Best Air Compressor For Framing Nailers

A framing nailer, often known as a nail gun, is a handy power tool that lowers the amount of manual labour required for operations such as building door architraves, tacking on a new roof or putting down baseboards. They are usually powered pneumatically by an air compressor. The optimum air compressor, with the right amount of air pressure, will enhance air tool performance without sacrificing work site safety.

This article has been written to help you identify the best air compressor for framing nailers – Scroll down to see our top 7 compressors for the job!

California Air Tools CAT-4610S Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 1.0 hp 4.6 gallon Steel Twin Tank Electric Portable Air Compressor, Silver

★★★★★
$272.00
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Features

  • Brand: ‎California Air Tools
  • Voltage: ‎110 Volts (AC)
  • Power Source: ‎Corded Electric
  • Sound Level: ‎60 dB
  • Included Components: ‎Air Compressor & Air Filter
  • Item Weight: ‎62 Pounds
  • Maximum Power: ‎2 Horsepower
  • Capacity: ‎9.2 Gallons
  • Color: ‎Silver
  • Material: ‎Aluminum
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎19.1 x 16.7 x 19.7 inches
  • Style: ‎Steel Twin Tank
  • Air Flow Capacity: ‎2.2 Cubic Feet Per Minute
  • Motor Horsepower: ‎1 Horsepower
  • Manufacturer: ‎California Air Tools
  • Part Number: ‎CAT-4610S
  • Item Weight: ‎62 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: ‎19.1 x 16.7 x 19.7 inches
  • Item model number: ‎CAT-4610S
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer: ‎No
  • Size: ‎Steel Twin Tank
  • Horsepower: ‎1
  • Item Package Quantity: ‎1
  • Maximum Pressure: ‎120 Bars
  • Measurement System: ‎Metric
  • Batteries Included?: ‎No
  • Batteries Required?: ‎No
  • Warranty Description: ‎1 Year Limited Warranty

Description

  • Ultra Quiet only 60 Decibels
  • Oil-Free Pump for Less Maintenance & Costs
  • 4.6 Gallon Steel Twin Tank
  • Powerful 1.0 HP (Rated / Running) 2.0 HP (Peak) Motor
  • 3.10 cfm @ 40 psi - 2.20 cfm @ 90 psi

Bostitch Air Compressor Combo Kit, 3-Tool (BTFP3KIT) 21.1 x 19.5 x 18 inches

★★★★★
$530.00
$249.00
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Features

  • Brand: ‎Bostitch
  • Voltage: ‎0.01 Volts
  • Power Source: ‎Ac
  • Sound Level: ‎78.5 dB
  • Included Components: ‎1) 6-gallon Pancake Compressor, 1) 18GA 2 in. Brad nailer, 1) 2-1/2 in. 16GA Straight Finish Nailer, 1) Heavy Duty 3/8 in. Crown Stapler, 1) 25' Air Hose.
  • Item Weight: ‎41.8 Pounds
  • Capacity: ‎6 Gallons
  • Color: ‎Yellow
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎21.13 x 19.5 x 18 inches
  • Style: ‎Compressor Combo Kit
  • Model Name: ‎BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT 3-Tool and Compressor Combo Kit
  • Hose Length: ‎15 Feet
  • Manufacturer: ‎Bostitch
  • Part Number: ‎BTFP3KIT
  • Item Weight: ‎41.8 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: ‎21.13 x 19.5 x 18 inches
  • Country of Origin: ‎USA
  • Item model number: ‎BTFP3KIT
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer: ‎No
  • Size: ‎21.1 x 19.5 x 18 inches
  • Item Package Quantity: ‎1
  • Number Of Pieces: ‎4
  • Batteries Included?: ‎No
  • Batteries Required?: ‎No
  • Warranty Description: ‎1 year limited manufacturer warranty

Description

  • SB-1850BN 18 GA brad nailer in the air compressor combo kit drives 18GA brad nails from 5/8-inch to 2-inch
  • SB-1664FN 16 GA straight finish nailer drives 16 GA straight finish nails from 1-1/4-inch to 2-1/2-inch
  • BTFP71875 heavy-duty 3/8-inch crown stapler drives 3/8-inch crown staples from 1/4-inch to 9/16-inch and 18GA brad nails from 1/2-inch to 5/8-inch
  • 1/4-inch x 15' PVC air hose includes fittings

