Pneumatic vs Cordless Nailer: Differences Between Pneumatic and Battery Powered Nail Guns

Nail guns are incredibly useful tools for anyone doing construction work, from roofers to framers. However, with so many different types of nailers available on the market today, it can be difficult to decide which one is best suited for your needs.

Should you go with a pneumatic or cordless nailer or which one is better for the job? It’s better to know the pros and cons of both tools so you can make an informed decision for your project.

In this article, we’ll explore these questions and more to help you make an informed decision about which type of nail gun is right for your project.

Pneumatic Nailer, Pros & Cons

What is a pneumatic nailer – so a pneumatic nailer is a tool that uses compressed air to fire nails into wood or other materials. These nailers are known for their accuracy and power, which makes them ideal for tasks such as framing or roofing.

These tools are powered by compressed air, which is generated by an air compressor. This means that the power of the nail gun will depend on the size and power of the air compressor you are using.

Let’s take a look at their pros and cons so you can take better advantage of this tool.



Pneumatic nailers are designed to fire nails with a great deal of force, which makes them ideal for hardwoods like oak and pine. This also makes them the perfect choice for framing 2×4 projects or similar projects that require precision and accuracy.

Faster firing rate

If you are working on a large project, a pneumatic nail gun can be very useful because it fires nails much faster than other types of nailers. You can put many nails into a piece of wood quickly and accurately.

Easy to maintain

There is nothing much going on with pneumatic nailers. These tools use a simple mechanism that only requires users to oil them regularly to ensure their proper functioning. So, regular maintenance is less of a headache.


Pneumatic nailers are usually cheaper than their battery-powered counterparts. This is because they don’t require batteries or other expendable parts, which means their cost is relatively low.

Ideal for heavy-duty work

If you are working on heavy-duty projects such as roofing, a pneumatic nail gun will be your best choice. These tools are designed to fire nails at even greater force and accuracy than battery-powered ones, which makes them perfect for demanding projects. For example siding nailers and roofing nailers are best with pneumatic nailers.


Compressor required

The disadvantage of using a pneumatic nailer is that you need an air compressor to power it. You will have to prepare the nailer for it to work and also ensure that the air compressor has enough pressure to power the tool.

Weight & size

Pneumatic nailers are larger and heavier than their battery-powered counterparts, which can be a disadvantage if you are working in tight spaces or need to move around quickly. But it makes sense since they create more power and force.

Loud noise

Pneumatic nailers produce more noise than battery-powered ones because they are powered by an air compressor, which can be quite loud. So if you are working in a residential area, wearing protective ear gear is necessary.

Can damage the work surface

Pneumatic nailers are powerful tools and they can cause considerable damage to the work surface so, it’s important to be careful when using these tools. You can use screws instead of nails for framing if you need more holding power.

Cordless/Battery Nailer, Pros & Cons

As you can guess by the name – a cordless/battery-powered nailer is a tool that uses batteries to fire nails into wood or other materials.

These tools are commonly used because of their convenience and ease of use, as well as the fact that they produce less noise than pneumatic nailers. However, there are some pros and cons to consider before you decide which type of nailer is best for you.



Cordless/battery-powered nailers are convenient because they don’t require an external power source like an air compressor to operate. This means that you can start working right away, without worrying about having to set up the tool.


Cordless/battery-powered nailers don’t require you to plug them into an outlet, which makes them very portable. All you have to do is charge the batteries and then you’re good to go.

Ideal for lighter projects

If you are working on light projects like trimming, a cordless/battery-powered nailer is a perfect choice. These tools are designed to fire nails at lower power and force than pneumatic nailers, which makes them ideal for lighter projects.

Easy to use

Cordless/battery-powered nailers are very easy to use and require minimal maintenance. Once it’s fully charged, you can use it for a long time without having to worry about running out of power.

Fewer chances of damaging the work surface

Since cordless/battery-powered nailers have less power than pneumatic ones, they tend to cause less damage to the work surface. So, you can be more confident when using them for delicate projects.



Cordless/battery-powered nailers are usually more expensive than their pneumatic counterparts. This is because they require batteries or other expendable parts, which can add to the overall cost of the tool.

Not suitable for heavy-duty work

Cordless/battery-powered nailers are not designed for heavier projects such as roofing and siding. They don’t have enough power and force to penetrate the tougher materials, so if you are working on a demanding project then it’s best to use a pneumatic nailer.

Limited battery life

Cordless/battery-powered nailers require batteries to operate, and these can run out quickly if you use them for prolonged periods. So, it’s important to keep an eye on the battery life and make sure to recharge when necessary.

Comparing the Two Types of nailers

So now that we know the pros and cons of each nailer, let’s compare them side-by-side.


For this round, it’s clear that pneumatic nailers are the clear winner. These tools are powered by an air compressor, which gives them more power and force than their battery-powered counterparts.


Most pneumatic nailers are less expensive than cordless/battery-powered ones, as these require batteries or other expendable parts which can increase the cost. 

Also, repairing any part of the tool can be more expensive for cordless/battery-powered nailers since they have more complex parts.


In terms of portability, cordless/battery-powered nailers are the winners. Since they don’t require an external power source, you can take them anywhere without having to worry about plugs or cords.

Ease of use

Both types of nailers are easy to use, but cordless/battery-powered ones usually require less preparation. 

All you have to do is charge the batteries and you’re ready to start working. And when it comes to pneumatic nailers, you’ll have to make sure that there’s an air compressor nearby before you start.


Cordless/battery-powered nailers are usually lighter than pneumatic ones because they don’t require an air compressor. 

This makes them perfect for working in tight spaces or for those who don’t want to carry around a lot of weight. However, battery-powered nailers can feel or look a bit bulkier due to the battery pack that comes with it.

Comparison Table

DifferencesPneumatic NailerBattery/Cordless Nailer
Power source Compressed air and electric power outletBattery powered
PricingUsually cheaperExpensive due to unique parts and battery
Portability Can’t be moved too farCan be moved anywhere since there are no wires
Weight These are on the heavier sideBit lighter than pneumatic ones
MaintenanceEasy to maintainRequires regular maintenance
PowerGenerates more powerGenerates less power
Firing rateFire faster due to more powerFire at a slower rate

Which one is better?

So now the main question comes in – which type of nailer is better? Both types of nailers have their pros and cons, so it depends on the type of project you’re working on.

If you are looking for something with more power and force, then a pneumatic nailer is your best bet. On the other hand, if portability and ease of use are more important to you, then a cordless/battery-powered nailer might be the right choice.

No matter what type of nailer you choose, it’s important to make sure that it is suitable for your project. That way, you can be confident that your work will be done efficiently and with quality results.

Make sure to do your research and read up on each type of nailer before making your decision.

Leave a Comment