How loud is a nail gun?

Are you about to buy a nail gun for your woodwork? Then, among many different considerations, you have to consider how loud a nail gun is. Usually, most power tools come with a little bit of noise alongside them.

However, answering this question isn’t that easy. I had to dig deep to find out all the aspects related to the loudness of a nail gun. Here, I will be discussing all that. So, please stick with me till the end to find how loud a nail gun is.

Let’s get going then.

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How loud is a nail gun?

How loud a nail is, depends on several factors. One of the most crucial is the power source of the nail gun. There are typically four power sources for using a nail gun. Here, I will go through them one by one.

  • Pneumatic nail gun 

A pneumatic nail gun uses an air compressor and is attached to a hose. These are some of the most powerful nail guns you can find out there. They provide excellent performance for professional usage.

With that power, the noise is also pretty high on a pneumatic nail gun. If there are no muzzles and no restriction mechanism for the noise, it can peak up to 110dB. This is pretty high, considering 82dB is considered the safe decibel level for everyone.

However, not every pneumatic nail gun will have this kind of noise level. You can still find a lot of pneumatic nail guns from different brands that have a lower noise level on them.

  • Gas-powered nail gun 

This is more of a portable form of nail gun. It comes with flammable fuel cartridges to operate the nail gun. You can use the nail gun without any hassles of cables and hoses. Also, they give you a pretty decent runtime while in use.

These also have pretty loud noise, but they aren’t as loud as pneumatic nail guns. The reason is that it doesn’t have that kind of air pressure coming from the air compressor. Still, it does make a noise that’s pretty similar to a hammering sound. This sound can be around <100dB or so.

Just like the pneumatic one, you can find various gas-powered nail gun brands that come with a noise reduction system. But most of them will generally be around that range.

  • Electric nail gun 

Electric nail guns are all about convenience. They are cordless and easy to carry around while working. You don’t face any issues while moving around. Also, they don’t make as much noise as the other nail guns, even in general.

However, these nail guns tend to lack the power you may need for professional woodwork. You can get by your DIY projects or hobby projects with this nail gun. But for heavier jobs, this isn’t going to cut it.

In terms of loudness, this makes the least noise out of all the nail guns. So, if that’s something you are after, this is the way to go.

You can  find  Electric nail guns for professional usage.

  • Explosive nail gun 

Now, this is the kind of nail gun that can produce sounds like a firearm. It uses .22 blanks to push the nail through wood and sometimes concrete. It would help if you needed hearing protection while using this because the noise level can go up to 140dB. So, there is no escaping the fact that it can damage your ears.

Luckily, there are several nail guns out there that come with a suppressor. You can get those to have the least noise level. Still, it’s safer to wear some hearing protection when you are using this nail gun.

The values and noises I discussed above are all considered without any noise reduction measures. If the nail gun doesn’t have any form of noise reduction, you will get such noises. The average noise you get from professional-grade nail guns is around 97dB which is still well above the safe levels.

So, no matter what nail gun you use, it’s better to have some hearing protection. Otherwise, you may end up hurting your hearing.

Why do nail guns make such loud noises?

Well, two reasons go on to making such noises out of a nail gun. The first one is right when you pull the trigger of the gun. This causes the piston to ram right into the front bumper of the gun. This is the source of noise that you get to hear first.

The second source comes from the rear end of the nail gun. This is the noise you get from the air compressor. When the air exhausts from the nail gun, you get to hear that air pressure noise.

You get both these noises every time you pull your trigger. While the sound may not be that loud in some cases, still, in the long run, this can be pretty lethal to your ears. That’s why every nail gun safety measure suggests wearing hearing protection while working with a nail gun.

How to find a nail gun with less noise?

Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to find nail guns that don’t make too much noise. These are the nail guns that come with a suppressor. However, you have to consider that these nail guns can be pretty expensive compared to a nail gun that doesn’t make such loud noises.

So, here you will have to decide whether you want to bear the noises or you want a noise-free nail gun experience. Also, you can choose different power sources to balance that noise aspect.

How fast does a nail gun shoot? 

A nail gun may shoot at different speeds. Basically, it depends on the type of nailer you’re using. Generally we can divide the entire kingdom of nailers in three parts. Pneumatic nail guns, cordless nail guns and lastly, electric nail guns. 

Amongst all three, pneumatic nailers are the fastest nailers of all. In these types of nailers, compressed air is used. For this reason, the delivery speed is very fast. For most of the industrial usage, this very specific type of nail gun is used. 

Next up, we get cordless nail guns. By a charged up battery, power is supplied to these types of nail guns. However, these are not really that fast like the pneumatic ones. But can get to a minimal speed. For home uses or for DIY purposes, you can use this. 

And the last type of nailers we have here is, electric nail gun. It uses a motor to drive the nails. The motor revolves at a considerably low RPM. Thus, the speed is very less here. However, for home uses, you can get your things easily done with this. No cap! 


All in all, now you know how loud a nail gun is. When buying a nail gun, make sure to look for the suppressed ones if the budget is not a concern for you. Otherwise, you can try going for the ones that take some measure to reduce the noise level.

Regardless of your purpose or what nail gun you are using, it’s best to maintain the safety measures. Since the average loudness of a nail gun is 97dB, you should be prepared for that anyway.

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