Nail guns are a great addition to a tool arsenal; they speed up a job, drive nails into hard-to-reach areas, and drive smaller nails without bending or breaking them. How do you choose a nail gun for your project? To help you decide, we look at the main nail guns homeowners use:

Framing Nailer

A framing nailer is used for larger projects such as fencing, deck building, roof sheathing, sub-flooring, and (of course) framing. Framing nail guns drive some of the larger gauge nails, from about .113" to .131" in diameter with lengths from 1-1/4" long to 3-1/2". Framing nail guns are also excellent for projects involving plaster, as hand hammering can crack and loosen plaster.

An example of a framing nailer, the Paslode Power Master Plus Pneumatic Nailer

Finish Nailer

A finish nailer is a versatile tool, and drives either 15- or 16-gauge nails. They are used for smaller projects than framing nails, such as crown molding, baseboards, cabinets, chair rails, decorative trim, millwork, and hardwood flooring. Finish nails are sturdy enough to hold these larger pieces, but small enough that they can be puttied over for the finished product.

FinishPro42XP

Brad Nailer

A brad nailer drives even smaller, 18-gauge brad nails,. Brad nailers are used for smaller trim, for which larger nails might split the wood. Using a hammer to drive brad nails can be frustrating due to their ultra-thin pins that can bend easily. This is why a nail gun is favorable when working on an ongoing project.

Hitachi NT50AE2

 

Gas-powered Nail Guns

Gas-powered nail guns use a fuel cell with a rechargeable battery. This type of nailer does not require an air compressor, hose or cord, which offers some convenience. It's considered a more costly way to power a nail gun, as opposed to a pneumatic tool.

Air-Powered or Pneumatic Nailers

This is the most popular choice for power fastening tools, as it is an affordable, powerful and convenient way to power your nail gun. This type of nailer uses compressed air to drive nails. If you choose a pneumatic tool, make sure that the air requirement for the nail gun and the compressor match - ensuring your nail gun will work properly.

Bostitch Pneumatic Finish Nailer

Don't forget to consider the brand when making your decision. Trusted brands such as Stanley Bostitch, Hitachi, Senco or Paslode will usually lead to less jams and repairs. 


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