Home » How to Pick a Nail Gun for Your Woodworking Project

How to Pick a Nail Gun for Your Woodworking Project

Nail guns help you complete your projects faster, making them an ideal option when you want to drive several nails quickly. But how can you know which nail gun is right for your project? Should you use a brad nailer or pin nailer? Here’s what you should check when searching for nailers.

Type of Nail Gun 

Different types of nail guns are available to suit your needs. Some common nail gun types include:

  • Brad Nailer: These nail guns are perfect for delicate projects as they use 18-23 gauge nails. You can use them for crafts, to connect delicate trim, and reupholster furniture.
  • Pin Nailer: These nailers shoot tiny nails making them ideal for fine detail projects and for crafts. You can use them to hold wood pieces together, install cabinetry and wood trim.
  • Finish Nailer: These tools are suitable for detailing projects as they have 15-16 gauge nails. Finish nail guns use thinner nails you can hide using wood putty. They are suitable for installing chair rails and baseboards.


Nail guns come in different sizes depending on the staples they fire and the size of brads and nails. Small size nail guns include crown staplers, finish nailers, and brad nailers. These nail guns are used for smaller jobs found in carpentry or woodworking.

Large size nailers include roofing nailers and framing nailers. You can use them for technical projects like installing roofing shingles. Although these nailers are costly, they allow users to purchase replacement parts which help prolong tool life.

To pick the right nail gun, consider the size of the nails you plan to use and your applications. For instance, a brad nailer shoots ⅜ -1¼ inches nail lengths, making it ideal for woodworking projects. A framing nailer is perfect for constructing fences as it shoots 2-3½ inches nail lengths. 

Power Source

When it comes to a power source, there are two major types of nail guns: Electric and pneumatic.

  • Electric Nailers: These nailers plug into an outlet to give you a steady power supply for consistent results. However, most homeowners nowadays prefer cordless power tools to allow them to work in places with no power.
  • Pneumatic Nailers: These nailers get their power from air compressors to shoot the nails. However, you need to attach them to an air compressor to use them. You can also attach an inline oiler to pneumatic nailers. 

Nail Gun Safety

Nail guns should be used carefully to prevent injuries at your project site. Before using your tool, read the manual to understand safety guidelines. Just to be safe, always keep in mind the following precautions:

  • Avoid using the nailer near flammable liquids or gases
  • Ensure no one is around you when using the nailer
  • Avoid pointing the tool at another person
  • Wear safety glasses and gloves
  • Avoid altering the nailer

You can also test your nail gun using a few wood pieces before you start working on your project. Also, check the correct PSI settings before practicing with your scrap wood. This step is very crucial for first-time users.

Firing Modes

It’s also essential to understand firing modes to avoid accidental firing. On most nailers, firing modes depend on the safety tip and a trigger. For example, you will pull the trigger each time you are shooting nails if you choose a single-action trigger.

This is ideal for detailed projects like installing baseboards or hardwood flooring. On the other hand, a bounce trigger fires nails when the nailer’s nose is on the wall while you are holding and squeezing the trigger. This enables you to work faster. 


The perfect nailer will save you time and effort and help you complete your projects quickly. We hope you found this article helpful.