Construction professionals and DIYers all over the world, myself included, don’t have enough praises to sing about nail guns. They are literally a godsend to the construction process. Driving nails into the wood used to be (and sometimes still is) a pain. What used to take tons of energy and time with a manual hammer can now be performed in no time at all with a nail gun. Just position the gun, press the button, and the nail is driven into the wood. No more hammering and pounding.
Nail guns have taken over the grunt work of hammering nails into place. A skilled carpenter could hammer a nail into the wood in fewer than five seconds. A nail gun does the same job in the blink of an eye. These tools have freed up valuable time and effort, enabling people like me to focus on other aspects of the construction job.
If you want to hop on the nail gun wagon, we welcome you wholeheartedly. You are going to experience a profound shift in ease and convenience. After using one, you will ask yourself, “Why did I wait this long to get a nail gun?” When searching for a nail gun, however, you will be presented with a lot of options. Just like firearms, there are many kinds of nail guns. You will feel overwhelmed by the glut of options. I wrote this article to help you get over hump and select the right nail gun for you.
Most nail guns can be boiled down into two categories: pneumatic and cordless nail guns. Each type of nail gun has its own pros and cons when it comes to many factors. You will have to know what you need, and match that with what’s available in the market. Fit the nail gun for the job you do, not the other way around.
Pneumatic nail guns derive their driving power from air compressors. They are usually lighter and less expensive compared to cordless nail guns. Pneumatic nail guns are typically used for heavy construction work, as they support nail lengths of 3.5in and longer. While pneumatic nail guns by themselves are cheaper than cordless nail guns, the costs can quickly add up when you factor in the cost of the air compressor, replacement parts, etc. They require more maintenance and the heavy load of the air compressor also cancels out the lightness of the pneumatic nail gun. There’s also the issue of hoses following you around, which can pose a tripping hazard.
Cordless nail guns, on the other hand, rely on an inbuilt battery to supply the power required to drive the nail into the wood. They’re heavier, since everything you need is built into the machine, and are sometimes less powerful than pneumatic nail guns. But there are no air compressors, no hoses to lug around. What you see is what you get. However, the working life of the cordless nail gun is limited by its battery life. Unless you have a spare battery pack, you may find yourself waiting in between charges. But hey, maybe you can focus on other jobs.
One side would say pneumatic nail guns are better, while the other side would claim the opposite. Each nail gun type has their own advantages and disadvantages, and I can say that one type is neither better nor worse over the other. It’s all boils down to the user’s individual needs and wants. If you’re a construction professional, then go for the pneumatic nail gun. If you’re a DIYer, and for doing light carpentry jobs, you would do fine with a cordless nail gun.
Interested in cordless nail guns? Here are a few reasons why you should get a cordless nail gun.
Easier to use and maintain
You can use a cordless nail gun straight out of the box. Unlike pneumatic nail guns, there is no air compressor to assemble and start, no hoses to attach. Fine, you may need to charge the battery first but that is the extent of the prep work needed to use a cordless nail gun. That, and securing the nails.
Pneumatic nail guns also require more maintenance. While pneumatics may have a simpler construction, there are more pieces required to run one. You have to worry about air leaks in the hose, and the air compressor running soundly, and oiling the nailer every day, and checking the compressor oil levels, and making sure all parts are performing well, the list goes on. You don’t have to do all of that with a cordless nail gun.
I also mentioned that cordless nail guns are heavier than pneumatic nail gun. Imagine a weighing scale: on one plate, your new cordless nail gun, on the other, a pneumatic nail gun, hoses and an air compressor. Which do you think is heavier?
Pneumatic nail guns create great amounts of noise due to the air compressor. This makes them unusable in residential areas or in places with noise restrictions. Cordless nail guns only create noise when they’re driving nail into the wood, and even then the noise is negligible at best. Your ears and your neighbours will appreciate your choosing of a cordless nail gun.
Cordless nail guns, on average, are more expensive than their pneumatic counterparts. Some may even cost double or even triple the sticker price of a pneumatic nail gun. But do understand that when buying a cordless nail gun, you are buying everything you will ever need.
When you’re buying a pneumatic nail gun, you are just buying the nail gun. A pneumatic nail gun cannot work on its own. You have to buy an air compressor, hoses, spare parts, oil, etc. The costs can quickly add up. Cordless nail guns are far more affordable down the line.