Nail Gun 101 – Everything About Nail Gun

Searching for the tools for your workshop that can save your time by providing simple and easy nail installation? The tools that can best fix your doors and trim windows by readily driving nails into the wood? Well, for that you just need a nail gun, which will save your time of working by providing precise results.

Nail Gun 101

The nail gun provides the speedy and neat work of installing doors, baseboards, window trim, chair rail, and crown molding. A nail gun is a powerful tool that every carpenter must buy.

There must be many questions in your mind about nail guns. What is a nail gun? How does it actually work? But before buying any gadget we need to study about it, learn it and understand how it works. If you buy a product after searching about every aspect of it, then it is easier for you to work with it.

In this article, I will share every single feature of nail guns. I will clear the questions that are revolving in your mind. First, you need to clear the concept, and then you need to order one for yourself.

Nail Gun

What is a nail gun? The first question that arises in your mind. Let me clear that first!  A nail gun is a portable tool that is designed in a way that it pushes nails easily into the woods and other materials. It is highly best for people who are interested in carpeting and other works related to wood and workpiece.

Nail Gun

The nail gun holds the two pieces together by driving the nails between them. This can be done easily by the nailers, which will take a second to drive the nail into the wood. It consists of the air compressor, the flammable gases (butane and propane).

Morris Pynoos designed the nail guns, and the first was introduced in the shops in 1950. It can operate 40-60 nails in a minute because of its speedy functioning. 40-60 nails are fired in a minute, while if we look at its capacity then it has a capacity of storing 400-600 nails, which is a huge amount.

Safety Measures

Before using the nail gun, you need to follow the safety measures first. You should read the instruction manual that is available with the gun. It will make your work far easier if you will read it carefully and follow the instructions. There are different firing modes, and you need to select them accordingly.

  • Sequential mode
  • Bump mode

Sequential Mode

The sequential mode consists of a sequence of steps. The nosepiece is a kind of spring that is retracted while the gun is pressed. The retraction of the spring fires the nail and drives into the workpiece. The loading and pulling process is the easiest one to use for a nail gun. This mode is best for beginners as it is easy to use.

Bump Mode

Another mode is the bump mode, which a user can shift to from sequential to bump mode. Hold the trigger first, and move it towards the targeted point. After targeting it, press the tip safely and fire the nail gun. Bump mode is basically for professional use.

It is a bit tricky to use by those who are just thinking about getting a nail gun. It is complex to use, so especially recommended for professionals or skilled people. The speed of this mode is quite fast, which cannot be handled by inexperienced people.

Protection of Eyes and Ears

The larger nail guns make a lot of noise which ranges from about 90 to 100 decibels. Some are so noisy that it hurts the ear and feels like a gunshot. In such a case, you need to protect your ear.

Protection of Eyes and Ears

You should wear earplugs while you are working with the larger nail guns. Secondly, it releases nail misfires, which will fly into your eyes and will cause harm. For precautions, you should wear glasses or any eyewear for protection.

Disconnect Power Source Before Loading

Firstly, the nail guns are designed in a way that does not cause any injury or harm. It is safe in all possible ways. Still, there is a risk when you are loading a gun or removing a nail jam.

The safety solution for both the risks is that you should cut the power source of the nail gun or simply disconnect it. For the simple common nail gun, remove the cartridge or the nail jam to maintain safety measures.

Keep Out of Line of Fire

One of the main things that you need to keep in mind is that you should avoid putting your hand out of the line of fire. No part of your body should come in a way, neither of others as well. You should take care of this thing, as it will cause great damage if not taken into account.

Avoid Lowering The Nail Gun By The Hose

After working, you should lower the temperature of the gun by the air hose. If your nail gun is at bump mode, then it swings and bumps by the close object. By this, the nosepress will press itself and will fire the nail itself. These safety measures should be read thoroughly before the use of the tool.

How To Use A Nail Gun

Now, as all the dangers are out of your way, so now you can load your gun and get started. As you have got to know the certain things that you should keep in mind, so looking at them you should use your gun. But before using it, you should know how to use a nail gun. The following steps will surely clear your confusion about its usage.

Tools and Material Required

  • Nail gun
  • Eyewear protection glasses
  • Ear protective ear wear
  • Scrap wood
  • Nail coils or nail strips
  • Air compressor
  • Pliers

Step 1: Loading the Gun

For loading the slide-type gun, you need to press the magazine release and then slide it backward. You just have to pull it out fully. After pulling, dump the nails in it in a way that it tips in pointed downwards.

Loading the Gun

After dropping the nails, bring the magazine back into its original position. Make sure that it clicks because its clicking secures the nail placed into it. Now for loading the coil-type gun, you need to hold the nails rather than the strips of the nail gun. These types of guns are mostly referred to for professional use.