Stealth Ultra Quiet Air Compressor, 64 Decibel 4.5 Gallon Peak 1.3 HP Max 150 PSI, Oil-Free Air Pump, 3 CFM @ 90 PSI Portable Air Compressor W/Wheel for Garage, Workshop, Jobsite SAQ-1413

★★★★★
$299.99
$239.00
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Features

  • Brand: ‎Stealth
  • Voltage: ‎120
  • Power Source: ‎Corded Electric
  • Sound Level: ‎64 dB
  • Included Components: ‎6’ Electric Cord x 1, User Manual x 1, Stealth SAQ-1413 Air Compressor x 1
  • Item Weight: ‎62 Pounds
  • Maximum Power: ‎1 Horsepower
  • Capacity: ‎5 Gallons
  • Material: ‎Alloy Steel
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎18 x 16 x 22 inches
  • Air Flow Capacity: ‎3 Cubic Feet Per Minute
  • Motor Horsepower: ‎1 Horsepower
  • Model Name: ‎STEALTH Work Site 4.5 Gal Air Compressor
  • Manufacturer: ‎STEALTH
  • Part Number: ‎SAQ-1413
  • Item Weight: ‎62 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: ‎18 x 16 x 22 inches
  • Item model number: ‎SAQ-1413
  • Wattage: ‎950
  • Horsepower: ‎1
  • Item Package Quantity: ‎1
  • Maximum Pressure: ‎125
  • Measurement System: ‎Metric
  • Batteries Required?: ‎No
  • Warranty Description: ‎Limited Lifetime warranty

Description

  • 【Ultra Quiet & 3 Times Long Life】Stealth Innovative Quiet System Air Compressor Have Been Tested To Be Up To 80% Quieter And Qualify To 3 Times Longer Life Than Standard Induction Motors
  • 【Powerful Outputs Maintenance Free】Peak 1.3 Horsepower Induction Motor Drive The Dual Air Pump To Generate The Continue Compressed Air, Safe Guard Your Working Complete Easily. Oil-Free Maintenance Free
  • 【Cold Weather Start & Quick Recovery】Easy Start Even Under Low Temperature And Low Voltage. Peak 150 Psi 3 Cfm @ 90Psi. Recover From Empty Tank To Full Only Need 70 Seconds
  • 【Stable Structure& Convenient For Movement】Stable Heavy Duty Housing Use Q235B Steel, 6 Inch Rubber Reinforced Wheels, And Upright Roller Bag Design Convenient For Movement. Number Of Stages-1-Stage

CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 2 Gallon Portable Air Compressor, Twin Tank, 1/3 HP Oil-Free Max 125 PSI Pressure, Model: CMXECXA0220242, Red

★★★★★
$149.97
$133.30
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Features

  • Brand: ‎Craftsman
  • Voltage: ‎120 Volts
  • Power Source: ‎Corded Electric
  • Sound Level: ‎78 dB
  • Included Components: ‎✦1 x Air Compressor, ✦1 Year Limited Original Manufacturer Warranty
  • Item Weight: ‎22.8 Pounds
  • Maximum Power: ‎0.34 Horsepower
  • Capacity: ‎2 Gallons
  • Color: ‎Red
  • Material: ‎Alloy Steel
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎14.56 x 13.18 x 16.14 inches
  • Style: ‎Twin Tank
  • Amperage Capacity: ‎3 Amps
  • Air Flow Capacity: ‎0.7 Cubic Feet Per Minute
  • Motor Horsepower: ‎0.34 Horsepower
  • Model Name: ‎CMXECXA0220242
  • Hose Length: ‎6 Feet
  • Manufacturer: ‎Ace Trading - Altn Compressors
  • Part Number: ‎220242
  • Item Weight: ‎22.8 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: ‎14.56 x 13.18 x 16.14 inches
  • Country of Origin: ‎China
  • Item model number: ‎CMXECXA0220242
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer: ‎No
  • Size: ‎2 Gallon
  • Finish: ‎Red
  • Shape: ‎Twin Tank
  • Horsepower: ‎0.34
  • Item Package Quantity: ‎1
  • Number Of Pieces: ‎1
  • Maximum Pressure: ‎150
  • Handle/Lever Placement: ‎Above of the machine
  • Number of Handles: ‎1
  • Usage: ‎Outside; Professional, Inside; Amateur, Inside; Professional, Outside; Amateur
  • Batteries Included?: ‎No
  • Batteries Required?: ‎No
  • Warranty Description: ‎1 Year Manufacturer and Distributer Limited Warranty

