What Size Air Compressor for a Nail Gun

Nail guns are manufactured with different mechanisms to perform according to the type of work. One of the working mechanisms of nail guns is to push nails by supplying pressurized air via an air compressor. Portable air compressors work best for framing nails with nail guns because you are not required to have a continuous supply of air. The task can be performed by giving a short burst of air to drive nails into their place. But the problem that arises here is what size air compressor for the nail gun you should use for an effective experience.

Related: How To Use Nail Gun with Air Compressor?

Well, there are several sizes of air compressors for different types of working and installing so today we are going to have a deep look at this matter so you can have a better understanding of the things. The technical terms of an air compressor might seem a bit complicated to you but there is no need to be anxious because we tried our best to make things easier and simpler for you.

What Size Air Compressor for a Nail Gun:

To determine the size of an air compressor for a nail gun, it is important to consider crucial factors such as CFM rate, pressure, HP, and other features that can help you perform the job. We researched all these factors and penned them down in a way that you can easily understand what you have been looking forward to.

Read More: What Is A Brad Nailer Used For?

Let’s begin with the features.


The first crucial factor or feature you must consider while buying an air compressor for a nail gun is CFM. CFM is defined as the rate of air and is measured in cubic feet per minute. It is important to consider while buying a nail gun so you can know how much air pressure it provides you with to drive nails into wood or any other place. You will find air compressors with a range of 1 CFM to more than 6 CFM.


The next factor in the list is to check the capacity of an air compressor. It is important to consider because a large tank capacity of air compressor can serve you more time than smaller tanks so you do not have to keep waiting for them to get refilled. However, small tanks are easier to handle and carry as compared to larger ones so you have to carefully choose an air compressor size that suits you best in all perspectives.


HP is known as horsepower and is used to measure the power of an air compressor. You can learn how effectively it can work to provide you with the best experience. It does not mean that you buy an air compressor with more horsepower because HP is combined with CFM, capacity, and pressure to provide you best results. so, a small HP air compressor can also provide efficient working if you choose an air compressor with the right pressure, CFM, and tank capacity.


The second last factor to consider while looking for an air compressor for a nail gun is pressure or PSI. PSI is known as pounds per square inch which means it determines how much pressure an air compressor can produce. PSI is important to consider so you can know how much pressure it can produce to drive nails into places. PSI, CFM, and tank capacity are related to each other so make sure you choose according to your requirements.


Last but not the least factor in this list is to consider the portability of air compressor because you will have to work around the house or will be required to work with air compressor at different places so a portable air compressor will work best for you in this situation as it can be easily carried and moved around for work.

Size of air compressor:

As we said before, there are different sizes of air compressors according to the requirements and working of a nail gun. If you are going to work with pin nailing then a portable air compressor with a capacity of 1 gallon and 2 CFM will be the best option for you but if you are looking for an air compressor for brad nailing then we recommend you to go with pancake or portable air compressor of 2 gallons and 2 CFM.

The finishing purpose nailing will work best with a portable or pancake air compressor that possesses 2 CFM and a capacity of 2 to 3 gallons. Sheathing, framing, and roofing nail guns are compatible with a portable air compressor of 4 CFM and up to 6 gallons capacity. If you want to push 2 to 3 nails at a time then we recommend you to buy a wheelbarrow air compressor with 6 gallons capacity and more than 6 CFM.


As you have read the complete guide and we are here to conclude it, we are very hopeful and determined that you must have understood everything very clearly. The information we provided to you through this guide is 100% authentic as we researched a lot on this matter to bring the best of all for you. We recommend you to get an air compressor according to essential points and crucial factors that we explained above for an efficient and effective working experience.

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Let us summarize everything for you that we learned so you can recall it anytime you need. First, we saw the relation of the air compressor with the nail gun, then we moved to the features of the air compressor that are very important to consider. The features included CFM, capacity, HP, pressure, and portability. At last, we learned what size air compressor for a nail gun will prove to be best for you. We wish you safety at work.

Thomas Oscar

Hey, I am Thomas Oscar founder and author of Machinery Judge.
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