Top 5 Best Air Compressor for Nail Guns of 2020 – Reviews & Guide

So, you just got yourself a framing nailer or a nail gun to complete your DIY projects but are unsure which air compressor will be required for proper functioning of the tool. Do not fret, for we have got you covered. In this article, we are reviewing the best air compressor for nail guns available in the market.

The air compressors on our list have a 6-gallon storage tank. This is the most common size that you will encounter to power nail guns. These are built with portability in mind and their lightweight and compact design ensures that you can take them from place to place without any trouble.

In A Rush? Check Out Top 5 Best Air Compressor for Nail Guns

If you already know what to look out for when choosing the best air compressor for framing nailer, then you can start going through the products. However, if you are unsure, there is a buyer’s guide included in the article and we urge you to go through it once you have checked out the products. So, without further ado, let’s get to the review.

Air CompressorImagePower SourceAir FlowWeightEditor's RatingPrice
BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI (BTFP02012)
Corded-Electric2.6 CFM29 lbsEditor’s Pick
4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)
See on Amazon
PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake CompressorElectric2.6 CFM30 lbs4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)See on Amazon
Makita 2.5 HP Air CompressorElectric4.2 CFM81 lbs4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)See on Amazon
PORTER-CABLE PCFP12234 3-Tool Combo KitElectric2.6 CFM30 lbs4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)See on Amazon
3.0 Hp Air CompressorElectric6.5 CFM88 lbs4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)See on Amazon

Editor’s Pick – BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor, Oil-Free, 6 Gallon, 150 PSI (BTFP02012)

best air compressor for nail guns

Editor’s Rating:

4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)


As our editor’s pick, this product by Bostitch is without a doubt one of the best air compressor for nail guns. It operates at 2700 RPM and its HP motor draws 15 amps of power which means a regular outlet at your home will do just fine.

It comes with a lube-free pump which means it does not need oil to operate, thereby making it very convenient to use. This also lends itself to easy start-up. The pump reaches 150 PSI in less than two and a half minutes.

Though at 78.5 decibels, it isn’t as quiet as many consumer grade air compressors for nailers out there, it is still quieter than your typical lawn mower. As far as looks go, this air compressor has a nice design. Weighing at only 29 pounds, it is also one of the lightest air compressors available in the market.

Even in cold weather, its high flow regulator ensures that the compressor is easy to start and use. The compressor can be used to power multiple tools, including upholstery stapler, pneumatic doors, nailer, framing nailer, and impact wrenches.

At any time if you require service center assistance and want to replace the product, its 1-year warranty allows you to do the same without any problem.

  • Oil-free
  • Doesn’t require daily maintenance
  • High flow regulator maximizes tool performance
  • Has enough power to drive multiple tools
  • 1-year warranty
  • Highly portable
  • The regulator doesn’t regulate pressure well
  • A bit on the louder side

2. PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor

best air compressor for nail guns

Editor’s Rating:

4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)


This product is one of a kind that people all over the globe consider to be one of the best air compressor for framing nailer. Its pump is unique, in that it doesn’t require oil to function. It maintains a high level of gas at a pressure that you require. Regardless of how much or how long you use it, this compressor is sure to work perfectly for years.

Its pancake design allows you to carry it around with ease and travelling with it is as easy as it gets. It is made of high-quality material which makes it quite durable. The additional features of the water drain valve and rubber feet makes it stand apart from most other air compressors.

Its low-amp motor starts with ease even in cold temperatures. At 2.6 SCFM working at 90 PSI allows it to recover quickly after compression. At a maximum of 150 PSI, its tank pressures store high volumes of air in the tank for running your tool for extended periods of time. An additional factory-installed air coupler is provided that can support another user. For optimum protection, the compressor comes with an upgraded shroud, a handle, and even a console cover.

Porter Cable’s C2002 has a high-flow air regulator that can work at higher pressure which ultimately gives you the freedom to take on a variety of tasks. The product comes with a 1-year warranty that allows you to replace it within the period if certain manufacturing defects come about.

