What features do you look for in a framing nailer air compressor? Power, portability, and convenience.
Unfortunately, most air compressors today are not ideal for powering framing nailers because, sooner or later, they develop issues that cause the buyer to regret the purchase.
That’s why, after extensive research and testing, I decided to compile a list of some of the best air compressors for framing nailers I could find.
Let’s get started.
The Best Air Compressors For Framing Nailers
When using a pneumatic framing nailer, you’ll need a solid and reliable air compressor.
These are the best ones available:
- CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K Air Compressor For Framing Nailers
- Stealth 20 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor For Framing Nailers
- California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor For Framing Nailers
- BOSTITCH Air Compressor For Framing Nailers
- Makita MAC210Q Quiet Series Air Compressor For Framing Nailers
- CRAFTSMAN Twin Tank Air Compressor For Framing Nailers
- DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor For Framing Nailers
- Craftsman 10-Gallon Vertical Air Compressor For Framing Nailers
- Stealth 12 Gallon Ultra Quiet Vertical Air Compressor For Framing Nailers
- Stealth Ultra Quiet Vertical Twin Tank Air Compressor For Framing Nailers
1. CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K Air Compressor For Framing Nailers
The best air compressor for framing nailers should provide sufficient air pressure to allow users to use these tools without difficulty.
And that’s exactly what this American-made CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K air compressor has to offer, with a maximum pressure of 150 PSI and airflow rates of 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI, which are more than enough to power even the most airflow-hungry framing nailer.
Even though it is a little noisy, its pancake style 6 gallon tank compensates for this by providing a high level of portability, as it only weighs 30 pounds, which is uncommon in other framing nailer air compressors.
Last but not least, I love how convenient it is as it includes an oil-free pump that allows users to run this air compressor without the need for maintenance.
- Made in America which is a quality assurance
- Pancake style 6 gallon tank weighing only 30 pounds allows for portability
- 150 of max. PSI and 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI which allows for a quick recovery time when using a framing nailer
- Oil free pump requires no maintenance
- It’s a bit on the noisy side
2. Stealth 20 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor For Framing Nailers
- Airflow rates: max 150 PSI, 6 CFM @ 40 PSI and 5 CFM @ 90PSI
- Tank Size: 20-gallon tank
- Wheels: 2x Wheels
This Stealth 20-gallon air compressor is ideal for powering a framing nailer because it has a 1.8HP motor that outputs a maximum PSI of 150, 6 CFM at 40 PSI and 5 CFM at 90 PSI, and a 70-second air tank refill wait.
Also, this vertical air compressor has 8-inch reinforced wheels and an ergonomic handle to make moving it easier.
It also has very convenient features like low voltage and cold weather start, which can avoid some huge headaches during winter times.
Lastly, it comes with a lightweight and highly durable alloy metal 20-gallon tank to provide a longer runtime for running framing nailers.
- Amazingly quiet (at only 68 decibels)
- 1.8HP motor allows for 70 seconds recharge time of the air tank and delivers max 150 PSI, 6 CFM @ 40 PSI and 5 CFM @ 90PSI
- Heavy duty yet lightweight alloy metal 20 gallon tank provides a longer runtime to power your framing nailer for longer
- Convenient cold weather and low voltage start
- 8 inch rubber reinforced wheels for maximum portability
- None so far
3. California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor For Framing Nailers
If you’re looking for an air compressor to power your most used pneumatic tools such as your framing nailer or air impact wrench, then you’d love this 8010 air compressor brought by California Air Tools.
Its 2-horsepower motor allows users to connect their pneumatic tools an air compressor that produces a maximum air pressure of 120 PSI and 2.20 CFM at 90 PSI.
Aside from making only 60 decibels of noise, which is extremely low for an air compressor of this magnitude, it has an 8-gallon tank with a considerable runtime of 30 to 60 minutes.
Although it took a while to arrive, other features such as the oil-free pump for easy maintenance and its set of two wheels for easy mobility make up for it.
