How to Use a Finish Nailer? (Step by Step Guide)

A finish nailer is a tool that has the power to make your projects look great. Whether you are building furniture or assembling trim, the finishing touches really matter. A finish nailer can help you quickly and precisely drive nails into place, which makes it easier for you to cover surfaces with molding or attach hardwood flooring without any gaps.

A minor investment in this handy tool will pay off in the long run! With this guide, we’ll show you how to use a finish nailer and get started on successful projects!

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Table of Contents

  • How to Use a Finish Nailer? (7 Steps)
  • FAQs about Using a Finish Nailer
    • What air pressure for finish nailer?
    • Can you use a finish nailer for hardwood floors?
    • Can I use a finish nailer for trim?

How to Use a Finish Nailer? (7 Steps)

Step 1: Safety First! Wearing PPEs

The model number of each tool provides the model and fasteners using instructions. You should not attempt to operate the tool until you have read and understood all safety precautions and manual instructions.

The nail gun must be disconnected from the air compressor before opening the latch to clear a jam. You should always wear hearing and eye protection if you’re using power tools.

Step 2: Read the manual carefully

In most cases, you would find an operating manual available that contains instructions on modifying the depth adjustment for your particular finish nailer model. Another possible issue is a jam in the finish nailer’s head.

Finish nailers usually feature an easily opened latch on the front of the gun, which provides a quick way to free the jammed nail(s).

Step 3: Avoid blowouts by watching the angle

First, you should avoid unfortunate problems like nail breaks. Blowout means having dry, brittle nails. In this story, the nail is attached in the incorrect orientation. Uneven trim angling is the most important factor for trimming defects.

Therefore, you should avoid this course of action. How would you do it? Once the center of the nail is placed, it must be accurate. Once you have decided where you want to push the nail, position the center of the nail precisely there.

Step 4: Avoid split ends by placing nails accurately

Keep your eyes open. Avoid placing the nails toward the very end of the trim. If you do, the material will split. Finishing nail gun tools makes driving nails straightforward, resulting in removing some nails they don’t need to use.

After using the finished nail gun for a while, you’ll feel where the nail comes out of the gun and be able to drive a nail with precision. The nails must be placed approximately half an inch from the end of the baseboard. Short sections are more vulnerable to splitting, especially if the nails are hammered too close to the end.

Step 5: Making the right direction of the nail

Here, we are concerned with laying out the appropriate direction of the nail. First, you need to set the nail tip at the right location. Then, you need to decide on the correct path to follow.

For this, align the nail so that the tip of the nail is not moved, and then make sure the nail isn’t in a crooked position.

Step 6: Load the right size nail

A larger nail can end up somewhere other than where you want it. If you attempt to alter the nail sizes midway through a project, it isn’t very pleasant. It is natural to rely on loaded nails hoping for the best.

If we had used a 3/4-inch brad or an at most a 1-inch 16-gauge nail on this miter, we would have had better results. To be on the safe side, you should use a nail that is at least 3/4 of an inch long when fixing through materials and hitting the underlying wood anywhere between 3/4 of an inch and an inch deep. 

Tip: Avoid underdriven nails

If your nails won’t set, use or have someone else drive in or remove them. Using side-cutting pliers, grasp nails that stick out. If you have a hammer and a nailset, you can use them to drive the pins.

Unset or broken nails frequently arise from low pressure. If the nail protrudes out beyond the maximum permitted, then increase the air pressure as far as the finish nail gun allows.

Step 7: Drive your finish nailer gently

One of the most important facts to remember when you’re using a nail gun is aligning up the cylinder of the nailer and the tip so that the nailer is in a perpendicular direction to the board or material you are fastening.

Finally, use the finish nailer to press the nails into the surface. Driving the nails using a hammer and a nail set can happen if the nails aren’t thoroughly sunk.

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FAQs about Using a Finish Nailer

What air pressure for finish nailer?

You normally utilize a compressor and nailer when operating pressure is between 90 and 110 psi. If the nails penetrate the board too far, then you should reduce the pressure to 80 psi. Sometimes, when the nails aren’t penetrating deeply enough, you can boost the air pressure up to 100 psi.

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Can you use a finish nailer for hardwood floors?

You can use a finish nailer to install hardwood floors if you are skilled with one. This tool is made to trim work and shoot near-headless nails that do not damage the wood’s appearance. That is why the finish nailer aids with the installation of the hardwood floor, too.

Can I use a finish nailer for trim?

A finish nail is generally recommended for baseboards and crown molding. Depending on the nail gun, finish nailers can be configured to run 16- or 15-gauge finish nails in angled and straight versions. Read the fine print to be sure your reloading equipment uses a straight or angled magazine.

Final Words

I have explained in this article how to use a finish nailer, along with some important instructions.

That means you now have far more understanding of finish nailer and where you can use it than the rest of the people. Now, have fun and do everything as instructed!


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