Nail Gun- Types and Mechanisms

Nail Gun, also called nailer, is a tool which is used to drive nails into wood and other materials. A nail gun is the best alternative to traditional hammer used to drive nails and is highly popular among building professionals. Nail guns are widely used in woodworking such as making wooden furniture, roofing, flooring and other types of wooden things. The firing mechanism of a nail gun can use compressed air, flammable gases such as propane or butane or electromagnetism.

Nail guns can be categorised as per the type of nailing function and the power source used. We will discuss the nail guns as per both the factors.

Nail guns as per functions

Nail guns are used for a plethora of woodworking and other purposes. The following types of nail guns differ in their design as per the purpose.

Framing nail gun- Framing nail gun or framing nailer is used to drive nails in wooden frames. It provides a very swift way of driving nails into wooden frames. Round head and clipped head are the two types of framing nailers. Round head holds a lesser number of nails as compared to clipped head. Thus,  clipped head framing nailer is ideal for large projects. Framing nail guns are designed for heavy duty wooden projects.

Roofing nail gun- Roofing nail gun is used to nail asphalt shingles in roofing. Depth-drive adjustment feature of the nail gun helps in controlling the depth till which the nails can be driven into the shingle. This type of nail gun uses a coil to hold nails instead of a straight clip which increases the capacity.

Flooring nail gun- Flooring nail gun is specially designed to drive nails into floorboard. The specific shape of flooring nail guns enable them to stand and fire nails at the correct angle.

Finish nail gun- Finish nail gun is designed for finishing projects such trim, moulding, door jams, cabinetry, etc. This type of nail gun is compatible with 1” to 2 1/2” nails of 14-16 gauge. This nail gun provides more holding power to the nails.

Siding nail gun- Siding nail gun is used is used to join large pieces of wood to form sidings. Some designs are also compatible with aluminium and are used to construct aluminium sidings. Siding nail gun uses nails sized 1”-1/4” to 2-1/2” having wide heads.

Nail guns as per power source

Combustion nail gun- Combustion nail gun has an internal combustion chamber which drives the hammer to fire nails. A gas canister provides gas to the internal combustion chamber. Combustion occurs due to the spark generated by a battery or electrical outlet when the trigger is pressed. The combustion increases the pressure over the hammer, causing it to fire the nail.

Pneumatic nail gun- Pneumatic nail gun has an air compressor which draws in air from the atmosphere and compresses the air to optimum levels. The compressed air is released into the barrel when the trigger is depressed, causing the internal piston to drive the hammer which fires the nail at a very high speed.

Electric nail gun- Electric nail gun can be corded or powered by a battery. It has a rotating electric motor which compresses a spring, When the trigger is pressed, the spring is released which drives the hammer to launch the nail.