Clipped Head Vs Round Head Framing Nailer

Clipped Head Vs Round Head Framing NailerWhich framing nailer do you need to get the job done as fast as possible? Most people choose to go with the round head framing nailer because clipped head models have been given a bad name over time. And the truth is that both of these nailers work perfectly for their intended uses.

Let’s take a look at both of these nailer types to understand when you should be using each respective model.

Clipped Head Nailer

Clipped head nailers, or D head nailers, use a nail that has a D shape. Essentially, half of the male head has been clipped off. What this allows is for you to hack your nails together further during the project. If you need to keep your nails spaced very tightly, this is a good choice.

You’ll also find that the nails can be tied together better with paper, meaning you can fit more nails in your nail gun at one time.


  • High nail holding capacity.
  • Less downtime when nailing.


  • Are prone to becoming jammed.

Before you use a clipped head nailer, you need to make sure that it’s up to the building code. If you construct the building with the type of nails that do not fall within the guidelines of your respective county, you may have to tear down the structure. While many contractors believe that these nails are just as strong as a round head nail, you always have to make sure that your construction is up to code.

We’ll also state that the addition of these nails provides the potential for the gun to jam during use. You always want to make sure that the gun you choose to use with clipped head nails is not prone to jamming.

Round Head Nailer

Round head nailers are essentially nails that have a full head. We find these to be more secure because there is more overall security provided. In fact, many jurisdictions no longer allow you to use a clipped nail during construction. Many contractors disagree with this move.

The consensus is that a structure should be built in such a way that a clipped nail should not pull out and provide a risk of the structure failing. If a tornado comes along, a round head nail or clipped head nail is going to fail.



  • Hold fewer nails than a clipped nailer.

The one disadvantage that a round head nail has over a clipped head nailer is the fact that they can’t hold as many nails as their counterpart. However, you really have no option if the building code requires round head nails to be utilized.

Round head nails are required in areas that are prone to:

  • Earthquakes.
  • Hurricanes.
  • Tornadoes.

In general, full head nails have an overall higher holding capacity than clipped head models. You also don’t need to be concerned with the nail being driven too far into the lumber.

For most construction projects, it’s much safer to go with a round head nailer as they are more secure than a clipped head nailer. If you have a project that does not have to withstand a hurricane or tornado, you may be able to use the much-faster clipped head nailer. But remember that you need to look into your local building code to ensure your structure follows the appropriate regulations in your area.

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