What size air hose for a nail gun?

If you are using a pneumatic nail gun for your woodworking purposes, you will need the proper air hose. Choosing the correct size of the air hose is very important. Depending on that, you can determine how you will use the nail gun and what value you can get out of it.

Don’t have any idea about how to go about this? I have got you covered with that. Here, I will go through what size you should be choosing for the hose and how you should get through the process. Let’s get going with it.

Every product is independently reviewed and selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

Choosing the perfect air hose for a nail gun?

When you are about to choose an air hose, you will need to go through several factors. For example, the hose material will determine how durable or effective it can be. Here I won’t be going deep into that; I will mostly discuss the other important factor you must go through. And it’s the size.

Now, there are different parameters to go through when you are choosing the perfect size of an air hose for your nail gun. Usually, you have to think about two things: the length of the hose and the other is the diameter. Let’s get a deeper understanding of both to decide for yourself.

Length of the air hose

Determining the length of the air hose should be your priority. There are different ways to go about this. You have to decide on the length based on the project you are working on. Also, where you will be using your nail gun plays a huge role in deciding the length of the air hose.

Usually, there are two common lengths that you get for air hoses. It’s either 50 feet or 100 feet. Now, you can surely go ahead with the larger one, but it has its drawbacks that you have to consider.

When you choose a very large air hose, you will come across a situation that gets hard to handle. Especially if you are working on a small project with limited space, you will have a hard time with the hose because it will be quite heavy and bulky to move around.

Similarly, if you choose a smaller size, you will have the trouble where you can’t cover the complete working area. So, it’s important to consider what project you are working on.

Based on that, when you are working in a larger space on a heavy project, choosing the 100 feet hose may work out better for you. On the other hand, you can go with the 50 feet hose when the project is smaller.

Lastly, the simplest way to determine is the kind of nail gun you use. If you are using a stationary nail gun, then you can use either of them. But if it’s a portable nail gun, there is no way to use the 100 feet hose. In that scenario, you have to go with the 50 feet hose anyways.

Diameter of the hose

Here’s the thing understanding the diameter of the hose is a bit tricky. Because usually, the diameter will refer to the ID or inner diameter of the hose. However, the outer diameter can differ while keeping the inner diameter the same.

Typically, the ID of most of the hoses out there that you get for nail guns will be ¼” or 3/8″. Now, which one to choose when? To get that idea, you have to understand the whole concept of the impact of these diameters.

So, with a smaller hose diameter, you will have a lightweight application. This means when you get a ¼” air hose, you will get a lighter hose. This works out great for smaller projects anyways. It’s also suitable when you don’t need too much air pressure. This works out perfectly when you don’t need mass air transmission.

As for the 3/8″ you can use this hose whenever you need to get great mass air transmission. Also, this hose will provide more air pressure if you need that. Because of this impact, the 3/8″ hose will be perfect when you are doing a heavy-duty project with your nail gun.

However, nail guns will usually use the ¼” inner diameter over 3/8″. Because there aren’t many projects that will require the power or pressure you get from a 3/8″. A ¼” hose is more than enough for most of your nail gun projects.

Other than that, another factor can come into play, like the fitting on your nail gun. If your nail gun has a fitting of 3/8″, then you have to use that hose ID. And if it’s ¼,” then you have to use that for your hose ID.

Typically, these are the two factors that go behind deciding on the size of your air hose for a nail gun. Once you go through these two factors, you should get the perfect size on the air hoses for your nail gun.

Having said that, the nail gun you use should already have the recommendations for the hose size. So, you can just follow along with that if you have a difficult time. But still, it’s better to understand the whole concept of sizing the air hoses for your nail guns.


In summary, what size air hose for a nail gun that you should pick highly depends on your situation. For example, what kind of project you are dealing with has a huge impact on what size of air hose you will be picking for your nail gun.

Typically, I would say, going with the lower end of the spectrum works out for the most part. They are usually lighter and easy to manage compared to the higher-end ones. So, for your nail gun air compressor, it’s better to go with a smaller hose that has a diameter of around ¼”. This size works out the best.

Aside from that, you also need to think about the material of the hose, which is an entirely different factor.