Porter Cable C2002 6-Gallon Pancake Air Compressor Review

AIRpsi.com Porter Cable C2002 Review





PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor

Porter-Cable C2002 Pancake Air Compressor


120 Volts

CFM @ 90 PSI

2.6 CFM

Tank Size

6 Gallon

Porter-Cable Quality

Excellent Price

Great Amazon Reviews!

Porter Cable C2002 Pancake Review

Porter Cable C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor

In our 2024 Top Pancake Air Compressor category, the Porter Cable C2002 Air Compressor took first place. This unit has an exceptional combination of quality, performance and price making it a great value for a variety of pneumatic applications.  

Note:  Due to Covid supply chain issues, the C2002 & PCFP12234 3-Tool Combo Kit are frequently out of stock. Also, the typical low sales price has been fluctuating wildly. If you are interested in one and find it in stock at an agreeable price, you should grab it. It won't last...

The Porter Cable C2002 pancake compressor has been a best seller for years, primarily due to high performance per dollar that this model offers. This is a great, low-cost solution for a variety of jobs requiring compressed air ranging from inflating tires to operating air nailers.

The durable 0.8 HP motor coupled with a low maintenance oil free pump provides 2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI and 3.7 SCFM @ 40 PSI (per ISO1217) for faster recovery. The manufacturer states the C2002 is capable of running continuously. However, to prolong the life of your air compressor, they recommend that a 50%-75% average duty cycle be maintained. Just in case you're unfamiliar with the term "Duty Cycle", a 50%-75% duty cycle simply means that the compressor pump should not run more than 30-45 minutes in any given hour.

The popular pancake style 6-gallon steel air tank is pressurized to a maximum of150 PSI which allows for longer tool usage periods between compressor cycles. The automatic pressure switch turns on the compressor pump when tank pressure drops below 120 PSI and shuts off when tank pressure reaches 150 PSI.

Safety features include built-in automatic thermal overload protection for the motor. If the motor overheats the overload protector will shut off power to the motor. If this happens, allow the motor to cool down before restarting. A safety valve will protect against high pressure in the event the automatic pressure switch fails.  The safety valve pops out at its factory set pressure (just above 150 PSI) and relieves excess air pressure from the tank and compressor. 

The tank features a very stable tripod base and includes rubber feet for scratch resistance and to prevent walking and slippage. The tank drain is an easy-to-use knurled twist type, although I prefer the quarter turn ball valve type. The drain uses standard 1/4" NPT and can be easily and inexpensively swapped out if you also prefer the ball valve type. You can see the drain valve in a C2002 swapped out towards the end of the Buying a Portable Air Compressor Video below.

Speaking of the tank drain, be sure to drain any condensation from the tank after each use. Here's the proper procedure to drain the Porter Cable C2002 air tank.

Warning:  The water in the air tank may contain oil and rust which can cause stains, so you'll want to place a suitable container under the drain valve before draining the tank.

1. Set the On/Off switch to "Off".

2. Unplug the air compressor from the AC outlet.

3. Turn the regulator knob counterclockwise to set the outlet pressure to zero.

4. Pull the safety valve ring to bleed air until tank pressure is approximately 20 PSI, then release ring.

5. Open drain valve on bottom of tank and let water and contaminates drain.

6. After tank has drained, close the drain valve. The air compressor can now be stored.

Note:  If drain valve is plugged, release all air pressure. The valve can then be removed and cleaned or replaced then reinstalled.

Porter Cable C2002 Usage Pictures

Easy to carry 6-gallon compressor

Easy to Carry

C2002 Air Nailer

Powers Air Nailers

The C2002 features a robust design with upgraded shrouding protecting the compressor's vital components and controls, while still maintaining good portability weighing only 30 lbs. The large carry handle and good center of balance make transporting this compressor a breeze. Other notable features include an integrated power cord wrap and high-flow air regulator controlled dual quick-connect air couplings that allow you to operate two air tools at the same time.

This unit runs on standard 120-volt AC power and has a low 10-amp current draw making cold weather starts easier. The owner's manual states that a 14-gauge AWG or larger extension cord can be used up to 50 feet in length. Personally, I would skip the extension cord and get a longer air hose. This option puts the compressor's motor closer to the electric source for less voltage drop (a good thing) and also puts you farther from the compressor noise for a quieter experience (also a good thing).

Porter-Cable industrial tools are warranted for one year from date of purchase. If you own a C2002 pancake compressor and need service or support, you can contact Porter Cable Customer Care Center Monday thru Friday 8 AM to 5 PM EST at this phone number: 1-(888) 848-5175. You can also mail:  PORTER-CABLE, 4825 Highway 45 North, Jackson, Tennessee 38305 - Attention: Product Service. Be sure to include all of the information shown on the nameplate of your tool (model number, type, serial number, etc.).

