7 Steps How To Use A Nail Gun: Beginner’s Guide

You are suffering from shooting your nail gun where you want.


Or you are a new user who is looking for the right way to use a nail gun?

Congratulation, you are exactly in the right place.

In this article, I am going to tell you how to use a nail gun, ideally. If you know how you can use your nail gun correctly, you can speed up your next home improvement project for sure.

I know you can use the hammer to drive the nail. But when it comes to driving hundreds of nails, then it is tough to use a hammer. And here comes the nail gun. This amazing tool can help you drive the nail in a moment. It is a useful tool for your baseboard installation, wall treatment, or any other laborious work.

What is a Nail Gun?

These days are gone when people used to use the hammer to drive the nail into woods, or concrete. Now with the advancement of science, people use better tools that make people’s work easier.

A nail gun is one of those fantastic tools to make your life easier. It is a simple but very convenient tool used to drive nails into concrete, wood, or other items. The gun is generally driven by gas, electronic, or air pressure.

nail gun is a mandatory tool for a woodworking enthusiast, builder, or weekend project warrior.

Why Was the Nail Gun Created

The nail gun was created by a civil engineer named Morris Pynoos for his work on a flying airlift boat built as well as designed by Hughes aircraft companies back in 1947.

At that time, he nailed the wooden fuselage together and then glued them. After that, he removed the nails. He used it to make the plane.

After that, in 1950, the first glue gun came into the market for speeding up house flooring construction. At that time, they could nail 40-60 nails in a minute.

What Do You Need for Using Nailer

Now let’s see what things you need when using a nail gun.

Image: YouTube

Nail Gun– At first, you need a nail gun since we are talking about the nail gun.

Safety Glasses– Safety is always first. Like any other constructional work, you must wear a safety glass so that you can protect your eye in any unwanted situation.

Nail Strip– Choose the right nail strip for your nail gun. There are different types of nail strips out there, but not all of them suit your nail gun.

Wood Scraps– And lastly, you need wood scraps.

How to Use a Nail Gun – Here is the Complete 7 Steps Guide

Most nail guns work similarly and have the same mechanism. A piston is there that hammers down on a still mechanism function. This force drives nails into the right target. The only difference between all the nail guns is the source of that force that pushes nails. This source can be battery-powered, combustion-powered, pneumatic, or electric nail gun.

All nail guns have two main tasks.

One is producing a marvelous amount of force and the second one is reloading new tails when you pull the trigger during the firing. Nail guns are designed in two parts to perform this task — firing mechanism and nail loading mechanism.

For the first task, almost every type of nail gun uses the same mechanism. You trigger the gun, and two things happen there. One is that the piston hammers down on the blade mechanism that drives nails. And the other is that two springs become compressed and released which generates incredible forces to drive nails into the target.

When it comes to the nails loading mechanism, a magazine full of nails is there that puts into the barrel of a nail gun. All the nails are gummed together into a strip in the magazine.

Spring is here to shove up the strip to the barrel when necessary. At the time of triggering, the hammer comes down to separate nails from that strip and hit nails to the target. When its hammer comes up, the spring then pushes another nail into the firing position.

Now we have come to our central part of how you can use a nail gun perfectly. To use your nail gun perfectly, you need to follow these 7 steps.

Step 1. Load the Strip First

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First of all, load the gun. To do that, you need to turn the gun off if it is on. You should make sure to avoid any unwanted incidents.

Now take the right type of strip. I am telling it because as I said, different types of nailers have different kinds of strips. And you should make sure that you have taken the right one. Otherwise, you cannot load it. You will find the type in the manual.

Now slide the strip into the magazine and then close it safely. You are done with loading the strip.

Step 2. Practice Several Times

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Before going to the main field, you should practice it several times. The reason for this is that the gun works with pressure. As I said before, it needs incredible force to drive the nails into the surface.

As a result, at first, you cannot handle the pressure quickly, and also, you cannot put the nails into the right target. And if that happens, your entire project might end in a vein due to your failed attempts. That is why you should practice it several times.

Step 3. Place the Gun at the Right Place

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Now, for practice, you need to place the gun in the right place. Hold the nail gun in such a way that your finger can reach the trigger smoothly. Your hand should be in place and push the gun to provide support so that it remains in position.

You should keep your body close enough to the gun to provide enough support for the gun, but at the same time, you should keep enough distance for safety. You are going to have a kickback when you press the trigger.

Step 4. Push the Trigger

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Now it is time for you to push the trigger. You should take full caution this time because as I said, you are going to have a significant kickback. At this time, many people push the gun with their chest or stomach. Never do these kinds of stupid stuff. You will pay for it for sure if you do it.

Always try to push with your hand and use your body to generate pressure on your hand. Now slowly push the trigger and immediately release it. Sometimes, people keep pushing the trigger.