There is a spherical case that holds the nail which positions them downwards. After placing the nails into the case, close it properly. If it does not work, this means that you didn’t place the nails accurately.

Step 2: Connecting it to Power Source

In the second step after loading the nails into the gun, you now need to connect the gun to the power source. Even if it has a battery, air hose, electrical cord, or butane cartridge, still you need to connect it to the electrical power source for functioning. After connecting, now move towards the next step.

Step 3: Position Towards Target and Fire a Nail

For shooting, you need to hold the gun perpendicular to the target. Holding it towards the specific target is very important so that it does not fire at any random angle. After positioning the tip at a specific target now, press it against the workpiece staunchly.

Position Towards Target and Fire a Nail

As you hold the gun persistently, pull the trigger for cautious functioning. Instead of directly using it for your work, you should use it on spare wood for practice. Practicing will make your functioning and use of the tool a bit simpler.

Step 4: Adjusting The Depth of The Nail

Adjusting the depth of the nail is an important part, but there are some sections that do not need adjustment before firing. This case occurs when you are firing a wall or the frame on the wall. For this you just do not need to adjust the depth, you can fire without worrying.

But other than this, there are some surfaces that require proper adjustment of the nails before firing. For making a bookcase or cabinet, which has a smooth surface, you need proper adjustments.

There is a depth sector in the nail gun, which you can turn out and it will allow you to adjust the depth accordingly. If the tip of the nail is not appropriate, like if it is crooked or bent then it is because you have lifted the gun. The gun should be pressed firmly not raising upwards.

Step 5: Removing The Nail Jams As Required

When you shoot on a hard object or material, the nails usually jam. When your gun stops working, then you should know that the nails are jammed. For making it work again, you need to pull the trigger which will reduce the chances of the risk. Another thing that you can do is to disconnect it from the power source and liberate the magazine.

Removing The Nail Jams As Required

This step is necessary as it won’t insert the pressure on the other nails. After opening the frontal cover, remove the jammed nails by using the pliers or your finger. Since you have removed the jammed nails, close the cover again. Now you need to reset the magazine, connect the gun from the power source and keep working.

Types of Nail Gun

Nail guns are made for one specific reason, to drive nails in wood and also into other materials. They are very powerful tools that perform tough tasks just in a second. The fast speed of the nail gun makes it demanding. Well, there are various types of nail guns available in the market, and you should select according to your project.

1. Framing Nailer

Framing nailers are most suitable for fitting and are specified for heavy-duty tasks. These nailers are used for framing purposes on woods. These are best to work on for heavy and robust constructed jobs. Further, there are two basic types of framing nailers which are;

Framing Nailer
  • Clipped head ( suitable for heavy works, and hold more nails)
  • Round head ( limited to certain work, hold fewer nails)

The framing nails are also be used for building;

  • Homes
  • Fences
  • Decks
  • Wood sheathing
  • Wood siding
  • Rooms

2. Palm Nailer

Palm nailers are mini guns, just of the size of the palm. Apart from their size, it works the same way as other nailers do. Its size does not affect its working. You can easily rest them in your palm.

Palm Nailer

A strap is also available, which allows you to wrap your hand in and work comfortably the whole day. Palm nails have electric, pneumatic and cordless variations. Cordless variations are more portable just because they can run from the battery. These nailers are paragon for;

  • Joist hangers
  • Tight spots
  • Smaller projects

There are advantages to using these nailers, but the main advantage is that it is portable and does not tire the person while using them. The palm nailers are small and light in weight, so one can use them for a longer period of time.

These nailers provide precise results because of their small size. The palm nailers are also cheap and it has larger free nails that come with them.

3. Flooring Nailer

Flooring nails have got a different look than the other typical nails. These are unambiguously designed and work speedily and quickly. To drive the nail at the right place and angle, the nailer should be held in a way that it hits directly on the edge of the board. Further, these nailers are classified into two types that are;

Flooring Nailer
  • Pneumatic ( provide pressure which helps to drive the nail appropriately )
  • Manual ( requires less human effort )

4. Roofing Nailer

Roofing nailers are more like framing nailers and are best to work for heavy-duty. These nailers are used by professionals mostly, also DIYers may use them too. They drive the nails into roofing materials and wood at a quite fast speed. The subtypes of roofing nailers are;

  • Pneumatic ( most popular one, which is powered by air compressor )
  • Spring-loaded ( simplest one, spring is used for firing nails )
  • Solenoid ( electromagnetic polarization )

These nailers work significantly for roofing, used by professional roofers and also by contractors. They provide a high power outcome, because of their fast speed. Besides that, it provides accurate results, as it is for professional use.

