How To Use A Nail Gun | The Most User-Friendly Instructions On It

How To Use A Nail GunA nail gun is a very popular and comfortable tool amongst carpenters and builders. Uses of nail guns are increasing day by day.

You have to know the proper ways of using a nail gun for yourself if you wish to work with it. Today, I’m going to give you step by step instructions on how to use a nail gun.

Things You Should Know First About A Nail Gun (If You Are New to This)

What Is a Nail Gun?

A nail gun or nailer is a type of tool that you use to drive nails into wood and other kinds of relevant material. Nail guns are usually driven by compressive air, electromagnetism, highly flammable gases such as propane or butane.

Builders have replaced nail guns with hammer in many ways as their tool of choice.

How a Nail Gun Works?

There are different types of nail guns available and the primary difference among them is the source of force that propels the piston. The piston of the nail gun hammers down on a blade mechanism that then propels the nail into the target and most of the nail guns follow this mechanism.

Nail guns are basically based on two tasks: a firing mechanism and a nail-loading mechanism. The force that propels the piston can be pneumatic, combustion-powered or electric.

How to Use Nail Guns (According To Its Type)

First, you have to know some of the basics on how to use nail gun.

  • You have to load the nail strip into nail gun’s magazine. Usually, the access to the magazine is toward the back or bottom side of the nail gun.
  • Before powering on the nail gun, put on safety glasses.
  • The material you intend to nail, place your nail gun against its surface. This method will make the nailing easy for you.
  • Push your nail gun against the surface exerting more pressure on the material and this will help the nailing to reach adequate depth.
  • Now, pull the trigger of the nail gun and shoot nails at your target material.
  • Before using a nail gun, practice shooting some nails on wood scarps. Practicing this will provide you a primary experience.
  • When you are done nailing, pull the gun all away from the surface of the material. Lastly, disconnect the power source from the nail gun.

You have to acquire some knowledge about nailing angle. I’ll tell you how to use a nail gun at an angle. A nail gun can be used in different angles.

For example, suppose a 15-degree framing nailer. 15-degree framing nailer groups are wire-coil collated and this means that the nails are held together by two thinned wire stripes and slanted at a 15-degree angle. They can be used in the same way I’ve just said.

On the other side when you are using straight nails, hold the nail gun at a suitable angle with the surface and then pull the trigger.

Each manufacturer designs their nail guns almost uniquely. So, sometimes different type of nail gun needs different instructions to use it properly.

Using A Pneumatic Nail Gun

Using A Pneumatic Nail Gun

Pneumatic nail guns are the most popular ones. They are driven by an air compressor. Now, I am going to give you some instructions on how to use a pneumatic nail gun or a nail gun with an air compressor.

First, you have to set up an air compressor. An air compressor can generate pressurized air and provide power to the nail gun. To connect the air compressor to a nail gun, you have to attach a hose and the connectors. Now,

  • Add Teflon tape to one end of the hose. Do not add too much Teflon tape, it can withstand the air pressure. Now, screw in the universal coupler and tighten it with a wrench.
  • Now, you need to apply Teflon tape to the other end of the hose and screw on the 1/4 in. NPT IM Brass Female Plug and tighten it with a wrench.
  • Plug in the air compressor and start it. Most of the air compressor automatically starts to pressurize.
  • The take pressure gauge will automatically stop when it hits PSI of 200, although this pressure limit might deviate within different nail guns. The outlet pressure gauge should be at 0 PSI before attaching the Teflon tape and it will make this process easier.
  • Attach the female plug of the hose through the universal coupler on the front of the compressor.
  • At the other end of the hose, connect the pneumatic nail gun.

Now, the pneumatic nail gun will use this air compressor as the propellant for the firing mechanism. The compressor takes air from the atmosphere and compresses the air to an optimal pressure measure in pounds per square inch or PSI.

Regulators are built in the compressor to check the supply of the appropriate amount of pressure. Regulators can be adjusted to lower or raise the pressure within the compression unit.

Produced pressure is being fed into the barrel of the pneumatic nail gun and released when the trigger is pulled. This pressure drives the nail into the wood at a high velocity and you nailing would be done.

So, whenever you need to nail a wood material using a pneumatic nail gun, just follow my instructions.

Note-1: Central pneumatic nail gun or air nail gun runs in the same way as pneumatic gun. If you follow the instructions I’ve said on using a pneumatic nail gun, you will be able to get the idea on how to use a central pneumatic air gun and air nail gun.

Note-2: always recheck your position and depth adjustment before nailing, otherwise you may have to repeat the nailing process.

Using Finishing & Framing Nail Gun

Now, I’m going to tell you how to use a finishing nail gun and a framing nail gun.

Finishing nail guns are used for finishing in carpentry. Most of the time, when you make a wood-related project, the finishing has to be done separately.

To use the finishing nail gun first you have to pick up the best nails suitable for your job. Insert the nail strips and load the magazine from the nail gun bottom. Push the nails all the way up and pull back the spring-loaded catch, this will load the gun.

Now, finishing nail guns have a safety feature. You can enable the safety feature by pressing the tip of the gun then you can start nailing wood materials. You can set your angle with the gun if you need to.

