What Size Air Compressor for Nail Gun in 2024

Getting yourself the right air compressor for your nail gun can be quite tricky provided thousands of options are available in the market. It is undoubtedly a strenuous task that requires hours of effort. You probably are having a hard time understanding the technical terms. Don’t you worry anymore as we have extensively researched and compiled a list of aspects that you should analyze before purchasing an air compressor? This handy article can really save your time and effort. Dive in!

what size Air-Compressor-for-Nail-Gun

Air Compressor For Nail Gun

A nail gun classifies as a pneumatic tool that doesn’t require air to be applied to it continuously. All you need is some short air bursts that drive the nail directly into the woods. So what is it that you require? You just need a super portable, compact air compressor having a 2 CFM rating and having a tank capacity of more than 2 gallons.

The other specifications largely depend on which nail are you using. Go through this extensive and extremely helpful CFM chart that will aid you in selecting the appropriate air compressor for your nail gun.

What Size Air Compressor for Nail Gun

Nail Gun Type
Compressor Required
Pin nailer
Portable / Pancake
CFM= 2.0
Brad nailer
Portable/ Pancake
CFM= 2.0
Finish nailer
Portable /Pancake
CFM= 2.0
Sheathing stapler
CFM= 4.0
Framing nail guns
CFM= 4.0
Roofing nailer
CFM= 4.0
Numerous nail guns
CFM= 6.0

Aspects to Consider When Purchasing an Air Compressor for Nail Gun

The burdening task of choosing an air compressor for your nail gun is made easy through the aspects we have listed below. From tank capacity to CFM, one needs to consider all these in making the right choice. Therefore, go through this great guide and know it all!

  • CFM

CFM stands for cubic-feet/min. Before you blindly choose just any air compressor, you should have a look at the CFM you require. To get you a better idea, we will explain you a bit. A 2 CFM air compressor has the ability to blow a certain volume of air at 2 square feet per minute. In simpler and easy terms, CFM stands for the rate of air flow. This is usually calculated in unit time, having units as minute.

Therefore, you should go for an air compressor whose CFM is higher than that required by your tool. This is advised to ensure smooth operation. Further, it will contribute to better functionality as well as enhanced efficiency. It prevents under-performance, letting you work with incredible ease. In order to find out what CFM air compressor you require, simply multiple the specified CFM of the tool by a factor of 1.5. This is exactly what CFM air compressor you will need.

  • Tank Capacity

Tank capacity is one of the most significant aspects you should consider before purchasing an air compressor for your nail gun. This is dependent on the work hours of the tool. If you need to use it for long, you should definitely consider going for one with a huge tank capacity.

The range of capacities for nail guns lies between 1- 8 gallons. You can get greater tank capacity than this. The downside to the large tank capacities will be decreased portability. Obviously, you need an air compressor with superb portability which you will not get in the case of a large tank. Therefore, you have to make a compromise on one thing. The ideal size as advised ranges from 1 gallon to 6 gallons.

  • Power in HP

Another quality aspect that decides the smooth functioning of your nail tool is power. The power of the air compressor is measured in HP which stands for Horse Power. The factor listed along HP indicates the total power the air compressor is capable of providing you with. It basically is an indication of the work capability of the air compressor.

Power is not important if you are choosing a compact and portable air compressor. You do require the best HP ratings that make your nail gun do work efficiently. However, you should consider that all of the aspects, psi, tank capacity, CFM, and power combine to ensure that the functionality is trouble-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What psi do I need for a nail gun?

The average range of psi required by a nail gun ranges between 70 psi to 90 psi. This doesn’t require a high-duty, high-power air compressor as a light one or medium one can easily provide this pressure. However, everyone wants to own a compressor that provides more flow and better psi than what is usually needed in order to avoid any inconvininece. This also makes the efficiency and functionality better. It is highly recommended that you do always consider the pressure ratings as the tool is unable to perform if the psi rating is less than what is needed. 

  1. What size air compressor do I need for pneumatic tools?

One should look beyond the size of the air compressor when deciding on a compatible one to be used with the pneumatic tools. This largely depends upon the airflow which is usually called CFM. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute which indicates the air in cubic feet that flows per minute. If you require an air compressor to be used with pneumatic tools, the air compressors guaranteeing the CFM from 10-110 would be ideal to be used for power tools.

  1. How much pressure does a brad nailer need?

The pressure required by the brad nailer falls in the range of 60 to 120 psi. You can adjust the airflow as well as the pressure depending upon the thickness as well as the density of the material you are going to nail.

Final Verdict

The following article sums up the following

  • Any compact air compressor will provide you with adequate power required.
  • You should always consider purchasing air compressors guaranteeing CFM larger than 2.
  • We personally advise you to get yourself a 6-gallon tank capacity with CFM rated as 4.

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