Best Air Compressors For Nail Guns 2019 – Reviews & Top Picks

nailer & air compressorAt the end of a long day at work, the first thing you probably think to yourself when you get home is “time to research air compressors”, right? Probably not. Life is very busy and if you are like most people you probably don’t t want to spend the precious few moments of free time that you do have researching DIY equipment.

Now, this said, the fact still remains that your nail gun is virtually useless without an air compressor.

It’s not easy to identify the best air compressor for nail guns. There are lots of products out there and while they all make similar promises the bottom line is that they aren’t all able to deliver the same results.

That’s where we come in to help. If you want the very best air compressor for nail guns that you can get but you don’t know how to get it, we have good news for you: we’ve done the research for you. We have studied the market done the product tests and identified the best options on the market. Now all that is left for you to do is sit back relax and enjoy the reviews.

4 Best Air Compressors For Nail Guns

ModelPriceWeightEditor Rating
DEWALT D55146
DEWALT D55146
(Top Pick)

Check Price
80 lbs4.9/5
Bostitch BTFP02012
Bostitch BTFP02012
(Best for the Money)

Check Price
33 lbs4.6/5
Makita MAC2400
Makita MAC2400

Check Price
81 lbs4.6/5
PORTER-CABLE C2002
PORTER-CABLE C2002

Check Price
31 lbs4.4/5

Best Air Compressor For Framing Nailers

1. DEWALT D55146 – Top Pick

DEWALT D55146

Let’s start with the very best of the best. Dewalt is a dominant force in the world of tools and it is probably because they make stuff like this.

If you want to see what exactly makes this unit special than you need only to look at the specifications. The Dewalt features 225 PSI max tank storage pressure provides a user with 80% more air than the majority of comparable units, a quick rate of recovery after the tank is exhausted, and an efficient motor that maximizes the overall life of the unit.

It is also designed to operate as silently as possible to provide an (often much needed) quiet work environment.

Finally, the Dewalt even benefits from a user friendly, streamlined design that incorporates foam tiles and a collapsible handle to make storing and transporting it as simple as possible.

All this said, it is only fair to mention that this is not the most affordable unit that we will be looking at today. If price is your biggest concern the Dewalt may not end up being the unit for you.

Pros

  • Quiet Operation
  • Foam Tires/Collapsible Handle
  • 80% More Air Than Comparable Units

Cons

  • A little bit more expensive than other options


2. Bostitch BTFP02012 – Best for the Money

Bostitch BTFP02012

Coming in second in our best air compressor for the money slot, the Bostitch BTFP02012. For the user that needs to save some money on their purchase this is definitely going to be the one for you.

Naturally, the first thing that you are going to notice about the Bostitch is probably going to be the price. It’s an affordable unit with a price that is going to be hard to beat when it comes to air compressors of this quality level.

The motor is high quality and designed to perform well even in cold and uncomfortable weather conditions. The system is also optimized to run as quietly as possible so that you can enjoy a little bit of peace as you go about your work.

It also features a high flow regulator that is designed to maximize the performance of the compressor, and it boasts good specs (150 max PSI 6.0 gallon tank  and 2.6 SCF delivered at 90 PSI) that will help you get the most out of your high-quality nail gun.

So why didn’t it grab the top spot? There a couple of tiny flaws that robbed it of the spot light. For one thing, despite the noise dampening optimization, it does run a little bit louder than then many users would care for.

It’s also a little bit slow to build pressure which can kill the momentum of your work.

These things aside, it’s a good tool for a great price.

Pros

  • Good Tank
  • Great Price

Cons

  • Slow to Build Pressure


Best Air Compressor For Roofing Nailers

We will now take a look at a couple of compressors that are particularly good for the needs of people who are looking for compressors for roofing.

1. Makita MAC2400 – Top Pick

Makita MAC2400

If you are looking for a heavy duty compressor that will be up for the challenges of roofing it would be hard to beat the Makita.

Truthfully there is little not to love about this high-caliber unit. The Cast iron pump is designed to be as durable as humanly possible, while the piston is engineered to provide faster recovery time that will yield improved performance.

It’s also designed to operate efficiently, featuring low AMP draw that mitigates the risk of tripped breakers at start-up, and a pump that is oil-lubricated to reduce the war on the motor by running it at a lower temperature.

It’s also just optimized to handle the wear and tear of jobsite stress—a task it is able to handle unflinchingly via the roll-cage construction that provides comprehensive jobsite protection and the large automotive style industrial air filter for increased air intake and greater efficiency.

Last but not least, it also features  a durable cast iron cylinder that will serve to protect the unit and extend its overall life span.

