You know your way around a hammer, and it’s one of the good old originals for sure. But it’s not as if we’ve all managed to escape scot-free from the wrath of terrible aim. Yes, experience helps, but the hammer and nail combo is a little outdated. Given there’s so much at stake — like your fingers — we think you owe it yourself to invest in a nail gun. You’ll soar through what used to be time-consuming nail jobs, and your woodwork may even look more professional as a result.
Engineers invented the nail gun to automatically drive in nails, making the hammer redundant. The nail gun will easily take on all sorts of carpentry as well as building construction projects around your house or on sites.
Most nail guns are framing guns, brad guns, finish guns, siding guns or palm guns. Let’s take a look at each:
First of all, let’s consider the power source. Battery-powered guns are much quieter than pneumatics. They are also easy to charge and are ideal for crowded spots. Pneumatics are much more powerful given the strength of all that compressed air, and they are, therefore, a far better option if you’re a heavy-duty kind of gal.
One thing to consider as far as costs: Pneumatics may seem to be cheaper than battery-powered guns. However, their air compressors usually aren’t factored into that initial cost, so be sure to keep that in mind.
Now for some trigger-nometry. Opt for a gun with a trigger that makes sense to you, and make sure you understand this component of it before you purchase. Would you prefer multiple nails to be discharged or one at a time? What sort of kickback or recoil could you get used to? Safety first, kids.
You’ll also need to consider what sort of capacity you will need. If you have a project requiring lots of nails, looks for a gun with larger capacity. The DeWalt is a winner for this, but the Makita does go mega with its 300-400 capacity.
In our experience, the online options do offer better value for money, but sometimes in-store options do promotional sales that can’t be beat. For the most part, you will be able to source the majority on Amazon, eBay, The Home Depot or Walmart.
Here are our top five picks:
The top pick comes in at circa $314.99, and yes, it’s worth it. It’s the deluxe of all nail guns —dependable, reliable and with features that nothing else on the market will come close to. Its outstanding service contract of two-years does make it almost incomparable. However, it still weighs a hefty 8.5lbs and requires a battery.
One of the highest caliber brands around, it’s often been referred to as a woodworker’s “significant other” or “bae.” So with such quality companionship, $349.00 is a small price for true love.
One of these bad boys can be picked up for $247.59, or less if refurbished. It’s cordless, but it still packs a hefty punch to get your chores done to perfection.
One of the cheapest around for the quality, the handsome little go-getter is available brand new for $207.70, and cheaper again if refurbished or second hand. This nailer can handle most types of wood and is a great choice for carpenters all round.
For a stunningly reasonable $84.48, this Freeman could be the one for you if you’re not flashing cash right now. It’s so compact and travels well — it may not do much for your Instagram feed, but this agile little thing is so versatile, you’ll forgive its few lacking points.
Have fun with your nail gun, but remember to study up first. There are a lot of choices out there, and while the nailer does make life much easier, safety is most important.