Are Pneumatic Nail Guns Better Than Electric?

During the process of selecting the best nail gun for you, most people tend to ignore how they are powered and look at other specifications. Choosing the nail gun with a suitable power source is just as important as any other specifications you might consider because the power source directly affects the strength of the nail gun, as well as your comfort.

It is important that you know the difference between pneumatic nail guns and electric nail guns and whether pneumatic nail guns are better than electric or not.

Difference between pneumatic nail guns and electric nail guns

The nail guns powered by either electrical outlets or lithium batteries are electric. Although both of these options are used, lithium-ion batteries are more common for powering electric nail guns. They come in an extensive range of options, are portable, and are easy to store.

On the other hand, pneumatic door handles use air pressure to drive the nail out. Pneumatic door handles were mostly used before electric nail guns came into the market. However, it is still a good option today because they are potent nailers with a wide variety of models.

Which One Is the Better Option?

To find out which one would be the best option for you, let’s look at some of the significant specifications of both below.


The performance of both types of nail guns is almost the same. Obviously, no nail gun is jam-safe, but with proper maintenance, you can keep them working for a long time.

The only minor difference between the two is that pneumatic nail guns tend to fire the nail as soon as you pull the trigger. This quick response differentiates it from the electric nail guns, which do not fire as quickly. However, the working of electric nail guns is excellent overall and pretty much serves the purpose without any hassle.


Although the pneumatic nail guns use a simpler design, it’s still made of more components than the battery-powered alternative. Because more things are tied together to form the system, more frequent maintenance is required for pneumatic nail guns. For example, verify that the nozzle of the pneumatic fire pistol does not leak. Moreover, frequent maintenance regarding couplers, the compressor, as well as the NPT connections are required.

Besides, in order for it to keep working smoothly, you must also oil the pneumatic nail gun every day when in use. However, all of these become insignificant when you use an electric nail gun. An electric nail gun, despite having a more complex design than the pneumatic counterpart, does not need as much maintenance.


Ergonomics plays an important part when you’re doing nail work because carrying a heavy machine can be pretty tiring. Pneumatic nail guns are much lighter than electric ones.

But with electric nail guns, you don’t have to carry a hose. That makes it easier to take the nailer to other places as compared with pneumatic nail guns.

Moreover, with electric nail guns, there is no compressor noise, which can most of the time become a hassle if you are working in an area surrounded by people.

Run Time

Comparing the run times of the two types of nail guns isn’t always possible because obviously, the power source of both of them is different. You would be able to fire nails somewhere around 1600 times in one charge of the battery in electric nail guns. In contrast, you can fire as much as you want with a pneumatic nail gun as long as there is enough air pressure.

For jobs that require a lot of work, pneumatic nail guns are preferred because there is no hassle of battery replacement for them.


Pneumatic nail guns are much less expensive when compared to electric nail guns. Generally, getting an electric nail gun will cost you not only the price of the gun but also the battery, which you would need to replace after every 1600 shots. Even with the additional maintenance costs added up in pneumatic nail guns, they are generally less expensive than their battery-powered counterparts.

And in most cases, you need to have an extra battery at hand, so you won’t need to worry when your battery runs out.


Larger projects usually require pneumatic nail guns. But if you don’t want to spend the additional money on maintenance, it is best for you to get an electric nail gun. But that would also cost you additional batteries. As a result, cost may not be the only factor you consider. You can choose the pneumatic nail gun if you would like to work on a larger scale. Otherwise, go for electric nail guns.

Whatever you choose, keep an eye on the above factors as analyzing these will allow you to make a good decision.