\u00a9 2021 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Read on as we run through some of the most asked air compressor capacity questions for the most popular air tools. Brad nail guns, the smallest tools of the bunch, will need just 1 CFM at 90 PSI. Then, blow out zone by zone, two or three times for a short amount of time (because of heat build-up in dry pipes). Framing nail guns and framing nailers will need around 4 CFM to be able to keep up with a fast paced framing job. If you are using your trim work tools at the same time, then you will need an air compressor with the capacity to run them all – simply add up all of the CFM requirements of your tools, add a 5 CFM allowance on top of those, and you can arrive at a good baseline for your air compressor needs. Say, for example, that you're using a grease gun (~4 CFM @ 90 psi), framing nailer (~2 CFM @ 90 psi), and dual sander (~11 CFM @ 90 psi) at approximately the same time. And for the largest 3/4 rattle guns, those will need at least 7 CFM – and even more so if you are running several rattle guns off of the same air compressor. Aside from air pressure, you will also need to have enough flow to keep up with your nail gun. Paint spray guns for car painting can be run at 40 to 45 PSI, but they will need 9 to 12 CFM to operate properly. For advice on how to choose between an electric and gas-powered compressor, read on! Choosing an air compressor can leave you feeling lost if you don't know what to look for. Fixed air compressors with 60 gallon tanks are even better at running more tools at the same time, including sanders and sprayer guns. Pancake style air compressors have high pressure but low volume. A high volume paint gun, on the other hand, will require at least 12 CFM to get a good spread of paint out of it. Many workshop garages will have a 70 CFM air compressor to run their air tools, including all the air wrenches, oil pumps, washers and inflators they use. Last Updated: December 20, 2020 For detailed work, airbrushes can easily run off a 1 CFM compressor. For air tools in general, you will do well to invest in an air compressor that can put out at least 90 PSI. A sand blaster with a typical #4 nozzle needs plenty of CFM to operate, and you will need at least 70 CFM to run this tool reliably at 90 PSI. 3/8 inch impact guns need 3 CFM at 90 PSI, while half-inch impact guns need at least 4 CFM for the same pressure. When planning for an air compressor for a variety of air tools, pay attention to the most demanding of your tools CFM-wise as you shop around. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. What Size Air Compressor is Best For Home Use? If you are winterizing an RV or a mobile home, then a one gallon compressor will do the job, if perhaps a bit more slowly than you would like. These rugged accessories help you keep your shop in order and also make it easier to clean. That said, there is a wide variety of spray texture guns that have a wide range of air supply requirements, too. For car repairs, you will need an air compressor that can run all your tools. If you plan to cut through a lot of thick plate, for example, then it’s a good idea to invest in a compressor that can do 1.5 to twice the rated minimum for your tool. What Kind Of Oil Should I Use For My Air Compressor? For a typical garage air compressor, you need enough capacity and pressure to run all the air tools you will need. Air ratchets can easily run off an air compressor as long as it can put out 90 to 100 PSI of air pressure. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 291,961 times. On a nail gun, too little pressure and the nail wont drive in. What size compressor do I need for blowing out water lines for winterizing my house? The amount of air volume or pressure you will need for a body shop varies widely, with some tools needing as little as 2 CFM, while larger ones requiring 20 CFM or more. The usual body shop air compressors range from 115 PSI, 145 PSI, or up to 175 PSI. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.