Description

  • Q235B Steel
  • Imported
  • ✦【LIGHT WEIGHT & PORTABLE】 This compact 2 gallon small air compressor is only 22. 82 Lbs, design with the sturdy rubber reinforced handle on top, easy to transport the mini compressor to your pick-up, floor, jobsite anywhere
  • ✦【LOW TEMPERATURE START & LOW NOISE】With 1/3 horse power air pump, this UMC motor ensure at the low temperature it also can start easily. Noise level below 78 decibel
  • ✦【ULTRA DURABLE & LONG LIFE CYCLE】The oil free and maintenance free pump system is engineered for high performance and durability, which lasts for longer running time
  • ✦【MULTIPULE FUNCTIONS】It is ideal for tackle a lot of home innovation projects with ease like inflation, hobby painting, stapling, fastening, nailing, and bolting
  • ✦【WHAT YOU WILL GET】1 x Air compressor, 1 x Air filter, 1 x 6 Feet power cord, 1 x Quick coupler, 1 x Ball valve, 1 Year limited original manufacturer

DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, 165 PSI (DWFP55126)

★★★★★
$179.00
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Features

  • Brand: ‎DEWALT
  • Voltage: ‎120 Volts
  • Power Source: ‎Corded Electric
  • Sound Level: ‎75.5 dB
  • Included Components: ‎COMP 6.0G 165PSI UMC OF 120V DW
  • Item Weight: ‎30 Pounds
  • Capacity: ‎6 Gallons
  • Color: ‎Multi
  • Material: ‎Blend
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎16 x 16 x 17.5 inches
  • Style: ‎Compressor
  • Air Flow Capacity: ‎2.6 Cubic Feet Per Minute
  • Model Name: ‎DWFP55126
  • Manufacturer: ‎Dewalt
  • Part Number: ‎DWFP55126
  • Item Weight: ‎30 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: ‎16 x 16 x 17.5 inches
  • Country of Origin: ‎USA
  • Item model number: ‎DWFP55126
  • Batteries: ‎Lithium Ion batteries required.
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer: ‎No
  • Size: ‎One Size
  • Item Package Quantity: ‎1
  • Number of Handles: ‎1
  • Batteries Included?: ‎No
  • Batteries Required?: ‎No
  • Warranty Description: ‎1 year limited manufacturers warranty

Description

  • 165 max PSI 6.0 gallon tank (22.7 L) and 2.6 SCFM delivered @ 90 PSI pump, enable long tool run time with quick recovery for the portable air compressor
  • High efficiency motor of the electric air compressor is made for easy start up in cold weather or extension cord application. [14 ga or larger, 50 ft. (15.2 m) or less]
  • 78.5 dBA noise level of the 6 gallon air compressor is made for a quiet work environment
  • High flow regulator and couplers of DEWALT portable air compressor are designed to maximize air tool performance
  • Long life oil free pump for maintenance free operation
  • Console cover protects controls and is removable to allow easy repair
  • Outlet tube rerouted to avoid being catch point
  • 30 lb weight makes unit easy to carry/store
  • 2 universal couplers to easily support two users
  • Ball drain valve for quick & thorough tank draining

Makita MAC5200 3.0 HP* Big Bore™ Air Compressor

★★★★★
$419.00
Buy On Amazon
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Features

  • Brand: ‎Makita
  • Voltage: ‎120 Volts
  • Power Source: ‎Corded Electric
  • Included Components: ‎Air Compressor Oil (181122-A), 2 1/4" Universal Quick Coupler, Male (447013-E)
  • Item Weight: ‎75 Pounds
  • Maximum Power: ‎3 Horsepower
  • Capacity: ‎5.2 Gallons
  • Color: ‎Factory
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎29 x 19.5 x 19 inches
  • Style: ‎MAC5200 air compressor
  • Amperage Capacity: ‎15 Amps
  • Air Flow Capacity: ‎5 Cubic Feet Per Minute
  • Motor Horsepower: ‎3 Horsepower
  • Model Name: ‎Makita MAC5200 3.0 HP* Big Bore™ Air Compressor
  • Manufacturer: ‎Makita
  • Part Number: ‎MAC5200
  • Item Weight: ‎75 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: ‎29 x 19.5 x 19 inches
  • Item model number: ‎MAC5200
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer: ‎No
  • Size: ‎One Size
  • Horsepower: ‎3
  • Item Package Quantity: ‎1
  • Batteries Included?: ‎No
  • Batteries Required?: ‎No
  • Warranty Description: ‎1 Year Parts & Labor

