Whether you are someone who enjoys doing your own projects at home or you are a professional contractor, a nail gun is a tool that you are going to want to have. With this tool, you won’t have to be bothered with the cumbersome task of hammering nails into a wall, wood or anything else. It’s particularly beneficial if you are going to be doing a lot of nailing on a single project.

While a nail gun is certainly a handy tool to have, finding the best one for your needs can be a bit of a challenge. There are so many different options available that it can be tough to determine which nail gun will best meet your needs. To help you on your quest for finding the best nail gun, we have put together this handy buyer’s guide, which contains a wealth of valuable information that you can use to find the best nail gun for your needs. This guide highlights the different types of nail guns, the factors to consider when shopping for a nail gun, the different features that this tool can offer and the best nail gun brands.

Types of Nail Guns

Nail guns are either powered by electricity or by pressurized gas (pneumatic.) There are several different types of nail guns, and each one offers different benefits. In order to choose the best nail gun for your needs, it’s important to understand the difference between each of these types.

The Electric Nail Gun

The electric nail gun, as the name suggests, is powered by electricity. They are ideal to use with small home improvement jobs. They are lightweight and they are cost effective; however, on the down side, the electric nail gun has to be plugged into an outlet in order to work, which can limit where you can use the gun and doesn’t make it as portable as a pneumatic nail gun.

The Pneumatic Nail Gun

If you have a lot of nailing that needs to be done, or you are going to be working in an area that doesn’t have access to electricity, or you don’t want to be limited by a power cord, than a pneumatic nail gun is a great choice for you. This type of nail gun is powered by pressurized gas, which makes them much more powerful. They also don’t have to be plugged into an electrical outlet, which means that you can use them wherever you want to.

Nail guns can further be classified by the types of jobs that they are intended to be used for.

The Framing Nail Gun

The framing nail gun ejects nails at an incredible speed and at an incredible force. It can shoot nails into hard pine, spruce, fur and even harder woods with ease. This type of nail gun is designed to be used to build the frame of a structure, as the name suggests. This tool can also be used to build decks and other projects that require large pieces of wood to be nailed together.

The Roofing Nail Gun

As the name suggests, the roofing nail gun is designed to put a roof onto a structure. Unlike the framing nail gun, which takes a straight clip of nails, the roofing nail gun usually needs a coil pack of nails. These are roofing nails and they have a much larger head shape than nails that are used for framing. This type of nail guns have a dial setting, which allows you to control the depth of the nail so that you won’t drive it too far into the material and damage the shingle.

The Flooring Nail Gun

The flooring nail gun is used to put nails into a floor and eliminates the need for toe nailing. It doesn’t require as much force and makes the process of nailing in floors a whole lot easier and faster.

The Finish Nail Gun

Simply put, finish nailing is trim nailing. The trim nail gun allows you to nail on trim with ease without damaging the trim. This type of nail gun can nail through oak and pine and can accommodate a variety of nail sizes.

The Brad Nail Gun

The brad nail gun is usually straight and can nail in the bigger heads of brad nails with ease. The shank of this type of nail gun is also a bit thicker than the finish nail gun.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Nail Gun

There are a number of factors that you should take into consideration when you are shopping for a nail gun. These factors will allow you to choose the best nail gun for your specific needs. Factors that should be considered include the type of projects you will be using the tool for and the power the nail gun offers, among other things. To learn more about the factors that we think are the most important to consider when shopping for a nail gun, please keep on reading.

The Work You Will Be Doing

The first factor that you should take into consideration when shopping for a nail gun is the type of project you will be using it with. As you can see in the ‘types’ section of this buyer’s guide, different nail guns are designed to be used for different jobs. If you are going to be roofing, you should choose a roofing nail gun, and if you are going to be installing a floor, you should choose a flooring nail gun. Using the wrong type of nail gun for a project could potentially cause damage and it will not do an efficient job.

The Trigger Method

There are four different types of trigger method, and it’s an important factor to take into consideration. Trigger methods include simple, pull, tap / bounce and combination. Simple triggers are the easiest to use and will eject a nail with a single pull. A pull trigger method allows you to eject several nails in rapid succession, which is ideal for framing or flooring. A tap / bounce trigger method is best used for projects that require a large amount of nailing, and a combination trigger method will allow you to choose between multiple trigger method options.

