Different Types of Nail Guns –Where to Use Them

Those who don’t have any experience with nail guns may feel a little confused while purchasing one nail gun type in the store. To choose the perfect nail gun for your project you must know about different types of nail guns and how to use them. Then stay tuned to know about it.

Nails are essential for commercial and household purposes. We use nails in various wooden projects and other materials. To drive these nails we use nail guns as they drive nails much faster than a hammer. A nail gun is a tool that is designed to drive nails into wood and other materials

There are different types of nail guns for different types of material. However, every nail gun is designed for different specific purposes. One type of nail gun can’t be used instead of another type of nail gun. 

Types of Nail Guns – As per Nail Style

There are different types of nail guns as per nail style. However, there are two main kinds of nail guns and they are- 1. coil-style nail guns and, 2. strip-style nail guns, which refers to how the nails are loaded into the gun. These two types of nail guns are so important, that you must know about them. Then, let’s started to know about them.

Coil-Style Nail Guns

All the nails are joined together, by using wires, and then the wires are coiled together, in a coil-style nail gun. Then it is ready for driving nails. The holding capacity of a coil-style nail gun can be more or less than each other. However, the average holding capacity of it is 300-350 nails.

If you use a coil-style nail gun, then you will get two advantages by using it. They are:

  1. If you want to complete a task without constantly reloading, then the coil-style nail will be the best option for you as in terms of holding nail capacity, coil-style nail guns are incomparable.
  2. Coil-style nail guns tend to be driven more than their strip-style counterparts. After all, coil-style guns have a large, unobtrusive drum magazine; so, you may think- how can they be easier to move around? Well, as the drum magazine come out of a nail gun as a strip-style magazine does. As a result, many professionals are easy to use, especially in tough places.

Strip-Style Nail Guns

A single, long magazine that juts out of the bottom of the nail gun, and then the nails are held together using wires, paper, or plastic, in a strip-style nail gun. On average, a strip-style nail gun’s holding capacity is twenty to forty nails. However, its holding capacity of nails is lesser than a coil-sty nail as the magazine juts come out of the bottom of the gun, they can be a little bit unwieldy and difficult to use in tough places.

After reading about strip-style nailers, you may be surprised and think- why anyone will use these kinds of nail guns instead of coil-style nailers, where coil-style nail guns seem to be much better? 

Well, you will also get few advantages if you purchase strip-style nail guns for your project, and these advantages are given below:

  1. Strip-style nail guns are cheaper than coil-style nail guns. Usually, people purchase it for budget purposes or people who don’t use nail guns all that often.
  2. We know distributed weight of the nails makes it easier for us to drive in nails; it also makes nail guns handle easily. And the strip-style magazine ensures that the nails are distributed evenly, as opposed to being frontloaded, as the weight is on coil-style nail guns. So, strip-style nail guns are easier to use.

Different Types of Nail Guns by Application

A nail gun or nailer is a type of tool used to drive nails into wood, or any other material where the nails are arranged in a coil or strip style. And it is commonly driven by compressed air, electromagnetism, highly flammable gases such as butane or propane, or, for powder-activated devices, a small explosive charge.

A nail gun or nailer is a very important tool for framing, carpentry, roofing jobs, etc. While using a hammer for driving nails into the work material, it is only practical when you need to do five or six nails at a time; which else and it becomes impossible. That’s where the nail gun or power nailer is useful.

01. FRAMING NAILER – Nail gun for framing

BOSTITCH Coil Framing Nailer

A framing nailer is very popular in nail guns. A framing nailer is a heavy-duty nail gun that is ideal for framing wooden large construction projects and jobs. For example, you want to do framing on your entire house, then this nailer will be the best option to do this job.

Highlighted Common Features:

Types of framing Nailer: There are two types of framing nailers, and they are:

i) Clipped head nailer: As clipped head framing nailers holding capacity of nails are more, they are ideal for high volume projects.

ii) Roundhead nailers: Roundhead framing nailers holding capacity is less than clipped head nailers. Even they can only hold fewer nails but are not restricted by certain building codes.

