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What Is a Gas Nail Gun?

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  • Written By: Alex Newth
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 22 August 2014
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Gas nail guns, as opposed to pneumatic nail guns, are used by construction workers and do-it-yourselfers to drive nails into wood, shingles and a variety of other materials with power and precision. A gas nail gun runs on gas by using combustion energy and a small piston. Unlike pneumatic nail guns, which need a compressor for air, a gas nail gun is completely mobile. This is because there is no cord and all the power comes from a fuel cartridge or cell placed in the gas nail gun. They usually require more cleaning than pneumatic nail guns and have different nail cartridge sizes, depending on the model.

For a gas nail gun to work, it needs two sources of power: fuel and a battery. When the trigger is pulled, a tiny amount of fuel will be dispensed. The battery, at the same time, will create a small electrical charge that will ignite the fuel, creating combustion energy. The nail responds to the combustion energy by flying from the nail gun into the material. In terms of power, gas nail guns and pneumatic nail guns are about the same.

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The primary advantage that a gas nail gun offers workers is its mobility. Pneumatic nail guns need large air compressors and hoses to provide the compressed air power needed to drive the nail into a material. This makes it harder for the worker to get into cramped spaces or to move around without lugging the compressor. A gas nail gun can go anywhere, because it does not need any hoses and it is not connected to any energy source aside from the battery and fuel cartridge stored within the nail gun itself.

The use of fuel and the constant sparks made to propel the nails, gas nail guns will need to be cleaned more frequently than pneumatic nail guns. Both internal and external cleaning must be done to keep the nail gun functioning properly and at peak performance. Failure to clean the gas nail gun can result in less power over time.

There are two types of nail cartridges available for gas nail guns: stick and coil. Stick refers to nails that are placed in a cartridge and form a stick-like shape. These cartridges usually hold from 20 to 40 nails. Coil cartridges form a long string of nails and hold up to 300 nails at once. Some gas nail guns may only be able to use one type of cartridge, which will typically be stated in the user’s manual.

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