10 Different Types Of Nail Guns and Benefit of Nail Guns

Types Of Nail GunsNail guns make driving nails into the wood much easier and effortless, unlike hammering. This allows you to get the job done without straining yourself. However, there is no nail gun that is ideal for all types of woodworking tasks. That’s why there are different types of nail guns available in the market for different purposes.

Each of them is made with a different intention. So, which one you will need is totally dependent on the project you are doing. That’s why you need to be familiar with the types of nail guns to be able to choose the correct type for your task. Here are some of the top nail gun types you need to know about. And there is also a guide that will help you learn how to choose the best-suited nailer for your project.

Different Types Of Nail Guns:

1. Brad Nailer

brad nailer
Pic: Brad Nailer

Brad nailer is the ideal choice for installing trim, cabinet construction, and repair. However, these guns don’t actually drive regular nails. They fire brads, which are a sort of ultra-thin nail.

These nails are 18-gauge and 0.0475 inches in diameter. Brad nailers are great for circumstances when you want accuracy. And since the nails they use are so thin, the holes created by these guns are barely noticeable.

This makes the brad nailer the ideal tool when you are trying to work on something without damaging it. Because of this, you can install molds and thin trims with brad nailer without splitting them. The other uses of these nail guns include bird cages, jewelry boxes, etc.

2. Framing Nailer

framing nailer
Pic: Framing Nailer

Unlike brad nailers, framing nail guns are meant for heavy-duty tasks such as securing plywood sheathing and building walls. You can find them in different sizes. However, most of them shoot 2 ½ as well as 3 ½ nails.

Framing nailer accepts collated nails in their barrel-shaped magazines and sticks of nails in straight magazines. You can also find these guns with bump modes, which will allow you to hold down the trigger and bump the gun’s nose against the surface for nailing.

There are also different types of nail guns for framing in terms of their power source. You can find them in pneumatic, cordless, and corded.

3. Finish Nailer

finish nailer
Pic: Finish Nailer

Compared to brad nailers, finish nailers are a bit bigger. Due to this, they can be used with 16 and 15-gauge nails that will allow you to attach bigger finishing pieces such as window trim, baseboards, door trim, and molding.

Finish nailers are also available in pneumatic, corded and cordless versions. So you will be able to choose the power option that you prefer.

The advantage of using a finish nailer is that it provides more holding power as well as removal resistance because of the 15 and 16-gauge nails.

The disadvantage of using these nails is that they will create bigger/visible holes in the trim. So, you will have to pay more attention if you use a finish nailer and cover the holes properly. 

4. Palm Nailer

palm nailer
Pic: Palm Nailer Credit: Metabo HPT

Palm nailers are a bit different from the other ones. Not just in size but also in how you need to operate them. As the name suggests, you will have to use them using your palm; unlike the others where they have a handle.

They are specially built this way to allow you to drive nails in tight corners where it is not possible to insert big nail guns. Talking of being a bit different, these nail guns also don’t have any nail magazines. You will need to drive one nail at a time.

This is a major disadvantage if you are looking for something efficient. Nonetheless, they will still be quite useful when you need a tool to drive a nail in confined corners or spaces.

5. Flooring Nailer

flooring nailer
Pic: Flooring Nailer

The job of the flooring nailer is to secure hardwood flooring with the subfloor. The appearance of this nailer is also a bit different than the other types of nailers. Their unique design allows them to quickly work on laying tongue and groove floorboards.

The user holds the nailer at the edge of the board and then hits the plunger using a nylon mallet. This ensures depth each time and also that the nails are driven at the correct angle.

When it comes to flooring nailers, you will find two types in the market: manual and pneumatic. Both serve the same purpose. It’s just that the pneumatic one uses air pressure to drive nails into the floorboard. This means if you choose the pneumatic nailer, you will have to put less effort into driving nails.

Compared to other nailers, flooring nail guns are not as versatile. They don’t serve any other purpose besides helping you secure floorboards.

