A framing hammer used to be the tool that every home builder kept at their side. In time, however, a new tool for framing has become the standard: a nail gun. A nail gun is exactly what it sounds like. Using a compressor, highly pressurized air shoots nails out of the nail gun at high speeds.
The gun itself resembles a large staple gun, only it is much heftier. The operator loads a strip of nails into the chamber and, with the air compression hose attached, nails are fired out rapidly in succession. While a framing hammer is still a reliable tool, a nail gun is superior for a number of reasons from speed to power.
5 Reasons Why a Nail Gun is Better than a Framing Hammer
Reason #1: Speed
Although a worker very adept at using a framing hammer can drive home many nails in a minute, they would be hard pressed to keep up with someone using a nail gun to do the same thing. Once the wood to be joined is lined up square, the framer can put 3 nails to secure the joint in the time it takes a framing hammer to drive one.
Reason #2: No Nails to Carry
While it is true that the nail gun is connected by means of a hose to an air compressor which limits movement to a small degree, a nail gun operator has no nails to physically carry on their person. A worker using a framing hammer is accustomed to having a whole pouch filled with nails. It may not be the biggest advantage a nail gun has, but it certainly lightens up the tool belt.
Reason #3: No Hurt Fingers
Since the operator does not have to constantly hold nails in place with their fingers and thumb before driving them, the risk of hurting their fingers with the hammer is eliminated. A nail gun shoots nails out at very high speeds, so safety must be practiced at all times. When used correctly, a nail gun is safer because it does not require you to continually bring down a steel hammer head towards your fingers.
Reason #4: More Powerful
A nail gun drives each nail with an equal amount of pressurized force behind it. Provided the tip is held up to the wood properly and the angle is right, the power of a nail gun is unquestionably superior. Nails driven by hand usually require at least 2, sometimes 3 hits. With a nail gun, all it takes is one.
Reason #5: Accuracy
A nail gun is very accurate without requiring you to hit the nail on the head, so to speak. Wherever the tip of the nail is, that is precisely where the nail will go.
There is no question that a worker who knows how to properly use a framing hammer can do so quickly and effectively. However, a nail gun saves time that a framing hammer cannot make up. In terms of speed, safety, power and accuracy, a framing hammer cannot match the benefits of a nail gun.