The Best Air Compressor For Nail Guns – Best Compressors For Nailers

Best Air Compressor for Nail Guns

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Table of Contents

Planning to buy a pneumatic tool like a nail gun? I have got the top 6 best air compressor for nail guns to help you with your next nailing job. 

From this list, my top pick is Porter Cable Air Compressor C2002. With this, there are 5 more air compressors for the nail gun which will do the job without breaking your bank. Each is categorized separately. For example, portability, efficiency, quiet, small, and no maintenance.

In addition, I have listed out the factors which can help you determine the best air compressor for a nail gun. The buying guide has some crucial practical tips to let you pick the best task-specific tool.

Best Overall Air Compressor For Pneumatic Nailer: PORTER-CABLE Pancake Air Compressor.

Porter Cable 6 gallon pancake oil free for pneumatic nailers

The 150 psi 6-gallon tank oil-free pancake compressor comes with a pancake-style tank and water drain valve for stability. Because of its high-pressure construction, it delivers 2.6 SCFM at a pressure of 90 psi for short recovery times. The oil-free pump ensures long-lasting performance with little maintenance.

Features of PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, 6-Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free (C2002)

  • dB Rating : 82 dB
  • Tank Capacity: 6 Gallons
  • CFM: 2.6 CFM @ 90 PSI & 3.7 @ 40 PSI
  • Motor: 0.8 HP, 10 Amps
  • Maximum Pressure: 150 psi
  • Weight: 34 Pounds

What I liked about the PORTER-CABLE C2002?

The C2002 weighs 34 pounds, making it ideal for use in the workplace, in the workshop, or around the house. You can try a wide range of tasks, from adding trim to filling air mattresses, with it.

Because of the low-amp, 120-volt motor, the C2002 is also very powerful and energy-efficient. An extension connection and replacement brushes make it easy to ignite the motor in cold weather. Moreover, with a maximum pressure of 150 PSI, this motor will provide you with a lengthy runtime and maximum efficiency.

The most significant feature of the C2002 is its oil-free pump, which eliminates the fear of oil leaks or maintenance difficulties. Additionally, the pump prolongs the tool’s life and ensures the tool’s clean, efficient functioning.

What I didn’t like about the PORTER-CABLE C2002?

I have noticed it’s drain valve has an air pressure leakage issue. But, it might just have been my bad luck. 


  • Economical
  • Easy to use
  • High-efficiency motor
  • Oil-free


  • Not recommended for heavy uses
  • Air pressure leakage

Who can use PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, 6-Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free (C2002)

It provides amazing convenience. You can even fit it into a compartment. The design of the handle is very easy. So, you can easily carry the tool anywhere. So, in my opinion, this device is suitable for homeowners and DIYers. It is also very portable to move around with.

Best Portable Compressor for Pneumatic Nailers: Bostitch BTFP02012 6-Gallon Pancake Compressor

Bostitch pancake nail gun air compressor

The Bostitch BTFP02012 6-gallon pancake compressor is an extraordinary air compressor. Honestly, oil-free air compressors have fewer problems. Also, these last longer. So, this air compressor gives you much-needed durability. A steady supply of power keeps everything running smoothly and efficiently.

Features of BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI (BTFP02012)

  • dB Rating : 78.5 dB
  • Tank Capacity: 6 Gallons
  • CFM: 2.6 CFM @ 90 PSI & 3.7 @ 40 PSI
  • Motor: 15 Amps
  • Maximum Pressure: 150 psi
  • Weight: 29 Pounds

What I liked about Bostitch BTFP02012

The Bostitch air compressor delivers 150 psi pressure and features a superb universal motor. And, to my surprise it takes only about 3 minutes to reach that pressure level. In any season and weather, its extremely efficient engine functions without a hitch. And, being lightweight, you can easily move it anywhere. It seems very sturdy and has good built quality. 

What I didn’t like about Bostitch BTFP02012

It is a little complicated to use and also ensure that you wear ear protection during depressurizing this compressor. Escaping air creates a lot of noise.