Nail Size of framing nailer: The nail size of a framing nailer can be 8 to 12.5 gauges thick, and length is 2-3.5 inches. And it can work by nails up to 3-1/2,” which are used to join 2×4’s.

Power Source and Run Time: There are three power types of framing nailers, and they are: pneumatic, gas-powered, and electric ( battery-powered or corded ).

Framing Angle: There are many different angles of a framing nailer from 15 degrees to 34 degrees. However, the degree of the angle refers to the contraction of the nail and it depends on the geographical location of your project. Some framing angles are given below:

 01. 15 Degree Framing Nailers: All framing nailers in the 15-degree group are wire-coiled. For this reason, the nails are held together by two thin wire strips, and then they are slanted at a 15-degree angle. These are used for the ability to access hard angles found in floor joists, wall studs, and framing applications. However, it is very heavy.

02. 21-Degree Framing Nail Guns: The 21-degree nailer magazine is designed at a level equal to the angle of a nail clip, and the nails are held together with a plastic strip. They can handle 2 to 3-1/4 inches long nails. Therefore, these nails are used in construction works. Here, the advantage of a nailer is its high-speed ejection, and its disadvantage is its low capacity per clip, however, they are not like 15-degree nailers, their nails are not coiled, and their plastic strip of holding nails is loose.

03. 28-Degree Framing Nailers: 28-degree corresponds to 30-34 degrees. They can reach a tight place without any problem. They resemble a 15-degree nail in the combination of their nails. In a 28-degree nailer, nails are held together using cables. These wires allow more nails to crack. Thus, the nail magazines become 28-degrees longer than 15-degrees. Therefore, they can shoot three different styles of nails: offset heads, clipped heads, and full round heads are most suitable.

04. 30-Degree Framing Nailers: The 30 to 34-degree angled framing nailer is better than the 21-degree angled framing nailer in handling and probability, but they both use similar head nails. However, their nails are kept together with paper instead of plastic. This gives them the ability to create a long nail magazine with them.

Where to Use Them: Decks, Rooms, Homes, Wood sheathing, Fences, and Wood siding.

EfficiencyFinally, we come to the point that framing nailer is a heavy-duty nail gun, which has many advantages. And it will be a good decision if you choose a framing nailer for your wooden large projects or constructions. You can freely use it in industrial sites, for household framing tasks, for fences, wood sheathing, decks, and many other high-volume tasks.

02. FLOORING NAILER – Nail gun for flooring woodwork

Freeman PDX50C Lightweight Pneumatic Flooring Nailer

Flooring nailers look a lot different than ordinary nail guns. These nailers are uniquely designed to work fast to hold the tongue and groove floorboards. A nylon mallet is used to hit the plunger and the nailer is held at the end of the board. This method ensures that the nails (or cleats) are driven at right angles and depths every single time.

Using a flooring nailer is much faster and better than using toenails, as well as saving more energy because you don’t have to apply more energy.

Using a flooring nailer is much faster and better than using toenails, as well as saving more energy because you don’t have to apply more energy.

Highlighted Common Features:

Types of Flooring Nailer: There are two types of flooring nailers, and they are:

i) Pneumatic flooring nailer.

ii) Manual flooring nailer.

Both nailers using the system are the same, but pneumatic nailers use air pressure to help drive nails into the floorboard. Ventilated floor nailers require less human labor.

Pros:

  1. Its ergonomic grip design and reach handle, which will help you a lot in nailing comfortably while keeping the vibration at a minimum.
  2. This nailer comes with an air filter and anti-dust cap, the air filter will maintain the cleanliness within the internal parts of the nailer, and the cap will prevent your nailer from becoming dusty, especially in storage.
  3. This flooring nailer with a no-mar foot design, you can use the nailer comfortably without worrying about damaging the surrounding floors.
  4. The flooring nailer comes with interchangeable base plates, which will allow you to adjust accordingly to the thickness of your floor, ensuring accurate flooring.
  5. This nailer is made of high-quality and durable aluminum, which has gone through a strict and high-standard manufacturing process, and it is a truly durable and reliable nailer.
  6. As it is gone through a strict and high-standard manufacturing process, so, it is a tough and dependable flooring nailer that will always be ready even for the toughest jobs and projects.
  7. When using a manual flooring nailer, you will need a lot of energy when installing each flooring. A pneumatic nailer with a light-strike bumper will help you install floorings more effortlessly.