5. Pin Nailer

For carpentry use, pin nailers are best to select. They are smaller, fragile, and unique than one can buy. The pin nailer has 23-gauge headless nails which penetrate into the hardest woods easily. They have no heads but it provides the holding to the nail. Glue can be used in some nails, which joins the material until it dries. These nailers are used for;

Pin Nailer
  • Cabinetry
  • Thin veneers
  • Finishing work in carpentry
  • Small furniture trim
  • Delicate trim pieces
  • Crown molding

6. Siding Nailer

It is a powerful nailer that is used for installing slides. They join the thinner parts of the woods and also the other materials. These are a bit similar to the framing nailers, which join the larger pieces of the wood.

They save the time of the user because of their powerful functioning. They provide better accuracy of working. For aluminum siding, aluminum nails are also available which works best on them.

7. Brad Nailer

Brad nailers are one of the best nailers that are more demanding among users. These nailers are best for finishing works of wood and other materials. They are congruous for larger nails like 18-gauge.

Brad Nailer

It is a bit larger than the pin nailer, and it holds more power when driving. These nailers are the best option a person can choose. The brad nailer is used for other applications as well, which are;

  • Time work
  • Baseboards
  • Window casing
  • Crown molding
  • Doors

8. Staple Gun

Staple nailer guns are another type of nailer, which are best for driving staples. They drive the staple into a large range of materials, which is done because of its fast speed. These guns are versatile in nature and perform multiple functions. These nailers can be used in homes for small projects. They are used for different processes like;

  • Carpeting ( carpeting of floors and walls, less noisy )
  • Upholstery ( fixing the pieces of wood to the frame of chair and sofa )
  • Construction ( used for household tasks and also the dog houses and birdhouses )
  • Home repairing/Carpentry ( repairment of fabric and woods, panels and boards )

9. Finish Nailer

The finished nailer is used for finishing work. Different sized nails are used in this nailer. They handle large and robust projects and function well because of their high power. These nailers have 15-16-gauge, which is kinda powerful than brad nailers. They are used for the works like;

Finish Nailer
  • Baseboards
  • Crown molding

Facts About Nail Guns

There are certain facts about nail guns that one should be familiar with. Knowing about the different facts will surely amaze you. Here, I will tell you 6 different facts about nail guns that you should know. These facts are very informative for all the people out there.

Fact 1: Emergence of Nail Guns

Nail guns emerged during the 1950s, and right after that they were sold out to different companies. As they were related to woodworks and framing of the objects, because of that they became more demanding.

The companies buy it for different applications, especially for flooring-related works. These nails drive about 40-60 nails per minute, while its total capacity of storing nails is about 400-600 nails.

Fact 2: Nail guns are Powered By Explosive

Nail guns powered by explosives actually mean that they contain flammable gas, which is being controlled during operation. The nails are safely driven into the objects and the woods. Such nails that are powered by explosives are commonly called power-actuated nail guns.

Fact 3: Operation with Bounces

When a person uses it, initially he might think that pulling a trigger fires the nail. Well, some release the nail through triggers while some by bounces. Bounce basically releases the nail on objects or workpieces by holding the trigger simultaneously. As the nail gun identifies the bounce, it will fire a nail immediately.

Safety is First

Fact 4: Specific Types Of Nails

As we have already told you about different types of nails and their functioning. Nail guns work for a similar or different task, depending on the type of work. If you use the wrong nail gun, it might cause great damage, which is a complete risk. So, before selecting, you should read about the working and acknowledge yourself about the types of nail guns and their uses.

Fact 5: Most Common Nail Guns

Nail guns are faster, delicate, unique, and work well on the woods and other objects. There are several types of it, but the most commonly used by people is the pneumatic nail gun. This type of nail gun uses air compressors to drive the nails into the woods.

Fact 6: Safety is First

Nail guns provide the easiest task of driving the nails into the wood. Its fast speed accomplishes the targeted work in minutes. Their speed sometimes can cause a risk of physical injury.

There are many people that have been injured by these tools. Many injuries are being reported, just because of its high speed of working. One needs to be very careful about it while using it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a brad nailer and a finish nailer?

The main difference between the brad nail and finish nail gun is about its gunshots. The bard nails consist of 18-gauge while the finish nailer consists of 15-16 gauge.

Do I need a Licence for a nail gun?

No, you don’t need a license for using a nail gun. For using it, all you need is to get the information on how it actually works.

How many types of nail guns are there?

There are nine basic types of nail guns. Each is specified for a specific function and work.

You can also watch the video to know more about Nail gun and their selection criteria.


Well, hope that you have learned much about the nail gun. All your confusion and questions about nail guns must be solved now after reading this article. Now you can easily decide which to get for a certain task of work. It’s time to keep your hammers aside and bring a nail gun for easy and simple woodwork.

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