As a result, the gun might become jammed, or it results in several nails driving at the same time. So be careful at this time.

Step 5. Now Try for Real

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Now you have practiced it several times. It is time for real action. You know what to do. Just hold the nailer on the surface where you want to drive the nail. Create enough pressure to take the kickback easily and then easily push the trigger. You will see the result.

Congrats, you have done it successfully.

Step 6. Pull Away from the Nail Gun

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Once you have done driving the nail into your target, pull the gun away from the surface because you do not want to take it for a long time, and create pressure on your hand.

Also, there is a chance to push the trigger multiple times. So it is better to pull away from the gun after driving a nail into the surface.

Step 7. Turn it Off

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After driving the nail into the surface, it is your responsibility to turn the gun off. Otherwise, you will waste your battery power or other fuel of your gun that you don’t want for sure.

Also, after completing the nail strip, you need to reload the strip again. And to do that, you need to turn it off as well. So after completing your task, make sure you have turned the gun off and disconnected it from the power source.

Isn’t it simple to use? You need a little bit of practice.

Usage of Nailer

Nail guns are used in different tasks. From small home tasks to heavy-duty construction work, everywhere it is used. The uses of nail guns depend on the design. You have already known that different types of guns have various applications.

Smallest-sized guns such as pin nails are used to attach things such as moldings, beading, casing, boarding, and others. The next-sized guns such as brad nailers are used for fixing moldings, Hardie trim carpentry on the hardwoods, and other small tasks like most miniature guns.

The next-sized guns are generally called finish nails, and these are used to fix things such as softwood. Also, these are used in MDF trim work such as skirting, baseboard, architraves, and others.

And the largest-sized guns are used in heavy work. These are used in industrial work such as framing, fencing, and other heavy-duty tasks.

Other than these, some different types of unique guns are used to fix metalwork such as joist hangers, strengthening straps, corner plates, etc. to the timber structures.

Also, other types of guns can be used in fixing wood. These are some basic uses of nail guns. However, people buy nail guns based on their needs.

Safety Tips

Around 42,000 people visit the doctor due to injuries that happened from the nail gun. That means you can easily imagine how dangerous it is. If you cannot follow the right safety tips, you might be next on the list of those 42,000. That is why I am giving you some tips that you should follow every time you use your nailer.

First of all, you should wear safety sunglass. It will save your eyes as well as half part of your forehead. Then make sure you know the tools. You should not start working with this tool from the day you get it. Be familiar with it and then go to work.

Also, you need to hold the machine strictly. You know, all the firing pressure is going to kick back you. So if you do not put the most pressure on it, you cannot survive the reverse force.

Most of the people come to the hospital for nailer injury have a hand injury. So be careful with your hand. Never try to point your nail gun at somebody. You might think that this is fun, but this can lead that person to some severe injuries. Do not make fun of using this tool.

And lastly, make sure you turn the machine off all the time before loading the nail strip and also, after work. If you follow these tips, I hope you can avoid any injuries due to this machine.

After proper practicing, it will be easy for you to use the nailer. However, there are some tips that you should follow if you want a better result. So here are some tips for you.

  • First of all, I would say that please use a block to push the baseboard. It will enable you to apply a lot more pressure than usual. Try it.
  • Another tip is using a nail before screwing. You will always have difficulty driving the nail if you have installed the screw before the nail.
  • Also, use a dust mask if possible.
  • Use all the safety measures to use nail guns fearlessly.
  • Another tip to get the best result out of the gun is holding the gun as firmly as possible. It will enable you to drive the nail into the exact target.
  • And lastly, always unplug your guns and keep it in a safe place for further use.

By following these simple tips, you can use it in a better way.


Try not to hold the nailer loosely. It will lead you to some severe injuries. Also, make sure you have taken all the necessary safety measures before starting to work with the nail gun.

And lastly, make sure you have checked your surroundings carefully to avoid incidents.

Here is a helpful video for using a nail gun


Are nail guns safe if used correctly?

Yes, it is. However, it is recommended to use the nail gun with the highest safety measure.

What are the chances of injury when using a nail gun?

It depends on how you use a nail gun. If you use the nail gun properly with proper safety measures, the chance of injury is 0%. Otherwise, there is a massive chance for sure.

Can you use a nail gun without an air compressor?

Yes, you can. There are nail guns that work without an air compressor.


A nail gun is a handy tool for homework, heavy-duty work, and DIY work. It makes our life a lot easier, and it saves our time and effort as well. But you will get the maximum output if you can use it correctly with full safety. And I am sure you have known how to use a nail gun properly by reading the article.

So are you going to use your nail gun properly and safely from today? Comment below to let me know. And if you can drive the nail into the target, please leave a comment so that I can understand I am successful.

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