Description

  • Cast iron pump with Big Bore cylinder and piston is engineered to provide faster recovery time for improved performance
  • Powerful 3.0 HP motor produces 6.5 CFM at 90 PSI for increased productivity
  • Pump is oil-lubricated for cooler running temperatures and reduced wear
  • Durable cast iron cylinder reduces wear and increases pump life; removable for easy maintenance
  • Folding handle with low profile design for easy storage with handle folded

California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor, Silver

★★★★★
$167.99
$152.10
Buy On Amazon
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Features

  • Brand: ‎California Air Tools
  • Voltage: ‎110 Volts
  • Power Source: ‎Corded Electric
  • Sound Level: ‎56 dB
  • Included Components: ‎Air Compressor and Owner's Manual
  • Item Weight: ‎29 Pounds
  • Capacity: ‎1 Gallons
  • Color: ‎Silver
  • Material: ‎Alloy Steel
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎12.5 x 14.7 x 14.75 inches
  • Style: ‎Air Tools
  • Air Flow Capacity: ‎1.2 Cubic Feet Per Minute
  • Motor Horsepower: ‎0.6 Horsepower
  • Model Name: ‎FBA_CAT-1P1060S
  • Manufacturer: ‎California Air Tools
  • Part Number: ‎CAT-1P1060S
  • Item Weight: ‎29 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: ‎12.5 x 14.7 x 14.75 inches
  • Country of Origin: ‎China
  • Item model number: ‎CAT-1P1060S
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer: ‎No
  • Size: ‎1-(Pack)
  • Horsepower: ‎0.6
  • Item Package Quantity: ‎1
  • Maximum Pressure: ‎8.2 Bars
  • Cord Length: ‎72 Inches
  • Handle/Lever Placement: ‎Upright
  • Measurement System: ‎Metric
  • Batteries Included?: ‎No
  • Batteries Required?: ‎No
  • Warranty Description: ‎1 Year Limited Warranty

Description

  • Ultra quiet only 56 Decibels
  • Oil-Free pump for less maintenance & costs
  • Lightweight for easy transporting - 29 lbs
  • 1.0 gallon steel tank
  • Powerful 0.6 HP (rated / running) - 1.20 CFM @ 90 PSI

What Are Framing Nailers?

Framing nailers are used to drive nails into wood framing members such as 2x4s and 2x6s. They are available in various sizes and shapes. A framing nailer has two parts: the hammer and the power unit. The power unit contains the motor, gearbox, and flywheel. The hammer is attached to the flywheel and is held in place by the frame. When the trigger is pulled, the hammer strikes the nail and drives it into the material.

Air compressors are used extensively in construction and framing work. They are used to install drywall, hang doors, build forms, and many other applications.

Horsepower (HP) Required For Framing Nailers

For a framing nailer to work well, you need a powerful enough air compressor. A 1.0 T/2.0 HP compressor will give you enough power to work easily. There are different types of air compressors around, but you will need at least 90 PSI from the compressor.

PSI Requirements For Framing Nailers

The PSI number is one of those terms that gets thrown around a lot in the industry. But what does it actually mean? In simple terms, PSI stands for pounds per square inch. This is the measurement used to determine how much pressure is needed to generate suction and force nails into wood.

Most air compressors sold today include a maximum PSI setting that ranges from about 135 to 175. This is usually sufficient to power just about every type of nailer out there, which normally require a maximum of around 120 PSI. Therefore, PSI is not something you need to worry about too much when looking for a compressor for a framing nailer.

CFM Requirements For Framing Nailers

Nail gun manufacturers often use the term “Standard Cubic Feet Per Minute,” or SCFM, to describe how many standard cubic feet of air are required to power a particular model. But what does this really mean?

The CFM rating of a nail gun refers to how much air the compressor needs to deliver to the air tool for it to function. A CFM rating of 0.5 would indicate that the compressor should provide 0.5 standard cubic feet of air every second.

Most nail guns need between 0.5 and 4 CFM – so make sure the compressor you buy can produce CFM at the top end of this range.

