Best Air Compressors for Roofing – 2021 Guide for Nailers

| Last Updated: January 30, 2021

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When working with an air compressor, you can significantly reduce the time it takes on roofing jobs, which is why we talk about the best air compressors for roofing in the article below. We've also featured some of our favorites. 

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below are the best air compressors for roofing:

  1. Industrial Air CTA5090412
  2. Metabo HPT EC914SM
  3. Porter-Cable C2002

Comparison of the Best Air Compressors for Roofing


Main Features


Industrial Air CTA5090412

  • Oil-free operation
  • Has a weight of 71lbs
  • Uses two 2-gallon tanks

Metabo HPT EC914SM

  • Can reach up to 200 PSI
  • Dual-coupling system
  • Weighs 41lbs

Porter-Cable C2002

  • Best for the Money
  • Corded electric power source
  • Dual-coupling system

DeWalt DCC2560T1

  • Best Air Compressor for Roofing Nailer
  • Reinforced plastic roll cage
  • Cordless electric power


  • Best Roofing Nailer Compressor Combo
  • Comes with combo kit
  • 75.5 decibel rating

What Makes an Air Compressor Great for Roofing? 

A few key features and characteristics make a quality air compressor when being used for roofing jobs. Below are a few of the most important. 

Portable and Lightweight

If you're going to be hanging out on a roof quite a lot, which most roofing tasks require, you're better off having an air compressor that can be carried up there with you. 

Portable air compressors like that of a pancake design could be incredibly beneficial to someone trying to carry out a task from a roof. 

Durable Material 

Considering that you'll be working from a height if you're nailing a roof, it would be smart to have an air compressor that might take a tumble or bash now and then. 

A good way to protect your compressor is to find one with a roll cage design or protective casing. 

Additional Attachments

Extra features can also greatly benefit your work efficiency; consider compressors with dual coupling, an additional bonus if they're universal fittings. 

Dual couplings will allow two users to operate at once; some larger air compressors offer more than two—the more, the merrier. 

What Size Air Compressor for Nail Gun? 

The various nailers all require different sizes of the tank, PSI, and CFM requirements. If you're looking for a compressor that can operate a roofing nailer, most experts recommend minimum requirements of 4 CFM with a 6-gallon tank. 

Most air compressors will provide the necessary PSI; the average PSI requirement for a roofing nailer is around 100 PSI. 

Review of the Best Air Compressors for Roofing 

There are so many different air compressors out there that it can be hard to keep track of. For that reason, we've included some of our favorite air compressors for roofing. 

Best Overall
Industrial Air CTA5090412    


  • Suitable for most standard air tools
  • Gas-powered design means it can be used anywhere
  • Has a compact size, which means it won't take up much space on a roof
  • Has a patented cooling system which helps reduce the risk of overheating


  • You'll need to buy gas and fill the compressor continuously

Our Review

This oil-free air compressor is a quality asset for roofing jobs. The compressor has two 2-gallon tanks, which can be connected and operated by two users at once; this helps increase efficiency. 

The air compressor runs on gas, which is beneficial if you're working in an area that lacks electricity. Oil-free usually means it overheats a lot more. However, the patented cooling system eliminates that risk. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

This product's standout feature is that it provides you with the option of two people to operate the device at once; not many portable air compressors offer this feature. If you're working with a crew, you could turn a 30-minute job into a 15-minute job. 

Metabo HPT EC914SM   


  • Get jobs done in half the time with dual-coupling
  • All-metal handle means it's durable enough for a worksite
  • Compact pancake design allows simple storage solutions
  • 200 PSI and 4 CFM is more than enough to operate a standard pneumatic tool


  • It's on the louder side

Our Review

Our runner up is the Metabo; this 6-gallon tank packs a punch by providing up to 200 PSI and 4 CFM, more than enough to operate most standard pneumatic tools. 

Considering that large amounts of airflow and significant runtime on offer, the dual-coupling system will be incredibly useful in reducing the time it takes to complete tasks if you have two operating the compressor at once. Not only that, but it's also easy to store away, thankfully, due to its pancake design. 

The only downside with this compressor is that it emits around 73-decibels, which isn't too loud, but louder than what's necessary when buying a compressor of this caliber. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

This compressor's standout feature is durability; the stainless steel material protects your compressor from severe damage if it were to fall from a building. The only way you could improve is to add a roll-cage. However, that might increase the weight. 

Best for the Money
Porter-Cable C2002  


  • Rubber feet are great for stability
  • Dual-coupling increases project efficiency
  • Lightweight enough to carry to a roofing job
  • Pancake style allows for simple storage options


  • The corded-electric power requirements limit how far it can be carried

Our Review

This 6-gallon pancake air compressor certainly fits all of the requirements of a roofing compressor. At just 34lbs, this compressor is considered relatively lightweight; the pancake design also means it's portable and can be transported easily. 

Dual-coupling is another critical feature here as this allows two users to operate the compressor at once, significantly increasing your efficiency. If you're on the roof with this device, the rubber feet effectively grip on to most surfaces, providing that needed assurance of stability. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The standout feature here is that this product costs a lot less than other compressors that provide the same quality. You could even consider this to be better than most. 

The only fault is that you need to be near an electricity source. Other than that, this compressor is excellent value for money for both beginners and seasoned professionals. 

