How to Use a Nail Gun? Tips and Tricks

Any woodworking job like carpentry, framing or roofing, needs fastening of materials by driving nails into the wood pieces. Nails can be driven through multiple tools.

You must be thinking of the hammer as a fastening tool. Yes, the hammer is one of the tools for driving nails and everyone knows how to use this tool.

But have you heard of the nail gun? A nail gun is a handy tool that speeds up the fastening work far greater than the traditional hammer. It is driven by external power sources.

So, let us know about this tool and its use.

What to Choose: Hammer or Nailer?

Though the purpose of both nailer and hammer is the same, some people choose a nail gun over a hammer or vice versa. You can compare hammer and nailer by several factors and decide which one to choose. Let me explain those factors shortly.

  1. Speed: You can drive 5-8 nails at a time, but if more is required it will be tough for you. On the other hand, you can drive hundreds of nails at a time without the fatigue of hammering.
  2. Safety: There is a great chance of hammering your finger or bouncing of nails while driving nails using a hammer. But nail gun is safer because it will save you from bringing down the hammer towards your fingers continually.
  3. Power: You need three to four hits to drive a nail by hammer and the applied force may vary for each nail. While nail gun provides equal pressure to each nail and the pressure is much higher than the human-produced one.
  4. Convenience: You need to carry a bucket of nails separately to drive them with a hammer. In the case of a nailer, there is a magazine or strip within the tool to hold the nails. You just need to put them into the magazine and fire at the material.
  5. Accuracy: You may miss the stroke to a targeted nail while hammering by hand. When using a nail gun, if you put the nail at the right angle to the material, the nails will be driven accurately where the tip of the nailer is placed.

What Is A Nail Gun Used For?

If your work is larger in scale and duration, then a high-powered nail gun is the best companion for you. A nail gun is mainly used because of the ease it provides in driving nails.

You can drive nails at a higher pace and with an extensive hammering force by a nailer. A nail gun is used for the huge driving force it provides for heavy-duty works. Besides, the force and pressure acting on each nail are equal providing you the best quality finishing.

The professionals and even the hobbyists use the nail gun for the best quality work and high productivity it offers. You can drive hundreds of nails within a short time by only one press to the trigger.

A nailer fires nails without causing any depression to the material. Nail guns hold nails in a magazine or coil, so you do not need to carry a bucket of nails separately. The positioning of nails is also very accurate if shot by a nailer.

Another feature that attracts the users greatly is the depth adjustment tool. The professionals need to drive nails of different sizes and to varying depths. The depth adjustment feature is a great relief in this case.

how to use a nail gun with an air compressor

How to Use A Nail Gun?

The use of a nail gun is very easy and safe if you know the proper way of using this tool. You need attention to the steps below to use a nail gun safely and effectively.

How to Power A Nail Gun?

The strong the power source, the higher the driving force and speed. You can power a nail gun in three different ways. They are,

  • With an air compressor: You can power a nail gun with an air compressor and get a high driving force. The compressor is attached to the tool through the air hose.
  • With combustion chamber: Instead of an air compressor, you may use fuel, butane, or liquid petroleum, in a combustion chamber to power the gun. The driving force is produced from the combustion of fuel.
  • With electricity: The nailer can also be powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery or connecting the gun by a cord to the electric outlet.

How to Load The Nail Gun?

Once you have dealt with the power source, now concentrate on the loading of the nail gun with nails. The nails are kept in a strip style magazine or a coil. You need to put the nails by following the below steps:

  • Turn off the nailer: Make sure to cut the power off before loading to avoid an accident.
  • Select the nail: Select the nail of the required length and gauge.
  • Put the nails: For strip style, after opening the magazine place the nails into it. Then hold the gun upside down and press the spring button to let the nails set into place by the gravity force.

For coil style, after unlatching the compartment you need to remove the rubber band from the coil. Then place the nails into the coil.

  • Trial shoot: Once you are done with loading, shoot a nail in a spare piece of wood to check if everything is okay.

How to Fire Nails?

You have loaded the gun and powered it, yet you are not ready to shoot. You need to focus on some facts to fire efficiently. First set your firing method. This could be bump firing, single sequential firing, or full sequential firing.

Extend your arm and hold the gun to the surface. Make sure you are holding the gun accurately and tightly to counteract the little kickback of the gun during firing. Maintain a clear distance from the gun to avoid any injury.

Some Facts About Nail Gun

So, you are now familiar with the nail gun and know how to use the tool. But you still do not know some surprising facts about a nail gun. I am listing some facts about nail gun below:

  • The first nail gun was developed around the 1950s and was mainly designed for flooring related applications. It could shoot 40 to 60 nails per minute and could hold 400 to 600 hundred nails in the magazine.
  • You can not use nails of arbitrary length and type in a certain nail gun. Each nail gun operates for a specific type of nail.
  • Among the numerous types available in the market the pneumatic nail is the most common among all.
  • Though nail guns are widely used for driving nails, they may cause serious injury if you are not cautious of the safety issues.
  • The nail guns are subject to breaking down just like other devices and need troubleshooting from time to time.


No matter you are a woodworker or other professionals— driving nails would be a daunting task for you. A nail gun will surely help you in this regard. If you know how to use a nailer properly, you will be both safe and satisfied with using the tool.

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