Nail guns are tools design to shoot fasteners like brads, staples, and nails for the purpose of fastening two materials together. In the past 20 years the price of owning these tools has become low enough that more individuals can now afford them.
Since there are several different types of nail gun available it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the guns before you decide to purchase one. You need to understand the intended purpose of each gun, the size of nails the gun shoots, the materials that are best used with the gun, and any specialty features the gun might have.
The following is a list of different common nail gun varieties and their intended purposes.
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Different Types of Nail Guns
The framing nailer is the largest of all of the nail guns. It can shoot nails that are as thick as 15 gauge. It can shoot nails that are as long as 3 ½” or more.
This type of nail gun is commonly used when you are framing a house or a structure that calls for thicker lumber like 2 x 4’s, 2 x 6’s, 2 x 8’s, ¾” ply-board, 4 x 4’s, etc.
You would not use this type of nailer to nail trim to a wall, or to hang materials like drywall or paneling. This gun would not be used for building furniture or cabinetry.
When it comes time to do finish work you may want to pick up a brad nailer. The brad nailer is a versatile finish nailer that can handle up to an 18 gauge nail.
These nail guns are usually used with either a 15 gauge or 16 gauge fastener. That makes them great for installing baseboards, crown molding, window casings, door casings, and other trim work.
A finish nailer is a close relative to the brad nailer. The finish nailer cannot, however, accommodate the 18 gauge nails like the brad nailer can.
The finish nailer is capable of shooting the 15 gauge and 16 gauge nails. This makes them better when the trim boards you are nailing in place are bulkier.
They handle door casings, window casings, and baseboards very well.
Pin nailer is a more specialized type of nail gun. It is designed to be used on delicate projects. It gets its name from the nails it is compatible with. The most common is the 23 gauge headless nails that resemble pins.
Brad nailers and finish nailers are capable of shooting nails that can hold a board in position without the help of an external fastening method. The pin nailer is designed to be used in conjunction with adhesives that are placed on the back of the material. The pins are nailed into the materials simply to hold the item in place until the adhesive dries.
These guns are most often used to install thin veneers, delicate pieces of ornate trim, on small furniture items, and occasionally on certain types of cabinetry.
The palm nailer is designed to do the same kind of work as the framing gun. The palm nailer gets its name from the fact that it is small in size and can fit in the palm of some carpenter’s hands.
The palm nailer has a strap that you fasten around your hand so that the mini nail gun stays in position while you are working.
The majority of these devices are capable of nailing fasteners between 1.5” and 3.5” in length. You can buy some of these nail guns with the ability to nail fasteners that are between 2” and 6” long.
They are incredibly helpful when you have to work in a tight spot, like when doing remodeling work. They make hanging joist hangers easier. They also make any nailing that is done over your head easier to do.
One of the greatest features of these guns is that they nail regular nails. The nails are not connected together in a strip or a coil. They are the ordinary nails that you would buy to drive with a traditional hammer.
The flooring nailer has been specifically designed to shoot the fasteners into flooring without damaging the flooring. Flooring can be quite expensive, and it can also be delicate. These tools allow you to connect tongue and groove flooring without damaging the boards.
The flooring nailer is designed with a nylon mallet that strikes the plunger. This ensures that the fastener you are using is driven at the perfect angle. It also ensures that the nail is driven to the perfect depth.
These devices are not used for any other material application.
Roofing nailers are big like framing nailers are. They may weigh as much as 9 pounds. They are designed with the specific purpose of attaching roofing materials. Most homeowners do not own one of these items. They are primarily a specialty tool used by roofing contractors.
Siding nailers are used for the purpose of hanging siding. They can normally shoot nails that are between 1 ¼” and 1 ½”.
They can be used to nail synthetic or wood siding in place. They are usually used with larger pieces of siding, and they are not used to hang vinyl siding.
The staple gun shoots staples instead of nails or brads. They are often used for furniture construction, on cabinetry, and for craft work. They can also be used to hang insulation between studs.
When considering the different types of nail guns you should also consider the materials and location where you will be using these devices. If you are working in older structures the lighter gauge nails will do less damage to the existing materials.
Most homeowners will only need to own a couple of these devices. You may want to have a framing gun on hand if you do a lot of new construction. The majority of people will want to have a finish nailer and a staple gun.