What Size Air Compressor for Framing Nailer?

We use many tools with air compressors, and nail guns are the most commonly used tools. Most people want to know what size air compressor for framing nailers is perfect. It depends on various factors. When buying an air compressor, you must know what type of tools you will use with the compressor. All the compressors are not working the same. Some are overflowing, some are perfect for heavy work, and some are light. 

Which compressor is perfect for framing nailers depends on CFM and PSI. Framing nail guns are ideal for heavy work. So it requires a higher flow than other nailers. 

Framing nailers require air compressors with a capacity of 0.5 to 4 CFM @ 90 PSI. But other factors also depend on choosing the perfect size air compressor for framing nailers. We will discuss all the elements in this article. 

Types of Air Compressor for Framing Nailer

You need a framing nailer for heavy-duty handling tasks like sub-flooring, deck building, and framing. In the market, you will get three types of framing nailers. They are-

Brushless Framing Nailer

Brushless framing nailers operate without air compressors rather it is run by a brushless motor.

Cordless Framing Nailer

The cordless framing nailer runs battery-powered. It hasn’t a cord and no air compressor to operate. 

Pneumatic Framing Nailer

This framing nailer runs on a portable air compressor. It needs extreme power. You can do heavy tasks with this.

Factors of Air Compressor Size for Framing Nailer

What size of air compressor is perfect for framing nailer? It depends on four factors. 

  1. Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM)
  2. Pounds Per Square Inches (PSI)
  3. The Tank Size
  4. The power of HV or CV
a air compressors with a capacity of 0.5 to 4 CFM @ 90 PSI
Air compressors with a capacity of 0.5 to 4 CFM on Amazon

When buying an air compressor, you need to remember these things. However, all the factors are essential. But the most critical factors are CFM and PSI.

When you want to buy a compressor for use with nail guns, size isn’t an important thing. On the other hand, nail guns don’t require the compressor tank size and continuous airflow. 

Nail guns only need a single blast of compressed air per nail. So that the compressor takes time to recover. So you don’t need to worry about running out of air when nailing.


The full stand of CFM is Cubic Feet Per Minute. We can measure airflow per minute with CFM. That means how fast and how much air flows to the compressor and tools. 

For example, an air compressor is rated 10 CFM. It means the air compressor can fill up an area of 10 Cubic Feet of volume within 1 minute with compressed air.

Most nail guns require 0.5 to 4 CFM.

Sometimes, the CFM is also shown as SCFM. That stands for Standard Cubic Feet per Minute. 

It is a measure of CFM under ideal conditions. Because this can be affected by atmospheric pressure, ambient temperature, and humidity. 


PSI, or Pounds Per Square Inches, is a pressure indicator device. It requires how much the nail gun works properly. 

Most air compressors provide enough pressure or PSI to operate the nail guns in the market. The PSI rate of many compressors has a max of 135 and 175. The compressor with 115 PSI is the most demanded nail gun. 

How to Determine CFM and PSI

In the air compressors, CFM and PSI are mentioned together. They look like 2.0 CFM @ 90 PSI. 

The compressor delivers 2.8 standard cubic feet per minute at 90 pounds per square inch. The manufacturer rates it. 

CFM and PSI are important factors in finding the best air compressor for framing nailers. You can quickly determine these two factors of your nail gun. 

Firstly, we have to find out the nail gun’s highest CFM rate. Then multiply the number by 1.5. 

For example: Framing nailer rated on 2.5 CFM @ 90 PSI

2.5 * 1.5 = 3.75 CFM

The compressor must be capable of at least 3.75 CFM @ 90 PSI.

So, you can use the highest CFM of the framing nailer with the air tool. 

Different Types of Nail Guns

The market has different types of nail guns. All the nail guns work the same but are slightly different in their other features. CFM, PSI, tank size, and power of HV are additional for each nail gun. Let’s know about the different types of nail guns. 

Brad Nailer

Brad Nailer doesn’t require much air. Because it is not very thick and doesn’t have much of a head. Brad nailers require PSI between 60 to 90 and operate at 0.5 to 1 CFM. The air compressor has a minimum 2-gallon tank and can deliver 2.0 CFM @ 90 PSI. Brad nailer is not much required. 

Finish Nailer

The Finish nailers do not require more air than brad nailers. The compressor with 2.0 CFM @ 90 PSI and a 2-gallon tank is enough for you. 

Framing Nailer

Framing nailer rated on 2.5 CFM @ 90 PSI. That is higher CFM than other nailers. You can work with a compressor capable of 4.0 CFM @ 90 PSI. The tank capacity is 6- to 8-gallon, which will be fine for a framing nailer.

Palm Nailer

Palm nailer helps you to work in a place that is hard to reach. You can operate the air compressor with the palm nailer in low pressure and CFM. It requires 3.0 CFM @ 90 PSI and a minimum of a 3-gallon tank. 

