Battery vs Battery and Fuel Cell Combo
As mentioned, cordless framing nailers can be powered by a battery or a combination of a fuel cell and a battery. Battery-driven cordless nail guns have decent runtime and can drive hundreds of nails in one single charge. Plus, you don’t have to wait long for the battery to charge. But it’s always sensible to have an extra battery at hand just in case you run out of juice in the middle of a project.
Cordless framing nailers can also be powered by a fuel cell that contains butane or propane. The fuel cell is used in conjunction with a battery, so the body of the nailer that uses this system can get very bulky. Fuel-driven nailers are more powerful than battery-powered nailers, but they are on par with battery-driven nailers when it comes to price. But keep in mind that you will need to buy new fuel cells in the future, so that can add up to the expense.
Framing nailers have magazines that are positioned at different angles. These angles are 21°, 28°, and 30°. When buying fasteners in the future, keep in mind that you can only load nails that match the angle of your magazine.
Other framing nailers have round magazines that can accommodate coiled fasteners. The magazine of these nailers is angled at 15° and it can accommodate hundreds of nails at once. But they can be very heavy because of the sheer number of nails they can accommodate, and pricier than your regular framing gun with stick magazine. So we’re going to 15° coil nailers aside for now and focus on the other magazine angles.
21° Framing Nailers
Some framing nailers are equipped with a stick magazine that is angled between 20° to 22°. Just like 15° framing nail guns, these nailers use round head nails. But unlike 15° nail guns that use wire-coil nails, 21° framing nails use plastic-collated nails.
21° nail guns are great if you want to drive nails in tight spaces. The magazine can hold around 60 to 70 nails, so you will need to reload frequently if you’re working on a large project.
Always wear safety glasses when using this type of nail gun as the plastic strip that keeps the fasteners in place breaks apart as the nail is discharged. These small plastic strips can get in your eyes and cause injuries if you are not wearing protective glasses.
28° Framing Nailers
28° nailers typically use smaller fasteners with clipped heads. Nevertheless, there are a few nailers that use round and offset heads, too. These nails are held together by a piece of wire, and they are held more closely together in a steeper magazine.
These framing nailers sometimes lack enough power to discharge nails at a steeper angle. Plus, you’ll have to check your building code as some forbid the use of offset head and clipped head nails.
30° Framing Nailers
If you want to get into corners and tight spaces, then check out framing nailers with 30° to 34° magazines. These nailers use paper-collated fasteners which results in a less messy work area. Plus, you don’t have to reload as often as some 30° magazines can hold as much as two strips. One distinct disadvantage of using this type of fastener is that the paper that holds the nails together eventually weakens when exposed to humidity and rain, so be careful in storing it in your workshop or garage.
Framing nailers use two types of actuation modes: contact or bump firing and full sequential firing.
Contact or bump firing is frequently used in larger projects where efficiency is prioritized over precision. With bump firing, all you need to do is press the framing nailer’s safety tip against a surface to discharge the nail. You can squeeze the trigger before or after pressing the safety tip against the surface to drive the nail. If you have a horizontal or flat surface, then bump firing is a good way to make your job more efficient. But keep in mind that bump firing is not as safe as sequential firing, so be very careful when using a framing nailer with this type of actuation mode.
What if you’re uncomfortable with using contact trigger because it is not as safe? Well, you can always switch to the full sequential firing. When you use this type of actuation mode, you have to press the nail gun’s safety tip to the surface, then pull its trigger to drive a nail. You have to release the trigger and lift the safety tip first before you can discharge another nail. The process is slower, but full sequential firing is safer and more precise than contact or bump firing.
This cordless framing nailer review is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re interested in buying other such tools for your next home remodeling project, then check out our blog. We have reviewed the best brad nailers, the best micro pin nailers, and other such tools that are available online and in your favorite stores.