Banks nail gun: Features, Uses, & troubleshooting

Banks nailers are a brand of air-powered nailers manufactured by Harbor Freight Tools. They are known for their durability and affordability and are popular among professional contractors and DIYers alike. 

Banks nailers come in a variety of types, including framing nailers, brad nailers, and finish nailers.

Framing nailers are used for heavy-duty tasks such as framing walls and roofs, while brad nailers are used for lighter-duty tasks such as attaching trim and molding.

Finish nailers are used for delicate tasks such as attaching cabinetry and hardwood flooring.

Harbor Freight’s satisfaction guarantee backs all Banks nailers, so you can be sure that you are making a wise investment.

Types of Banks nail guns available for specific tasks?

Banks Nail gun

Finish Nailer

Banks finish nailers are ideal for fastening trim and molding since they are easy to use with their lightweight, narrow body. They are perfect for floor molding and cabinet trim due to their consistent nail placement. 

With an advanced adjustable depth of drive, this nailer can precisely control how deep the nails are driven than other nailer brands. They’re also versatile since there are Banks finish nailer 16 gauge & 15 gauge.

Brad Nailer

Bank brad nailer is perfect for cabinetry or similar types of projects because it shoots smaller 6d to 12d brad nails, which size range between 1 to 2 inches. The Banks Brad nailer has a depth adjustment knob that allows you to control the depth of the nails precisely. This is important for preventing overdriving and splitting delicate wood.

This feature is especially useful for finish carpentry work like attaching baseboards, where carpenters need to drive nails flush with the surface of the wood without splitting it.

Roofing Nailer

Their popular roofing nailer models are designed for roofing applications, such as installing asphalt shingles and flashing. They’re ideal for driving nails through multiple layers of material since they shoot large nails with high power. In addition, they have a coil feed system, which allows users to load many nails at once.

Framing Nailer 

Framing nailers shoot full round head plastic collated nails of 2 in. to 3-1/2 in. size. They come with a powerful motor that can drive nails into a variety of materials, including wood, metal, and concrete. Angles available for this nailer are straight, 21 degrees, and 28 degrees.

Pin Nailer

Pin nailers are ideal for cabinetry or similar types of projects where a small, thin nail is required. A brad nailer also can do this work, but pin nailers are more precise & dedicated for this job. They shoot small, thin pins that are less likely to damage materials. Banks pin nailers have a precision drive mechanism that ensures that nails are driven flush with the surface of the material.

Key features of a Bank nailer

Ergonomic Design

Ergonomic design of Banks nailer reduces user fatigue and discomfort efficiently. Banks nailers are available in a variety of ergonomic designs, including models with padded grips, adjustable triggers, and balanced weights. According to a study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), workers who used ergonomic tools reported a 20% reduction in fatigue and a 15% increase in productivity.

Noise Reduction

Noise reduction technology protects your hearing from damage and makes the work environment more enjoyable. Banks nailers use various noise reduction technologies, including mufflers, baffles, and sound-absorbing materials.

Magazine Capacity

A large magazine capacity allows you to fire more nails without reloading. This saves users precious time and improves efficiency. Depending on the model, Banks nailers offer magazine capacities from 50 to 300 nails.

Safety Interlocks

Safety interlocks are crucial to prevent accidents like accidental firing and jams. Tool-free jam-clearing technology, anti-dry fire mechanisms, and safety triggers are the commonest Banks nailer safety interlocks.

Firing Mode

Banks nailers come with both Sequential and bump-firing modes. Sequential firing mode gives you precise control over nail placement. On the other hand, bump firing mode allows you to fire nails quickly and efficiently. Sequential firing mode is ideal for tasks such as finish carpentry and trim work, while bump firing mode is ideal for tasks such as framing and sheathing.


Banks nailer’s weight ranges from 2 pounds to 7 pounds in most of the models. Professional contractors who need powerful nailers for heavy-duty jobs can easily rely on Banks nailers due to their optimum weight range. Lightweight Banks nailers could be helpful for jobs like framing, siding, decking, finish carpentry, and so on. 

Depth Adjustment

Depth adjustment feature allows you to precisely control how deep the nails are driven. It’s significant for preventing damage to the work surface and ensuring a secure hold. Banks nailers feature “easy-to-use depth adjustment” mechanisms that allow toolless adjustments and micro-adjustments.

