Finish nailers sure have come a long way from the old clunkers I grew up with. They even include a padded tip so that they won’t dent surrounding wood. But rookie users often have a hard time seeing exactly where the nail will be driven through that fat padded tip.
Here at Seattle Central Community College, we remove the rubber or plastic tip and spray it with white paint. A fast-dry primer such as Kilz works well. After the paint has dried, the tip is remounted on the nailer, and the student carefully fires a nail into a piece of wood. By holding the tool steady after it has fired, you can mark cross hairs on the fresh white paint to show where the nail ends up in relation to the tip. We use a fine-tipped permanent marker for this. Now all you have to do is line up the cross hairs with your target, and the nail always goes where you want it to.
Dave Borgatti, Seattle, WA