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How to Choose Framing Nailers

Framing nail guns are professional-grade tools built for heavy-duty construction projects. These nail guns can help you build a deck, install a fence and frame out a wall, without ever having to hit a nail on the head. Here’s how to find the right one for the job.
When to Use Framing Nailers 

Framing nailers can quickly and powerfully shoot nails into 2x4s. They won’t splinter the wood or crack the plaster like a hammer can. This makes them the ideal tool to hang drywall and install subfloors. 
Not all framing jobs require the same-sized nail. Many larger jobs like fastening floor joists require 16-d nails, but some call for 10-d or 8-d nails. Be sure to get a framing gun that can accommodate a range of framing nail sizes so that you can use it across all projects for a secure fit without damaging the surface area. 

Types to Consider 

Consider whether you will be working in a tight space, on a ladder or somewhere without a reliable power source. These factors will affect the framing nailer you choose. 

Think about power. Framing nailers come in three power types: pneumatic, gas-powered and electric (battery-powered or corded). Pneumatic framing nailers are lightweight and use compressed air as power. Electric framing nail guns run on electricity, but they require an outlet and have limited portability. Gas-powered and cordless framing nailers offer the ability to roam as you work. However, you’ll need to use battery power or fuel cartridges. 

Don’t forget the extra features. Some framing nailers come with bump-fire capability, so they can fire nails in quick succession. This helps you place nails efficiently and accurately without having to hold your surfaces steady for long—ideal for jobs that require a ladder.
A framing nailer kit includes all the items you’ll need to get to work, such as an air compressor, battery packs and a case for safe transport of the tool. Whether you’re an experienced professional or just starting a DIY project, remember to read your manual. Always follow safety guidelines when working with power tools.

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