Home Repair

Should I buy a nailgun (nail gun)?

This topic is available here on The Repair-Place forum
I am going to put a little addition on my house.
Do you think it would be worth the money to buy a nail gun?
How much do they cost?
What size or sizes will I need?
What's the best brand?
What else will I need?
How much do the nails cost? Is it a lot more than buying regular nails?
Will I need anything else?
Do they last a long time?
WOW lots of questions... lol
A nail gun is awesome to use. It will put a 3 1/2" nail into solid douglas fir with one squeze of the trigger without even trying. You would have to hit it 6-8 times with a hammer to do the same. So for shoulder/arm joints saved I think they are worth it. I have many sizes and styles for most applications. You will have to shell out $200.00 or so for the nail gun itself then you need a 50' hose, and a compressor that can handle it. Check the cfm (cubic feet per min) of the compressor and this should be 4-5 minimum, or at least 1 1/2 hp.

The job you are doing will determine the size or style nail gun you need. For framing you use a 2 1/2" - 3 1/2" nail so a gun that can handle those sizes would be best. Some states require that the head of the nail be fully round (some of the nail guns use a clipped head nail) so check with your local building inspector before spending the money! The nails are colated into either strips or coils. I use only strip style guns (personal preferance), as I find the coil nails seem to jam more often. For doing roofing the only style is coil nails (go figure) I think because the coil holds more nails before re-loading.

The nails end up costing about double the price of loose nails so that's not too bad considering.

As far as brand.. there are many on the market right now such as:
Stanley Bostitch, Ridgid, Craftsman, Senco, just to name a few. If you take care of them, don't drop them too often, oil regularly (if the oil type some don't require oil), Then any nail gun will last for many projects and many thousands of nails.
What about these nailguns that don't need compressors? What's that all about?
Some of them use an electric (18volt) motor that turns a flywheel of some sort like the Dewalt. I think you can only get a finish type battery nailgun.

Some use butane and have a sort of engine that fires for one revolution like Pasload.

These are great for smaller jobs where dragging a compressor like up a ladder would be prohibitive.
Hey Guru! How about those of us (ok, how about me...) who will be putting in trims of various flavors? We won't be doing any of the framing or roofing (Thanks goodness), but lots of the finishing work... should we think about buying a nail gun? an if so- what kind?? We wouldn't need one as heavy duty as one that does framing, right?

Karen Smile
Do you have a compressor already????? If not then there is a kit available for under $300.00 (more like $249.99) that has a nice porter cable compressor, hose, nailgun and an assortment of nails!! There are some kits that have two different size nailguns one real small one a little bigger. That is the way I would go if I was buying one these days!

By the way, all of the product I just talked about are Porter Cable small size finish nailguns and compressors (a VERY good name in the tool industry) but there are other kits out there too, yes even at the Home Depot and Lowes!
Remember nail guns are dangerous! Some of them have a trip safety where you squeeze the trigger with the tip OFF the wood, then touch it to the wood and BANG! a nail goes in. If you don't hold the tip to the wood firm enough the tip could bounce from the slight kickback and shoot another nail!

Some have sequential trip, where you would have to touch the tip to the wood and press the tip to compress the spring, THEN squeeze the trigger to get one nail.

So wear safety glasses and keep the body parts away. Sometimes a nail could hit a sheetrock screw for example and do a u turn and poke out of the wood! I was nailing a ledger board once in a closet to hold up shelving and the nail hit a knot hole only visible from the back, went through the drywall and poked out the other side which happened to be a fiberglass one piece shower! So be careful!!
Hey, I was standing in line at Home Depot yesterday and saw a Ryobi cordless nail gun!

More investigation is necessary, but I'm thinking it would be perfect for folks like me & Karen.

Jil, did you ever find you drill? Anyway, I'm jealous. A drill and now a nail gun. What more could a girl ask for?
Ryobi cordless? Hmmmm.... I'll have to make a Home Depot run now! Is it part of the 18 volt system too??? That would be cool.
Yup, part of the 18-volt system. I haven't gone back to investigate further. I would imagine that it's not as powerful as one using a compressor, but for around-the-house sorts of projects it might be perfect.

