Best Framing Nailer Reviews [2020 Guide]
If you are a construction professional or simply love doing small home repairs by yourself, a framing nailer is a tool that can make the job quick, safe and simple. While there are many different types of nailers guns that eliminate the need to manually hammer nails and make your job easier, framing nailers are different.
Unlike standard nail guns whose main focus is precision, these are designed for high-powered, quick applications. Thus, no matter if you are involved in a large construction project or simply want to fix the door of your house, a framing nailer can eliminate most of the hard work from the job.
So, if you are searching to buy a top framing nailer machine, this guide will provide you with some amazing options.
Best Pneumatic Framing Gun: If you are looking for an overall performer in Pneumatic category, then NuMax SFR2190 model is the best bet. It is tough, has innovative features and is reasonably priced as well. You can get it by clicking here.
Best Cordless Framing Gun: Paslode 902600 is a good performer in Cordless category. It is one of the best cordless nailers available in the market. You can get it from Amazon using this good deal.
Best Framing Nail Gun (Budget Option For DIYers)
If you are a DIY-enthusiast, the SFR2190 from NuMax is what you should buy. This nailer can be used with plastic collated as well as full headed nails between 2” – 3-1/2”.
- While it can also be used with paper collated nails, its performance suffers a little. The housing of the nailer is made from industrial-grade magnesium to ensure enhanced durability.
- Its heavy built also offers a greater amount of stability if you are working in a downward position. It features an exhaust port which can be rotated to 360 degrees without needing any additional tools.
- It has interchangeable triggers which enable the user to easily switch between single and contact firing.
- The driver blade of the this unit is built from a single strip of steel, making it exceedingly strong and durable.
- It also sports an air filter to make sure that the air which the nailer receives is free from contamination. This also helps in preventing any kind of damages that are caused due to contaminated air. It comes with a standard 1-year limited warranty.
- At 9.8 pounds, this model is a bit heavier than many other top framing nailers and this can make it a little difficult for you to use the nailer in certain positions..
- Interchangeability switch is not automatic, that makes it a bit cumbersome to use.
- Many have experience the problem of misfiring when used with smaller nails.
- If you are DIYer it makes sense to purchase this gun, as it has impressive features like depth adjustment, ability to see when nail supply is low, easy jam free operation.
Best Pneumatic Framing Nailers (For Professionals)
If you are looking for a versatile nailer, this Bostitch F21PL is sure to impress you.
It can flawlessly do any job that involves sheathing, framing, bracing or flooring.
Unlike many other nailers in the market, the Bostitch F21PL is ideal for professional applications and yet, simple enough to be used by amateurs.
- It has integrated rubber skid pads and rubber grip to make sure that the users have a firm and comfortable grip on the nailer.
- It has a patented feature which allows you to easily set the depth of the nail with a simple push button.
- For enhanced convenience, the quick-change nosepieces of the nailer enable you to switch from metal-connected nails to plastic-collated nails instantly.
- The magazine of the nailer can accommodate up to 60 plastic collated 2” to 3.5” framing nails or metal connector nails of 1.5” to 2.5”. It has a layout indicator on the magazine which lets you know the exact distance between the studs.
- The F21PL from Bostitch has a solid magnesium body which is highly durable and light in weight.
- There is also an adjustable rafter hook which can be used to hang the machine on rafter or joints during breaks.
- Users can easily switch between sequential and bump firing, however, a lot of users feel that the bump firing mode is very loud in this nailer.
- Some of you may be bummed to find out that the Case is not included.
With a magnificent power-to-weight ratio of 1,050 in./lbs. to 8.1 pounds, this is undoubtedly one of the best nail guns available in the market. Moreover, it also comes with a 7-year limited warranty.
Features & Strengths
- This heavy-duty Hitachi NR90AE(S) nailer has an operating pressure of 70-120 PSI.
- It features a flip actuation switch which makes it extremely easy for the users to switch between contact and sequential nailing.
- To further enhance the user-friendliness of this powerful nailer, Hitachi has affixed this nailer machine with a non-slip elastomer grip trigger, making it extremely easy and safe to hold and use the machine.
- The claw tip of the machine is hardened to reduce the slippage if you are toe-nailing and damage to the nose of the nail, while also ensuring enhanced precision.
- The nailer features a tool-less drive dial next to the trigger for adjusting between countersunk and flush drives in different types of materials to eliminate the need to manually adjust the compressor pressure.
- It also has an anodized aluminium magazine which makes replacement or repair simple without any major expense. The high-quality build of the nailer prevents overheating and allows the user to use it for longer duration.
Some users have complained that the nails get jammed in the magazine, especially in the summer months. However, there is a possibility that this problem maybe due to lack of lubrication. As mentioned, a lot of users have complained that the nails get jammed in the magazine at time
Another downside is that while most of the models come with a case and rafter hook, this one doesn’t .
- One of the most impressive things about this nailer is its power-to-weight ratio. The nailer only weighs 7.5 pounds to minimize fatigue and allow you to work for longer durations.
