Best Air Compressor For Framing Crew

By Kwabena Okyire Appianing •  Updated: 05/28/22 •  15 min read

Without prior help, finding the best air compressor for framing crew is destined to be  a difficult task.

Carrying an air compressor when embedding nails  can go a long way to save you time and help produce better results 

But the real trouble begins when you’re looking for a new compressor to finish up your framing works.

So, take a break from whatever you’re up to right now and consider going through this article as we serve you with everything you need to know about air compressors that match your framing requirements.


How Air Compressor for Framing Crew Makes You a Better Worker

You definitely need an air compressor for framing crew if you are a professional handyman, construction worker or a DIYer. This will not only produce quality results for your project but will go a long way to make your business profitable and solidify you as an efficient worker.

Air compressors provide the strength to the nailer thereby getting the work done faster than usual. This exponentially boosts your performance.

Another amazing perk of using an air compressor is the smoothness and consistency in performance.  This will see you work your way through projects without any difficulties and this will help you build a reputation as a worker who focuses on quality in the long run.


Types of air compressor for framing crew

There are many types of air compressors available on the market. Most of them are very different from each other in terms of their capacity, their performance,  working mechanism and their style.

However,  when it comes to the best air compressor for framing crew that helps with the nailing process, there are four types. They are ;


Portable Type Compressor

The portable types of air compressors are typically light enough to carry or pull by hand. They carry the air compressor with the help of trolleys or wheels at the base, so they can be easily tucked away when they’re not in use. 

When it comes to their tank capacity, they are mostly constructed with a single compressor and  they  have a maximum size of  about 4 -6 gallons of air.


Pancake Type Compressor

The term “pancake” refers to the flat, oval-shaped tank used to store the compressed air, resembling a pancake. 

This type is one of the most unique types of compressors available on the market today, they are quite small and easy to carry.

In terms of their tank capacity,  they have a maximum size of 6- gallon tanks.


Heavy Duty Type Compressor

The heavy duty air compressors are relatively bigger in terms of size. They are specifically used by professionals when the duration of work is more and they need a lot of drive. As a result, they have a heavy- duty motor and a pump and deliver exactly as expected.

They are quite heavier than all other compressors because, rather than one, they come with twin sacks to fit in more air.


Read: Best 20 Gallon Air Compressor


Big Bore Type Compressor

Going by the name, you can guess that this type of air compressor is manufactured for heavy-duty work. 

The shape and size of the big bore type of air compressor are much higher than the regular ones.

This makes it difficult to carry them around. They are either formed with a single tank or a dual tank structure. But the best part is that you may get storage space to keep all the accessories in one place.


Factors to consider when choosing the best air compressor for framing crew



First of all, PSI stands for pounds per square inch (or pound force per square inch). This is the measurement of the pressure that an air compressor can deliver you while framing.

While working with a nail gun, it releases air pressure so that the nail can affix to a frame. To complete the nailing procedure, it requires a minimum air pressure or PSI.

The ideal air compressor must have an appropriate PSI which is neither too low to work with or too high.

Always respect the PSI rating. A good PSI will always allow the nail to properly get attached to the frame without any problems.



CFM is another key term in defining how good an air compressor can perform while framing. It stands for Cubic Feet per Minute, and it’s a calculation of air pressure delivered by the compressor in a stipulated time or particularly in a minute.

The most important thing is for the CFM of your air compressor and the CFM requirement of your nail gun should meet at one point.

This will allow the air compressor gun to release perfect air pressure and will make sure that it does not malfunction. If these two don’t  sync up with one another, malfunction or dysfunction will definitely take place. 


The Compressor Design

Every compressor differs from the other in terms of the design, type and size and this is evident in their output.  It is therefore imperative that you consider the design of the air compressor before buying it.

But before choosing the right type, make sure that the size of the air compressor for the nail gun is compatible enough to keep the compressor at a proper place and doesn’t cause any storage problems.


Tank Size

The next factor that you need to consider is the tank size of the air compressor.

The measurement of the tank size is based in gallons and it allows you to get the relevant air pressure as per specified needs.

However,  nail guns are quite intermittent tools and working with them doesn’t require highly pressurised air.

