How Does a Nail Gun Work

How Does a Nail Gun Work

Nail guns have a specific purpose; they are used to drive nails into surfaces, usually wood, with extreme force. They have begun to replace the more traditional method of using a hammer.

So what are the different types of nails guns and what is their general method of working. Throughout this article, we will do our best to answer these questions for you.

Short Answer:

You must have an air compressor connected to the air gun in order for it to work. So what happens is that the air compressor pushes the air through the hose into the air gun’s air reservoir. The nail gun’s driver is a part that contains the piston and a long shaft. Once you press the trigger, the driver comes into contact with the nail forcing it with astonishing pressure into the surface in front of it.

The 9 Types of Nail Guns:

There are 9 types of nail guns, all with different uses; however, all of them have the same mechanism of working. They are:

Each one of these nail guns has a different use, and we will discuss each one of them briefly.

1. Staple Gun

They are weaker than most nail guns; however, they are very efficient when used in smaller household projects. They can be used to attach fabrics to each other or to even staple carpets to the floor.

Staple Gun

2. Finish Nailer

Finish nailers are used in carpentry; however, they have specific nails. A finish nailer can only use 15 or 16 gauge finish nails.

Finish Nailer

3. Pin Nailer

Pin nailers are different from their cousins, and they use the smallest and most delicate of nails.

Pin Nailer

4. Brad Nailer

Brad nailers are relatively large, and this is the reason that they are contractors’ and operators’ first choice when it comes to nail guns. Moreover, they have an 18-gauge nail.

Brad Nailer

5. Roofing Nailer

True to their name, roofing nailers are also large. Contractors and professionals use them to drive nails into rooftops or any type of wood.

Roofing Nailer

6. Siding Nailer

These are extremely powerful nail guns, and they are used to join thin pieces of wood to wooden mounts.

Siding Nailer

7. Flooring Nailer

Laying tongue and grooving floorboards, these are the two only uses that flooring nailers can do. They are especially shaped to perform these tasks.

Flooring Nailer

8. Palm Nailer

Palm nailers are all about size and speed, and they are the size of your palm and fire very rapidly, exactly like a minigun.

Palm Nailer

9. Framing Nailer

There are the heaviest and toughest nail guns. They are perfect on large scale sites and projects.

Framing Nailer

How Do They Work?

Now that we talked about the 9 different types of nail guns. We must understand how they work. Most nail guns come in three different types. They are:

  • Combustion
  • Pneumatic
  • Battery Powered

1. Combustion Nail Guns

Combustion nail guns and pneumatic nail guns are very similar to each other in terms of their mechanism. An imbalance in pressure causes the long blade, which is attached to the piston to move. This difference is caused by internal combustion. Similar to cars; gas cartridges pump fuel into the chamber.

A small battery generates a small spark that ignites the gas to generate the force that pushes the nail. Combustion nail guns are very strong and dish out amazing performances.

2. Pneumatic Nail Guns

As we talked about before, pneumatic nail guns are similar to combustion ones. The difference here is in the way in which pressure is generated. They use an air compressor, which pushes pressurized air through a hose into the nail gun. Pneumatic nail guns are the most common and the most used nail guns; the base of the nail gun is attached to the compressor using a plastic or rubber air hose.

Air compressors collect air from the atmosphere and pressure it until it reaches the required pressure, and it then pushes pressurized air into the nail gun. The pressure reaches the nail gun’s barrel and is stored until you pull the trigger. The pressure is stored above the internal piston, and when the trigger is pulled, it drives the blade forward, pushing the nail out at incredible speeds to make it capable of going through wood.

Continuous usage of a pneumatic nail gun, the compressor’s internal pressure level will begin to drop. The compressor will automatically kickback when the pressure reaches a certain point until the pressure reaches its optimum point.

3. Battery Powered

Unlike other models, battery-powered models are more suitable for beginners and DIYers. They do not use pressurized air or gas; they used a rotating electric motor instead. The rotor has a powerful spring, which, when the trigger is pulled, the spring is released, which creates the required force.

Their biggest advantage is that they are cordless and quick-to-fire. You instead rely on a rechargeable battery that powers the rotor. However, they are not as strong as battery and combustion nail guns, which makes them more suitable for small and medium projects.

YouTube video

Final Thoughts

Finally, it is safe to say that the mechanism of working for all types of nail guns is the same. The difference lies in where the pressure is generated. Whether air compressors, gas, or rotors.

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