Driving a nail in a piece of wood is best done with a hammer. However, the oldest tool in the book recently has been replaced by battery-powered guns. A nail gun may not work the same way as a hammer but it does the same job faster and safer. Cordless nail guns work by launching nails at high speeds with the help of springs. They basically hammer in the nail for you with a much bigger force and at a faster rate. A battery nail gun is a convenient tool not only because of its working mechanism but also for its portability. Thanks to great battery advances, you can carry one with you without having to rely on power outlets or long cords that you can trip over.
How to Use a Nail Gun Safely?
The most important safety rule when using any type of power tool is to wear safety gear. This includes goggles, sturdy boots, thick gloves and a helmet. Although this has nothing to do with how you use the tool, it is essential to staying safe. To safely use cordless nailers, make sure you familiarise yourself with their safety features beforehand. This way you’ll know what and when to use it in case of an emergency.
Next, you want to hold the gun properly. First of all, you should never carry a nail gun against your body. When carrying it, do not touch the trigger and make sure to turn it off when climbing stairs. When transporting the tool, you need to switch it off and put the safety catch in place. Avoid using the gun near combustible materials as a spark from the gun could start a fire.
Using a nail gun in a safe manner means having the tool placed firmly against the workpiece. You also want to have a clean work area and no one close to you. Make sure that there are no electric lines or gas pipes before firing a nail gun at any surface. You need to move carefully when shooting nails in a line. This is best done by pointing at an edge first and then moving inwards the workpiece.
Which Nail Gun to Buy?
These heavy-duty cordless nailers are the best ones when it comes to wood framing of fences, roofs, decks, wood siding, wood sheathing and more. Most framing cordless nail guns have interchangeable sequential and contact trip together with depth-drive adjustment.
Finishing nailers are all-around tools used for indoor trims and other similar jobs. They use shorter and lighter gauge nails for moulding around doors and windows as well as baseboards and chair rails. You can also use finishing nailers for cabinet making.
Like framing nailers, roofing nailers are also heavy-duty and they are usually used by professional contractors. They come in three versions, spring-loaded, solenoid and pneumatic. Spring-loaded are the simplest model as they use a spring to get the nail out of the chamber. Pneumatic ones are powered by an air compressor and solenoid roofing nailers are powered by electromagnetic polarisation.
This type of nailers looks very different from your off-the-shelf nail gun. Flooring nailers allow for quick and easy laying of tongue-and-groove floorboards. They are held at the edge of the board. The plunger is hit using a nylon mallet. This ensures the nails enters at the right angle and depth.
Applications requiring 15 or 16-gauge nails usually require brad nailers too. These are used for finishing as they have more holding power than pin nailers. Brad nailers are great when working with baseboards, trim work such as window and door casings, and crown moulding.
Palm nail guns are quite similar to mini guns which work in the same way as a full-sized nail gun. These nailers can rest in the palm of your hand, hence their name. Palm nailers are best for joist hangers, tight spots and smaller projects.
This type of nailer is used to install siding material. Siding nailers are powerful and can join thin pieces of wood or synthetic material.
Pin nailers are mainly used for finishing carpentry because they are the smallest finishing nailers you can find. 23 gauge headless nails are most compatible with pin nailers as they almost have no holding power. These nails are sometimes used to hold two pieces of wood until the glue dries off.
Although they are not meant to drive nails into wood, staple guns operate on the same mechanisms. They use staples as you’d expect and are used for carpeting, upholstery as well as for home repairs and construction.