Best Nail Gun: Pneumatic & Cordless Nail Gun Reviews

Best Nail Gun: Pneumatic & Cordless Nail Gun ReviewsNail guns are one of the most in-demand power tools. Fast and efficient, the best nail gun can reduce the time it takes to complete a job dramatically while also ensuring nails are driven to industry standards.

We’re going to provide you with nail gun reviews that will help you find a model that’s perfect for your next job.

But before we get into our reviews, it’s important that you read about the different types of nail guns as well as take a glance at our buying guide.

We do most of the hard work so that consumers can buy a nail gun that’s worth owning.

The Different Types of Nail Guns

We have different jobs that need to be done in a home or construction project, and the best nail gun for the job will vary from job type to job type. Every job is different, and a construction crew or contractor may need one of the following nail gun types:

Framing Nailer

Heavy-duty jobs that are demanding are the best choice for a framing nailer. These nailers work the best for home framing, and their uses are many. Powerful, the framing nailer is meant to do one thing, and it does it the best: nail objects together.

When a frame of any form needs to be constructed, a framing nailer is the right choice.

Large objects that need to be fastened together are best put together with a framing nailer. The large, strong nails that these nailers run on eject rapidly to help get the job done quickly.

Flooring Nailer

Flooring nailers are used for flooring. These nailers are designed to stand on the floor, which only makes them useful for flooring. What’s truly special about the flooring nail gun is that it’s designed to make installing hardwood floors a breeze.

The nails eject at just the right angle to secure the hardwood floor plank in place.

We’ve found two main types of flooring nailers:

  1. Cleat nail guns.
  2. Flooring staple guns.

Cleat nail guns are the right choice for working with denser woods. If installing bamboo flooring, which is a denser wood, a cleat flooring nailer is the right choice.

Palm Nailer

Palm nail guns are small, and their name comes from the ability to hold one in the palm of your hand. When in a tight, small space, the palm nail gun works best because it’s pneumatic and can drive individual nails.

The small size of the palm nailer also has a drawback: it doesn’t have onboard storage.

Palm nailers need to be reloaded after every use, so they’re not the best option for speedy nail jobs. But, they are the right choice for spaces where a large nail gun simply won’t suffice.

Roofing Nailer

A roofing nailer is designed to be used on roofing jobs. These nailers will make fast work of adding shingles to a roof, and since hundreds of shingles cover a roof, the roofing nailer offers a large holding capacity to allow for rapid, precise nailing.

These nail guns are only designed for roofing, so if a homeowner wants a nail gun for general use, this is definitely not the right choice.

Siding Nailer

When siding on a home needs to be installed, a siding nail gun is up to the task. These nail guns are designed specifically for siding, and they work much better for the job than a framing nail gun, which a lot of people mistakenly use when installing siding.

Siding nailers also use much shorter nails – in the 1 ¼-inch to 2- ½-inch range – with wider heads.

There are also some siding nail guns that use aluminium nails. These nails aren’t the ideal choice for most applications, but they’re the right choice when installing aluminium siding.

Pin Nailer

Pin nailers are a lot like a brad nailer, but these nail guns are meant for the most delicate trim pieces and furniture. The small size of the pin nail allows the pin to be as small as a sewing needle in many cases.

Multiple pin nails are driven into trim work to hold pieces together.

The pin nail is meant for detail work, where it excels the most. A small hole won’t even be seen thanks to the small size of the pin nails. Where large nail guns may split the wood, the pin nail gun leaves no trace of the pin nail being driven into the wood.

Brad Nailer

Brads are meant for woodworking, and the idea is that small brads disappear into wood to hold it securely in place. Moulding and trim work is a great option for a brad nailer because the final product will look neater.

Brad nailers may be found in different gauges, including:

  • 18-gauge, which is ideal for trim and moulding.
  • 23-guage, which works well for furniture and doll houses.

Brad nailers are very good when doing trim work, and a lot of contractors will use a brad nailer as a small finishing nailer.

Finish Nailer

Finish nailers require a light touch to expel the nail, and they have high precision, which makes even the most delicate job a breeze.

