Nail Gun Alternative: 8 Different Ways to Try

Nail guns are definitely the most needed fasteners for any kind of construction work. The workability of the tool is inexpressible as it comes in different forms for different purposes. From palm nailer to framing nailer, you would find a lot of varieties of nail guns just to cope up with your work. This is one of the mainstays for any DIYers and professionals.

But if you are an amateur and you have not recognized your arsenal for DIY jobs, then it’s pretty much common that you will not have all the fasteners including a nail gun in the first place. However, that should not make you stop your DIY project. Therefore, knowing about the nail gun alternatives should be your motto at this crucial moment. A nail gun is not the only way you can nail something. There are also other positive and possible ways which people apply in their urgent periods.

Utilizing these ways can bring immense success to your job. That’s why we recommend you not to make any sulky face for not having a suitable nail gun and adopt the alternatives of nail guns following our next segments.

Nail Gun Alternative

8 Different Alternatives to Nail Gun:

A nail gun comes in different forms and sizes. But the most interesting fact is you can do a lot of significant things with these nail guns. From trimming to molding, you can achieve your goals pretty nicely with these nail guns. But as these nail guns are run by compressed air or pneumatic air, they are quite expensive too. Therefore, you can definitely look for some alternative ways to save your money and also have done with your jobs.

1) Hammer the Nails:

hammer the nails

The most effective way that we know will not fail you is hammering the nails. As nail guns have some requirements apart from their need to be connected with electricity to run properly, there is no other better option than hammering. On top of that, you can use this tool as a pin nailer or brad nailer alternative. But you must be careful while applying the method of hammering in your wall or any wooden project.

While you can nail with one hand using a nail gun, hammering requires both hands. You need to hold a nail into the position with one hand and with the other you are supposed to hammer the nail in the wall or solid surface. It comes at the cheapest price as well. All you need to have is some experience and consciousness while using a hammer.

Things You Need to Consider While Using a Hammer:

Though hammering is laborious work and it makes the place messy, you can get better service if you are not using a nail gun. A nail gun is of course the best option for a clean fruitful result. But that does not mean you cannot get enough using a hammer. But before hammering, make sure the surface or material is not fragile and solid enough to hold the pressure in it. Read Also: 7 best wood filler for nail holes Reviews.

2) Wood Glue:

nail gun alternative is wood glue

There is another alternative that you can apply for projects that have some delicate light work. And this alternative is simple wood glue. Wood glue is not any ordinary glue. It is made with some strong lubricant that helps to embody the pieces of wood with one another. Some projects do not require much and a nail gun is not necessary for all types of projects.

The right wood glue is enough to fill the void of pursuing a nail gun. Besides, a nail gun might cause defects for fragile materials because of its high depression capability. Fine wood glue, on the other hand, handles things with pretty delicacy. You can add a screw to it to ensure the bond of the parts and hang around with it without the fear of it breaking off.

Things You Need to Consider While Using Wood Glue:

There are some definite downsides to using wood glue. You cannot just have high expectations while using this material. You need to choose your project and material keeping it in mind that it cannot glue materials that are heavy and require tough bonding.

3) Staples:

use staple gun for wood working

Staples can be your go-to tool to add materials up for a project. Though a stapler needs an air compressor just like a nail gun, it is a common tool of many households with enthusiast DIYers. That’s why you’ll not have any trouble finding it. For finishing pieces, a staple gun might not be the best tool, but for other jobs, you can rely on it to some certain extent.

Besides, staple guns have great use in connecting pieces of furniture. There have several other advantages other than its effectiveness. In many cases, a staple gun shows more devotion than a professional nail gun. However, there are also some shortcomings that you might have to face in using a staple gun. Read Also: How to Install Quarter Round without a Nail Gun

Things You Need to Consider While Using Staples:

The most worrying fact about a staple gun it leaves remarkable gauges and holes on the material. You can evade the problem if you use a nail. Then again, it is not your go-to tool for finishing. Besides, you need to hide the nonaligned staples and their holes to give a seamless shape to the project. Also, you need to have the proper knowledge to use this tool.

4) Nail Spinner:

Nail Spinner

Another tool that we have dug out for you is a nail spinner. It is one of the most effective alternatives to a nail gun. All you need to do with this nail spinner is to spin the nail to a drilled place. It comes with handy features and is pretty easy to use. Besides, spinning a nail into the drilled hole is less work. But make sure you drill the accurate place where you want the nail to add.

However, a nail spinner has versatile use as well. It has great use for fixing and mending hardwood floors that make squeaky noises out of dysfunctional mechanisms. Again, many professional DIYers keep this tool for woodworking jobs and projects. It just makes your work easier and less laborious. On top of that, it will not require any pilot hole. You can easily apply finish nails to the drilled space with this nail spinner.

