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Nail Gun Back to Basics-How to Use a Nail Gun

Posted 08-23-2013 at 09:59 AM by nailerman
Updated 08-24-2013 at 05:05 AM by kwikfishron (Removed Link)

Using a nail gun can be an intimidating experience if it is something that you have never done before, however the benefits are extremely beneficial. A nail gun or nailer saves you time and energy, speeding up that project that you are spending your hard earned weekend completing.

Step 1: Choose a Nail Gun
• What type of project are you working on? Will you need a framing nail gun, brad nail gun (for light trim and molding this gun shoots smaller nails so they won’t split the wood and are less visible), trim nail gun (these nails are slightly thicker than brad nails), flooring nail gun, roofing nail gun, or concrete nail gun? Choose the nail gun that is best for you. For most at home projects such as decking, and shelving you would want to choose a framing nail gun.

• Strip or coil? This refers to the way the nails are collated. Strip nails come in a strip, coil nails come in a coil. Coil nail guns allow for less reloading as they hold more nails. If you are doing a big job or are a professional this is the way to go. Most DIYers will choose a strip nail gun.

Step 2: Choose a Nail
• Clipped head or full head? Clipped head nails are just what they sound like, part of the head has been clipped off. This allows the nails to be collated closer together, which means more nails in the strip and less reloading. The holding power does not differ much, however some costal states require full head nails for certain projects.

• Galvanized or not? Galvanized nails are coated to resist rust and corrosion, so if you are completing an outdoor project or something that will be exposed to moisture galvanized is what you want.

Step 3: How Will You Power Your Nail Gun?
• Nail guns can be powered by air, electricity, fuel, or batteries. When you buy your nail gun you will know how it will be powered. Most choose an air powered nail gun as this is a cheap and powerful way to power tools. Air powered tools require an air compressor. Your nail gun will be attached to the compressor by a hose. You can purchase nail gun kits which include an air compressor. Your compressor will then be gas powered or plug into the wall.

Step 4: Load
• Load your gun according to the instructions. This is a relatively simple process. The strip nail guns are similar to loading a stapler. Pull back the magazine, insert the nail strip, and release the magazine to allow tension on the nail strip. To load a coil nail gun open the magazine. Inside there will be an adjustable nail tray, set the tray for the length of nail that you are using. Insert nail coil into the magazine. Towards the nose of the tool you will find a “feed pawl” which guides the nails into the chamber, so be sure that wire and nail heads are aligned with the proper grooves.

Step 5: Fire
• Most nail guns will require the nose to be pressed against a surface to fire. This is a safety feature so that it is not accidentally shot. There are usually two choices for operation: bump fire and sequential. Sequential requires you to pull the trigger each time you want to shoot a nail. Bump fire eliminates the trigger and fires each time the nail gun is pressed up against a surface.
Now you are on your way to completing your project with hassle free nailing!
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  1. Old Comment
    It's worth mentioning that before loading nails, inspecting or clearing a jam or miss-fire, climbing down the ladder or even putting the gun down you MUST detach the air hose & be sure the nailer has depressurized. That's about the only way to keep from shooting yourself since there's no "safety".
    Know that nails can turn in any direction once they hit wood so you're shooting AWAY from your body & your other hand is well away, not holding the workpiece up near the nailer.
    Also on the guns I've used Bump fire doesn't really eliminate the trigger, just allows you to hold it in the firing position.
    Posted 09-12-2013 at 01:42 PM by midwestcoast midwestcoast is offline

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