But,the  bigger is better, and that applies in case of air compressor gallons as well. If you get a compressor within a tank size within 2 to 6 gallons, that would do just fine with any nailers. If you are going to use the nail guns for heavy duty work then,  it is better to have a proper air compressor gun that will serve that purpose.



Air compressors are motor bound and as a result,  they produce noise when in use. The most important thing is to identify the level of noise you can tolerate or be comfortable with.

To do this properly, you have to understand the noise limit of the workplace where you use the air compressor and then check for the best match of noise level the air compressor produces.

A typical example is, some heavy-duty types of machinery can produce about 90dB of noise but if you’re working on a residential property, such noises will be torturous for your neighbours.



This is  another important factor, as long as framing works on particular job sites are concerned.

You may not be able to complete all the work in a single space or in day as a professional so you don’t want your air compressor to be stuck into the ground at one place. 

This is where the mobility and portability of the air compressor comes to play. Easily moving your air compressor will give you multiple benefits.

It’s not always about the weight of the product, it’s rather the option of carrying it and transferring it from one place to the other.

If your air compressor is very heavy to carry by hand then, it should have certain features such as handles, carrying trolleys, wheels and so on



When an air compressor is in use, a lot of procedures go on inside, so it is very likely this will create a lot of heat and eventually stop working when in use for a longer period of time.

However, some air compressor models have oil lubricated pumps which tend to reduce the friction and cool down the heat as well.

If your air compressor will be used continuously for a longer period of time and intake a heavy workload, then you must always make sure that it produces less heat otherwise, it’s performance will be greatly affected.



Most users unfortunately overlook this important buying factor. When it comes to air compressors, the cylinder or the tank is where air pressure is stored. This alone exposes the cylinder to oxygen. 

The best way to prevent the development of rust is for the cylinder metal to be made of either aluminium or stainless steel.

Aside from this, there should be a thick paint coating on the cylinder.  This will go a long way to protect the cylinder from the rust of wear.


Power consumption

This is the last factor but obviously one of the most important factors to look out for

Air compressors require a constant flow of power to propel them when in use and as a result,  you need to provide a constant electrical power supply.

Always make sure that before you buy a new compressor, you check how much power it consumes when working. 

The lower amperage it has, the lower amount of power it will consume. 


Read: Best Air Compressor Under $1000


Reviews Of The Best Air Compressors For Framing Crew In 2022


California Air Tools CAT- 4610AC Ultra Quiet Air Compressor

The CAT-4610AC by California Air Tools is perhaps one of the quietest air compressors you can find on the market. So far, its noise level progress has been up to 60 dB, which is quite okay to work on in the household environment. That being said, there are even quieter air compressors in the market.

It has a perfect blend of power, aesthetics, durability and power. It has earned its place as one of the best air compressors from framing.

This air compressor has a high delivery system which features  a 2.20 CFM and  a 90 PSI. 

It comes with a low amp draw and other safety features such as the thermal Overload Protector. In addition to all these, it also has a steel dual tank design is also available if you prefer, although the unit’s weight does increase to 62 lbs.

The California Air Tools CAT -4610AC has an air capacity of 4.6 gallon, adding to this, the air container is made of rust-free aluminum and has an oil-free dual piston pump system with a life cycle of over 3000 hours of wear. You can use it for many years to come.


[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-o-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-o-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”true” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” link_text=”View On Amazon” link=”″ ][i2pros]Ultra quiet
Tank fills quickly
Easy to use
Easy to start
Twin tank
[/i2pros][i2cons]Lightweight aluminium compromises durability[/i2cons][/i2pc]






PORTER CABLE – 3 Tool Combo kit

The portable cable is one of the brands on the market which has gained and carved out a good reputation for itself over the years.

The Porter Cable comes with a 3-Tool Combo Kit which makes it very unique. 

One of the most important features to consider when it comes to air compressors is its  size and capacity. In this sense, the Porter Cable has a 6-gallon tank which is sufficient to power up to 3-5 tools at the same time.

 When it comes to accessories, this air compressor includes a 16-gauge 2-12 inch finish nailer;a heavy duty 3/8 inch crown stapler and a 25ft,1/4 inch air hose among other accessories.

The Porter Cable  features a free pump that can operate up to 150 PSI. 