Pin Nailer

Usually, pin nailers require less than 1 CFM to operate. So you can buy an air compressor with a 2.0 CFM @ 90 PSI capacity and a 2-gallon tank.

Flooring Nailer

Most flooring nailers require around 2.0 CFM @ 90 PSI. So, the air compressor capable of 3.0 CFM @ 90 PSI and a three or more gallon tank is enough for you.

Roofing Nailer

The roofing nailers require around 2.2 to 2.5 CFM. You get a compressor with a 4.0 CFM @ 90 PSI and 6-gallon tank. This air compressor is enough for operating a roofing nailer.

Siding Nailer

Siding nailers require between 2.5 and 3.5 CFM @ 90 PSI, similar to framing nailers in their requirements. A slightly larger compressor is required for siding nailers than many other nailers. The compressor that is capable of 5.5 CFM @ 90 PSI is good for siding nailers. The tank size of the compressor will be around 8 to 10 gallons.

Stapler Nailer

Stapler nailers haven’t high requirements. They can operate under 1 CFM. So you need a small compressor with 2.0 CFM @ 90 PSI.

What Size Air Compressor Need for Framing Nailer

Framing nailers are more potent than other nailers. Like brad nailers, finishing nailers. What compressor is suitable for framing nailers? You need to know the factors; CFM and tank size. Let’s see the chart. 

Types of nailersCompressor typeCFM requirePressure Minimum Compressor Requirements 
Brad NailerPortable / Pancake0.5 to 1 CFM 60 to 90 PSI2.0 CFM @ 90 PSI and 2 gallon tank
Finish NailerPortable / Pancake0.5 to 1 CFM60 to 90 PSI2.0 CFM @ 90 PSI and 2 gallon tank
Framing NailerPortable 2.5 CFM (average)90 PSI4.0 CFM @ 90 PSI and 6 to 8-gallon tank
Palm NailerPortable 1 to 2 CFM70 to 90 PSI3.0 CFM @ 90 PSI and 3-gallon tank
Pin NailerPortable 0.5 to 1 CFM60 to 90 PSI2.0 CFM @ 90 PSI and 2 gallon tank
FlooringPortable 2.0 CFM (average)90 PSI3.0 CFM @ 90 PSI and 3-gallon tank
Roofing Portable 2.2 to 2.5 CFM90 PSI4.0 CFM @ 90 PSI and 6-gallon tank
SidingPortable 2.5 to 3.5 CFM90 PSI5.5 CFM @ 90 PSI and 8-gallon tank
StaplerPortable 0.5 to 1 CFM60 to 90 PSI2.0 CFM @ 90 PSI and 2 gallon tank

According to the chart, there are so many requirements that depend on nailers. But, what size air compressor is ideal for framing nailers? 

Compressors come in different sizes. All types of compressors are good for framing nail guns. But it depends on your work. For example, portable air compressors are suitable for work in remote places and garage work. 

Again, you also need to check the tank size. A 2 to 20-gallon tank size is best for an air compressor. It also depends on your work. 

If you want to work in a remote place for a long time, you need a big tank-size air compressor. On the other hand, in the garage for light work you need a small tank size air compressor.

We will give a list of the size of the tank according to work. 

2-4 gallons of tank size: These tank-size air compressors are best for light work. You can use it for homework or semi-professional nailing projects.

4-6 gallons of tank size: An air compressor with a 4-6 gallons tank is suitable for medium-sized handling projects. You also get support for heavy tasks from this type of compressor. 

6-10 gallons of tank size: You can handle large projects with a 6-10 gallons tank size air compressor. This compressor offers you professional work for a long time. 

You have to choose an air compressor according to your work. What size air compressor for framing nailer depends on your work. 


What size air compressor do I need to run a framing nail gun?

You need an air compressor that is capable of 2.5 CFM @ 90 PSI for framing nail guns. The minimum compressor size is 4.0 CFM @ 90 PSI and 6-8 gallon tank size.

What is a good compressor for a framing nailer?

A compressor with the highest pressure of 150 PSI is suitable for a framing nailer. The compressor comes with a water valve and exclusive rubber feet. You can work for a long time with multiple framing nail guns.

How much PSI do you need for a framing nailer?

The PSI of the most compressor is 135 to 175 max and 115 PSI is most demanded. For framing nailer, 90 PSI is good. But it depends on your project type.

How many SCFM do I need to run a framing nailer?

SCFM stands for Standard Cubic Feet per Minute. SCFM and CFM are both the same. You need 2.5 SCFM to run a framing nailer.

Final Thought 

What size air compressor for framing nailer we discussed the topic. We hope that now you can understand the ideal size of air compressor for framing nailers. 

The size of air compressors depends on your task type, tools, and other factors. All the compressors do not offer the same feature. You need to know what type of tools are used with the compressor. Then choose the right compressor. 

For framing nailers, 6 to 8-gallon tank size and 4.0 CFM @ 90 PSI capable of air compressor is good. But it also depends on your task type.