Palm nailers are a type of pneumatic power tool that’s commonly used to drive nails into wood and various other materials – especially in tight spaces where a traditional nail gun won’t suffice. While a palm nailer can be used for everything from furniture making to woodwork repairs, many people have wondered how this tool works. 


How Do Palm Nailers Work? 

A palm nailer is a pneumatic power tool that’s used to drive nails into wood and other materials of varying thicknesses. An air compressor is connected to a palm nailer via an air hose, which supplies the tool with pressurized air to drive nails. Due to this design, palm nailers are powered by air compressors. 

Your nails are loaded into the magazine, which stores them before they’re driven into your material. Once you’ve lined up the tool against the material you want to drive the nail into, you can squeeze the trigger to release a burst of air that drives a nail from the tool’s magazine into the material. 

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Why Is The Tool Called A Palm Nailer?

The name of this pneumatic tool comes from its size. Generally, a palm nailer is small enough to be held in your palm, making the tool easy to maneuver in tight spaces and at awkward angles. 

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Palm Nailer? 

There are five main advantages to using a palm nailer! 

  • Control: Many professionals prefer using palm nailers because it gives them more control over the nail being driven into the material. 
  • Ease Of Use: The lightweight design of palm nailers makes them easy to handle for various projects and repairs. 
  • Precision: Palm nailers are more precise when compared to regular nail guns, making them ideal for projects where precision and accuracy are key.
  • Speed: Since pressurized air is used to drive nails into wood, palm nailers are fast and efficient, allowing you to drive many nails quickly. 
  • Versatility: The small size of palm nailers make them a versatile tool that can be used in small spaces and at awkward angles.

What Are Palm Nailers Used For? 

Palm nailers are generally used for tasks where control and precision are important, with many woodworkers, carpenters, and construction professionals using this tool. Here are five common uses for palm nailers! 


Professionals use palm nailers when installing cabinets. This tool can be used to install components like crown molding, toe kicks, and face frames.


Palm nailers come in handy for framing, especially when installing vertical or horizontal framing members in areas with awkward angles or little space to work in. 

Furniture Making 

Many furniture makers use palm nailers to attach various components together. For example, a palm nailer can be used to attach legs to a chair or table. 

Trim Work

This power tool is often used for trim work like baseboards and crown moldings. Due to the increased precision and control, many contractors prefer using palm nailers to regular nail guns. 

Woodworking Repairs

Palm nailers are widely used for woodwork repairs. For example, a palm nailer can easily be used to fix loose wooden boards. You never know where this specialized nail gun will come in handy!

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Understanding The Different Parts Of A Palm Nailer

Despite the relatively small size of these tools, palm nailers are comprised of quite a few different parts! 

  • Adjustment Knob: This knob is used to control the depth of a nail being driven into wood.  
  • Air Compressor: An air compressor is connected to a palm nailer via an air hose. 
  • Air Hose: The air hose transfers pressurized air from the air compressor to the palm nailer. 
  • Air Inlet: The air inlet supplies the palm nailer’s air compressor with pressurized. 
  • Exhaust Port: The exhaust port is used to expel air while using the palm nailer. 
  • Housing: The housing is the outer casing of a palm nailer than protects the internal parts.
  • Lubrication Port: This port is used to lubricate a palm nailer’s internal components.
  • Magazine: A palm nailer’s magazine is where the nails are fed into the tool and stored. 
  • Nosepiece: A palm nailer’s nosepiece is used to direct a nail into the desired position.
  • O-Ring: This rubber O-shaped ring makes a palm nailer airtight to prevent leaks. 
  • Safety Mechanism: The safety mechanism is a button or lever that prevents the palm nailer from firing accidentally. 
  • Trigger: Your palm nailer’s trigger must be squeezed to release pressurized air when driving nails into your material.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Pick the Right Palm Nailer For Your Needs? 

It’s important to consider the type of projects you need a palm nailer for before purchasing one. While some models are designed to use smaller nails for delicate work, others are suited to handle thicker materials with larger nails. You should also consider the weight, size, and power of the tool. 

How Are Palm Nailers Maintained? 

You should keep your palm nailer clean and lubricated to prevent the external and internal components from getting damaged. The owner’s manual will provide instructions for this maintenance. Regularly inspect your palm nailer for damaged or worn components that need to be replaced.  

Can You Disassemble Your Palm Nailer?

It is possible to disassemble your palm nailer, especially if you want to repair or replace a worn or damaged component. While the steps will vary between different makes and models, the following YouTube video guides you through the process of disassembling a palm nailer!

Palm Nailer dissassembly

Should You Follow Safety Precautions When Using A Palm Nailer?

Use protective eyewear and earplugs when using your palm nailer. You should use the tool’s safety mechanism and keep your fingers away from the nailer’s trigger and nosepiece to ensure. Don’t point the palm nailer at anything you do not want to drive a nail into.


Palm nailers are pneumatic small and versatile power tools that use pressurized air to drive nails into various materials. An air compressor is connected to the palm nailer via an air hose, which powers the tool and supplies a burst of pressurized air to drive nails when the trigger is squeezed.

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