Evaluate your compressor

Many of problems come from a faulty or inadequate compressed air supply system. Before attempting to repair the tool, the following points should be checked:

Compressed Air Supply Calculator

Use this applet to check that your compressor and air delivery are adequate for your installation.

Select your tool and air delivery configuration

Number of tool connected:
  • Air splitter should be integrated into or next to the compressor.
  • Separate hoses should be used for each tool.
Nailing pace:
  • Moderate rate is typical of an occasional user.
  • Fast rate is typical of professional installers who are using flooring tools on a regular basis.
  • Very fast rate is typical of professional installers of large projects or surfaces (> 600 sq.ft. every day).
  • Tools with roller base will increase your pace.
Operation pressure:
  • Operating at higher pressure than necessary increases air consumption.
  • Operating tool over 115 psi increases wear and reduces parts life expectancy.
Hose length:
  • A minimum of 100 psi is required for hose longer than 50 ft.
Hose inner diameter:
  • 3/8" hose is recommended - 3/8" hose is required for hose longer than 50 ft.
  • Fitting size should match hose diameter.

Compressor Recommendations

SCFM required:
  • The SCFM (standard cubic feet per minute) is a measure of air flow under standardized conditions (temperature, pressure & relative humidity). Although these standard conditions may vary from one manufacturer to another, the SCFM specification is the best figure to compare different models. Learn more about SCFM
  • The SCFM is usually rated at 90 psi. If rated otherwise, use the closest value.
  • Some manufacturers rate their compressor in CFM (cubic feet per minute). Unfortunately, since the operating environment is not taken into account, this figure is not reliable for comparing compressors.
  • Compressor start point (cut-in/cut-out pressures) should be at least 10 psi higher than the operating pressure. Refer to the compressor Operation Manual.
  • Larger tank compressors or the use of a bumper tank will stabilized the air pressure during fast bursts.
HP (estimated):
  • Motor power (HP) is a crude approximation of a compressor capacity (SCFM) and should be used only if SCFM specification cannot be found.

Operating Air Pressure Recommendations

The compressed air pressure required varies with tool model, wood specie, board thickness, subflooring and fastener type, length & gage.

Use only the air pressure that is required to properly countersink all nails or staples. The use of higher air pressure will increase tongue fracture and dimple effect. Exotic species, dark varnishes and/or hi-gloss finishes are particularly sensitive to over-pressuring tool.