal overload protection system to endure extreme pressure without causing voltage fluctuations.

Another impressive feature includes a piston design patented pump to ensure a cooler running machine providing continuous compression. With 170 max PSI and 17.9 CFM at 100 PSI, this heavy-duty 80 gallon 2 stage air compressor will operate a wide variety of air tools for a long time efficiently. The compressor may cost a bit more, but it will be a one-time investment to enjoy the reliable compressed air service for years.  

  • This heavy-duty air compressor is suitable for professional handymen to use on a tough job site to handle the highest demand. The compressor is highly powerful, versatile, easier to use, and comes in a vertical design to fit in small spaces.

  • The user has to check and check the oil regularly and may not be suitable for home use for loud operation.

Twin Stack

Porter Cable Twin Stack Air Compressor

Porter Cable Twin Stack Air Compressor

  • This Twin stack air compressor is constructed with a cast-iron cylinder and ball-type drain valve for enhanced durability and easier tank draining.
  • With a 1.1 induction motor and oil-lubricated pump, the air compressor can deliver 3.4 SCFM @ 90 PSI to operate different types of air tools.
  • The compressor requires 120-volt power outlets, thus making it easier to run at any job site.
  • Design with a cold start valve, pressure switch, and regulator for quicker start-up and accurate pressure adjustment.
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We would like to end our Porter Cable air compressor review with this Porter-Cable Twin Stack Air Compressor.  With a unique look and easier portability, this Porter-Cable twin tank air compressor will be a versatile addition to any job site. More importantly, this compressor has plenty of user-friend features, including a cold start valve, quality pressure switch, and regulator. Combine these features, the operator will have a quicker and easier start-up and precise pressure for efficient air tools operation.

Not only that the compressor has a Roll-cage style handle and two wide rubber feet for better stability and easier carrying opportunity. For powerful performance, this porter cable air gets a 1.1 HP induction motor, oil-lubricated pump, and 4-gallon air tanks with 135 max PSI.

  • It’s a unique-looking, stable, and portable air compressor from the Porter-Cable brand that is suitable for both garage and home use. The air compressor is extremely easy to use and powerful enough to handle plenty of air tools.

  • The air compressor doesn’t include a user manual and its pressure regular is a bit hard to adjust to the first time.

Factors to pick Porter Cable Air Compressor

The following are some certain features that you should look for while buying the Porter-Cable air compressor:

Digital Display

For a better experience of adjusting air pressure, pick the Porter-Cable model that has a digital display. It will let the user know the exact pressure more clearly and adjust it based on the compressed air task and tool requirements.

Power Source

If the air compressor isn’t compatible with the power source available in your worksite or garage, it will be useless. As a result, before selecting any of the portable air compressors, ensure that they are compatible with our current power source. However, you can skip this difficulty by picking a model with a built-in battery. It may cost a bit more, but it will keep you away from sticking with the power source.

Power Cord

Don’t ignore the power cord of the air compressor as getting the lengthy one can increase the compressor versatility. Conversely, it would be frustrating if the power cord doesn’t reach the car for inflating the tire.

PSI and duty circle

The PSI level of a portable air compressor varies depending on the model, size, and intended purpose. So consider your project requirements to pick the right type of air compressor with the desired PSI.

Conversely, having a porter cable compressor with a 100% duty circle won’t interrupt the project more often for refilling the air tank.

Pump Type

Porter-cable offers both oil-less and oil-lubricated type pumps with their air compressor.

While oil-less pumps require less maintenance and are ideal for light to medium-duty tasks, oil-lubricated ones are mostly recommended for heavy-duty compressed air tasks. Once again, choose the right type of pump that best fits your job requirements.


A porter cable air compressor with advanced features like automation will boost its functionality. It will let you adjust the compressor manually and shut down the compressor automatically to save energy. It is an impressive, user-friendly feature that you should have in your Porter Cable air compressor.

Types of Porter Cable Air Compressor

The porter-cable air compressor can be classified into three categories considering its performance. Such as, portable, home use, and commercial-grade compressors.