  • Lightweight
  • Quick recovery
  • Highly portable
  • 1-year warranty
  • High-flow air regulator
  • Comes with a console cover
  • Can be a bit noisy
  • The manual doesn’t specify a break-in procedure

3. Makita 2.5 HP Air Compressor 

best air compressor for nail guns

Editor’s Rating:

4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)



This product by Makita has a variety of features that easily make it a top contender for our best air compressor for nail guns list. Its cast iron pump is made to provide faster recovery time for better performance. Its low amp draw significantly minimizes incidences of tripped breakers when starting it up.

Makita MAC2400’s pump is oil-lubricated that provides for cooler functioning and reduced chances of wear. There is also a built-in thermal overload that provides extra motor protection. Its twin-sacked tank can sustain pressures of 130 PSI which is more than enough for two nailers.

Its cage construction gives it enough protection to withstand extreme job environments. Its level handle is much better than a standard petcock design and is much easy to maintain. Its large air filter allows for increased air intake and compression efficiency. The durable iron cast reduces wear and increases the product’s life. It can also be easily removed for maintenance purposes.

The compressor works at a low decibel level of 79 and ensures that you won’t accidentally wake up the neighbors when working with it. The product comes with a 1-year consumer warranty and can be replaced during this time frame.

  • Is very quiet
  • Made of durable material
  • Allows for easy maintenance
  • Oil-lubrication provides for cooler functioning
  • Resistant to wear
  • Increased air intake
  • Has extra motor protection
  • Relatively heavier than other products

4. PORTER-CABLE PCFP12234 3-Tool Combo Kit

best air compressor for nail guns

Editor’s Rating:

4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)


Next up, we have another entry by PORTER CABLE. This product provides a host of features and utilities that make it one of the best air compressor for framing nailer. This portable air compressor comes with two built-in regulated air couplers.

For convenience and mobility, the compressor is made of lightweight steel that also flaunts a study look. As soon as you are done with it, you can easily disassemble the toolkit for easy storage. Its upgraded shroud and cover protect the important parts and resist wear even after prolonged usage.

The compressor easily emits 150 PSI which is enough compression to allow you to drive a lot of nails once the tank is fully charged. It also has a quick recovery time which allows you to complete your work faster. It uses 120 V of electric unit and the maintenance free pump runs on regular amp that is found in most residential homes.

The overall weight of the whole kit is a mere 30 pounds which makes it very lightweight. Additionally, it has supporting feet made of rubber that offer stability even on uneven grounds. It comes with an oil-free pump which makes its maintenance quite simple and straightforward. The pumps supporting the nailer are durable thanks to its motors.

Due to the incorporation of specialized release mechanism in the air tools, the tool remains jam free. Like most air compressors, this tool too comes with a 1-year warranty as well.

  • Value for money
  • Jam Free
  • Lightweight
  • Supports two hoses
  • Sturdy, made of stainless steel
  • 1-year warranty
  • The support feet rotate on slippery surfaces
  • Needs a better air hose

5. 3.0 Hp Air Compressor

best air compressor for nail guns

Editor’s Rating:

4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)



Lastly, we have another entry by Makita. This product is a real steal and can easily be crowned as the best air compressor for nail guns. It is equipped with a pump cylinder and piston that provides for greater output for two nailers. It is also very quiet and has an improved overall performance.

Makita’s MAC5200 has enough power to deliver industry-level results. It is also highly durable and comes with rugged wheels as well as folding handles that make transporting it a painless affair. It is also built with thermal overload for additional protection.

It has an oil-lubricated pump as well as an automotive style filter that allows for larger volumes of air intake and much better efficiency. Makita’s Major Bore pumps have higher bore and stoke for maximum compression and faster recovery. The roll-cage construction provides for added protection for its constituent parts. Its tank can sustain pressure of 140 PSI which is adequate for two nailers.

Other features include tool hangers, a storage compartment for accessories, and an air hose wrap. Additionally, there is also an oil drain and an oil sight glass, as well as a tank drain valve that is much better than a regular petcock style since it makes for easy maintenance.

  • Quiet
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Added protection for compressor parts
  • Decent power
  • Large volumes of air intake
  • A bit expensive

What To Look Out For In An Air Compressor For Nail Gun? – Buyer’s Guide

best air compressor for nail guns

Now that we have reviewed the top products, let’s take a look at what makes up the best air compressor for framing nailer. If you want to purchase a product that gets the job done without requiring a lot maintenance, then go through the various aspects mentioned below.