The Trigger Size

In addition to determining which type of trigger method will work best for you, you should also consider the size of the trigger. Larger trigger is more comfortable to hold and easier to operate.


The Weight

The weight of the nail gun will determine how comfortable you will be while using it. It will also impact how stable you can hold the gun. For a safe option, choose a nail gun that is constructed of magnesium and aluminum alloy, as these materials are lightweight and will thus ensure that the nail gun will be light and easy to manage.

The Design

The design of the nail gun is also an important factor to consider. Because it is a dangerous tool, it is extremely important that you are comfortable operating it. The best nail guns have an ergonomic design that will allow you to balance the weight of the tool, which will make it easier to grip and have control.

The Power

You also want to consider the amount of power the nail gun offers. You want to make sure that it is powerful enough to securely inject the nails into the surface that you are working on.

The Price

You also want to consider the price of the nail gun. Nail guns can vary widely in price and you don’t want to spend more than you are comfortable with. Generally, larger nail guns that offer more features have a higher price tag.

The Build

You want to make sure that you choose a nail gun that is durable and will last you a long time.

Nail Gun Features

Nail guns can boast a number of features. These features are intended to make the nail gun easier to use, more versatile and more efficient. As mentioned above, the more features that a nail gun offers, the more expensive it will be. It is important to understand these features and what they are intended to do so that you can determine whether or not you want or need them.

The Depth Settings

It is vital that the nail gun you choose has an adjustable depth feature so that you can control the depth of at which the fastener reaches the surface that you are nailing into. A depth setting feature will allow you to avoid nail protrusion, deep pecker markings in your projects and countersinking of nails.

Exhaust Plates

Nail guns can release a lot of exhaust and surface dust while they are being used. An exhaust plate will ensure that the exhaust is diverted and does not cause discomfort while you are using it. Some nail guns also offer adjustable exhaust plates, which allows you to point it even further away from you while you are using it.

A Safety Guard

A safety guard will keep you protected from any dangerous debris that the nail gun many create. This is a feature that you are definitely going to want to have.

Nail Jam Clearing

A nail gun that will allow you to clear nail jams is very useful. With this feature, you won’t have to worry about the hassle of pulling out jams yourself.

A Case

For safe storage and to keep your nail gun protected, look for one that comes complete with a case. When you aren’t using the nail gun, you can put it in its case so that you – and it – can stay protected.

A Warranty

Another great feature to look for in a nail gun is a warranty. Should anything happen to the nil gun during the span of the warranty, you will be able to have it repaired or replaced, or you may be able to have your money refunded. Make sure you read the details of your warranty, as you want to be sure of exactly what it covers.

Best Nail Gun Brands

When you are shopping for a nail gun, you will find that there are a lot of brands to choose from. While it is certainly great to have a lot of options, having too many can make it difficult to determine which manufacturer produces the best quality nail gun. To help you, we weeded through all of the different brands that are on the market, tested them out ourselves and read user reviews. Our research found that the following nail guns are the best of the best.


DeWALT is one of the most highly regarded manufacturers of power tools on the market. This company produces a variety of nail guns that boast an array of features. They are durable, are easy to use, and are lightweight and very versatile.

Porter Cable

Porter Cable is another manufacturer that produces high quality nail guns. We liked that they had so many options to offer and that the provided several features. Porter Cable nail guns are expertly constructed, are very durable and users report that they last a long time.


Paslode has more than 75 years of experience producing power tools, and their nail guns are some of the best products that they offer. Constructed of durable materials and expertly crafted, Paslode nail guns are easy to use, offer several features and last a long time.


This is another manufacturer of some of the best nail guns on the market. This company makes a variety of different types of nail guns that boast an array of features. They are made of durable materials and they are expertly constructed.


Freeman also makes outstanding nail guns. This company offers a variety of different types of nail guns that are made of very durable materials. We found that users reported they were very easy to use and that they offered a lot of handy features.


To round out the list of best brands, WEN produces very high quality nail guns, too. We liked how many options they offered and how easy their nail guns were to use. We also liked the many features that they offered.