When it comes to choosing the right nail gun, you’re going to need to take into consideration a whole range of factors. What type of nail gun you need for your task, what kind of finish do you want, what size nails will you need to shoot, what type of power do you need etc.? In this post, we’ll take you through all the answers to these question and more so that know how to choose the best nail gun for the appropriate project.
Table of Contents
- What are the different types of nail guns for?
- Our top picks for Best Nail Gun (2019)
- How to choose a power source for your nail gun
What are the different types of nail guns for?
Brad Nailer use gauge sizes 18 (thinner nails for thin pieces)
Finish Nailer use gauge sizes 15 and 16 (larger nails for stronger attachment)
Nail guns were invented to save on elbow grease and time. They can drive nails into wood and other materials and do it much faster and consistently than any hardened professional could manually. However, whether you are a professional carpenter or just have some major home DIY projects planned, buying any old nail gun is not a good way to go. You also need to know what different types of nail guns do.
Here, we outline the 3 major nail gun types used for finishing work and which of these nail gun types are suitable for different tasks:
#1 Pin Nailer:
If you have some carpentry work that needs finishing off with a nice bit of material, need to fix something in place on a fragile area or material, want to add a thin veneer to a cabinet, or even fancy trying your hand at some upholstery, then a pin nailer is going to be your friend. Great for finishing off carpentry projects these nailers tend to be smaller and can fire pins/nails as small as 23-gauge!
So what projects are pin nail guns good for? Typical projects suited to pin nailers include:
- Cornicing (adding an ornamental mold just below the ceiling and along the wall).
- Adding thin and lightweight veneers (eg. To a cabinet)
- To hold something in place whilst glue dries
- Upholstery & work involving ‘softer’ materials or fabrics
- General finishing work
#2 Brad Nailer:
Like pin nailers, brad nail guns are good for finishing work. However, they can take large nails than pin nailers can cope with, such as 15-18-gauge nails. Whilst 15-18-gauge nails aren’t big by any stretch of the imagination, the extra size means you’ll have a fair bit more holding power in an 18-gauge pin than a 23-gauge pin say. Brad nailers also use specific nails, called brad nails which can sometimes have a head.
So what projects are brad nail guns good for? Typical projects suited to brad nailers include:
- Installing baseboards/skirting boards at the base of a wall
- Trim work
- Door casing and window casings
- Picture frames
- General finishing work
#3 Finish Nailer (Nail gun for trim):
A finish nailer, sometimes referred to as a nail gun for trim, are usually designed for headed nails of specific sizes that are usually large gauge than brad and pin nail guns (14-16 gauge up to 2.5”). This makes them better suited to carpentry work involving larger pieces of wood that may need more weight-bearing to take place by the nail. So if you are using larger wood, you may want to opt for a nail gun for trim over a brad or pin nailer.
So what projects are nail guns for trim good for? Typical projects suited to finish nailers include:
- Cornicing with heavier woods
- Installing baseboards/skirting boards
- Paneling work
- Door and window trim
- General finishing work
Our top picks for Best Nail Gun (2019)
So now you know the differences between nailer types and the sorts of projects they are typically used for. You also know the basic pros and cons associated with each of the major power sauces used by the different nail gun types. Here, we outline our top picks of the different nail guns suitable for finishing projects:
#1 Best Cordless Pin Nailer: Hitachi’s NP35A Pin Nailer
If you’re working with softer materials and want your nails to be hidden from view, then you should look into getting a pin nailer. This device is cordless so you don’t have to worry about getting tangled up in wires or struggling to find a power supply making it a good choice for people likely to be working in a variety of locations. For projects requiring near-invisible holes and pinning softer materials to wood, this cordless pinner won’t let you down.
Other things to like about this cordless pin nailer are that: it has high variance depth adjustment making it suitable for use with a wide array of materials; it has space for 100 pins in the magazine, reducing the number of times you need to reload; it has a no mar-tip and long rear exhaust helping to keep marks, oil, and dust away from the materials you are pinning together; it has a whopping 5-year warranty, and; it has a handy safety switch to prevent accidental discharge. The downside of this cordless pin nailer is that it is not suitable for headed nails and customer service is not the most impressive.
#Cordless_Nail_Guns #Nail_Guns #Cordless_Pin_Nailer #Cordless_Pin_Nailers #Pin_Nailers
If you don’t have loads to spend but need a pinning nailer up to the job, then you should check out this pneumatic option. However, you will also need to factor in the cost of an air compressor which you will need to run this pneumatic pinner. Overall, this is a good basic nailer with no frills and suitable for home woodworking and arts and crafts tasks rather than professional or industrial-scale jobs.
Other benefits of this pin nailer are that: it has an excellent customer service team; it is extremely durable even though it is so cheap as it has less breakable parts than battery-powered nailers; it is suitable for home flooring and touching up roofing; it doesn’t jam easily, and; it is lightweight making it easier to use in touch to reach places. The downside of this pin nailer is that it does not have a wide depth adjustment setting and the instruction manual is not the easiest to decipher at times.