You must have seen this word thrown around a lot in our review. PSI simply means “pounds per square inch”. It measures the amount of air pressure force that is delivered by the compressor. Most compressors built nowadays operate at levels that support the needs of a nail gun. Only if you are a professional who needs a compressor with more PSI should you worry about this feature. For everyone else, the products mentioned here will work just fine for all your nail gun needs.


This refers to “cubic feet per minute”. This is an important aspect as you need to make sure the CFM levels of your nail gun matches that of your compressor. If this doesn’t happen, you will get a lot of delays, and stalling, which can cause malfunction. With a little planning and being aware of the specifications of your unit, you can forego this problem and get the compressor that is suitable for your nail guns.

Noise Level

If you are going to work for long hours, then you need to get the best air compressor for nail guns that do not make a whole lot of noise. Although the noise level has nothing to do with the functionality of the compressor, you can spend a few more dollars and get a unit that utilizes noise prevention technology.

However, if noise is a factor that doesn’t really bother you then you can save yourself some money and get a noisier unit. From the products that we have reviewed, price is always going to go up if you decide to go with one that is quieter in operation.


If you are going to move your compressor around a lot, this feature is going to be of importance. There are many compressors that are quite easy to move around and transport. Generally, the industrial compressors that have iron cast components tend to be much heavier than others.

You will also need to take a look at the wheels and the handle for easy usage. Wheels that are of good quality are usually durable and ensure that they stay in place, even on slippery surfaces.

Size and Price

Size does matter when it comes to getting the best air compressor for framing nailer. A bigger air compressor is usually better since it doesn’t need to work as hard as a smaller one in order to keep your nail gun up and running. This makes user experience much more pleasant and the job that much more effective.

Price, of course, is another factor that you need to keep in mind. Know that an expensive model doesn’t necessarily equate to a better unit. You should always consider your needs when you are out in the market for an air compressor, and make sure you get one that fits your budget as well. Ultimately, you should be looking for a unit that offers the greatest value for your money.

One stage vs Two stage Air compressors

Most consumer grade air compressors are single-stage pump compressors. In these models, energy efficiency takes precedence over higher air pressure. On the other hand, a two-stage compressor has a two-stage pump that compresses the air twice. These types of pumps are found in compressors that are designed to provide for the operation of more than one tool at a time.

Oil Vs. Oilless

Most of the air compressers now are oilless. This means that you don’t have to check or change the oil on your air compressor. However, a small oilless air compressor often wears out quicker than oil-lubricated air compressors.  But, when you are using a small air compressor for regular DIY work, this would not be an issue.

Air compressor machines that need oil generally have more weight than those that don’t require oil. Moreover, oilless machines are usually more compact as compared to oil ones. Therefore, you must ensure to give the right maintenance to your air compressor in order to keep it in good working condition.


The best air compressor for nail guns will have enough power for your tools. Motor power is the power rating of the compressor’s motor, which is stated in horsepower (HP) for most consumer-grade compressors.

In most gas-powered units, you have both running HP as well as peak HP. Most consumer-grade compressors range between 1.5-3 HP and will have enough power to run most tools.


The design of the air compressor has a lot to do with ease of use and the power that it can generate. First up, we have pancake compressors – a design that has a lot in common with a propane tank. They can be lifted easily and are designed for simpler tasks such as inflating tires, nail funs, and air brushes.

Secondly, we have hot dog compressors which are also designed for mobility and low maintenance. These tanks are usually shorter than others and are rounded off at the edges. Lastly, we have twin stack air compressors. These are an upgrade to hot dog compressors as they have two tanks. This allows them more volume as well as an additional tank to push air from.


We hope that after going through our product review and our buyer’s guide you have sufficient knowledge to get the best air compressor for nail guns for all your DIY needs. Of course, you need to know why you want to get one and the various jobs that you may require it for. Do weigh in the pros and cons of every product and asses them depending on your own requirements and budget.

If you are getting an air compressor for the first time, you may want to check out this video on how to use an air compressor.


If you would like to add to our list, or want to share your user experience with us, let us know in the comment section below. Don’t forget to like and share this review with anyone who may be looking to get an air compressor for nail guns.

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