9 Types of Nail Guns: What Makes Each One Different?

Nail Guns are always in-demand power tools in home improvement and construction projects. Starting from carpenters, construction crews, and homeowners to DIY enthusiasts, a high-powered power nailer is still the best companion.

In this article, we have got you covered with the list of the type of nail guns and their particular uses of it so that you have in-depth knowledge of each kind of nailer and figure out the right style and right kind of nail gun you need to accomplish your job.

Several varieties of nail guns with different features and versatilities are available in the market and this makes it confusing to choose the right gun fit for the purpose. However, the daunting task of selecting the right nail gun for your project becomes more comfortable when you learn about the main types of nail guns and how they are classified.

Not all nail guns work in the same way and as such understanding the uses of different nail guns and how each type of nail gun is categorized not only helps in determining the right kind of nail gun for your project but also helps in cutting your home improvement projects and build time much more considerably.


As it turns out, there are nine main types of nail guns, and every kind of it comes with a different use, specific purpose, and construction.  Here we have explained in detail each type of it, uses of it, and also certain drawbacks and advantages of each type of nailer.

1. Framing Nailer

Metabo HPT NR90AES1 21 Degree Pneumatic Framing Nailer, The Preferred Pro Brand of Pneumatic Nailers, Lightweight and Well-balanced, Easy Depth Adjustment, Accepts 2" to 3-1/2" Collated Framing Nails Framing nail guns are one of the most incredible power tools which are mighty enough to drive impressive numbers of nails at higher speed, force, and precision. These nail guns are powerful and come with increased productivity and durability, unlike traditional nailers.

Uses of a Framing Nailer

Framing nail guns are the most common power tools used in significant carpentry works, industrial applications, and handling large construction projects such as that of framing houses, installation of hardwood flooring, or building decks

Framing Nailer: Weight, Ergonomics, and Ease of Use

Framing nail guns are more massive in size, and the best framing nailers are constructed with better material and designed with an ergonomic handle, which makes it a lot easier and more comfortable to handle. These nail guns are comparatively more cumbersome and their weight of it ranges from 4.5 to 12 pounds.

Different Models and Varieties of Framing Nailer

Often you’ll find various models of framing nailers available at the market. However, there remain only two specific varieties of it, and these are either round-headed or clipped-headed ones.

Things that Make the Framing Nailer the Right Choice

  • Suitable and relatively safer for working in tighter spaces
  • Capable of driving an impressive number of nails
  • Comes with phenomenal speed and durability

Drawbacks & Limitations of Framing Nail Guns

  • Framing Nailers accept only the specific type of nails and nail clips that matches with its angles (21-Degree, 28-Degree, 30- and 34-Degree and 15-Degree)
  • Framing nailers are incredible heavy which makes them difficult to transport and also requires more body strength to work with it

See Also: Which Cordless Framing Nailer Do we Think is the Best?

2. Flooring Nailer

Freeman PF18GLCN Pneumatic 18-Gauge 1-3/4" L-Cleat Flooring Nailer for Bamboo and Exotic Flooring Ergonomic and Lightweight Nail Gun with No Mar Foot for Tongue and Groove Hardwood FlooringA flooring nailer is a specific type of nail gun that is mainly designed and constructed for flooring purposes. With the flooring nailers, the constructors no more have to go through the hazards of hammering the floor. By using this power nailer it is now a lot easier and less time and energy-consuming when it comes to nailing down the floor at its space.

What is a Flooring Nailer Used for?

Just as the name sounds, flooring nail guns are used, particularly for floor-nailing purposes. Starting from Brazilian teak, cherry, bamboo flooring, and hardwood to any denser wood planks with the flooring nailer you are sure to drive the nails as securely and as precisely as possible.

Flooring Nailer: Ergonomics, Comfort, and Weight Range

What makes the flooring nailers so unique is that it comes with better handling and proper gripping features, which makes the task of floor nailing smooth and done most conveniently. The best type of floor nailers are ergonomically created and comes with comfortable handling and convenient rubber gripping to finish the task of floor installation like a pro.

The pneumatic framing nailers are lighter than that manual ones, and generally, the weight of these power nailers ranges from 10.70 Pounds to 14 pounds.

Different Models & Varieties of Flooring Nailer

When you are out purchasing a flooring nailer, you’ll find several models of it at different prices. However, all the models of flooring nail guns are mainly of two varieties, and these are-   manual and pneumatic ones.  Both pneumatic and manual framing nailers have pros and cons attached to it.

On the other hand, when it is to the types of flooring nailers, then you must know that Cleat nail guns and flooring staple guns are the two main types of it.

