Best Nailer/Nail Gun Guide

How Tos , Power Tools Jul 30, 2019 No Comments

If you’ve been working in construction, you probably know what a nail gun (also known as a nailer) is, what it does, and how it’s used. Nailers are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from design to completion, to the floor, depending on the needs of the user. With a variety of options, which tool fits you? Find out what features you need to do to get the projects you want to build.

How does a nailer work?

Nails, screws and staples can be hammered into a material in different ways: with a hammer or a cordless screwdriver, for example. Another option, which saves time and energy, is the use of a pneumatic nailer. This one delivers the same performance as a hammer, but the work can be done much faster and safer. In addition, an air pressure nailer is easy to handle even without practice. Also in terms of maintenance and care of a pneumatic nailer is very beneficial to use. Depending on the frequency of use, you only have to fill in a few drops of oil once a year.

The nails are stored in a magazine where they are automatically ejected one after the other at the touch of a button. Pneumatic nailers are mainly used in building houses and can also be found in almost every workshop. Also in other industries air pressure nailers are used. Whether roofing, prefabricated house and pallet industry, interior design and other diverse applications – with a nail gun you can work quickly and easily.

Types of nail guns

Nailers have a variety of types, which differ mainly in the type of drive. In most cases, you can close the pneumatic nailer by means of a hose to a compressor. It should be noted with these devices, that for the operation in addition also just the compressor and a suitable connecting hose as well as a suitable connection is needed. However, these pneumatic nailers provide a high and powerful performance.

In most cases, you can close the pneumatic nailer by means of a hose to a compressor. It should be noted with these devices, that for the operation in addition also just the compressor and a suitable connecting hose as well as a suitable connection is needed. However, these pneumatic nailers provide a high and powerful performance.

There are also other variants of compressed air nailers that can be operated without a compressor. In these devices, the pressure is generated by means of a compressed air or gas cartridge, which is located under the handle of the compressed air gun. These devices can be operated independently of the compressor, resulting in better mobility. The disadvantage, however, is that the compressed air or gas cartridges do not hold much and therefore often need to be replaced. This is costly and time consuming.

There are also battery nailer also known as cordless nailers, which is without compressed air. With these devices can be worked very mobile, but they are more expensive and the battery must be changed accordingly. to be charged. Cordless nailers usually have a heavier weight, due to the battery.

Framing nailers

Framing nailers are built to handle large jobs requiring heavy fasteners (nails) – such as frames, fences, and pallet construction. The industries which benefit most from this type of tool include home construction, construction, and manufacturing. 

Siding nailers

Siding nailers – as the name suggests are useful when performing siding installation. Why not just use a framing nailer? Well siding nailers are used due to the need to use smaller nails when installing your siding, handling typically from 1-1/4″ to 2-1/2″ nail length. You can use them with wood and fiber cement siding. Framing nailers generally use larger nails in order to achieve a better holding strength, required for framing.

Roof nailers

Similar to the frame nailer, roof nailers are almost identical in appearance, however, these nail guns are designed specifically for the attachment of roof shingles, insulation boards, fiber cement etc..

Finish nailers

Finish Nailers are recommended for large bulky jobs such as door and window trim, cladding, baseboards, cabinets, moldings, furniture, shelves and cabinets.

Brad nailer

A close relative to the finish of nail guns, is a Brad Nailer. These are designed for small trimming and furniture repairs. Typically, the use of a nail gun eliminates the need for a wood putty to cover a hole in which the fastener has been driven – but these nailers can only be used for lighter projects because the fastener is not as large as an end nail. 

Pin nailer

Last but not least, a pin nailer might be the best option for crafting or small trim projects, such as cabinet doors and bird houses. 

Floor nailer

Specially designed for laying hardwood and laminate floors, floor nailers are the last commercial nail guns that most contractors or do-it-yourselfers need. These nailers are built to install a variety of hardwood floor sizes and thicknesses. Typically activated with a hammer, ground nailers are built only for floor applications. 


Another difference is the magazine versions. Many of the devices offered on the market have drum magazines, others have strip magazines.

Drum Magazine

Drum magazines can accommodate up to 300 nails

Strip Magazine

In the also very often offered strip magazines fit in only about 100 nails, which is sufficient for home use. 

Distinguish one also compressed air nailers, which are also able to shoot brackets and staplers. It is noteworthy that air pressure tackers are considerably weaker than air pressure nailers.

Advantages and disadvantages


  • Precisely place nails or staples in the desired material, without much effort
  • Time savings through rapid work with the device
  • Easy to use
  • Most likely better work result, compared to manual attachment
  • Uncomplicated maintenance


  • Costs for the device and for the required compressor, if this does not already exist
  • Risk of injury – careful and concentrated work is required
  • Electricity (possibly petrol) costs for the device and the compressor
  • Depending on the size of the magazine, this often has to be refilled
  • For many pneumatic nailers special nails must be used

Pneumatic nailer buying tips

Pneumatic nailers differ in their stability, their weight and their equipment. In order to get a tool that meets your needs, you should pay attention to a few important factors.

