How Cordless Nail Guns Work: An Interactive Guide

How Cordless Nail Guns Work


When I was considering a small home improvement project recently, I read something online about using a cordless nail gun for the particular task I wanted to complete. Since I had never used one of these before, I decided to come up with an interactive guide on how cordless nail guns work and how they can be used.

How do cordless nail guns work? Cordless nail guns are powered by compressed air inside of the tool. When you pull the trigger of one of these guns, the air will push itself forward through a series of tubes until it reaches the barrel of the gun where the nails are stored.

Due to the immense amount of air pressure behind them, the nails will be pushed out in a swift motion one by one, every time the trigger is pulled.

If you frequently complete tasks around your home or workplace that require hammering lots of nails into different surfaces, you might find the use of a cordless nail gun to be very helpful. Considered a “third-tier” tool, these expensive pieces of equipment are luxury items for those who put them to use almost daily.

To learn everything that you need to know about how nail guns work, as well as how you can use them, keep reading through this interactive guide.

How Cordless Nail Guns Work

Cordless nail guns carry out very close to the same functions as an average nail gun, only with much more advanced features.

Cordless nail guns, or nail guns in general, are ideal for those who frequently find themselves pounding nails into surfaces manually with a hammer. Since this task can get very tiring on the hands and wrists when it goes on for long periods of time, nail guns were invented to automate the task for easier use.

The usual nail gun comes with a power cord, which can get in the way on a job and limit mobility when you are trying to get into different areas. Cordless nail guns are basically a step above the regular nail gun, with the convenience of a cordless design.

Since cordless nail guns are so fundamentally different from regular nail guns when it comes to the internal functions, we are going to begin by discussing how cordless nail guns work.

Take a look at the quick outline below to find a simple process of how a cordless nail gun works, and keep reading through the rest of this section for an in-depth explanation that will answer all of the questions that you might be thinking of right now.

How Cordless Nail Guns Work:

  • Powered by compressed air power
  • Interior hoses and tanks to transport air
  • Air pressure moves through barrel
  • Trigger is pulled and pressure is released
  • Internal piston pushing blade in forward direction
  • Firing mechanism inside that shoots nails
  • Pressure level gets lower with continued use to conserve air

To begin, cordless nail guns are powered by compressed air that exists within the tool, and allows the user to carry out all of the functions that come with it.

To be more specific, there is a series of interior hoses and tanks inside of the nail gun that are used to transport the air pressure through to execute the motion of shooting out the nail.

During this time, the air pressure will travel through these tubes and into the barrel area of the cordless nail gun. This reaction occurs when the trigger of the nail gun is pulled by the user, and the air pressure is released in this manner as a result.

In other words, when the trigger of the cordless nail gun is pulled from the exterior of the tool, there is an entire process that is carried out on the inside within the few seconds that it takes for the nail to actually shoot out of the front of the gun.

From the time that this lever on the gun is pushed inwards, the air pressure that exists inside of the gun moves to the front of the barrel and releases that pressure behind the nail that is ready to exit.

The specific piece inside of the front of the gun is called the internal piston, and it pushes the blade in a forward direction to force the nail into the surface that the gun is being applied to.

The motion that shoots the nails out, also known as the “firing mechanism”, basically means that the nail is quickly released out of the cordless nail gun in one swift movement.

Cordless nail guns go through a very quick and efficient process in order to get the nails inside form point a to point b. These types of nail guns are very convenient for a project where you need to quickly attach something together for long periods of time.

For instance, if you are working on a home improvement project and you have just installed baseboards around the perimeter of the room, it will be very tedious to go around and use a hammer to pound the nails into the sides by hand.

In addition, it will also be difficult for you to maneuver around the room at the speed that you would like to if you are tripping over a cord that is attached to the back of the nail gun.

The perfect solution for any situation like this would be to use a cordless nail gun instead, which will not obstruct your path and will allow you to get the job done as efficiently as possible.

Regardless of whether you are doing a home project or working in a shop and trying to turn around tasks with high speeds, you can’t go wrong with using one of these handy tools.

If you have never used a cordless nail gun before, or you are curious to find out if this kind of tool would be the right fit for you, the next section will go into more detail about how these types of nail guns are used in an interactive step by step guide.

How To Use a Cordless Nail Gun

Now that you have learned all about the inner-workings of a cordless nail gun, you might be curious about the correct way to actually use one of these tools.

While it is true that cordless nail guns are some of the most convenient tools that you can get your hands on as a professional builder or consistent DIY-er, you will also find that they are quite easy to use as well.

Just like any other type of nail gun, the use of a cordless nail gun will only require a few simple motions until you will be done with the job. The outline below will give you some quick steps on how to use one of these tools, but the interactive guide portion of this article will continue throughout the rest of this section.

How To Use a Cordless Nail Gun:

  1. Load the nail strip into the nail gun (in the magazine area)
  2. Gather equipment and put on safety gear
  3. Practice shooting it before applying the nails to the actual surface
  4. Position the nail gun into place firmly with both hands
  5. Pull the trigger of the gun while still holding it into place
  6. Take the tip of the gun away from the surface
  7. Make sure everything is turned off before reloading the nail strip

To begin, you will need to start by loading the nail strip into the nail gun. The nail strip is exactly what it sounds like, and will serve the purpose of holding all of the nails that will go into the gun and holding them into oak inside of it.

