Pneumatic Vs. Electric Nail Gun: What’s The Difference?

A nail gun is a very useful and popular carpentry tool that we need for many purposes. In addition, we may have many small carpentry tasks in our houses that we can solve without hiring professionals.

Nail guns make all types of carpentry tasks very easier. For this reason, we must have it in our house. Besides, for professional carpenters, it is mandatory to have different types of nail guns. If we consider power sources, there are mainly two types of nail guns- the Pneumatic Nail Gun and the Electric Nail Gun.

People are often confused about choosing the best one between these two. In this article, we will discuss these nail guns and help you find their differences. So, if you are interested, keep reading the article. You will surely find the article useful.

What is a Pneumatic Nail Gun?


A pneumatic nail gun is a carpentry tool essentially powered by compressed air to shoot nails and staple into the masonry or any type of wooden object. It is the most popular type of nail gun that you can use in all sorts of professional carpentry projects.

This nail gun is the most powerful and efficient nail gun. An air compressor works here to produce power like hammering force to drive nails into the objects. The pneumatic nail gun is the best choice for professionals who conduct different types of complex, hard, and heavy tasks.

You can drive even 3.5 inches long nails by using this nail gun. In addition, these nail guns allow shooting both individual and multiple nails at a time, which means the rapid fire of nails.

Credit: YouTube

Besides all these advantages, this nail gun has a significant drawback. You can’t take this anywhere you want. As it is compressed air powered, a gas cylinder always needs to be connected to the nail gun by a hose. 

For this hose, this nail gun is less portable. However, there are also cordless pneumatic nail guns, which are very expensive. If you have a bigger budget, you can choose these cordless versions, but it neglects the lightweight characteristic of the pneumatic nail guns. 

What is an Electric Nail Gun?


With the advancement of technology, different types of nail guns are now widely available in the market. Electric nail guns are also very popular and easy-available carpentry tools.

In general, these nail guns are cordless. A rechargeable lithium battery powers it. After charging for a specific period of time, you can take it anywhere to shoot nails at different types of objects. You will get a moderate amount of run time from these nail guns. 

Battery backup of the nail guns is dependent on their price. Normally, expensive electric nail guns have an efficient battery that provides long battery backup.

Besides, making the nail gun full charge takes 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. That means you can work with it for a long time if you want by charging multiple times. Besides, you can also buy additional batteries and carry those with full charge to work for a long time. 

However, these nail guns are not appropriate for heavy-duty tasks like framing, roofing projects, etc. This is because electric nail guns cannot provide the same amount of power as pneumatic nail guns. They are limited in power and durability indeed.

Electric Vs. Pneumatic Nailer: Which One is the Best?

Now you know enough information about both pneumatic nail guns and electric nail guns. Both are popular for many reasons. However, there are many significant differences between these two nail guns.

Now, here, we will find out all the differences between these two and help you to find out the best one for you.

The key differences are as follows: 

Setup Process:

There is a huge difference in the complexity and duration of setting up between pneumatic and electric nail guns. In the case of electric nail guns, it will take only a few seconds to set up your nail gun and make it ready for shooting nails.

Then, you just need to take it in your hand and start firing nails at the objects. If your electric nail gun is in charge, then you just need to unplug it and start working.

On the other hand, installing a pneumatic nail gun is much more complex and time-consuming. First, need to set up the air compressor, which will take a few minutes. After that, you have to set the hose with white thread seal tape. 

Then connect the hose with the nail gun. This whole process will take more or less five to ten minutes. If you are setting up this for the first time, it may take more than this.


The performance of both of these nail guns is good in different criteria. Pneumatic nail guns are very powerful, and you can shoot nails very fast, one after another, by using them. It will never delay in shooting nails into any objects. This nail gun provides perfect performance on all heavy tasks. 

On the other hand, electric nail guns have less power than pneumatic nail guns. Therefore, it is actually the best for small carpentry tasks. However, you will not get the same strength as pneumatic nail guns from it. Besides, the firing may be delayed sometimes. 

You will not be able to fire very quickly like the pneumatic nail gun. However, overall if you consider performance, a pneumatic nail gun will stay ahead in the competition.


Electric nail guns are very costly compared to pneumatic nail guns. If you want a less expensive electric nail gun, you have to go for corded electric nail guns, which are not so available in the market. In addition, the battery and charger add up the cost of an electric nail gun at a significant level.

On the other hand, if you want to buy a compressed air pneumatic nail gun, it will cost around half of the electric nail gun. So, we can say that there is a huge difference in the price of these two nail guns. 

Ease of Use:

Electric nail guns are very easy to use. You can freely move anywhere you want as lithium batteries power it. Besides, you can purchase some extra batteries by which you can work as much as you want.

Moreover, there is no hose or wire connection. So, you can use this very comfortably. On the contrary, a pneumatic nail gun is powered by compressed air. You need to connect your nail gun to the compressed air cylinder with a hose pipe. You must carry the cylinder and the hose pipe wherever you want to use this.

So, you can’t move it and use it anywhere you want. Besides, working with a hose can be uncomfortable. So, if you consider the ease of using nail guns, a pneumatic nail gun will be lagged behind.


In the case of pneumatic nail guns, you have to take care of all of its parts like the compressor, hose pipe, etc. The hose may leak, or the compressor may not work properly.

So, you always must keep your eyes on these. If any of its parts don’t work, your nail gun will not work, which will be very complex to solve. On the other hand, electric nail guns are very easy to maintain. Here, you just need to make sure that the batteries are being charged properly.

In general, these batteries take a very long time to be damaged. So, you can very comfortably use this. Considering all these matters, we can say that an electric nail gun is easy to take care of and maintain.

Run Time:

If we consider the run time of these two nail guns, both pneumatic and electric nail guns work almost the same. You will get enough run time from a compressed air power nail gun for any kind of project.

If the pressure in the air tank drops too low, you need to refill it to use your nail gun again. So, we can say you will get enough run time from the pneumatic nail gun.

Again, in the case of an electric nail gun, you will get enough battery backup to complete most of the project with one charge. A good quality electric nail gun has the capacity to shoot around 1000-1500 nails on one charge.

Besides, you can purchase extra batteries and carry them with a full charge with you. Doing this allows you to get run time as much as you want.

Conclusion: Pneumatic Vs. Electric Nail Gun

No matter which one you choose between Pneumatic and Electric Nail Gun, you will get a powerful tool to conduct your needed tasks. However, for small to medium tasks, an electric nail gun is the best type you can choose.

Again, a pneumatic nail gun will be best for you if you are searching for a nail gun for heavy-duty tasks. And, if you want to work professionally, you should get both of these because both nail guns will be needed in your job. 

Here one precaution for you is that when using pneumatic nail guns, you must be very careful in shooting nails. There are many histories of accidents using this tool.

In this article, we have discussed Pneumatic and Electric Nail Gun, the differences between these two, and helped you find the best one for you.

After reading this article, now you obviously should know which one is appropriate for you. So, choose one and do different carpentry and masonry tasks yourself.

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