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How to Buy a Finish Nailer

10 min read


Finish Nailers for DIYers Table

Strength & Durability
Increased Output

A Finish Nailer is an essential tool for DIYers.

They provide versatility and enhanced strength and durability, so your projects can last longer.

You’ll also get greater output as you’ll be able to drive nails faster with less effort.

In addition, they’re cost-effective, making them an invaluable investment for any home DIYer.

Defining the Finish Nailer

A finish nailer is an essential, easy-to-use tool used to attach materials together.

It’s handy for a variety of projects such as furniture building, carpentry, and cabinetry.

This type of nailer uses nails that are much thinner than ones used with a hammer, and usually feature a slightly rounded head which makes flush finish installations quick and easy.

Finish nailers also have great precision, allowing you to install nails at various depths, and usually come in a range of sizes to accommodate different material types.

It’s a handy tool to keep around for all types of home improvement projects.

Our Goal

Our goal is to educate you on the importance and proper usage of finish nailers in home DIY projects.

We want you to make an informed decision when purchasing a finish nailer so that you can get the most out of it.

With the right knowledge on how to use the tool, you’ll be able to finish any job with precision and speed.

Knowing how to properly operate the tool will save time and give you the best results.

Our goal is to ensure you are able to make a smart purchase for your DIY projects.

What Sets Finish Nailers Apart


A finish nailer is a great tool to have in your toolbox because it offers a lot of advantages.

With it, you can drive nails deep enough to hold heavier materials without damaging them.

It also allows for precise placement of the fastener without a need for a hammer.

It can also apply more consistent pressure on the nails, creating a smooth surface.

Plus, it’s lightweight and easy to use, so even the beginner user can complete projects with ease.

The use of this tool also reduces vibration which minimizes fatigue and gives you better control, accuracy, and faster results.

With a finish nailer, you’ll get better-looking results than when you use a hammer.

How Finish Nailers Work

Finish nailers are a special type of nail gun that is designed to put nails into wood.

They use air pressure to drive nails into the board, and they typically have a depth setting so that you can adjust the depth of the nail being driven.

The pressure is created by a compressor, and the nail is held in a small chamber called the magazine.

When you pull the trigger, the air pressure pushes the nail out of the magazine and into the board.

Finish nailers are great for all sorts of projects, from putting in a few nails for a small project to putting in hundreds of nails for a bigger project.

They are easy to use, and the pressure settings can make sure that the nails are driven in with precision.

Features to Look For

When shopping for a finish nailer, make sure to consider the features you need most.

Look to see if the nailer has a depth adjustment.

This will let you easily adjust how deep the nails will be driven into the material.

Next, you’ll want to check to see if it has a jammed nail release lever.

This makes it easy to get out stuck nails.

If precision is important, make sure to look for a nailer that has an adjustable exhaust.

This will direct air away from you and your work surface.

Also, consider a nailer that is lightweight and ergonomic, since you’ll be using it a lot.

Finally, make sure to check for adjustable nail sizes, so that you can use it for a variety of projects.

When to Use a Finish Nailer

Common Applications

A finish nailer has a wide range of applications, and is an essential tool for many different projects.

It can be used to fasten molding, trim, cabinetry, furniture, and more.

A finish nailer can also be used to fasten backer boards when tiling, and to install flooring.

Finish nailers are commonly used in the installation of window and door casings, and for fence building.

They can also be used to secure baseboards and other decorative work.

Finish nailers are perfect for any job that requires a more finished look, and adding strength to the piece without leaving visible holes.

Finish Nailers In Your Workshop

Finish nailers can be a great addition to your workshop.

They are ideal for both heavy-duty and delicate projects, and can be used in a variety of creative ways.

Use a finish nailer for installing a new hardwood floor, repairing old wooden furniture, or installing paneling.

For lighter projects, you can even use a finish nailer in place of a glue gun or a stapler.

Finish nailers are also ideal for making projects more precise, as you can just as easily do detailed tasks as you can everyday tasks.

No matter what project you’re working on, a finish nailer can make your job easier and increase accuracy.

Techniques and Tips

When using a finish nailer, it’s important to pay attention to the length of the nail to make sure it works for your project.