Homeowners who want to buy a nail gun for their home projects will often choose the framing nailer because it’s highly versatile.

The projects where finish nailers are most important are:

  • Cabinetry.
  • Furniture.
  • Cupboards.
  • Trim.
  • Moulding.
  • Furniture.

The right nail gun for the job will make the job move along smoothly and reduce the time to completion, too.

Best Pneumatic Nail Gun Reviews

BOSTITCH F21PL Framing Nailer

BOSTITCH’s F21PL is the first of our nail gun reviews, and this model is a framing nailer. Designed for framing, this nail gun features:

  • 1-½-inch to 3-½-inch framing nailer.
  • Sequential and bump trigger.
  • Framing and metal connector for a 2-in-1 design.
  • Lightweight in design.

Offering a 2-in-1 design, the F21PL’s specifications are equally impressive:

  • Weight: 8.1 pounds.
  • Dimensions: 14-½ x 20-½ inch.
  • Driving Power: 1,050 pounds.
  • Magazine Capacity: 60.
  • Pressure: 80 – 120 PSI.

BOSTITCH designed this nail gun to offer rapid nailing with a twist: two connector heads. It’s easy to switch between framing nailer and metal connector applications.

We found that this model offers a best-in-class power-to-weight ratio with push button adjustments for nail depth. A rafter hook is available and also adjustable to allow the user to hang the nail gun on rafters.

The 60-nail capacity allows for rapid nailing with nails of 2.0 – 3.5-inch lengths. Nails are ejected at a 21-degree angle – perfect for framing. Metal connectors have a length range of 1.5-inch to 2.5-inch.

Very well-built, this nail gun comes with a 7-year warranty that protects the buyer’s investment. It’s a 2-in-1 nailer that framing professionals can rely on.

Click here to view pricing and availability of the BOSTITCH F21PL framing nailer.

Hitachi NP35A Pin Nailer

Hitachi’s NP35A is a powerful pin nailer with a larger fastener capacity that eliminates the constant reload needs of lower capacity models. This nail gun features:

  • Fastener length adjustments from 5/8″ – 1-3/8″.
  • Rear exhaust.
  • Depth adjustment.
  • Dual trigger options.
  • Housing shield.
  • Reload indicator.

And at a lightweight and large capacity, this is a robust pin nail gun for any furniture work. This model’s specs are:

  • Weight: 4.7 pounds.
  • Magazine Capacity: 100.
  • Pressure: 100 Max PSI.

Dimensions aren’t listed, but we can tell you that this is a small nail gun that packs 100 maximum PSI and 100 pin nails for rapid fastening. The nose plate is removable to make clearing jams fast and easy.

There’s a large housing shield present to protect the work surface so that dents are never an issue.

When it comes time to reload the magazine, there’s an indicator that tells the user that the magazine is running low. The exhaust is at the rear of the gun to keep exhaust and debris away from the user and the workspace.

Depth adjustments are available, and there are no-mar tips available, too (2 are provided).

There’s also a five-year warranty available that protects the buyer’s investment if the nail gun does break.

Click here to view pricing and availability of the Hitachi NP35A pin nailer.

BOSTITCH N66C-1 Siding Nailer

BOSTITCH’S N66C-1 is a coil siding nailer that comes with aluminium housing to make the nail gun lighter. There’s an option to purchase this item with nails, but most home improvement stores will have nails available.

This model features:

  • Plastic and weld coil nail compatibility.
  • Depth guides for quick adjustment.
  • Rubber foot to prevent damage.
  • Tool-free exhaust adjustment.
  • 1-¼” – 2-½” coil nails.

BOSTITCH freely lists all of their products specs:

  • Weight: 4.7 pounds.
  • Dimensions: 14.96″ height.
  • Driving Power: 515 pounds.
  • Magazine Capacity: 350.
  • Pressure: 70 – 120 PSI.

A siding nail gun, the N66C-1 offers an adjustable depth guide to set the nail length to the preferred setting. The aluminium housing adds durability, while the tool-free design allows users to quickly adjust the exhaust away from the user.

The air inlet size is .25″, and the user can choose a PSI range of 70 to 120.