- It only accepts 2” to 3 ½” plastic collated nails which are the most common type of nail that is used. The magazine of the nailer can accommodate 64 to 70 nails.
- Hitachi also offers a 5-year limited warranty on this nailer machine.
Powered by compressed air, this pneumatic nailer from Freeman is ideal for any heavy-duty application.
It functions at air pressure ranging from 60 to 115 PSI. Right from roofing, framing, fencing, siding, to sheathing, its effortless functionality is sure to impress amateurs and professionals alike.
- The lightweight nailer is made from magnesium and anodized aluminium for enhanced durability.
- It accepts full headed nails of 21 degrees from 2” to 3-1/2”, making it an ideal choice for many different types of wood and applications.
- It features a 360 degree adjustable air vent to prevent the formation of moisture spots on wooden surfaces.
- It also has a dust cap and air filter to prevent the damage caused due to contaminated air. The PFR2190 also has interchangeable trigger which can be used to easily switch between contact and single firing.
- The driving blade of the unit is made from heat-treated steel which provides it with enhanced strength and longevity. Moreover, it also features a non-marring rubber tip to ensure that the wood surface is not damaged in any way.
- A striking downside is that it is heavy and not very convenient to use, especially in tight spaces. At 14.5 pounds, the PFR2190 is undoubtedly not the lightest or most convenient to use nailer.
- There have been a few complaints that it at fails to fire the last few nails at times.
- The missing automatic interchangeability switch is a bummer.
- The strip loading feature of the nailer ensures fast usage, whereas the O-rings that are made from premium quality Teflon creates minimal friction when the nailer moves on the frame surface.
- The nail gun comes with wrenches, a pair of goggles as well as a sturdy plastic case for enhanced convenience.
- Moreover, it is backed by a 7-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
Best Cordless Framing Nailers
Paslode is one of the most famous tool manufacturer brands available in the market.Its products are known to be a perfect combination of durability and innovation, and the 902600 CF325Li further enhances its reputation.
- It is powered by a fuel cell and has the ability to fire up to 6,000 nails in a single charge.
- The nailer only weighs 7.25 pounds which is highly impressive when compared with its heavy-duty functionality.
- It can be fully charged in an hour and once fully charged, it can be used continuously for 5 hours. Moreover, there is also a quick charge feature where you only need to charge it for 2-minutes and it can fire up to 200 nails with that charge.
- Sadly this powerful machine is extremely noisy and cannot be used without earplugs.
- Also its large nose makes it difficult to shoot nails with precision.
- With enhanced balance and grip, adjusting and moving the machine is a breeze.
- Moreover, as the CF325Li is cordless, it is extremely easy to use and carry. It also has a rafter hook which can come in handy at the jobsite.
- In the box, you’ll find the framing nailer, charger, battery, safety goggles and a heavy-duty plastic case, making it a perfect choice for anyone who is buying it for the first time.
- Moreover, it also comes with a 5/32” wrench for adjustments. Paslode also offers a 1-year no questions asked warranty with the CF325Li, which is a clear sign of the company’s belief on its product.
What is a framing nailer?
It is a tool which can be used to drive nails into different surfaces. Usually, framing nailers are used on surfaces such as wood. It resembles a gun and also uses different types of magazines and is driven by compressed gas. The framing nailers have proven to be extremely effective and time saving when it comes to the job of driving nails into surfaces. They eliminate the tricky part of hitting the nails with a hammer and finish the job in a matter of seconds.
These are generally used for precision work. The time saving tool greatly helps professionals like carpenters to get the exact spot hit with perfection.
Features To Consider Before Buying
- Trigger Type- There are basically two different types of triggers – Sequential and Contact. Sequential triggers require you to press the trigger of the nail gun as well as depress the tip of the gun against the work surface to fire the nail. Contact nails fire as soon as the tip comes in contact with the work surface. Thus, the sequential nailers are safer than contact nailers as the latter can result in accidental firing of nails.
- Depth Control- There are many models that allow you set the depth up to which you want to drive the nail in the work surface. The more the pressure, the deeper the nail will go. There are some models which need an additional tool to adjust the force, while there are others that have a gauge on the nailer itself.
- Air Pressure- If you are planning to buy a pneumatic nailer and already own an air compressor, make sure that the nailer you choose is compatible with your air compressor. Every nailer has a specific r volume and air pressure requirements. If you mistakenly buy a nailer which is not compatible with your compressor, the nailer will not function properly. Or, if you want to buy a pneumatic nailer and compressor as well, make sure that you buy them accordingly.
- Head of Nails- Many of the modern buildings codes only allow the use of round-head nails and clipped-head nails cannot be used. While there are nailers that can accommodate many different types of nails, there are also nailers that can only accommodate clipped-head nails. So, make sure that you do not buy a clipped-head nailer if it is prohibited in the building. If versatility is what you are looking for, then you should opt for a framing gun that will allow you to fire different kinds of nails.
- Protection: Go for a nailer which comes with a protective guard. Although these units are much safer when compared to the traditional hammers, accidents can still occur therefore having being protected is a must as the nailer can fire nails at a very high speed.
