RIDGID Vertical Pancake Compressor Review

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RIDGID Vertical Pancake Compressor Review

Around Thanksgiving of 2014, RIDGID came out with a vertically oriented 6 gallon pancake compressor. RIDGID’s vertical pancake compressor was a standalone compressor but was only on the market for the holiday season as a Special Buy and then discontinued much to the chagrin of the reviewers on HomeDepot.com. Perhaps their cries were heard or RIDGID had some changes up their sleeve. Having seen the old one and the new one, the changes are almost entirely in the plastic. The changes are also for the better. Better hose channels, better onboard nail storage, and then a 8% increase in the SCFM @ 90 PSI. SCFM is Standard cubic feet per minute, “the volumetric flow rate of a gas corrected to standardized conditions of temperature and pressure.”RIDGID Vertical Pancake Compressor-3

Features and Specifications

  • Air Tank Capacity – 6 gal.
  • Air Pressure – 150 psi max.
  • Air Delivery – 2.8 SCFM @ 90 psi
  • Gauges – 2 in. diameter
  • Input – 120 V, AC only, 60 Hz, 11 Amps
  • Weight – 30 pounds
  • Vertical design – for easier carrying and storage
  • Hose management channel – easily keeps hose at the base of the unit to prevent tipping
  • Hose lock channel technology – allows the user to reposition the compressor without the need to adjust the hose
  • Powerful universal motor – superior starting with low voltage requirements
  • On-board nailer storage – neatly store most finish or trim nailers on compressor while carrying or in storage
  • Improved console cover – for easy maintenance access
  • 1/4 turn ball valve – for easy tank drain
  • Folding handle – can be pushed down during storage or operation but easily extended when mobility is needed
  • 2 universal push-to-connect quick couplers – accept both 1/4-in. automotive, ARO, and industrial plugs with easy single-hand connection
  • Manufacturer Warranty – 3 Year Limited Warranty

RIDGID Vertical Pancake Compressor-4

Form Factor

The RIDGID Vertical Pancake Compressor is shaped in a way the tool world hasn’t seen before. The only thing similar may be the Rolair in that it is also a vertical pancake but the overall shape of the compressor is very different. With the RIDGID, the tank is oriented vertically but the pump motor is also tucked in tight against the tank making this tool very slim for a 6 gallon compressor. This brings the center of gravity of the tool towards the center of the tool, right inline with the carry handle. This makes carrying the tool much less of a burden than typical pancake compressors. Typically, horizontal pancakes of this capacity will rub against your leg when you carry them. Either that or you have to hold them out a little ways from your body. Either way it is uncomfortable to carry over distance.

Despite the tall, narrow profile the RIDGID Vertical Pancake Compressor still fits under one big limbo bar. The compressor still fits easily below the bed rail of a pickup. This is a big deal for any contractor that runs a bed cover on their truck.

RIDGID Vertical Pancake Compressor-5

In Use

So far I’ve used the compressor to trim out a window, interior door frames, and base trim and  base shoe for a room. I also used it to frame out a fireplace and fill a number of automobile tires. In all of these applications the compressor worked as expected. The words, “as expected” don’t usually make for a glowing review but with air compressors they either work as expected or they don’t. This one filled plenty fast and was relatively quiet for an oilless compressor. All the controls were easy to use and of course it was easy to transport. I wish I had this unit last year when I built my shed. It would have been the perfect unit to carry to and from the site every day and run all the various nailers used in its construction.

RIDGID Vertical Pancake Compressor-6

Final Thoughts

If you’re in the market for a compressor, this is an excellent choice. It is a great compressor with a price point that is hard to beat. It’s configuration lends itself well to portability and storability that hasn’t been seen in a compressor of this size. It won’t run a full framing or roofing crew but that’s not who it’s designed for. It is perfect for one or two finish nailers or even a framing or roofing nailer. Handymen and 2 man crews are going to love this thing.

Where to Buy

Normally this compressor is $169 but is currently on a special buy for $149. That’s a great deal.

RIDGID Vertical Pancake Compressor
$149

About the author

Jeff Williams

Contributing Editor Jeff Williams is a carpenter for a commercial General Contractor specializing in concrete, steel, and wood buildings. Jeff comes from a long line of contractors. His parents started a commercial General Contracting firm many years ago and it has afforded him life-long, hands-on learning opportunities from rough and fine carpentry all the way to structural steel and concrete. Jeff has a Construction Management degree and loves the thrill of coordinating and successfully managing large jobs from start to finish. Inspired by the difficulties sometimes encountered to complete punch lists his motto is, "Work hard until the job is done."

@jeff_williams

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