The Best Nail Guns For Use With Decking

By Thomas O'Rourke - 5th January, 2019

Using a nail gun to secure your decking makes the whole installation process a lot easier. But not all can serve this purpose. With these tools coming in a wide range of styles and sizes, it’s important to choose the right one.

There are many things to consider. From the type of fasteners you want to use, through to the power of the nail gun and everything in-between.

To help you out, we’ve asked our experts to test and rate some of the most popular nailers in the UK. Not only did they choose their favourites, they also shared advice on how to use a nail gun to secure your decking. Check out our recommendations below.

In this guide - we review the top nail guns for decking, including...

#1 Best Nail Gun

Tacwise 50mm nailer

1. Tacwise 50mm Brad

This best-in-class pneumatic brad nailer has the muscle to handle even the toughest jobs. Definitely our favourite.

Cheapest Unit

Tacwise 181ELS

2. Tacwise 181ELS

Same reliability as our top pick but less powerful, this electric nail gun is perfect for any budget-conscious DIYers.

Worth Considering...

Silverline Air Framing Nailer

3. Silverline Air Framing

Designed for heavy-duty jobs at home or in the workshop. Dependable and versatile but quite expensive.

Tacwise 50mm nailer
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A versatile workshop tool capable of handling multiple brad nail sizes.

The Tacwise 50MM is no doubt the best brad nailer you can find. It handles brad nails from 20 to 50 mm long, either galvanised or stainless steel for interior or exterior use. As well as the wide range of brads it can handle, the machine comes with other features you’ll love.

Perhaps our favourite feature is the countersinking capability which allows you to adjust the drive depth. Gaining a smooth finish regardless of the lumber involved is easy, and so is manoeuvring the tool.

Perfectly balanced, the brad nailer is convenient to hold and comes with a firm handle and soft grip designed to improve comfort.

Another great feature is the rubber nose developed for easy driving. This pneumatic unit is compatible with a range of small air compressors with use from 60 to 100 PSI air pressure.

Furthermore, a fast release and quick reloading magazine can hold up to 100 180/18G nails. Weighing less than 1.5 kilograms and aggressive (yet easy to use) this nail gun could be the best bet for your decking installation project.

Pros

  • Contact trip valve ensures a fast driving of nails into softer and harder materials alike. Ideal for decking installation.
  • Quick release nose plate prevents jamming and ensures continuous operation, keeping downtime to a minimum.
  • Compact and lightweight, this brad nailer is suitable for a wide range of applications.
  • Protective carrying case keeps the nail gun and all its accessories organised, for easy transport and storage.

Cons

  • It is quite difficult to drive nails at an angle.
Tacwise 181ELS
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Versatile and reliable nail gun at a price that won’t break the bank.

From the same brand as our top-pick, this 35mm nail gun appeals to both amateurs and professionals shopping on a budget. It packs a number of impressive features, including its bigger brother’s reliability.

Withstanding heavy-duty operations, this nail gun machine can drive brads from 15 to 35 mm and handles most types of interior and exterior wood.

Like our favourite pick above, the unit comes with a quick release nose that prevents jamming and ensures continuous operation.

An abundance of safety features also make this tool ideal for a beginner. It has a single shot trigger that prevents any driving of the nails accidentally. Moreover, the unit also has a safety on/off switch that turns the machine off in case of overload.

Ideal for those always on the go, this dependable tacker also delivers maximum durability and is powered by electricity.

Pros

  • All metal magazine holds up to 100 brad nails, ensures fast release and is easy to charge.
  • Electric nail gun is compact and professional, ideal to handle multiple applications including the installation of flooring, decking or assembling furniture.
  • Rubber nose protects the delicate surfaces from scratches or marks. Tool comes in carry case for easy transportation and storage.
  • Weighs 1.6 kilograms, is well-balanced and easy to handle.

Cons

  • Corded tool is less powerful than its pneumatic counterpart and has difficulties driving nails through hardwood.
  • Operation is sometimes inconsistent.
Silverline Air Framing Nailer
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Developed with the contractor in mind, this powerful nailer handles heavy-duty tasks with ease.

A nail gun designed to handle heavier-duty tasks, the Silverline Air Framing could be the best choice for those looking for high power and who don’t mind paying the extra cash for it.

Despite its heftier price, the unit is a workhorse able to handle whatever you’re throwing at it.

It handles nails between 50 and 90mm long with a shank diameter between 2.87 and 3.33mm. A double magazine can hold up to eighty pieces in total and ensures fast release and quick loading.

Safety features include a cut-out functionality that prevents empty firing, while a no-mark tip protects the most delicate surfaces. We also like the adjustable penetration depth which allows matching the settings with the application for the best possible outcome.

Like our top pick, the Silverline is a pneumatic tool ideal for heavy-duty applications.

Pros

  • Lightweight magnesium housing makes the tool easy to manoeuvre even in tighter or restricted spaces.
  • Compatible with all air compressors capable of outputting at least 90 PSI and 8 CFM.
  • This tool comes with a convenient 3-year warranty and is compatible with multiple nail brands.

Cons

  • Nail gun doesn’t come with a carry case.
  • Despite its lightweight housing, it’s heavier than expected.

How To Use A Nail Gun To Secure Your Decking

If you’ve decided to install your own decking and believe driving nails with a hammer is a smooth job, wait until you’re faced with the hundreds of nails needed for this purpose.

It will quickly become clear why using a nail gun to secure your decking is a wiser idea.

But before rushing out to the closest DIY store to buy a tool, learn how to use it. Here are the top tips from our experts:

Step 1 – Choose the fasteners
Before buying a nail gun, it is essential to decide what fasteners you want to use.

Standard wood decking is the most versatile, giving you plenty of choices. Traditional framing nails are perhaps the most popular and inexpensive choice.

A great option are the 90mm nails, long enough to secure the decking boards to the support frame underneath.

If you want to follow the latest trends and secure the structure with hidden fasteners, 15mm brad nails could be a more appropriate choice though.

Step 2 – Choose the nail gun
Pick a nail gun compatible with the type of fasteners you want to use. You can also choose between pneumatic, electric, or cordless models the one that best fits your needs. If you’re aiming for power, we recommend pneumatic.

Step 3 – Secure your decking
Load the gun with nails and get used to its controls.

When you’re confident in using the gun, start driving nails at a 90° angle into the boards.

Secure all of them, then let the wood weather before cleaning, sanding, and staining it. It’s as simple as that!