- 2 HP motor outputs a max air pressure of 120 PSI and 2.2O CFM at 90 PSI which is perfect for powering a framing nailer
- It only makes 60 decibels of noise, which is substantially quiet for an air compressor of this size
- 8 gallon steel tank allows for 30 to 60 minutes of continuous runtime
- Oil free pump that requires no maintenance
- It has two wheels that make moving this air compressor around very easy
- It took a while to arrive
4. BOSTITCH Air Compressor For Framing Nailers
We know that a powerful and reliable air compressor is required to power a framing nailer, which is exactly what this BOSTITCH air compressor is.
Its powerful motor is a workhorse, capable of producing up to 150 PSI and 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI. As a result, excellent airflow rates are delivered, which are critical for powering framing nailers.
What I liked best about it was its narrow pancake shape, which, at only 29 pounds, made it very easy to transport.
I must admit that it is somewhat noisy, but it is extremely convenient due to its oil-free pump, which requires no oil changes or scheduled maintenance.
- Requires no maintenance thanks to oil free pump
- Narrow pancake design that only weighs 29 pounds makes it very easy to carry
- High flow regulators and dual couplers make it very easy to control the air flow of the compressor
- Powerful yet portable motor outputs 150 Max PSI, 2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI
- The noise made it’s a bit loud (80 decibels)
5. Makita MAC210Q Quiet Series Air Compressor For Framing Nailers
No article about air compressors can continue without mentioning the Makita MAC210Q air compressor.
To avoid running out of air pressure to run a framing nailer, it has a 1HP motor that delivers enough air pressure to power almost all pneumatic tools thanks to its 2 CFM at 90 PSI delivered.
Because of its advanced internal components, this air compressor produces only 60 decibels of noise when fully operational, making it one of the quietest air compressors in this review.
Finally, I must admit that I really like its oil-free dual piston, which eliminates the need for oil changes, which I usually overlook.
- 1HP motor outputs 2 CFM at 90 PSI without making more than 60 decibels of noise
- Oil free dual piston pumps allow for an oil free maintenance
- Lightweight and compact design that only weighs 44 pounds
- Roll cage construction makes the air compressor to be sturdy and durable
- Low amp draw allows for serious savings on utility bill
- Manufactured overseas
6. CRAFTSMAN Twin Tank Air Compressor For Framing Nailers
This CRAFTSMAN twin tank air compressor has excellent features that make it ideal for running framing nailers.
Its 1/3HP motor is small but powerful enough to provide 125 PSI, allowing users to hook up their framing nailers with confidence.
Although I wouldn’t recommend it for heavy work, it does have some very impressive features, including:
- Oil free pump that requires no maintenance
- Compact body that weighs only 22 pounds and is very easy to move around
- Standard quick coupler to allow for maximum convenience when connecting pneumatic tools to the air compressor
- 2-gallon air tank that takes less than 40 seconds to refill
- It only weighs 22 pounds and has a reinforced handle that makes the air compressor easy to carry around
- 1/3 HP motor delivers max 125 PSI
- Convenient maintenance free pump
- Standard quick coupler makes it easy to connect your pneumatic tools
- Not for heavy work
7. DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor For Framing Nailers
- Airflow rates: 165 max PSI and 2.6 SCFM delivered @ 90 PSI pump
- Tank Size: 6.0 gallon tank
- Wheels: None
If you’re looking for a portable and powerful compressor to connect to your framing nailer, this DEWALT DWFP55126 pancake air compressor is a great choice to take a look at.
Its motor can produce 165 maximum PSI and 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI, which is more than enough for running most framing nailers.
Its 6 gallon tank provides a solid runtime, and its two universal couplers make connecting to other pneumatic tools a breeze.
I must say, however, that it is quite loud. It’s not THAT loud, but it’s noticeable.
Finally, it weighs about 30 pounds and has a pancake body, which is a huge benefit if you want maximum portability.
- Powerful motor outputs 165 max PSI and 2.6 SCFM delivered @ 90 PSI
- 6.0 gallon tank for a longer runtime
- It weighs only 30 pounds making it very easy to carry around
- 2 convenient universal couplers
- Oil free pump
- It’s a bit loud
8. Craftsman 10-Gallon Vertical Air Compressor For Framing Nailers
You don’t want a vertical air compressor that’s too heavy to carry around or not powerful enough to run your framing nailer.
