Welcome back to our nailer guide series. In the last article, we have presented the tricks of choosing the right nail gun according to the places of application. And today we are here to introduce you to several types of nail guns so that you can select the right one based on the need for your project.
Like all the power tools, nail guns have a huge variety. For example, a finish nailer is not the right one for shoe molding and adhesive attaching with fabric or wood. On the contrary, with a pin nailer, you cannot do upholstery and framing. So there are specific nail guns for specific projects. What you must know is the classification of the nailers so that you can easily choose the right one according to your need.
- 1 Nailing Gun; What and Why
- 2 Types of Nail Guns
- 2.1 Types According to Gauges of Nails
- 2.2 Types of Nail Guns According to the Area of Application
- 2.3 Types According to Power Connection
- 2.4 Pneumatic vs. Battery Powered Nailer
- 2.5 Corded Electric vs. Gas Powered Nail Gun
- 2.6 Maintenance Tips and Tricks
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4 The Closer
Nailing Gun; What and Why
As today we are going to see the kinds of nail guns, first of all, we must know what a nail gun is and why we need a nail gun.
A nail gun, which is also known as a nailer gun, is a powerful tool that drives nails into the hard surface, like wood, plywood, concrete, and other material. As the pins of nail guns are wire nails, it’s not wise to drive nails into steel or iron.
A nail gun is the ultimate alternative to a manual hammer. Manual hammer is time-consuming and not suitable for trim as well as finish work. So from woodworking to construction, you cannot deny the necessity of a nail gun.
Types of Nail Guns
A huge variety of nail guns are available in the market according to the need of the users. And we are going to describe the types based on applications, gauges, and source of power.
Types According to Gauges of Nails
15 gauge nailer is an angled finish nailer. These nails are bigger in size as the diameter and the length of nails are proportional to gauge number. That means the smaller the gauge is, the larger the pin is.
15 gauge nail is excellent for trim and molding, upholstery, furniture building, and frame assembly, where an angled finish nailer is required. The nail’s length is 1.25 inches to 3.5 inches. This kind of nailer is ideal for home garage and woodworking shop. So if you are a carpenter then a 15 gauge finish nailer is one of the best options for you.
16 gauge nailer is also a finish nailer. However, the difference is that 15 gauge is angled nailer and 16 gauge nailer is straight nailer. For trimming of the interior, baseboard molding, crown finishing, even for framing its excellent.
16 gauge nailer consists of thicker nails with a thickness of 0.0625. And the length is max 3.5 inches. As a result, 16 gauge finish nailer has more holding power than 18 gauge finish nailer.
The heads of nails are also bigger. So that’s the only disadvantage of 16 gauge as well as 15 gauge finish nailer. For hiding the hole of the nail what you must do is paint the surface with paint. And before applying paint you have to apply glow for better coverage.
18 gauge nailers are brad nailer. The length of the nails begins from 5/8 inch to 2 inches. Brad nailer is ideal for the attachment of casing of windows and fixing door jambs.
As the thickness of 18 gauge brad nail is thinner than 16 gauge finish nails, brad nailer leaves smaller holes on the surface for its small heads. So you can easily hide the hole simply by paint or glow.
Unlike finish nailer 18 gauge brad nailer is also an inseparable part of the carpenter shop, small home garage, and home applications. As the length is smaller than the finish nailer there is no possibility of splitting thinner wood along with plywood.
23 gauge nailer is the pin nailer. The nails of the 23 gauge nailer are the smallest in size and length. It begins from ¾ inch to 1.375 inches. And 23 gauge pin nailer is a headless wire nailer. As a result, it leaves no holes on the surface of the material.
Pin nailer is ideal for furniture trimming, furniture molding, and attaching adhesive or glow with fabric and wood. As pin nailer is headless, most carpenters use this nail gun for attaching glow. Along with the smallest size and length pin nailer has less holding power. So this small nail is not suitable for trimming and finishing. However, this smeller nail is excellent for thinner wood with thinner diameter.
