How to Use a Finish Nailer

How to Use a Finish Nailer

A finish nailer is a prized possession of any carpenter, whether they are new to the world of carpentry or if they have been around for a long time. Not only are these nail guns a great alternative to the usual hammer, but they are also very efficient and will help you get your work done in lesser time.

They can be used for multiple purposes, such as installing chair rails, baseboards, and so on. However, how would you know how to use a finish nailer? If you are unable to answer this question, then look no further because, in today’s article, we will be teaching you how to do that!

Let’s get started!

How to Load a Nail Gun

Before we move on to the how-to, let us first take a look at what should be done before you start using your finish nailer. The very first thing that you will need to know is to load a nail gun, and you will be able to do so by following the next few steps:

1. Follow the Instructions Manual

When dealing with machinery, it is highly recommended that you follow the given manual to its last letter. Not doing so will only make you even more confused and, in extreme cases, might even damage the product in the end.

2. Disconnect from Power Supply

To ensure your own safety, always check and double-check to see if you have correctly disconnected the nail gun from its power supply before you proceed to load it. For extra measure, unplug it from the socket as well.

3. Use the Right Nail Clip

You will have to load your nail gun with nail clips, and usage of the wrong type of nail clips will not only inhibit the action of your nail gun, but it will also prove to turn your work into a mess.

Align the correct model of nail clip with the sleeve of the gun in such a way so that the head of the nail points towards the barrel of the nail gun.

4. Fit the Clip into the Gun

After aligning the clip with the sleeve of the gun, slip it into the notch, which you will find located at the bottom of the sleeve. For the correct fitting, you should hold the gun in an upside-down position before sliding the clip into the sleeve notch so that it fits correctly.

5. Make Sure the Clip Is in the Right Place

You will be able to do this by pressing down on the spring mechanism button of the gun. And you will find the button on the sleeve. After pressing this button, you should then slip the clip of the gun into its right place. If done correctly, you will hear a click, which acts as proof that your clip has been fitted onto the right place.

How to Use a Finish Nailer

As mentioned before, nail guns are typically used for a variety of purposes, and the installation of baseboards is also one of them. You will also be able to install a baseboard if you follow the following steps:

1. Choose Your Baseboard

What type of baseboard you would like to use solely depends on you. However, we would suggest you buy your baseboard at least a day before you get them installed so that they can get enough time to puff up or shrink in accordance with the climate.

2. Use the Correct Type of Nails

Longer nails are arguably much better than shorter ones since they have a greater chance of probing all the way through your baseboard and also into the wall or arrangement that will act as the baseboard’s support. Needless to say, nails that are too long are not good either since you might accidentally hit important wiring.

Moreover, be sure not to use pins that are too thick since they might bring about a crack on the surface of your baseboard and hence totally ruin the way it looks.

3. Choosing a Mode on Your Nail Gun

A finish nailer can typically be used in several different modes, and which one you wish to use depends on you and how you would like the nails on your baseboard to be placed. Instructions on when to use which mode is mostly to be written on the guide, so do give it a thorough read before you get started.

4. End It with aSmooth Finish

You surely would not want several nails visible on your baseboard once you are done working on it. In order to hide the view from your spectators, you could fill up the holes with some glue or putty.

This can simply be done after you are done with firing nails in your baseboard and are content with the outcome. Cover the holes with either of the above-mentioned substances and then sand over them in order to smoothen out the surface.

5. Use Your Nail Gun with an Air Compressor

Another great way to use your nail gun is to pair it up with an air compressor, which is a device that uses air pressure (about 90-100 psi of it) to get its work done. Before you turn the compressor on, make sure that the maximum nail capacity of your gun has been reached.

We would suggest you keep the pressure value at around 990 psi when you start using the compressor and then increase or decrease it accordingly. For example, if the nails are going too deep into the baseboard, then you may increase the pressure by 10 psi and vice versa.

Once you are done with your work, it is extremely important for you to empty out the air tank of the compressor in order to prolong its shelf life. You will be able to do so by pulling on the safety valve ring after turning down the regulator of the air compressor.

It is advisable to wear safety equipment such as safety goggles and earplugs when working with air compressors.


Thisbrings us to the end of our guide on how to use a finish nailer. We hope you found this article helpful and had as much fun reading it as we did while composing it. Thank you for reading till the end!

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