working with nailer

Tips for Choosing the Right Nail Gun for Your Project

Whether you are upholstering, doing woodworking projects, small construction projects, installing hardwood floors, building or installing a closet, a bookshelf or furniture, putting crown mouldings, or anything similar to that nature, every serious do-it-yourself enthusiast needs a set of tools that can help him carry out their projects flawlessly. One of those tools is a nail gun, which is incredibly useful for so many small and big projects. Unlike placing nails by hand, this tool can allow you to drive a lot of nails in a short period of time with excellent accuracy and without the physical effort you’d need if you were using a hammer.

Choose a Power Source

close-up of battery powered nailer


There are many different types of nail guns, also known as nailers, that can help you take your craft to a whole new level. But before determining which type suits your needs best, you should decide the type of power source you prefer.

First of all, you need to decide whether you want a corded or a cordless nail gun model. One of the reasons many DIY enthusiasts choose cordless battery powered nailers is because they offer greater mobility than nailers that need a cord or an air hose to run. Another benefit of battery nail guns is that they also provide you with a faster start-up time. However, their biggest disadvantage is that they may have less driving power than their corded counterparts. Nevertheless, there are different quality nail guns that run on batteries, so if you think you need the unparalleled mobility they offer, you should look for the best quality possible. Depending on the type of projects you do, high-quality battery nailers can be a great choice.

Pneumatic and corded nail guns, on the other hand, offer more power, which may be required for some more serious projects. However, they won’t provide you with the same amount of mobility. Pneumatic nailers use pressurised air from a compressor, which is why they can be more powerful and heavy-duty. To function, they require a compressor that has equal or greater pressure and volume than the requirements of the nailer you are using.

Choose a Loading Configuration

Close-up of battery powered dewalt nailer


Regardless of whether they are air, electricity or battery-powered, typically nail guns can be found in coil or strip nail loading configurations. Coil nailers can fit into more places because they are the more compact type of nail guns. Sometimes also called siding nailers, these types of guns use flexible strings of nails which are joined by wires that form round magazines. They can hold more nails than other types, which means that before they require reloading they can drive more nails.

The nail magazines in strip nailers, on the other hand, are arranged on a long thin strip or cartridge which slides into the gun. The nails are held together by strips made of wire, plastic or paper. Compared to the previous type of nail gun, this type is somewhat easier to use because the weight of the nails is more distributed.

Choose a Firing Method

Milwaukee battery powered nailer


Another thing to take into consideration is the way the nailer fires the nails. There are several firing methods and different manufacturers may use different terminology for them. Typically, nail guns feature two controls – a trigger and a safety tip, and the firing method mostly depends on their operations.

Superior nail guns may offer multiple firing methods, so you will have to choose which one is best for your project. Some nail guns will continuously drive nails in succession as long as you are holding down the trigger every time you bump the safety tip against the work surface. This method can be riskier, because you may unintentionally bump the nail. Other gun nails can function in several ways, and you may have to operate the trigger and the safety tip in a particular sequence or in a sequence without a specific order in order to activate it. With some, you may only need to do that with the first nail, whilst others may even require doing that with every nail.

Choose According to Your Projects

working with dewalt nailer


Both the coil and strip nail gun types are available in a wide variety of models of pneumatic, corded or battery powered nailers, each with their advantages, which make them suitable for different tasks. The best way to choose the one that you need is to take your project into account.

Heavy-duty nailers have larger bodies and they often have a name that indicates what they can be used for. Namely, framing nailers can be used for constructing building decks, room additions, framing houses, etc. Roofing nailers can be used for applying roof shingles. Floor nailers are often used to instal hardwood flooring.

Staplers, tackers, brad nailers, finish nailers, palm nailers, on the other hand, are lighter and more compact, and they allow driving nails with more precision. Finish nailer guns are often used for installing and assembling furniture, as well as moulding and trim. Palm nailers are the most compact ones. They are handheld, which makes them great for driving nails in tight spaces. However, they can’t store nails, which means that you have to feed them nail by nail.

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