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Choosing the Right Nail Gun

Choosing the Right Nail Gun

Read our guide to help you identify the right nail gun for your project

Nail Gun

First fix or second fix? Framing or Brad? With so many varieties of nail gun available, we know there is the ideal model out there to complete any project, whether it’s at home or for your business. But, with a wide range of options it can be unclear which nail gun is right for the job. Whether you are a business, professional or simply passionate about your DIY work, we have put together this guide to help you choose the right nail gun and answer some queries you may have about the different types of nail gun.


What are nail guns and when may you need one?

A nail gun is a power tool that drives nails into wood and other materials quickly and effectively with a simple pull of the trigger. A hammer and nail can do the trick for some small tasks, however, if you need to use a large number of nails or are working with heavy duty materials during a project, it is worth considering the use of a nail gun to reduce your time and labour costs and produce a more professional finish.


Key factors to consider before choosing a nail gun

Before choosing a nail gun you need to know the type of project that it is going to be used for to understand which nails and type of nail gun you will need. You should also consider the weight and ergonomics of the nail gun to ensure the job can be done both comfortably and safely. The rest of the factors you need to consider may be down to personal preference or simply what is most suitable to your situation.

One of the key variants between nail guns is their power source, which can be electric or pneumatic. An electric nail gun will have an electrical cord to plug into a power source or include a rechargeable battery in a cordless nail gun. Your preference here may depend on whether you will be in close proximity to a power source whilst working. Pneumatic nail guns can include a fuel canister and battery pack or be fuelled by air pressure. These typically have a more powerful force when firing their nails.


What is the difference between a first fix and second fix nail gun?

When a building is constructed, the work can be divided into first fix and second fix phases. First fix is the term used for the structural work on a building, including anything from the building’s foundation to inserting plasterboards. First fix nail guns are designed to complete tasks in this stage, such as framing and roofing, and therefore tend to be heavier duty with larger and stronger nails.

Second fix refers to the interior or finishing work done after plastering including door, architrave and skirting fitting. Second fix nail guns have smaller nails or pins that are designed to suit the size of the timber used and to create a neater finish. View our range of first fix and second fix nail guns.


What are the most common types of nail gun?

Nail guns are typically split into the categories seen below, however, you will find nail guns designed for specific tasks, such as installing flooring, corner fixings or for use with specific materials, such as concrete. Remember to check product descriptions and instruction manuals to get all the information you need about the nail gun of your choice.

Framing nail gun – as the name suggests, these nail guns are ideal for first fix work, such as constructing a building’s frame. A framing nail gun is best suited to industrial sized projects and work with heavy duty materials due to the large and strong nails that they use. View our framing nailer that is available for hire.

Finish nail gun – this nail gun is designed for precision nailing at the end of construction projects, such as adding trims, mouldings and other carpentry or finish work. They have smaller nails than a framing nail gun to allow for more precise work. While they are similar to a Brad nail gun, they are sometimes seen as the stronger of the two due to their nail size.

Brad nail gun – Brad nail guns are versatile nailers that can be used for a variety of finish work, including fixing trims and mouldings. This nail gun gets its name from its small nails which are known as brads. These are typically smaller than nails used in finish nail guns, making them ideal for adding thinner trimmings that could break if fixed with a larger nail, however their nail size does vary. View our Brad Nailer and Angled Brad Nailer for hire.

Pin nail gun – this nail gun uses one of the smallest types of nails and is ideal for extremely delicate finished trim work to avoid wood splitting.


We hope this quick guide has helped to shed light on the different varieties of nail gun, so you can decide which nailer is right for your next job or DIY project at home. Please remember it is vital to follow the safety operating instructions when using a nail gun and wear protective equipment when operating the tool.

At Brandon Hire Station we offer a variety of nail guns to help you finish your projects, however big or small.

View our full range of nail guns nail guns for hire.

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