Best Air Compressor for Nail Guns – Reviews & Buying Guide

Best Air Compressor for Nail GunsThere are different types of nail guns, and one particular type requires air compressors to run. Yes, I am talking about the pneumatic nail guns. If you own a pneumatic nail gun, you must need the best air compressor for nail guns to operate your tool.

But finding the best one is really tough. This is why I am here to make it easier for you. In this article I have talked about the best compressor for roofing nailer, framing nailer, brad nailer, and other pneumatic nailers.

Comparison of the Top Air Compressor for Nail Guns

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Best Air Compressor for Nail Guns

BOSTITCH Air Compressor Combo Kit (BTFP3KIT)

BOSTITCH Air Compressor Combo Kit (BTFP3KIT)
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  • Noise Level: 78.5 dB
  • Tank Capacity: 6 Gallons
  • Weight: 29 lbs.
  • Power Source: Electric, 120V
  • Maximum Tank Pressure: 150 PSI
  • Pump Type: Oil-free
  • Air Hose Length: 15 Feet
  • Nailer Type: Brad Nailer & Finish Nailer
  • Brad Nailer Configuration: 18ga Nails (5/8″ to 2″)
  • Finish Nailer Configuration: 16ga Nails (1.25″ to 2.5″)


The BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT is an air compressor and nailer combo kit that includes two different nailers and a stapler aside from the air compressor. Here, the nailers and the stapler are also from BOSTITCH. These are of good quality and you can see the nailers’ specifications above.

However, the stapler included in this kit is a heavy-duty stapler. You can drive 3/8” crown staples from ¼” to 9/16 inch using this stapler.

The air compressor in this kit is the best portable air compressor for nail guns because of its unique features. It has an airflow of 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI which is perfect for operating nailers. I have talked more about this air compressor here.

What We Like

  • The compressor tank refills quickly.
  • Two air tools can be simultaneously operated with this air compressor.
  • Outlet pressure is easy to adjust.
  • Oil-free pump for less maintenance.
  • Build quality is really good.
  • It is very stable.

What We Don’t Like

  • The dial gauge is not accurate.
  • The power cord is very short.

If you only want this air compressor and not the combo, you can get the one below.

This is the same air compressor but there are no nailers or staplers included here.

CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor 57-Piece (CMEC6150K & CMMT99446)

CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor 57-Piece (CMEC6150K & CMMT99446)
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  • Pressure Level: Max 150 PSI
  • Tank Capacity: 6 Gallon
  • CFM Rating: 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI
  • Weight: 30 lbs.
  • Power Required: 120 Volts
  • Type: Oil-Free


The CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor CMEC6150K & CMMT99446 is a combination of an air compressor and a home tool kit. This is a portable compressor for nail guns and other air tools like inflator.

You can use different types of nail guns with this air compressor. Its pressure level and CFM rating are perfect for any nailer. Moreover, this kit comes with an inflation gun as a bonus.

Aside from the air compressor, there are a lot of useful tools included in this kit. For example, hammer, plier, screwdrivers, etc.

This air compressor is also the best air compressor for $200. It has a 6-gallon tank which is why it has good portability. And the pump is very durable.

You don’t have to waste a lot of time maintaining this compressor as it is oil-free and requires less maintenance. It is very easy to start up this compressor even in cold weather. There are 13 additional accessories included with this compressor.

The kit includes 1 tire chuck, 1 25 inches by 0.2 inches’ air hose (PVC) with plug and coupler pre-assembled, 1 tire gauge, 1 blowgun, rubber tips, 1 blow gun with safety nozzle, and 3 inflator adaptors.

What We Like

  • Quick pressure gain.
  • Perfect for home garage (Nailing/inflating).
  • Easy to operate.
  • The strong handle makes it easy to carry.
  • The parts are pre-assembled.
  • It is a quiet air compressor.

What We Don’t Like

  • The safety valve leaks.

If you don’t want the tool kit and only want the air compressor kit, then you can get the CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor 13 Piece Accessory Kit (CMEC6150K). This is the same kit as mentioned above but it doesn’t include the tools.

California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Air Compressor

California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Air Compressor
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  • Noise Level: 56 dB
  • Type: Oil-Free
  • Weight: 29.5 lbs.
  • Tank Capacity: 1 Gallon
  • Power: 0.6 HP
  • CFM Rating: 1.2 CFM at 90 PSI
  • Maximum Pressure Rating: 120 PSI
  • Power Required: 110V


The California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Air Compressor is one of the quietest air compressors you will find in the market. This is a great compressor that you can use for your nailer. In fact, it is the best air compressor for roofing nailer.

It has a small tank capacity which is excellent because it lessens the weight of the compressor. This is why it is very easy to carry to your job location. Also, the motor is powerful enough to run any nailer, especially roofing nailers.

This is an oil-free compressor means it does not need any type of oil to run. It is electric powered and so you don’t have to worry about maintaining it for long. The compressors that require oil is not good for a cold climate. Since this one is oil-free it is great for a cold climate too.

And last but not least, this air compressor delivers the perfect airflow for nailers. This is why I chose it as the best air compressor for framing crew. Once you try it, I am sure you will love it too.

What We Like

  • It can be used for inflation aside from nailing.
  • It provides a very quiet operation.
  • It refills really fast.
  • There are two different gauges to show both input and output pressure.
  • The motor is well constructed.
  • Very durable and long-lasting.

What We Don’t Like

  • Tank capacity low for some air tools.

If you want you can get the California Air Tools CAT-1P1060SP Quiet Air Compressor with a little higher price. There is no difference between the performance of the two. Their configuration is the same. This one is a little bigger in size and its build quality is a little better. That’s all.

