Nail guns are one of the most popular tools used in construction. It is very powerful and it helps you to drive nails at high speed with minimal effort.
But how does a nail gun work with an air compressor?
In this guide, I will answer this question by sharing a Step-By-Step Guide on how to use nail gun with air compressor.
Besides, I will also try to give you an overview of using the nail gun with an air compressor the right way by focusing on the following points:
- Why Do You Need An Air Compressor For A Nail Gun?
- How Much Air Pressure Does A Nail Gun Need?
- How Much PSI Do I Need For A Nail Gun?
- What Size Air Compressor For Nail Gun?
- Benefits of Using An Air Compressor With A Nail Gun.
- Safety Tips While Using Nail Gun With An Air Compressor.
On top of this, I will share My Recommendations for the best performing air compressor for a nail gun.
So, without making any further ado, let’s jump right into the details….
Do You Need An Air Compressor For A Nail Gun?
If you are a DIY enthusiast or a professional who has to deal with lots of nailing jobs, then you definitely need to know the answer to this question – ‘Do I need an air compressor for a nail gun?’
Well, there are several benefits of using an air compressor with a nail gun.
For instance, it saves your time and energy by giving you the power to drive nails faster than before.
In addition, it reduces hand fatigue when working for long hours in harsh weather conditions.
Furthermore, due to its high-performance design coupled with a low-weight profile, you can easily carry around this tool with minimum effort.
Lastly, if you know how to use air compressor with nail gun the right way, it will increase your accuracy and give you a cleaner finish.
How Much Air Pressure Does A Nail Gun Need?
Now that we know why using an air compressor with a nail gun is a good idea, the next question that comes to our mind is – how much air pressure does a nail gun need?
Well, the answer to this question depends on the type of nails you are using.
If you are using 18-gauge brad nails or 23-gauge finish nails, then you would need about 60 PSI (pounds per square inch) of air pressure.
However, if you are using 16-gauge finishing nails or framing nails then you would need at least 100 PSI.
At the same time, if you are using 17-gauge nails or roofing staples then you would need more than 110 PSI of air pressure to use them successfully with your nail gun.
Note: Before buying any product related to construction tools or equipment like nail guns etc., always make sure that their PSI requirements match perfectly well.
Keep in mind – If you buy (or planning on buying) a 20-pounds pneumatic framing nailer then go for something that offers around 150 CFM at 90 PSI. This will ensure that your equipment remains operational and you don’t have to compromise with the results.
In order to get an in-depth idea about this subject matter, you can click here.
How Much PSI Do I Need For A Nail Gun?
You might be wondering how much PSI do I need for a nail gun?
Well, as I have mentioned earlier, the amount of psi you need for your nail gun depends on the type of nails you are using.
However, most air compressors come with a gauge that tells you how much pressure is required to operate the nail gun successfully.
All you have to do is set the regulator on your compressor to this number and it will provide enough pressure for your tool.
I have already written a detailed blog post on this particular topic. If interested, you can check out the post on PSI requirements for a nail gun.
How To Use Nail Gun With Air Compressor? – All Steps Explained
Well, this is the most important section of this comprehensive discussion because now I am going to describe a step-by-step guideline of how to use nail gun with air compressor.
If you don’t know how to use a nail gun with an air compressor, then this is where you have to put your entire concentration.
Let’s give it a start then….
Step 1 – Selecting Nail Gun Type
The type of nailer or nail gun you have to choose depends on what you are going to use it for:
Framing Nailer: This type of nail gun is basically used for construction purposes. They come with either single-action or double-action features that allow you to drive nails into wooden surfaces easily.
Basically, the framing nailer is a sort of heavy-duty nail gun that features a handling capacity of up to 15/16-gauge nails.
Brad Nailer: Brad nailers are used for home décor, craft making, and the like activities. In my experience, I have found that most of the brand nailer models can handle up to 18-gauge nails.
Finish Nailer: This nail gun type is highly efficient when it comes to house building. These tools deliver driving power into your desired location with exceptional speed and accuracy.
Finish nailers also leave minimal-to-no marks on the surface which gives a neater finish as compared to other types of nailers.
You can expect good results if you use a finish nail gun for nails ranging from 14 to 16-gauge.
Staple Gun: Staple guns are ideal for up-close work and they can also handle a variety of materials i.e., plastic, metal, paper, etc.
The main working principle of the staple guns is to work with steps in order to drive the nail through varieties of materials.
Roofing Nailer: Roofing nailers are specially designed to handle roofing projects with ease but they can also be used for other carpentry purposes.
