How to Use a Framing Nailer – Just 6 Simple Steps

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Before we had nail guns, we had mastered the art of wielding a nail and a hammer. The hammer helped you practice a form of endurance you can only wish for today. How many swings of the hammer could you keep up with before exhaustion wore you down?

Today, framing nail guns have taken most of the exhaustion out of woodwork projects. We use them every day at construction sites, now and then right here at home. Have you ever wondered how to use a framing nailer? We will discuss that in detail.

How to Use a Framing Nailer

Safety First in Common Nailing Cases

As always, you have to put safety first when dealing with power tools. Nail gun accidents contribute to over half of all recorded construction site accidents today. Therefore, learning one or two safety measures can go a long way. So what details must be rendered before we begin learning how to use a framing nailer?

Most nail gun accidents affect the hand or the finger. This is expected as we use our hands to guide the pieces of wood we need to fasten. Nail gun accidents could be severe too. Sometimes nails can become airborne after striking a metal surface and land on one’s eye.

Nail guns fire nails at such high pressures that the nails can pierce through skin and bone at once. Practice wearing safety gears such as goggles, ear muffs (for the noise), a hard hat and heavy duty hand gloves. Keep your finger off the nail gun trigger while moving from one project site to another too. Choose full sequential trigger based nail guns when you are out shopping.

Top 3 Best Framing Nailer

These are top 3 best framing nailer comparison table making the best choice for your projects easily:

Framing NailerImagePower SourceMagazine CapacityShippingEditor's RatingPrice
BOSTITCH F21PL Round Head 1-1/2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Framing NailerCordless-Electric60 NailsFREE Shipping4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)See on Amazon
Hitachi NR90AES1 Framing Nailer, 2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Plastic Collated Full Head NailsPneumatic64 NailsFREE Shipping4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)See on Amazon
NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer Ergonomic & Lightweight PneumaticPneumatic55 Nails_4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)See on Amazon

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How to Use a Framing Nailer

1. Choose your firing mechanism

There are different ways in which your framing nailer can fire a nail. Firstly we have the trigger firing. The trigger firing is the most used, and a nail will fire once you pull the trigger. Often, we combine this with pushing the framing nailer nozzle onto the wood surface into which you are firing. This is mostly just a safety mechanism.

Another form of firing is the bump firing. Here, the framing nailer will fire a nail each time you press its nozzle on the wood surface. One advantage of this method is that it is much faster than the trigger firing. The major downside is that using this form of shooting exposes you to far more accidents.

2. Load your Framing Nailer

Your framing nailer will not be able to fire any nails if you have not loaded it with nails, to begin with. Make sure to load the nail gun with nails of appropriate length and size. Load the nail guns into the nail magazine.

Slide in your nail strip through a slot on the side of the magazine. You should not mix nails of different sizes and lengths because this could lead to nail jams. For versatility, make sure you get a framing nailer that can be easily adjusted to accommodate varying sizes of nails.

3. Practice on wood scraps

You need to practice on wood scraps to get a feel of your framing nailer. Before firing a nail, you must exert a certain amount of pressure on the nailer’s nozzle. You will need to experiment and perfect your technique so that you can quickly fire into both thick and thin wood scraps without splitting the wood.

4. Start Toenailing

Toenailing is a skill that comes in handy when securing two pieces of lumber together. You might have gotten used to toenailing with your simple hammer; now you need to know how to do it with a framing nailer. You will need to place two pieces of lumber together, one perpendicular to the other.

Place the framing nailer nozzle at a 50-degree angle on the stud you are securing. Press the nozzle firmly on the surface of the stud and pull the trigger to release the nail gun. The nail should go through both pieces of lumber, at an angle, without protruding. Repeat the same process on the opposite side of the stud, and there you have it!

5. Perfect through nailing, face nailing, and Bump Nailing

Through nailing increases the strength of your structures. The art of through nailing is pretty simple. All you need to do is lay the studs in a horizontal position before firing up from under the plate at each end.

Face nailing is only firing a framing nailer at 90-degree angles straight into the wood. The framing nailer will be at face level when you are carrying this out. To shoot more nails, just reposition the framing nailer, press the nozzle into the wood and fire the nail.

You will most likely use bump nailing while laying out flooring. For bump nailing to be successful, you need to bump the framing nailer nozzle onto the floor surface while keeping your finger on the trigger. The gun recoil will force the framing nailer upward, as you bring it down for another firing. Lay out a nail line to ensure you fire your nails in an orderly manner.

6. Deal with Nail Jams

You can never be free from nail jams. At a construction site, there are always hidden metal surfaces within the wood that will somehow escape your radar. Nail jams become commonplace.

Before you start unjamming your framing nailer, you need to switch off the power source of your nailer. Open the nail magazine to locate the jammed nail, and use a simple tool, such as needle-nosed pliers, to pry them out. Reload your framing nailer and keep up with the work.


Framing nailers come with a lot of functionality. So, if you just bought your first framing nailer, it is important to learn how to use a framing nailer. Between getting the right nails for your framing nailer, being cautious about safety and also practicing the different forms of nailing, the sky is the limit.

All your projects will flow smoothly from beginning to end, and work will be effective, efficient and less laborious. Make sure to get your framing nailer today.


  1. As framing nailer is a very important tool we know. So, we need to know how to use it otherwise you will face so many difficulties as well as accidents. I always loved to read this site for very important information. In our site we have discussed the benefits of framing nailer and other important information you should know.

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