Clipped Head vs. Round Head Framing Nailers

clipped head vs round head framing nailerOne of the biggest deciding factors of which framing nailer to make use of will largely depend on the project you’re currently facing and the building code for the region you’re in. In this day and age many building codes require contractors to use full round head nails instead of clipped head nails for framing nailers.

If you do find yourself in a region where there is currently no building code in place for which type of nails you use, then you will need to weigh the pros and cons when making this tough choice. In this article I’m going to layout some of those for you and hopefully help you come to a decision.

You will not have to look very far to find a pair of contractors debating if a clipped head nail (a nail head shaped like a “D”) has the same holding strength as a traditional full round head nail. It would seem like the majority of professional contractors are split down the middle.

There are quite a few people out there that feel clipped head nails can do just as good of job as the traditional round head but have been given a bad reputation. Along with being similar in holding strength the clipped head nailers are able to hold quite a few more nails. This in turn causes the worker to have less downtime and is also more cost efficient. Though, there is a higher probability you will have to deal with jamming when using a clipped head nail gun.

The other side of that argument is that round head framing nails and their guns work at a faster and safer pace. Meaning there is a reason that clipped head nails are against building codes in certain regions throughout the country and world. Another benefit to go along with this type of nail gun is that there is a larger product selection on the market due to the fact that it is the more widely used type of nail gun.

There are a variety of nailers out there to choose from and some dual-use guns are starting to make an appearance as well. These types of framing nailers allow you to make use of both clipped head and round head framing nails, though they will carry a much higher price tag than its stand-alone version.

The type of framing nailer you chose to go with will largely depend on your current project. Are you going to be doing work between studs, joists, trusses, framing, or subfloors? In the end you will want to make sure whatever your selection you choose a nail gun that comes with good reviews and doesn’t have a reputation for jamming.