A carrying case is provided, and the unit is able to use weld or plastic inserted coil siding nails.

The 515 pounds of driving power is enough to drive nails into cement, fencing and even light-gauge steel.

With a 350-nail capacity magazine, the N66C-1 can drive hundreds of nails without having to take a break.

Click here to view pricing and availability of the BOSTITCH N66C-1 siding nailer.

WEN 61720 Brad Nailer

WEN’s brad nailer, the 61720, is an 18-gauge brad nailer that can handle nail lengths of ¾” to 2″. This model is a versatile brad nailer that is very lightweight, yet it packs a lot of power in a smaller nailer.

This model features:

  • ¾” to 2″ nail length.
  • Rubber-grip for optimal comfort.
  • Custom carrying case.
  • Quick-release to clear jams quickly.
  • 1/4″ air inlet.

The WEN 61720’s specs are:

  • Weight: 3 pounds.
  • Dimensions: 13″ x 3″ x 11″.
  • Magazine Capacity: 100.
  • Pressure: 60 – 100 PSI.

WEN’s 61720 is an 18-gauge nail gun that accommodates brad nails of ¾-inch to 2-inch in size. Lightweight at 3 pounds, this nail gun has a rubber grip that makes it a comfortable choice when driving nails in bulk – a hundred nails fit into the magazine.

When jams do occur – it’s common with all nail guns – the quick release allows for easy clearing. The nail gun can use 60 – 100 PSI, and the .25″ inlet allows for most compressors to fit the 61720.

The exhaust deflector is adjustable.

WEN has a standard one-year warranty on all of their products unless otherwise noted.

Click here to view pricing and availability of the WEN 61720 brad nailer.

Hitachi NT65MA4 Finish Nailer

Hitachi’s NT65MA4 is a finish nailer that comes equipped with an air duster. This model’s features put it at the top of finish nailers on the market today, and they include:

  • Integrated air duster.
  • Quick nail extraction.
  • Tool-less depth dial adjustments.
  • 360-degree exhaust portal.
  • Sequential or contact nailing.
  • 34-degree magazine angle.
  • 15-gauge nails.
  • 1-¼” to 2-½” nail length.

The NT65MA4 has the following specs:

  • Weight: 4.2 pounds.
  • Dimensions: 3-¼” x 13-9/16″ x 12″.
  • Magazine Capacity: 100.
  • Pressure: 70 – 120 PSI.

Hitachi offers an impeccable finish nailer that has a rear loading magazine and can hold as many as 100 nails. Nails must be 15-gauge, and the length of the nails can be 1-¼” – 2-½,” with the magazine at a 34-degree angle.

Safety glasses are included, and the integrated air duster keeps the work area clean and free of debris.

A five-year warranty is provided, and the unit is air-powered.

Lightweight and efficient, the NT65MA4 makes fast work of framing.

Click here to view pricing and availability of the Hitachi NT65MA4 finish nailer.

BOSTITCH RN46 Roofing Nailer

The BOSTITCH RN46 is a coil roofing nailer that has a lockout mechanism which stops the unit from firing empty. This model offers high-end features, such as:

  • ¾” – 1-¾” nail length.
  • Adjustable depth control.
  • Side-load canister.
  • Magnesium housing.
  • Single-action side load canister.
  • Shingle guide.

The RN46 offers the following specifications:

  • Weight: 5.8 pounds.
  • Dimensions: 10-½” x 4-5/8″ x 10-5/8″.
  • Driving Power: 410 pounds.
  • Magazine Capacity: 120.
  • Pressure: 100 PSI.

Powerful, the RN46 has a driving power of 410 pounds and a magazine capacity of 120 to make fast work of any roofing job. Smaller nails, as small as ¾-inch, can be used on roofing, or the nail gun can use nails as long as 1-¾”.

Lightweight at 5.8 pounds, this unit can be used extensively without fatigue and has a patented side load function for added efficiency.

A shingle guide is present to help make adjustments more fluid, and there’s also an adjustable depth control to adapt to any shingle-related job with ease. Wear guards and skid pads add to the surface protection to eliminate damage.

