How Does A Cordless Nail Gun Work?

September 18, 2022

Using portable cordless nail gun on woodworking jobsite.

Cordless nail guns, of course, have quickly become popular in recent years because battery technology has improved at a rapid clip as compared to other types of nailers. Nowadays, batteries have become longer-lasting and more powerful than before. Thus, this rapid technological advancement in battery design has also trickled down to the development of better cordless nail guns.

Cordless nail guns, of course, come with some advantages over pneumatic and corded nail guns. They are portable and lightweight and do away with the hassles concomitant with long cords and air hoses. Even in awkward spaces and locations, you can carry your battery-powered nail gun and drive nails with ease. Cordless nail guns, however, come in various types, and as an intelligent buyer, it will help to know these different types.

Types of Cordless Nail Guns

The cordless nail gun is useful for remodeling and repairing jobs. Its use, of course, can boost your productivity and improve the quality of your work. Yet, if you’re a beginner, you might get confused when selecting a cordless nail gun, given the myriads of options at hand. Moreover, cordless nail guns can be either a gas-powered one or a battery-powered one. Cordless nail guns are very useful on construction framing and other woodworking projects that woodworker or carpenter have to move around when nailing. It’s extremely useful for fencing where power outlet were that accessible.

1) Gas-powered Cordless Nail Guns

The gas-powered cordless nail gun is also called gas-powered or fuel-powered nailer. This nailer depends on combustion for supplying the needed force to drive nails. It mimics the mechanics of pneumatic nail guns by utilizing compressed gas fuel along with a battery. 

It is easy to use. You only need to press the tool nose against the surface. Then, the fuel moves into the combustion chamber and combines with air from the fan of this tool. Hence, you see a spark plug adjacent to the battery igniting the gas-air mixture when you pull its trigger. 

In a way, the inner workings of the gas-powered nail gun are similar to gasoline-powered gas engines. The combustion inside the nailer creates a force capable of driving nails past the material’s surface you would like to nail. The first gas-powered nail gun was sold by Paslode, which rolled out the impulse model in the 1980s.

Air-powered Cordless Nail Guns: These nail guns make use of a pneumatic air compressor that gets hooked to the air hose. The compressor stores air in an individual or separate tank. Then, move this air to the gun via the hose.

Fuel-powered Cordless Nailers: The fuel-powered Cordless Nailers make use of gasoline that provides a longer running time up to 3,000 psi. Using a high-pressure airflow, these nailers can shoot nails at a tremendous speed onto various materials.

2) Battery-powered Cordless Nailers

The battery-powered cordless nail gun is another cordless nailer with a rechargeable battery. It comes with a spinning flywheel that completes the hammering job. It also utilizes a brushless motor to generate enough power through its battery. Its working procedure is quite simple compared to other nail guns. 

As you dismantle this nail gun, you will see a rotatory brushless electric motor. This motor does the compressing of the spring for firing the nails connected to the nail strip. 

You can kickstart the firing process by pressing the trigger in order to produce the motor’s power. Once the motor attains the needed power capacity, it pushes the spring. The spring then gets released from a position and creates that necessary driving force that shoots the nail forward.

The battery-powered cordless nailer is easy to operate. Moreover, it doesn’t need a compressor to operate. But it needs a rechargeable battery to get this tool functional. 

For each charging of its 4Ah battery, it can shoot a maximum of 700 nails consecutively. It doesn’t come with any fuel cell, and thus, it is the most eco-friendly among the options at hand. 

How Does the Cordless Battery-powered Nail Gun Work?

You might be asking whether the battery-powered ones are good enough to accomplish your nailing jobs. Well, battery-powered cordless nailers have gone a long way from sputtering and low-powered tools to reliable ones. The DEWALT DCN660B 20V, for example, is a finish nailer that you can use for various nailing jobs. It can do everything that necessitates the use of a finish nailer. 

Battery-powered ones are increasingly becoming competitive with the highly established pneumatic models of nailers. And with the rapid improvement in battery technology, you can still expect more from cordless battery-powered nail gun. 

Tips on How to Use Cordless Nail Guns

You will find the cordless nail gun easy and convenient to use compared to the pneumatic ones. It doesn’t require a longer learning curve to master its use. But if you’re a tyro in its use, it will help if you are cognizant of the following valuable tips on using it:

  • It will be best to have an extra battery as a backup when using a battery-powered cordless nail gun. Such a backup battery will come in handy, especially if you intend to engage in nailing a large area or surface. In this way, there will be less downtime, and you can finish your work on time. 
  • Before you commence your work, it will help to ensure that the battery gets fully charged. Additionally, after storing your nail gun for a certain period, you should recharge the battery fully, for if the battery gets drained, it will likely get damaged. 
  • If you’re using a gas-powered cordless nail gun, it will help to ensure that you clean the fuel chamber before you refill it. If any debris lodges into it and you refill it without cleaning it, you might damage it, or it may malfunction. 
  • Ensure that you got your feet firmly entrenched to the ground when using the nailer, for you will experience a slight jerk or kickback because of the firing mechanism of the tool. If you’re not ready for this kickback, you might get hurt in the process.


The cordless nailer is an excellent addition to the growing number of modern woodworking tools that you can use anytime. You can use these tools to hang a drywall, fix a heavy appliance, assemble pieces of furniture, hang paneling, install cabinets, assemble shelves, hang doors, hang mirrors and frames, install crown molding, and put up backsplash tiles. 

The cordless nailers usually last longer, given the more advanced designs of cordless nail guns at present. Their batteries, of course, are more often their weakness. Their batteries typically range from 5 volts to 20 volts, and every brand usually carries a proprietary voltage level. Nevertheless, their durability and reliability usually depend on how you use and maintain them.

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