A nailer will enhance your nailing consistency and precision, whether you’re attempting to finish setting up your trim, installing shiplap, or checking one of your hundreds of DIY jobs off your list. As a consequence, it will undoubtedly accelerate your initiatives.
Of course, we’re not diminishing the legendary hammer’s importance or worth, but the faster you do one mission, the faster you may go on to the next. While we’ve shown that utilizing the device is the Swiffer choice, how to use a nail gun properly?
Compressed air, electricity, or combustible gas can all be used to power a nail gun. We’re confident we don’t need to tell you that three of the methods listed can be devastating if used incorrectly.
When you combine this with the fact that you’re using a power tool, a whole new world of deadly mishaps opens up. Hence, we suggest that you read our guide thoroughly if you’re new to this tool. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
- 1 How To Use A Nail Gun
- 1.1 Loading the Nailer
- 1.2 Connecting The Power Source
- 1.3 Positioning And Shooting
- 1.4 Depth Adjustment
- 1.5 Removing Nail Jams
- 1.6 You Can’t Put A Price On Safety
- 1.7 Which Firing Mode To Use?
- 1.8 Protection Is Key
- 1.9 Disconnecting The Nail Gun From The Power Source
- 1.10 Line Of Fire
- 1.11 Be Careful Of Your Surroundings
- 2 How To Buy A Nail Gun
- 3 Frequently Asked Question
- 4 A Word From Us
How To Use A Nail Gun
Correctly using a nail gun can be quite tricky, especially if you’re a complete newbie. Fear not, for we have got your back. Our guide includes a step-by-step procedure for doing everything you’ll need to do to get the most out of the tool. Well, let’s start loading that nail gun!
Loading the Nailer
While the loading mechanics of nail guns might differ slightly, the most popular is known as the “slide type”, which loads by triggering the magazine release and sliding the magazine( which is the extended and thin case housing the nails) backward. However, trying to pull it out all the way will be a futile attempt.
On the other hand, you’ll only be able to draw it wide enough for the strip of nails to be loaded with their tips pointing downward. Afterwards, return the magazine to its original position. Oh, and double-check that it clicks firmly.
In contrast, the second kind of nail gun is only compatible and accepts coils of nails rather than its strip counterpart. They’re usually known as the “coil type”, and they’re mostly reserved for the experts, such as professional roofers. The reason being that they don’t have to reload the nail gun frequently. Thus, how do you load a coiled nailer?
For starters, open the cylindrical case storing the nails (this is usually a button-release process) and place the coil of nails pointing towards the bottom of the case. Moreover, you’ll need to set the first nail in the coil into the slot that supplies nails to the tool.
Once you’ve completed this step, simply close the case. However, if the case doesn’t retract completely, this usually means the nails haven’t settled properly. We recommend reading the instructions manual if you’re stuck in this unfortunate situation.
Connecting The Power Source
Now that you’ve successfully loaded your nailer with ammunition, you’ll need to connect it to a power source. Suppose you’re using a cordless nailer, chip in the battery. On the other hand, If it’s a corded model, attach it to an air hose; if it’s a gas-based type, clip in the butane cartridge.
Positioning And Shooting
Since you’ve passed the preliminary stages with flying colours, it’s time to enter the spotlight. One of the most common mistakes that beginners make while using a nailer is that they tend to shoot at an angle. That’s a big NO!
The brains behind the nail gun’s invention have always been advised to hold the tool perpendicular to the wood’s surface and apply pressure to ensure it’s firmly in contact with it to depress the safety pin. Finally, activate the trigger once you’ve stabilized the nail gun.
Here’s a pro tip for you: practice ejecting nails on small portions of scrap wood until you’ve got a proper grasp of how your nail gun operates. Doing so will improve your accuracy, precision and help you familiarise yourself with the tool.
