Are you a constant associate, or do you have a team to work at a construction site? For construction site associates, a nail gun is a common tool that is assisting them in performing important tasks.

How Does A Nail Gun Work?

How Does A Nail Gun Work?

Nail guns are different in type: pneumatic nail gun, combustion-powered nail gun and an electric-powered nail gun. After completing every task, give a “thank you” to your nail gun. Don’t you think, the performance that is providing by a nail gun is magic?

However, I am going to reveal this magic by answering your question “how does a nail gun work?”

Once you learn this answer, you can use the nail gun efficiently and precisely than before. Let’s begin the discussion without delay.

Mechanism of Loading the Nail

A long strip of nails is available to load a nail gun where the nails are blithely glued to each other. Through the nail gun magazine, theses nails are loaded into the nail gun. If you look intently at the nail gun, you will find a barrel at the end of the magazine. The barrel is used to shoot the nails. At the base of the magazine, a spring is placed to push the nails.

Based on the nail gun type, there are 2 different ways to fire nails.

1. Using a hammer: In this way, a hammer forces the nails to drive down to the barrel, fires them with high speed and pressure.

2. Using a powerful spring: When released, the spring hits the hammer that influentially fires a nail via the nail barrel.

Nail Gun Working Procedure

As we have learned about the nail gun mechanism, now we will give a deep dive to learn more about the working procedure of the below nail guns.

1. Pneumatic Nail Gun. 

2. Combustion Powered Nail Gun.

3. Electric Powered Nail Gun.

After learning about the working procedure, you will be able to find out the nail gun precisely that will suit your project most.

1. Pneumatic Nail Gun

Compressed air is used to perform using this type of nail gun. Without a connection of an air hose and a compressor, you can’t do anything with this nail gun. The compressed air will drive down the hammer to the nails at the barrel.

In a pneumatic nail gun, you have to surpass a safety feature, before releasing the compressed air. For powering, a trigger valve mechanism is used to power a pneumatic gun. The responsibility of the valve is to block the compressed air that enters the chamber. Additionally, if you don’t press the plunger onto the material you desire to fasten, the fire will not be done by the nail gun.

Once you pull the trigger, the valve will release compressed air to flow to the chamber. Another plunger is placed at the inside of the chamber and a hammer which is joined with to blade. The plunger needs to be depressed on to the material before the compressed air reaches to the hammer.

After you do this, the plungers get lifted by the compressed air, and it acts as a hammer. Then the compressed air generates enough force to drive the hammer down; the nail gets fired through the barrel into the material.

A blade is attached with the hammer. The blade confirms only one nail is fired within one shot if the nail gun.

2. Combustion Powered Nail Gun

This powered nail gun depends on the internal combustion to generate excessive pressure in order to drive the hammer. Combustion powered nail gun doesn’t contain a plunger, and in the place of the plunger, it has a combustion chamber.

Also, through a canister, gas is supplied to the combustion chamber. A momentary electric spark creates the combustion within the chamber and to generate this momentary electric spark, a battery is required. Once you pull the trigger, the electric spark discharges into the chamber, and thus the combustion takes place.

The combustion enhances the pressure of working on the hammer, pushing it down and driving the nail into your material. In the combustion nail gun, you will find a blade too that is attached with the hammer. And the blade plays a similar responsibility as described in the pneumatic nail gun.

Before firing a combustion-powered nail gun, the muzzle will need to be pressed against the material you tied. It acts as a security measure. While operating this type of power tools, you can’t avoid taking care of safety mechanisms.

3. Electric Powered Nail Gun

The design and function of an electric powered nail gun are a bit straightforward than the previous two nail gun. An electric nail gun uses a powerful spring to drive the nail onto a material instead of using high-pressure compressed air or the volatile force of combustion.

The electric gun has a rotating motor that holds back the powerful spring. When you pull the trigger, the muzzle is pushed gently on the material being attached. Then the spring gets released that drives the hammer to forward, and enough kinetic energy generates to takeoff a nail.

You don’t need to give so much strain to use an electric-powered nail gun because they are lightweight. However, both pneumatic and combustion nail gun is more powerful than an electric-powered nail gun. It means, for light work, an electric nail gun is the most suitable.


Now I believe you have understood the working mechanism of all type of nail gun. Don’t you think the working process of a nail gun is pretty simple?

Understand the firing process of the nail gun and balance everything is easy to realize. Although many people purchase a nail gun based on their requirement and project type, the above discussion will let you make a precise decision while purchasing a nail gun.