Shank diameter of 0.120 is required, and the grip is over-molded to provide additional comfort to the user.

Click here to view pricing and availability of the BOSTITCH RN46 roofing nailer.

NuMax SFL618 Flooring Nailer

NuMax’s SFL618 is a 3-in-1 tool that acts as a flooring stapler and nailer. The model is packed with power, and there is even a white rubber mallet included. This model features:

  • One piece driver blade.
  • White rubber mallet.
  • Staple, T-cleat or L-cleat compatible.
  • Anti-dust cap.
  • Interchangeable base plates.
  • ¼” NPT fitting.
  • Extended 23″ tall handle.

NuMax’s stats are:

  • Dimensions: 20-½” x 21″ x 3-½”.
  • Driving Power: 2.5 CFM @ 90 PSI.
  • Magazine Capacity: 120.
  • Pressure: 70 – 115 PSI.

Lightweight aluminium is used in the construction of the SFL618’s body. Durable and lightweight, the body allows for easy handling without fatigue. Designed to fit comfortably in a user’s hand, the unit is a 3-in-1 flooring nailer that offers a 16-gauge nailer or a 15.5-gauge stapler.

T-cleats or L-cleats can be used in the stapler, with staples that are 1-½” to 2″ in length.

There are two interchangeable bases with tongue and groove wood flooring of:

  • ½”.
  • 15/32″.
  • 5/8″.
  • 19/32″.
  • ¾”.
  • 25/32″.

NuMax backs their flooring nailer with a one-year warranty. Back strain is relieved thanks to the unit’s long reach handle, and the manufacturer also includes oil and wrenches for easy maintenance of the nail gun.

With a 120 nail or staple capacity, this pneumatic nailer makes installing flooring quick and easy.

Click here to view pricing and availability of the NuMax SFL618 flooring nailer.

BOSTITCH PN100K Palm Nailer

Palm nailers offer a handheld nailer that is able to fit in tight corners or spaces. Ergonomic in design, the PN100K offers must-have features, like:

  • Magnetic nose.
  • Finish nail nose.
  • Large nose.
  • Standard nose.

BOSTITCH’s dimensions are:

  • Weight: 2.9 pounds.
  • Dimensions: 5.25″ x 4.13″ x 2.9″.

The PN100K palm nailer has an ergonomic design for the utmost in comfort. A magnetic nose keeps the nail in place until it’s driven into the surface. The nail gun weighs 2.9 pounds, so it can be used over long periods of time without causing fatigue.

A nose wrench and leather glove are included.

The unit also has noses for standard nailing, finishing nailing and large bore nailing. Nails with a length of up to 5 inches can be used with the PN100K. Demanding jobs are handled with ease thanks to the PN100K.

Even very small nails can be placed in the unit, but they do have a tendency to jam.

PSI recommendations for users is 90 – 95 PSI, which allows for 7 to 8 nails to be driven before the compressor has to cycle.

Click here to view pricing and availability of the BOSTITCH PN100K palm nailer.

Best Cordless Nail Gun Reviews

Paslode Cordless XP Framing Nailer

Paslode’s cordless XP framing nailer offers impressive power, a 2-minute charging option for up to 200 shots and an impressive 15% more power than competing models. The 905600’s full list of features include:

  • Works in temperatures as low as 14F.
  • Drives 9,000 charges per charge.
  • Charges in 1.5 hours.
  • 2-minute quick charge.
  • Aggressive teeth option.
  • Utility hook.
  • Nail lockout.
  • Easy depth adjustment.
  • Nail range of 2″ – 3-1/4″.
  • 7.4 c li-ion battery.

And Paslode’s specifications include:

  • Weight: 7.2 pounds.
  • Dimensions: 4″ x 14-½ x 12″.
  • Magazine Capacity: 1 strip.
  • Battery Life: 9,000 nails per charge.

The 905600 nail gun offers a lightweight of 7.2 pounds and comes with a battery that has the potential to drive 9,000 nails per charge. The charge time is a mere 1.5 hours with a 2-minute, 200-shot charge option.