When you’re framing a wall or performing an exterior wall sheathing task, it’s not a rule of thumb that each nail head has to sink under the plywood’s surface. In these sorts of situations, you can simply lock and load your nail gun and begin shooting without having to stress too much about the driving depth. However, the table turns 180 degrees when you’re working on a smooth surface, such as installing cabinets or bookshelves.
In these instances, you’ll definitely want your nail heads to flush with the wood’s surface or be lightly predrilled. Luckily, you have your handy dandy nailer to do that for you! This depth adjustment is usually in the form of a knob or button located near the trigger.
To adjust the depth, rotate the depth selector unless your tool drives the nails to your desired depth. Nonetheless, we suggest that you read the owner’s manual first since different models have different designs.
Here’s another tip that can probably save you a lot of time and expense: At times, the nails that you’re shooting may appear to be crooked, or their heads might stick upward even after the depth has been adjusted.
The probable reason is that you’re lifting the nail gun as you’re firing. Thus, please make sure the tool is firmly pressed against the surface even after you’ve launched a nail.
Removing Nail Jams
You’ll technically experience a nail jam when a nail collides with something hard, such as knots in the wood or with another nail, and is stalling the nail gun. But how do you know when your nail gun is going to start jamming?
The answer is you don’t. This incident happens entirely randomly. However, you’ll know when it does stall; it won’t fire when you pull the trigger.
To begin, turn off the power and remove the magazine, just as you would before reloading the nail gun. It’s critical to let go of the magazine since you don’t want it to push against the remaining nails.
Next, remove the safety cover from the front of the nailer and manually remove the blocked nail with your fingers. If you wanted to, you could also use a set of pliers. Once the issue has been resolved, restore the cover and reissue the magazine. Finally, reconnect it to the power source, and you’re ready to perform great feats once more!
You Can’t Put A Price On Safety
How often have we tossed out the user/instructions manual into the garbage the minute we’re done flipping through a couple of pages? While feeding the trash can doesn’t count as a good deed, throwing the manual isn’t a good idea either!
If you don’t believe us, take the CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) word instead; the emergency rooms receive about 37,000 cases linked to nail gun accidents. That’s why the more you know your tools, the safer you and your family are.
Which Firing Mode To Use?
In the fascinating world of nail guns, you’re certain to come across nailers (both big and tiny) with varied firing modes, such as ‘sequence’ and ‘bump’. Yes, we know your exact thoughts and questions, “which mode should I set the nail gun at while using it?”
So, before we answer your queries, we urge that you identify yourself with each option before pulling the final trigger (definitely not a pun!)
Sequential Mode: First off, please know that you’ll need to complete a series of steps before you can use the nailer to eject a nail in this mode. To cut a long story short, you’ll need to depress the safety nosepiece( which is a spring-loaded tip that retracts when the tool is in clear contact with a surface) and then pull the nailer’s trigger to shoot.
While this may seem like a lot of work, we can assure you this two-step sequence is the safest way to operate the tool.
Bump Mode: To put it another way, this is the ‘rapid firing’ mode. This is because utilizing the nailer in this mode allows the user to save a significant amount of time. In the latter, all you have to do is to move the nail gun to a new position while holding down the trigger. And if the safety pin is depressed, the tool launches a nail every time.
You’ve probably seen roofing experts use this method to quickly and accurately attach shingles one after another within a matter of seconds. Therefore, we wouldn’t advise anyone to use the bump mode unless you’re a professional and you know exactly what you’re doing. And for the curious minds out there, the degree of speed that bump fire mode offers is barely needed in DIY tasks.
Protection Is Key
Framing nailers are such big and loud power equipment that launching a framing nail may produce noises ranging from 90 to over 100 dB. That sounds nearly exactly like a gunshot! As a result, it would be preferable if you could wear earplugs while working to prevent your eardrums from exploding.
You couldn’t be more wrong if you assumed the tale ended right here. It’s not uncommon for a nail gun to be misfired. Unfortunately, if a nailer does misfire, material chips might be dispersed in many directions. As a result, please always use safety goggles to safeguard your eyes.
