What size air compressor is appropriate for framing nailer? (CFM Chart)

We all know very well that an air compressor is an essential tool for pneumatic tools. Here you will not forget the framing nailer as well. Everyone knows that compressors are available in different sizes and shapes.

Now, the question arises in our minds what size air compressor for framing nailers are. It is sometimes a little bit difficult to pick the best model within that size.

What does a framing nailer require from a compressor?

Framing nailers are most commonly used in heavy-duty tasks like building fencing, framing, and sub-flooring. So to perform these heavy-duty functions, there is always a need for potential power from the air compressor.

However, the requirement is different for different types of framing nailers themselves. You can judge from the list below.

Pneumatic framing nailer

Pneumatic framing nailer always needs a highly powerful and portable air compressor.

Cordless framing nailer

Cordless framing nailer works on charge batteries as well as fuel cartridges. They do not need an air compressor.

Brush-less framing nailer

Brushless framing nailers are similar to cordless framing nailers. This is the main reason they also do not require any air compressor in most cases.

Understanding of the air compressor measurements

As we are talking about air compressor sizes for framing nailers, you should be familiar with some terms related to air compressor sizes.

If you are in the air compressor industry, you should know about CFM, PSI, and HP. These are the essential acronyms essential in determining which size air compressor will fit your applications.


Air is produced at a given pressure level in cubic feet per minute, or CFM. So you can logically understand that if the CFM you think is higher, then the compressor will provide more air. So the highest CFM ratings are Ideal for larger applications.


PSI stands for pounds per square inch. It is the amount of pressure placed on a square inch of space. This pressure is the force that an air compressor can deliver.


HP stands for horsepower, and it is actually the amount of work that a motor can do. Keep in mind that HP is less important as flow and pressure are important in compressor working. As such, we can conclude that CFM and PSI are more important than HP.

Requirements for your pneumatic framing nailer

Nail guns are very important too and driven by the compressed air present in the air compressor. The minimum amount of pressure is necessary for all nail guns to function. This pressure is called CFM. Usually, nail guns are considered to be low CFM air tools.

Every year the tool comes with our recommended CFM, and the manufacturer actually sets it. However, in some cases, you have to determine it again and again, and for this purpose, you can proceed with the following suggestions.

  • First of all, check out the highest CFM rating of the pneumatic nailing tool. Then divide it by 1.5.
  • This is the average CFM required for your nailing job.
  • You can also go for the generalized chart of different CFM requirements to make it even more consumable.
  • Typically, the ideal framing nailer CFM requirement is 4.0. Keep in mind this is starting CFM value, and then look for others for the perfect size of air compressors.

Calculating the HP requirement for your framing nail gun

In the next step, you can look for the HP requirement of the air compressor. Some people believe that if there is more HP, then the more influential the motor is.

So instead of paying more attention to HP, you should pay attention to CFM and PSI. HP is not the direct measurement of how fast the compressor will work.

Air Compressor for framing nailer

We all know very well that a pneumatic nail gun is a powerful tool that does not need any continuous air supply. To drive the nails into the board or wall, you simply need the best air.

As you have to move from one side to another, the air compressor should be portable with at least two CFM ratings and two 26 gallon tank capacities. Now there is the requirement of specification, which is different according to the type of the nailers and their use.

With the help of a handy CFM chart, you will select the suitable air compressor for the nail gun according to the requirement. So the compressor for framing nailer must be portable and according to the requirements.

air compressor for framing nailer chart

Best nail gun for fencing

When you are building a wooden fence, it is almost the same as framing a building. For fencing, it needs precise measurement as well as a foundation to fit it to the last.

Use the required tools.

For fencing, it is necessary to use dependable tools throughout the process. The reason is that it requires precise placement of the nails as well as building materials. However, in the modern world, a nail gun is considered the perfect tool for fencing and speeding up the nailing process. The nailing gun also gives you consistent and precise work for the exact type of job.

Ensure that the nail gun you are choosing must be pneumatic, powerful, and comes with a warranty. It should be well built and durable with solid performance. If it comes with dual firing controls, then it is more ideal. Below are some of the potential nail guns for fencing and other related purposes


What is the ideal compressor size for an air tool?

Instead of measuring the ideal compressor, the size of an air tool is much better to look for how much air it delivers. Usually, this air is measured in cubic feet per minute CFM.

So a compressor’s capability is measured in the form of compressed air rather than its physical size. According to different manufacturers, many air compressors mean the power tools fall in the 10 to 110 CFM range.

What size air compressor for a nail gun?

We have to consider certain factors while choosing the appropriate size air compressor for the nail gun. It should be portable according to the right tank size.

However, you will also come across other options for selecting the compressor for the nail gun. The important thing which should be present is the portability; however, the size options will rather be limited. Usually, the portable air compressors consisted of a text size ranging from 2 to 20 gallons.

It means that it can hold a particular amount of compressed air. On the other side, if you are working on a bigger project, you might need a bigger tank with more compressors. However, if you are working in your garage, you might need a smaller sized tank.

List of tank sizes for different scenarios

2 to 4 gallons tank size

Ideal for indoor as well as semi-professional nailing work. It usually works with pneumatic framing nailers.

4 to 6 gallons

If you are more intended for outdoor work, a single nailer with 4 to 6 gallons text size is appropriate.

6 to 10 gallons

For large-scale work, a tank size of 6 to 10 gallons is perfect. At this time, you require two or more nail guns at the same time.

What is the best air compressor for a framing nail gun?

According to many experts and scientists, the Portable Cable C 2002 WK is considered the best air compressor for framing nailers. Usually, it comes with a maximum pressure of 150 PSI.

This is an appropriate pressure for more extended air tool performance. The water drain valve and unique rubber feet of this air compressor are fantastic. All these things are very good at boosting the efficiency of the air compressor.

air compressor for framing nailerWhat size nails for framing?

On the market, you can find different-sized nails for framing. The reason is that they are used for different purposes. The most common nail length and nail size are 6d, 8d, 10d, or 16d.

Here the d refers to the penny, and when we talk about nails, the diameter or penny size is different between each nail. Now the question arises of how to differentiate between different nail lengths.

The selection of appropriate nails is necessary because if you want to do your job correctly, you have to choose the perfect nail length. There is a rule that the nail length should be three times longer than its thickness.

Framing the interior walls is a tricky process, so make sure that you select the right size. The appropriate length is easy to drive and can easily split food. Thin nails will not be able to drive quickly and split wood.

The best nails for framing are usually 16-d or 16-penny nails. The length of these 16 d nails is 3 ½ inches long for easy driving of the nails.


The ability to perform precision work will take a great deal of skill-based and technical expertise. It begins with selecting the appropriate air compressor size.

We advise you to do your study first if you are unfamiliar with these facts and calculations. With so many options of air compressors available, choosing the right one is extremely challenging.

Lastly, let me give you some advice. While air compressors are increasing their price as well, they are increasing their power and functionality.

If you are a complete hobbyist, mechanic, or machinist, you need not spend a fortune. You need to pay attention to the price-quality ratio to grab the best compressor within your budget.

Thanks for reading this guide. I hope it helped you understand what size compressor will work with your framing nailer—wishing you luck!