How to Use a Nail Gun for Concrete - Guides & Reviews?

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If you don’t need too many nails in your concrete ground or floor, then constructing some pilot holes then hammering the pins by hand will be enough.

On the other hand, if you have a small project that needs wall mounting will call for a nail gun for concrete to securely drive the nails into the hard surface and maintain the wood-to-concrete placement.

Most of our homes have a hammer but for the powder actuated nail gun case, that’s debatable. If you have one, then you know how easy it gets when working on furring strips or lathe masonry tasks.

The following information suits anyone who needs to know how to use a masonry nail gun for wood/concrete nailing and some of the recommendations in the market.

Concrete Nail Gun Basics

Some will call it the twenty-two nailer or a pneumatic concrete nail gun. Whatever you call it, it refers to a simple tool that drives nails into concrete or wood with a gun’s mechanism.

Regardless of the model, they all come with a barrel and a connected firing pin. Actually, there is even some gunpowder chambered on .22 shells. Well, it is not responsible for shooting anyone.

The shells are used to propel the nails into the concrete/masonry after fitting the nails correctly and pulling the trigger. The firing pin will bang the bullets’ back, but apart from the nail going to the solid material, nothing else comes out.

The explosion is contained in the tool’s chamber. You will see some gas escaping from the barrel, but all nail guns can handle that appropriately if you know how to do it.

Safety First

You are using a tool that uses gunpowder in it. That means you can get hurt while you are on top, in case you are using a ladder or get some shock out of it not to mention damaging your eyes accidentally. To make sure that you are attentive and protected, observe the following:

  • Always start with loading the nail before the shell. If your powder actuated nail gun does not have a safety mechanism, the chances are that you may experience detonation as you load the nail. If it’s pointing towards you, then the rest is unspeakable.
  • Treat the tool like a gun. The last thing you want is if it’s pointing toward you or anything that can be harmed.
  • Always make sure that you have the necessary eye protection before beginning your nailing work.
  • Also, it is a good idea to include some ear protection since some nail guns do not add a silencer as one of the features.

How to Nail a Concrete by a Nail Gun?

How to Nail a Concrete by a Nail Gun

Do you have the nail gun with you? Check the following step-wise process to use it well from the first time. As you read, be aware that they are general instructions to all guns.

It is a good idea to compare them with the manual that came with your pneumatic concrete nail gun.

The nail distance

Here, you are not driving the nails into the concrete yourself using a hammer so, there are no pilot holes here. That is the first advantage of using a masonry nail gun.

You just take it to the wood or wall, point, press, and shoot. You are advised never to drill any pilot holes since it’s not necessary and missing it can be fatal.

Now that you don’t need a guiding penetration, then the other factor to look at is how deep the nails will go into concrete. On the gun, you have the nail length, the power load and the nature of the material you are pursuing.

Some nail guns will allow you to adjust the striking force depending on the hardness while others will require some testing. You can use a hammer and nail method to hit against the material. If the nail kind of penetrates, then the surface is easily penetrable.

On the other hand, if it bends, then you need to use a powerful nail gun when working on it later.

How to load a nail gun

You need to wear the safety goggles first. With the tool pointed away from you, towards the surface and at 90 degrees if it’s all flat, make sure that the chamber is not power loaded.

Now, put the nail in the barrel carefully, with the head first. Do it at the front as opposed to the side like what we do on guns. The side is for the shells. Push the nail until the pointed end is inside the barrel and don’t push any further.

In our recommendations, we already have nail guns with magazines so, make sure you have that secured before loading the tool with nails at the front.

Strike the surface

The current guns are made in such a way that if you accidentally pull the trigger, the nail will not fire. That is a safety mechanism. After everything is all set, go to the surface, and point to where you need to nail.

Apply some pressure on the area for a tight hold and nail guiding. When you are ready, pull the trigger, and that’s it.

You will see some gases, but that is part of the job.

Tip: The nail guns come with specified nail sizes. Always make sure that after selecting the appropriate nails for the surface you are about to approach, make sure you get the correct dimensions to avoid mishaps such as bending or not well fitting in depth after firing.

Concrete Nail Gun Recommendation

1. Hitachi NT65MA4 Nailer

Hitachi gives you a versatile nail gun that you can even regulate the depth of drive depending on the materials you are nailing.

It comes with an integrated duster that clears away dirt on the surface you are working on before you glue or nail. The nose provides a quick way to remove jammed nails without using a specialized extraction tool.

Another appealing feature includes having an actuation switch that allows you to change between contact and sequential nailing with nothing else needed apart from flipping the switch.

The exhaust portal is fully adjustable via a 360-degree rotation, and it directs the air away from you as you work. The magazine is angled at 34 degrees to make sure that nails will reach even the tight spots.

For nail requirements, this one uses 15-gauge 1 ¼-2 ½-inch nails.

2. BOSTITCH MIII812CNCT Industrial Concrete Nailer

Here is a pneumatic concrete nail gun that will help you to fasten furring strips onto a concrete wall for those small DIY projects at home.

With a housing made of aluminum, your one-hand operations on stone and brick walls or floors have the needed security. The BOSTITCH Industrial Concrete Nailer makes use of a high capacity magazine that doesn’t consume time when reloading.

On appearance, it is a compact gun that you can use and move with ease, but as per what customers say, it is good for light jobs and not those wood projects that will take days to complete.

For the suitable nails, the nail gun allows 9/16-2 ¼-inch nails. For any questions, repair or replacement issues, the manufacturer includes a seven-year warranty on the tool.

3. Freeman PCTN64 Concrete"T" Nailer

Freeman masonry nail gun will drive those T-nails into both new and old concrete walls with the help of a die-cast aluminum casing that houses some features to make that possible.

The housing includes a 360-degree adjustable exhaust, a dual spring magazine that is guided by the reload indicator and a trigger safety lock that prohibits accidental nail firing.

The magazine is composed of an anodized aluminum cylinder which promotes longevity of use. You can use the nail gun for lathe masonry, furring strips, subflooring, nailing on concrete and steel banding.

While it is made to drive nails on wood and concrete, you need to know that the depth will vary depending on how old the concrete is. Newer ones are easily penetrable.

For nails specification, the nail gun requires 14-gauge concrete T-nails, 5/8-2 ½ inches. For any questions about the gun’s operation, you have a seven-year warranty from Freeman to take care of that.

4. Meite MT-G38 12 Gauge Nailer

The last recommendation goes to the meite Nailer that appears smaller yet very powerful in driving the nails into concrete. There are no hoses or compressors needed. 

All you need to do is make sure the lithium-Ion battery is fully charged, and that’s all. In case you are wondering, yes, this one needs some battery charge to work.

The battery delivers 7.2 volts in the cordless nail gun that will aid you in nailing 8000 shots before the battery dies down. For safety measures, the designers include earplugs and goggles. Other accessories include two batteries, a brush, charger, and a user manual.

It is quite simple to use once you learn about the charging and use process. For better results, make sure your nails are between 7/8-1 ½ inches long. Overall, whether you are working on wood or concrete, this will aid you through.


It is easy to use a nail gun for concrete once you follow the steps we have highlighted above and the safety measures to comply. 

Next time, you are working on a concrete surface or woodwork on the concrete, this article will help you remember that the days of using a hammer to strike on such surfaces are slowly dying down so, upgrade to prevent hitting your fingers accidentally as you work though.


This is Abraham. Professional power tools mechanic with years of experience. Writing is my hobby. So I decide to share my experience with people by writing about all types of power tools review and buyers guide that I'm using.

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