What Size Air Compressor For Framing Nailer? Air Compressor CFM Chart

A nailer or nail gun does the work of driving the nails, there are different types of nailers in the market and among them framing nailers is one of the heavy-duty nailers.

The nailers are of different types depending on the type of work they perform.

Not all the types of nailers require air compressors but some that do work on the principle of using air pressure to drive the nails especially need them, and that’s why a framing nailer has an air compressor.

Now a question arises: What size and type of air compressor do your framing nailer require to perform its function accurately.

which Air Compressor to Use With Framing Nailers

Now the interesting thing is there are also categories of framing nailers which are

  • Cordless Framing nailers
  • Brushless Framing nailers
  • Pneumatic Framing nailers

If we look at the first two types of framing nailers, they do not require an air compressor in them as they work on the batteries while on the other hand, the last one Pneumatic framing nailers use air compressors in them.

Why do Pneumatic Nail Guns Require an Air Compressor?

Pneumatic nailers work on the principle of using air pressure to drive the nail and therefore for doing the task they need air compressors while the other ones do not need as they do not work on this principle.

So basically this article will help you to choose the air compressor you need for your pneumatic framing nail gun.

Before moving on let’s look at the indicators of the air compressors with which are also deciding factors while choosing an air compressor.


First is CFM(cubic feet per minute) this tells us about how fast an air compressor can supply the compressed air or we can also understand it as pressure a compressor can produce. The nailer manufacturing company also suggests the CFM of the air compressor that one should use for a framing nailer, we should always purchase the air compressor having CFM in between the range that the company will suggest.

Normally a nailer needs an air compressor with low CFM.

Horse Power

The second thing that we should look upon is the horsepower of the air compressor, the horsepower only can not tell us about the speed of the air compressor and some people also misunderstand this concept sometimes. Some of the air compressor manufacturing companies also grade their compressor based on their horsepower.

A framing nailer generally requires an air compressor having 5 horsepower to 10 horsepower.

Now we will move on to the main part

Which Type of Air Compressor to Use for Framing Nail Gun?

There are two types of air compressors we can use in framing nailers that are stationary air compressors and portable air compressors.

We use stationary air compressors in things which need very large quantities of compressed air, their power requirement is also very high.

On the other hand, portable air compressors do not produce such large quantities of air and also use less power in comparison to stationary air compressors, and the main thing about them is that they are very portable and we move from one place to another place easily while using them.

A portable air compressor suits well for using a framing nailer because you do not need such high power that a stationary air compressor provides and also we have to change places more frequently while doing the framing work.

Size of the Air Compressor

The size of air compressor you should use for your framing nailer depends on how and where you are using the framing nail gun, like if you are using the framing nailer in just your home for doing general-purpose work or to do the normal work of yours only and not using it on the daily basis then you can have an air compressor of smaller size, on the other hand, if you are using the nailer daily to do outdoor work such as in remote areas for other people also then you will require an air compressor with a bigger tank.

The air compressor tank is measured in gallons of air it can accommodate.

For doing less work you can purchase an air compressor having a tank of 2-5 gallons but if you want to do heavy work for more time with the nailer or you want to use more than 1 nailers with one air compressor then you can go for an air compressor with a tank of 5-10 gallons capacity.


Before purchasing an air compressor for your framing nail gun first you should select the type of compressor you want i.e stationary one or a portable one, the generally stationary compressor is best for the framing nailer after that see the requirements of the indicators like horsepower and the CFM that your framing nail gun require and choose the one with exact specifications, and at last, decide the size of the tank suitable according to the work you want to do with the framing nail gun.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size of air compressor should I purchase for using a framing nailer?

If you are using the framing nailer for normal jobs and not for the heavy jobs then an air compressor of tank size 2-5 gallons will be best for you, also it will be more portable.

Does the size of an air compressor matter?

Yes, the size of an air compressor matter you are using with your air compressor matters, imagine using a big air compressor with large capacity while you need to work very less, it will be a waste of money and power, as a big air compressor will cost you more and will take more power. While on the other hand if you have a small air compressor and you are doing heavy and long work then it will not be sufficient for you and you will face problems in using it as your work will require more compressed air than your air compressor is producing, therefore, it is very important to have an air compressor that is meeting your actual needs and requirements.

CFM require for framing nailer?

A CFM of about 2.2 is best for a framing nailer.

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