Where to Use Them: Flooring nailers are not used in various works like other nailers, they have no use other than laying their floorboards.

Efficiency: At last, we come to the point that flooring nailers are very advantageous for laying floorboards, and you will get a very satisfying result you use them properly.

03. PALM NAILER

Metabo HPT Palm Nailer

Palm nailer is the smallest version of the nailers. According to its name, the palm nailer is almost palm-sized that is extremely light, and designed to hold by palms. It’s almost like a small hammer, it doesn’t need extra magazines to hold the nails. The main thing a palm nailer does is it simply pushes the nails through the wood like a hammer.

Highlighted Common Features: 

Power Source and Run Time: These nail guns come in three different variations, and they are: pneumatic, electric and cordless. However, the cordless variation, which runs on batteries, provides more freedom and portability.

Nail Size of Palm Nailer: Palm nailers are a form of special nailer. Unlike other nailers, they can shoot only a nail at a time The advantage of not having a magazine is that it can take nails of almost all sizes to 1.5 to 3.5 inches long, but some heavy-duty models can drive nails between 2″ and 6″ in length. In addition, it ensures lightweight, and small size portability, and the ability to nail hard-to-reach places that other nail guns will struggle to reach.

Where to Use Them: Palm nailers are ideal for tight spots, joist hangers, smaller projects, etc.

Efficiency: There are several benefits to using palm nailers, but one of the main benefits is fatigue reduction. Since these nailers are light and small, it is much easier to work with them for a long time. Unlike other nail guns that use coils or strips, these guns use regular nails. Due to their small size, palm nailers are extremely accurate. These nailers are usually cheap and often come free with a large nail gun. This nailer will be the ideal choice if you want to do precise positioning and is suitable for angles, edges, and ceilings.

04. ROOFING NAILER – Nail gun for roofing woodwork

BOSTITCH Coil Roofing Nailer

This nailer’s name itself says about its works. Roofing nailers are also heavy-duty, like framing nailers. These are usually used by professional contractors, although DIYers can also have one. The reason behind it that differs it from other nailers is this roofing nailer uses coil-type pins, which are not like regular fasteners. The advantage of using coil-type nailers is that they can hold more than one nail in the magazine at a time, and keeping the load in the center of the magazine, helps to improve the nailer ergonomics.

Highlighted Common Features: 

Types of Roofing Nailer: There are different types of roofing nailers, such as-

  1. Pneumatic: The pneumatic roofing nailer is the most popular type of nailer in this class as powered by an air compressor,
  2. Spring-loaded: This spring-loaded is the simplest roofing nailer, which uses springs to burn the nails from the chamber.
  3. Solenoid: These solenoid roofing nailers are driven by electromagnetic polarization.

Nail Size of Roofing Nailer: Most roofing nailers holding a capacity of nails from ¾-inch to 1¾-inch sized nails.

Where to Use Them: Like flooring nailers, roofing nailers are also used only for roofing work, and generally used by professional roofing and contractors. These nailers are suitable for nails, precisely through plywood, fiberglass, and other roofing materials. In addition, to keep the roof in place, flat-head nails are used for nailing.

EfficiencyFinally, we come to the point that roofing nailers are very beneficial and perfect for roofing jobs. It will be a good decision if you choose a roofing nailer for your roofing task and surely you will be benefited if you use it properly.

05. SIDING NAILER

Metabo HPT NV65AH2 Siding Nailer

As the name indicates that siding nailers are designed to install the siding. These powerful nailers attach to a wooden mount with a thin piece of wood or synthetic material. However, these are quite similar to other nailers, but because of their small differences, they are perfect for siding. These include the following differences and issues that should be considered when making a purchase.