Portable air compressor

Portable air compressors are usually handy items like inflators. Though some portable air compressors from the brand come with upper-end compacts and can run some air tools, they are mostly suitable for filling tires, sports gear, and other inflatable things.

Home use air compressor

The brands’ home use air compressors are generally stationary, but some do offer limited portability. Whether you need to work on your vehicle, handle plenty of DIY projects, or do home remodeling tasks, Porter-Cable will offer you the right compressor at a reasonable price.

Commercial-grade compressor

If you require a powerful air compressor regularly for different compressed air projects, then you should invest in a commercial-grade porter cable compressor. Having such an air compressor on a portable cable will let you run any air tool, even while keeping the environment quiet. However, you may need more maintenance compared to the other two types.

How to use a Porter Cable air compressor?

Operating a porter cable air compressor is an extremely simple task. Firstly, assemble the required things, including an adjustable wrench, hose, plumber’s tape, and safety gear. Then lock the knob completely by rotating it anti-clockwise, which is located close to the air outlet. Connect the air hose either using a quick-connect fitting or directly on the outer port, depending on the model.

Connect the compressor to the right power source and turn it on. If the compressor reaches the maximum air pressure, connect the air tool to the other end of the hose. After that, turn on the pressure regulator knob clockwise and set the required setting for a certain tool to run it properly.  If you have done so, switch off the compressor and open the drain valve to release the pressure.

How to Adjust Air Pressure Switch on Porter Cable Air Compressor?

Adjusting the air pressure is a common yet vital task on an air compressor for having the right pressure to run through the air tool efficiently. But applying the error method can cause deterioration of the switch and end up damaging the air tool. Thus, follow the right adjusting method described below to set the right air pressure successfully:

Adjust Air Pressure Switch on Porter Cable

Firstly, find out the springs of the compressor that are usually placed under the switch. The right side spring is a cutout switch, and the left one is called a cut switch. Tightening the spring will increase the pressure, and likewise, losing the spring will decrease it. use a screw to tighten or loosen the screw smoothly. Now, turning the screw clockwise will enlarge the pressure, and turning anti-clockwise will lower it. It is better to start the air compressor and shut the drain valve before adjusting the pressure. More importantly, let the compressor step before adjusting the pressure.

Porter-cable produces handy air compressors with user-friendly design and the adjusting process of pressure is a great example of it. Thus, its improved quality surpasses other air compressor brands out there.

Benefits of Buying Porter Cable Air Compressor

Unlike other air compressor manufacturers, Porter-Cable is a dedicated brand that comes to helps woodworkers, tradespeople, and DIY homeowners. They are extremely aware of your project requirements and committed to helping complete the project on the first attempt.

Keeping this attitude in mind, the brands construct and design their air compressors to offer you satisfying performance. Porter-cable manufacturer’s different types and sizes of air compressors to meet the customer are certain needs. So whether it is light to heavy-duty, portable, or small to large, you won’t be disappointed by checking out their air compressor list. It’s a huge advantage to buy a porter cable air compressor.

Air compressors, on the other hand, have complex designs that necessitate maintenance and, in some cases, repairs. Compared to other brands, Porter-Cable air compressors require less maintenance and they are extremely supportive when it comes to customer service.

Thus, by checking the Porter-Cable air compressor reviews on different online selling platforms, you will find mostly positive compliments. So, from purchasing the Porter-Cable air compressor to shipping and repair, you will always find this brand by your side.

Some Common Problems of Porter-Cable Air Compressor

Though Porter-Cable is the best air compressor brand in the market, the compressor from the brand faces some difficulties. These problems are not similar or as serious as those with other brands, but they do occur. Luckily, knowing in advance will help adjust or fix these problems and restore the productivity of the porter cable air compressor.

Some Porter Cable air compressors, especially pancake models, tend to remain open even after powering them off. These also produce a rattling sound, which may make you feel like the compressor is broken from the inside. But the reality is the compressor is ok.

The common complaint against the Porter-Cable air compressor is that it makes whistling sounds. Though it can annoy you, it won’t affect the performance of the compressor. Conversely, by checking the oil regularly and air hosing the filter, you can successfully fix the problem.

