What size air compressor for framing nailer?

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What size air compressor for framing nailer?

The first thing that you will notice when shopping for an air compressor is that they are often plastered with specifications e.g. 3 gallons, 2.9 cfm, 2 hp, 73 dB, 2hp etc. Framing a nailer would require a certain amount of pressure for the work to be perfectly done.

Factors to consider when choosing the size for framing nailer

The type of tools used can either make or break a job. Contractors often have some essential decisions to make when they are choosing an air compressor for roofing. The most appropriate air compressor will be used to secure everything from flashing to shingles using staplers and nail guns.

Crew Size and type of work

To find the right size of a framing nailer you have to be aware of the type of work and the number of people who will be involved in the process. It will depend on whether you are remodeling or if it is a single, multi-family or a light commercial project that needs to be completed over a short period. The size of air compressor for framing nailer will depend on your crew size or individuals at work and the size of your project. If you want something that won’t last you can go for the contractor-grade that are built to last.

Air Delivery

Air delivery can be measured in Standard Cubic Feet per Minute (SCFM) or Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM or CFPM). The number of nailers that you can run off from your air compressor will be determined by a higher CFM rating. Two roofing or framing nailers can be supported by an air compressor that delivers a standard cubic feet per minute of 4.4 to 4.9 (SCFM). For three framing nailers, you will require a unit that has 10.3 SCFM rating. Although more tools can be supported by this unit, it will be powered by a gas engine because of its larger size. This means that it is going to be noisier than an electric unit.


There are various sizes of air compressors and each one of them has unique features. They have different horsepower and can either be a single or dual stage. Most contractors prefer an air compressor that releases air pressure with a reciprocating piston. There are one or two pistons in single-stage compressors that will squeeze air and deliver it to the storage tank. Typically, the moderate-duty compressors have a single piston or cylinder pump that has an average maximum rating of 150 PSI.

Most of the two-stage air compressors are equipped with two pistons. The first piston will compress the air before delivering it to the second piston through a valve. The second piston will compress the air further before it is eventually fed to the storage tank. Heavy-duty compressors are often equipped with a two-stage system that has ratings of more than 150 PSI.



Additional features

The motor should be plugged off immediately as it starts overheating. It is economical in which you can extend the lifespan of your air tools. It also protects your investment in the long run.

  • Air cooling system

It helps to extend the life of the motor by cooling the pumping machinery.

  • Roll Cage

It is a protection installed on the compressor that prevents it from being crushed or battered when at the working site.

  • ASME certification

It is a certificate used to validate the best craftsmanship and high-quality materials used in the air compressor. To ensure that the unit fulfilled the stipulations from a higher authority, It is often designated by the presence of a label.


Choosing the best air compressor

The bottom line of finding the best air compressor is that you need to know the number of nails or staples you can fire with the total capacity of air in the tank. Use tools that have a lower air-requirement rating than the air-delivery rate of the compressor. This ensures that the air tools provide you with a proper performance. A compressor that has 10 CFPM will work perfectly with five roofers. 16 SCFM is the next size range that is capable of supporting eight to nine guys who are probably working on a multi-family building.

The higher maximum pounds per square inch (PSI) will be determined by a larger size of the air compressor. It will also require more staples or nails that can be fired on a burst or peak basis. It is one of the key points since screws cannot fire at a constant rate. The best air compressor for framing nailer will depend on the number of contractors working on the job, a number of staplers or nailers available and other roofing tools. All these factors, as well as the size of the project, should guide you into finding the best air compressor for that particular job.


Makita MAC700

This is one of the lightweight air compressors and the best pick for framing nailers. It is not only quiet but also effective and can handle most of the nailing jobs. It is simple to operate and the machine runs swiftly with the oil lube that has been installed in the compressor. It comes with a read out for the oil level and refills very quickly should you run out of the air. It kicks in more frequently for most projects compared to a big air compressor. If you connect two framing nailers, air can be pumped by the compressor after every 6 nails. Although the Makita MAC700 is easy to handle, it still gets the job done and is a great compressor for home projects.

Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor
List Price: $323.40
Price: $207.99
You Save: $115.41
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Dewalt Flexvolt air compressor

Dewalt has been reputable for manufacturing quality products that meet the demands of most users. The Dewalt’s Flexvolt 60V Max 2.5 Gallon Cordless air compressor is one of the best air compressors that can be used to frame nailers. It weighs 21.5 lbs excluding the battery and is a lightweight choice for the job site. It comes with a 2.5-gallon tank that is compact, portable and can fire off up to 1220 nails per charge. It uses a 6.0 Ah Flexvolt battery, enough to provide the needed power. It maintains the normal speed when working in a variety of finish applications.

It is also equipped with a heavy-duty oil-free pump and a brushless motor. You can easily adjust the pressure by turning the OneTurn regulator on the air compressor. It is an essential feature that allows you to adjust the PSI without necessarily having to wait for a regulated pressure gauge to catch up as it adjusts itself. The rubber feet prevent it from jumping or moving around when in use.



California Air Tools Ultra Quiet CAT-6310

It is an oil-free air compressor that can be used when framing a nailer. It comes with 1.0 HP and weighs 6.3 gallons. The California air compressor is made with an industrial steel tank and has the quietest designs that produce 60 dB (decibels) only. It is more effective compared to other high numbers of its contemporaries. The powerful motor is ideal for most projects and applications and makes less noise when running at 1680 RPM. It is highly durable because of the lesser tendency of wear. The California air compressor ensures high performance and durability, equipped with an oil-free dual piston pump system.



Makita Big Bore MAC 2400

It is a 2.5 HP air compressor that makes bigger bore and strokes having an iron cast cylinder pump. It produces less noise and has a faster recovery. The MAC 2400 has a greater efficiency with an increased air intake due to its oil-lubricated and bugger automotive style filter fives. The roll-cage construction provides protection that allows it to withstand the worst job site condition.

Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor
List Price: $520.00
Price: $299.99
You Save: $220.01
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Porter-Cable Pancake compressor PCFP02003

It is an air compressor that comes with a 3.5-gallon tank and has a maximum of 135 pounds per square inch (PSI). It is an oil-free pump that requires very minimal maintenance and is highly durable. It offers the required pressure for framing a nailer. In spite of cold weather, its motor starts immediately at 120 low AMP and uses an extension line. It is installed with a quick coupler that provides a quick access in regulating air. It can be transported easily because of its lightweight. The porter-cable pancake compressor has 2 gauges with a low noise level at 82dB. The multiple trim finishing supports small framings and nailers as well as various roof jobs.




The world of air compressors uses different terminologies that are difficult to understand or complicated to the potential buyer. It is important to carry out some basic research or go through reviews before you can purchase them. Some of the essential factors you need to consider when choosing the right tank size for framing nailers include discharge pressure, size, power, and the compressed air rate. The best air compressor can save you a lot of time on your home or job site projects.

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