A nail gun, also called a nailer, can be very useful when you need to take care of little projects around the house. This is a tool that will drive nails into wood or even other kinds of material, according to your needs. You can use it as part of a home project or even at work if you have the type of job the requires you to use such tools.
They are great for upcycling pallet projects too and will make it easier and faster. There are several types of nail guns with 3 types of power source that are available on the market: pneumatic, electric and combustion and of course a lot of models to choose from.
Types of nail guns
As there are many types of nail guns, you will discover that there are certain models that go great for DIY projects and pallet projects. Here are the most important nail guns types to use for such tasks.
Finish nailers are very popular thanks to their efficiency and friendly price. They use nails with a high gauge. The most common type of nails are the 16 gauge ones, however, you can use 15 gauge nails as well, depending on the job. These are the perfect types of nailers to use when you work on furniture or home projects.
They are made to handle large pieces of wood and they can break into almost any type of wood material. But these finish nailers are not too big to be uncomfortable to use or store so you can definitely rely on them in those aspects as well.
Brad nailers are similar to finish nailers but they are not comparable in all their aspects. They also use nails that are higher gauge and pins and are the best choice for fine woodwork tasks. The gauge size is usually 18 or 23 and will leave a very small, barely visible hole.
These are perfect for small projects like toys or doll houses that require small nails which are harder to drive with a hammer than with a brad nailer. If you like to craft and try out small construction projects, you will find a brad nailer gun very useful.
If you are more into heavy duty type of projects, what you need is a good framing nailer. You can use these with nails of 2.8 mm and they work on all types of wood. You can rely on these nailers for the projects that more robust such as decks or house framing.
They are perfect for wooden siding and room additions and even fences and projects that include plaster. Keep in mind that hammers will damage the plaster so you might want to invest in a framing nailer for both your convenience and efficiency.
Nail Gun Power Sources
Pneumatic nailers are the most popular and used nailers on the market nowadays. They are easy to use and extremely efficient for a variety of projects. These nailers work based on air pressure which is the main source for the force they have when it comes to driving nails.
Through a certain number of piston cylinders, according to the model, these nailers use the air to create the pressure they need to work. This pressure is known as PSI (pounds per square inch). If you want to use this type of nail gun you must invest in the air compressor as well as the gun itself.
- Easy to use and budget-friendly nailers
- Pneumatic nail guns function on a constant force which increases their efficiency
- They have a longer lifespan than other nailers
- Pneumatic nailers are suitable for most types of projects
- Pneumatic nailers require to be oiled constantly
- They tend to be louder than battery nailers or electric nailers
- Pneumatic nailers need an air compressor which is an additional investment that you need to consider
Electric Nail Guns corded and cordless
Electric nailers are also very popular but not as appreciated as the pneumatic ones even if they are used for their high quality and efficiency. They are powered by a battery or from the mains through the cord.
Electric nailer relies on an electric current passing through the solenoid and a magnetic field to drive the firing pin. While both of these electric nail guns work great for a variety of projects, it comes down to a subjective preference when you choose a cordless one or a cord nailer.
- Electric nailers with a power cord are very budget friendly
- No need to use an air compressor or buy gas canisters
- Electric nail guns are suitable for a variety of projects
- They are easy to use
- These nailers have a long lifespan
- The cordless electric nail guns can be more expensive than others
- Cordless electric nailers need to be recharged often
- They are mostly used for brads and staples
Combustion powered nailers
Combustion powered nailers are also a good option but they might not be what everyone is looking for. This is because they are having specific advantages and disadvantages that you need to be aware of before spending your money.
These nailers are the latest type that can be found on the market which is why buyers are still adjusting to these tools. They use combustion to drive the nails and depend on a battery which provides a spark, igniting the gas and driving the piston.
You can use these ones for a variety of projects especially whenever you need a cordless tool and they are a good alternative to pneumatic nailers as are able to drive larger nails into hard surfaces with no problem.
- These nailers are quieter than other types
- Able to drive larger nails into harder surfaces with ease
- They are new on the market and have the best technology
- Easy to use even by beginners
- These nail guns are more expensive than other models and you have to consider the cost of gas canisters as well
- They might not have such a long lifespan as pneumatic ones
- They require extra safety measures while they are used
Best nail guns For DIY projects
#1. Hitachi NT50AE2 brad nailer
Hitachi NT50AE2 is one of the best brad nailers that you can find on the market. This is a great tool for any woodworking and crafting as well and you can use it even if you are a beginner in the matter.