Keep in mind that roofing nailers are mainly designed for and used by professionals. So, if you are opting for this nailer type, you should study the reviews of the best-rated roofing nailers for roofing jobs.
Once you have selected the right type of nail gun for your project, move on to the next step.
Step 2 – Selecting Nails for the Chosen Nail Gun
Once you have chosen the perfect nail gun for your needs, it is time to select the nails that will be compatible with it.
There are different types of nails available in the market and they come in various sizes as well.
The following information will provide you with a general idea about it:
There are two types of nails available namely – Wire-coat and smooth shank nails. They come in different sizes such as 1”, 2”, 3”, 4” etc.
Wire-Coat Nail: These nails come with a braided interlocking wire coating that makes them ideal to be used for framing purposes. If you want something strong and sturdy then go for the one that has at least a 1 ½ inch crown and weighs 55 pounds or more per cubic foot (usually it varies from 40 – 60).
Smooth Shank Nail: These nails come without any coating; however, they offer exceptional holding power due to their tapered shape. You can use them not only for construction work but also for finishing work.
Now that you know about the two types of nails, it is important to choose the right one for your nail gun. You can get more information about it by clicking here.
Step 3 – Choosing the Right Air Compressor
It is one of the most important steps in the process of using a nail gun with an air compressor following the right way.
You have to make sure that the air compressor you are using is of the right size and type.
If you are using a framing nailer or a roofing nailer, then you will need an air compressor with at least a 3 horsepower (HP) rating.
On the other hand, if you are using a finish nailer or a stapler gun, then a 2 HP compressor would be ideal for it.
There are different types of air compressors available in the market and each of them comes with its own unique features.
I have already written an in-depth post on this topic which can be found by clicking here.
Step 4 – Connecting the Air Compressor with the Nail Gun
Now that you have all the required equipment – air compressor and nail gun, it is time to connect them together.
The following image will provide you with a better understanding of it:
As you can see from the image above, the air compressor is connected to the nail gun with the help of a hose.
Make sure that the hose is properly attached and there are no leaks in it. If there are any leaks, then the air compressor will not be able to supply enough air pressure for the nail gun to function properly.
Once you have ensured that the hose is properly attached, move on to the next step.
Step 5 – Ensuring Proper Safety
Using a nail gun can be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not followed.
The following tips will help you stay safe while using a nail gun with an air compressor:
- Always wear safety goggles and gloves while using a nail gun.
- Make sure that the area you are working in is well-ventilated.
- Keep children and pets away from the work area.
- Don’t overuse the nail gun as it can cause fatigue and lead to injuries.
- If you are not familiar with how to use a nail gun, then practice on some scrap wood before starting the project.
Following these simple safety precautions will help you stay safe while using a nail gun with an air compressor.
Step 6 – Start Working
When you are done with your nailing job, it is very important to perform the finishing thing following the right way.
So, make sure that you do the following:
- Clean the debris and nails from the work area.
- Disconnect the hose and air compressor properly.
- Store the tools in a safe place.
Following these simple steps will help you clean up the work area and finish off your nailing job in a neat and tidy manner.
Now that you know how to use a nail gun with an air compressor, go ahead and try it out on your next project.
Note: If you are looking for the perfect nail gun for your framing jobs, I would recommend you to check out this comprehensive discussion on Top Rated Air Compressors For Framing Nailers.
What Size Air Compressor For Nail Gun?
The next question that might be crossing your mind is – what size air compressor do I need for my nail gun? Although there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, I can still give you some general need for a nail gun so that it can help me drive nails at high speed and deliver accurate results every single time? Well, there is no exact answer but below mentioned tips will definitely guide you in this regard:
- The higher amount of pounds per square inch (PSI) means faster nailing action while lower levels mean slower operations.
- The power of an air compressor is measured in horsepower. A unit having two-peak hp or more will help you drive nails faster and more efficiently than ever before without compromising on the results.
- The higher CFM (cubic feet per minute) output, the better it would be for your nail gun as this means more airflow and consequently a cleaner finish every single time.
In addition, I also recommend that you keep these factors – number of users, types of tasks to perform, etc., into consideration before making any purchase decision.
This is because they play a vital role when it comes to determining the right size of the pneumatic tool with respect to its performance level during everyday use.
Benefits of Using An Air Compressor With A Nail Gun
Now that we know all about how an air compressor can improve our nailing experience, let’s take a look at some specific benefits:
Increased Accuracy And Cleaner Finish
When using an air compressor with a nail gun, it creates a more consistent driving force which leads to greater accuracy and cleaner-looking finishes.
Reduced Hand Fatigue
The continuous flow of compressed air helps reduce the amount of hand fatigue caused by traditional manual operation.