Some porter cable air compressors may run hot and even extremely hot. It can happen due to ignoring the duty circle. You can solve this problem, storing the compressor in a well-ventilated and cool environment.

Makita MAC2400 vs. DEWALT DWFP55126 vs. PORTER-CABLE CMB15 air compressor


The Makita MAC2400 is constructed with a discharge tube and cast iron cylinders. Thus, it can reduce a significant amount of wear and tear as well as prevent erosion. At this point, DEWALT DWFP55126 and Porter-Cable CMB15 aren’t very impressive. However, all the items are easily accessible.

Noise Level

Compared to the Porter-Cable CMB15 and Makita MAC2400, the DEWALT DWFP55126 air compressor produces a quieter noise that won’t hurt your ears. These particular features make the brand’s air compressor suitable for both home and garage use even for a longer time.

Utility and Versatility

The DEWALT DWFP55126 compressor is designed with a ball drain valve, which makes it convenient to access. Both Porter-Cable CMB15 and Makita MAC2400 don’t have this capacity. Its rubber-protected legs increase the compressor’s stability. Despite this, the item’s cord wrap features make it particularly convenient for the busy consumer to handle multiple job sites.

Power and Portability

The Porter-Cable CMB15 air compressor is incredibly portable comparing DEWALT DWFP55126 and Makita MAC2400. The compressor also has enough power to run lots of air tools in a different project. It’s a lightweight air compressor whose power is comparable to that of a 3-gallon tank. Its extra tank room makes the compressor suitable to run through any small air tool, including a brad nailer.

FAQs on Porter Cable Air Compressor Review

How loud is a Porter Cable air compressor?

The noise level of a porter cable air compressor varies depending on its size and capacity.  While PORTER-CABLE PXCMSAC420VW 20 Gal. air compressor produces only 69 dBA of noise, its oil-free pancake air compressor makes 82 dBA of noise. 

How much does a Porter Cable air compressor cost?

The cost of a porter cable air compressor varies depending on its size, quality, and performing ability. So you can have an affordable porter cable air compressor that will be ideal for home use only for light-duty jobs. Conversely, you may have to invest more, perhaps even around $2000, to have a highly commercial-grade porter cable air compressor.

What oil does a Porter Cable air compressor use?

Many porter cable air compressors use Synthetic Blend Air oil.  The oil has improved viscosity to offer enhanced protection to the pump in any climate. Synthetic Blend Air oil also keeps the air compressor internal pump parts protected by reducing friction and wear.

How to adjust the air pressure on a Porter Cable compressor?

To adjust the porter cable air compressor’s air pressure, simply rotate the springs of the compressor. It is usually found under the switch. Rotating the spring clockwise will increase the air pressure while rotating anti-clockwise will reduce it.

How to put oil in the Porter-Cable air compressor?

Before performing any action on the porter cable air compressor, make sure you have released all the air pressure. Then remove the oil cap and sight glass from the pump using a box-end wrench. Put the oil into the air compressor’s suitable container properly and tip slightly towards the drain hole to let the whole oil drain. Finally, reattach the sight glass and tighten it.

Hope you got actual Porter Cable Air Compressor Reviews

Choosing the best Porter Cable air compressor isn’t a simple task since they offer a wide range of models at a pretty similar cost. But hopefully, now you can pick the right air compressor after checking out some of the best Porter-Cable air compressor reviews.

The Porter-Cable air compressor we have reviewed above comes in the most appropriate combination of cost, quality, and performance and is suitable for a unique purpose. Apart from, picking any of the Porter-Cable air compressors, you will have free shipping with the most cooperative customer support.

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Sam Morgan is a general contractor based in Charlotte, North Carolina. He does home renovations, extensions, landscaping maintenance, and general handyman jobs for homeowners. He is also the part-time content writer at Machine Handyman and a lifelong tools enthusiast. Sam loves hand tools, power tools, machinery, and DIY gadgets of all shapes and sizes! He is always researching the different types of home improvement tools that will get the best results. This site will cover products like power drills, air compressors, saws, nail guns, screw guns, grinders, cutting tools, and many more.

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