Weight and material

In principle, the lighter the nail gun, the better as it can be used very easily over a longer period of time. However, one should make sure that the device promises a high longevity despite the light weight. 

The lightweight models weigh between 1 kilogram to 1.5 kilograms. Heavier devices have a dead weight of 2 kilograms to 3 kilograms.

Nails and Magazine 

Another important point is the nails to be used. Many of the commercially available pneumatic nailers are able to shoot nails from 30 millimeters to 50 millimeters, which may be too short, depending on the application. When buying one should pay attention to the nail length. Furthermore, the capacity of the magazine is important to take a closer look.

If you need a compressed air nailer with which you want to work regularly over a longer period of time, it is best to use a device that provides a large magazine capacity. By default, nailers offer a magazine capacity of 100 nails or staples. If you need the device for a specific purpose, you should first inform yourself about possible usable nails and where they can be purchased. Most manufacturers offer a variety of nails, such as round head, half-head, anchor, adhesive, and T-nails in various magazines and versions.

Shot Mode

Here you can distinguish between 2 modes. For one thing, there are air nailers that shoot only when you press the button you need and there are nail guns that automatically fire when you hold the barrel on the object.


Most compressed air tackers are equipped with a safety lock that prevents the nailer from firing even though it does not press any object. It is important that the air pressure nailer is not allowed to be aimed at other persons or animals, also one has to make sure that one has both hands out of the shooting range when shooting in the nails. 

If used properly, the use of a pneumatic nailer is not dangerous. It is recommended to wear protective glovesgoggles and protective clothing when using a pneumatic nailer.

FAQs – Frequently asked questions about a pneumatic nailer

Is the compressed air nailer delivered with compressor?

No, a separate compressor is needed.

Can I attach nails to a concrete wall with the pneumatic nailer?

Yes, a nail gun can also be used in concrete. However, not every model is suitable for it and suitable nails must be used. It is important to pay attention to the different lengths of the nails. Some air nailers only work with nails that are up to 50 millimeters long.

What is the knurled screw on the trigger fuse?

The knurled screw is used to set the depth of impact.

How can you adjust the impact strength?

The impact depth is adjustable on the compressor itself. Note, however, that not all nailers have a separate pressure regulation.

What is the big “knob” on the top of the nailer (black left and right rotatable cover)?

On the rotary knob, the compressed air comes out laterally during the “shot”. By turning the air outlet can then be adjusted so that the outlet direction is not disturbing, so z. B. does not blow in the face.

Is the oil coming directly into the air pressure connection? How much and how often?

What is the maximum pressure allowed?

It is recommended to add 2 to 3 drops directly into the air connection before use. Depending on the frequency of use, one should give oil once or twice a year in the air pressure connection.

The working pressure of a nail gun is usually between 4 bar and 8 bar, but care should be taken to ensure that the compressor has a capacity of at least 8 bar. The maximum pressure should not exceed 10 bar.

Do standardized clamps and nails, which can also be obtained from third-party suppliers or only the original parts, fit into the device?

This varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and can not be fixed on a flat-rate basis. Most models available on the market can actually be used with standard staples and nails, while others are only suitable for use with original accessories.

What is the purpose of the rubber buffer and the regulator above the device, which can be turned in both directions? 
The rubber buffer absorbs the kickback a bit and protects the wood material from damage. The regulator is used to adjust the air pressure and thus the force or nail depth.

Can I adjust the depth of the nail heads on the nailer?

Basically, but this is not possible with all devices. The manufacturer’s instruction manual should provide information about it.

Which accessories are useful?

It is important that the condition of the accessories fits the respective nail gun.  A replacement hose is so important because it often comes to premature wear.

Tips for product care of a nailer

A pneumatic nailer is a tooling device that uses air pressure to drive nails into material materials, such as wood. The nails are located at a pneumatic nailer in a so-called magazine. They are then fired at the touch of a button.

To operate a pneumatic nailer safely and to work fast, you do not need to have any experience. A big advantage of these tools is that they quickly bring the nails into the material. A pneumatic nailer does the same thing as a hammer and a nail, but the work is much faster and safer.

With the air pressure nailer you can work in the nail after nail every second. Compared to hammer and nail, it is very easy to handle even without practice. In terms of maintenance and care, it is made very easy for users. In addition to the thorough cleaning of the housing, the nailer must be given a few drops of oil once a year and it runs perfectly.

Clean and maintain compressed air nailer

You should always operate the air pressure nailer carefully, protect it from dust and heat when not in use removing coarse dirt after each use. Before you start cleaning, you should read the manufacturer’s manual carefully. 

Clean your nail gun with a damp cloth from the outside to remove dust or dirt. In order to always ensure perfect operation, you should add oil regularly and according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It is important for the smooth operation of the pneumatic nailer that the safety trigger always remains smooth.