It has an ergonomic grip that will allow you to use it with comfort and it feels good in your hand. Plus, this products 2.2 lb makes it a very lightweight tool that you will have no problem using even for prolonged periods of time.
This nail gun has a dual firing option and it can hold up to 100 5/8 2 inch brad nails. And the 360-degree flexible exhaust vent means you’ll always be able to direct the exhaust away from you, no matter what angles you’re working at.
Buyers declare themselves satisfied with this product and most of them have nothing bad to say about it. You can check out the reviews on Amazon here. It’s excellent value for money and great starter or a backup tool for pros or DIY-ers that want pro performance. Let’s look at some benefits and disadvantages that might come along with purchasing this Hitachi nailer!
- Lightweight great for working overhead and for a longer period of time
- Increased portability
- The exhaust vent can be adjusted thanks to its 360-degree flexibility
- Safe to use even by beginners
- Value for money
- Fixed air inlet
- Requires often oil maintenance
- Lacks a dry fire lockout
#2.Hitachi NT65MA4 finish nailer
If you are looking for a high-quality finish nail gun, this Hitachi NT65MA4 model might be just what you need. It uses 15 gauge and 1.25 inch up to 2.5-inch nails which makes it suitable for many tasks and home projects.
This nailer also comes with special options that include adjusting the type of firing between contact firing and sequential one. This model similarily to Hitachi NT50AE2 has a 360-degree fully adjustable exhaust portal directs air exhaust away from the user or a workpiece.
Buyers like that this nailer can be used without loading it very often which saves time and increases efficiency. as well as a tool-less depth of drive dial adjusts for flush fastening into varying materials for improved control and a professional finish.
This finish nailer works on air power so you can trust that it will last a long time and the weight of 4.2 pounds reduces user fatigue and increases its maneuverability. The 34-degree magazine angle allows the user to reach into corners or tight spaces with ease.
Also, this product comes with a warranty of 5 years which increases the reliability of the product. This can only make Hitachi NT65MA4 an even better option to consider!
- The 34-degree magazine angle allows for reaching into corners and tight spaces
- It comes with a 5 years warranty
- Light weight for increased portability
- The firing type can be adjusted between contact firing and sequential firing
- Tends to misfire and jam
- It is not a budget-friendly product
#3. Paslode 905600
It is very portable and it uses a lithium-ion battery that can hold 5h of a full charge. One of the best features of this nailer is the drive rate that is as high as 9000 nails on one charge./two-thirds]
This is a fairly lightweight product of only 7.2 pounds which makes it one of the portable nailers. It has 15% more driving power and ability to work in lower temperatures.
It has an option for a 2 min quick charge to drive 200 nails and this comes in very handy when you are in a hurry to finish a project but don’t want to wait till the battery is fully charged.
This unit won’t operate without fuel cartridges. The battery creates a spark that ignites the fuel cell to drive the nail. This nailer can drive 1200 fasteners per fuel cell so you’ll need to change cells during use. Another thing is that you have to use Paslode nails to use this tool.
The manufacturer sells the nails and cells together which can save the users some money. There is a nice choice of nail sizes and lengths sold by the company and loading them is quick and easy through the quick-load feature.
Buyers also like that it comes in a nice, quality case with one battery and a charger.
- Easy to carry around thanks to its light weight
- It has a speed charging option
- Light weight for increased portability
- 15% more driving power and low temp usability
- Drives 9000 nails per charge
- It is more expensive than other nailers
- It might not be easy to use by beginners
- Use of fuel cells is necessary
By using this guide you can’t fail when you are choosing the perfect nail gun for your DIY or pallet project. Get to know your options before pulling your credit card out and choose the one that suits your needs best, remember that what might work for others, might not be the best for you so always have your future projects in mind when shopping for a good nailer.
Kasia is an owner of Wooden Pallet Projects Toolbox. She’s a DIY and upcycling enthusiast. If she’s not painting, sanding or drilling she’s writing about power tools or tips for DIY and pallet projects that make the creative process easier and more fun!