Jam Clearing Mechanism

The jam clearing mechanism of Banks nailer helps to clear jammed nails quickly. They feature innovative jam clearing mechanisms that can be cleared in seconds without the need for tools. They mainly feature tool-free jam clearing and spring-loaded jam clearing in all their models.

Selectable Trigger

A selectable trigger gives you the flexibility to choose between sequential and bump firing modes. Banks nailer’s selectable trigger quickly helps to switch between the desired firing mode with the flip of a switch.

Exhaust Deflector

An exhaust deflector directs the exhaust air away from the user for improved comfort and safety. Banks nailers with an exhaust deflector can reduce the user’s exposure to exhaust air by up to 50%.

Dry Fire Lockout

Dry fire lockout mechanism prevents the tool from firing when there are no nails in the magazine. It’s added to protect the tool and prevent damage to the work surface. All Banks nailer models come with a dry fire lockout mechanism.


Banks nailers with anti-vibration technology can reduce vibration by up to 50% to ensure a significant improvement in comfort and accuracy with the help of vibration-dampening pads and recoil buffers.

No-Mar Tip

No-mar tip protects the work surface from scratches and other damage. This is made of a soft material, such as rubber or plastic, which helps to prevent damage to the work surface. Banks nailers with no-mar tips are typically used for finish carpentry and trim work.


Banks nailers with a trigger lock can help to reduce the risk of accidental firing by up to 80%. Most new-arrived Banks nailers have a trigger lock.

What types of nails are compatible with Banks nail guns?

Banks nail guns are compatible with a variety of nail types, including full-head and clipped-head plastic collated nails. The ideal size of these nails ranges between 2 in. to 3-1/2 in. long.

Pros of banks nailer

  • Durable build ensures longevity 
  • Accurate nail driving capacity for secure fastening 
  • Wide range of features ensures versatility 
  • Good value for the price 
  • Easy to use and maintain

Cons of banks nailer

  • Regular maintenance of pneumatic model’s air compressor is required
  • Frequent jamming could be noticed after using a certain time

Are there any known recalls or issues with specific Banks nail gun models?

Yes, some customers have reported that Banks 23-gauge pin nailer jams frequently, even when using high-quality nails. Some customers also have reported that the nailer is not as powerful as they expected and can struggle to drive nails into hard materials.

What are the advantages of a Banks nail gun over traditional hand nailing?

Increased speed and efficiency

Banks nail guns can drive nails much faster than a human can with a hammer. A Banks framing nailer is capable of driving up to 3 nails per second, while a human can typically only drive 1 nail per second using a hammer. This is especially important for large or complex projects, such as building a deck or framing a house.

Improved accuracy

Banks nail guns help to reduce the risk of mistakes and accidents with their dedicated nail placement technology. This is helpful for delicate projects, such as installing trim or molding. You can precisely control how deep the nails will be driven with its adjustable depth of drive. 

Reduced fatigue

A Banks framing nailer weighs an average of only 6 pounds. That’s why it’s super easy to maneuver and use for extended periods of time without disturbing your arms.

Increased safety

This nailer brand also offers a number of safety features, such as trigger locks and anti-dry fire mechanisms. These features can help to reduce the risk of accidental firing or nail jams.

Greater versatility

Since Banks nail guns are available in various models, they’re good for a specific type of nailing application. This gives you the flexibility to choose the right nail gun for your desired job. Banks nailer offers framing, finish, brad, and roofing nailers- what else is left?

Parts of bank nailer

  • Magazine: Holds the nails and feeds them into the nailer.
  • Trigger: Activates the nailer to drive a nail in the desired firing mode.
  • Anti-dry fire mechanism: Prevents the nailer from firing when there are no nails in the magazine.
  • Exhaust deflector: Directs the exhaust air away from the user.
  • Depth of drive adjustment: Allows users to control the depth of the driven nails precisely.
  • Bump fire contact element: Allows continuous firing without pulling the trigger repeatedly.
  • Tool-free jam-clearing mechanism: Makes it easy to clear nail jams.
  • No-mar tip: Protects the work surface from scratches and other damage.
  • Anti-vibration technology: Reduces vibration and fatigue during extended use.