6. Siding Nailer

siding nailer
Pic: Siding Nailer

Siding nailers are used for installing siding. 1.5 to 2.5-inch nails are used to install siding with a siding nail gun. While framing nail guns can do the job of siding, a siding nail gun is still the better option because it can accommodate the smaller magazine and nail size.

Plus, they are less heavy than framing nailers, so you will have more comfort while using this tool. Siding nail guns come in three options: cordless, pneumatic, and corded. Consider where you will be working, and what power source will be easier to get and choose according to that.

7. Roofing Nailer

roofing nailer
Pic: Roofing Nailer

A roofing nail gun helps you secure roofing shingles in the roof. They are versatile and generally work with 0.75 to 1.75-inch nails. You can also use this nail gun for fiber cement, insulation boards, waterproof tar paper, vinyl material, and some thin siding.

And unlike other nail gun magazines, roofing nail guns typically come with a coil or canister magazine. This type of magazine can hold more nails, which means you will not have to spend much time reloading instead of working.

8. Concrete Nailer

Concrete Nailer
Pic: Concrete Nailer

It takes a lot of effort to drive nails into steel materials and concrete by hand. In order to ease the task, there is a concrete nailer. It is specifically designed to help you with such tasks.

Concrete pins or fasteners are different, and their gauge and size are also different. That is why a typical framing nailer cannot be used for concrete.

While there are now cordless electric units of concrete nailers available in the market, most of them are typically pneumatic.

9. Pin Nailer

pin nailer
Pic: Pin Nailer

Pin nail gun uses 23 gauge nails. These are really tiny nails and as you might have guessed from their name, they look like pins. They don’t feature any flat heads as the other nails.

These nailers and nails are typically used when a thicker nail might split the wood. Due to their size, they pretty much disappear after you drive them and leave no visible mark. They are often used for cabinet and furniture making and installing trim and moldings.

You can also increase the holding power of your glued wood pieces by securing them with a pin nailer. One thing you should remember while using a pin nailer on something is that these nails don’t have much-holding power or withdrawal resistance.

10. Staple Guns

staple gun
Pic: Staple Gun

Fragile materials such as fabric, sheathing, thin plywood, and carpet cannot handle pins, brad nails, and framing nails. Since these materials are very light and thin, they will not be able to endure such fasteners.

That’s where a staple gun comes in. A staple gun, as the name suggests, drives staples and can secure such materials. For fragile materials that cannot withstand the power of other nail guns, the staple gun is the ideal choice.

Power Source

The power source of nail guns can be divided into two main categories: electric and pneumatic. And the electric one can be further divided into corded and cordless.

Types of pneumatic nail guns are typically the popular choice for heavy-duty work. Electric ones are also getting more powerful day by day, so you can expect powerful output no matter which power source you choose.

Choosing a Nail Gun

When choosing a nail gun, the first thing you should consider is the tool’s intended use. What project are you looking to tackle using this tool? You can’t just choose any of the nail guns mentioned above and hope to get a perfect outcome from any project. Different projects will require different nail guns.

You should also have the location of your work in mind because you won’t be just able to use any of these tools anywhere. For example, if you choose an electric corded model, you can’t use it anywhere where there is no power outlet. And if you go with the pneumatic option, you will need to have a air compressor available. So, keep these things in mind.

Do I Need a Nail Gun? Benefits of Nailer

If you come across nails only occasionally, then you don’t need a nail gun for that. You can just use a hammer and save your money. But if you are a DIY enthusiast who is looking to tackle some home improvement or repair projects, then getting a nail gun is a good choice.

There are many benefits of having a nail gun if you have a lot of nails to drive. These guns are precise and safe, so you will be able to deliver better quality work. They are also efficient and increase productivity while keeping your nails from bending. Convenience is another thing they have to offer.

What to Look for When Buying a Nail Gun?

When getting a nail gun, there are several things you should look for to ensure you are choosing the best one for yourself. These features include toolless jam clearing, easy depth adjustment, light attachments, and maneuverable air connectors.

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