  • Long-lasting
  • Cleaning air compressor
  • High-pressure


  • Suitable for specific tasks

Who can use BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI (BTFP02012)

The Bostitch portable air compressor is highly recommended for cleaning vehicle edges. You can use it for couch corners, bed edges, etc. It can definitely be used by homeowners and first-time users. Certainly, if you are looking for something that can power up your pneumatic tools then you can rely on this one. 

Best Efficiency Air Compressor for Nail Gun: Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP Big Bore Air Compressor

Makita MAC2400 nailer air compressor

The MAC2400’s design comes with Makita’s big-bore cast-iron pump cylinder. The piston is effective for nailing with minimal noise. The increased endurance and industrial power enable it to face challenging job site challenges.

Features of Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP* Big Bore™ Air Compressor

  • dB Rating : 79 dB
  • Tank Capacity: 4.2 Gallons
  • CFM: 4.2 CFM @ 90 PSI & 4.8 @ 40 PSI
  • Motor: 2.5 HP
  • Maximum Pressure: 130 psi
  • Weight: 77 Pounds

What I liked about Makita MAC2400

With a weight of 77 pounds, this machine design sits on the floor without causing vibration. Besides, the twin-cylinder design reduces wear and extends the life of the pump. I like how quiet and compact it is in the lot. Yes, it sits very quietly, without vibration on the rubber isolation feet. Plus, even the quality of the components is worth making note of. It is just about 77 pounds. So, it is not that heavy to tote around. 

What I didn’t like about Makita MAC2400

This one takes time to build pressure. So, you have to wait a lot.

And the other thing to note is that you will have components on all sides. There are outlets, gauges, and pressure regulators on the front. On the back, there is the tank pressure relief. On/off switch on the right while the oil level indicator on the left. So, carefully think about the place where you will be keeping this.


  • Strong and rigid body
  • A little heavy, but the handle makes it easy
  • Low noise
  • Stable Pressure
  • Jobsite durability


  • The oil drain plug is very near to the oil site window.
  • Slow building pressure

Who can use Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP* Big Bore™ Air Compressor

You would love this tool for all sorts of heavy-duty jobs. That means, you can take up professional work and industrial work with this one. For instance, you can use it with trim and pin nailers for cabinetry and woodworking. This Makita tool is very powerful and yet quiet. So, you can also make its best use at home. 

Best Quiet: California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor

Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor

The CALIFORNIA AIR TOOLS 8010 is one of the most silent air compressors on the market. It has a noise level of 60 decibels.

The 1.0 HP motor spins at 1680 RPM, resulting in less noise and wear. The Oil-Free Dual Piston Pump System design enables long life and excellent performance.

Features of California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor | Ultra Quiet, Oil-Free, 1.0 hp, 8 gal:

  • dB Rating : 60 dB
  • Tank Capacity: 8 Gallons
  • CFM: 2.20 CFM @ 90 PSI & 3.10 @ 40 PSI
  • Motor: 1 HP, 8.5 Amps
  • Maximum Pressure: 120 psi
  • Weight: 48 Pounds

What I liked about the California Air Tools 8010

The California air compressor is designed to power various power tools such as brad nailer, roofing nailer and others. Since it’s quite light in weight, moving the compressor is easy. It’s also equipped with an oil-free twin-piston mechanism. This enables it to last longer and perform better on every job.

Further, this compressor has two pressure control gauges. You can regulate either one or both simultaneously. It has a simple-to-use output pressure regulator. If you wish to increase the pressure beyond 120 PSI, you can simply adjust the shutoff switch. When you do this, you will find that the compressor does not fill up completely but triggers the blow-off valve. So, it is better you just leave it alone or fine tune it a little.

Also, it does not take much time to fill. And, there is not much assembly required after pulling it out of the box. 

What I didn’t like about the California Air Tools 8010

The regulator is not properly built. If you crank the knob too fast, it may break quickly. The front rubber foot may also have a better design to make the tool quieter. Also, you may need to wait a little more time for it to recover.