Disconnecting The Nail Gun From The Power Source
As the world’s technological advancements keep emerging from every corner of the planet, it would be a shame for the power tools manufacturers if they were unable to catch up. That’s the reason why the nail guns you see nowadays have the safest designs possible. Nonetheless, there’s always this possibility of the tool misfiring while you’re reloading or releasing a nail jam.
What can be done to prevent this, then? The best solution: cut the power source. If you’re using a cordless nail gun, we suggest completely removing the battery. On the contrary, unplug the air hose from the pneumatic variant while loading nails or removing a nail jam.
On the other hand, if you use a unique type of nail gun that uses a butane gas cartridge, then dislodge the cartridge and then carry on with the other tasks as usual.
Line Of Fire
Did you know that using both hands to hold the two pieces of wood together is one of the most prevalent methods to cause a nail gun accident? If the nail goes all the way through and emerges from the bottom or merely bends/breaks from the sides, it can stab your hands, regardless of the thickness of the working surface.
Furthermore, you will have no idea what struck you! As a result, we highly encourage you to use clamps to secure separate pieces of wood together as appropriate. You’ll be able to keep your free hand out of harm’s path this way.
Furthermore, a nail has the capacity to drive through the working substance thoroughly. Thus, it would be best to ensure that none of the individuals in your immediate vicinity, or any of your body parts, are positioned at the other end of the fire sight.
Be Careful Of Your Surroundings
Once in bump mode, a nailer can turn out to be a lethal weapon. When you narrow it down, there’s only one plausible explanation: even the slightest of touches can depress the safety pin/nosepiece. Thus, when you’re using a nailer in bump mode, and it inevitably starts swinging, colliding with nearby surfaces, it’s going to start firing nails randomly.
How To Buy A Nail Gun
Now that you’ve read up to here, we’re definitely sure that no matter how fast you are at hammering, you can’t do without a nail gun. And it’s understandable; they’re more accurate, quicker and easier to use. However, seeing that each nail gun has a specific purpose, it’s often the wisest choice to get one that fulfils your project criteria.
In order to do that, you’ll need to take every technical factor into consideration. Of course, taking every one of them seems like a bit of a stretch, but it’s a small price to pay for your benefit. However, we wouldn’t burden you with the task of looking them up yourself! Here are the must check factors before buying a nail gun.
The Price of Purchase
Nothing comes free of cost in this modern era. Everything has a price tag associated with it. As a result, it’s one of the most crucial factors to consider while making a purchase. It would be best if you kept in mind that, while nail guns are pretty rich in adaptability and versatility, they can also be rather expensive. In terms of performance, a $50 cordless nail gun wouldn’t have the mechanical prowess to best a $300 or more nailer.
As a consequence, please think everything through to ensure that you’re making the best investment possible. In case you didn’t know, nail guns range in price from $30 to $350. Thus, the average cost should be between $100 and $200. And you should also be aware that cordless models cost more than corded ones.
Nail Gun Types
Previously, we’ve said that nail guns have specific purposes. That’s because the nail gun’s architecture lets it execute a certain task. Take a roofing nailer, for example. These nailers drive nails with immense force and aren’t particularly adjustable. On the other hand, framing nailers falls under the category of heavy-duty power tools, and you’ll mostly see their use on construction sites.
Then there are finish nailers, which are a trustworthy type of nail gun. Its qualities make it suitable for smoothing wood surfaces, despite its lack of fury in contrast to its framing equivalents. Aside from that, there is a specific type of pneumatic nailer known as brad nailers. They are a brute force to mess with when it comes to woodwork.
Even the newest carpenters can identify the significance of using a nail gauge when working with a nail gun. Furthermore, the bulk of the nail gun’ designs allow them to function with a variety of different types and sizes of nails. Thus, it’s one of the base pillars of how the machine operates.
The nail gauge chart begins at 2d and ends at 60d, with 2d being the smallest and 60d indicating the largest. The letter ‘D’ stands for penny measure, a unique system used by professionals to classify nails.