PORTER-CABLE CMB15 Compressor Kit

PORTER-CABLE CMB15 Compressor Kit
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  • Noise Level: 79 dB
  • Tank Capacity: 1.5 Gallons
  • Weight: 20 Pounds
  • Power Source: Electric, 120V
  • Maximum Tank Pressure: 150 PSI
  • Pump Type: Oil-Free
  • CFM Rating: 2.0 SCFM at 90 PSI


Draining water from the compressor is very important as without that, the compressor’s performance will be affected. Keeping that in mind the PORTER-CABLE CMB15 has added a water drain valve in it, to easily drain the water out.

With only 1.5 gallons of tank capacity, this compressor is very compact in shape and also very light in weight. And a strong handle on top of it makes it even more facile to carry. Which is why it is the best portable air compressor for tires.

Though it produces a moderate level of noise, the pressure it gives to your tools is fascinating. Its pressure level is high enough to allow high-pressure tools and low enough to not ruin a low-pressure tool when attached.

You can easily run this compressor with the electricity in your home. No adapter or batteries required to run the PORTER-CABLE CMB15.

On top of that, its motor doesn’t require any lubrication to run. So maintaining its pump is simply effortless for you.

Conclusively, if you choose this air compressor for your home, you will surely not regret your choice.

What We Like

  • The power cord is very long.
  • Lightweight (easy to carry).
  • Very strong handle.
  • Suitable for both hot and cold climates.
  • Very easy to operate.
  • Gauges are easy to read.
  • Faster recovery.

What We Don’t Like

  • Not for heavy-duty air tools.

BOSTITCH Air Compressor (CAP1512-OF)

BOSTITCH Air Compressor (CAP1512-OF)
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  • Pressure Rating: 150 PSI (Max)
  • CFM Rating: 2.8 CFM @ 90 PSI
  • Tank Capacity: 1.2 Gallon
  • Noise Level: 89 dB
  • Power Level: 1.5 HP (Running), 2.0 HP (Peak)
  • Weight: 23.5 lbs.
  • Required Voltage: 120 Volt
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered


If you want a high power small and compact air compressor for your nailers or nail guns, the BOSTITCH Air Compressor (CAP1512-OF) is the right choice for you.

This air compressor has a lot to offer. It is very easy to carry and easy to operate. It has a low tank capacity that makes it lightweight. Though it’s noise level is high you can reduce it by taking some measures.

However, it’s an electrically powered compressor and you don’t need oil to run it. That’s why it is compatible with both hot and cold weather. Hence, it is one of the best air compressor for roofing nailer or any other kind of nailers. Click here to learn more about this air compressor in detail.

What We Like

  • Tool strap included.
  • Extra protection by the roll cage.
  • Rubber feet makes it more stable.
  • On-Off indicator made of LED.
  • It requires less maintenance.

What We Don’t Like

  • Not for heavy-duty works.
  • It’s very loud.

A Quick Buying Guide for the Best Air Compressor for Nail Guns

Here is a quick buying guide to help you find the best compressor for brad nailer, roofing nailer or any other nailer. There are a few features that you have to keep in mind if you want to get the best one. So here are the features –

The Rate of Airflow (CFM)

CFM or cubic feet per minute is a unit to measure the rate of airflow. For any kind of nailer, it is better to have an air compressor with a 2 or higher CFM rating. The CFM ratings you see on this list are at 90 PSI. But it varies as the pressure varies.

Pressure Rating

The pressure rating you need will depend on the CFM rating. First of all, you need to see how much CFM your nailer needs to run. Then you have to see if the air compressor can provide that much CFM within its pressure limit.

For example, all the CFM ratings of the air compressors in this list are at 90 PSI pressure. But their maximum pressure is more than 90 PSI. With varying pressure, their CFM rating varies too. But the ratings are ideal for different nailers.

Tank Capacity of the Compressor

You don’t need a large tank capacity for nailers. An air compressor within the range of 1 to 6-gallon capacity is enough to run any type of nailer. All the air compressors I have here are within this range.

Noise Level

Although the noise level has nothing to do with the performance of the air compressor or the nailer, I think this feature is still important. It is important because a loud compressor will disturb you while working. So try to get an air compressor with the lowest noise level possible.

Portability & Type

Of course, your air compressor needs to be portable if you want to use it for nailers. All the air compressors you find here are portable air compressors. The air compressor type should be oil-free.

An air compressor that requires oil to run is harder to maintain. Also, such a compressor is not suitable for cold weather. This is why I recommend you get an air compressor that is oil-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best air compressor for nail guns?

To know what is the best air compressor for nail guns, simply see the buying guide I have here. The guide shows the features that you need in an air compressor to be best for nail guns.

If a compressor has the features I have talked about in the guide, then that is, without a doubt, the best one.

What size air compressor do I need for a nail gun?

A nail gun does not require a large or huge air compressor. You can simply use a 1-gallon air compressor for your nail guns. The tank size typically varies from 1 to 6 gallons.

But the size of the air compressor is as much important as the PSI and CFM rating. I have already talked about these in the buying guide above.

How many CFM do I need for nail gun?

You need at least 2 CFM to run any type of nail gun you want. You can run a pin or brad nailer using 2 CFM. But any other nailers will need higher than 2 CFM to run.

Do nail guns need a compressor?

Not always. Only the pneumatic guns require air compressors to run. If you have a pneumatic nail gun or if you feel comfortable working with a pneumatic nail gun, then you need an air compressor to run it.

My Final Words

We are at the end of my reviews of the best air compressor for nail guns. Now I would like to give you some final tips. When choosing an air compressor for your nail gun, make sure the compressor provides the right airflow (CFM) and pressure (PSI) for the nail gun. This is very important. Other features are there to make your work easier. But without the right CFM rating, you cannot work with the nailer.


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