The nail strip will be loaded into an area of the gun that is known as the magazine, which can usually be found toward the underside or back of the tool. However, different types of nail guns with various manufacturers might place this opening in other areas.

Once you have properly loaded the nail gun and all openings have been securely closed and reassembled, you will need to gather all of your equipment and put on your safety gear before you are able to actually operate the tool.

The materials will include the objects that you will be nailing together with your cordless nail gun, and the loaded tool should be present in the area in which you will be using it.

Additionally, you will definitely need a pair of safety glasses or goggles in order to protect your eyes from debris or flying nails that could potentially be launched toward your face at some point during use.

Other safety equipment that you might choose to wear before starting this task are some durable working gloves and a hard hat helmet.

Before you are ready to apply the nail gun in the actual spot that you will want the nail, it is recommended that you complete a few practice shots in another area before you go forth with the commitment.

This is especially relevant for first-time users of cordless nail guns, or nail guns in general. If you have never used one of these tools or you are out of practice, it would be a good idea to establish the process that you will be going through on another surface to avoid any mistakes.

To practice shooting before the actual application of the nails, you can use any nearby materials that you don’t mind poking holes in. In addition, it is helpful to practice on the same material that you will be placing the nails into.

For instance, if you will be using your cordless nail gun to secure the baseboards on the interior of a house, as mentioned previously, you will probably want to practice on a few scrap pieces of wood.

Since baseboards are also made of wooden materials, you will know exactly what to expect before applying the tip of the nail gun to the actual surface in question. Throughout this stage, you should be practicing your form as well as the strength that you use in order to push the nails into the surface.

The process of launching the nails out of the front of the cordless nail gun will consist of just a few simple steps, and can be combined into one motion once you get some practice with it.

To start off, you will position the gun firmly into place with both hands. Along with the gun itself being held in this position, your stance should also be solid. With both feet firmly planted on the ground and slightly spread apart from each other, you will be able to avoid any kickback that you might not expect from the air pressure inside the gun.

Another thing to note while positioning your gun is that the tip of the end of the gun will mark where the nail is going to come out. So, as a result, you should be aiming the cordless nail gun on the exact place that you want to be nailed together.

Pulling the trigger will consist of holding the gun firmly in place, and moving the index finger of your dominant hand on top of the trigger on the inside of the gun. While still keeping everything solid from your stance to the actual gun, you will pull back on the trigger to launch the nail out onto the surface simultaneously.

When the nail comes out of the tip of the gun, you will feel a slight push back and hear a noise that will indicate that the nail has left the barrel of the gun and entered the external surface that you pointed it at.

This process will take less than seconds, and there will be no mistake in realizing when you have successfully transferred the nail. Once this is done, you will simply remove the tip of the nail gun from the surface and check to make sure that the nail is properly in place exactly where you aimed it.

While you are pulling the gun away from the surface, always make sure that the front is not facing toward you or anyone else, and keep your fingers away from the trigger at all times to keep any accidents from happening.

Lastly, you will need to make sure that everything is turned off and that the nail gun is not being operated or accidentally moved when you are loading and unloading the nail strip for the next area of your project.

How To Maintain a Cordless Nail Gun

If you are an owner of a cordless nail gun or you are planning to be, there is no secret of how expensive these luxury tools can get. As a result, you will want to make sure that you properly clean and maintain it for the best possible quality on a long-term basis.

The last thing that you would want after spending lots of money on an automated power tool is to accidentally ruin it or decrease its overall lifetime by neglecting to maintain it.

To tie up this article, we will be going over some ways that you can make sure that your cordless nail gun will be around for a very long time after you buy it. The list down below will give you some simple steps for completing this task.

How To Maintain a Cordless Nail Gun:

  • Clean the feed
  • Use air tool oil
  • Check hoses and seals
  • Inspect all areas (batteries, screws and bolts, etc.)
  • Clean the exterior

The first task that goes into the maintenance of a cordless nail gun is cleaning the feed system. This consists of using a can of air to whisk any obstructive materials away from the interior of the feed. This is something that should be done after every use.

Additionally, you will need to apply some drops of oil that is specially made for air tools each time before you use your nail gun.

The rest of the maintenance tasks will include checking the hoses and seals inside of the guns, as well as inspecting all areas around it from the screws and bolts to the batteries on the interior.

The last step is a simple clean up of the exterior of the tool. While there are some very helpful commercial cleaners that you can buy, a quick mixture of warm water and a mild dishwashing liquid on a clean cloth will be just fine. Cleaning the outside will serve the purpose of getting rid of any debris, sticky materials, or bad buildup on the tool.

As you can see, cordless nail guns are very versatile and can be used in various situations. Regardless of what you will be using it for, you will find that they are much more convenient than the average nail gun, as long as you follow the proper safety protocol and make sure to clean and maintain the tool regularly.

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