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Old 02-16-2008, 03:48 PM   #1
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Min SCFM on compressor?


I'm looking at nailers and they're talking about 70-90 psi operating pressure. Then I look at compressors and they give a max. pressure, but also a SCFM which I guess equates to the number of nails/staples you can do per minute. Does anyone have a converson factor for SCFM to nails per minute?

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Old 02-16-2008, 04:03 PM   #2
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Min SCFM on compressor?


SCFM stands for standard cubic feet per minute. It is a measure of how much air the compressor can deliver in one minute. This number will determine how many nailers a compressor can power at one time. Certain tools will also have a SCFM rating and the compressors rating needs to be higher to power this tools.

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Old 02-16-2008, 04:23 PM   #3
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Min SCFM on compressor?


Thanks ponch. I get what SCFM is, I don't get how it relates to a nailer I might buy.

Presumably the nailer uses up a certain cubic amount of air each time it nails an anail, but the manufacturers don't give that figure in their product specs.

I want to buy a compressor that is good enough for my needs without wasting my money on redundant power.
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Old 02-16-2008, 04:35 PM   #4
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Min SCFM on compressor?


dont know of any conversion for nail to cfm. It probably depends on the specs of the nail gun. I have the portable portacable compresser that has a top psi of 150. And 6 cfm at 90 psi. It is rated to run 3-4 framing nailers at the same time but i dont hardly believe it. we only run 1 nail gun at 100 psi and the compressor will come on after 8-10 nails but only runs maybe 20 seconds cuz the small tank. If your going to use a frameing nailer alot, pay no attention to the max psi rating as long as its over 100 and it can provide 5 or more cfm at 90 psi.
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Old 02-16-2008, 04:46 PM   #5
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Min SCFM on compressor?


Thanks iditit.

So I need at least 6 cfm @ 90 psi to run one flooring nailer?

Any one else out there have some real data from the field?
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:00 PM   #6
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Min SCFM on compressor?


If your just going to build a few projects around the house and not in a big hurry then 2-3 cfm at 90 psi may be ok. If your going pro then dont buy anything smaller than 6 cfm. You may not need the cfm but the compressor and motor will last longer. Big time framers will pay 1-2-3 grand for a 12-15 cfm and run 3-4 guns continuous. The portacable i described cost $329 at H.D and helps my 2 man crew with one framming nailer build 1-2 houses a year. I get on a roll and nail like a made man and it keeps up just fine. We've had it about 3 years now and no problems. We also use it to feed our various size trim and staple guns. Just make sure to drain the condensation out after every day of use whatever compressor you buy. and oil your guns. O i just realized your talking about running a floor nailer but id still get a 6 cfm, cost no more than the floor gun.

Last edited by ididit; 02-16-2008 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 02-17-2008, 11:15 AM   #7
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Min SCFM on compressor?


Any of the decent twin tank portables that put out 4.5 to 6 cfm at 90psi will handle a floor nailer ( I interpret that to be pneumatic for hardwood flooring) on a daily basis and last. The higher pressure models will not cyle on quite as quickly, but my main consideration would be to stay with an oil bath model over the oiless, as they last much longer. Avoid the pancakes for anything but occassional or limited use IMO. You won't go wrong with the Emglo(Dewalt), Thomas, or RolAir. Be sure to compare the cfm's at the same psi (usually 90 since that is a realistic working number, not 40psi that some of the less expensive models use so they can still have a higher cfm number) as some models look identical, but have smaller capacities.

I use these to consistently run 2 or 3 trim guns or a framing gun or two, or some combination of both, and the only thing that they cannot handle well is high volume framing shots, like nailing sheathing.

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Last edited by troubleseeker; 02-17-2008 at 11:21 AM.
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