I will be doing some small framing additions and covering it with vinyl siding. I'd like to purchase a nail gun for doing this. Is there a nail gun that I could use for both applications or are they separate guns?

3 Answers 3


When you nail vinyl siding, you don't drive the nail all the way in. You leave a tiny space between the nail head and the vinyl so that the siding can slide left-right easily. If you fail to do this, the siding will make popping sounds and may warp when it is heated by sunlight.

There's no framing nail gun that can leave this small space consistently on small siding nails.

  • Good point about leaving a space for the vinyl siding.
    – crip659
    Aug 5, 2022 at 17:41

Think most if not all nail guns only use specific type of nails, some have a short range of lengths, so a framing nail gun can use maybe 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inch nails, but not smaller.

Only a hammer you swing with your arm can hammer all types of nails(plus the odd thumb).

  • Hammer for the win. Also: Small Framing addition == rent a framing gun (and whtever sort you'd use for vinyl siding, I never use the stuff so IDK) if you are dead-set on using a nail gun and afraid to learn to swing a hammer. You can get nail-holding pliers if overly concerned about your thumbs.
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 5, 2022 at 16:24
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    @Ecnerwal If you use nail holding pliers, the little kid watching you does not get to learn new words.
    – crip659
    Aug 5, 2022 at 16:40
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    Reminds of the joke I just heard about the little kid who went to the first day of French class. Teacher asked if anyone knew any French. Kid spits out every possible bad word. Because he always heard them as "Pardon my French,...#$@#$)@%)" Aug 5, 2022 at 16:42
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    Being a little kid in Quebec it was either pardon my French or Hungarian(do not know why Hungarian got used).
    – crip659
    Aug 5, 2022 at 16:46

Perhaps the biggest thing is to figure out how you want to power it:

  • Battery

Battery powered tools have their limits, but those limits have been increasing. If you are already in a particular branded ecosystem (Ryobi, Dewalt, Milwaukee, etc.) then look at what that brand offers. You don't want to end up with one tool that has a different battery from all your other tools.

  • Plug-in Electric

Plenty of power. Only catch is if you are working on a new structure with no electric hooked up.

  • Compressed Air

This is very common for nailers. But a lot of DIY (including myself) don't have a compressor, hoses, etc.

If the project is likely to take only one or two days, I would definitely consider rental of this type of tool, particularly if you want to go for air powered (rent the compressor and the tools).

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