How Does a Nail Gun Work?

A nail gun does more than a hammer does. You can go with a hammer if the job is easier, like hanging a picture or piece. But a serious woodworking project definitely needs something upgraded. And for that, we suggest you grab a good nail gun to approach success. If you are someone whose work is associated with a nail or driving the pins regularly, you must look for a nail gun. With any nail gun, whether electric or pneumatic, you need to search for how does a nail gun works.

In this article, we will explain the mechanism of two types of nail guns, one is a pneumatic nail gun, and the other is electrical. Pneumatic nails can be driven by air pressure or by a fuel can and a high-capacity battery. Electric nails can be powered by a power wire connected to an extension cord or a cordless lithium-ion battery.

Related: 8 Best Nail Gun For Paneling Projects

How Does a Pneumatic Nail Gun Work?

The most powerful tool is pneumatically driven nails, which require an air compressor to generate power to drive the nail. These are the most common nail varieties and, because they contain a slide piston that moves a blade to push the pin, they serve as a solenoid valve.

The trigger controls the air pressure compression, allowing the sliding piston to move more easily. When the pressure on the piston is high, it causes it to go downward. The downward pressure builds up when the trigger is released, driving the piston back into place and ready for the next nail.

How Does an Electric Nail Gun Work?

Electric nail guns are the simplest in form and function when compared to the two prior nail guns. An electric nail gun is made from a revolving motor that is stopped by a powerful spring. The spring is released, and a hammer is propelled forward with enough motive force to drive a nail when the trigger is pulled, and the muzzle is pressed against the material to be connected.

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Because electrically operated nail guns are light, they won’t weigh you down as much when you’re using them. However, in their firing, they are not as powerful as pneumatic or combustion-driven nail guns. Electric nail guns are considered the latest models of nail guns available in the market. The beautiful part is that these nail guns offer quieter operations and are much cheaper than pneumatic ones.


Understanding ‘how does a nail gun work’ is very important being someone entirely related to construction work. In this article, we’ve defined the working mechanism of two nail gun types. Before starting any project with a nail gun without knowing the tool is not a wise step at all. Make sure whatever kind of nail gun you are using, you are fully aware of its mechanism, pros, and cons too.

Related: 7 best nail guns for shiplap

Thomas Oscar

Hey, I am Thomas Oscar founder and author of Machinery Judge.
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