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Nail Gun Rental: How Much Does it Cost?

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So, you have a big project coming up that requires a lot of nailing, and looking at that old rusty framing hammer is making your shoulder ache already. This is perfectly understandable, and actually the reason the nail gun was invented.

Generally speaking, you will pay about 20-25% of the nail gun’s total retail costs per daily rental. In other words, if you’re renting a finish nailer that costs $200 at the store, most rental agencies are going to charge you $40/$50 per day for a rental, which is 20-25% of the total cost.

nail gun making a planter

A nail gun, also called a nailer, is a tool that uses air pressure from a compressor to fire a nail into wood. You can also find gas-powered guns, and well as battery operated nail guns, but the air compressor model is the most common rental gun if you need a gun for a project.

Whether you’re building a ground level deck, or building a fence, or anything else that requires a whole lot of nails, renting a nail gun is a smart choice.

Table of Contents

Types of Nail Guns Available

You may not know this, but there are quite a few different types of nail guns available for you to rent. So to make things simpler for you, we’re going to go over the five most popular nail guns, and the tasks that they are best for.

1: Framing Nailer

nail gun used for framing house
Building contractor worker nailing timber with air nail gun

These are the heavy-duty nailers that you’ll see on home improvement shows and in the hands of contractors everywhere. They fire larger nails into wood and sink them rather deep, ideal for building housing frames and much more.

With a framing nailer, you can complete tasks such as:

  • Decks
  • Framing for homes, sheds, etc
  • Rooms and housing additions
  • Fences
  • Wood siding on structures

2: Flooring Nailer

nailing gun used for floors

Flooring nailers are made specifically to lay hardwood floors over a plywood subfloor. They secure the flooring to the subfloor with hidden nails.

Most Hardwood flooring is cut with a tongue-and-groove on each side. These pieces fit together tightly but with wood’s natural movement, the flooring needs to be nailed into the plywood underneath.

The angle of this nailer perfectly fires smaller nails or cleats at a right angle through the groove into the plywood.

3: Roofing Nailer

man installing roof with nail gun

Although the nails you’ll be firing through shingles into tar paper and into the wood are much shorter than framing nails, roofing nailers are about as large as framing nails. There are two reasons for this.

First, the nail needs quite a bit of power to drive it through three separate materials (shingles, tar paper and wood). Secondly, these nail guns hold a whole lot of nails, so you can breeze through a roofing job in no time at all, without having to worry about reloading.

A roofing nailer can also be used to install fencing boards. Since the nails are shorter, and the coil holds way more nails than a framing or finish nailer, it’s perfect to rent to install a new fence.

4: Finish Nailer

finish nail gun and nails

Rounding out the list here, the finish nailer is one of the most popular. If you’re putting up baseboard, window trim, chair rail or any other type of molding, this nailer comes in handy. It shoots very small, thin nails that will not damage the wood. They’re great for decorative finishes, as the name suggests.

You can use this nail gun for anything that requires small nails, like crown molding, baseboards, and even building picture frames.

Calculating the Cost of a Nail Gun Rental

So, let’s get into how much a nail gun is going to cost you to rent. Keep in mind here that the price of the nail gun is going to depend on which gun you need. Whether it’s one of the four on our list, or something different like a professional-grade stapler or a brad or pin nailer, the costs are different.

Generally speaking, you will pay about 20-25% of the nail gun’s total retail costs per daily rental. In other words, if you’re renting a finish nailer that costs $200 at the store, most rental agencies are going to charge you $40/$50 per day for a rental, which is 20-25% of the total cost.

Of course, if you only need the item for a few hours, or half a day, then you should be able to get the nailer for half the cost.

This is a much higher percentage than something like an automobile rental, of course. Though understand that rental agencies still have to make money. If they only charged you five bucks or so, they would be out of business.

Keep in mind, however, that different shops have different rates. You have the internet and a phone, so you can check around to find the best deal. Rental shops compete for your business, so you can find a deal.

The way renting works is pretty simplistic these days. Most rental shops will charge you a deposit which is usually the cost of the gun to verify you will bring it back and that you don’t damage it.

Let’s be honest here: Professionals who know best how to use these devices likely already own some type of nail gun. Most people who are renting nail guns don’t have a ton of experience with them, so the company needs some insurance.

Overall, however, you won’t be paying much more than 20% for the rental. Obviously, the more the nail gun retails for, the more you’ll have to pay to rent it.

Things to Keep in Mind When Renting a Nail Gun

Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering renting a nail gun.

  • Most shops aren’t exactly teeming with a wide variety of options from which you can choose. This means that you’re pretty much at the mercy of the type of gun and brand the store carries. So check around first to make sure you can get the gun you want.
  • Have everything sorted for your project before renting the gun. Purchase all necessary materials, and be ready to start the project once the nail gun is rented. The nail gun should be the last thing you get before starting the job. You want to be able to complete it quickly before the rental date expires.
  • Consider your accessories, and ask beforehand. You may need a compressor, which could be an entirely separate rental. You may need a special type of nail clip that goes into the gun, and the shop might not provide any more than one standard clip. So always consider other things you may need to go along with the nailer.
  • The rental shop isn’t there to give you tutorials on how to properly use the gun. So before you even think about renting a nail gun, make sure you can use it safely. Streaming tutorial videos are a great way to get some beginner’s guides on how to use the gun.

Why Rent Instead of Buy?

Lastly, before you head out to a rental shop to pick up a great nail gun, let’s go over some reasons why it’s better to rent one instead of buying one.

  1. Non-Contractor: Unless you’re a contractor, you won’t actually need a permanent nail gun. If you’re just building a small deck, shed or doing any one-off job, you’re actually saving a lot of money here, and a lot of space, since you won’t have to keep the item stored.
  2. No Upkeep: You’re not performing the upkeep and maintenance on a nail gun when you rent it. The shop is doing that. So you can simply use it, make sure it’s in good working order, and turn it back in. You won’t have to fool with keeping the compressor in good order, or fixing any jams.
  3. Motivation: If you have a nail gun lying around the house, there’s no proverbial fire lit under you to get you moving. Whereas if you’re renting a gun by the day, you’re going to want to get the job done as quickly as possible. This will make your spouse and family very happy, as you won’t have lumber and other materials lying around in the way indefinitely.

Nail guns aren’t the only tools you can rent, be sure to check out our other articles about the rental process for a log splitter or how much will it cost to rent a wood chipper.

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Jena Slocum Co-Founder

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