Power tools have replaced almost all of the traditional manual tools that we used for our functional jobs like carpentry, construction and machinery works. One such traditional commonly used tools was the Hammer that we used to pin down nails on wood and other materials. When hammers were replaced by Nail guns, it made the job faster, easier and with more accuracy. Nail guns use either mechanical air compressors to push down the nails on the target, or batter powered electric charge to do the same. These two are the most common methods nail guns operate. However, there are at least six different types of nail guns each having unique purpose of their own. Before betting into the Best Nail guns, let us see the types first and then go in to the buying guide.
When it comes to nail gun usage, it comes down to how you load the nail strips. The two types of nail loadings are Coil loading and strip loading. Coil nailers use round magazines loaded with nails joined by wires. Strip nailers use long cartridge type by strip that hold the nails. Once loaded, nails are driven into the target by pulling the trigger. There are few types of firing the nails like single firing, full sequential firing and bump firing.
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These Nailers are used in heavy construction jobs for wood framings. They can be used for framing on doors, rooms, homes and all wood works.
Finish nailers are lighter and used in finishing works like assembly works, installing furniture and cabinets and baseboards. They are compatible with specific sized nails like 15- to 16- gauge nails.
Brad Nailers are also used for finishing jobs, but they are compatible with larger nails than the Finishing nailers.They are used for trim works, window castings and more specific jobs.
These are hand sized nail guns and hence the name. They can fit in to your palm and used for fixing nails in tight spaces. Since they are small, you may have to reload them with nail after every nail.
Again as the name suggests, this nailer is used for hardwood flooring. Since flooring works differ from other board works (in terms of angles), these guns are designed in such a way that only these can be used for floor works and cant be used elsewhere.
Similar to Framing nailers, these are heavy-duty nailers and are used for roof works. Almost all of these types come in two types - pnuematic (using air compressors to drive nails) and battery powered.
Compared to Hammers, Nail guns are very convenient in that you just use one of your hands to nail pins. And to top it, you don't need to carry nails around. Just load them on the guns.
If you job is time consuming, Nail guns can considerably save time for you. You can be real quick with nail guns. Only issue is the nail depth that might vary.
With each nailers designed with specific purpose in mind, you can place the nails on the surface with the right angle, so they are always accurate.
This is an equally important feature of nail guns. With hammers you tend to hit your fingers. But with nail guns, safety is guaranteed, of course with proper knowledge.
As we discussed before, there are several types of nailers, each designed for specific purpose. Based on the type of job you are working on, nail guns will vary according to them.
There are several types here as well for the firing methods. Bump firing hits rapid nails continuously while sequential firing requires you to have the safety tip in contact with the surface to be able to pull the trigger.
Most commonly two types of sources - Pneumatic and battery. For beginners and DIY at home, battery powered nailers are better and easy to carry around. Pneumatic guns are heavy, powerful and expensive than battery operated. They need air compressors to be set up with the nail guns.
All these nail guns carry nail holders or cartridges. Depending on the type and the cartridge, number of nails they carry can vary.
We have to start with this Pneumatic Air compressor kit that comes with two nail guns - a brad nailer to drive 18-gauge nails, a finish nailer to drive 16-gauge nails and a crown stapler that drives staple pins. The air compressor is pancake type and comes with a hose to attach to the nailers. Once the air compressor is filled, you can just keep working with the nailers.
The nailers themselves are pretty easy to work with. Brad nailer can be used for framing works on small boards while finish nailer does the finishing job for you. Only thing that may be hurting is the length of the hose, but if you are planning for a DIY project on your backyard and may need a bigger hose to connect to the otherwise stationary compressor, you might well purchase an add on hose.
1. Best Compressor performance
2. Nailers does decent job
3. Power maintained efficiently
1. Loudness from compressor
2. Hose length may not be satisfactory for bigger projects
If you are spending all day framing, then this should probably be your choice for one big reason. It is very light in weight at just 7 pounds. It can fire up to 3-1/2 inch nails. The overall design of the machine is pretty good and is comfortable to carry around and also to carry while firing nails. There is a rubber grip to hold which is good.
In the technical aspects, there is a tool depth adjustment dial for the nail depths. You can also switch between sequential and contact nailing by pressing a switch. The nailing strength is strong enough to pierce even hard dense materials. During bump firing, recoil is well managed. With the air compressor, you just need about 85 psi to drive nails.
1. Ergonomically designed
3. Powerful nail drive strength
1. Head may be bigger at corners
2. No Hang hook
Dewalt gives us this great nailer at a great price that comes with loads of features. Even if you are a Pro or just working off a DIY project at home, this Nailer will be fitting one in your kit. A pneumatic nailer, this machine holds up to 100 16-gauge nails and nails from 1 to 2-1/2 inch lengths. There is a nail depth adjustment dial here on as well and the exhaust is 360 degree adjustable.
Apart from the professional build quality, the trigger lock is there to ensure safety. The operating pressure is from 70 to 120 psi . This nailer is also just about 4 pounds in weight and is a great option for molding, fixing exterior furniture and window castings.
1. Sequential action trigger
2. Nail depth adjustment
3. 360 degree rotating exhaust
4. Package comes with 1000 2-inch nails
1. Some plastic parts like magazine and trigger
When it comes to Brad nailers, CRAFTSMAN V20 is hard to beat. This is a battery powered nailers, so cordless design is also going to be an advantage. At just 5 pounds, it is easy to carry around for long durations works. There is a depth adjustment feature, nail jam release mechanism and a trigger lock off button for safety.
The 20V battery allows you to fire up to 420 2-inch nails. There is an indicator to tell you if the battery is running low. The machines drives 18-gauge nails for either soft or hard wood jobs. And to top them off, you get an LED light that illuminates dark areas.
1. 20V battery powered
3. Belt loop for storage of nails
1. No casing for the body
2. No bump fire mode
At just one pound, and a neat small design, this tool fits perfectly in your palm. The holding area is rubberized and it reduces vibration as well. You can use this handy tool on most of the jobs like finishing quick nails, framing and timber nails. It is better used in confined spaces where bigger tools can't push the nails.
This is also a pneumatic nailer so you will have to attach it with a hose. Good thing is the connector is swivel type so there is freedom of movement after connected with the compressor. The fluency with which the nailer works is great, you just have to guide it, need not apply pressure. However, the only problem you may face is that you cant adjust the place where exhaust is flowing, so sometimes it may push back to you at tight corners.
1. Comfortable to hold
2. Great for corners
3. Swivel type connector for compressor
1. Cant adjust exhaust airflow
With the body made of aluminium, this lightweight nailer is great at providing you the finished flooring looks. There are interchangeable 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch plates according to floor thickness, so you can work on T-Cleats, L-Cleats and Stapling.
When it comes to Flooring nailers, you cant really work on any other type of jobs, so getting a good nailer is important. One of the important thing is to make sure the nailer works with varied thickness of floorboards and that is when the two base plates come into advantage. The mateiral is strongly built and works well between 70 to 110 psi.
1. Ergonomic fit with rubber grip
2. Two base plates - 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch
3. Drives both cleats and staples
1. No storage case
2. No dry fire locking system
Metabo from Hitachi is a famous power tools manufacturer and gives powerful tools across categories. Here, we get the best roofing nailer that is powerful and lightweight. It works pneumatic and requires 70 to 120 psi for best operation. The magazine holds up to 120 nails and is sideloading.
Nails that are supported are 7/8 inch to 1-3/4 inch.The build quality is strong and gets 5 year warranty.
1. 120 nail magazine capacity
2. Ergonomic design with rubber grips
1. Slightly bigger in terms of size