What Size Air Compressor For Nail Gun? (Best Recommendations)

Depending on the power supply, a nail gun can be classified as pneumatic or cordless. The pneumatic versions are the more attractive and widely utilized of the two. Their primary source of power is undoubtedly air compressors. 

Therefore, the finest air compressor is required to get the most out of a nail gun. Unfortunately, the ordinary user has difficulty determining which air compressors to buy and which to avoid.

With our handy guideline on choosing what size air compressors for nail gun, you might be able to figure out the one that suits your needs.


What Size Of Air Compressor Should You Choose For Nail Gun? 

In most cases, nail guns do not require a continual supply of air. Instead, they require a brief burst of air to drive nails into the ground. As a result, any nail gun may be operated with a tiny portable air compressor.

The finest air compressor for nail guns will usually have a good mix of CFM and PSI to achieve the best output. So we’ll need to figure out the CFM, PSI, and HP first. Then we’ll go straight to measure the air compressor’s size.

What Are CFM, PSI, And HP?

The pressure applied to a square inch of area is measured in PSI (pounds per square inch). PSI stands for pounds per square inch of force that an air compressor can provide.

CFM is the abbreviation of cubic feet per minute, and it refers to the flow rate of a compressor or the quantity of air it can generate at a particular pressure level.

HP stands for horsepower or the amount of work a motor can do. HP is less essential than pressure and flow in determining if your compressor will work for you. Doing more with less HP can save you energy and provide higher returns during the compressor’s lifetime.

How Does PSI Relate To CFM?

There is a significant symbiotic connection between CFM and PSI. An air tool can be effectively utilized once everything is set to its ideal settings. If the air pressure is reduced, the flow rate will rise. You’ll obtain greater CFM at a lower PSI as a consequence. On the other hand, Higher PSI implies the compressor can hold more air in the tank, allowing the air tools to work for longer.

Therefore, a compressor with a better CFM and appropriate air pressure can generate more air, making it ideal for heavy-duty tasks like running air wrenches and framing nail guns.

Choose an air compressor that can create at least 4 CFM at 90 PSI, rather than the minimum required pressure of 90 psi and flow rate of 2.2 CFM, to ensure the highest output from a pneumatic framing nail gun.

The cubic feet per minute (CFM) and pressures (PSI) required for air-powered nail guns are stated in the specifications. A minimum pressure of 70 psi is required, with 90 psi being a more practical objective. A finish nail gun with 16ga nails typically takes approximately 4.5 CFM.

Other Criteria To Consider When Choosing Air Compressors For Nail Gun

1. The capacity of the tank

The tank’s capacity is determined by the task you’ll be undertaking. For example, if you plan on using the nail gun for a long time, you’ll need an air compressor with a high tank capacity.


The tank capacity of most air compressors’ tank capacity for powering pneumatic equipment like power nailers ranges from 1 gallon to 8 gallons. Of course, air compressors with larger tanks will be available on the market. However, if you want mobility and convenience of usage, 1 to 6 gallons should be enough, especially if you’ll be using a nail gun.

2. System of air cooling

Your air compressor will keep cold for the duration of your use if you use it with an air-cooling system. It does not just cool the system, but it also extends the life of your air compressor.

3. Thermal protection

If you work with your air compressor every day and it does not have an air cooling system, it will quickly become overheated. Overheating might cause long-term damage to the equipment. As a result of the thermal protection, your computer will have an auto-off feature that will switch it off when it becomes too hot.

4. Portability

A little air compressor will boost your productivity but also be simple to use.

For a shop floor or factory, a big air compressor is suitable to power several types of equipment. However, portability is more crucial for builders, construction workers, and home renovation projects. The usage of pneumatic equipment such as nail guns becomes overwhelming when an air compressor is massive and heavy.

5. Noise problem

Some of these compressors are pretty noisy. You might think that this won’t matter much at first, especially if you just use it for minor repairs or DIY tasks. However, after a few times of operating the compressor, this issue might become quite inconvenient.

How About The Tank Size For Nail Gun?

The size of an air compressor’s tank is mainly determined by the tasks you’ll be working on. For example, if you plan to use many tools and nail guns simultaneously, you’ll need a big capacity tank, and vice versa for single-use.

Compressor manufacturers all around the world use the gallon as a measurement unit for storage tanks. Smaller tanks, ranging from 4 to 6 gallons, are excellent for various jobs, such as airbrush painting or operating nail guns and wrenches.

Final Thoughts

We are glad that we have delivered some essential information on “what size air compressor for nail gun.” Knowing the suitable size and other factors to consider when buying an air compressor for power tools like nail guns can help you make the best selection and get the most out of the item you buy.

Hopefully, you have found our article helpful. Remember to visit our website daily for more exciting pieces of advice.