Highlighted Common Features: 

Nail Size of Siding Nailer: Siding nailers can hold small nails between 1-1/4″ – 2-1/2″ with wider heads. For making them suitable for aluminum siding, some models are compatible with aluminum nails.

Operational Pressure: About all siding nailers options out there are pneumatic ones that are powered using an air compressor. For this reason, you need to check their operational pressure range that is usually 70 PSI to 120 PSI.

Angle: Siding nailers also come in different angles including 15 or 18 degrees, which will allow you to work on an angle if required. You can purchase one according to your needs and requirements.

Where to Use Them: Like framing nailers, siding nailers are also better for projects that require larger pieces of wood to be joined. You can also use a framing nailer to do the siding. However, the nails used in the framing nails are longer than you need for the siding installation.

Efficiency: Finally, we come to the point that a siding nailer is perfect for our siding jobs. Even we know that it also can be done by framing nailers, but we should be kept in mind that their name indicates framing nailers are better for framing jobs, and on the other hand, siding nailers are better for siding jobs. So, it will be a perfect choice if you choose a siding nailer for siding installation.

06. PIN NAILER

BOSTITCH Pin Nailer 23 Gauge

If you are into small projects and furnishings, including DIY projects, you may want to get a pin nailer. These are the smallest, finest finish nailers you can buy and these pin nailers are commonly used for finishing carpentry projects. Pin nails are usually used with glue or any other type of adhesive as they have almost no holding capacity. Sometimes, pin nails are simply used to hold the components until the glue dries.

Highlighted Common Features: 

Nail Size of PIN Nailer: These pin nailers can hold 23-gauge headless nails that look like pins.

Where to Use Them: Pin nailers are generally used for finishing work in carpentry, small furniture trim, cabinetry (sometimes), crown molding, delicate trim pieces, thin veneers, etc, and other different works. These nailers would be used in delicate pieces as larger gauge nails might split the wood.

EfficiencyNow, we know pin nailer is very beneficial even it hadn’t proper holding capacity. You can use a small pin nailer to finish any small project quickly with excellent precision.

07. BRAD NAILER

WEN 61721 18-Gauge 3/8-Inch to 2-Inch Pneumatic Brad Nailer

Brad nailers are the smallest nail gun type, that is often used for special purposes such as cabinets, carpets, and light furniture. Contractors are often divided over whether brad or pin nailer is the best option for finishing work. Brad nailers don’t shoot nails regularly. Instead, as the name implies, they shoot brad, which is super-thin nails.

Highlighted Common Features: 

Nail Size of BRAD Nailer: Brad nailers are also used for finishing, but they are compatible with large nails an 18-gauge. Though an 18-gauge nail is still relatively small in the plan of things, but still slightly larger than a pin nail. These nails have more holding capacity.

Where to Use Them: A brad nailer can be used in any application or project that requires 15- or 16-gauge nails, including baseboards, door, window casing, trim work, crown molding, fencing work, etc. Brad nailers usually prefer to go to contractors who want to finish a job.

Efficiency: These 18 gauge pins provide the most perfect shots compared to other nailers. Nail marks are rarely seen after shooting. That is why it is better to use it in places where the beauty of woodwork is more important than anything else. It is the perfect choice for trimming door and window roofs, as well as, for work like baseboard and crown molding.

08. FINISH NAILER

CRAFTSMAN Finish Nailer

A finish nailer is one of the available and most used nail guns among the nailers or nail guns. A finish nailer is perfect for almost all types of lightweight woodwork, that provide a very decent holding capacity. Other than that, it goes great with almost all DIY projects. A finish nailer can also be used to finish the carpenter’s work, and they are designed to be used with specially sized nails.

Highlighted Common Features: 

Nail Size of FINISH Nailer: These nailers are compatible with 15- to 16-gauge finish nails, which are slightly larger than brad nails. 