Fortunately, the guys at Craftsman tools were astute enough to create this 10-gallon vertical air compressor with excellent features that may place it among the best available.
I mean, its 1.8HP motor allows workers to hook up their framing nailers with confidence because it delivers 4 CFM at 90 PSI, which is more than enough air pressure for most framing nailers.
Furthermore, it has a 10 gallon air tank that provides a serious runtime and can be refilled in less than 180 seconds, which is extremely convenient.
And, to improve portability, this air compressor has two 8-inch wheels and a large handle that make moving it around a breeze.
- 1.8 HP motor which 4 CFM @ 90psi
- 10 gallon tank that takes less than 180 seconds to refill and is fairly easy to move around thanks to its two 8-inch wheels and handle
- 2 quick couplers allow multiple air tools to be connected to the air compressor
- Sizable regulator for maximum air pressure accuracy
- Safety valve to protect the air compressor and air tools
- Nothing to say!
9. Stealth 12 Gallon Ultra Quiet Vertical Air Compressor For Framing Nailers
When considering this Stealth 12-gallon air compressor, portability, power, and convenience come to mind very quickly.
Its 1.5HP motor produces 150 maximum PSI and 4 SCFM at 90 PSI, which is essential for running most framing nailers.
I liked the size of the air tank (12 gallon) because it provides a longer runtime and is easy to transport thanks to its large handle and set of wheels.
This air compressor was designed with an oil-free pump to eliminate the hassle of changing oil.
Finally, it produces only about 68 decibels of noise, which is very low when compared to the noise produced by similar air compressors.
- 12-gallon tank for a longer runtime
- 1.5 HP motor outputs 150 max PSI and 4 SCFM at 90 psi which is more than enough to power framing nailers
- It works at an astounding 68 decibels, which is very quiet for an air compressor of this size
- No maintenance needed thanks to oil free pump
- Handle and a set of wheels make it very easy to move it around
- There were some issues with the shipping
10. Stealth Ultra Quiet Vertical Twin Tank Air Compressor For Framing Nailers
Purchasing an air compressor to power framing nailers does not always have to be difficult, especially if you come across this Stealth twin tank air compressor.
It has a 1.3HP motor that delivers 150 maximum PSI and 3 CFM at 90 PSI, which is enough to comfortably run framing nailers.
Furthermore, it comes with a small 4.5 gallon tank that takes about 70 seconds to refill.
In terms of convenience, the air compressor has:
- A piston that does not require oil changes.
- Air pressure valve that is easily adjustable
- Drain valve for releasing moisture and increasing durability
Last but not least, the quick couplers on this Stealth air compressor make connecting pneumatic tools a breeze.
- 4.5 gallon tank makes this air compressor very portable and only takes 70 seconds to refill
- 1.3 HP motor outputs 150 PSI and 3 Cfm @ 90Psi
- 6 Inch reinforced wheels and ergonomic handle allow it to be easy transported
- Oil free piston pump for maximum durability and convenience
- Quick couplers
- Easily adjust air pressure with a knob
- Drain valve to release moisture and protect the air tank
- Based on my experience, I have no cons to speak of!
The Best Air Compressors For Framing Nailers Overall
CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K Air Compressor For Framing Nailers
I chose this CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K air compressor as the best one for framing nailers due to its amazing features, such as:
- Pancake style body that, weighing only 30 pounds, is very easy to move around
- Powerful motor that outputs 150 max PSI and 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI
- Oil free pump for maximum convenience
To read the full review and learn why was this air compressor my favorite, click the button down below.
Must Have Features of The Best Air Compressors For Framing Nailers
We promised to help you find the best air compressor for framing nailers, even if you wanted to do it yourself.
that’s why I’m gonna share with you a list of features I consider to be essential when it comes to finding an air compressor to power framing nailers.
Strong PSI, CMF and Horsepower
How do you make sure your next air compressor is as powerful as it need to be to be able to run your framing nailer?
Well, there are some measurements to look at, such as:
- PSI, or pounds per square inch of air pressure, is a unit that provides useful information about the air pressure delivered by the air compressor. For example, if an air compressor has a maximum PSI of 150, it means that 150 pounds of air pressure are delivered per square inch.
