When I was originally planning this nailer reviews website I was going to prepare this ‘Nailer Buying Guide’ myself. That was until I can across this page. It’s a reasonably good overview on what each type of nailer is capable of and for what job… and therefore what nailer it is that you require!
Here you go, a Nailer buying guide…enjoy…
A Nailer Buying Guide
So, you’ve decided to buy a nail gun and you’ve already visited your local mega-hardware megaplex to pick one up. When you got there, though, you were faced with a wall of nailers that all looked pretty much the same except for size and color. How are you going to choose? In this article, we’ll give you some guidelines to help you decide.
The first step is to ask yourself what kind of work you want to do with the nailer. Do you want to frame a house? Put up panelling? Build furniture? Build doll houses? Do you want a nailer that will be able to do different kinds of projects?
Think, too, about the finished project itself. How strong will it have to be? How thick is the wood you’ll be using? How pretty do you want it to be when it’s finished?
Your answer to these questions will determine the type of nails you need and, therefore, the type of nail gun. Here are a few of your choices:
A brad is a small, thin nail with a very small head that can be sunk into the wood so it doesn’t show. A brad nailer won’t give you a lot of strength, but it’s just the ticket for small items that need to look nice. This is the nail gun to consider if you’ll be working with small or thin materials.
Finish nails, which are quite a bit bigger than brads, also have small heads. They are also specially coated so they won’t “bleed” rust after you paint over them. Finish nails provide some durability without sacrificing looks, because the nails are sunk into the wood. You can then hide them with finish, wood putty, or paint. Consider a finish nailer if you want to do light remodeling, furniture building, or basic woodworking jobs.
If you’ll be doing really heavy work – say, building a house or a deck – you’ll want a framing nailer. These are the draft horses of the group, sinking three-inch nails into dense wood with relatively little effort from you.
Siding, roofing, and floor nailers
If you’re pretty sure you’ll always do a particular type of construction nailing (or something similar), you might consider getting a specialty nailer. These nailers are designed for a very specific purpose, so they’re likely to be the most efficient for that type of work.
Keep in mind that within each type there are variations – some framing nailers, for example, are suitable for “light” framing, where others can sink nails into almost anything. Similarly, most brad nailers can probably do some paneling, but there may be some that can’t. Be sure to read the manual, specifications, and advertising carefully for the nail gun you’re considering, to make sure it will do the things you want it to do.
Chances are, you don’t want to do just one project, or just one kind of nailing. In that case, you may want to consider buying two nail guns. However, if buying two nail guns means you won’t be able to afford any nails, buy the nailer that will serve your needs most of the time – and then consider renting the other kind when you need it.