Best Air Compressor for Roofing Nailer
DeWalt DCC2560T1   


  • The cordless design provides more flexibility
  • With each charge, you can fire over 1200 nails
  • Is lightweight enough that you won't struggle with carrying it around
  • The reinforced plastic wraps around the full compressor, offering complete protection


  • The 2.5-gallon tank is a bit small

Our Review

The reinforced plastic roll-cage is one of the best designs to protect against accidental falls from roofing jobs; it'll cover the internal components effectively without sacrificing quality or portability. At just 21lbs, this compressor feels like a feather compared to the other compressors on offer. 

Considering that it's just a 2.5-gallon tank, it can fire out over 1200 nails, which is enough to complete large roofing jobs easily. The only downside is that larger 6-gallon tanks can do this and more, although they might not have the same lightweight design. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Two features set this product apart from the rest. The first being the reinforced plastic roll-cage; this will effectively protect your compressor from falling from significant heights. 

The second feature is that this product is cordless, meaning that you have to charge it up and not need to rely on an electricity or gas supply.

Best Roofing Nailer Compressor Combo
DeWalt DWC1KIT-B    


  • Is a fairly quiet compressor
  • A Dual-coupling system allows two users at once
  • You receive a nailer and hose, ultimately better value for money
  • 36lb weight and reinforced plastic handle allows for it to be easily carried around


  • There isn't much protection for if it falls from a roof

Our Review

An air compressor used for roofing should be lightweight. This 36lb air compressor certainly fits that description; you'll be able to carry it up and down ladders with ease, especially with the reinforced plastic handle and pancake design. 

A 6-gallon tank is perfect for roofing jobs as this gives you the necessary airflow required; along with this, you get a few extra pieces like the nailer and hose, which can sometimes be a pain to source individually. If you're working in a team, the dual-coupling system allows you to get tasks done twice as fast. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The simplicity of its design and lightweight functionality is the selling point for this pancake air compressor

You'll have no issues with using this air compressor for roofing jobs, tasks that aren't for the heavier compressor. 

What Are The Benefits of Having a Quality Air Compressor While Working? 

There are so many beneficial reasons to invest in a quality air compressor for roofing. Below are just some of the common benefits we feel are important to mention. 

No Need to Worry About Damages

If you've done your research and bagged yourself a quality-made air compressor with a roll-cage. 

You'll not need to stress over if it gets damaged after an accidental tumble or bash. High-quality air compressors are protected by durable materials like steel or reinforced plastic. 

Easily Carry a Compressor on the Roof

Like we've mentioned, portability and lightweight design are key when using an air compressor for a roofing job. If you commit to finding an air compressor with those features, you'll have no problem getting your roofing work done. 

You'll Save Time

A high-quality air compressor tends to have additional features, the most common being universal dual-couplers. These couplers allow any fitting to connect two users at once; this then significantly reduces the time it takes to complete tasks. 

Types of Roofing Air Compressors 

With any product, many variations exist that all have their unique characteristics. Below are some common variations to look out for when looking for a roofing air compressor.

Cordless Electric 

A battery pack runs cordless electric air compressors. These packs are charged up and then attached to the compressor; they're useful when you don't like using gas and aren't near an electricity supply. 

They're also useful when you don't have a long enough power cable. However, the batteries run out, and continuously charging them can become a hassle. 

Gas Powered 

Gas-powered runs on gas; this can become expensive if you're using your compressor almost daily. This variation would be another strong contender for being used when there's no electricity supply; they also run out when the gas runs out. 

Corded Electric

Corded electric seems to be the most popular as they don't run out as long as you pay your electricity bill. 

The downside is that they require an electricity source, but a longer hose can be attached to the compressor if it's further away. It's recommended you don't use an extension cable as this can overheat and cause damage. 


It can be daunting at first to find an air compressor suitable for roofing jobs. However, the above information is everything that you need to know. 

So long as you prioritize your compressor being lightweight and have the suitable CFM and PSI requirements, you're good to go. 

People Also Ask

Questions are always expected, which is why we've compiled and answered some of the most commonly asked questions regarding roofing air compressors. 

What Kind Of Compressor Do You Need For Roofing Nail Gun?

To summarize what we'd recommend:

Something lightweight provides the recommended average requirements of 100 PSI and 4 CFM, which also has some protection like a roll-cage or durable material casing.

How To Check If Compressor Can Handle Roofing Nailgun

These details can usually be found in the compressor's manual or even on the compressor. You're looking for both the PSI and CFM requirements of the nail gun and compare that to what your compressor can provide. 

How Heavy Is An Air Compressor Like The Ones Mentioned Here? 

The air compressors mentioned here are between 20lbs and 75lbs. Your sweet spot is somewhere between those numbers. 

Like we mentioned, the lighter, the better, but that usually means smaller and smaller means less tank capacity. 

Work out how much nailing you'll be doing in a day and take it from there. Besides, these compressors all have decent refill times, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem. 

Can These Also Be Used As A Construction Air Compressor?

These air compressors can be used for other tasks on a construction site. Most standard pneumatic air tools require between 70 PSI and 125 PSI, with an average of 2.5 CFM per tool. Therefore, there are many other tasks you can complete so long as you have the tools. 

How To Use A Nail Gun With An Air Compressor

It depends on what nail gun you're planning to use. Once you identify that, you need to connect your air hose to your nail gun before turning the air compressor on. The hose itself should feel tight and secure. 

Also, ensure you're wearing safety goggles and gloves and always making the nail gun or compressor adjustments before using it. If you need to change something, turn the compressor off and adjust.