Oil-Free Or Oil-Lubricated

There are many different types of air compressors used by framers. Some are oil-lubricated pumps while others are oil-free pumps. If you’re looking for a compressor that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, you might want to consider an oil-free model. But what exactly makes one type better than another?

An oil-lubricated compressor requires oil to lubricate the moving parts of the machine. This helps prevent wear and tear on the compressor itself. In addition, the oil keeps the pump working properly during the colder months.

A drawback to oil-lubricated compressors is that they require periodic maintenance to ensure a long life span. You’ll need to change the oil every month or so depending on how much usage there is.

If you’ve got a job site where you don’t have access to electricity, you might find yourself running into problems starting up an oil-lubricating pump. If the temperature dips too low, the oil could freeze, making it difficult to turn the compressor on.

On the flip side, oil-free compressors do not require oil to function. They are designed to operate without lubrication. However, they aren’t perfect either. Because there is no oil, the moving components must be manufactured to a very high tolerance, which adds extra expense to the manufacturing process.

Another problem with oil-free compressors is that they tend to run hotter than oil-lubricated machines. This heat increases friction, causing the motor to burn out faster. Also, because there isn’t any oil flowing through the system, the bearings in the pump become dry and begin wearing down prematurely.

The best way to determine which type of compressor you’ll need is to ask yourself some questions about your situation. Do you have access to power? Will you be operating your compressor outside of normal office hours? What size project are you dealing with? Are you building a home or a commercial structure?

Noise Level

When selecting an air compressor, noise level should be considered. A quiet compressor is preferred over one that is too loud. Most manufacturers offer a decibel rating for their compressors. For example, if a compressor has a 60 dB sound pressure level (SPL), then it would produce sounds equivalent to having a lawn mower running at 50 feet away.

Noise

Compressors are used in almost every industry, and they are very useful tools to increase productivity. But compressors can produce a lot of noise. This article will give you information about the types of compressors available, how they work and what is the difference between them. We will discuss the different noises generated by compressors.

Portability

A portable air compressor is ideal for jobsites. These units are lightweight and compact making them easier to transport and store. However, some models may require additional tools such as extension hoses and adapters to connect to power sources.

Hose Length

Compressors come in various lengths. Some are designed to fit into standard toolboxes while others must be mounted onto a trailer hitch. Longer hose lengths allow for greater reach and flexibility.

We recommend a 4-foot length of hose, plus a regulator. If you use a longer hose, the pressure drops too much; if you use a shorter hose, the flow isn’t enough.

Accessory Kit

An accessory kit includes everything needed to operate the unit including a tank, hose, and fittings. An optional filter cartridge can be added to reduce dust and debris.

Tank Size

Most air compressors use either 1/2 gallon or 3/4 gallon tanks. Smaller tanks are lighter and less expensive. Larger tanks are heavier and more costly.

What size air compressor for framing nailer?

Framing nailers are used to build walls and floors. They come in different sizes and designs. There are corded and battery powered models too. So how much power does a framing nailer need? Here we discuss about the power requirements of framing nailers.

Can you power a framing nailer with a pancake compressor?

Pancake air compressors come in a variety of capacities, starting at 1 gallon. You may use any size tanked air compressor as long as it can provide air at 100 PSI.

We suggest utilising an air compressor capable of delivering up to 2 CFM of air at 90 psi for infrequent framing projects. If you are a carpenter or a construction worker, you should have a 6-gallon pancake air compressor with a capacity of 4-6 CFM.

Will a 6-gallon air compressor run a framing nailer?

Yes, a 6 gallon air compressor is great for running a framing nailer. Most of the 6-gallons are pancake models. Their air delivery capacity is about 2.6 cubic feet per minute (CFM) at 90 pounds per square inch (PSI). Some of the big ones have even better performance. For example, one of the best-known brands, DeWalt, makes a 10-gallon model that delivers 3.5 CFM at 120 PSI.

We recommend 2.6 CFM @90 PSI for occasional framing projects.

Will a 3-gallon air compressor power a framing nailer?

Generally, a 6.0 gallon air compressor is perfect for most home improvement projects. However, there are times where a 3-gallon compressor will do just fine. For example, if you need to use a smaller compressor because you don’t have enough room to store a larger one, or, maybe you just want to save some money.

Jeff Stelling

Jeff Stelling is an air compressor obsessive who has been working with compressors for over 25 years, since he was an apprentice engineer in the mid 90’s. He designed Aircompressorcompare.com to offer technical guidance and buying advice for compressors.

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