Things that Make the Flooring Nailer the Right Choice

  • Ergonomically created for the specific purpose of flooring installation
  • Safer to use for nailing any flooring with any density
  • Speeds up the process of floor installations 

Drawbacks & Limitations of Flooring Nailer

  • Manual flooring nailers cannot handle tight spots as smoothly as pneumatic flooring nailers.
  • Setting up a pneumatic flooring nailer requires a lot of arrangements.
  • Pneumatic flooring nailers have a higher probability of getting jammed compared to manual ones.

How to Find the Best Flooring Nailer for furnishing wooden floors?

3. Palm Nailer

Hitachi NH90AB Mini Impact Palm Nailer, 360 Degree Swivel Fitting, Accepts 2-1/2" to 3-1/2" Bulk Framing Nail, 5 Year Warranty (Discontinued by the Manufacturer) Unlike conventional nail guns, palm nailers are newer types of guns fit for woodworking crafts and DIY projects.  If you are looking for a mini model of a weapon that fits right in the palm of your hand and is capable enough to complete any small projects of yours in a breeze then palm nailers are a perfect choice.

And, more is that the palm nailers are more precise and compatible with almost all types of nails, and this makes them an excellent choice for beginners and also for regular users.

What is a Palm Nailer Used for?

Palm Nailers are the ideal type of nail guns for light-duty projects and for precise positioning in case of nailing corners and ceiling edges. Being small in size and lighter in weight the palm nailer is best for driving nails in tighter and small spaces

Palm Nail Guns: Ergonomics, Comfort, and Weight Range

Palm nailers are similar to pint-sized guns and constructed in such a way that it easily fits in the palm of the user’s hand. What makes this newer type of nailer different is that unlike the conventional nailer sits is light in weight, smaller, and fits right in the palm of the user’s hand. Its lightweight construction of it makes it comfortable and easy to use

Different Models & Varieties of Palm Nailer

There are various models of palm nailers available on the market featuring multiple attributes and qualities. However, all palm nailers come in any of the three variations- cordless, electric, or pneumatic varieties.

Things that Make the Palm Nailer the Right Choice

  • Palm nailers are the perfect ones to drive smaller nails in smaller and tighter spaces efficiently.
  • These nail guns are light in weight, and this makes them easier to work with.

Drawbacks & Limitations of a Palm Nailer

  • Palm nailers have to reload after each usage, and this delay the working process.
  • No onboard storage capacity.

Why Plam nailer is a daily necessary power tool for homeowners?

4. Roofing Nailer

BOSTITCH Coil Roofing Nailer, 1-3/4-Inch to 1-3/4-Inch (RN46) What are Roofing Nailers Used for?

Just as the name sounds, the roofing nail guns are used mainly for roofing jobs. This type of gun is usually used by professional contractors for roofing and construction projects.

Roofing Nailer: Weight, Ergonomics & Ease of Use

The roofing nailers’ weight ranges from 4.9 lbs. to 6 lbs. making it a compact, lightweight nail gun which is easy to carry and also easy to operate. The roofing nailers are ergonomically constructed, and the top-quality roofing nail guns come with molded grips and handles making it comfortable and safe to use.

Different Models & Varieties of Roofing Nailer

Although various types of roofing nailers are available in the market, generally, these nail guns come with three main varieties. The main three variations of roofing nailers available at the market are either spring-loaded, solenoid or pneumatic.

Things that Make the Roofing Nailer the Right Choice

  • From asphalt shingles to any roofing materials one can nail any roofing material with this type of gun.
  • The roofing nailers come with impressive nailing power, and the best roofing nail guns come with the high capacity magazine and quick loading time.

Drawbacks & Limitations of a Roofing Nailer

Roofing nailers are heavy-duty ones and explicitly designed for roofing purposes. This is why; this type of nail gun is not the right one for small works or DIY projects.

5. Siding Nailers

Freeman PCN65 Pneumatic 15 Degree 2-1/2" Coil Siding Nailer Ergonomic and Lightweight Nail Gun with Tool-Free Depth Adjust and Side Load Magazine Siding nailers are the perfect types of nailers to solve almost all siding related problems and siding nailing tasks.  From siding installations to working with more massive planks of wood this type of nail gun is capable of driving a nail and finishing the siding nailing project as precisely and as fast as possible.

What are Siding Nailers Used for?

Just as the name sounds, the siding nailers are designed and constructed specially to nail the siding to walls and complete the siding installation process as efficiently as possible.

Siding Nailer: Weight, Ergonomics, and Ease of Use

The weight of siding nail guns varies according to their working capabilities and underlying performance. The siding nailers are typically 1 to 2 inches longer and a bit heavier in weight compared to the roofing nailers.

