When creating a picture frame, whether as a passionate hobby or for your professional business endeavors, you’re going to need to apply some safety tips when using a framing nailer. While the design of a typical picture frame nail gun has safety in mind, there exist situations where you may find that injury can occur. Some of those injuries can result from user error, mechanical failure, or faulty design generally found in cheaper framing nailers.
The Basics of Framing Staplers
To begin, there are a few unique types of framing nail guns that you need to consider before starting out. Each one has its unique advantages and potential disadvantages.
Cordless Frame Stapler
The cordless stapler utilizes a design in which you load the stapler gun with a canister of compressed air. This canister, along with a battery inside the gun to give it some extra strength, drives the nails through pieces of wood to attach them together, forming a frame.
Advantages of Cordless Staplers
The compact design enables easy use of the cordless stapler, allowing you to carry and maneuver it easily. It is a quick and fast method of attaching wood that gives you reliable results.
Disadvantages of Cordless Staplers
While the cordless stapler design is compact, this convenience also serves as a drawback in terms of power. Depending on the size of the wood you’re working with, the staples may not penetrate deep enough to ensure a solid connection.
Pneumatic Frame Stapler
Arguably one of the most common staplers you’ll find, a pneumatic stapler acts in much the same way as the cordless, but instead of using a disposable canister of compressed air, the stapler connects to a large source of compressed air through a hose. This increased source of compressed air also serves to increase the strength of the stapler, applying much more force to staples and driving them further into the wood.
Advantages of Pneumatic Staplers
As mentioned, the connection to a stronger force means a greater degree of power to drive home the staples. This makes pneumatic staples the strongest and most reliable method of connecting two pieces of wood through stapling.
Disadvantages of Pneumatic Staplers
The direct connection to compressed air is its greatest strength, but the limited supply can lead you into trouble after extended use. Depending on your available space and whether you have the means to store multiple canisters of compressed air, you may need to run out and purchase refills. Unfortunately, reloading the air is not as quick or simple as doing it with a cordless stapler.
Electric Framing Stapler
The electric stapler is a common alternative to the pneumatic stapler and similar in design to a cordless stapler with one exception: this type of model plugs into an outlet for greater power.
Advantages of Electric Framing Stapler
Electric has many of the same pros as cordless, but with the added benefit of having more power. It draws from the power of the outlet it’s plugged into instead of the independent battery installed into the stapler itself. It is also more affordable than pneumatic staplers, on top of giving you more force than the cordless.
Disadvantages of Electric Framing Staplers
While it is more powerful than a cordless stapler, it still cannot match the power of a pneumatic stapler. You’re still saving money by investing in electric, but it is at the cost of strength. Depending on what you make, that may end up a dealbreaker.
Manual Framing Stapler
This is the simplest form of framing staplers, as they do not use any electricity or compressed air. Instead, they use your own power to force the staple through wood.
Advantages of Manual Staplers
Manual staplers are ideal for smaller projects that utilize smaller pieces of wood. Your hand can only generate so much power, and manual staplers are great when you’re working with reduced sizes and want to save on more expensive alternatives.
Disadvantages of Manual Staplers
Obviously, stapling manually that you may exhaust yourself in the effort. After a certain point, your hands may cramp and grow sore, halting your progress on your current work. Manual staplers are also not suitable for larger pieces, as they simply don’t generate the force necessary to penetrate deeply into thick pieces of wood.
Safety Tips When Using Framing Staplers
While the design of staplers may be different, their safety measures remain mostly the same. Keep these in mind whenever you’re using them. After following them long enough, these safety precautions will be second nature to you.
- Before using the staple gun, make sure to consult the user manual to ensure proper usage. Using it for anything other than the manufacturer’s intent can prove dangerous or break your stapler.
- Keep OSHA regulations in mind and make sure your stapler meets all the criteria to ensure safe and effective use.
- Do not try to override or modify existing safety measures of the stapler’s design. They are in place for a reason, and removing or altering them in any way can have unintended negative consequences.
- Always disconnect the stapler from its power source before performing any maintenance on it, whether it’s attached to a canister of compressed air or to an outlet on the wall. Make sure it no longer functions before handling.
- Never put your finger close to the trigger when you don’t intend to fire a staple, as your finger may accidentally slip and result in a negligent discharge.
- Wear safety goggles that have side protectors while using your stapler. You never know when a staple will kick up debris that can shoot into your eyes.
- Never point the nail gun at anyone or any surface that you do not intend to staple. You must also keep your body and other hand out of the line of fire while using the stapler.
Always be aware of how you’re handling your framing stapler and only use it for its intended purpose. Complications arise when you are unsure of the mechanics of your stapler or are unaware of when you’re using it incorrectly. For beginners, be sure you have the knowledge required to handle your frame stapler properly. And for veterans, refresh your memory with some common safety measures when using your framing stapler.