Fitting skirting boards can be done in several ways. The method and type of fixing you choose. will depend on the surface you are fixing too.
However, if you want to make your job much easier, a nail gun can be used in combination with a good grab adhesive, on pretty much any surface.
Even if you are fixing to a solid wall with a few layers of plaster. Short pins from a nail gun, will usually give enough grab to hold the skirting board, whilst adhesive on the back of the board goes off.
If you do decide to use a nail gun to fix skirting boards, you will need a 2nd fix nail gun (sometimes called a pin gun). This is the best tool for the job. Ideally you will want a cordless nail gun. This will be battery powered, or a combination of battery and gas.
You don’t want to drag an air compressed gun around a property to fix skirting boards. So, whilst these types of guns may be good for certain jobs, this is not one of them in my opinion. That’s not to say they couldn’t do the job. However, its definitely not a tool I would use for fitting skirting boards.
The brand of nail gun you choose, will depend on your budget and how much you will use the tool.
Whatever brand you choose, it will definitely make fixing skirting board much faster. The fixing process is very simple with a pin gun. Simply cut your board to length, add some grab adhesive to the back and pin the board in place.
The best nail gun for skirting boards
There are several choices when it comes to the brand of nail gun. In this section we will look at several different models. This will include those from the more expensive professional end, down to a more budget (but still very good quality) DIY option.
Paslode 2nd fix nail guns
For the last decade or so, the gold standard in this market has been Paslode. This is definitely a professional brand, and the tools are extremely high quality. If you intend to use a nail gun regularly for this type of work, you won’t go far wrong with this brand.
You can buy Paslode guns that load straight or angled nails.
What’s the difference you may ask?
The main one for me, is accessing tight areas. For example, if you are nailing into a corner, the magazine on an angled nailer gives you more room to maneuver.
When I was an apprentice, we used Paslode guns that took straight nails. After I qualified and went working on my own, I purchased a Paslode with angled nails. For me personally, I never noticed any difference in performance. As I said before, the only benefit, was the angled nailer is better at working in tight spaces.
Paslode nail guns take batteries and gas. As I understand it, the battery powers the fan, and the gas fires the nail. The combination will give you up to 10000 shots per charge on the battery, and around 2000 shots per gas pack.
If I was buying a Paslode right now, I would choose the Paslode IM65A Finishing Nailer.
Some of this gun’s main benefits can be seen below:
- Lightweight – The gun in general is nice and easy to use. It is relatively light weight and balanced. This makes it easy to fire at different angles comfortably.
- Robust – This gun is designed for work on building sites, and it can take a good bit of knocking about, without any issues.
- Angled magazine – As we mentioned previously, this just makes life a little easier. Accessing corners and tight spaces is better with the angled magazine, as opposed to the straight version.
- Lithium-ion batteries – These are fast charging and long lasting. One battery can fire up to 10,000 nails
- Comes with batteries and charger – All Paslode guns come complete with battery, charger, heavy duty carry case, maintenance instructions and lubricant. As well as a pair of protective glasses.
You can also see some of the negatives of this tool here:
- Price – This is only a negative if you won’t use it much. For a professional using this tool daily, it’s well worth the price. However, if this is a tool for DIY projects, it might be a little overkill.
- Needs gas – This is an extra expense and its one more thing to change (like batteries). Also, on a personal note, I don’t particularly like the smell of the gas.
DeWalt DCN660N 2nd Fix Nailer
DeWalt is a well-known professional brand. I have owned a lot of DeWalt tools over the years and have always been very happy.
I actually own a first fix DeWalt nail gun and it is one of my favourite tools. You can read about the first fix DeWalt gun here.
I also have a friend who owns this particular second fix gun, and I have used it on a number of occasions. In my opinion, this tool is on a par with the Paslode, and it is generally a good bit cheaper too.
When I used this nail gun in the past, the main job I used it for, was fitting skirting and architrave. Therefore I have first-hand experience using it for this exact job.
If I was to compare performance side by side with the Paslode for fitting skirting, I would say there is very little difference. The performance for this particular job would be near identical.
Below you can see the main benefits of the DeWalt DCN660N:
- Price – Considerably cheaper than the Paslode
- Lightweight – It is very nice to work with. Not too heavy, and the weight is well balanced.
- Low recoil – I found this to be better than the Paslode
- Battery life – This is very good, and batteries last a decent amount of time from a single charge.
- Batteries are interchangeable – If you already own other DeWalt tools the batteries are all interchangeable.
- Buy the naked gun – Because batteries are interchangeable with other DeWalt tools. If you already own batteries and chargers, you can just buy the gun, at a considerably lower price.
- No gas – This is one less thing to pay for and worry about replacing
I’m a big fan of this gun. If I was in the market for a new second fix nail gun, this would definitely be at the top of my list.
If you are doing skirting boards, architrave, pipe boxing etc. This is a good quality, reasonably priced power tool, that will save you a huge amount of time.
Budget option – Ryobi R18N18G-0 ONE+ Airstrike 2nd fix Nail gun
If you want a budget option, that is still made by a well-known and reputable brand, I recommend Ryobi.
In the past I have owned a few Ryobi tools and for the price they are pretty decent. Personally, I would consider Ryobi somewhere between a DIY and professional brand. It is certainly at the top end of the DIY category, and the tools can hold up pretty well in a building site environment.
Their finishing nailer is a great option, especially if you need a nail gun for jobs like fitting skirting boards, on a less frequent basis.
Just like DeWalt, Ryobi batteries are interchangeable with other Ryobi tools. This means, you can just buy the body if you already have other Ryobi power tools.
- Lowest price – Compared with the previous models this is the cheapest
- Good reputable brand
- Fast charging long life Lithium batteries – Just like the DeWalt Ryobi use high quality lithium batteries
- Batteries interchangeable – This means you can use batteries from any other Ryobi tools you own. Also this means you can just buy the body.
- Fires up to 1,600 nails per charge
Any negatives can be seen below:
- Straight nails – They do have an angled 2nd fix nailer, although it is a little more expensive
- More for DIY – This is not a negative if you are looking for a DIY option. However, if you are working on-site, daily, a more professional option might be more suitable.
If you are planning to fit skirting boards with a nail gun, your best option is a second fix cordless nail gun. The three examples given above; are all tools I have had first-hand experience using. In some cases, I have personally owned them. All three options are great tools in my opinion.
Obviously, there are other nail guns that would be suitable for fixing skirting boards and other similar jobs. However, I don’t like to recommend tools I have never used.
Certainly, there are other premium brands, such as Hitachi, Makita, and Milwaukee to name a few. There are also several lesser-known budget options. Any of these could be great tools and I definitely recommend you do a little research and read real customer reviews.
If you are just looking for a recommendation and you don’t have time to do in-depth research. Then the three nail guns in this article are definitely ones I feel very confident recommending.