  • Ultra-Quiet Operation
  • Functions in various temperatures
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Thermal Overload Protector


  • Slower to fill
  • You may see a few parts not properly built

Who can use California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor | Ultra Quiet, Oil-Free, 1.0 hp, 8 gal

This one is easy to assemble. So, even an amateur can start working with it as soon as it is out of the box. You can use it with a brad nailer, blowing lawn tractor air filter or even an air drill or air chisel. This is a perfect air compressor that can handle both home and industrial tasks. Get only 25 feet of flexible hose and you do not have to worry about anything.

Best Small: BOSTITCH Combo Kit (BTFP3KIT) Air Compressor For Nail Gun

Bostitch nail gun air compressor combo kit

This ranks in our best compact air compressor for nail guns because of its size. When you don’t have storage space and want something portable, this is the ideal solution.

Features of Bostitch Air Compressor Combo Kit, 3-Tool (BTFP3KIT) 21.1 x 19.5 x 18 inches

  • dB Rating : 80 dB
  • Tank Capacity: 6 Gallons
  • CFM:  2.6 CFM @ 90 PSI & 3.7 @ 40 PSI
  • Motor: 15 Amps
  • Maximum Pressure: 150 psi
  • Weight: 41.8 Pounds

What I liked about BOSTITCH Combo Kit (BTFP3KIT)

This air compressor is shaped like a pancake. It’s a compressor combination set with three nailing machines. You get a heavy Duty 3/8 in. Crown Stapler, 2-1/2 in. 16GA Straight Finish Nailer and 18 GA 2 in. Brad Nailer. Plus, there is also a 15 feet Air Hose. The design is cordless, and you get to try out a variety of different fitting options. It also has an air hose for increased mobility. This gadget is the finest air compressor for framing nail guns since it has a wide range of nailing choices. The best thing about this one is that the compressor fills really fast. 

What I didn’t like about BOSTITCH Combo Kit (BTFP3KIT)

While the features say that it is quiet, it is not. This model of Bostitch is loud. But it is a compressor. So, you cannot expect it to be completely silent.  


  • Adjustable air gaps
  • No leakage
  • Powerful Compressor
  • 15 Feet Hose included
  • Heavy-duty crown stapler included
  • Portable


  • It is noisy

Who can use Bostitch Air Compressor Combo Kit, 3-Tool (BTFP3KIT) 21.1 x 19.5 x 18 inches

The best part is that you can adjust the air gaps. So, there is no puff of air in your face each time. Also, it is very easy to handle. So, it can best suit DIYers or for small home tasks. Likewise since this one is powerful, even professionals can use it. It can smoothly perform heavy-duty projects.

Best No Maintenance: CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor (CMEC6150K)

Craftsman-6-gallon air compressor for nail guns

Craftsman’s lightweight compressor has a long-lasting oil-free pump and requires no maintenance. It has a high-capacity motor that assures long-term functioning, even in low temperatures.

Features of CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free with 13 Piece Accessory Kit (CMEC6150K)

  • dB Rating : 82 dB
  • Tank Capacity: 6 Gallons
  • CFM:  2.6 CFM @ 90 PSI & 3.5 @ 40 PSI
  • Motor: 10 Amps
  • Maximum Pressure: 150 psi
  • Weight: 30 Pounds

What I liked about CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor

This Craftsman product comes with a 13-piece accessory set. It includes a tire chuck with plug, a PVC airline with coupler, a blow gun with outlet, three inflator adaptors, and a tire gauge. In addition, it also has a lengthy hose. When you are using it for the first time, remember to close the air release valve. 

What I didn’t like about CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor

Another noisy one in the list, you wouldn’t really like the sound it makes when in use. Also, it does not put out much pressure. So, you cannot use it for heavy-duty tasks.


  • 13-piece accessory kit
  • Huge Capacity to empower brad nailers for a longer time
  • Runs in cold weather


  • Noisy
  • Does not throw much pressure.

