Can You Use A Nail Gun For Drywall? Find The Facts

can you use a nail gun for drywall

We frequently want to avoid becoming drenched by water and cement plaster. In this instance, ready-made drywall or plasterboard, also known as sheetrock, is the most cost-effective option for home renovation.

Drywall has been a popular building material in recent years because it is less expensive and easier to install than cement plaster. However, the question is whether or not can you use a nail gun for drywall.

The basic answer is that you can use a nail gun to hang the drywall. But, because nails have a lower holding capacity than screws, they may not last long. Most expert drywallers prefer to use screws instead of nails and a screw gun rather than a nailer for this and other reasons.

Let’s take a closer look at how a nail gun works, the many types of nail guns, and other factors to have a better understanding of the situation. In this post, we also explain why drywallers prefer to use a screw gun over a nail gun.

Should You Use A Nail Gun For Drywall?

Drywallers used to use nails to hang drywall in the old days. When looking at old houses, you’ll find that the drywall is held together by nails. At the time, they commonly drove nails with a hammer.

However, modern hangers prefer to use screws and screw guns to hang drywall.

Whether or not we can use a nail gun for drywall depends on how the nail gun works. Not only does it depend on the working technique, but it also depends on other aspects such as nail gun kinds, drywall fasteners, frame or stud materials, and so on. Let’s look for them below-

How Nail Gun Works:

A nail gun is a mechanical hammer that uses compressed air or battery power to operate. It has a magazine and a piston (if it’s pneumatic) or a motor (if it’s battery or gas-powered).

When we load nails into the magazine and pull the trigger, the piston compresses the air even more and forces a drive blade to pound a nail into the surface we’re trying to connect with other objects, or the spring squeezes and forces a drive blade to eject a nail into the wood or other materials being fastened together.

Simply said, we may believe that putting nails in a nail gun magazine will cause them to drive into the drywall. This is not the case, however.

Nail guns come in a variety of shapes and sizes. And not all of them are made for the same purpose. In terms of functionality, nail guns come in a number of forms, such as framing nailers, finish nailers, brad nailers, pin nailers, roofing nailers, siding nailers, and so on.

So, which one will work best with the drywall?

Let’s take a look at the different types of nail guns available in order to figure out which one is best for drywall.

Types Of Nail Guns:

There are several kinds of nail guns on the market. Let’s learn the major types below-

Framing Nailer: It’s designed to drive longer up to 3-½ inches round head plastic collated nails whose thickness varies from 10 to 12 gauge. That means, framing nails are a bit hefty in size and are built for heavy-duty tasks like building frames or decks for houses, fencing, or furniture works.

Edge: When hanging drywall with framing nailers, you may run the risk of splitting the drywall board.

Finish Nailer: It’s designed for delicate carpentry and cabinet work, such as crown or trim molding installation, shoe molding or chair rail installation, window or door casing installation, and so on. They can drive nails with a very small head up to 2-1/2 inches long and a thin 15 to 16 gauge, which means they have less holding capacity than framing nails.

Edge: If you use a finish nailer to hang drywall, it may temporarily connect the drywall to the frame or studs. However, because finishing nails have a lower holding capacity, it may sag in the long term.

Brad Nailer: It works similarly to a finish nailer, except it’s made to drive thinner nails, such as 18 gauge. As a result, they’re perfect for delicate tasks such as connecting light crown or shoe moldings, quarter round moldings, or art or craft projects such as building birdhouses.

Edge: Using brad nailers to hang drywall increases the risk of sagging because they are more sensitive than finish nails.

Roofing Nailer: It is built to drive roofing nails through roof shingles made of asphalt or fiberglass. As shingles are thin and need extra holding power, roofing nails are often large heads and smooth shanks with a maximum length of 1-3/4 inches.

Edge: Because of their comparable nature, some drywallers believe that a coil roofing nailer can be used to drive drywall nails. However, the huge head could provide a problem towards the end of the process.

Siding Nailer: A siding nailer and a roofing nailer have a lot in common in terms of look. In general, they are both coil type magazines. Siding nailers, on the other hand, are meant to attach siding made of vinyl, wood, plywood, aluminum, fiber cement, and other materials with a slightly longer and ring type shank of up to 2-1/2 inches.

Edge: The nature of siding and drywall may appear to be very similar. However, drywall boards are larger than sidings, which require additional holding capacity.

Flooring Nailer: Flooring nailers are specialty nail guns that are built to do flooring jobs only. You can drive T or L cleat nails with them to join tongue and groove flooring tiles.

Edge: You cannot drive other types of nails except flooring nails with a flooring nailer.

So, we go over practically every major type of nail gun available. And we couldn’t find a decent match for drywall. Either they are heavy-duty or underpowered to do drywall installation.

Wait, our quest to drywall nail gun is not over. Let’s check the following one.