Where to Use Them: Finish nailers are often used for crown molding, large cabinets, trimming, paneling, and also finish nailers for baseboards.

Efficiency: A finish nailer is different from a brad or pin nailer in that it can handle large and bulky pieces of wood. Because the finishing nails are a little bigger, their holding capacity is higher than Brad Nail.

09. STAPLE GUN

Arrow T72 Wire and Cable Staple Gun

Staple guns are not like the other nailers listed above. It is a hand-held machine used to drive heavy metal staples (a type of fastener) on a wide range of materials of wood, plastic, or Mansory. Staple guns are used in many applications including roofing, carpeting, insulation, etc.

Highlighted Common Features: 

Types of Staple Guns

There are three types of staple guns, and they are:

  1. Manual Staple Guns: These are easy to manage and take with you. These are ideal when using a limited number of staples but if you use them on large projects you need a lot of muscle energy. Moreover, manual staple guns are available in plastic, aluminum, and steel.Plastic main guns are lightweight and easy to handle. They are great for simple projects at home. Aluminum and steel main guns are less brittle and have a longer lifespan. These are ideal for large projects, heavy-duty materials, and outdoor use.
  2. Electric Staple Guns: Provide more power and accuracy than manual, which allows you to work faster. These are effective when placing hands-on ceilings, angles, and tight spaces where hand strength is not always sufficient. Some have cards while others work without battery-powered and no access to electricity, for example when working outside.
  3. Pneumatic Staple Guns: It is extremely strong and efficient., and these pneumatic staple guns are mainly used for professional building work but are also used for panel laying, floor laying, and similar works which require many or long staples. The main pneumatic guns are light in weight but have limited mobility as they are attached to the compressor.

Major guns are highly versatile tools, and they can be used for a wide range of applications, including:

  1. Upholstery: To attach fabrics to the frame of a sofa or chair, staple guns are often used.
  2. Carpeting: Staples can be used to fix carpets to floors and even walls for soundproofing.
  3. Carpentry and Home Repair: By a staple gun, fabric and wood repairs can often be handled for fastening boards and panels.
  4. Construction: The staple gun can also be used for general household projects ranging from birdhouses to dog houses. Although instead of the power nailer a staple gun cannot be used in most projects, as it has a place and is a helpful tool for home requirements.

Where to Use Them: Roofing, carpeting, wiring, insulation, house wrap, picture framing, upholstery, and hobby, and other craft materials.

Efficiency: Finally, we also know that staple gun is very beneficial for our jobs. And, it will be useful if you keep it at your home.

Some of the advantages of using a power nail gun are given below:

  •  Precise: A power nailer helps you to shoot nails properly and have precise control.
  • No more bent nails: A nail gun can run straight nails without damaging the workpiece and eliminates the need to remove curved nails that has fewer risks than a hammer.
  • Safety: I’ve even seen expert carpenters occasionally hit the finger. So, by using a nail gun you can keep your fingers intact.
  • Improves productivity: With a power nailer, it only takes a push of a button. It’s quick and easy than doing the same job with a hammer, which will take a lot of time.
  • Better Quality of work: A nail gun can shoot nails to the perfect depth without damaging your workpiece, and it can also improve your craftsmanship.
  • Convenient: With a nail gun, you don’t have to carry the nail box. Depending on the type of nail gun you can enjoy the benefits of using a nail strip or coil.

Nail guns are very important for modern projects because they allow you to easily drive hundreds of nails. But, due to their popularity, different types of nail guns have come into the market. As a result, finding the right one for you can be difficult. Find out what you need to know about nail guns in this purchase guide.

CONCLUSION

Now, if you know about different types of nail guns and how to use them properly, then you can get the right one for your construction project or job. Usually, the nailer’s name gives a good indication of the type of project the tool can handle. However, if you want a professional result there is one thing that you must keep in mind, is one type of nail gun can’t be used instead of another type of nail gun as every nail gun has its specific reason.

Knowing about different types of nail guns and what each one uses may be confusing to newcomers. I hope this article has been helpful in your understanding of nail guns.

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