Types of Nail Guns According to the Area of Application
Brad nailer or brad nail guns consist of 18 gauge nails. And the thickness, as well as the length of the brad nailer, is less than 16 gauge finish nailer. As a result, there is no possibility of splitting thinner material like plywood or a thin sheet of wood.
Carpenters are extremely fond of brad nailers for the precise nail shape and size (max 2.5 inches). And a brad nailer is outstanding for trim work, picture framing, furniture paneling, carpentry and windows door and shoe molding.
The roofing nailer is specially designed for roof nailing. Pneumatic roof nailer is most popular for continuous nailing. Along with a pneumatic roof nailer, there are spring-loaded nail guns and the solenoid roof nailer.
Pneumatic roofing nailer runs with the help of compressed air. On the other hand, the spring-loaded nailer, which is the simplest roofing nailer, works with the force of spring which drives the nails from the magazine chamber.
A roofing nailer is a heavy-duty nailer for roofing work. So for furnishing and other small woodworking you cannot use this heavy-duty nail gun.
Roofing nails are mainly for roof mending, roof decorating, and molding. Normally 1.25 inches to 2 inches nails are used as the magazine for roof nailers.
Like roofing nailer, flooring nailer is also for professional DIY workers and contractors. The flooring nailer is especially made for installing a hardwood floor, wooden floor mending or subfloor. The nails used for flooring nailing are headless so that the finishing of the floor remains smooth.
16 to 18 gauge headless nails are used as the magazine. According to the source of power, flooring nail guns are two types; one is pneumatic and the other is manual. Manual flooring nailer needs more effort from the users. And pneumatic nail guns are more suitable for continuous flow of compressed air, which forces the nails to drive easily inside the floor. It minimizes the effort of the users.
The shape of the flooring nailer is not like the rest of the nail guns. They look like plows to fit over the top edge of the plank as well as the tongue. And for operating this gun, a nylon mallet is used.
From the name framing, you can easily assume that framing nailer is the type of nail gun that is used for framing wooden furniture, fencing, wood sheathing, mending, and framing of decks or patios.
A framing nailer is also a heavy-duty nail gun-like roofing nailer. This nail gun is adequate for heavy-duty projects like skilled carpentry, industrial, professional and personal framing. The most attractive feature of framing nail guns is faster driving. So with a few minutes, skilled carpenters can drive hundreds of nails into the framing surface.
A finish nailer is the most used nail gun. There are two types of finish nailer. One is 16 gauge straight, the other is a 15 gauge angle nailer. A finish nailer is ideal for trim work, finish carpentry, crown molding, baseboard installing, and door casing.
The battery finish nailer is more suitable for home users because of portability.
The siding nailer is meant for siding. Often the woodworkers use finish nailer for siding. In that case, there is the possibility of splitting.
To ensure proper nailing of sides of furniture, doors, windows, siding nailer is the best option. And pneumatic siding nailer is best for continuous nailing.
Pin nailer drives smallest nails of 23 gauge. Most often, the nails are headless or semi-headed.
Pin nailer is designed for adhesive attaching of shoes, fabrics, furniture, and plywood. And the holding power of pin nails is very weak as the maximum length is 1.5 inches. These nails are used for holding the material together until the glow is dried out.
A staple gun is a special type of nail gun that has the maximum holding power for its two-pronged shape. On the other hand, typical nails are fully straight in shape.
A staple gun is excellent for joint, furniture building, upholstery, carpentry, subfloor mending, and even roofing.
Palm nailer is very tiny which can be grabbed inside the palm. This special nail is suitable for corners and turnings where the bulky nail guns fail to drive to the congested areas.
Another feature that makes it attractive is the less weight of the gun. When all the bigger heavy-duty, bulky nail guns make you exhausted to hold the trigger and the gun, a palm nailer minimizes the tiredness of the users by lightweight. And don’t get worried about its tiny body shape as it can drive up to 3 inches nails for finishing, carpentry, framing, and mending.
