Pneumatic vs Cordless Nailer 

Pneumatic vs Cordless Nailer: Which One is Right For Your Job

Buying a power tool should be a well-thought investment. You shouldn’t jump to conclusions just by hearing one good aspect of a power tool and buy it.

Before buying a power tool you need to understand the overall aspects, the pros and cons, the price range, performance, flexibility, effectiveness, and many more.

The best way to find out the perfect tool for your job is by comparing various power tools and picking the best one. This article is about pneumatic vs cordless nailers.

You will get an in-depth idea of pneumatic & cordless nailer’s pros and cons, their types and performance capabilities, and many more. At the end of this, you will have a clear idea of which nailer you want to buy.

Pneumatic vs cordless nailer 

Cordless nailers are battery-powered and portable versions of a nail gun. It’s relatively easy to maintain but it’s quite heavy to handle. Pneumatic nailers are lightweight, powerful, and affordable. It is a quick & effective tool & dependent on an air tank to provide the required power to perform.

In a pneumatic vs cordless nailer, you can always rely on a cordless nailer for its portability. You won’t have to worry about any wire or hose getting on your nerves as this power tool runs on a battery.

It is a noise-controlled device so you won’t be bothering your neighbor with any unnecessary sounds while using this nail gun. However, cordless nailers are pretty heavy to carry and can’t reach into narrow spaces. It’s also pretty expensive to buy.

When it comes to a pneumatic nail gun it’s a powerful and flexible tool. It can easily reach and perform in narrow spaces. It’s quick, lightweight & easy to handle, and available at a pretty affordable price. It will depend on the air tank and it will have an air hose attachment on its body, the portability is a little bit compromised because of this.

Cordless Nailer 

The important aspect of a cordless nail gun is portability. You don’t have to worry about carrying any extra baggage, air compressor, or don’t have to search for a power outlet to put any plug.

You can just carry your cordless nailer and perform your job without worrying about electrical disturbance or running out of air or air compressor malfunction. 

Nowadays most cordless nailers are running on lithium-ion batteries. You can expect a long day of work without worrying about running out of charge. You can always carry extra batteries and just change them when you need to. The power motor, battery attachment, and other relevant mechanisms make a cordless nailer a little bit heavy to handle. 

Different types of cordless nail guns:

 Why use a cordless nail gun: 

  • Portability: the main plus point of being cordless and running on a battery is portability. You can use this nail gun indoor & outdoor. No need to depend on any air compressor or plunging it into an electrical source.
  • Efficiency: its robust build, powerful motor, and additional mechanism make it an effective tool. You can get much better output compared to air-powered nail guns.


  • Long time service: once the battery is fully charged it will easily last 2 to 3 days in a row. If you have more than one battery at your disposal you can easily replace the battery and continue your work without any delay. 


  • Multiple nailing action: you can set the nailing action just by adjusting a knob. You can set it to a single shot or simultaneously multiple shot action.
  • Noise-controlled features: with this nail gun you can do your job any time of the day or night without disturbing your neighbors. The noise control features give this nail gun an extra advantage over other alternatives. 

 What are the shortcomings of a cordless nail gun:

  • Heavy to carry: the motor, battery attachment, and overall mechanism make it a robust build that is somewhat heavy to carry.
  • Expensive: Compared to other nail guns the price range of a cordless nail gun is quite expensive. It’s gonna cost you almost $250 to $400 to purchase one.
  • Rapidly heating: while working with a cordless nail gun you might have to deal with rapid heat up. The system will shut down when it’s too heated.  
  • Slow speed: After firing each nail the cordless nail gun takes a little bit of time to restart the process. So it’s gonna be a slow pace nailing experience for you. 

Pneumatic Nailer:

Pneumatic nailer or most famously known as air nailers, it’s a nail gun that uses an air compressor attachment to get the power required to perform the nailing action. Although It’s a lightweight build but carrying the air tank & compressor hugely compromises the portability. 

Pneumatic nailers are famous for being low-cost and low-maintenance nail guns. You will have to completely rely on the air pressure and the air volume of your tank. Once your air tank is empty you will need to refill it to continue further work.

Different types of pneumatic nail guns:

  • Finishing nailers
  • Framing nailers
  • Pin nailers
  • Stapler nailers 
  • Roofing nailers
  • Flooring nailers

Why use a pneumatic nail gun:

  • Low cost: the pneumatic nailer is available at a quite affordable price. You can get it at a price range of $60 to $130
  • Fast working speed: pneumatic nail guns don’t take that much time to rest after performing a nailing action. So you can experience a pretty fast working pace with this nail gun.
  • Lightweight built: pneumatic nailers are lightweight and easy to carry as they don’t need any extra-powerful motor or battery attachment to perform their job. The air compressor supplies enough air pressure through the hose and performs the nailing action. 
  • No rapidly heating issue: you won’t have to deal with any excessive heating issue with this nail gun. 

What are the shortcomings of a cordless nail gun:

  • Short service period: pneumatic nail guns completely depend on the air volume & pressure of the air tank. The air tank will run out of air in a pretty short time. So you will have to wait for a few hours to let it refill. 
  • Less efficiency: the air pressure isn’t that effective when it comes to providing thrust. The pneumatic nailer will provide moderate nailing performance.
  • Not that portable: Carrying the air tank, air compressor, and depending on the electrical power supply greatly reduce its portability.
  • Noise pollution: when working with a pneumatic nailer you will have to deal with the excessive noise from the air compressor. The noise is gonna be annoying for both you and your neighborhood.

Pneumatic vs cordless nailer: which one should you pick?

After going through all the pros and cons of pneumatic vs cordless nailer you might have an idea of which will be the best tool for you. 

Let’s assume you pick the cordless nailer, the question may emerge on your mind is it worth your money. To buy a decent quality cordless nail gun you will have to pay almost $250 to $400.  Where a pneumatic nail gun would only cost you from $60 to $90.

A pneumatic nail gun may be cheap but you will have to compromise on the efficiency, portability, and service time. But with a cordless nail gun, you will get great portability, efficiency, and longer service time. 

Cordless nail guns also come with noise control features which makes them the number one choice for most households. If you are frequently using the nail gun and doing a lot of chores then investing in a cordless nail gun will be worth it.

How to maintain a nail gun: pneumatic vs cordless nailer 

If your nail guns are in constant use and not showing too many problems then you don’t have to worry about the maintenance. If you keep it unused for a long time then it wears out and the rubber parts may shrink. 

When using nail gun read the article first How to Use a Nail Gun Properly and Safely

For a pneumatic nail gun always keep the air hose inlet lubricated with oil.  Also, fire a few nails to make the oil reach through the system.

The reloading ribbons spring may become rusty and wear out with time, always keep a few extras with you, they are easy to replace. When facing a problem with the exhaust cover don’t smack it around, just change it and the problem is solved. 

For a cordless nailer if you are facing trouble or the nail gun isn’t responding properly then it’s time to do a maintenance check. Remove the nuts and screws and get easy access to the inner parts.

Always make sure that the battery and the fuel cell are disconnected or removed. First of all clean the air cleaner with a proper cleaning solution.

Then clean the cooling fan and other parts of the nail gun, you might find thick carbon deposits on these parts so use microfiber cloths to properly clean them. Properly apply lubricant to the combustion chamber and the outer rings. You can put in a few drops of oil and reassemble the nail gun. Now you are good to go.

Final words

I hope you got an in-depth look at the pneumatic vs cordless nailer pros and cons and made up your mind to buying the right tool for you. No matter what nail gun you choose it will eventually get the job done. Always keep your nailers lubricated and cleaned. Wishing you the best of luck with your nailing project.

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