Pancake vs Hot Dog Air Compressor

Pancake vs Hot Dog Air Compressor

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As there are lots of air compressors available in the market each one has different designs and size so choosing between them is quite difficult.

For a small home or DIY jobs, you may be confused on which will be more suitable for you: a pancake compressor or a hot dog compressor.

Here, in this guide we have written a detailed comparison between Pancake vs Hot Dog Air Compressor with their pros and cons and which one will be more suited for your work.

What Is A Hot Dog Air Compressor?

The hot dog air compressors are quite similar to the pancake air compressors but are bulkier and have a little heavy design.

They are available in both small and larger models.

But don’t consider that they are much heavy in fact most of them are lightweight and compact so they won’t take too much space and they come with handles so you can easily move it when needed.

The hot dog air compressor may be oil-free or have oil-lubed pumps depending on which one you choose.

Oil-free models do not require daily maintenance as for oil-lubed pumps they require regular maintenance.

Also, during operation, the hot dog compressors shake a lot so consider getting a model that features rubber feet for stability and they usually make more noise then pancake compressor. 


  • They Are Quite Powerful
  • Not Expensive
  • Hot Dogs Compressors Can Produce More SCFM
  • Most Of The Models Has Compact Design And Takes Less Storage Space


  • Bulkier And Heavier Than Pancakes Compressors
  • Not Portable Like Pancake Air Compressor

What Is A Pancake Air Compressor?

As you can guess from the name these air compressors have a pancake shape that’s why they are pancake air compressors.

They are among the smallest air compressors and are very lightweight.

So during work, you can easily take it from one to another.

Because of their small design, their tank capacity lies between 1 to 6 gallons.

They consist of an oil-free pump so you don’t have to worry about its daily maintenance.

The pancake air compressor is great to be used for inflating tires, balls, roofing jobs, and other small home projects.

Because of compact design, they can be easily stored and they take too much space


  • Lightweight And Portable
  • Sturdy Design
  • Because Of Oil-Free Pump It Does Not Require That Much Maintenance
  • Quieter Than Hot Dog Air Compressors


  • They Have Relatively Smaller Air Tank 
  • You May Need To Buy Additional Accessory Kit

Pancake vs Hot Dog – Which One You Should Get?

Brad Nailing And Stapling:

For brad nailing and stapling both the pancake and hot dog air compressor are great.

The important factor for it is air delivery.

For this, the oil lubed hot dog air compressor provides the power consistently making it very efficient but it can be very noisy.

As for the pancake air compressor because of their small size, it may take some longer time for it to reach the maximum pressure. 

Inflating Tires:

Also, for inflating tires both the air compressor performs great but if you want to inflate tires more efficiently then a hot dog compressor is a great choice.

But if you want a more portable and less noise during work then the pancake air compressor will be good for you. 

Airbrushing And Painting:

For airbrushing and paintings it depends upon the viscosity requirements of the paint.

So if you want to use a floating nozzle or textile colors then an oil lubed hot dog air compressor is great as it will provide more efficiency but if it is a golden airbrush or comart have a low viscosity with fixed nozzle then, in this case, the oil-less pancake air compressor will be suitable for providing enough power.  


Both the hot dog and pancake air compressors are great for small home tasks.

But if you are still unsure here are some tips for you.

Firstly consider the cfm rating of the air compressor and tank size for the continuous airflow or does noise is your concern.

And also check if you want an oil-free or oil-lubed air compressor.

So in the end, it depends on what is your needs are or which type of work you want to do with it.

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