#Pneumatic_Pinner #Pneumatic_Nail_Pinners #Pneumatic_Pinners #Nail_Pinner #Pneumatic_Power
#3 Best 18 Gauge Nail Gun for Price: Ryobi’s P320 Airstrike Cordless
If you’re working with thin boards or pieces of trim, then you should check out this 18-gauge nail gun. 18-gauge nails are less than 2 sixty-fourths of an inch in diameter meaning they are easy to bend but means you won’t risk cracking or splitting your wood with this type of nail. They also won’t leave a trace in your project and don’t require you to plug up holes with wood putty, saving you time but not shirking on how the finished article looks.
Other pluses of this 18 gauge nail gun are that: it is cordless so you don’t have to worry about tripping yourself up or getting yourself all tangled; it is lightweight and highly portable; it does not require you to have current access to a power supply (if charged of course); it uses Lithium-Ion batteries giving you longer battery life and improved performance, and; you can use any brand of 18-gauge nails. The downside of this 18 gauge nail gun is that it is not suitable for use on projects involving MDF and cannot penetrate dense materials.
#18_Gauge_Nailer #18_Gauge_Nail_Gun #Nail_Gun_For_18_Gauge #18_Gauge_Nailers #Cordless_18_Gauge_Nailer
#4 Best Nailer For Trim: Porter Cable’s Finish Nailer for Trim
If you are after a finishing nailer or a nail gun for trim, then you should look no further than this device. Perfect for use with heavier pieces of trim, such as cabinets, baseboards, and molding, this nail gun will help you ensure you can get the holding power you need from your nails. This nail gun for trim also provides the necessary force to attach paneling to less structurally sound materials which you wouldn’t get from a basic brad nailer.
Other pros of this trim nailer are that: it has a long-life motor that doesn’t require any maintenance, making it a good choice for the less technologically savvy; it has a built-in depth adjustment switch making it suitable for use with a good range of harder materials; it is powerful and can driven nails between 1 to 1.5 inches deep into tough materials cleanly, and; you won’t suffer regular jams with this well put together nailer. The downside of this trim nailer is that it is quite pricey and is not really suitable for use with more delicate woods as it is likely to crack or split these.
#Finishing_Nailer #Trim_Nail_Gun #Trim_Nailers #Finishing_Nailers #Nail_Gun_For_Trim
#5 Best Compressor For Nail Gun: DEWALT’s D55146 225 PSI
If you’re working with a pneumatic nail gun, you’re going to want an air compressor that can give you at least 110 PSI easily otherwise it’s going to be recycling a lot which will cost you your time. Fortunately, this powerful compressor offers a whopping 225 PSI maximum storage pressure and recovers quickly so you make the most of your time. For a powerful compressor suitable for pneumatic nailers, this is what you need.
Other advantages of this air compressor are that: it comes on wheels with foam tires and has a collapsible handle making it easy to maneuver and transport; it operates quietly (although you’ll still need ear protection from your air gun); it has a large 4.5 gallon tank, and; it has dual connection which allow you to connect up to 3 framing nailers making it suitable for industrial use. The downside of this air compressor is that it is one of the most expensive air compressors out there so is better suited to professional jobs rather than home DIY projects.
#Air_Compressor #Air_Compressors #Professional_Air_Compressors #Air_compression_Device #Nail_Gun_Air_Compressor
How to choose a power source for your nail gun
As well as there being different types of nail guns suited to different types of projects and that shoot different sized nails, there are also 3 major power sources used by nail guns. Here we outline the three major fuel sources for nail guns and the benefits and drawbacks of each:
What are the benefits and drawbacks of Pneumatic Nailers?
Pneumatic nail guns are the most powerful option when it comes to nailers. As a result, these are probably the most common type of nail gun on building sites and the power source of choice for professionals. However, a potentially major drawback is that pneumatic nailers have to be attached to an air compressor to function and these can also be quite expensive.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of electric powered nail guns?
Whilst some electric nail guns come with a chord, these days, the majority are cordless. This is great for reaching places where maneuvering around wires, or dragging a heavy air compressor into location, is just not possible. They also tend to be more lightweight than other nail guns, especially those powered by lithium-ion batteries. They don’t reach the power of pneumatic nailers but for finishing work this discrepancy is not much of an issue.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of fuel-driven nailers?
Like many of their electric-powered counterparts, fuel-powered nail guns are cordless so are free from any wires or hoses connected to the mains or an air compressor respectively. They are also able to offer similar force to pneumatic nail guns generated by a combustion chamber and a gas cartridge. However, each cartridge typically only lasts for 500 or so nails and the gas cartridges add an extra expense you won’t get from electric or even a pneumatic nailer once you’ve bought the air compressor.
Choosing the right nail gun requires some careful consideration regarding what you plan to use it for, how strong you need your nail driven bond to be, and what sort of power source is going to be best suited to your needs. The list above outlines 5 of the best finishing nailers suitable for a range of different needs to help get you started. If you’ve never had a nail gun before, you’ll be amazed by the difference they can make.