Types According to Power Connection
From the above discussion, we have found different categories of nail guns based on applications and gauges. There is another criterion of nail guns. That is based on power. According to power, nail guns are of four types.
- Pneumatic Nail Gun
- Battery Nail Gun
- Corded Electric Nail Gun
- Gas Powered Nail Gun
Pneumatic vs. Battery Powered Nailer
- Battery-powered nail guns are cordless and run with battery clamps. So these nail guns are heavy in weight. Along with that, the price of these guns is higher than corded pneumatic nail guns.
- Though cordless nail guns are heavy in weight these nail guns are super portable and excellent for construction sites. As in most construction sites’ electricity is not always available, you can continuously drive nails with a fully recharged nail gun for 30 to 50 minutes.
- On the contrary, pneumatic nail guns are corded. You need an additional air compressor for powering the nailer. There is an air hose that connects the two tools together. When the user presses the trigger, the nail drives with the force of compressed air. And for the power connection of the air compressor, you need electricity or fossil fuel.
- Pneumatic nail guns are cheaper and lighter as they don’t have any battery clamps inside. Again, you needn’t invest much if you have an air compressor in your home garage.
- However, don’t worry if your garage has no air compressor. There are hundreds of air compressor combo kit with nailer within 200 bucks. The kit also carries magazines with PVC air hose. And pancake-style air compressor combo kit is ideal for furniture molding, carpentry, and fencing.
Corded Electric vs. Gas Powered Nail Gun
- Corded electric nail guns are directly connected with electricity. These nail guns are expensive for heavy-duty configuration. Normally finish nailer, roof nailer, or flooring nailer have corded versions by renowned manufacturers.
- Gas-powered nail guns are the ancient version of portable battery nail guns. Before upgrading the battery nail guns, there was a gas chamber for the power connection of the portable nailers. At present days, battery-powered nail gun has taken the place of gas-powered nail guns.
Read Also: How Do Battery Nail Guns Work
Maintenance Tips and Tricks
Buying the right nailer according to the need for the project is the first step of nailing. And the 2nd step, which is the most important step, is maintenance. The lifespan of a nail gun mainly depends on its proper maintenance.
- To keep the nail gun active, what you must do after every use is clean the gun with a clean and dust-free cloth
- You can clean a pneumatic nail gun with the flow of compressed air
- Apply 4 to 5 drops of air tool oil inside the gun before every use of the pneumatic nail gun
- Seal the magazine tightly so that the lid doesn’t discharge while nailing
- Check out the air hose if there is any leakage or crack or any kind of damage
- If the air hose is faulty, then replace it
- Check out the screw and bolt once or twice a week
- And for battery nail gun date of expiry of the battery is very important
- Before one week of the expiry date, try to replace the battery to prevent leak
- After every use, cool down the gun before storage
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is the smallest nail gun?
Answer: Staple gun is the smallest member of the nail gun family.
Question: Brad nailer vs. finish nailer, which one is more powerful?
Answer: Finish nailer is more powerful than brad nail guns.
Question: Do I need an air compressor for operating a nail gun?
Answer: No, there are cordless nail guns that have battery clamps inside to operate the guns.
Question: What is the difference between a pin nailer and a staple gun?
Answer: The nail of the pin nailer is headless, and the nail is straight. On the other hand, the nail of the staple gun is two-pronged and has powerful holding power.
Question: What is the best nail gun for wooden projects?
Answer: Finish nailer is ideal for woodworking.
Now the types of nail guns are crystal clear to you. What you must need is to drive the nails in the proper way. Our article entitled on how to use a nail gun: a carpenter’s safety guide will show you the proper method of nailing by ensuring personal safety. And in our next articles, we will specifically show you what size nail gun is meant for which project. Till then stay tuned with Power Tools Guyd.