[link to Home Depot removed. It didn't work in either IE or Firefox]
If you ask one of the sales reps they are supposed to let you try it out before you buy it...
So give it a try!
CORDLESS NAILGUN?! How'd I miss that when I was shopping for my dad's father's day gift?! Hmm.... I see another tool purchase in my future! Has anyone tried this yet to see if it is good?

Karen Smile
Do we really think Ron should have a nail gun??? Laughing
No nail gun for Ron... He drinks waaay too much coffee!

BTW the Ryobi 18 volt nail gun is a stapler too! It shoots both staples and brads. I don't think it is powerfull enough to shoot on window or door trim, but for other smaller projects it could be added to my tool collection!
I heard Ron gave up the coffee!

So this means... Nailgun for Ron!!

Let's see... There is my personal favorite, Bostitch N62FNK. That is the most powerful one on the market. It shoots a 1" to 2 1/2" 15ga. nail. It's made of magnesium so it only weighs 3.8 lbs too. It has a form fit rubber grip and a tool-less jam clearing system. Check it out!
I just wanted to add my 2 cents.

I have the bostitch n62fn also and find it to be one of the best nailguns on the market in my opinion.

the nails are always available in most home centers and to top it off it is oil-less! Also if you or someone else on the jobsite puts oil in by mistake, it wont bother it a bit (unlike some of the otheres out there). Oilless is the way to go!

Thanks again for all the info on this great forum!
Yep, I like the oilless feature too. I have had a Senco oilless finish gun ruined because it was oilless and someone put 5 drops of oil into it. I guess the piston parts in that Senco nail gun, that seal the air don't like oil if it's oilless!

Bostitch reps told me it doesn't matter if someone accidently puts oil in or not. It won't affect the gun at all!
I read the thread on pneumatic air nail guns and was wondering what manufacturers are out there and your recommendation for which brands you like best.

Thanks for taking the time to help out!
Each of the companies listed below manufacturers pneumatic tools. They are very competitively priced, and are mostly available at local home centers or lumber yards. Most of the tools are built to last.

I would base my decision on the location of a service center near you that will be able to repair a particular brand, availability of nails, and availability of parts. These tools are rugged and rarely break down if taken care of, but, in the event it does happen to you, you don't want to have to mail it away for repair!

Check out the following companies web sites! They are not listed in any particular order.In parentheses, after the company name, I listed some places you can purchase these nail guns.

Stanley / Bostitch (Home Depot and Lowes)
Senco Products (Lowes and larger lumber yards and home centers)
Porter Cable (Home Depot and Woodcraft Stores)
Makita (larger lumber yards and home centers)
Paslode (Lowes)
Hitachi Power Tools (Lowes and Home Depot)
Hilti (some Home Depot Stores)
DuoFast (Home Depot)
Ez-Fasten (Woodcraft Stores)
Dewalt (Home Depot and Woodcraft Stores)
FireStorm (Lowes)
Tradesman (Lowes)
Ridgid (Home Depot)
I own a ryobi cordless so i though i would put my 2 cents in... it shoots brads from 3/4 to 1 1/4 and various size stapels as well. Its not the most powerfull thing in the world but for trim projects its great. I love mine.
Hi White Dragon,

How many volts is that Ryboi? Is it part of that 18v Plus system? If so, do you have other tools that go along with it?

Yes its part of the 18v system.. I have sevral of them.. all work great
Glad to see this topic is back in action!

My Porter Cable BN200 brad nail gun crapped out and the repair was going to cost around $75 for the o-rings and shipping, so I purchased the Bostitch BT200-K for $90! This gun is awesome! It shoots from 5/8" thru 2". I also bought the Bostitch CAP1516 Trim Air 1.6 gallon compressor. SUPER quiet and fast! Works great with any finish gun. List is about $200. Street price is $159.00


Questions to Webmaster