Professionals and DIY hobbyists may find themselves needing to use a nail gun, which requires them to have an air compressor. A nail gun works with air pressure. The compressed air shoots the nails into the material, making it faster and easier to do the task at hand. Instead of using conventional tools like a hammer, you can use an air compressor.
How much pressure do you need? It depends on the task. For example, hammering in roof nails can get tiresome, and a compressor has the power necessary.
Overall, there could be times where you need to take a nail gun and air compressor with you. That way, it’s faster to handle nailing tasks. Investing some money into these tools is crucial. However, you don’t want to buy multiple tools to find the one you like. Here are the top air compressor options on the market:
7 Best Options for an Air Compressor for Nail Gun
Craftsman CMEC6150K Air Compressor
The Craftsman CMEC6150K is a great air compressor for nail guns because it delivers maximum pressure. It features a 6-gallon tank, so it produces a lot of power without any interruptions. Plus, it comes with the accessories you need, such as a blow gun, tire chuck, drain valve, and everything else.
Aside from the higher PSI rating, it’s the go-to choice when you’re tackling tough nailing tasks. You can engage it for speed and precision. Plus, it works well in all weather conditions.
You’re sure to appreciate the many features. However, the craftsmanship is what makes it the best choice. It has an oil-free engine, so it doesn’t require any maintenance or effort to use. Plus, that makes it last longer.
Bostitch BTFP02012-WPK Air Compressor Kit
You don’t always need a big tank to get the max PSI. The Bostitch brand is another great choice and features 150 max PSI. Plus, the motor is quite good on this air compressor, and you can use it as a framing nailer. With that, the pneumatic nail gun runs for longer periods with no interruptions and has excellent torque control. If that weren’t enough, it features a low noise level when in use.
Apart from motor efficiency, this pneumatic tool has advanced accessories, such as rubber tips and nozzles. It also features a full accessory kit with everything you could imagine. While it might seem heavy, it does serve many tasks and can be considered portable with a long hose connection.
Plus, this tool can be used in cold weather with ease!
Dewalt DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor
Dewalt is a well-known brand that produces air compressors. Its pancake compressor features a 165 max PSI and adequate CFM. Overall, it’s an outstanding tool that can handle technical work in garages, warehouses, and homes. Because of the maximum power capacity, it’s ideal for nailing jobs.
The best part of this pancake compressor is the efficient motor with the universal power cable. It puts out 120V, but it has a low-amp draw.
Even though it produces tons of power, it’s quite lightweight. Plus, this air compressor has an ergonomic handle for portability. You can take it almost anywhere without a problem.
Porter-Cable C2002 Air Compressor
Though you can find battery-powered nail guns out there, they don’t stand up to the ones you plug in. The Porter-Cable brand is popular because of its lightweight design. You can take it on any job site with no hassles.
Plus, it starts at 90 pounds per square inch and goes up to 150 PSI. With it, you get all the accessories you need, such as a long air hose, rubber feet, two-side connectors, and a drain valve.
Because it’s an oil-free compressor, it has a squat shape. However, you can compress up to 6 gallons of gas.
The oil-free tank supports a shroud, ergonomic handle, and console cover, which produces the best performance. If you need a compact compressor to travel with you to job sites, this is the one to get. Though the price is a bit high, it’s an investment that stays with you for the long term.
Dewalt D55140 Portable Air Compressor
You’re sure to appreciate the portable design of the Dewalt D55140. This air compressor is easy to carry because of the caster wheels. Plus, it features a maximum of 135 PSI.
The goal of having a small compressor is to ensure a low noise level. Some are extremely loud, but this air compressor puts out more air without that issue.
This is a great compressor because it’s oil-free and easy to maintain. With that, it uses cast iron for the construction and has a roll case. It’s protected against dings and drops. The control panel is also protected with a wrap, making it a huge bonus.
If you need to operate a nail gun, you’re sure to appreciate this air compressor with the high-flow regulator. For more efficiency, it features a ball-valve drain. With the inclusion of the ball-valve drain, you can get rid of the water easily. However, be aware that it only has a 1-gallon tank and a short extension cord.
California Air Tools CAT-4710SQ Portable Air Compressor
If you want a portable compressor that works well in cold temperatures, the California Air Tools brand has you covered. It features an oil-free pump, so you don’t have to maintain it or do anything with it. Overall, it works well in high-stress conditions.
With that, this air compressor has a 1-HP motor, which is strong enough to give enough power to your nail guns. However, be aware that it works best for low air volume tools.
Since air compressors can do so much, it’s no wonder that this is a top choice. When you need a new air tool, it’s sure to be compatible with this brand.
Makita MAC2400 Big Bore Small Air Compressor
The Makita MAC2400 features a cast-iron pump, so it’s stable and suitable for beginners. With that, it uses a big bore cylinder and piston to provide faster and more efficient performance. Plus, you don’t have to worry about tripping the breakers because it has low amps.
Professionals like this small air compressor because it has two 4.2-gallon tanks to hold 130 PSI and drives two nails at once. You’re sure to appreciate the airflow capacity, which is right at 4.8 cubic feet per minute. Nail guns come to life and could make this the best compressor ever.
Though the cast-iron cylinder is durable, it does use an oil system. While this boosts efficiency for hot conditions, it does mean you could have to clean up oil stains. Still, that does help increase the pump life and reduce wear and tear.
Factors to Consider When Buying an Air Compressor for Pneumatic Tools
All types of machinery require a power supply to run, and your air compressor is no different. They can run with or without oil, and you can buy both versions.
In general, the oil-based compressor isn’t as portable but is more powerful. It can also be quieter and still produces appropriate air pressure. However, the oil-less version is lighter, but you sacrifice power. Regardless, they both offer great performances.
Single- or Two-stage
Single-stage compressors come at the minimum PSI rate, and the two-stage version is more immersive. If you want a compressor with minimum power, the single-stage one is lightweight and affordable. However, those who need more power are sure to appreciate the two-stage version.
What size air compressor is needed? It’s a question on many people’s minds. If you want the nail gun to work with full power, you need a bigger tank. They typically run longer and provide the maximum PSI.
A 6-gallon version is likely sufficient for most things.
However, small air compressors are often lightweight and can be taken anywhere. Those who do a lot of nail-gun work might prefer to buy a small air compressor for traveling and a larger one for the workshop.
Whenever it’s time to use a nail gun, you want the best air compressor for the job. You’ve learned about many products out there, and likely require a compressor rated at 4CFM to run all the tools you may have in your shop.
Remember, air compressors aren’t just for nail guns. They can be used for paint sprayers, framing nailers, caulk guns, and hammer drills.
It’s often hard to pick just one tool because you want it to be appropriate for the work at hand and have a long lifespan. Overall, the best choice is the Craftsman CMEC6150K. It has a large tank, produces tons of power, and has higher PSI levels than others. Plus, it features all the accessories you could ever want.
However, if you’re on a budget and more focused on portability, then the Porter-Cable brand might be more suitable for you.