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hwood 03-03-2009 09:06 PM

Hardwood Nailer and Compressor - HorsePower/PSI or SCFM?

I am a newbie at this, but am thinking of putting in stapled down hardwood in our kitchen. I got the HarborFreight hardwood nailer at a store ( today, and am trying to find the right compressor for the job.

I was in Sears today and the salesman tried to sell me a 4 Gallon 3/4 HP Pancake compressor (, saying it has enough PSI (125 max) to feed the nailer.

However, the nailer says it needs 4 SCFM at 90PSI. There is no mention of horsepower. The Sears compressor has a SCFM of 1.7 at 90PSI. I am not sure therefore if it is right for the job.
Could you please let me know your comments?

A bit about myself, I am a newbie at this. I probably will not need these tools once the kitchen is done. I will probably sell the nailer on Ebay, but think I will keep the compressor just in case I need to paint something later on or maybe with a small brad nailer etc for small work around the house. While searching on this forum (and elsewhere) for an answer, I realized that I should add that I probably won't need to operate the nailer continuously, a few minutes gap every 4-5 nails is totally OK.

Please do let me know your opinion. Also, if you have used this nailer, please let me know what you think of it.


SDC 03-04-2009 06:00 AM

Personally, I think the nailer may last a job or two. I would not buy one that cheap for a living.(I think you will have a hard time selling it to break even) IMHO, Compressor should be fine. It will not be good enough to use for a paint spray gun.
If you are concerned about selling after, why don't you rent one at a tool rental place or even the box stores?

Maintenance 6 03-04-2009 12:42 PM

You don't really need a compressor that will deliver 4 SCFM continuously to run a nailer since it is an intermittant air load. The tank will provide a "cushion" of available air that will allow the compressor to catch up as you work. I would not plan on running any kind of sprayer with a set up that small. When it comes to compressors, SCFM is the most important number. HP means nothing. The motor just needs to be correctly sized to handle the pump it's driving.Tank size will give you an idea of the reserve capacity of compressed air you have available as you work. Spraying is a more constant draw on the compressed air supply than a nailer. So you would need a set up that could supply about double the SCFMs required by the sprayer. Otherwise you'll have to stop working and wait for the compressor to catch up. Compressors are usually duty rated at 50%, meaning that they should only need to run half of the time that a tool is being used. The rest of the time you should be drawing on the reserve provided by the tank.

hwood 03-04-2009 03:11 PM

SDC, only reason I got the nailer was because it was the "cheapest" indeed, I have not really found any reviews yet (good or bad) about it. Next up the line was the Ramsond RMM4 on Amazon for 200$. At these prices, it beats renting the tool (I am certain I will not finish this project in a single stretch, with 2 kids, ages 3 and 6 who insist on helping me!). I am still searching for reviews though, and have the option to return it back (I still have not opened the box)

Maintenance6, thanks for your comments on the compressor, and explaining what the terms mean. It sure does clarify a lot of things to me. I think I will buy a better compressor overall, might as well invest 200+$ than throwing away 100.

With that said, what is the general opinion about the Harbor Freight hardwood nailer or their compressors? They sure have low prices, and the reviews I found were pretty good (apart from their shipping/online customer service).

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