Have you ever been so annoyed by the ear-breakable noise coming from your framing nailer? It would be hard to recognize the pain if you never worked with one of them. Even so, if you ever come close by one of them, you will pray for a compressor to save your ears.

Leaving the joke, to prevent such annoyance, you have to know, What size compressor do I need for framing? Of course, you are the one who needs, and we are going to explain what size would be best. We will also show a comparison of different types.

Stationary Compressor

Compressor Classification:

There are 2 main types of compressors available in the market.

  1. Stationary Compressor
  2. Portable Compressor

Stationary Compressor:

This type of compressor is the higher performer and produced the highest level of compression. It has such a high power requirement that it might be a huge issue for you using any regular component.

It is not recommended if you are looking for just regular usage. However, it would be a recommended compressor for framing crew. It can’t even be run by regular DC batteries or gas. The power range is between 30-1000 CFM.

Portable Compressor:

Portable Compressors do not require that kind of high power source. They can be run through regular power and are even lighter and have a pretty handy size. Moreover, they are suitable for any kind of regular compressing job.

Framing Classification:

Before going for a suitable size idea, you have to learn about different types of farming nailers available for use. 3 types of common framing nailers are available.

  1. Pneumatic Framing Nailer: It creates the highest noise level, so you would need the best compressor for this one.
  2. Cordless Framing Nailer: Its mechanical structure is pretty balanced. You would hardly need a compressor for this one.
  3. Brushless Framing Nailer: This one is close to a cordless framing nailer in the overall structure. Even though you don’t need a compressor in most of the cases, sometimes it is necessary.

Considering Factor:

As for the details, you would necessarily need a compressor only for pneumatic or air framing nailers. For other types, it is kind of up to the choice. You can use it if you want, but it is not necessary without some occasional situation.

Pneumatic framing nailer works with the air, as you can guess from the name. Besides, you have to consider some definitive factors to get the correct compressor size. CMF, Size, and HP are the most important factors.


CFM indicates at the cubic feet per minute. That means how much air flows in a minute. You have to have a suitable airflow rate, else it will not be suitable for the system, and the noise will continue. By default, you may get 5CFM. But try to get more than the minimum requirement or default. However, most of the air framing nailer works perfectly between 2-4 CFM.


It is power. It indicates how much work an air compressor capable of doing. It depends mainly on another factor known as PSI. PSI indicated air pressure. The more air pressure you need, the more HP you have to use. Hp is basically synced with other factors. So, try to get one that will not waste energy and do the right amount of work.


The overall nailer size and capacity is another factor that leads to choosing an air compressor carefully. Every other considering factor mainly depends on this one.

What size compressor do I need for framing?

Now, I know, there has come a question in your mind, hasn’t there? And the question is, what size compressor do I need for framing? Now for the recommendation, you will need a portable compressor in most of the regular cases. A regular air compressor has an air capacity of 2-20 gallons. It is quite enough for home and regular outdoor work.

But if you are going for a remote working and a huge one, then you would need much more capacity. In that case, a stationary would be best. Here we would consider regular works and provide a guideline for that.

  • 2-4 gallon capacity: It is suitable for any kind of indoor work—a semi-professional choice with your air framing nailer.
  • 4-6 gallon capacity: It is for mid-range outdoor works. You would need some more capacity to do this kind of job. This capacity range would be suitable.
  • 6-10 gallon capacity: If you have to run more than one nail simultaneously, this much capacity would be suitable for you.
  • 10-20 gallon capacity: It is not just about running more but also a load of work. In that case, you would need that much capacity.
  • > 20-gallon capacity: If you have to work with a huge load and many nailers simultaneously. Then that much or even higher capacity would be needed. This kind of necessity comes when you have to go for a distant work with long time heavy workloads. A portable will not be enough. So, a stationary compressor can be a suitable option for this situation. It is the highest level of professional recommendation.


Answering your question, What size compressor do I need for framing? Follow the chart guideline on how much size and capacity you would need for a smooth-running.

For a regular nailer job, a portable would be highly recommended to save your cost and effort. If you have a professional job, then a stationary compressor will be enough for any level of demand.


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