The top-quality siding nailers come with debris shields, and this makes this great tool safer and easier to use.

Siding Nailer: Models & Varieties

There are many models and variations of siding nailers available on the market, but the top brands of siding nailers are usually BOSTITCH, Hitachi, Freeman, and Dewalt.

Things that Make the Siding Nailer a Right Choice

  • The siding nailers are specialty nail guns, which are inexpensive and fit to solve all primary siding related problems. This makes it the recommendable type of nail gun for siding applications.
  • This type of nail gun is the perfect power tool for the professional siding installer

Drawbacks & Limitations of a Siding Nailer

  • Some models of siding nailers work well with plastic collated nails but not with wire collated ones.

How to Choose a Siding Nailer For Home Renovation or Siding Project

 6. Pin Nailer

Makita AF353 23 Gauge, 1-3/8" Pin Nailer, Pin Nailers are the type of nail guns that are ideal enough for thin finishing works in woodworking projects.

What is a Pin Nailer Used For?

  • This nail gun is best used for delicate furniture trimming work in which glue is used as the primary adhering source.
  • Pin nailer is generally used for finishing work in carpentry and delicate trimming work.
  • Pin nail guns are the right ones for home remodeling projects such as installing molding, woodwork applications in kitchen cupboards, and so on.

Pin Nailer: Weight, Ergonomics, and Ease of Use

Pin nailer is an incredibly lightweight nail gun, and when working with it you don’t have to worry about straining your arm.  The best types of pin nailers, such as a Mid-Priced 23-Gauge Pin Nailer come with only 2.5 lbs.; This is what makes the pin nailers a convenient kind of nail gun.

Pin Nailers: Models and Varieties  

Pin Nailers are the smallest type of nail guns of the Finish Nailer family and come in many variations and depth adjustment levels.

Things that Make the Pin Nailer Good to Work With

  • Pin nail guns drive into thin wood pieces without splintering and don’t leave any visible nail holes.
  • These nail guns adhere to two pieces of wood together easily without damaging the wood surface in any way.

Pin Nailer: Drawbacks & Limitations

  • Pin Nail Guns lack the strong driving force to penetrate thicker and denser wooden surfaces.

You May Be Interested: How to Find the Best Pin Nailer for Your Woodworking Project?

7. Brad Nailer

PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Brad Nailer Kit, 18GA (PCC790LA) For any woodworking project if you are looking for the type of nail gun that comes with permanent holding capabilities then it is the Brad nailer.

While both Pin Nailer and Brad Nailer are the preferred types of nail guns among Carpenters and are explicitly designed for woodworking projects, there are some significant differences in each of their performances.

What is a Brad Nailer Used For?

  • Brad Nailers are the most flexible nail gun for woodworking projects and for those who require getting more functionality from their nailer type.
  • Brad nail guns operate with thicker nail gauges, and this is why this nail gun is fit for dense trim work

Brad Nailers: Weight, Ergonomics & Ease of Use

The most popular and best Brad nailers weigh only 2.2lbs to 5.9 lbs and come with an ergonomic grip, which makes it easy to hand and work with. The cordless and battery-powered Brad nailers are however the clear winners when it comes to convenience and Ease of Use

Brad Nailer: Models & Variations 

There is a wide variety of different options for brad nailers. In general, the pneumatic Brad nailers from the Hitachi Model are the most popular and best-branded ones. The plug-in pneumatic models come, which come with high build quality, and are the best of the whole lot.

Things that Make the Brad Nailer Good to Work with

  • Brad nail guns outperform some of the significant limitations of pin nail guns and the more diverse types compared to pin nailers
  • What makes the braid nailers the best ones is that these types of nail guns are capable enough to drive nails into thicker wood pieces.
  • Compared to other types of woodworking nailers, Brad nailers provide more holding power.

Brad Nailer: Drawbacks & Limitations

  • The only drawback of the brad nailer is that it leaves a visible nail hold on the wooden surfaces that must be covered with putty.
  • Brad nailers are not the ideal ones to be used on thinner wooden working projects.

Check Out: Which Cordless Brad Nailer do we think is best for Cords?

8. Finish Nailer

BOSTITCH BCN650D1 20V MAX 15 Gauge Fn Angled Cordless Finish Nailer (Includes Battery and Charger) What is the Finish Nailer Used For?

In case you are wondering what the best nail gun is for trimming purposes, then the answer is the finish nail guns and nailers. The finish nailers are the best nail guns for nailing thicker materials securely and for almost all types of trimming or decorative boarding purposes.

Finish Nailer: Weight, Ergonomics & Ease of Use

The weight of the finish nailers depends on its material and construction. The aluminum designed finish nailers weigh 4.2lbs. approximately while the magnesium constructed ones weigh almost 9.8 lbs.

