How to Use a Framing Nailer

How to use a Framing NailerThe nail gun has revolutionized the construction industry. Many types of nail guns are now employed in every type of construction. While some have been using nail guns for a while now, many people are still new to the functions and benefits of this great invention. Once you have decided to try or buy a nail gun then you need to think of the proper use and care required. Nail guns are expensive but pay for themselves in just a few days of heavy construction.

Toe Nailing

The proper use of a nail gun depends heavily on what you are nailing and what position you are trying to nail in. When you are framing you will be nailing in a wide variety of positions in order to get a well nailed joint. Beginning with your floor system and the floor joist, your first nailing project will be to toe nail the ends of your joist to the seal plate on the top of your foundation. This is done by holding your gun at a 50% angle to your joist. Depress the safety contact against the joist and squeeze the trigger one time. Toe nailing may take some practice.

Face Nailing

After the joist are nailed on the ends, you will be face nailing with a 90% angle. When you wish to face nail, you will need to hold the gun straight and push the safety contact all the way down against the board to be nailed. Pull the trigger one time and then replace the gun for the next nail.

Hand Placement

When you are nailing it is best to always keep the nail gun pointed away from you and not to ever hold lumber with your hand up close to the board being nailed. Also you need to keep your knee from being behind boards you are going to nail. Should you miss the lumber you are trying to attach, the nail can shoot through into your leg.

Bump Nailing

When it comes to nailing your plywood floor you can bump nail. Bump nailing is when you hold the trigger down continuously while you push the safety contact down against the surface of the plywood. The recoil of the gun after each shot will push the gun back making it bounce up and down, firing each time it comes back in contact with the lumber. For this kind of nailing, you will need to make a nailing line to follow to ensure your nails stay in a straight line.

How to Use a Framing Nailer Video


Nail guns account for 68% of a construction related injuries. These types of injuries have been on the rise as more and more crews begin to change over to nail guns. Two out of five carpenter helpers shoot themselves with a nail gun. Most of these wounds are on the hands and fingers. Safety glasses should be worn and you need to make sure to keep your hands back at a safe distance. Your new nail gun can feel like a new best friend if you take proper care and proper safety.

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