How to use a Nail Gun with an Air Compressor

The first time you set out to buy a nail gun, you were introduced to the different types of nail guns. From electric nail guns to the combustion powered nail guns and also the pneumatic nail gun. Have you ever wondered how to make the pneumatic nail gun and compressor work together? Ever wondered how to use nail gun with air compressor?

Firstly, you must understand that the pneumatic nail gun works with the power of compressed air. Wondering how to use a nail gun with an air compressor? It is not something you would have to scratch your hair out trying to understand. How about you take a look for yourself, and be the judge?

How to use a Nail Gun with an Air Compressor

How to Use a Nail Gun with an Air Compressor

Before we embark on any explanations, here are a few requirements you need to have.

Requirements: A nail gun, an air hose, and a compressor.

Your nail gun could be any nail gun. It could be the straight finish nail gun, the angled finish nail gun or even the brad nail gun. Your nail gun should be a pneumatic nail gun. You cannot use a compressor on an electric nail gun, for example.

New compressors will have to be set up for them to work correctly with the nail gun. Below, we show you how to prepare your air compressor for use with nail guns.

Requirements: An Alex Wrench, some Teflon tape, Couplers, vise-grip pliers, an air hose and some compressor oil.

Your air compressor will come in a box with some parts detached. All you need to do is secure the parts correctly, and we will show you how.

1. If your air compressor kit came with a detached rubber stopper, you would need to attach it in place. Use the vise-grip pliers to attach your rubber stopper at the front of the compressor.

2. Using the same vise-grip pliers, attach the wheels to the back of the compressor.

3. Search for the air outlet for your compressor and wrap the Teflon tape around the outlet. The Teflon tape aids in providing a firm grip to the couplers.

4. Fasten the central coupler at the air compressor outlet. Take the air hose and secure two female couplers at each end. Secure one female coupler on the central coupler and add a main coupler to the other end of the air hose.

5. Secure your nail gun into the remaining end of the air hose.

6. Fill the air compressor with the correct amount of compressor oil as per the manual’s instructions.

At this point, your air compressor and nail gun combination are ready to go. Turn on your air compressor and wait for the tank pressure to build up to its maximum pressure. The air tank maximum pressure is approximately 110 psi (pounds per square inch). The air compressor is powered by a motor that can run on either electricity or gas.

Control the pressure that reaches your nail gun by turning the regulator button either up or down. Depending on how you want the nails set in the wood, you can set a higher psi for countersunk nails or a lower psi for flush nails. This is all up to your preference.

Be careful not to surpass the pressure limits your nail gun can handle. Check the user manual for more details.

Before your nail gun can fire, you will need to press the nail gun nozzle on the surface of the wood you need to fasten and pull the trigger. These are part of the safety mechanisms put in place to ensure proper use of nail guns. You should also wear goggles, hardhats and heavy duty nail guns while using your pneumatic nailer.


Once you are done using the air compressor, you need to power it off. You start by turning down the regulator to decrease the pressure within the tank. Afterward, you can hold open the safety valve ring to release all the remaining air. Open the drain valve to make sure the compressor is empty.

You need to empty the air compressor tank before storing to prevent rusting due to moisture build up within the tank. When the air compressor is empty, you can detach the nail gun from the air hose. Apply some lubricating oil on and in the nail gun inlet before storing it. Store your nail gun and air compressor appropriately.

Top 3 Best Air Compressors

These are top 3 best air compressors comparison table which will help you to make the best choice for your woodworking projects easily:

Air CompressorImagePower SourceAir FlowShippingEditor's RatingPrice
PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor with 13-Piece Accessory KitElectric3.5 CFMFREE Shipping4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)See on Amazon
Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air CompressorElectric3.3 CFMFREE Shipping4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)See on Amazon
California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor, SilverCorded-Electric1.2 CFMFREE Shipping4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)See on Amazon

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Now you know how to use a nail gun with an air compressor. You can choose the best 6 gallon air compressor for this task. You need to know how to assemble your air compressor once it arrives at your doorstep. You now understand the procedure for powering up the air compressor.

Always maintain this process while handling air compressors to ensure that the air compressors last way beyond their warranty date. Remember always to put safety first when dealing with any power tool. With all that said, we wish you happy nail firing ahead.

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  1. hi , thanks for your informative article ,
    lots of value here ,i just got my air compressor for my nail gun from this article

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