The powder loads for powder-actuated tools are more powerful than charges used in handguns. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires training for the safe use of these tools.


To prevent eye injury or hearing loss, wear safety gear that protects eyes and ears. Bystanders should also wear safety gear. Also make sure no flammable or explosive materials are nearby. If you are shooting into a material with unknown properties, test it before firing a fastener. Generally, only structural steel and concrete of appropriate thicknesses are suitable for powder-actuated fastenings.


Always hold the tool perpendicular to the work surface to avoid injury from ricocheting fasteners. Never fire the tool without a fastener in it. Never unload or disassemble a jammed, stuck, or broken tool that contains a live powder load.