Pancake vs Hot Dog Compressor- Which One Is Better?

You cannot live without machines and tools. Throughout the days you have to do different kinds of things that require some of these types of tools. No matter if you’re a professional or a hobbyist, machines, and tools always come forward for your rescue. Since the machines and tools are an integral part of your life, then it is you who have to take all necessary care for the well-being of them. Numerous things could be applied as a preventive measure to maintain the condition and function of them. An air compressor is one such thing that probably you’re looking for to make the ends of your purpose.

The Beginning

You can find different types of air compressors with a wide range of shapes and sizes. All of them are designed and fitted for a specific purpose. Some of them are portable versions that are good for smaller tools such as for pumping car tires. The rest of them are the heavier versions that are mainly working on industrial machines. Before zeroing at one point, you have to go through all the aspects of the different air compressors thoroughly.

Pan Cake and Hot Dog…nope! I am not talking about these two mouth-watering and tongue-licking dishes. These are two popular kinds of air compressors that are commonly used in both domestic and professional workshops.

What Is A Pancake Air Compressor?

Pancake vs Hot Dog Compressor


There is no reward for guessing from the name that this is an air compressor with pancake shapes the smallest and very lightweight air compressor. So that you can take it easily from one place to another. This made it popular and preferred among the users. Because of its small and compact design the small pancake-shaped tank capacity up to 6 gallons and 30 lb weight, it can be stored in a smaller place anywhere in your workshop. Having an oil-free pump doesn’t require its daily maintenance. It is the ideal machine for small projects or residential use such as roofing jobs, inflating tires, etc.

What Is A Hot Dog Air Compressor?

Pancake vs Hot Dog Compressor


A hot dog air compressor is quite similar to the pancake air compressor except for one difference; compare to a pancake compressor it is a little bulky. But it is not that it is much heavy. Most of these kinds of compressors are compact enough to occupy minimum space and they also come with handles so that they can be shifted to your desired place quite easily. The larger tank that lies up to 8 gallons of it shaped similar to a hot dog as per its name. You can find oil-free or oil-lubed pumps in various models of it and the later one needs regular maintenance. This machine can work for a longer period and deliver high air volume that made it good for the commercial workshops.

After having an introduction of these two, now it’s time to follow all the necessary factors in detail before taking a final call.

The Feature Differences Between Pancake and Hot Dog Compressor

Although both of them are used for the same purpose and they have almost the same features, still there are some differences in various features between them. Such as-

The Capacity of Tank

As you know that a hot dog compressor is equipped with two tanks that are also vertically aligned, is capable to hold a good amount of air. On the contrary, a pancake compressor doesn’t hold a greater capacity of air for having a single tank. But you cannot ignore it for that, as sometimes less supply of air is enough to perform your job quite efficiently.

Type of Job To Be Done

This is perhaps one of the main reasons to select the air compressor. A hot dog compressor is mainly used for jobs that need more CFM and PSI value as it carries a twin air tank so that you can get much air to perform the jobs. On the other hand, a pancake compressor is good where the jobs require less CFM and PSI value.

Noise Level

If you choose a quieter work environment, a pancake compressor is the right choice for you, but if you give priority to the efficiency ahead of noise then a hot dog compressor which is a bit loud comes first of your choice. 


Compared to these two, a pancake compressor contains an oil-free pump which is quite easy to maintain as it doesn’t require lubricating and much cleaning. But as the hot dog compressor comes with both- oil-free and oil-lubed model, you have to spend some money for the maintenance of the later model.

The Technical Differences Between Pancake and Hot Dog Compressor

Now let’s see how these two kinds of compressors perform while doing some tasks. Here they are-

Brad Nailing and Stapling

Although these two kinds of tasks require almost the same amount of air, you don’t need to think too much about selecting any of them. But if follow, you’ll see a pancake compressor needs more time to reach the highest power, while an oil-lubed hot dog compressor is known for its instant supply.

Inflating Car Tires

This also the kind of task which can be done equally well by both of the compressors. But, while performing a hot dog compressor works more efficiently but creates much sound which is not enjoyable for too many people. On the other hand, a pancake compressor works almost without any noise.

Painting and Airbrushing

Painting, especially if you’re asked to handle textile colors, it requires a nonstop supply of power. To perform this kind of job perfectly an oil-lubed hot dog compressor would be the best choice for you. But if your job is to do airbrushing where you require less viscosity of paints, such as a golden airbrush that works with a fixed nozzle, an oil-free compressor is more suitable for this purpose. Here you may go with the pancake compressor.

Read More: Top Air Compressor for Painting

Final Words

A pancake and a hot dog compressor both have almost the same features and functions, and also great for small jobs. Choosing any one of these heavily depends on your requirements and preferences. The choice is yours.

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