The Pancake Compressor

My dog Bear and I want to talk to you about the pancake compressor.

Some tools are just so handy you don’t realize how important they are until they go bad. My Porter Cable pancake compressor stopped compressing a couple of years ago and, as inconveniences go, that was on par with my oven going out.

I bought this Bostitch and couldn’t be happier. What? You don’t have one of these? They cost around $115 and free shipping from Walmart today. Very easy to use. Just an on-off button. Maintenance free. you’ll need to buy a hose, some fixtures, a presta adapter, and you’re good to go.

I use mine for making sure my vehicles’ tires are properly inflated. We have a little ranch here, with a couple of ranch quads that each pull little dump trailers, hay trailers, lots of wheels to keep inflated. Then I have a dump trainer and a horse trailer. And, I have pneumatic nailers and staplers. Do you want to paint your house? Or just a new door? Or spray clear coat on furniture? There’s a million uses for a compressor.

But look, let’s just talk about bikes.

The larger the wheels, the more pumping on your floor pump. Do you have a fat bike? Okay, maybe it only takes 10psi. But how long does it take you to put in 10psi? I’ve got a lot of bikes. I’m tired of pumping.

These compressors are pretty close to maintenance free (oilless), and in the era of tubeless – which we’re now in, and we’re just going to get more into it – compressors are very handy after you initially put the tire on the rim. This is the one area where tubeless is not easier than tubed. Sometimes tubeless tires don’t want to hold air when you initially start inflating a newly mounted tire. Compressors mostly solve that problem.

I have a Schrader attachments for my automotive needs, and several Schrader pressure gauges (0-20psi for small trailer wheels, up to 80psi for 10-ply truck and trailer wheels). Then I have Presta gauges for my bikes.

I can’t swear which model of pancake compressor is best, but I did swear when my prior model stopped working.