Bottom line is this: if you are looking for an industrial quality compressor that is able to stand up against tough wear and tear, there is no beating the Makita.

This compressor definitely isn’t cheap but keep in mind that you would have a hard time finding a model of similar quality for less.

Pros

  • Jobsite Durability
  • Low Risk of Tripped Breakers
  • Cast Iron

Cons

  • Expensive


2. PORTER-CABLE C2002 – Best for the Money

PORTER-CABLE C2002

Coming in the best for the money slot for the roofing compressors, the Porter Cable. As was true with our last best for the money pick you are probably going to find a lot to love about the price of this unit (especially after having seen the price tag of the last model). However, that’s definitely not all that the Porter Cable has to offer.

The unit comes with a large six gallon tank that will be great for larger jobs, and it features a low volt motor that will ensure it works well even in colder temperatures.

The bottom line is that it is durable, powerful and efficient.

So why didn’t it land the top spot? Well, despite all of the positive things that the Porter-Cable has going for it, it still doesn’t quite stack up to the Makita.

It does have a few small but still irritating setbacks that very serious or professional users might bump up against a little bit.

For one thing, it does run a little bit louder than a lot of people would probably care for. While this issue doesn’t impact the performance, it might be a little bit irritating after long hours on the job.

Like our last best for the money pick, it also takes a little while for the air to get compressed which may lead to a lot of frustrating pauses depending on the size of your job.

That aside it’s a good tool that most users will be happy to have.

Pros

  • Very Affordable

Cons

  • Noisy


Buying Considerations:

Now that you know what is out there here are a few buying considerations that will help you to choose the best air compressor for nail guns possible.

PSI

PSI stands for “pounds per square inch”—a metric that measures the amount of air pressure force that is delivered by the compressor.

You actually aren’t going to need to worry about this component of the device too much as all standard compressors should have no trouble operating at a level that supports the needs of a nail gun.

This said occasionally special circumstances do present themselves. If you are in need of more PSI then is standard then definitely pay attention to that component of the products during the buying process.

CFM

CFM stands for “cubic feet per minute and It’s a pretty important component of any nail gun compressor. Why? Because you need to make sure that the number syncs up with the CFM levels of your nail gun.

The issue is pretty simple—if your CFM levels do not sync up well you are going to experience a lot of stalling, a lot of delays, and a lot of malfunctions that can be avoided with a little planning ahead of time.

Noisiness

Noisiness is a factor that many do it yourselfers may discount as unimportant. And why not right? After all, how loud a machine operates has no bearing on its actual ability to function. Maybe you should save a few dollars and get a unit that doesn’t worry about noise prevention technology?

Well there a few things worth mentioning here. One is that believe it or not, noise levels actually may start to get under your skin after long hours on the job. After all work sites are already noisy enough as it is right?

The other thing to realize is that noise levels don’t have to factor into the price. There are many units out there benefiting from quiet operation that are also very affordable. If noise control is important to you shouldn’t have any trouble finding something in your price range that can accommodate that concern.

Mobility

Mobility is another thing that you might want to pay close attention to. Plainly put some compressors are a lot easier to transport than others.

This is especially true of the more industrial units with lots of cast iron components. Wheels and handles are simple but indispensable features for making your compressor easier to use.

While these components (especially the wheels) are often susceptible to wear and tear you can ensure that you are getting something made to last by taking a look to see what other people who have already used it say.

Size:

The size of a tank is a fairly basic but nevertheless very important component of the buying process. Generally speaking bigger is going to be a little bit better. It’s pretty simple really: bigger tanks just don’t have to work as hard to keep your nail gun up and running which ultimately makes for a smoother user experience.

Price:

Last but not least, price. It sounds like a pretty obvious consideration, right? But unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of misconceptions about how to factor price into your buying decision.

As you likely noticed from our list of shopping recommendations the most expensive product is not always the best, and sometimes affordable options can be well worth your time. By doing a little bit of digging you can find the perfect combination of quality and value that will keep your budget intact.

Conclusion:

Well there you have it. You’ve read your reviews of air compressors for nail guns and now you have a decision on your hands. Which nail gun air compressor should you buy?

Well as you might recall we actually have a recommendation that will hopefully make that decision a little bit easier for you. If you want the best compressor possible there is really no beating the Makita MAC2400 for roofing, or DEWALT D55146 for framing.

As far as we are concerned they provide the best combination of value and features.

Conversely if getting a good deal is your top concern then you are definitely going to want the PORTER-CABLE C2002 for roofing or the Bostitch for framing.

Now all this said we ultimately are not here to tell you what to do. We just know that there are lots of buying options out there and we only hope that we made the process a little bit easier for you.

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