Depth adjustments are made easy with the tool-free design. Workers can make adjustments with gloves on. When the nail strip is empty, the lockout feature ensures that the gun doesn’t fire and cause damage to the surface material.

Paslode offers a five-year warranty, and 2-3 nails can be driven per second.

Click here to view pricing and availability of the Paslode 905600 framing nailer.

Dewalt DC608K Cordless Brad Nailer

Dewalt’s DC608K is an 18-volt brad nailer kit with the ability to drive 18-gauge, 2-inch nails. Fast and efficient, the unit is designed to offer consistent nail penetration for hard and soft joints. The DC608K features:

  • Sequential operation mode.
  • 18-gauge nail range.
  • Nail length of 5/8″ to 2″.
  • Nosepiece removal for jam removal.
  • Lock-off trigger.

Dewalt offers the following specifications:

  • Weight: 7.4 pounds.
  • Dimensions: 11-½” length.
  • Magazine Capacity: 110.
  • Battery Life: 8 hours of on and off usage.

Dewalt is all about power, and the DC608 is able to drive 110 nails in one magazine. Rapid firing allows for five brads to be driven in one second. Nail length can be as small as 5/8 inches to as large as 2 inches.

Jams are rare, but when they do happen, the nosepiece can be removed to offer access to the nails and allow for jams to be cleared.

The nose is narrow and tapered to allow for use in even the smallest spaces.

A three-year warranty is offered, and the battery can be charged in just one hour. One-at-a-time and sequential driving modes are available to customize the way nails are driven into surfaces.

Click here to view pricing and availability of the Dewalt-DC608K brad nailer.

Dewalt DC618K Cordless Finish Nailer

Dewalt’s 16-gauge, 20-degree angled finish nailer kit (DC618K) has an engine design that allows for penetration into hard and soft wood. Sequential operation allows for quick speeds, while the bump mode provides production speeds that professionals need to get jobs done quickly.

This model features:

  • 18-volt power.
  • 1-¼” – 2-½” nails.
  • Sequential mode.
  • Bump mode.
  • Contract trip lock-off.
  • 20-angled magazine.
  • LED lights.
  • Impact resistant top cap.

The DC618K has the following specs:

  • Weight: 8.5 pounds.
  • Dimensions: 4.18″ x 12.5″ x 12.8″.
  • Magazine Capacity: 110.

Dewalt offers a long-lasting battery with a one hour charge. The unit has LED lights integrated into the nail gun for easy viewing of the work area. Consistent nail penetration is offered with sequential and bump options.

There’s a six-position dial that allows for rapid depth adjustments. This model is compatible with nail lengths between 1-¼” to 2-½”.

A 20-degree angled nailer, this model has no-mar tips and also a reversible belt hook. Safety glasses are included, and a three-year warranty is offered, too.

If jams happen, the swing-open nosepiece allows the user to quickly clear out jams.

Click here to view pricing and availability of the Dewalt-DC618K finish nailer.

Best Nail Gun Combo Kit

BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT Combo Kit

BOSTITCH’s BTFP3KIT comes with everything users need to get started without needing to purchase additional items. This kit features:

  • 6-gallon, 150 PSI pancake compressor.
  • 18 GA Brad nailer.
  • 16 GA finish nailer.
  • Crown stapler.

We really like this 3-piece kit because it’s made for interior and exterior framing as well as trimming projects. Able to handle a range of projects, from furniture to cabinets, this nail kit has a 150 max PSI tank that holds six gallons.

The unit is able to hit 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI.

Noise level is 78.5 dBA, and the compressor is oil-free and requires no maintenance. The kit also includes an 18-gauge brad nailer and a 16-gauge finish nailer. The brad nailer can handle nail lengths of 5/8″ to 2″ in length. The finish nailer can use finish nails of 1-¼” to 2-½”.

A crown stapler is also available that can accommodate 3/8″ crown staples. The unit comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty, too.

We highly recommend this kit for homeowners who want to have their own nail guns and compressors available.

Click here to view pricing and availability of the BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT.

Freeman P4FRFNCB Combo Kit

Freeman offers a four-piece combo kit that includes a framing and finishing nail gun combo. This model has a brad nailer included along with a narrow crown stapler to handle a multitude of jobs.