A 2d nail is approximately 1″ long, whereas a 16d nail is around 3.5 inches long. As a result, certain nail lengths may not be compatible with the design of some models.
Now that you’re knowledgeable about the chart, you should also know what type of application requires what types of nails. For example, a 15 gauge nail gun is required if you want to do heavy-duty work such as wood building, decking, or fencing. This is the situation because 15 gauge nails are thick and heavy.
In addition, the “all-rounder” of nails is a 16 gauge nail. Its thickness helps it to withstand the heaviest of pressure, and its tiny T head allows for precise countersinks beneath the wood surface. Finally, carpenters use 18 gauge nails to secure delicate or light mouldings and trims.
Long story short, a nail gun’s firing pin plays the most vital role in the tool’s mechanism. If it didn’t have it, the machine would be as useless as trying to find a needle in a haystack. So, what’s the big deal about it?
Because it is continually in contact with the surface, the firing pin of a nail gun is the tool’s first layer of defence against working material damage, avoiding inadvertent or dry firing.
Hence, we suggest that you shouldn’t settle for anything less than a quality nail gun with a solidified and tempered firing tip. That’s because if you buy a cheap nail gun with a soft firing pin to save money, you’re endangering both yourself and the wood.
While in operation, untampered with or weaker firing tips may fracture or split, causing the tool to misfire and create dents.
Although you would never hear someone advising you to check what type of power source your nail gun uses, it can definitely have an impact on your purchase decision. A nail gun can be corded or cordless, depending on the task you have in your hands. However, if you’re searching for a nail gun of the latter type, there are mainly two options: pneumatic and battery-powered.
A battery-operated nail gun is far more effective than a pneumatic nail gun, but it is also significantly more costly. They can easily shoot a record amount of nails with a single charge, ranging from 400 to 1600.
On the other hand, a pneumatic nailer requires the use of an air compressor, which inhibits manoeuvrability. They will, however, shoot nails as directly attached and backed with ammo.
Frequently Asked Question
Our post provides you with an in-depth guide on how to use a nail gun. However, it doesn’t exactly seem to answer the questions and comments we receive on a regular basis. Therefore, we have taken the decision to respond to some of them below-
Do I really need a nail gun?
-Not necessarily, no. You’ll still be able to complete your projects without using a nail gun. Even your traditional hammer and nail will get the work done. However, it’s going to take a significant toll on your time and body.
Are nail guns easy to use?
-Yes, they most definitely are! Using a nail gun can be as easy as reloading it. All you need to do is firmly hold it against the wood and keep pulling the trigger as you move along the working piece. However, please make sure your magazine is filled with enough nails for the project.
Can you use a nail gun without an air compressor?
-Air compressed power tools are generally faster, quicker and lighter than your standard power tools. That’s why wired nailers and staplers portray high levels of performance when it comes to heavy-duty jobs. But to answer your question, you can use cordless nailers.
How far can a nail gun shoot?
-You’ll always find a warning at the back of each nail gun’s user manual, and it’s always the same thing: they are capable of launching projectiles up to a speed of 100-150m/s. That’s not all, though; these ejected nails can reach a distance of up to 500m! Read more “How far can a nail gun shoot?”
Which is better: brad nails or finish nails?
-Setting our opinions aside, finish nails usually consist of 15/16 gauge steel wire, which makes them thicker than brad nails. As a result, this accounts for a stronger hold and weight-bearing ability. Hence, the math dictates that finish nails take the dub when it comes to durability.
A Word From Us
As you can see, when you know what you’re doing, operating a nailer is quite basic and simple. It does, however, necessitate paying attention to the specific brand and model you’re using. On the other hand, you now know precisely how to assist someone who is having trouble with a nail gun. So there you have it: a step-by-step guide on how to use a nail gun safely.
Finally, we’d want to offer our heartfelt gratitude for spending the time and effort to read our essay. When our articles may help readers like you, it truly means the world to us. We wish you the best of luck and happy nailing!