- Additional Features- Apart from the ones mentioned above, modern units have a number of additional features, like quick release to eliminate the jam of nails in the magazine, 360-degree exhaust port to drive the surface particles away from you, air filters to ensure seamless functionality of pneumatic nailers, etc. Thus, while choosing a nailer keep an eye out for these additional features as they can make your job easier.
Cordless framing nailers are the ones which use gas which is ignited by a spark fuelled by the battery. The battery needs to be charged at regular intervals. The main advantage of using this type of nailer is that it allows for greater mobility. The batteries of such a framing nailer can be recharged within 60 minutes. There is however the issue of fuel which needs to be bought from stores.
While there are pneumatic (air-powered), battery-operated and power-operated nailers available in the market, its the pneumatic nailers that are more popular. These types of nailers are known to be the most reliant of the framing nailers. They use an air compressor to fire the nails onto the surface. The only disadvantage about these framing nailers is that the mobility with these nailers is restricted as they are connected with a cord to the air compressor.
However, if you don’t have an air compressor and only need a nailer occasionally for small repair jobs, a battery or power operated nailer can be an excellent choice. On the other hand, if you are a professional who uses a nailer on a daily basis, then a pneumatic nailer is recommended. However, a cordless nailer is easier to use in tighter spaces.
Magazine Types: Stick or Coil
There are two major types of magazines which can be opted for with the models. The kind of magazine which you can choose depends on the purpose and the type of nails which you are going to use.
It is also very important to carefully choose between coil type and stick type nailer.
Coil: Coil magazines come with an adjustable canister. They have a nail holding capacity of 200-300 nails which are angled at 15 degrees. These nails are held together by two thin wires. Coil magazines can fire nails at a very fast rate and although they are said to be light, a fully loaded magazine can weigh pretty heavy. This is not a preferred magazine when it comes to overhead work.
Stick: Stick magazines are smaller and can hold up to 30-40 nails. The nails inside a stick magazine are collected one over another, above the head of the nail in front of it. Stick nailers can be used to fire three kinds of nails.
- Paper collated nailer, which will accept sticks at an angle of 30 or 35 degrees. These are also referred to as 30 degrees nails.
- Plastic collated nailer, which will fit round-head nails at angles between 20 and 22 degrees.
- Wire-weld collated nailer, which will fit plastic or paper taped nails between 28 and 30 degrees.
Nailers with coil style framing have round magazine and can accommodate a lot more nails as compared with the stick style nailers. So, if you need to use hundreds of nails together without stopping for refill, a coil type nailer will be a preferred choice for you or if you only need to use 40-50 nails at a time, a stick-type nailer can be purchased.
Enhanced Precision and Easy to Use
When a framing job needs to be done, a hammer is what you’ll need to finish the job easily and effectively. The basic idea in using a hammer is simple, but using it effectively, especially for a large project, is a different story. It surely seems like a simple job in which you need to hold the nail in place and then hit its head with the hammer to drive the nail in the surface.
While this does sounds easy and you believe that you’ll finish the job quickly, after a few nails your hands will give up. Moreover, there is also a risk of missing the nail and hitting your hand. Just a simple thought of hitting your finger hard with a hammer is more than enough to imagine the agony and pain you can go through when you miss a single nail. Moreover, there is also a possibility that the nail will bend or get crooked when you hit it with the hammer. You’ll then be required to remove the nail and start over again.
An ideal solution to this problem is to use a framing nailer. All you need to do is to press the trigger of the nailer and/or let the tip of the nailer come in contact with the work surface and it will instantly drive a nail into the surface. Moreover, with these models you’ll not face the problem of crooked of bent nails.
These are very quick as compared to manually using the hammers and will not result in quick fatigue. Especially, if you have a construction business, you can cut the man hours to almost half with the help of these nail guns. Moreover, with these guns, you’ll be able to cut your workforce in half or take up more jobs as well.
Using this gun is also cost effective. If you have a job to be done at home then you can just do it by yourself thus saving money which you would spend on labour.
Another great advantage is they are highly durable and perfect for any demanding environment. No matter if you accidentally drop the nailer while working on the roof or if your forget it outside in the rain, a framing nailer can easily stand the test of time over a very long period time.
When the nails are put in surfaces using these devices, they tend to withstand almost any kind of weather. Even if you have used the nailer indoors, the nails will stay where they have been put for a much longer period. This longevity makes them a perfect and smart choice.
Using these units can be safer when compared to using hammers. There are high chances that you might hit your fingers while working with the hammer, until you are extremely sued to the hob and can do it smoothly.
These are very accurate when it comes to putting nails in different surfaces. You do not have to mentally keep gauging the process and measurements of how the nail should be hammered, how much force should be used etc.
A large number of famous brands, like Dewalt, Hitachi, Paslode etc. manufacture nailers in many different styles. There are nail guns with large magazines and can hold several hundred nails at a time, there are models with different types of firing, like burst, bump and single shot, etc. Moreover, there are also nails that are powered by battery, electricity or compressed air. This allows you to choose a nailer as per your needs.