This kit includes:

  • Carrying bag.
  • 21-degree full head framing nailer.
  • 15-gauge finish nailer.
  • 18-gauge brad nailer.
  • 18-gauge crown stapler.

The combo kit comes with four nail guns that will be ideal for framing and finishing work. Starting with the framing nailer, the model has a 20 – 21-degree round head with framing nail lengths ranging from 2″ to 3-½”.

The angle finish nailer has a 15-gauge at a 34-degree angle. This nail gun can use nails with a length of 1-¼” to 2-½”.

A brad nailer is included with a quick release nose and offers compatibility for a variety of fasteners. This model is able to use nails that are 18-gauge with lengths of ½” – 1-¼” and uses straight brad nails.

There’s also a crown stapler included that has a quick release nose and can use ¼” narrow crown staples. The model can use crown lengths of ½” to 1-¼”. We also like that this kit comes with a carrying bag to keep all of the pieces protected and in one place.

Click here to view pricing and availability of the Freeman P4FRFNCB kit.

PORTER CABLE PCFP72671 Combo Kit

Porter Cable offers one of the best nail gun kits on the market primarily due to the powerful compressor. The kit doesn’t offer as many pieces as the other kits mentioned, but it does include:

  • Finish nailer.
  • 6-gallon, 150 PSI compressor.
  • 25-feet air hose.
  • 0.25″ coupler and plug.

The PCFP72671 combo kit has a maintenance-free pump that allows for convenient operation. The unit requires a 120V electrical connect to run the compressor. Users could run this compressor on a standard household current – great for anyone planning to use the compressor in their own home.

A 25-foot length air hose allows the compressor to be used all around the room without having to move it in the process.

At 150 PSI, the compressor has a six-gallon capacity.

A 16-gauge finish nailer is included (FN250SB), and finish nails with a length of 1″ to 2-½” are able to be used with the FN250SB.

The kit comes with 500 finish nails and can reach 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI. This is a great kit for crafts, stairs and flooring installation needs.

Click here to view pricing and availability of the Porter Cable Kit.

The Complete Nail Gun Buying Guide

How Nail Guns Work

Nail guns are very complex power tools, but the way they work is rather simple. Every type of nail gun needs a power source, which will be responsible for moving the nail from the magazine that holds the nail into the chamber.

The power is then focused on the nail itself, which is driven into a surface.

Nail guns have a safety tip that requires depression on a surface and a trigger squeeze which tells the gun to drive the nail into the surface of a material.

This is the most basic description of the nail gun.

Vents are available for exhaust, filters are present in some models, and there is a piston mechanism that is responsible for moving the nail into the chamber when the trigger is pressed. There’s also a depth of drive that controls how deep the nail is driven into the surface.

Let’s learn a little more about the power sources that are available.

Nail Gun Power Sources

The power source of a nail gun is very important, and there are a few main power options available.

Pneumatic Nail Gun

The pneumatic nail gun uses a compressor to drive nails. These models are rated by PSI and volume. The need for a compressor means that a larger, additional component needs to be lugged along to a job site, but the compressor does have its benefits.

The pros of the pneumatic are:

  • Consistent power source.
  • Can run multiple tools off of a compressor.
  • Powerful and designed for heavy-duty tasks.

The cons are:

  • Requires a cumbersome compressor.

Large-scale, heavy-duty projects are best suited for the pneumatic nail gun.

Cordless Nail Gun

Cordless nail guns are battery-powered, and the main benefit is that you’re not constrained by hoses. The cordless nail gun can be carried all around a worksite without needing to worry about cords of any type.

Fuel-driven models are also available and use disposable gas cartridges.

The pros of a cordless nail gun are:

  • Easy to carry.
  • Allows for maximum freedom.
  • Doesn’t require hoses or cords.

The cons are:

  • Power source is limited.
  • Strength will weaken when the power source depletes.

Small scale projects are best for cordless models, and they excel in hard-to-reach areas. Backup batteries or fuel cells allow the cordless nail gun to last much longer.

