If you want to take on more DIY projects, having the right tools is essential to get great results while being safe. While you can opt for the conventional method of using hammers with nails, but it’s time-consuming, takes a lot more energy, and may not give you the desired results. A better way to go is nail guns which are faster, more precise, and effective. We have chosen the best nail guns in 2021 that are available in the market for your review.
Nail guns are integral to the DIYer’s toolkit and are used to drive nails into wood and other materials at high speed without damaging the material’s structure. Think of the nail gun as a hammer with superpowers allowing you to join pieces with less effort, more efficiency and, greater precision.
Choosing a nail gun can prove to be a daunting task due to the vast array of options available on the market. We have given you an outline of the best nail guns on the market that stand out from the bunch. But which to choose? We’re still here to help.
In this buying guide, we will consider different factors you need to consider and qualities you want to look out for when pitting one nail gun against another to help you choose the best option that’ll give you the best bang for your buck.
The first factor to put into consideration is its functionality. Your answer to the question “what am I using the nail gun for?” helps make an informed decision in this regard. There is a nail gun for every task. Types of nail guns based on functionality include:
Flooring nail guns
Flooring nail guns are ideal for driving nails into floorboards at a perfect angle. Since most floorboards are made of hardwood, flooring nail guns are equipped to precisely deliver nails into floorboards without splintering the wood.
Finish nail guns
Finish nail guns use headless nails to attach finishing materials to a piece of work. Finish nail guns come in two types – the angled finish nail guns and the straight finish nailers.
Angled finish nailers fit well into tighter angles than straight finish nailers. Finish nailers are used for works like trimming, paneling, or molding.
Framing nail guns
Framing nail guns are quite versatile and can be used for a wide range of tasks. They also come quite heavy and bulky. If you need a nail gun for wood framing in heavy-duty construction jobs, then the framing nail gun is the ideal nail gun for you.
Brad nail guns
Brad nail guns are used for delicate, decorative work like trimming or molding. Braid nail guns have a relatively lower holding power compared to other types of nail guns. They usually prove handy when adding finishing touches to woodwork.
Roofing nail guns
Roofing nail guns are ideal for outdoor roofing jobs. They are used to drive nails into roofing materials like fiberglass shingles, asphalt shingles, and insulator boards.
When buying a nail gun, another vital factor to consider is the nail gun’s power source. It is a case of pneumatic nail guns versus electric nail guns.
Pneumatic nail guns
Pneumatic nail guns use compressed air to fire the nails and typically connect to an external air compressor. The nail gun is connected to the air compressor through an air hose. Once the trigger is pressed, the valve opens up to allow pressurized air that drives the piston to complete the nailing process.
Pneumatic nail guns are used for heavy-duty jobs. A particular downside of pneumatic nail guns is their lack of mobility. The need to be constantly connected to the air compressor meaning they can only be moved within a limited range.
Electric nail guns
Electric nail guns come as spring-loaded and electromagnetic guns. Most modern electric nail guns are tilting towards electromagnetic models. They use electromagnetism - a magnetic effect created by a moving current to move a slider that drives the nail. Unlike pneumatic nail guns, electric nail guns make less noise and are ideal for residential areas.
Electric nail guns come in two types based on power source – corded electric nail guns and cordless electric nail guns.
Corded electric nail guns
Corded electric nail guns like pneumatic nail guns must always be connected to a power source, in this case, a mains supply. The need to have it connected to a power source at all times means it is also less mobile.
Cordless electric nail guns
Cordless electric nail guns run on rechargeable batteries. Since they require no connection to an external power source, they are extremely portable and eliminate the risk of tripping on wires or hoses associated with pneumatic nail guns and corded electric nail guns.
A downside of cordless electric nail guns is that batteries may not last long enough to finish the task. This downside can, however, be mitigated by having extra batteries at extra cost.
Gauge is another factor to consider in making your choice of nail guns. As nail guns come in different sizes, so do the sizes of the nails they shoot. Typically, there are four nail gun gauges - 15 gauge, 16 gauge, 18 gauge, and 23 gauge. The lower the number, the bigger the nail it shoots. The thickness of the wood will inform the gauge size you choose.
A nail gun could cost between $25 and $250 depending on its capacity, design, and brand. But as a rule of thumb, the higher the power rating, the more expensive it will be.
Nail Gun FAQ
Q: How safe is a nail gun?
A: Nail guns are generally safe to use, but the risk of accidents cannot be overruled. To avoid the risk of accidents, it is advised that users read the instruction manual that comes with the tool. Also, nail guns should be kept away from the reach of children.
Q: What is the best magazine-style to use?
A: Nail guns come in two magazine styles – coil and straight. Coil magazines are ideal for extensive work because they hold more nails. Straight magazines are suitable for smaller workloads and are much lighter. Thus, the choice of magazine-style is informed by the range of work you intend to use the nail gun to do.
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