Nails that are too short may not hold the materials securely and too long can cause splitting.

Make sure to avoid over-nailing, as it might cause the materials to split or bow.

Don’t sink the nails too deeply as this can also lead to damage.

It’s best to leave a nail head slightly above the surface of the material.

Hold the nailer firmly and grip it closer to the base for better control.

Using clamps or another hand to help hold the material in place while you are nailing can help avoid splitting and improve accuracy.

When you are done, use a small nail set to finish the job and drive the nail head in.

What To Look For In A Finish Nailer

Finish Nailer Options

There are many options to choose from when selecting a finish nailer.

It’s important to consider the type of material you’ll use, the power of the nailer, and the features offered.

Select a model that is designed to work with the materials you’re using, and one that has enough power to get the job done.

Features like adjustable depth control, fingertip firing, adjustable exhausts, and the ability to use multiple size nails are definitely helpful.

Other tips to consider are to make sure the finish nailer you choose has a good, comfortable grip, an adjustable firing speed, and a built-in safety system.

By paying attention to the features, power, and materials you work with, you can ensure you get the perfect finish nailer for your project.

Choosing the Right Finish Nailer

When looking to buy a finish nailer, it’s important to consider a few things.

First, think about the type of finish nailer you need.

Are you using it for a specific project, or just general household work? Depending on your needs, you might need a different type of nailer.

Second, decide how much power you need from your finish nailer.

If you’re needing to do heavier jobs, you might consider one with more power and a longer battery life.

Third, make sure you buy a finish nailer that comes with a warranty.

That way, if something goes wrong, you’re covered.

Finally, think about the price you want to pay for your finish nailer.

While it’s important to get a quality product, you don’t want to break the bank either.

All of these factors will help you decide which finish nailer is right for you.

Brand Reliability

For reliable finish nailers, most people look to big name brands like Hitachi, Bostitch, and Milwaukee.

Not only are these well-known brands trusted for quality, they also offer a range of features to make any finishing job easier.

They have a solid reputation for building durable tools, too.

Many customers have reported that their Hitachi, Bostitch, and Milwaukee finish nailers have withstood extended use without issue.

If you’re in the market for a reliable finish nailer, one of these brands is always a great choice.

So don’t forget to check out Hitachi, Bostitch, and Milwaukee for your next finish nailer needs.

Safety Measures and Precautions


Troubleshooting a finish nailer can take a bit of know-how.

If the nailer is not firing, check the air pressure settings and be sure the air hose is connected firmly.

If nails are not inserted correctly, make sure the depth-of-drive control is adjusted correctly and that the correct sized nails are being used.

If the nails do not turn properly, ensure the nailer has enough power.

If the tool fails to start, check the voltage on the power cord.

If it’s low, try using a different outlet.

Sometimes the magazine needs to be cleaned and lubricated.

If the safety-release mechanism is not working, inspect it for dirt or debris.

Make sure all bolts and screws are tight.

The tool should now be ready to use.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Make sure to keep your finish nailer clean inside and out.

Regularly clean off the dust and debris that gathers on the exterior.

Also, check for wear and tear on any moving parts.

Grease any mechanical components once a month to keep them working at maximum efficiency.

After each use, inspect all components to look for loose pins or loose screws.

Make sure to tighten them before putting away.

It is also important to make sure any safety devices are in good working order.

Staying Safe

When it comes to finish nailers, safety is key.

Make sure you wear eye protection and gloves while using the tool.

Keep your hands away from the tool’s tip and nozzle.

Never point the nozzle of the tool at another person or at yourself, and never put your face close to the tool when it is operating.

Regularly inspect the nailer for any signs of wear and tear and replace or repair any parts that appear to be damaged.

Additionally, never leave the tool unattended.

Keep it out of reach of children, and store it safely in a toolbox or storage cabinet.


Buying Your Finish Nailer

When buying a finish nailer, it’s important to think about your project and what type of nailer would be best.

Consider your budget as well, as quality finish nailers are not always cheap.

To be sure you get the most out of your nailer, check out online reviews and also talk to other DIY enthusiasts.

It’s also a good idea to do research on whether you’ll need a battery powered or an air powered nailer.

With all these considerations, you should be able to find the perfect finish nailer for your project.

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