How do I choose the right Banks nail gun for my next projects? 

Project type

Banks nailers can be used for a variety of jobs, including framing, finishing, trimming, and joinery. Their brad nailer models are ideal for delicate tasks where a small nail head is needed, such as installing baseboards, crown molding, and other trim pieces. 

On the flip side, Banks finish nailers are ideal for projects where a clean, finished appearance is desired. They’re good for installing quarter-round, shoe molding, and casing on windows and doors. 

Banks framing nailers are ideal for heavy-duty projects where a large nail head is required, such as framing walls and roofs, building decks and fences, attaching plywood sheathing to walls and roofs, installing joists and beams, and attaching rafters and trusses.

Material type of the project

Banks nail guns are designed for use with a variety of materials like wood, composite materials, and others. The thickness of the material will also determine the type of nail gun you need.

For example, a framing nailer is designed for driving nails into thick framing lumber, which is typically between 1-1/2 and 2 inches thick. A brad nailer is designed for driving nails into thin trim work, which is typically between 1/4 and 3/4 inches thick.

What type of wood bank nail gun good can be handled better?

Banks nail guns are designed to handle softwoods like pine and hardwoods like maple. However, they are particularly well-suited for driving nails into softwoods.

Nail size and gauge compatibility

Banks nail guns are compatible with a variety of nail sizes and gauges. The size usually ranges from 16-gauge brad nails to 10-gauge framing nails. When choosing a Banks nailer, be sure to select the correct nail size and gauge for your project.

Nail gun typeNail sizeNail gauge
Framing nailer2-1/2″ to 3-1/2″8d to 10d
Finish nailer1-1/4″ to 3-1/4″15g to 18g
Brad nailer5/8″ to 2-3/8″18g to 23g
Pin nailer1/2″ to 1-5/8″21g to 23g

Power source availability

Banks nail guns are available in both electric and pneumatic power sources. Electric power-sourced nailers are convenient and easy to use, but they require a power outlet for instant use. That’s why, battery-powered nailers are getting popular nowadays. On the flip side, pneumatic nailers are more powerful and can be used anywhere, but they require a compressor.

Magazine capacity requirement

Banks nail guns have magazine capacities ranging from 50 to 200 nails. A nailer with a larger magazine capacity can reduce reloading time and improve efficiency for large projects. The magazine capacity requirement for a particular project will vary depending on the size and complexity of the project. For example, a framing nailer with a larger magazine capacity may be required for framing a large wall, while a finish nailer with a smaller magazine capacity may be sufficient for installing trim on a window.

Project typeNail gun typeMagazine capacity
Framing wallsFraming nailer150-200 nails
Installing trimFinish nailer100-150 nails
Building decksFraming nailer200 nails
Installing sidingFinish nailer100-150 nails
Assembling cabinetsBrad nailer50-100 nails

Ergonomic and weight consideration

If you are going to be using your Banks nail gun for extended periods of time, like for a few hours, consider the ergonomic design and weight of the nailer. A lightweight and well-balanced nailer will reduce fatigue and improve user comfort.

What is the average price range for a Banks nail gun?

Banks nail guns have a bunch of models and they both have regular nailer to high-end nailer models. Usually, the price starts from $75 and ends at $500, depending on the model and features.

Nail gun typePrice range (USD)
Framing nailer$300 – $500
Finish nailer$200 – $300
Brad nailer$100 – $200
Pin nailer$75 – $150

Who should use it?

Banks nail guns are versatile tools that can be used by DIYers and professionals of all ages and experience levels. Some common users are carpenters, framers, roofers, general contractors, home improvement enthusiasts, woodworkers, and people in other industries such as manufacturing, construction, and shipping.

Banks nailer not firing

Banks nailer is not firing because of a jam or air leak inside the nailer. To solve this, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Check the nail magazine

Remove the nail magazine and inspect it for any jams. If you visualize a complex jam, clear it carefully.

Step 2: Inspect the air hose

Check the air hose for any leaks next. If you find a leak, tighten the hose. If it doesn’t work, you need to replace it immediately.

