A framing nailer is a part and parcel of every large project. From home remodeling to deck this tool is indispensable. All framing types of nailers use for general construction. Probably one of the more common designs fires a 22-degree plastic collated full round head nail. Nail gun we use for nailing off the hardware or what nail gun for nailing off shear panel or roof sheathing.

Framing nailers take the lowest gauge of nails so they can take like 11 to 8 gauge nails and they are very large. These are meant for heavy-duty construction like framing a house or putting together a deck. If you work in construction you just don’t want to waste the time doing it slowly. However, if you can choose a perfect framing nail gun it can be a gift for you. Fast work with accuracy it will bring. But if you use it carelessly it can bring danger like a wound.

We are going to talk about how to operate a framing nailer or a nailing gun. The first thing that you need to keep in mind is there are three basic gun designs based on the angle of the head to the rail.

Variety of Framing Nail Guns

Generally, we can divide any framing nailers into two categories. One is cordless framing nailers and another is pneumatic framing nailers. The most inexpensive nailers are pneumatic nailers that hook into an air compressor. A  framing nailer has a quick connection to an air compressor. So you load the nails in here and then it comes out right here and the air in the air compressor gives it the oomph that it needs to push that nail through the material. 

We would argue that they are not the most beginner-friendly. This air compressor comes with its long hose and plug-in cord. So not only are you limited by the cord you have to know power somewhere. 

You also are limited by your hose. This can get in the way when you are working with your nailer the connections on the hose up here and down here can sometimes get loose and the hose can pop off causing you to have this terrible screeching noise and lose all your air pressure. That is just terribly inconvenient. 

The other major inconvenience is that the hose can get tangled and kinked it’s really in your way especially for projects like on the ceiling. That’s actually why you can go for cordless nailers.  

Because if you are going to be redoing your living room ceiling and you knew that a nailer hooked into an air compressor would be very difficult to work with not only that but the air compressor makes a very very loud noise as it runs and it can turn off when the tank reaches pressure. So it will like randomly turn back on as you’re using your nailer it will always startle you. When it turns on and off like that you hated that and you would love that with your coordinate cordless nailers as you don’t have that loud noise.

The function of a battery-powered cordless framing nailer has similarities with its big brother. However, it featured a changeable compressed air barrel. They stay inside the cordless nailer. Thus this tool produces the necessary pressure and smoothly drives the piston. This barrel or canister is equipped with a powerful battery which ensures to taking charge. It will allow you to drive a set of selected nails. After some use, you will need to change the canister to do work again.  

Cordless battery-operated framing nailers offer increased power and falling prices. Moreover, fuel cell mailers make them an attractive alternative to pneumatics. Battery pack-only tools are becoming more and more prevalent in the market.  

It’s true in the question of fast action the cordless framing nailer is a bit back than the pneumatic framing nailer. However, its hunger for pressure, limitation of a hose has limited its capacity of movement than its competitor cordless version.  Generally, any cordless model needs a few moments before delivering its action. One also needs to pay some extra bucks for its essential part compressed air canisters. So, it is obvious both have their pros and cons. However, for any framing work, they are capable enough to accomplish larger projects.

1. Classifications of Nails

When you are intending to use a framing nailer it will be a wiser decision to know the right type or size of nails. Generally, you will get two options: coil-style and stick-style magazine. Both are reliable. It just depends on your choice. Stick-style ensure up to a hundred nails. 

While they may all look similar different nails have different characteristics, designed for a specific job for example there are different nail head types to consider. The common flathead offers a large striking surface and solid holding power. So it’s ideal for sheathing and insulation checkered. Flatheads are textured to prevent slippage making them a good choice for framing. 

There are also different nail points. The most common is a diamond point good for general use. There are also long diamond points that work well with drywall and hard material.

The size of a nail is classified in a rather unusual way. Let’s break it down. The length of a nail from its head to the tip of the point is defined as a penny which is represented by the letters D.

One thing please keep in mind is always follow the building code. You know clipped-head nails are forbidden in some areas. So though they are convenient to use before starting your project first check whether they are allowed to use in that particular area. You may need to use a fully-round nailhead.

2. Rules of using a Framing nailer

One of the more common designs fires a 22-degree plastic collated full round head nail. So the first thing you need to do is to load your gun. In this case, it drops in the magazine. Just slide it forward.

So your nails are now inside the magazine ready to go. If you are going to be framing all day a gun like this will take two sticks or two sets of nails. So you don’t have to reload as often and the next thing you want to think about before you start firing is how do you want to nail. 

There are two ways that most guns will fire. Sequential or pull the trigger. Once you get one nail or bump fire will you pull the trigger and every time the nose is compressed it will fire a nail? Bump fire is great if you are doing a lot of repetitive work. You know you are just going to do a whole line of nails. You can bump fire quickly. 

If you are going to be doing more particular work like toenailing or where you need nails to exactly where you want, you need to go to be on sequential fire. An ideal framing gun can do both with the same trigger. There is just a little indicator that lets you know which way you are firing upset on sequential. 

Some guns you have to physically change the trigger. So for most people who are not using frames and guns regularly, they will set up the one that they are most that they use most often. They will just go with that. 

In a sequential process, you have to press down the safety and that nose pieces of safety and then pull the trigger.  When you are not using your gun go ahead and disconnect the air. Now you don’t have to worry about anybody getting injured. That’s how to operate a framing nail gun.

3. Triggers that matter

Just remember any framing nailer featured with two interchangeable triggers option. Sequential or pull the trigger. If you want fast action bump-fire option is the best. However, if you love precision and better control your best assistant can be a single fire option. We recommend more practice on the single fire option until you gain confidence with better safety knowledge. 

4. Fastening methods of a Framing Nail Gun

A framing nail gun generally follows two simple rules of nailing. One is through nailing and another is toe-nailing. First, be master with through nailing with a lot of practice. In the long run, when you need to use nails at an angle you will need to go for toenailing method. 

5. Safety comes first

Always wear safety glasses when using nailers. You can lose an eye. Hearing protection is a good idea too. You should not oil the magazine. Oil attracts dirt.

Nails didn’t penetrate in because you let the nailer jump. If you don’t apply a decent grip on the gun with a bit of pressure against the surface, the recoil will compensate for the penetration force of the nail.

One last thing, you shouldn’t throw the nailer. It has a needle inside with a somehow fragile structure. If you derail it’ll be a pain to fix it. Also, it’s fitted tight with a couple of screws on top of the device. A shock may cause you decompression and an obsolete nailer.


Jason has been a Tool enthusiast for some years and has written some articles on Power Tool and Hand Tools.

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