Electric Nail Gun

Electric nail guns will be plugged into a power outlet, and this means that cords will be placed on the floor of the site. But otherwise, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with an electric nail gun – they work great.

The pros of an electric nail gun are:

  • Limitless power.
  • Consistent driving.
  • Ideal for heavy-duty tasks.

The cons of the electric nail gun are:

  • Costs electricity to run.
  • Requires specific voltage outlets.

An electric nail gun can be used on small and large projects alike. On worksites that aren’t hooked up to electric yet, these nail guns won’t be able to be used, which is a major problem.

Loading/Magazine Styles

There are two main types of magazine / loading styles for nail guns:

  • Coil-Style Nail Guns. Coil-style operation are meant for long nails. Round magazines are used with the nails staying within a coil. Strip-style nail models aren’t able to be accommodated with the coil-style guns. Meant for high capacity, these guns hold higher nail counts than their strip counterparts.
  • Stick/Strip-Style Nail Guns. Strip or stick nail guns have a slender strip or stick of nails that fit into a magazine. These strips hold the nails together using plastic, wire or paper. These nail guns have better overall balance despite not being able to hold as many nails as a coil-style nail gun.

Nail Gun Firing Types

Nail guns have firing types or modes, and this is the way that the gun reacts when trying to drive a nail. There are four main modes to know about:

  1. Contact/Bump Firing. Bump firing means that nails are driven quickly as long as the trigger is held down. A bump of the safety tip will drive the nail, making it more difficult to control. Unintentional firing is less common thanks to the bump mechanism.
  2. Single-Sequential Firing. Single sequential stops the user from bump-firing. The firing requires the safety tip followed by the trigger to drive the nail.
  3. Single-Actuation Firing. This method is the same as the single-sequential, but the difference is that any sequence can be used to fire the nail.
  4. Full-Sequential Firing. Each nail fired requires sequential activation to drive the nail. Bump firing isn’t possible with full-sequential firing. This mode is less efficient, and the safety tip and trigger need to be released before the next nail can be driven. The other methods allow for the safety tip to stay depressed, allowing for bump firing.

Key Features to Look for in a Nail Gun

Nail guns are very complex, and since there are so many nail gun types, it’s difficult to know exactly which features are needed for a particular type of gun. The good news is that we have a list of standard features to look for in your nailer.

Exhaust. Nail guns have an exhaust, and a directional exhaust allows the user to direct the exhaust away from the face. This means less risk of inhaling the exhaust and keeps the work area free of debris and particles.

Depth Adjustment. Nails can be driven at different lengths, and this allows for precision control with different nail lengths. In some cases, it may also be beneficial for a nail to not be fully driven into the surface. The depth adjustment allows for nails to be driven flat into the surface, or they can be left protruding from the surface. The nail adjustment may be made by hand with a tool-less model, or adjustments may require tools.

Nail Adjustment and Sizes. Different jobs require different length nails. The nail adjustment allows for the user to switch the nail size for different tasks. Pay attention to this feature to understand the nail limitations that may be faced.

Protection. The use of protective guards is common, and this works in two ways. The first way is the protective guards protect the tool itself from potential damage. The second way that these protective guards work is that they protect the user from flying debris.

Jam Clearing. Nails tend to jam even in the best nail gun. Certain technology limits jams, but there are also features that will help making jam clears faster and easier.

Connector Swivels. Connectors can and do get in the way. When it comes time to attach a compressor hose to the nail gun, a connector swivel will allow for the connector tube to be moved to a precise location.

Lights. When working in tight spaces, it can be very difficult to see where the nail gun is lining up. Lights allow the nailer to be aligned properly and allow for added accuracy from the user.

Trigger Size. Larger triggers are ideal, but they’re not standard. A larger trigger allows the gun to be used with gloves on – an added bonus for users.

Magazines. Magazine location and size are important. Larger capacity magazines mean less time spent refilling nails.

Hooks. A hook that attaches to a user’s belt is very common. Hooks may also allow the gun to be attached to the wall. Adjustable hooks work the best, and they allow for the utmost in comfort and easy carry.

