Nail Gun Basics

Don't let using a nailer or nail gun be an intimidating experience... learn the basics right here on Nail Gun Depot!

Step 1: Choose a Nail Gun

  • What type of project are you working on? Will you need a framing nail gun, brad nail gun (for light trim and molding, this gun shoots smaller nails that won’t split the wood and are less visible), trim nail gun (these nails are slightly thicker than brad nails), flooring nail gun, roofing nail gun or concrete nail gun? Choose the nail gun that is best for you. For most at home projects, such as decking and framing, you would want to choose a framing nail gun.
  • Strip or coil? This refers to the way the nails are collated. Strip nails come in a strip, coil nails in a coil. Coil nail guns allow for less reloading, as they hold more nails.  If you are doing a big job or are a professional, this is the way to go. Most DIYers choose a strip nail gun.

Step 2:  Choose a Nail

  • Clipped head or full head? Clipped head nails are just what they sound like, part of the head has been clipped off. This allows the nails to be collated closer together, which means more nails in the strip and less reloading. The holding power does not differ much, however some coastal states still require full head nails for certain projects.
  • Galvanized or not? Galvanized nails are coated to resist rust and corrosion, so if you are completing an outdoor project or something that will be exposed to moisture, galvanized is what you want.

Step 3: How Will You Power Your Nail Gun?

  • Nail guns can be powered by air, electricity, fuel or batteries. When you buy your nail gun you will need to know how it receives power. Most choose an air powered nail gun for its reasonable price point and ample power. However, air powered tools require an air compressor. Your nail gun will be attached to the compressor by a hose. Your compressor will be either gas powered or plug into the wall. You can purchase nailer kits with a compressor at Nail Gun Depot.

Step 4: Load

  • Load your gun according to the instructions. This is a relatively simple process. The strip nail guns are similar to loading a stapler. Pull back the magazine, insert the nail strip, and release the magazine to allow tension on the nail strip. To load a coil nail gun, open the magazine - inside there will be an adjustable nail tray - set the tray for the length of nail that you are using. Insert the nail coil into the magazine. Toward the nose of the tool, you will find a “feed pawl” which guides the nails into the chamber - so be sure the wire and nail heads are aligned with the proper grooves.

Step 5: Fire

  • Most nail guns will require the nose to be pressed against a surface to fire. This is a safety feature so that the gun is not accidentally shot. There are usually two choices for operation: bump fire and sequential. Sequential requires you to pull the trigger each time you want to shoot a nail. Bump fire eliminates the trigger and fires each time the nail gun is pressed up against a surface.

Now you are on your way to hassle free nailing!

Your Source For Nailer Knowledge,
The Team At Nail Gun Depot
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