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Old 06-16-2011, 11:02 AM   #1
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CFM requirement for brad nailers?


Found a good deal on this compressor at HF, $39.99 after coupon. The specs list 0.6 cfm at 90 psi and the title says that it's good for inflation, stapling, brad nailing, and air brushing. All of the buying guides that I've seen suggest that around 0.3-0.5 cfm is what you need for a brad nailer. However, all of the brad nailers that I've seen list around 4-5 cfm as the required air supply. I'm pretty sure it will work, but I'm having a hard time reconciling these two specifications. Does anyone know how to compare apples to apples with these?

Also, does anyone have any idea how this compressor would do with a 15 gauge finishing nailer or a framing nailer? The brad nailer would be what I use most, but it'd be nice to know if it would work for something needing more power.

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Last edited by webman3802; 06-16-2011 at 11:08 AM. Reason: Addition
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:34 AM   #2
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CFM requirement for brad nailers?


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Originally Posted by webman3802 View Post
Found a good deal on this compressor at HF, $39.99 after coupon. The specs list 0.6 cfm at 90 psi and the title says that it's good for inflation, stapling, brad nailing, and air brushing. All of the buying guides that I've seen suggest that around 0.3-0.5 cfm is what you need for a brad nailer. However, all of the brad nailers that I've seen list around 4-5 cfm as the required air supply. I'm pretty sure it will work, but I'm having a hard time reconciling these two specifications. Does anyone know how to compare apples to apples with these?

Also, does anyone have any idea how this compressor would do with a 15 gauge finishing nailer or a framing nailer? The brad nailer would be what I use most, but it'd be nice to know if it would work for something needing more power.
4-5 cfm must be the bad spec. I have a 2 cylinder large compressor that only puts out 6 cfm. For a light duty cycle you should be ok.

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Old 06-16-2011, 11:53 AM   #3
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CFM requirement for brad nailers?


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4-5 cfm must be the bad spec. I have a 2 cylinder large compressor that only puts out 6 cfm. For a light duty cycle you should be ok.
Probably so. I found some finishing nailers at HF that only require 1.5 CFM, and even the framing nailers only listed 3.5 CFM. 4-5 seems very high for a brad nailer, so it's likely incorrect. Maybe they missed the decimal point?
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:55 PM   #4
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CFM requirement for brad nailers?


Unless you're doing some kind of production work - and I can't imagine what that would be with a brad nailer - I think you'll be fine. You'll spend way more time thinking, clamping and scratching your head than you will shooting nails. I'd bet even a framing nailer won't tax that compressor, unless you're building pallets or running several nailers at the same time.

My compressor is mostly stationary, with a 30 gallon tank. I ran my framing nailer for several hours the other day (just me, not a crew) before I figured out the compressor wasn't even turned on.

Grinders, polishers, sprayers need big CFM. Most other tools are intermittent, and mostly run off the tank. Personally, I'd be more concerned about the fact that it's sold at Harbor Freight than the size. It's a disposable tool. By the time it wears out, you'll have a better idea of what you need.
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