Electric Nail Gun: Pros and Cons

Carpenter uses nail gun on a roofing job.

All big home improvement projects are that much easier to finish with a nail gun in your toolbox. There are two different kinds you can choose from—pneumatic and electric—but which one is better? This article will attempt to help you choose between the two types of nail guns available by listing the pros and cons of owning an electric one.


Both types of guns have a number of good things that can be said about them. Below you will find the positive reasons for owning an electric nail gun.

To start, electric nail guns weigh less than pneumatic. This means you’ll be able to work longer with much less fatigue. It also means that the device will be easier to use for a wider range of people.

If you buy a cordless electric nail gun, you won’t have a cord or a hose to drag around behind you as you work, eliminating a tripping hazard in an already hazardous workspace.

An electric type operates less noisily than its air-powered counterpart. This is especially important in a residential area. Since there is no need for a loud air compressor to power an electric nail gun, you won't have to worry about disturbing nearby neighbors.

Corded electric nail guns will cost on average of 25% less than a comparably powered pneumatic nail gun. Cordless nail guns, while actually more expensive than pneumatic, won’t need an expensive compressor either, which will also mean cost savings.

Pneumatic tools must also be oiled every so often in order to prevent rusting and to lubricate the internal mechanisms. Electric nail guns don’t need this extra maintenance.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of the advantages to an electric nail gun, but it does give a good idea of why they are sometimes preferable.


While there are a lot of reasons to buy an electric ail gun, there are still some reasons to reconsider in favor of a pneumatic gun.

If you’re doing an in-depth remodeling project, you may have to turn power off in the area you’re working in. This will mean that you’ll need a number of power cords to keep your electric nailer working from another power source. With a pneumatic kind, you can plug your compressor in where there is power and run the hose to your work area.

Most corded electric nailers and all cordless nailers have less impact power than a pneumatic nail gun. This means you may have to go back around with a hammer to fully drive your nails when you're finished, adding extra time to the project overall.

Pneumatic guns are of a heavier duty construction to withstand the increased driving force they operate with. Because of this, they are less susceptible to debilitating damage if and when they are dropped. Electric nail guns don't have this same durability.

If you decide on a cordless variety, you’ll have to swap out batteries every so often. In order to keep working, this means you’ll need at least three batteries and have to regularly check your charger to be sure it is also working correctly.

Cordless nailers require a great deal of electrical power for proper operation. This means you’ll be swapping the batteries out well before they are actually completely dead, which decreases useful lifespan and costs extra money.

Considering a pneumatic nail gun? Compare brands, types and prices with our Air Tools Buyer's Guide.