Faster Driving Speed
Air compressors help reduce the average time required to drive a nail through the wood which, in turn, helps you finish your project faster.
When used with an air compressor, the nailer can drive nails at higher speeds than it would be able to do on its own. This makes them more efficient and productive for carpentry professionals.
Safety Tips While Using Nail Gun With An Air Compressor
Now that we have known how using an air compressor along with a pneumatic power tool is beneficial let’s take a look at some safety measures as well so that our investment remains protected from any damage or cause serious injuries:
- Always make sure that the compressed airline of your equipment meets all the manufacturer’s specifications before using it.
- Keep your air pressure within the recommended limit by checking the gauge regularly and adjusting accordingly.
- Always use a safety glass when you are working with compressed air equipment to protect yourself from dust, debris, or any other flying objects that might cause injuries.
- Never try to modify any part of your nail gun in order to increase its performance because this can lead to serious damages as well as injury.
- Avoid using the nailer in wet or humid conditions.
- When you are not using your equipment, make sure to store it in a dry place and away from any chemicals.
What Is The Best Air Compressor For A Nail Gun?
At this point, you may be wondering about what is the best air compressor for a nail gun.
Well, the challenge you will definitely face here is to choose the right air compressor for your nailing job because a wide range of air compressor models are available out there from varieties of renowned brands.
That’s why I am going to share My Recommendations for the best air compressors for nailers. I believe that it will help you make the right purchasing decision.
So, here we go….
FAQs About How To Use A Nail Gun With Air Compressor
1 Do all nail guns need air compressor?
Answer: No, not all nail guns require an air compressor. There are some manual nail guns that can be operated with the help of a battery.
2 What type of air compressor do I need for a nail gun?
Answer: It depends upon the type of nail gun you are using. If you are using a framing or roofing nailer, then you will need an air compressor with at least a 3 HP rating. If you are using a finish or stapler gun, then a 2 HP compressor would be ideal for it.
3 Can I use a tire air compressor for a nail gun?
Answer: No, that’s not possible. You should use an air compressor which is specially designed to be used with nail guns.
4 Do I need to buy an air hose for my air compressor?
Answer: Some models require you to purchase it separately while others come with the hose included in the package. Make sure that you buy a hose meant for nailing applications.
5 What air compressor is best for nail gun?
Answer: It depends upon your budget, comfort level of using a compressor, and the type of work you are going to do.
For an in-depth idea, you can check out this Buying Guide of the Best Air Compressors where I have explained all the factors that you have to focus on while making the buying decision.
6 How many PSI does it take to run a nail gun?
Answer: The required PSI for a nail gun can vary depending upon the type of gun you are using. However, most of them operate at around 70-120 PSI.
7 Can I use an air compressor with my pneumatic stapler?
Answer: Yes, you can use an air compressor with a pneumatic stapler. In fact, it is recommended to do so as it will provide more power and stability to the tool.
8 What size air compressor do I need to run a nail gun?
Answer: It depends upon the type of gun you are using. If you are using a smaller or lightweight gun, then a compressor with a lower CFM rating would be sufficient. However, if you are using a heavy-duty nailer, then you will need a compressor with a higher CFM rating.
9 How long can I use an air compressor before needing to refill it?
Answer: It depends upon the size and model of the air compressor. However, most air compressors can work for around 30 minutes before requiring a refill.
10 Is it safe to use an air compressor with a nail gun?
Answer: Yes, it is safe to use an air compressor with a nail gun as long as you follow the right safety precautions.
11 What PSI should the air compressor be set at when using the nail gun?
Answer: It depends upon the type of nail gun you are using. However, most of them operate at around 70-120 PSI.
12 How much noise does an air compressor make?
Answer: Air compressors can range in noise levels from 50 dB to 100 dB. It is important to consider this factor before purchasing an air compressor as it may be too loud for some people to use in close proximity.
Final Words On Using Nail Gun With Air Compressor
Using a nail gun with an air compressor can be a great way to speed up your nailing jobs. It provides more power and stability to the tool, allowing you to drive nails into harder surfaces with ease.
Just make sure that you follow the right safety precautions while using them and always disconnect the hose and air compressor properly when finished.
In the above discussion, I have already shared a step-by-step discussion on how to use nail gun with air compressor following the right way.
Still, if you face any problem while using your nail gun with an air compressor, do not hesitate to knock me.
I would love to help you by providing the best possible solution.
One last note – If you want to get the latest tips on nail guns and air compressors, you can follow this blog.
This is all I had for you today!
See You Soon!!!