Framing uses larger nails to carry the load required in most Codes. Generally speaking this means 16d or 12d nails will be used. If you are using a framing gun then you typically have to step down to 12d nails with clipped heads. That would mean 3 1/4″ long nails with a diameter of .131″. Paslode and other manufacturers make these. If you are doing a small project, such as one small wall, then you can hand nail. But if you are looking into a larger project, then the extra $500 or so to purchase a compressor and framing nailer will save a tremendous amount of time and is well worth the investment. Porter Cable makes a pancake compressor with a framing gun kit for under $400 as well as Hitachi.
Other things to consider when using framing nails:
- Bright Common: used for normal indoor nailing projects such as walls
- ring shanked: help prevent nail from backing out
- galvanized: great for outdoor wood project or moisture ( make sure they are compatible with pressure treated AZQ wood if using)
- spiral: Used to hold nail in.