Different Models & Varieties of Finish Nailers

When it comes to the models and versatilities of finish nailers available on the market, there are mainly two variations of it, and these are cordless models and air-powered finish nailers

Ergonomics and Comfort

The finish nail guns are designed and ergonomically constructed for one-handed use.  This makes working with this type of nailer much more comfortable compared to other ones.

Things that Make the Finish Nailer Good to Work With

  • The angled varieties of finish nailers can reach to the narrowest edge of the surface and drive nail correctly.
  • Some of the top qualities of finish nailers can drive nails both on the vertical surface, L structured surfaces, and very narrow areas.

Finish Nailer: Drawbacks & Limitations

  • One of the drawbacks of these nailers is that the angled finish nailers are much more expensive compared to straight finish nail guns.
  • The straight finish nail guns are heavy to hold compared to the angled ones.

See Also: What is Cordless Finish Nailer Good For?

9. Staple Gun

Heavy-Duty PowerCrown Tacker Staple guns use different ammunition and come with different purposes compared to other nail types and nail guns. What makes the staple guns different is that these guns come with larger heads and are prone to leave bigger visible nail holes. Just like pin nailers, the staple guns are mainly used to hold together wooden planks that are glued together.

Uses of Staple Guns

  • Staple guns are used in various woodworking and household projects to attain temporary hold in pieces together.
  • Staple guns are mostly used to attach fabrics on a wooden surface such as that of upholstered furniture.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Things to Consider when Buying a Nail Gun?

There are several varieties and models of nailers and nail guns available at the market, and each type of it comes with pros and cons attached; which we discussed above.

However, when you are considering to buy a nail gun, there are some specific and standard features to look for which helps in determining the right type of nail gun one will need.

The Top 7 Things You Should Consider When Buying a Nail Gun are as Follow

  1. The power source of the nail guns
  2. Depth Adjustments and Nail adjustments of the nailer type
  3. Checking the nailer’s nail size limitations
  4. Jam clearing efficiency of the nail gun
  5. Magazine capacity of the nailer
  6. Ergonomics and safety of the nailer
  7. Battery life and Charging Capacity

What is the Best Choice for an All-Rounder Nail Gun Fit for almost all Nailing Purposes?

The most common type of nail guns are the framing nailers, and this is why these nailers are often considered as the best fit for all-purpose. In this case, the best framing nail guns on the market are usually the full-headed ones, air-powered, and come with dual-trigger options.

However, when it comes to versatile nailing application, the finish nail guns are fit for both small and large projects and is an excellent power tool to add to your arsenal.

What Kind of Nail Gun do I Need as a Beginner?

With hundreds of confusing reviews online and several models and variations available at the market, we know it a daunting task for first-timers to select their first nail gun type.

As a beginner learning to operate nail guns for the first time, the best type of nail gun is the cordless brad nailers.

The cordless brad nails are the best ones for first tiers because these guns are easy to operate, portable, light-weight, and loaded with useful nailing features essential for both beginners and professionals.

What type of Nail Gun do I Need for Fencing?

Often it becomes confusing to understand which type of nailer is precisely fit for fencing purposes. But, just as we mentioned above – each type of nailer is fit for a specific task, and it is better to use the right nail gun for the fencing purpose

In this case, the fuel-driven framing nailers are the best type of nail guns for fencing and deck nailing purposes if It is because these type of framing nailers not only comes with impressive power but are also cordless making the task of accomplishing the fencing project as efficiently and quickly as possible.

Which one is the Best Nailer for Woodworking?

In case you are wondering about the best nail gun type specifically for adding detailed woodwork trim only, then it is the Brad Nail Gun you should be looking for. The best types of brad nail guns available at the market come with multi-directional exhaust and 360-degree port rotating capacity, and this makes it easier to blow the debris off the wood surface easily when working with it and firing the nails.

What is your Preference for the Best Brand, and Why?

The best brand to look for when purchasing a nailing gun depends on the type of nail gun that you are looking for. However, the most popular and the top 5 brands of nails guns that have been raiding the market for several years and till 2019 are–

  • Hitachi (Finish Nailers& Pin Nailers)
  • BOSTITCH (Framing Nailers)
  • NuMax (Stapler guns)
  • DEWALT (Brad Nailers)
  • WEN (18-Gauge Brad Nailer)


Now that you know all the types of nail guns used and what differentiates each of the nailers, it is time you replace the hammer from your workstation with a much more convenient nail gun. After understanding all the basic types of nailers, it’s a lot easier to decide and choose the ideal type that fits your needs, budget, and project.

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