One of the most important things for any job is having the right tools. When it comes to nail guns, you have two choices - a first or second fix gun.

In this article, we quickly cover the differences between the two. Remember, if you’re in need of trade building supplies, be sure to check out our wide range here at Fastbuild.

What is a First Fix Nail Gun?

First fix nail guns are also known as ‘framing nailers’. Essentially, this is the nail gun you would use first at the early stage of construction, for structural purposes.

A first fix nail gun is the more powerful of the two options and uses larger nails. First fix nailers will often leave a notable impact on the wood, and as such are used for non-aesthetic jobs that will likely be covered up by the time the work is finished.

Instances where you would use a first fix nailer include:

  • Rough woodwork
  • Roofing and flooring
  • Wall framing

What is a Second Fix Nail Gun?

As the name suggests, these nail guns are often used second, helping to create a clean finish - they’re also known as ‘finishing nailers’.

Compared to first fix guns, second fix nail guns are much more delicate and use smaller nails. The thin, small nails used here provide a much cleaner finish, making them a good choice for any aesthetic jobs.

Instances where you would use a second fix nail gun include:

  • Door frames
  • Wall skirting
  • Furniture

Second fix nail guns are often available either straight or angled, which can help when working inside tighter spaces.

What's the Difference Between First Fix and Second Fix Nail Guns?

The major differences between first and second fix nail guns are:

  • The size of the nails
  • The power of the nailer
  • The impact on the wood

First fix nail guns will use larger, heavier nails compared to second fix. A first fix nailer will also use a more powerful mechanism. Combined, this results in a more notable indent in the wood, while also providing a stronger fix.

First Fix Nail Guns Second Fix Nail Guns
Larger nails Thinner nails
More powerful mechanism Less powerful mechanism
Notable impact on the wood Little to no visible impact on wood
Good choice for structural tasks Good choice for aesthetic finishes

Which Nail Gun Do I Need?

Which nail gun you need will come down to the nature of the job. If it’s structural nailing such as frames or roofing, you’ll want the structural security of a first fix nailer. If, however, you’re using nails for finishings, such as skirtings and architraves, a second fix nail gun will provide a better look.

That being said, for a complete job from start to finish, you’ll likely want both a first and second fix nail gun. Having both will make your life much easier!

Here at Fastbuild, we have everything you need for your next job, including a range of nails for first fix and second fix guns. With a wide range of high quality brands available at low trade prices, why not take a look today?

Browse our range of first and second fix nails guns