Bank Brad Nailer not firing

Banks Brad nailer not firing because of a jam, nail size issue, or depth of drive adjustment. To solve this, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Clear the Jam

Remove the nail magazine and inspect it for any jams. If you find a jam, clear it carefully.

Step 2: Check the Nail Size

Make sure that the nail size you are using is compatible with your brad nailer. Using the wrong nail size also may hamper your nailer entirely.

Step 3: Adjust the Depth of Drive

Adjust the depth of drive adjustment to ensure that the nails are being driven in deep enough. It’s a rare issue not to fire Banks Brad Nailer, but it might happen occasionally.

How to use a bank nailer to achieve precise results?

To use a bank nailer to achieve precise results, follow the steps below.

Load the nailer: How to load a bank nailer

Loading a bank nailer is not different from loading other nailers. Here are the quick steps on how to load a Banks nailer.

Load the Nails
  • Hold the magazine vertically and insert the nails accordingly.
  • Make sure that the nails are properly aligned in the magazine.
Reinsert the Magazine
  • Slide the magazine back into the nailer until it clicks into place.
Engage the Safety Catch
  • Locate the safety catch on the nailer and engage it.
Adjust the Depth of Drive
  • Use the depth of the drive adjustment knob to set the desired depth.

Recommended PSI range

The recommended PSI range of using Banks nailer is 80 to 120 PSI. (Source: Banks 64139 30°-34° Framing Nailer Owner’s Manual). If the PSI is too high, the nail gun may overheat and become dangerous to use. When the PSI is too low, the nail gun may not fire properly or drive the nails in deep enough.

What is the optimal operating pressure for a Banks nail gun?

The optimal average operating pressure for a Banks nail gun is 100 PSI. This is the pressure at which the nail gun will perform best, with the least risk of overheating or damaging the tool or the nails. 

Remaining steps

  1. Use a nail set to mark the spot where you want to drive the nail. This will help you to position the nail gun correctly.
  2. If you are driving nails into a hard material, use a masonry bit to drill a pilot hole first. This will make it easier to drive the nail in straight.
  3. If you are driving nails into a soft material, such as wood, use a brad point nail. Brad point nails have a pointed tip that helps to prevent the wood from splitting.
  4. Be careful not to over-drive the nails. Over-driven nails can damage the material you are working on.

Best practices for nailing accuracy with a Banks nail gun

Once your Banks nailer is loaded and you have set the desired PSI range and depth of drive, you are ready to start nailing. To achieve precise results, follow these steps:

  • Use the right nail size and type for the job.
  • Make sure that the work surface is level and free of debris.
  • Hold the nailer perpendicular to the work surface.
  • Apply firm pressure to the trigger.
  • Release the trigger when the nail is flush with the work surface.

What safety precautions should be taken when using a Banks nail gun?

A study by the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) found that workers using contact trip or “bump nailers” have double the rate of serious injury compared to workers using sequential trigger guns. This is because contact trip nailers fire when the gun is pressed against the work surface. This can lead to accidental firing if the user is not careful.

The following safety gear is essential when operating a Banks nail gun:

  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
  • Dust mask

You may also want to wear earplugs to protect your hearing from the loud noise of the nail gun.

Are there any safety certifications for Banks nail guns?

Yes, Banks nail guns are certified by the Electrical Testing Laboratories (ETL) to meet safety standards established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

What’s the warranty coverage for Banks nail guns?

Banks nail guns are covered by a one-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. You can find more information about the Banks warranty on the Banks website.


It’s important to clean and lubricate your Banks nail gun regularly to keep it in tip-top shape. After each use, wipe down the gun with a dry cloth to remove any dust or debris. Then, apply a thin coat of lubricant to the moving parts of the gun. 

Banks nail guns are designed to operate in a wide range of temperatures except for the extreme temperatures. The recommended operating temperature range for Banks nail guns is 32°F to 100°F (0°C to 38°C).

When storing your Banks nail gun, keep the magazine empty and remove the battery. Then, store the gun in a dry place out of the reach of children and unauthorized users.

What is the expected lifespan of a Banks nail gun with regular use?

The expected lifespan of a Banks nail gun with regular use is 5-7 years. This can vary depending on the frequency of use, the type of nails being driven, and the maintenance of the tool. (Source: Banks Website)

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