Drywall Nail Gun: Aside from the ones mentioned above, there is another sort of nail gun made exclusively for drywall. Senco’s SCN40DW Drywall Coil Nailer is the best of them. It can drive complete bugle-headed wire collated coil nails from 1-1/2″ to 1-5/8″. This nail gun allows you to countersink drywall nails precisely and avoid misaligned nails and destroyed drywalls.

What Is The Preferred Fastener For Drywall: Nails Vs Screws

Whether or not to utilize nail guns is mostly dependent on which fasteners are best for hanging drywall. Nails, screws, and liquid nails are common drywall connectors. Among them, screws are the most extensively utilized. You may find out whether you should use nails or screws for drywall by clicking here.

In a nutshell, drywall hangers prefer to use screws because –

  • Screws are more durable than nails and can hold more weight.
  • Screws are simple to put and remove in the event that the drywall needs to be repaired or replaced.
  • Driving screws are safer than nails since you won’t have to smash the drywall with a hammer or a nail gun drive blade.
  • Screws, like nails, have a very low or no chance of popping out.
  • During drywall installation, screws can be used on both wooden and metal frames.
  • Screws are appropriate for ceiling and side drywall due to their high gripping power.
  • You will need less number of screws than nails to connect the same amount of drywall.

If you decide to use screws for your next drywall project, a nail gun is not an option. You may use a Senco Duraspin corded auto-feed screwdriver to easily drive drywall screws.

Nails, on the other hand, are less expensive than screws and have a higher shear strength. Some nails, such as those with ring shanks or cement-coated nails, are also appropriate for providing excellent gripping power. In this scenario, a drywall nail gun can be used.

Pop-Out Issue:

Popping out is a common problem that drives most hangers to use drywall screws. Due to structural movement, nails with smooth shanks and less gripping ability tend to pop out more frequently.

Weather fluctuations cause wood to expand and contract. It swells when it absorbs moisture and shrinks when it is dry. The frame on which the drywall was attached will shift or twist somewhat as it dries. This can cause the nails to move and pop out of the drywall paint, or even show the heads of the nails protruding from the drywall.

All of this occurs within a year of the building’s completion.

As a result, most experienced drywallers advise against using drywall nails to hang drywall to avoid unexpected popping-out.

Which Materials Are Used To Build Drywall Framing:

If the frame or stud on which you intend to attach drywall is constructed of wood, you can use a nail gun in this situation. If the studs are metal, however, there is no other option than to use screws to improve the gripping force.

As a result, the materials used to construct drywall framing have a role in determining whether or not you can hang drywall with a nail gun.

Creating Of Dimple:

Countersinking a fastener into drywall should be precise enough to allow for smooth finishing work without destroying the drywall’s paper layer.

If you use a nail gun to drive drywall nails, you may wind up underdriving or overdriving them, according to this viewpoint. If the nail is driven too deep, it may rip the paper; if it is driven too high, it may not rip the paper but will get in the way of the taping knife.

However, in order to correctly sit spotting mud on the drywall, you must first form a dimple on it.

As a result, a nail gun is not a good option to install drywall. You can use a hammer to create dimples or can use bugle head screws to accomplish this instead.

Takeaways: Can You Use A Nail Gun For Drywall?

To summarize, utilizing a nail gun for drywall is a quick and economical solution, but it lacks the essential holding strength and adaptability. It also has structural concerns, and you can’t use it to link drywall to steel studs with it.

As a result, when installing drywall, it is preferable to use a drill driver.

FAQ Of Using A Nail Gun To Hang Drywall

Why do builders use nails instead of screws for drywall?

Using drywall nails instead of screws is a simple and cost-effective method. As a result, some contractors choose to hang drywall with nails rather than screws.

Screws, on the other hand, are advised for maximum structural stability.

What nail gun do I need for drywall?

A nail gun that can drive nails through drywall without shattering or shredding is good for drywall installation. It also has to have the capacity to create dimples on the drywall to sit mud properly.

We discovered that the Senco drywall coil nailer is the best drywall nail gun in this context.

Can you use a framing nailer for drywall?

You can’t use a framing nailer to hang drywall since they’re designed to drive big, heavy-duty nails into wood or other materials with a lot of force.

Can I use a brad nailer for drywall?

Brad nails are very little when framing nails are too large for drywall. You can use brad nails to hang drywall, but they won’t keep the board in place for very long. As a result, you can’t use a brad nailer to hang drywall.

Can you use Liquid nails on drywall?

Liquid nails are a specifically developed bonding compound for the installation of the interior drywall. Liquid nails can be used to achieve a quick and strong connection. It also cuts down on sound transmission, prevents nail pop-ups, and cuts down on nail usage by up to 50%. If you wish to utilize liquid nails, DWP-24 Drywall Adhesive is a wonderful choice.

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