If you’ve never had the chance to use a nail gun, you won’t know how you got by before without one. Nailing anything by hand takes effort, technique, and experience before you can sink a nail with one shot. And not hit your thumb in the process! Nail guns are powerful, safe, and quick ways to attach almost any two things together.
Battery-Powered Nail Guns for Ease of Use
If you ask me, the most important development in power tool technology has been the Lithium-Ion battery. Power tools that would otherwise need long power cables are now as portable as a pencil and a hundred times more useful. Most battery-powered nail guns make use of 18V batteries that deliver plenty of power without adding too much weight to the tool. Just be prepared to pay for the privilege.
Shots per Charge
If you are looking for a battery-powered framing nailer then check how many shots per charge you will get from your battery. This will give you an idea of how long you can keep working before you are required to stop and charge your nail gun. In addition, if your nail gun uses a gas cartridge it is worth checking how many nails it will fire per cartridge. This will give you an idea of how long each gas cartridge or canister will last and what the costs will be for your project.
The battery charge time will affect how much work you can do. Luckily, most nail gun batteries charge in between 30 – 60 minutes. This reduces downtime and gets you back to work more quickly. Some framing nailers come with two batteries so you can have one on charge while you use the other. This is handy if you have a larger project planned as you can get on with the job and are not held up waiting around for your framing nailer to charge.
Corded Nail Guns
As much as cordless power tools have changed the face of DIY and what you can get done “off grid”, there’s nothing worse than waiting for your batteries to charge up. If you don’t need a battery-operated nail gun, then save yourself some money and go for a corded nail gun. You get all the power you need and there’s no waiting around when your last battery has gone past the red.
The best nail guns have selectable firing modes – sequential and continuous. Sequential fire means that one pull of the trigger, once you’ve pushed the nose up to the workpiece, results in one nail being fired. Continuous or “bump” fire, on the other hand, means that you can hold down the trigger and use the nose action to fire nails or staples rapidly.
Light weight and robust construction are the two most important factors to consider when buying nail guns. Aluminium bodies are common, but you can find brad nailers with magnesium or plastic bodies too.
Ergonomic and comfortable moulded handles are vital if you want to use a brad nail gun, so expect to see thermoset plastics and rubbers on the best brad nailers.
Nail guns are used to quickly and accurately fire nails into a range of materials. You’ll find the best electric nail guns are used for fence building, light timber framing and interior finish work like installing crown moulding and skirting boards. Electric staplers are much more at home when used for upholstery and crafting jobs.
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