5 Best Air Compressor for Nail Guns In 2021 (Buyer’s Guide)

The best air compressor for a nail gun offers both the ease of use and the power you need for efficiency in your work. If you are looking for the best air compressor for nail guns that you can easily use for your woodworking but don’t know how to get it, we will help you to get the best one.

best air compressor for nail guns

Pneumatic tools have become more affordable and more popular amongst homeowners and professionals. Pneumatic means that the tool is powered by air or gas that is under pressure. An air gun is a pneumatic tool.

You have to have an air compressor to power the air driven nail gun. Before you run out and buy an air compressor, you need to consider which is the best air compressor for nail guns, like the one you own or about to buy.

Not every air compressor is perfect for every nail gun. For keeping it as mobile as possible, you will need a good and highly portable compressor for your nail gun. We’ve done all the research and tested all the top products, and selected some of the best options for you.

Best Air Compressor for Nail Guns Comparison Chart

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Best Pick
BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI (BTFP02012)
PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, 6-Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free (C2002)
Best Portable
Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor
DEWALT Air Compressor, 225-PSI Max, Hand Carry with Wheels, 4-1/2 Gallon (D55146)
BOSTITCH Air Compressor Combo Kit, 3-Tool (BTFP3KIT) , Yellow , 21.1 x 19.5 x 18 inches
Product
Bostitch BTFP02012
PORTER-CABLE C2002
Makita MAC2400
DEWALT D55146
BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT
Capacity
6 Gallon
6 Gallon
4.2 Gallon
4.5 Gallon
6 Gallon
Max. Tank Pressure
150 PSI
150 PSI
120 PSI
225 PSI
150 PSI
Best Pick
Image
BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI (BTFP02012)
Product
Bostitch BTFP02012
Capacity
6 Gallon
Max. Tank Pressure
150 PSI
Image
PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, 6-Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free (C2002)
Product
PORTER-CABLE C2002
Capacity
6 Gallon
Max. Tank Pressure
150 PSI
Best Portable
Image
Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor
Product
Makita MAC2400
Capacity
4.2 Gallon
Max. Tank Pressure
120 PSI
Image
DEWALT Air Compressor, 225-PSI Max, Hand Carry with Wheels, 4-1/2 Gallon (D55146)
Product
DEWALT D55146
Capacity
4.5 Gallon
Max. Tank Pressure
225 PSI
Image
BOSTITCH Air Compressor Combo Kit, 3-Tool (BTFP3KIT) , Yellow , 21.1 x 19.5 x 18 inches
Product
BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT
Capacity
6 Gallon
Max. Tank Pressure
150 PSI

Top 5 Best Air Compressor For Nail Guns Reviews


Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon 150 PSI Oil-Free Compressor


Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon 150 PSI Oil-Free Compressor

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This is a pancake style air compressor. It is an oil free, no maintenance compressor that you will find handy for doing a lot of things around your home. It does not come with an air hose.

This air compressor can hold 6 gallons of air in the small tank. It has a 150 maximum PSI and a 2.6 SCFM that is delivered at 90 PSI.

This air compressor is quiet. It has a 78.5 DBA so your work environment will be quieter. This is very important if you will be using the air compressor inside, or if you will be working in close proximity to others, like in apartment buildings and condominiums.

This air compressor will be able to operate the majority of pneumatic tools. You can also use this air compressor to inflate tires, and to blow the dust away from your refrigerator coils, and many other items. It is light and easy to use and transport.

You will also get an air compressor that starts quickly in cold and hot weather. It can be used with an extension cord that measures as much as 50 foot.


PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor


PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor

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This compressor has a 150 PSI tank that can store plenty of air to keep your tools working. It also has a quick air recovery time, so while you are taking a break your compressor will be quickly building the pressure back up.

This type of air compressor is stable and does not easily tip over. It has an oil free pump so you have no maintenance issues to worry over.

It is a quick starting compressor that starts up easily even when the temperature is cold outside. You can also plug this compressor into an extension cord that is as much as 50 feet long.

This compressor is relatively quiet in operation. It is powerful enough to power the majority of pneumatic tools such as nail guns, brad nailers, and pneumatic staplers. It is handy to have for airing up bicycle tires, and other inflatable items you have around the home.


Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor


Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor

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This air compressor is designed to have a low amperage draw. That means that you will have fewer incidences of tripped circuit breakers.

It has an air storage tank that will hold 4.2 gallons. That sounds small until you realize that it has a cast iron pump and big bore cylinder that allows it to recover air faster than the average compressor.

The twin stacked tanks on the compressor allow it to have a maximum operating pressure of 130 PSI. It can deliver either 4.8 CFM or 4.2 CFM. That is enough pressure to power 2 air guns at one time. This is a great small compressor for contractors and handymen who do work for hire.

It is designed with a roll cage that will protect it on the jobsite. It has a large air filter that you normally only find on larger professional air compressors. This larger air filter will allow the device to last longer and work harder.

This is an oil lubricated air compressor. The engine can work longer without overheating or being compromised. You will find many uses for this air compressor both on the job and around your home. It is perfect for carpenter tools, or pneumatic wrenches, and for airing up tires, inflatables, and cleaning the dust from the coils of large appliances.

Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor
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DEWALT D55146 4-1/2-Gallon 225-PSI Hand Carry Compressor with Wheels


DEWALT Air Compressor

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This air compressor is small like the pancake style compressors. It has a convenient handle built onto the frame so it is very easy to carry the compressor from place to place.

