Nail guns and pneumatic staple guns, commonly known as nailers, have a variety of purposes, with options for power sources and firing methods. Here’s how to choose the right one for your project.
Types of Nail Guns
There are several different types of nail guns, each using different sized nails meant for specific jobs.
- Flooring nail guns are used to install tongue and groove hardwood floors. They are activated with the tap of a mallet to deliver nails at the proper angle.
- Framing nailers are for larger projects like framing out walls during construction or renovation.
- Roofing nailers are designed for roofing nails, which are short with a wide head. They are used to install roofing shingles.
- Finishing nailers are used primarily for trim, crown molding, baseboards, and other light interior jobs.
- Brad nailers are for light-duty jobs like woodworking projects or upholstery installation. Brad nails are small and barely visible, but they can’t handle heavy wood.
- Pneumatic staple guns are used to install carpeting, repair upholstery, and attach plywood backings.
Nail Gun Power Sources
When selecting a nail gun, you’ll also want to consider the different power options available.
- Pneumatic nailers use an air compressor to fire nails into the work surface. They are used most commonly in heavy construction and remodeling.
- Cordless nail guns use a battery pack and have more portability than pneumatic nailers because they don’t have an air hose to trail around. The trade-off is a reduction in power, making it a better fit for lighter jobs.
- Gas-powered nailers use a small canister of compressed gas loaded into the gun. A spark ignites fuel in a combustion chamber to drive the nail. This option is both portable and high-powered enough for heavy-duty jobs.
There are two basic types of firing modes for nail guns, and some nailers allow you to switch between firing modes. Bump or bounce firing allows you to fire a series of nails rapidly. This mode has a higher risk of error but can get a large area secured quickly. Sequential firing is a slower and more precise way to nail. This technique reduces the risk of a dangerous accidental nail discharge.
If you’re looking for all-new equipment, a nail gun kit comes with everything you need to get started. Play it safe and be sure to read the product manual for your nailer before using this powerful tool.