- CMF, or cubic feet per minute, is a measurement of the volume of air delivered by an air compressor. For example, if an air compressor delivers 40 CFM, it means that it produces 40 cubic feet of air per minute when in use.
- HP, or horsepower, is a common unit of measurement for the amount of power delivered by an air compressor’s motor. If a motor has 1 horsepower, it can perform 33,000 foot-pounds of work per minute.
So, what PSI, CMF, and Horsepower should the best air compressor for framing nailers have?
Given my experience, I’d recommend looking for an air compressor that produces at least 120 maximum PSI and 2.20 CMP at 90 PSI.
Regarding the motor, you could choose a 1HP air compressor, which is what I would recommend as it makes refilling the air tanks a very fast process.
However, I’ve seen some powerful pancake air compressors with slightly weaker motors that could easily power framing nailers.
There is a feature that seems very basic at first sight but proves to be essential for an air compressor in the long term, and that is the air tank.
The air compressor’s air tank is in charge of storing the air pressure that will later be delivered to the pneumatic tool.
Knowing this, it’s easy to see how a larger tank will normally allow you to store more air pressure which is critical for providing a longer runtime before having to stop and refill the air compressor’s tank.
As to me, I’d like to see an air compressor with at least a 5-gallon air tank, as this is the “sweet spot” for powering framing nailers.
I mean, you could go for air compressors with larger air tanks (which I do), but you also have to consider portability, which we’ll go over later.
A drain valve is essential for draining the moisture that commonly accumulates on the bottom of the air tank, which can corrode it over time and cause major headaches.
Thus, purchasing an air compressor with a drain valve will allow you to ensure that your air compressor will operate corrosion-free for a longer period of time.
Air compressors have always been extremely loud and inconvenient.
Fortunately, as technology has advanced, we have seen how some air compressors have become increasingly quiet and less bothersome to work next to.
That is why, in my opinion, the best air compressor for framing nailers should produce no more than 80 decibels of noise.
Getting a louder air compressor could be very inconvenient and annoying.
If you’re tired of carrying around heavy tools, you’ll despise most air compressors because they’re bulky and heavy.
Fortunately, some air compressors are fairly portable as they are made of lightweight materials (e.g., plastic, aluminum, small motors, etc.), making them lightweight and easily transported.
That’s why I’d say looking for an air compressor manufactured with lightweight materials is a must.
Also, while it may not appear to be a big deal at first, when looking for a new air compressor, make sure it has wheels and a large handle (especially if it’s a vertical air compressor), which have proven to be very important for portability, at least to me and over the years.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions about air compressors and framing nailers? This is my best attempt at answering most of them.
Will a 3 Gallon Air Compressor Run a Framing Nailer?
Yes, a 3-gallon air compressor can run a framing nailer for light use.
Most framing nailers require about 2.5 CFM at 90 PSI and there are 3 gallon air compressors capable of delivering those metrics.
However, the runtime will be brief. So, if you want to use a framing nailer for larger projects, I’d recommend getting an air compressor with a larger air tank.
How Much CFM and PSI do Framing Nailers Need?
This will be determined by the framing nailer you intend to use.
As previously stated, framing nailers require approximately 2.5 CFM at 90 PSI.
Knowing this, I’d say the best air compressor for framing nailers should have at least 120 PSI and 2.5 CFM at 90 PSI, as these are the industry standards for airflow delivery rates required by most framing nailers.
Can Pancake Compressor Run Framing Nailers?
Yes, pancake compressors can run framing nailers.
Pancake compressors are known for their narrow design and lower overall weight which is key for portability.
Yet air pressure is not left behind, as there are various pancake air compressors in the market with motors that deliver sufficient air pressure to power most framing nailers.
Knowing this, we can easily conclude that pancake compressors are perfect for framing nailers not only because they are portable but also because they deliver the airflow rates needed to power most framing nailers.
Can I Run an Air Compressor for Framing Nailers on Battery Power?
Yes, battery-powered air compressors can provide the necessary airflow rates to power most framing nailers.
However, you will have to pay a premium because battery-powered air compressors can cost twice or even triple the price of a standard air compressor.