The Various Types And Styles Of Nail Guns

nailer being on wooden frame

Nail guns are designed to drive nails into woods and any other material. The power tool replaces the traditional hammer and nails. A nail gun, also known as a nailer makes your job safer and more comfortable as compared to a hammer. Nail guns are convenient and time-saving apparatus that assist you to finish your project faster with accurate driving of nails. In this post we will discuss 10 of the most popular types of nail guns

staple gun icon Sources of Power for Nail Guns

There are different power options for different nail guns. The origins of power include:

1. Battery Powered

There has been a significant technology growth behind rechargeable battery-powered nail guns. You will find some models being powered by the 18-volt or 20-volt lithium-ion batteries. Battery powered types of nail guns are popular because of the following features.

  1. Battery-powered nail guns are quieter than fuel-driven or pneumatic nailers.
  2. Battery-powered nail guns are cordless, they offer more mobility than their pneumatic counterparts.
  3. These are better for small spaces where the use of a compressor may not be practical or even workable.

2. Fuel Powered

The fuel-powered nailers are cordless gadgets that drive nails using combustion. The nail guns operate using the replaceable, disposable gas cartridge, and a battery. Fuel powered nail guns have the following features.

  1. Fuel-powered nailers are an excellent choice for heavy-duty jobs where a lot of force is required.
  2. They offer excellent mobility because they are cordless.
  3. For you to use them, you must have plenty of fuel and a charged battery; Running out of one means that your nail gun has become temporarily useless.

3. Pneumatic

Pneumatic nail gun

Image: Public Domain, Jonas Bergsten, via Wikimedia Commons

Pneumatic nail guns are powered by compressed air which originates from an air compressor whose volume and PSI is equal or greater to the requirements of the nail gun. The most prominent features of pneumatic nail guns include:

  1. Most pneumatic nailers need to be oiled.
  2. Pneumatic nail guns are quite loud, and it is advised that you and those around you wear hearing protection while the nail gun is in use.

staple gun icon Types Of Nail Guns.

There has been a significant technology growth behind rechargeable battery-powered nail guns. You will find some models being powered by the 18-volt or 20-volt lithium-ion batteries. Battery powered types of nail guns are popular because of the following features.

1. Brad Nailers

Brad nailers are used for the most exquisite woodworking jobs and use high-gauge nails usually 18 to 23. The pins are tiny and delicate to drive using a hammer and elbow grease only. This makes a brad nail gun an essential tool more so for home renovations.

Brad’s nails are tiny such that they are almost invisible using naked eyes. However, different types of brad nailers support different lengths of nails ranging from 5/8″ to 2″. Brad nail guns are best suitable for:

■ Attaching thinner pieces of wood and doing trim work.

■ Projects that do not require a great deal of holding power; these are not the nails for heavy-duty work

■ Small-scale projects or crafts.

2. Framing Nailers

Framing nailers are sure best choice when doing heavy work. The nailers have impressive holding power and 2.8mm nails that can be used with any wood, beam, or posts. There are two types of framing nailers; those that use round head nails, and those that accommodate clipped head nails.

A framing nailer can work with nails up to 3-1/2″ that are used to connect 2X4’s. These types of nail guns are suitable for:

■ Decks.

■ Fences.

■ Framing houses.

■ Projects involving plaster—hammers can cause plaster to loosen and crack.

■ Room additions.

■ Wooden siding.

■ Wood sheathing.

3. Finish Nailers

Similar to brad nailers, finish nailers also use high gauge nails. However, the nails used with a finish nail gun are more significant than the ones used by brad nailers. A 16-gauge nail gun is the most popular variety among the finish nailers. Finish nailers are crucial tools in the tool kit of any carpenter, either doing residential remodeling or doing significant furniture projects. Finish nailers are best suited for:

■ Baseboards.

■ Cabinets.

■ Caskets.

■ Chair rails.

■ Crown molding.

■ Millwork.

■ Hardwood flooring.

■ Paneling.

■ Wooden furniture.

4. Roofing Nailers

Roofing nailers are also heavy-duty like framing nailers. Though individuals can use the nailers for home repairs, these types of nail guns are mostly used by professional contractors. The roofing nailer drives nails into a block of wood or any other roofing material at a higher speed.