Battery Life. An issue only with portable nail guns, battery life is very important. Nail gun reviews will often list how long the battery lasts before needing to be recharged. Also check to see how long it takes to charge the battery, or if there is an option for rapid charging.

Speed. The number of nails that can be driven in a specified timespan.

These are the key most important features to look for in a nail gun.

Nail Gun Maintenance

We read and write a lot of nail gun reviews, and one of the most disconcerting things we come across is users not following maintenance recommendations. Maintenance is required to keep nail guns operating properly.

Not maintaining the nail gun can lead to serious safety issues.

If maintenance is not performed, the nail gun may not operate properly. There’s also the risk that the nail gun’s lifespan will be reduced as a result of maintenance neglect. We’ve provided a few tips below that can be used to maintain a nail gun properly.

Before going through our tips, make sure that you read the manual to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on maintenance.

The manufacturer knows better than anyone what the nail gun needs to work properly.

A few of the maintenance recommendations that we have for keeping your nail gun operating are:

  • Oil the nail gun prior to use. Oil can be applied to all of the moving parts to allow the gun to maintain proper lubrication.
  • All screws and bolts need to be tightened monthly. Screws and bolts loosen over time, so tightening is required.
  • Feed systems require daily maintenance. Compressed air can be used to clean debris and dust from the feed system.
  • Air fittings should be lubricated daily.
  • Inspect the entire unit for damage and also look at the battery’s expiration date if there is one.

Always remove the power source before doing any maintenance to reduce the risk of the unit firing while in use.

It’s essential that any broken parts, especially safety features, be repaired if they’re not working properly or are broken. The goal is to keep the nail gun in as close to original operation as possible.

Never modify the nail gun because it may void the warranty and result in the nail gun not working properly – something that’s never a good thing.

Manufacturer warranties are almost always offered for a minimum of one year, so give the nail gun a good try when it’s first purchased to try and locate any defects that may exist. Evoking the warranty is much easier than paying to have the gun repaired in the future.

Nail Gun Safety

Nail gun safety is very important. Nailers can be extremely dangerous, and even the best nail gun can cause a serious injury to the user. Annually, 37,000 people – many professional construction workers – are admitted to emergency rooms for nail gun-related injuries.

Some of these victims die as a result of their injuries.

The main threat to the user is the:

  • Nail directly entering the skin.
  • Nail ricocheting into the user.

Eye protection is recommended to help avoid eye injuries from occurring. Nail gun injuries are mostly caused by the negligence of the user, and this is why it’s very important to wear safety equipment when using a nail gun.

Basic safety measures that must be taken when using a nail gun include:

  • Repair any broken parts before use.
  • Inspect the nail gun for damage before use.
  • Wear safety gear at all times.
  • Only point the nail gun at the desired surface – never at another person or animal.
  • Keep others away from the work area when the nail gun is in use.
  • Never try and alter the nail gun.
  • Before maintenance is performed, disconnect any power supply from the unit.
  • Remove power from the unit before attempting to clear a jam.

If users follow these basic safety measures above, they’ll be safer when using a nail gun. It’s vital to never use a nail gun that is broken or not operating as normal.

Manufacturers will also include instructions on how to use the nail gun and which safety measures should be taken when using the nail gun in question. It’s always important to follow these measures to ensure the utmost in safety when driving nails.

Common sense, such as never pointing the nail gun at a person or animal, can go a long way in ensuring that accidents don’t occur.

When using fasteners, check the instruction manual first. It’s only recommended to use fasteners that the manufacturer recommends. Fasteners should comply with local building codes so that the work being performed is up to local standards.

Never use a nail gun where a spark could cause gas or vapor to ignite. Nail guns will produce a spark that can be very dangerous in certain conditions.

Nail guns are power tools that can speed up any job that requires nailing. There are numerous types of nail guns, and the right type for the job is required to keep the user safe and meet building codes. Choose the right type for the job in question, and make sure to read our in-depth buying guide before making a purchase.

The best nail gun reduces the time a job takes while also enhancing the final product. Nail gun reviews can help consumers find the right nail gun for their needs. Powerful and easy-to-use, the right maintenance and safety will keep users safe while extending the lifespan of the nail gun.

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