Porter Cable C2002 Pancake Compressor Owners-Manual and Parts

One item we think could be improved upon is the noise level. The Porter Cable C2002 emits 82 dBA using the ISO3744 standard, which is somewhat louder than many competitive models, however given the much lower cost of the C2002 this is a trade-off that many are willing to take.

Currently, we don't recommend that you buy the Porter-Cable C2002-WK combo package which adds a 13-piece accessory kit to the deal. The low-quality accessory kit combo adds around $50 to the price and in our opinion is a poor value. Many of the negative reviews that this compressor receives are regarding the cheap accessories such as the air chuck which fails to fully depress the tire's valve preventing you from inflating the tire.  We feel your money would be better spent buying the C2002 compressor only deal and spending the $50 or so that you'll save on a good quality air hose and accessories. However, some Porter Cable C2002 pancake compressor & air tool bundles are a good value, like the PCFP12234 described below.

Porter Cable PCFP12234 3-Tool Combo Kit

Porter-Cable PCFP12234 3-Tool Combo Kit

Porter-Cable PCFP12234 3-Tool Combo Kit

If you are looking for a pancake compressor and air tool bundle deal, take a look at the Porter-Cable PCFP12234 3-Tool Combo Kit. This package deal includes:

  • C2002 6 Gal. 150 PSI Air Compressor
  • FN250SB 16-Gauge 2-1/2 in. Finish Nailer
  • BN200SB 18-Gauge 2 in. Brad Nailer
  • S056 3/8 in. Crown Stapler
  • Assortment of fasteners for each tool, belt hook and an air hose

The price of the bundle varies, so look for a deal, here is a link to check the current price of the Porter Cable PCFP12234 3-Tool Combo Kit.

Buying a Portable Air Compressor Video

Porter Cable C2002 Specifications

  • 82 dB Quiet
  • 2.6 CFM @ 90PSI
  • 6 Gallon Tank
  • Bore 1.875"
  • Stroke 1.250"
  • 0.8 HP
  • Oil-Free Pump
  • 150 Max. PSI
  • 10 Amps
  • 120 Volts
  • Length 19"
  • Width 19"
  • Height 18"
  • 30 Lbs.
  • Model C2002

Our C2002 Ratings


82 dB is not quiet by any stretch, however it is not deafening either.


This is a good quality compressor considering the low price tag. 


The C2002 is very competitively priced and retails around $130.


Overall Rating:  4.5

If you are looking for a rugged portable compressor on a limited budget, then the Porter Cable C2002 is an excellent choice. We gave the C2002 an overall rating of 4.5 stars.


  • Highly Portable
  • Low Current, 10 Amps
  • Low Price, About $130


  • Louder 82 dBA
  • Cheap Accessory  Kit

Porter Cable C2002 Pancake Compressor

ASIN: B000O5RO1Y - UPC: 885911004619

National Stock Number: 4310-01-531-0626

Quick Tip:  We recommend that you purchase a long air hose for your air compressor. It is better than using an extension cord for several reasons. In addition to ensuring there is no power drop due to the resistance of the long cord, the further you are away from the compressor the quieter it will sound.

What Can This Compressor Do?

The C2002 air compressor has a recommended 50%-75% duty cycle and 2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI of air flow with a 150 PSI maximum cutoff pressure. This is sufficient for operating most types of air nailers such as finish, framing and roof nailers. You can also use this compressor for airbrush work, inflating tires and using a blow gun for cleaning. You may also be able to use some smaller air tools such an air ratchet or impact wrench in limited use applications. For heavier air tool use you'll want to choose a compressor with a larger SCFM rating.

The Bottom Line

The Porter Cable C2002 is an excellent value for many applications. It offers a lot of bang for the buck. Amazon buyers rate the Porter Cable 6-gallon pancake compressor 4.7 out of 5 with almost 4,500 reviews which is an outstanding user review rating. Many reviewers have owned this model for many years and comment on its longevity and rugged design. Kind of like the old Timex watch slogan, "It takes a licking and keeps on ticking". However, the C2002 is not the quietest model. If noise level is important and you want to spend a little more for a quieter model, then look at our Low Noise Air Compressors. If you want to compare similar style compressors check out our Pancake Compressor Review.

Porter Cable C2002 Pancake Compressor

ASIN: B000O5RO1Y - UPC: 885911004619

National Stock Number: 4310-01-531-0626

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