There are different 3 types of roofing nailers, namely:

1. Pneumatic

Powered by an air compressor, pneumatic roofing nailers are the most popular type of nailer in this category.


2. Solenoid

These nailers are powered by electromagnetic polarization.


3. Spring-loaded

This is the simplest roofing nailer, which uses springs to fire nails out of the chamber.

5. Palm Nailers 

Palm nailers are made to fit into the palm of your hand. The lighter-duty palm nailers model can drive 1.5″ to 3.5″ 16d nails, while heavy-duty models can use 2″ to 6″ using the palm of your hand. Palm nail guns are popular because of how they fit into small spaces where neither a conventionally designed nail gun nor a hammer can’t fit.

Palm nailers are the best choice when working on tight spaces where it’s hard to swing a hammer. Although these types of nail guns are the best when nailing into a ceiling, palm nailers are also suitable for:

■ Decks.

■ Fences.

■ Framing.

■ Metal connector straps.

■ Pole barn construction.

■ Some palm nailers are specially designed to be used in general remodeling and flooring.

6. Pin Nailers

Pin nailers are mostly used for finishing any carpentry project. They are tiny, delicate, and the least commonly used types of nail guns. However, pin nail guns are compatible with 23-gauge headless nails that looks like a pin.

A pin Nailer is often suitable for:

■ Cabinetry (sometimes).

■ Crown molding.

■ Delicate trim pieces.

■ Finishing work in carpentry.

■ Small furniture trim.

■ Thin veneers.

7. Flooring Nailers

Flooring nail guns are used when installing a hardwood floor. The hand gadgets get the job done faster and effectively. There are two types of flooring nailers, the manual and the pneumatic flooring nail guns. Pneumatic flooring nailers use air pressure to get the work done while the manual flooring nailers you have to drive the nailer physically. Flooring nail guns have a different look from other types of guns. The nailers have a unique design to make the work of laying tongue-and-groove floorboards.

When using the nailer, hold it at the board’s edge and hit the plunger using a nylon mallet. This helps you drive it at the right angle and depth at all the time.

There are types of flooring nailers are used similarly although pneumatic nailers use air pressure to drive the nail into the floorboard hence requiring minimum human energy.

Flooring nail guns are best for:

■ Various types of wood, whether soft or hard.

■ Hardwood flooring installation.

8. Siding Nailers

A siding nail gun is used to install sidings. Its work is to join thinner pieces of wood or synthetic materials on a wooden mount. Siding nail guns are the best for projects that need huge chunks of wood to be joined.

Siding nail guns use short nails that measure between 1-1/4″ to 2-1/2″ with a broadhead. Various siding nail guns are compatible with aluminum nails making them an excellent choice for aluminum siding.

9. Staple Guns

Staple guns differ from other types of nail guns. However, they still drive staples in a wide range of materials. The nail guns are versatile meaning that they can be used for a wide range of applications which include:

1. Carpentry and Home Repair

Wood and fabric repairs can often be handled by a staple gun, such as fastening boards and panels.

2. Carpeting

Staples can be used to fix carpeting to floors and even walls for soundproofing.

3. Construction

Staple guns are also used for simple household projects ranging from birdhouses to dog houses.

4. Upholstery

Staple guns are often used to attach a piece of fabric to the frame of a sofa or chair.

Types Of Staple Guns.

an Electric staple gun

Image: Public Domain, Martink , via Wikimedia Commons

There are several types of staple nail guns which include:

1. Hammer staple guns

They are manually used and thus require physical effort.

2. Electric staple guns

They are faster since they use electricity to power.

3. Hand-actuated staple guns

The guns accommodate a variety of staple sizes and are excellent for furniture reupholstering.

4. Pneumatic staple guns

The gun functions by using compressed air pressure.

10. Headless Pinners

Headless pinners are guns that push pins when doing smaller jobs. Such jobs may include joining picture frames and thinnest molding.

Once you understand the various types of nail guns available, it will be easier for you to choose the best one depending on the job you intend to do. Each nailer’s name gives a good description of the type of job each tool can handle.

If you are considering getting a nail gun for all your construction and repair works, you can log on to to check out the various options available for all your nailer needs.

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