If you are currently trying to figure out how to choose the best nail gun, there are certain features that you need to examine. Before you make a purchase, take a moment to review the following details.
First, we will examine what you need to look for. Then, you will discover the different types of nail guns, their uses, and their pressure requirements.
Nail Gun Firing Methods and Safety Features
Before getting into these details, it should be mentioned that nail guns are also sometimes referred to as nailers. The names mean the same thing.
At the top of the list of features to look at is the firing method and safety features. Typically, a nail gun has two controls that affect operation – the trigger and the safety tip. The use of the trigger and the safety tip will vary, based on the firing method:
With a contact firing method, you simply need to hold down the trigger and press the nail gun against your work surface. You can continuously fire a nail without having to let go of the trigger. This is the fastest firing method, but also the most dangerous.
The other firing methods include single-sequential, single-actuation, and full-sequential. With single-sequential, you need to press the trigger each time that you want to release a nail. Though, the safety tip can remain pressed against your work surface.
Single-actuation is similar to the single-sequential. The difference is that there is no sequence. You can actuate the firing method by pressing the trigger and then pressing the safety tip against your work surface or by pressing the safety tip and then the trigger.
With the full-sequential firing method, you are required to first press the safety tip against your work surface and then pull the trigger. You must then release the trigger and the safety tip before you can release another nail. For those wanting to know how to choose the best nail gun, the full-sequential is the safest option.
Choosing Between Coil-Style and Strip-Style Nailers
As you start looking into how to pick the best nail gun, you will also need to choose between coil-style and strip-style nailers. This refers to the method used to feed nails into the gun.
Coil-style nail guns use strings of nails that are attached to each other with a wire. The strip of wire with nails is coiled and placed in a magazine attached to the nail gun. This allows the gun to hold more nails so that you will not need to reload as often.
Strip-style nail guns use nails that are placed on a strip that slides into a magazine. Along with wire, paper or plastic is occasionally used to secure the nails. The main benefit of strip-style nail guns is that they offer improved balance – resulting in slightly more comfortable operation.
How to Choose the Best Nail Gun Based on Intended Use
There are different nail guns for different uses. For this reason, you will need to consider the project that you are working on. For example, the best nail gun for trim may not be the best nail gun for framing.
Each pneumatic nail gun will have an SCFM (standard cubic feet per minute) rating. This lets you know how much pressure the gun needs from an air compressor.
So, if you want to know how to choose the correct nail gun for your particular needs, you will also need to consider the pressure requirements. The average rating for each gun is listed below. Keep in mind that these ratings can vary between brands.
Here is an overview of the most common types of nail guns:
- Framing nail gun (2.7 SCFM)
- Finish nail gun (2.0 SCFM)
- Air brad nailer (0.3 SCFM)
- Flooring nail gun (1.7 SCFM)
- Roofing nail guns (2.5 SCFM)
Framing Nail Gun
Framing nail guns are heavy-duty nail guns used for heavy-duty projects – such as nailing wood frames during home construction. You can use framing nail guns for joining 2×4’s with 3 ½-inch nails.
Finish Nail Gun
The best finish nailer should use 14 to 16-gauge nails. This is suitable for larger trim and molding around your home. You can also use these pneumatic nail guns on baseboards, furniture, and cabinets.
A brad nail gun is the best nail gun for trim when working with smaller trim. They use smaller, 18-gauge brad nails. When working with delicate wood, the larger nails found in several of the other types of nail guns could lead to splitting.
Flooring Nail Gun
As the name suggests, flooring nail guns are used for working on flooring. They have a special design that makes them easier to use on the floorboards. While you could use a finish nail gun, the flooring nail gun keeps you from having to constantly bend over to nail the floorboards.
Roofing Nail Guns
Roofing nail guns are primarily used for roofing. They use short nails with large heads that are suitable for most roofing projects and siding. Typically, roofing nail guns are available with a coil-style magazine.
Additional Considerations for How to Choose the Best Nail Gun
Above, we provided the average SCFM rating for each type of nail gun. But, you should look at the specific nail gun that you are planning to purchase – or consider purchasing a nail gun combo kit. You can find pneumatic nail guns that come with an air compressor or as a set of guns without a compressor.
This article is primarily intended for those that are looking for pneumatic nail guns, but there are other electric and gas-powered options. The drawback to using these other options is that they are not as powerful as pneumatic nail guns.
If you are interested in finding cheap nail guns, you should avoid products that do not include the safety features described above. There are nail guns that do not require any of the firing methods discussed. These pneumatic nail guns are more likely to cause an accident or injury. Instead, look for cheap nail guns with a safety firing method.
Final Thoughts on Choosing the Best Nail Gun
Before you buy a nail gun, make sure that you consider the factors mentioned. This includes the type of project that you will be working on and the pressure requirements of the nail gun. Not only will this help you learn how to choose the best nail gun, it will help you find a suitable air compressor.
So, always start your search by considering the purpose of the nail gun. If you are looking for the best nail gun for trim, you will want a finish nail gun or a brad nailer. If you want the best nail gun for construction or heavy-duty use, you will want a framing nail gun.
You now know how to choose the best nail gun. After you have made your choice, find a compatible air compressor. You will find a variety of in-depth air compressor reviews throughout this site.