This air compressor has a maximum 225 PSI output. The entire unit is less than 34? but it can provide you with roughly 80% more air than the average compressor of its size can.

You can save space when storing this unit by storing it vertically. The handle is also collapsible so the entire unit takes up less space.

Air compressors are notoriously loud. This air compressor has a 78 DBA operational noise level. It is quieter than the average compressor.

There are 10? tires on the rear of the compressor so you can simply grab the handle and roll the unit to a new location. The tires are the non-flat type so they will not be damaged on the jobsite. This is a 1.6 HP tool that can be used for professional or personal use. It can be used for multiple things around the home and office. It is capable of powering the majority of nail guns, brad nailers, and staple guns.


BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT 3-Tool Portable Air Compressor Combo Kit


BOSTITCH Air Compressor Combo Kit

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When you purchase this kit you are not just getting the air compressor. You are also getting tools that can be powered by the compressor.

This kit comes with a cordless air compressor, a brad nailer for finish work, a framing gun, a heavy duty staple gun, a 15 foot air hose with all the needed fittings, and samples of the brads, nails, and staples the guns use.

This compressor has an oil-free pump so you have fewer maintenance worries. The compressor can easily be used indoors or outdoors. It is lightweight and portable. The compressor is also very quiet when operating so it is less likely to disturb your neighbors if you start working early or work a little late.

It has a max PSI of 150, a 6-gallon air tank, and is 2.6 SCFM. You can operate this compressor using a 50-foot extension cord if you need to. The high-efficiency motor in the compressor makes it easy to start, even in cold weather. The 2.6 SCFM delivered 90 PSI pump allows the compressor to power tools for longer amounts of time, and to rebuild the air in the tank in shorter amounts of time.


Buying Consideration: Best Air Compressor for Nail Guns

When you are buying an air compressor you have to consider how you will use the compressor, what CFM and PSI your tools require, along with several other things.

Considerations

What size air compressor should you buy for use with nail guns

A portable air compressor that is a small 1HP unit will deliver about 2.0 CFM. The CFM is the cubic feet of air per minute. That amount of air per minute will allow the average framing gun to drive 15 nails per minute. If you are using a typical brad nailer, you could go about 30 nails per minute using the same 1 HP compressor. A smaller brad nailer or a pin nailer could drive 70+ nails per minute with that air compressor.

  • Roofing nailer needs 4.0 CFM
  • Framing nailer should have 4.0 CFM
  • Brad nailer should have 2.0 CFM
  • Stapler should have 2.0 CFM

If you plan to operate your tools individually, you can usually run most pneumatic tools with a 2.0 CFM. If you plan to use more than one tool simultaneously, get a compressor that is either a 4.0 CFM or a 6.0 CFM.

How to use a nail gun with an air compressor

Once you have connected your nail gun to your air compressor there are a few things you need to know.

  • There are two gauges on the compressor. One gauge tells you how much pressure is in the tank and the other gauge tells you how much pressure is being sent through the hose to the tool you are using.
  • If you notice that your nails are not being driven completely into the wood, you will want to turn up the pressure control valve, so more pressure is sent to the tool. If the tank is not reaching maximum pressure, you should listen to see if you can hear where the air is leaking from.
  • When you hear the compressor motor kick on, you need to stop nailing and allow the tank pressure to build up to the proper level.

The size of the air tank and what it does for the air compressor

The larger air tank can store more air so you can operate your pneumatic tools for longer periods of time before the air compressor motor has to kick in and refill the storage tank.

Safety Equipment

Some of the larger air compressors for nail guns are so loud that they could damage your hearing if you do not wear ear plugs while they are running. Most of the smaller air compressors have a low enough dBA that you can operate them without an ear plug if you choose to do so.

It would be the best practice to wear ear plugs anytime you are going to be operating the air compressor inside a structure. The noise levels will increase when the compressor is contained in an enclosed area.

Air compressors and extension cords

Most air compressors can be plugged into a fifty foot extension cord. You really do not want to plug any tool into an extension cord that is longer than fifty foot. The use of long extension cords can damage the tool.

Determining the amount of air the nail gun will require

The larger that the nail gun is the more air that it requires to operate.  Your manufacturer manuals should tell you what the air consumption per cycle of the tool you are using is.

If you take the air consumption per cycle and divide that number into the CFM of your air compressor you will be able to know how many nails can be driven each minute.

Wheelbarrow Compressors

A wheelbarrow compressor may be fueled by electricity or gasoline. The typically have two wheels on one end of the compressor roll cage and a handle on the other end. You move the compressor by lifting up on the handle and pushing, or pulling the unit along with the wheels.

These compressors are usually tool large for one person to lift and carry so they have wheels to help you move them and reposition them.

A portable air compressor is one that is small enough that one person can pick it up and carry it without any problems. The pancake compressor is the most popular type of portable air compressor.

Final Notes

An air compressor is a valuable tool to homeowners and professionals. The homeowner can use an air compressor to power pneumatic tools like nail guns, staplers, and wrenches. They can also use an air compressor to keep the coils of their large appliances clean so their appliances last longer.

They can use the air compressor to air up tires on bicycles, cars, tractors, lawn mowers, and more. They can also use air compressors to power paint guns and to inflate pool toys and floatables. Pancake air compressors are lighter, and smaller, so they are easy to move around and to store. Our reviewed “best air compressor for nail guns” will definitely help you to find the best one for your woodworking.

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