Who can use CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free with 13 Piece Accessory Kit (CMEC6150K)

I would recommend it only for small scale jobs like inflating a football or a car tyre or blowing out a sprinkler system. While it does not throw much pressure for a sprinkler, the initial few 20-30 seconds are really powerful. But later, it says it goes up to 150 psi as the maximum pressure but I have heard that it does not go beyond 80 psi. 

My Verdict

My preferred choice will always be PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, 6-Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free (C2002). This six-gallon pancake compressor provides outstanding performance in a small size. The portable device is easy to operate and works effectively on standard home circuits. The lightweight compressor is not only durable and easy to operate, but it is also portable. It has a handle and a controller to make it easier to transport to different workplaces. Further, the shroud console shields the console’s critical components from the elements on the worksite.

Buying Guide

Best air compressor for nail guns buying guide

For any air compressor, you would always look at the high PSI rate. Because that’s the basic necessity to make the air compressor for the nail gun to work perfectly. But along with that, several other elements can make the performance better.

Pound Per Square inch:

PSI (pound per square inch) is a metric or measurement standard used to determine how much air pressure the air compressor can drive the nail gun like roofing nailer and other. About 120 to 150 PSI is good to be used.

PSI is one of two essential criteria that determine whether a compressor is single-stage or two-stage. Single-stage air compressors means air gets compressed only once or one time and they range from 110 psi to 145 psi. And, in a two-stage air compressor more pressure is created by compressing air two times and can compress air up to 175 psi.

Cubic Feet Per Minute:

CFM is another important factor to consider while getting the best air compressor for a nail gun. Determining the compressor’s efficiency and torque is very crucial. Furthermore, you have to ensure that the CFM ratings of the compressor’s and pneumatic tools must match.

Stalling, latency, and other difficulties might result if there’s a mismatch between the two. So, you should double-check to ensure that the compressor’s CFM rate and the device intended to be used at air pressure are compatible.

The average rate of airflow for a standard portable compressor is at least 2 CFM at 90 PSI. You can use this ratio to deliver 15 drives per minute for a large gun. Likewise, a small gun will give 70 drives, while a medium gun will deliver 30 drives per minute.

Thus, if you wish to use two guns simultaneously or a heavy-duty one, you will need 4 CFM at 90 PSI or more.


The finest compressed air unit for framing nail guns now has to have a compact design. It must be simple to transport anywhere so that anyone can use it with no difficulty.

Noise Operation:

The lower the noise the better. Especially when working with your nail gun indoors. It should operate at a sound level of only about 70 decibels. 

With oil and without oil:

A compressor’s components can work even without oil. But the one that runs on oil needs to have an oil tank. This leads to an increase in tank size and weight. On the other hand, the oil-free design engines run smoothly and efficiently, reducing the tool’s weight and size to a minimum.

However, oilless compressor units make a lot of noise when they’re functioning. If you like a quiet pump, an oil-run compressed air machine is the best choice. The compressor’s functionality is unaffected by whether the motor is running with or without oil.

Cooling system:

Your best air compressor for a nail gun must have a well-functioning cooling system. It dissipates the heat generated by the engine’s body, keeping the nail gun cool.

Tank Size:

While purchasing the best air compressor for a nail gun, the size of the device tank is a critical determinant. The larger tanks are more convenient, and they can maintain your nail gun-running at full power. As a result, you should go for the larger compressor for smoother operation over a longer period.

Extension cords:

You will need a fifty-foot extension cord to connect your best air compressor for a nail gun. Long wires, more than fifty feet, can wreak havoc on the machine. Also, it may be inconvenient for handling the wire too.


So, I hope you have got the top 6 best air compressor for nail gun to choose from. There are 6 of them, and each one is different from the other. But, if you are not sure which one to go for, I would recommend the PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor C2202. It does the basic job and offers several other features too.

Have a look at the buying guide to make a better choice. There are many factors that you would have to look at apart from the standard PSI. Right from size to weight to noise. While each one has the same primary offering, why miss looking at other factors that you can get at the same price? Also, it will surely help you excel in the job you are currently doing too! So, choose wisely.

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