No matter whether you’re a DIYer, construction worker, home renovation expert or material worker, you probably work with nails almost every day. And when it comes to nailing anything, the most important part is to make sure the nails you drill inside materials or objects stay there and keep their position for years to come. There are quite a few different types of nailing equipment you can use for this purpose, so you should choose one that is capable of inserting nails in the type of items or materials you work with.
For instance, an 18V framing nailer is great for performing work in areas without a power outlet, as it’s cordless and powerful enough to put nails through most material types. Let’s look at all the different types of framing nailers and their pros and cons.
Types of Framing Nailers
Cordless Framing Nailers
Cordless nail guns don’t require a corded power source to work. They use fuel or batteries instead, and they’re best suited for working in environments that don’t have power outlets to plug them into. An 18V framing nailer allows you to perform work at odd angles and spaces. The downside to these nailers is that once the battery runs out, you’ll need to wait for it to recharge, or you can buy an extra pack of batteries. On the upside, they allow you to move around without fear of tripping over cords, which can be especially beneficial if you’re working on ladders and in tight spaces.
Pneumatic Framing Nailers
These framing nail guns require an air compressor to operate. They’re ideal for material fabricators, construction workers and woodworkers who demand consistent performance. The upside to pneumatic nailers is that they allow you to work as much as you want. You can also use them in remote worksites, as long as you have a canister of pressurised air.
Framing Nailer Magazine Type
You need to factor in the type of magazine the nailer comes with, as it’s what determines the number of nails it can carry. There are two basic magazine types, including:
These are designed for nails which are combined with wires and they’re nailed in a line using flexible strings. Coil magazines can hold more nailers, which is why they’re the most common type used today. They’re also more compact than stick magazines, allowing you to work in tighter areas.
These magazines are meant for nails that come in the form of strips. Even though their capacity is lower than coil magazines, they are heavier, giving you better leverage to drive nails into tougher materials.
Other Features to Consider
There are a few other factors you’ll need to consider as well, as they’ll play a crucial role in what you can and can’t do with the nailer.
Weight and Comfort
The weight is an important factor, as you’re going to use the nailer with your hands. That being said, you don’t want a heavy nailer that will strain your hands, especially if you intend on putting in long working hours. A lightweight frame nailer will allow you to operate it for long hours without compromising the quality of your work. Additionally, you want the tool to be as comfortable as possible. Every model comes with a different trigger and handles design, so consider which design is best suited for you and the type of work you do. A unit with an ergonomic handle that offers extra grip support is also something worth considering.
Nail Type and Compatibility
This is one of those things that people should pay close attention to, yet they oftentimes overlook. There are a few different types of nails, so you need to make sure the nailer you buy is compatible with the types of nails you need to use. The most popular nail types are round-head and clipped-head nails.
You should always wear PPE when working with a framing nail gun. Some framing nail guns come with built-in protective guards that protect you from debris when working. This is a crucial feature that is extremely beneficial when you’re working in environments that are already hazardous and there are already elements that can pose a danger if debris comes in contact with them.
Just like any other power tool, framing nailers can sometimes jam. When that does happen, it can be problematic and it can negatively impact your efficiency and accuracy. For that reason, many framing nail guns come with a jam release feature that makes it easy to correct jams and other issues that you come across when working.
Depth adjustment is a great feature if you’re looking for project specificity. This feature allows you to adjust the depth at which the nail will be driven. That being said, you can adjust the depth of the nail gun based on the type of material you’re working with, which is beneficial if you’re working on materials of different thickness levels.