The Right Tool for the Job – Different Nail Guns and Their Uses

Having a nail gun will save you a lot of time rather than manually using a hammer and nails, and is more accurate too! However, for those who do not have experience using a nail gun, it can be overwhelming since several different nail guns have different purposes. 

This guide will show you the 9 types of nail guns and what they are used for. Then you will be able to make a better decision on what nail gun is best for the project you are working on. 

1. Finishing Nail Gun

A finishing nail gun is used for finishing up your projects. You will not want to use a finishing gun for heavy projects— you’ll want to grab your framing gun instead. A finishing gun is perfect for: 

  • Crown Molding
  • Baseboards
  • Paneling
  • Building Furniture
  • Cabinets

The nails used with a finishing gun are lighter gauge compared to a framing gun. These nails are typically 1″ to 2 ½” in length.

2. Framing Nail Gun

The framing nailer, also known as a framing nail gun, is one of the nail guns people think of first. This nail gun is used for many woodworking and construction projects, such as: 

  • Decks
  • Fences
  • Homes
  • Rooms
  • Wood Sheathing
  • Wood Siding

A framing nail gun is an effective and powerful tool for commercial use. The nails that these guns use are typically 2 ½”-3 ½” and either have a round head or a clipped head. 

3. Brad Nail Gun

The most versatile nail gun on this list is the brad nail gun. This nail gun can get used on many wood projects involving trim work and can be used in most household remodel projects. 

If you are a beginner woodworker renting a brad nail gun is a good choice as the nails used with this gun range from ½” to 2″ with 18 nail gauges, and you can find them cordless too!

Common projects you can use a brad nail gun is: 

  • Baseboards
  • Crown Molding
  • Trim Work
  • Picture Frames
  • Paneling
  • Birdhouses

4. Roofing Nail Gun

A roofing nail gun is used for nailing asphalt shingles to your roof. To nail down the shingles properly, you’ll need a nail gun that will shoot the nail into it with great force. So being able to adjust the depth of the nail makes this nail gun essential. 

Nails used in a roofing nail gun will have a flat head. In addition, these nails will have a straight clip— they will have a coil that permits you to carry more at a single time. This slight advantage makes a roofing nail gun a must when laying down a new roof. 

5. Pin Nail Gun

A pin nail gun or a pin nailer is commonly used for smaller projects, such as: 

  • Small Woodworking Projects
  • Upholstery
  • Crown Molding
  • Cabinetry
  • Thin Veneers
  • Small Furniture Trim

With the power and small size, it makes a tremendous do-it-yourself nail gun. The pin nail gun uses 23 gauge headless nails, the smallest on the market. 

Many individuals choose a pin nail gun over a finishing gun because this gun won’t split your wood or cause any other problems when using it. The finishing gun has a bit more force over the pin nail gun. 

6. Flooring Nail Gun

If you plan on installing floorboards, it will be easier to use a flooring nail gun.

A flooring nailer is designed solely for laying floorboards. It also looks different from the usual nail guns with its harsh angle and odd appearance.

Using a flooring nailer is much quicker and better than toenailing, as well as being less energy intensive, as you don’t have to get up and down off your knees like you otherwise would. You can also make tongue and groove floorboards with a flooring nail gun. 

7. Staple Gun

For most upholstered furniture projects, a staple gun is commonly used. When using a staple gun, they tend to leave larger holes than any other nail gun on the list, but it always ensures the items stay in place. Also, you do not have to worry about oiling up your staple gun either, so excess oil ending up on your project is a non-issue.

A staple gun is not only used for furniture. It can also be used for: 

  • Home Repair
  • Carpentry
  • Construction
  • Upholstery

8. Palm Nail Gun

A palm nail gun gets its name from its being able to be held in your palm. This nail gun is lightweight but can nail as fast as lighting while connecting to an air compressor. 

The nails used in a palm nail gun are typically 1.5” to 3.5”. Even though these nails are on the smaller side, some palm nailers can also use heavy-duty nails between 2” to 6”. These nails are perfect for edges, ceilings, and corners. 

You’ll want to use a palm nail gun for: 

  • Tight Spots
  • Joist Hangers
  • Smaller Projects

9. Siding Nailer

If you are putting up siding around your house, you’ll want to pick up a siding nailer. The siding nailer is the latest nail gun in the family. Before this specific nail gun was invented, people used the framing nailer instead. The siding nailer has a soft tip, which ensures that your siding materials will not get damaged in the process. 

Choose Elephant Rental

Elephant Construction Solutions serves professionals and hobbyists alike with high-quality tools and equipment you need to get the job done. Located in the Rio Grande Valley, we offer construction equipment for rent, power tools for rent, power equipment rentals, saw rental, and concrete breaker rental, as well as other quality equipment and machinery, including air compressor rental, power generator rental, and even scaffolding. 

Reach out to us at Elephant Construction Solutions to get your free quote for any machinery your site may need. Whether it’s as simple as a lawnmower, as important as scaffolding, or as small as a nail gun, we have the rental tools and equipment you need to successfully finish your next project and stay under budget while doing it.


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