The power ratings are 2.6 CFM and 90 PSI and the motor requires 120v power to run which will not skyrocket your electricity bills.

This compressor is ultra-portable as the overall weight is around 30 pounds and in addition to this, it has a lesser noise level compared to other air compressors on the market.


[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-o-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-o-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”true” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” link_text=”View On Amazon” link=”” ][i2pros]Portable
User friendly
Extra accessories
Includes a finish nailer and brad nailer[/i2pros][i2cons]The regulator drops to a certain level before taking air in the hose[/i2cons][/i2pc]






Bostitch Pancake Air Compressor and Brad Framing Nail Gun Combo Kit

This Bostitch comes with an 18-gauge brad framing nailer that sprays nails ranging in length from 58 to two inches. It has a long life, oil-free pump, and an included framing nailer, and it’s easy to start in cold weather.

The tank quickly achieves the desired pressure and maintains it for an extended period of time. The 15-foot 1/4-inch thick PVC air hose makes it easier and safer to reach higher spots on a job site.

It weighs 34 pounds, has a flow rate of 2.6 CFM At 90 psi, a maximum pressure of 150 psi, runs on 110 volts, and has a 25-foot hose.


[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-o-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-o-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”true” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” link_text=”View On Amazon” link=”” ][i2pros]Includes a stapler and two nailers
A 15-foot hose is included
Effectively maintains power
Pocket friendly
User friendly
[/i2pros][i2cons]Quite noisy[/i2cons][/i2pc]




California Air Tools CAT-1P1060SP

When compared to a cast-iron pump, this ultra-quiet air compressor is one of the lightest and most portable air compressors available.

This is the most affordable air compressor available for framing any crew. The roll-cage construction ensures it easily withstands the pressures of construction sites or DIY projects at home.

This nail gun is designed to maintain prolonged air tool performance with a maximum psi of 290.


[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-o-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-o-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”true” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” link_text=”View On Amazon” link=”” ][i2pros]Low cost maintenance
Produces less heat
Operates silently
Long life cycle
Low power consumption[/i2pros][i2cons]Does not include a hose[/i2cons][/i2pc]





 Makita MAC100Q

The Makita Quiet Series, which was released in February 2020 and has oil-free dual-piston pumps and a low amp draw, is a new air compressor that is suited for a compact job site where a nail gun or framing nailer won’t take up too much time.

Best used for lighter, more mobile purposes like inflating car or bike tires and sports equipment, the convenience of a compressor that runs on battery power is ideal for people who are constantly on the go.

Because of its compact size and roll-cage design, this compressor may be simply stored on a shelf, countertop, shed, or garage.


[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-o-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-o-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”true” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” link_text=”View On Amazon” link=”” ][i2pros]Operates quietly
User friendly[/i2pros][i2cons]Small tank capacity[/i2cons][/i2pc]






What size compressor do I need for framing?

The exact size of the air compressor you need for framing  completely depends on the type and your workplace thus whether it is a commercial project or a DIY home project .

 However, you can still make out a rough calculation around 0 to 5 cubic feet per minute. At the same time, the rate of psi is around 70 to 90 pounds per square inch


Will a 3-gallon air compressor run a framing nailer?

On a normal basis, a 3-gallon air compressor is very capable for operating a framing nailer. It is largely applicable on a wide variety of options which ranges from brad nailer to floor nailer.


How often should an air compressor be drained?

It is not required on a regular basis however, for you to see better results, each air compressor needs to be drained at least once in a month, then it will be in a perfect condition to run smoothly.


Do all nail guns require an air compressor?

Without an air compressor, nail guns can work. However, for efficiency and quality of work and to also save time, it’s always better to use an air compressor.


How many CFM do I need for a framing nailer?

The average CFM requirement is 2.2 for a framing nailer. This amount may increase depending on how much you will be using the too


Is more CFM going to cost more Power?

Yes, more CFM will mean more power consumption, however, there is a passive relation between the CFM rating of an air compressor and the power it might take.


Read: Best Air Compressor For Impact Wrench



An air compressor is not just for inflating tires, the best air compressor can solve many problems that a framer would experience on a daily basis.

Now that you know how to get the best air compressor for framing crew, your productivity is bound to increase significantly.


Kwabena Okyire Appianing