Nail guns are some of the most useful tools for big carpentry and construction projects, but nail guns alone aren’t always the most efficient options. Using a pneumatic system can often be more effective than individual nail guns, especially if you’re working with difficult materials.
That’s why we found some of the best combo nail gun and air compressor kits. These kits give you the power you need for any project and are often more affordable than buying a nail gun and air compressor separately.
In this review, we will cover the most important features of each kit, including the main strengths and weaknesses of the included tools. We’ve also included a short buying guide at the end to help you pick the best nail gun combo kit for your needs.
Let’s get started.
This three in one kit comes with an air compressor and three different kinds of nail guns. The cordless Bostitch air compressor has a 6-gallon total capacity, more than enough to run most nail guns efficiently and without long refill times.
In addition to the air compressor, you get a Brad Nailer designed for 18-gauge nails. That’s great for most indoor projects, including fastening decorative molding and fixing lightweight decorative elements in place.
This kit also includes a Straight Finish Nailer designed for 16-gauge nails. The nail gun is compatible with both 1 ¼ inch nails and 2 ½ inch nails.
The last tool included with the air compressor kit is a heavy-duty Crown Stapler. The Stapler is designed to drive heavy duty 3/8″ Crown staples from 1/4″ to 9/16″, which gives you a wide variety of fastening options.
The kit includes a 15-foot, 1/4″ x 25′ PVC air hose, which offers plenty of length for flexibility with your projects. Since the air compressor is also entirely cordless, this kit is a good option if you need to work away from electricity or in hard to reach areas.
While this kit works well for carpentry hobbyists, the added flexibility makes this a good option for contractors and builders as well.
It’s also a low-maintenance kit with an oil-free design and high-efficiency motor that cuts energy costs and improves performance. The motor also reduces the noise of the air compressor, which makes the air compressor much easier to use for long periods. It’s also better for busy work areas since you’ll be able to talk over the sound of the air compressor more easily.
Why we like it
This nail gun combo kit comes with a lot of the finishing tools you need for carpentry work along with a highly efficient air compressor. The included tools give you a lot of flexibility as a woodworker, and the air compressor works with many of your other standard pneumatic tools.
If you’re looking for something that offers slightly higher PSI along with more heavy-duty nail guns, this may be a good kit for you.
The Porter-Cable Air Compressor has a 6-gallon holding tank and offers 150 PSI. That means you can drive a lot of nails on a single tank, with relatively quick charging time to refill the tank between uses.
It’s also a more adaptive unit since it works on standard 120V current, which means that you can use almost any household outlet. You don’t need specialized 220V outlets to run the compressor at full capacity.
We also appreciated that the air compressor itself only weighs 30lbs, which is quite manageable.
All three nail guns are also designed to be slightly more heavy-duty, but still delicate enough for finishing work.
With this kit, you’ll get a 16-gauge standard finish nail gun compatible with 2 ½ inch nails. You also get a heavy-duty Stapler compatible with 3/8-inch staples. The last tool is an 18-gauge Brad nail gun compatible with 2-inch nails.
In addition to the core tools, this kit comes with 25 feet of a ¼ inch air hose to run the tools. That extra length makes it easy to get your tools into place and maneuver. Between the longer hose and indoor outlet compatible design, this compressor and nail gun combo kit works well in almost all situations.
The addition of a belt hook also makes it easier to keep your tools available on the worksite and is a nice perk of this kit.
Why we like it
This heavy-duty design is great for professionals thanks to its high level of versatility and power. Since it’s compatible with household outlets this combo kit is also a great option for contractors and anyone looking to complete high-quality carpentry finish work inside.
DeWalt is one of the most well-known household names when it comes to power tools, so it makes sense that they’ve come out with a relatively impressive nail gun combo kit.
The air compressor is something of a half-way point between a lighter air compressor for normal household use and a heavy-duty pneumatic nail gun combo kit for professionals. It has the same 6-gallon air tank that is standard for these kits, with a 90 PSI pump and a 165 PSI max PSI for longer tool runtime and shorter recovery.
It also has a long-life, high-efficiency motor with oil-free operation. That means less maintenance for you and more jobs that you can complete. It also offers a tool-free depth-of-drive adjustment to help improve your control as you work.
In quality of life improvements, the tools all offer tool-free jam release to help remove jammed nails and get you back to work faster.
However, this kit only includes a single nail gun, a DeWalt brand Brad nail gun compatible with 18-gauge nails. It’s able to drive nails anywhere between 5/8 of an inch, to 2 inches deep. That’s a little more limited than the other kits on this list, but the tool itself is a little more flexible than the other Brad nail guns.
Why we like it
Overall, while this nail gun combo kit is an excellent choice, it’s also a little more limited than some of the alternatives. Its high-quality tools are individually more flexible than the competition, but the kit itself doesn’t deliver as much variety. That said, you get quite a bit of adaptive features, perfect for professional-level carpentry and finishing work.
Nail Gun Combo Kit Buying Guide
Air Compressor PSI
Since the air compressor provides all the power for your pneumatic nail gun combo kit, it’s important to know what kind of power you’re working with.
90 PSI air compressors are smaller, more affordable, and mostly designed for light work. They’ll get the job done, especially for smaller tools like a nail gun, but you should expect them to be a little weaker than larger models.
150 PSI is usually as much pressure as you can expect from a mobile air compressor, though larger stationary systems do offer significantly more pressure. These air compressors are more expensive, but also usually work better for professional projects and larger projects.
Noise determines how comfortable you can be working with your air compressor, and whether you can give and hear instructions from other people working on your same project. The average decibel level for a portable air compressor is 80 dBA, which is roughly equivalent to the dial tone on an old phone, or chamber music in a relatively small auditorium.
Lower decibel levels, usually between 70-75 dBA, are certainly more comfortable to work around.
Larger models are usually louder, but you don’t want anything over 100 dBA, especially if you want to work without ear protection.
Your air compressor’s power source largely determines where and if you can work with your pneumatic nail guns and other pneumatic tools.
Battery-powered air compressors are usually the smallest versions and are typically good for refilling car tires and some light tool use, but not much more. There are some larger versions coming out now with more impressive batteries and higher PSI, but they are also proportionately more expensive.
Corded air compressors are some of the most common. Most consumer-use air compressors are designed for 120V standard household outlets, which limits the power of the air compressor but makes them more versatile.
However, there are a few models designed for 220 outlets, and commercial models may need a dedicated power source.
These air compressors are usually just as powerful as consumer-gas powered models and are also more environmentally friendly.
Gas-powered air compressors are some of the most common, especially with newer oil-free designs that have made them much easier to use.
These air compressors are mostly limited by the need for fuel. You’ll want to have some spare gas on-hand anytime you’re using a gas-powered air compressor.
They are also less eco-friendly than other options and release exhaust fumes. Those fumes mean that it is not safe to use these air compressors inside or anywhere with limited ventilation.
Overall, we have to say that the PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor Kit, 6-Gallon, 3-Tool (PCFP12234) comes out on top of this lineup. Its adaptive features combined with the highly affordable price make it a great choice for hobbyists and enthusiasts, but it’s powerful enough for professional use.
The added flexibility of the three included pneumatic tools (two nail guns and a pneumatic stapler) make it a great choice for a wide variety of applications.
We also appreciated that this kit comes with everything you need to get started and that AC power works well for interior work.
I have an unhealthy obsession with contracting and renovation. I’ve been a contractor for over 15 years and I love tackling challenging projects to make them look amazing.