Choosing the Ideal Nailer for You

Unlike many types of tools, nailers are not intended for general purposes - there is no all-purpose nailer that you can use with all your jobs. Nailers are meant to be used for particular tasks, so before purchasing a new nailer it's very important to understand the work for which it will be used. The types of nailers available are: - Framing nailers: These are meant to drive large (1-1/2" to 4") box-type nails into bigger pieces of wood.

These types of nailers tend to be heavy and big and are usually stick-type nail guns, they there are some coil-types available also. - Finish nailers: These nailers may be referred to as brad or pin nailers. They are intended for nailing smaller finish-type nails into small pieces of stock. These nailers are most often smaller and lighter than framing nailers, and they tend to be used for trim or finishing work. These are usually stick-type nail guns.

- Roofing and Siding nailers: These nailers are intended for the specialized task of installing either roofing or siding. They store large numbers of nails that are designed specifically for the task at hand (siding or roofing). These are almost always coil-type nailers. Once you decide on the type of nailer you want, some other properties that are helpful to have and which you should look for are: - An adjustable exhaust output. When nails are delivered, air shoots out from the nailer. It's nice to have an adjustable exhaust so that this air is not being delivered into your face.

- A large trigger. If you are going to be using your nailer outdoors in cold weather, you'll likely be wearing winter gloves. In this case you'll want to make sure you have a good-sized trigger so that you can work when wearing gloves. - A pivot on the air connector to the nailer. If you move around often with your nailer, this will help reduce the knotting of your air hose.

- An easy-to-use depth adjustment. Nearly all nailers have an adjustment to controlmanage the depth to which the nail is put in. Using this adjustment, the nail is not left jutting out of the surface, or sunk too deep far in. Lots of nailers need tools, and time, to perform this adjustment, others can be set by hand and these are almost always much quicker to set up. If you think you will want to be making this setting often, the easier and quicker it is to adjust, the easier it will be to use this nailer.

- If you are going to be delivering a lot of nails, you'll want to think about the nail capacity of the nailer and also the ease with which nails can be loaded into the gun. Purchasing the right nailer in this regard can save you a lot of time on a job, or cost you a bunch of time if you make the wrong choice. Lastly, make sure you look at the reviews for the nailer you are looking at. Checking out a tool in a store or on-line, it's really difficult to be sure how well it will work for you once you get it home. By looking into the reviews of people that have actually used the nailer, you'll get a much better idea if this nailer will work for you.

Brad has been working construction for over 20 years. He owns, or has used, over 30 nailers over his career. You can see his nailer reviews at where he is a senior contributing editor.

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