Things You Need to Consider While Using a Nail Spinner:

As you can already assume that a nail spinner requires a drilled hole to be used, you just need a drill machine to make it work. It’s not hard to find a quality drill machine that you can use to drill holes for your project. In this job, you might face risk at drilling the specific space. Otherwise, the nail spinner is a pretty good deal to do the rest peacefully. But another fact is it takes time and you need to have the patience to accomplish the goal. Even you can do the job with a hammer more quickly.

5) Liquid Nails:

Liquid Nails

If you are deprived of a fine nail gun then an adhesive can save you from trouble. There are actually many adhesives you can find that come with great adhesion. But liquid nails are a great source that you can rely on. It comes with guaranteed adhesion. Also, the service of the material is trustworthy. With heavy-duty components, this product is a powerful alternative to a nail gun.

Besides, for suitable finishing, liquid nails can go up to the mark with its immense capability. This product knows its purposes pretty well and serves them quite fairly. For jobs like attaching material or trim, apply liquid nails without any hassle. As it carries latex-based adhesions, it suits any baseboard or deck easily.

Things You Need to Consider While Using Liquid Nails:

Liquid nails is sure one of the best options for a situation where there is no nail gun to use. But the thing is you cannot have more than two years out of it. The adhesion of liquid nails will provide maximum a service of two years. But after that, you need to fix it again to get the same adhesion.

6) Trim Screw:

Trim Screw

Trim Screw is a very creative invention as it comes with several different advantages. The primal advantage that you can have is it maintains secrecy under the deck where you need the attachment. Therefore, it doesn’t look odd like an ordinary nail that has been nailed on a deck. It carries a very tiny head. With the head, you need to screw in the trim screw.

As deck materials are wooden in most cases, there is a chance that a nail gun affects the material to some extent. But if you take the chance of using a trim screw, you will not have to worry about the negative impact of screwing a tool. You just need to pick the right trim screw for the job and the rest will be fine.

Things You Need to Consider While Using Trim Screw:

Though trim screws are the best for hiding their appearance and odds and enhancing the beauty of the material, you will notice some downsides as well. You can only apply the trim screw to some specific materials. It’s fine as long as the material is wooden, PVC, or Composite parts. But for stronger materials, you need to think otherwise.

7) Construction Grade Adhesive:


An adhesive has always been a great support in situations where a nail gun is absent. But not all kinds of adhesives are made for jobs like woodwork and DIY projects. But we can gladly recommend the construction grade adhesive PL Premium. This adhesive has a great range of adhesion and mostly more construction jobs.

If you are stuck in a bigger project where the necessity of a nail gun is so evident but you still don’t have it, then you can simply adopt this construction grade adhesive. It comes with heavy-duty formula and sustains its efficiency for a long period of time. It can also tackle fluctuate weather with its polyurethane construction.

Things You Need to Consider While Using Construction Grade Adhesive:

As this construction grade adhesive comes with great stability, you cannot apply it here and there. It’s because the strong adhesion is tough to remove. Therefore, you need to be super careful while applying the adhesive to attach materials. Heavy-duty construction will not dissatisfy you as long as you know how to make the best use of it.

8) Silicone Caulk:

Silicone Caulk 1

If you want some not as strong as construction-grade adhesive, then silicone caulk is your wise option. For mild attachment and stability, silicone caulk has great demand in the market. It’s not an adhesive but it can attach materials properly without any flaws. Therefore, it can be technically called an adhesive.

Also, it contains some adhesive components. These components are good to go and embody the character of silicone caulk. In some cases, silicone caulk provides better service than powerful adhesives like PL Premium and liquid nails. Besides, this substance goes with almost all kinds of materials and it’s easy to detach materials that are bonded with silicone caulk.

Things You Need to Consider While Using Construction Grade Adhesive:

You need to follow some procedures to use silicone caulk in your project. Otherwise, things can get really messy. Also, as silicone caulk is not a strong adhesive, you need to apply the substance knowing the range of strength your project requires.


Question: How do you use finishing nails without a nail gun?

Answer: It’s actually challenging to use finishing nails without a nail gun. But it is not quite an impossible job. A finish nail works better with a hammer when there is no nail gun. As the usage of nails is immense and intense at the same time, there have to be some other ways to apply finish nailers. With the right alignment, you can do the job properly.

Though using a hammer requires experience and carefulness, you can use finishing nails with it somehow. Also, be careful when flushing the nail into a particular space. It’s because some materials are fragile and it becomes more difficult when you install trim in your wall.

As the trim is vulnerable and cannot stand much pressure, it will break off by the heavy pressure of a hammer. Therefore, try to learn how to do the alignment with the nails at first and then learn how much pressure the finishing nail requires to be flushed.

Last Updated on November 30, 2021 by Rogers Weber

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