Nail Gun: Everything You Need to Know

Nail Gun – Everything You Need to Know

Nail guns are an incredible tool for any homeowner or contractor. They make nail installation quick and easy, but there is a lot of confusion about nail guns.

In this article, we will answer the most common questions that beginners have when it comes to nail guns.

What’s a nail gun?

A nail gun is a tool that uses compressed air to drive nails into wood or other materials. You can use it to install trim, molding, and cabinets.

Nail guns provide several benefits that make them an ideal choice for anyone looking to quickly and easily install nails into various surfaces.

properly use a nail gun

Some of the key benefits include:

  • Quick installation: nail guns allow you to quickly and easily install nails into wood or other materials, saving you time and effort.
  • Precise placement: nail guns allow you to place nails with precision, ensuring that they are installed in the exact spot you want them.
  • Increased accuracy: nail guns help improve your accuracy when installing nails, leading to better results overall.

How does a nail gun work?

Nail guns are simple tools that consist of two parts: a nail magazine and an air compressor. After you load the nail magazine with nails, the air compressor will force air through the nail gun and drive the nail into the material you are working with.

What types of nails can I use in a nail gun?

There are two types of nails that you can use in a nail gun: finish nails and framing nails. Finish nails are shorter and have a smaller diameter than framing nails. They are designed for use in finish work, such as installing trim or molding.

Framing nails are longer and have a larger diameter than finish nails. They are designed for use in framing lumber and other construction projects.

Can I use a nail gun to drive screws?

No, you cannot use a nail gun to drive screws. They are designed to drive nails into wood and other materials, not screw into them.

Can I use brad nails without a nail gun?

Yes. Brad nails are small, thin nails that you can use for smaller projects without the need for a nail gun. You simply hold them in place, use a nail set to flatten them against the material you are working with, and then remove the nail.

How do I choose the right nail gun?

Choosing the correct nail gun can be difficult due to all of the different types available on today’s market. The best thing for beginners is likely to purchase an electric nail gun. Electric nail guns are easy to use and don’t require any additional tools or accessories.

choose the right nail gun

When choosing an electric nail gun, you need to consider the type of nails that it uses. There are two types: finish nails and framing nails.

You also need to consider the power source. The most common options are corded or cordless.

Corded nail guns use an electrical cord to provide power to the gun. Cordless nail guns use a battery to provide power. Most cordless nail guns come with two batteries, so you can always have one charged and ready to go.

What are the dangers of using a nail gun?

There are several dangers associated with nail guns, which is why it’s important to always read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using one.

Possible dangers include:

Injury from ricochet: when a nail is fired, it can travel at high speeds and may bounce off of the surface you are working with and hit you or someone else.

Injury from nail contact: nail guns can cause injuries if you are not careful when installing nails. They press the nail against the material at high speeds, so even a minor mistake could result in an injury to your finger or hand.

What size nail gun do I need?

There are three main nail gun sizes: 16-gauge, 15-gauge, and 18-gauge. The size of the nail gun you choose will depend on the type of project you are working on.

The 16-gauge nail gun is the most versatile and can be used for a variety of projects. The 15-gauge nail gun is most often used for installing thick trim, while the 18-gauge and higher-gauge nail guns are best used for fine detail work, furniture repair, and thin trim work.

Can I use a nail gun for the subfloor?

No, you should not use a nail gun for the subfloor. A nail gun is designed to drive nails into wood and other materials.

Will a nail gun work on concrete?

No, nail guns typically only work on wood and other types of materials that can be penetrated by a nail. They will not work to drive a nail into concrete.

How to properly use a nail gun?

Always read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using a nail gun.

In general, these are the steps you should follow when using a nail gun:

  • Select the correct nail size and type for the project you are working on.
  • Check the air pressure level of the nail gun and make sure it is set to the correct level for the nail you are using.
  • Align the nail gun with your workpiece and hold it firmly against the surface.
  • Depress the trigger to fire the nail.
  • Remove the nail from the gun when it is finished firing.
  • Always keep your hands and fingers away from the path of the nail as it is fired.

What are some common mistakes people make when using a nail gun?

One of the most common mistakes people make when using a nail gun is not wearing safety glasses. Nails can be ejected at high speeds and could potentially cause injury to your eyes.

Nail gun safety

Another common mistake is not properly sighting the nail gun before firing. This can lead to inaccurate nail placement and potential damage to the workpiece.

Finally, people often do not hold the nail gun firmly against the workpiece when firing it. This can result in inaccurate nail placement or incomplete nails.

Which nail gun should I buy?

If you’re looking for a quality nail gun, we recommend the DeWalt DCN680D1. This cordless nail gun is made with an 18 gauge brushless motor for maximum runtime and durability.

It also has depth adjustment for precise countersinking of nails, multi-functional LED lights for workspace illumination, and tool diagnostics. This means it alerts you when the battery is low, nail jams occur, or other problems arise.

We also recommended the NuMax SFR2190. This nail gun is made with a lightweight and durable magnesium body, ergonomic secure handle, and interchangeable trigger for quick-fire or single-shot function. It’s ideal for professional construction contractors and homes DIY projects.

Its depth adjustment and a no-mar tip make it adaptable for different working surfaces. It’s perfect for framing and you can also use it to install subfloors, roof decking,

The third nail gun that we recommend is the PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA. It’s an all-in-one nail gun that features 100% battery power. It eliminates the need for a compressor, hose, or gas cartridges.

The battery is equipped with multiple tool-free settings for ease of use, and it’s lightweight with an optimal center of gravity that provides user comfort in multiple positions. The dual-LED lights function for workspace illumination and error indication.

The PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA also has an 18 gauge motor design that provides consistent firing power into various materials and climate conditions. So you can nail with precision and ease.

Final Thoughts

A nail gun can be a great addition to your tool collection, whether you’re a professional contractor or DIY enthusiast. When purchasing a nail gun, it’s important to consider the various features that each one offers and find the one that best suits your needs.

Always read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using a nail gun. And remember to always wear safety glasses.

We hope this guide has answered your nail gun questions. Thank you for reading!