If you want to nail a trim or a baseboard with another wood material, you just have to place the trim in the right position and repeat the finishing process I’ve said.

Framing nail guns are mostly interior style nail gun and also mostly used. First, you have to load the gun’s nail magazine with the nail strip and to do so, put in the nails into the magazine and push it forward. It will load the gun.

Most framing nail guns are used to perform sequential nailing.

Using An Electric Nail Gun

Using An Electric Nail Gun

Electric nail gun can be used in the same way as pneumatic nail gun.

The difference between an electric and pneumatic nail gun is an electric nail gun works when rotating motor compresses a powerful spring and suddenly releases it on the nails where pneumatic nail gun is driven by an air compressor.

So, follow my instructions on using a pneumatic nail gun and it will help you to know how to use electric gun.

What Type of Nail Gun You Need & Where to Use It?

Nail guns are basically used to wood-related jobs and based on that, it comes in various types. Apparently, different types of nail guns are used for different kinds of situation. There are 9 main types of nail gun.

Framing Nail Gun

Framing nailers are the heaviest among the other nailers. Wood framing in heavy construction sites and buildings need framing nailer and they are ideal for this heavy environment.

Framing nail guns are used to build –

  • Decks
  • Rooms
  • Homes
  • Wood
  • Sheathing
  • Fences
  • wood siding.


Hitachi and DeWalt brands’ framing nails guns are the most popular ones.

Flooring Nail gun

Flooring nail guns are designed uniquely than other nail guns and it help the nailer to make quick work of laying tongue-and-groove floorboards.

A flooring nail gun is held at the edge of the board and a nylon mallet to hit the plunger of the gun. This feature makes sure that nails are driven at the right angle and depth every time.

Palm Nail Gun

Using Palm Nail Gun

Palm nail gun is like a mini nail gun. Palm nail gun is used for the same purposes as the other nail guns but on a much smaller scale.

Palm nailers are very comfortable and provide more freedom and portability. Palm nailers are ideally used for –

  • Tight spots.
  • Joist hangers.
  • Smaller projects.

One of the advantages of a palm nail gun is it can reduce fatigue because of its size.

Cordless palm nail guns are the most popular ones. Therefore, Porter-cable brand is the best go-to choice for cordless nail guns.

Roofing Nail Gun

Roofing nailers are heavy-duty like framing nailers. Roofing nail guns are basically used by professional contractors. The main characteristic of a roofing nail gun is it can drive nails into wood or roofing materials at a lighting fast speed.

Roofing nail gun comes mainly in 3 types.

  • Spring-loaded.
  • Pneumatic
  • Solinoid

Bostitch Coil Roofing Nailer is the best seller now on the market.

Siding Nail Gun

Siding nailers are used to install siding of wood.

Siding nailers are powerful and they can join thinner pieces of wood or a synthetic material to a wooden mount.

Pin Nail Gun

Pin nail guns are used for finishing in carpentry projects and they are the most efficient nail guns for finishing you can buy. Pin nail guns are generally used for

  • Finishing work in carpentry.
  • Delicate trim pieces.
  • Thin veneers.
  • Small furniture trim.

Brad Nail Gun

A brad nail gun is used for finishing in carpentry too like a pin nail gun. Brad nail guns mainly compatible with larger nails – 18-gauge. Brad nail guns can be used for

  • Crown molding
  • Baseboards
  • Trim works including door and window cases.

The pneumatic brad nailer is mostly used by professionals.

Finishing Nail Gun

A finish nail gun is also used for finishing in carpentry. Unlike brad or pin nail guns, a finish nail gun can handle larger and bulkier wood material.

Finish nail guns are bigger and they can hold more power than brad or pin nail guns. Ridgid brand’s finishing nail guns are the best kind.

Staple Gun

Staple guns are different than other nail guns. Staple guns are used for driving the staple into a wide range material. Because of their(staple gun) versatility, they can be used for wide range of applications.

  • Upholstery
  • Carpeting
  • Carpeting and Home repair
  • Construction

Stanley electric staple gun is the most available one in the market.

FAQ Related to How to Use a Nail Gun

How do You Use a Nail Gun?

Choose the suitable nail strip for you. Load the magazine of the gun by putting nail strip in and trigger the nail gun to nail your wood material. Ensure the angle that suits your nailing process.

Which Nail Gun to Use?

Nail gun uses are based on their types.

For example, pneumatic and cordless nail guns are best for –

  • Framing
  • Wood-fence
  • Fencing
  • Fence pickets

Pneumatic brad nail gun is the best choice for –

  • Trim
  • Baseboards
  • Skirting boards.

Now, if you want to know what nail gun to use for siding/Hardie siding then go for siding nail guns like BOSTITCH Coil Siding Nailer, 1-1-1/4-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch (N66C).

The pneumatic nail gun is suitable for sub-floor/roof like surface.

What is a Nail Gun Used For?

Nail gun is used for driving nails into a wooden surface. Whenever you need to attach two wooden materials or join two or more wooden parts, then you need to perform nailing using a nail gun.

My Final Words

Nail guns are getting popular by times. Wood projects in our homes, construction sites, farms leaning towards using more nail guns because it’s very efficient.

If you have read my instructions on how to use a nail gun attentively, you will be able to make the best use of a nail gun from now on.


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