Top 10 Best Framing Nailers Reviews for The Money for 2018
Framing nail guns have made traditional hammers and nails obsolete. Not only they are faster and easier to work with, but they are also more efficient.
Now, there are different types of nails, guns and various brands that you can choose from.
Although options are a good thing, sometimes they can be a bit overwhelming and lead you to make a bad choice.
To help you out, today I have decided to review 5 of the best framing nailers available on the market.
I’ll also provide a buying guide, in case you happen to dislike my recommendations.
So, let’s get down to business.
Why Do You Need Framing Nailers Anyway?
Whether you are doing carpentry, home repairments or just hanging pictures on your wall, a nail gun can make your life a lot easier.
Instead of beating up your shoulder and hands hammering fasteners, you can just shoot nails into the workpiece with the nail gun.
Admittedly, hammers are a cheaper option, but if you are looking for a quick and efficient way to fix your roof or make yourself new furnitures, then you have no other option than to buy a nail gun.
If you are still hesitant, here I have jotted down some more reasons that will surely convince you to go for a framing nailer instead of a hammer.
Best Nail Gun for Framing and Beyond - Reviewed
In order to help you find the best framing nailer, here I have compiled a list of the top-notch nail guns on the market.
1. Numax SFR2190 21 Degree Pneumatic Framing Nailer
Numax framing nailers are both manufactured and distributed by prime global inc. Over the last couple of years, they have emerged as a leading manufacturer in this industry and have an impeccable reputation for producing top-notch nailing guns.
All the numax nail guns have magnesium body construction making them lightweight and easy to carry around. Moreover, its ergonomic design makes for a comfortable grip and greater manoeuvrability. Believe me; your hands will thank you for this when you are up on the ladder continuously driving nails.
Featuring both sequential and bump action mode, it offers versatility. While the single firing mode allows you to shoot nails with precision, the bump firing mode comes in handy while doing heavy jobs. Switching triggers is pretty simple and won’t cause any problem provided that you follow the manual.
Being a 21-degree nail gun means it is optimized to fire 21-degree nails. Capable of shooting only round-headed nails, which is fine by me as they are allowed in every region across the USA. In addition, by turning the depth adjusting screw, you can adjust the depth from 2” to up to 3-1/4’.
Its anti dry-fire mechanism means it will stop firing when the nails are about to finish. This feature is really helpful as firing the nailer with an empty magazine is detrimental to your nail gun’s health. As a result, you won’t need to check the magazine constantly in the middle of shooting nails.
The thing that bugs me most is the absence of a jam remover. However, that shouldn’t be a deal-breaker as there’s an air filter inside the device to block anything that may jam the nailer. And even if you experience any jam, you can easily move the nail back into its place with the help of the jam removal hole.
- Includes Anti-dry fire feature
- Body is made of magnesium
- Features both solo and bump firing mode
- Depth can be adjusted from 2” to up to 3-1/4’’
- Comes with an air filter
- Capable of driving only full-headed nails
2. Bostitch F21PL Pneumatic Framing Nailer
Although now known as Stanley-Bostitch, founder Thomas Briggs created this company in 1896 as the Boston Wire Stitcher company. The first machine that Briggs designed was used to stitch books with the help of a coil of wire. Now they are most known for manufacturing fastening tools.
There’s actually a ton to like about this pneumatic framing nailer. To start out with, its depth control setting is one of the easiest out there. You can adjust the depth of a fastener by simply pushing a button.
What makes the nailer stand out from its competitors is that it comes with two nosepieces, allowing you to employ it for both framing and connecting metals. Changing the tips takes mere seconds and installing metal connectors such as; angle brackets and joist hangers with the nailer is as easy as it gets.
Despite using magnesium, one of the lightest elements of the earth, for constructing the body, it’s somewhat heavy. Not that it will fatigue you quickly, but it requires a bit extra effort to carry around.
With the F21PL, you can drive 21 degree round headed fasteners of different size from different brands. Its magazine can accommodate up to 60 nails, which is pretty dope. Moreover, the fact that it comes with both sequential and bump trigger mode is a huge plus.
There’s a possibility of facing jam issues while using the joist function. You can, however, prevent this by lowering PSI of the air compressor. Another thing that I didn’t like is the absence of anti dry-fire feature, which is a bit bummer. It would be really nice to have that feature.
Depth is adjustable with the push of a button
The magazine can hold up to 60 fasteners
Includes two nosepieces
Built with magnesium
Features both single and bump action mode
3. Hitachi NR90AES1 Plastic Collated Pneumatic Framing Nailer
1910 saw the creation of Hitachi by electrical engineer Namehei Odayra. The first merchandise of the company, with which they started off the illustrious journey of becoming a leader in construction machinery, was an induction motor. They are known to maintain optimum quality as they have their reputation on the line.
Not only the NR90AES1 is exceptionally powerful, but it’s also extremely well-built and can take a beating. The coolest part is, the rigidity doesn’t come at the price of compromising portability. Weighing only 7.5 lbs, this guy is one of the lightest framing nailers out there.
Thanks to the rubber handle, the device makes for a comfortable grip and doesn’t cause hand cramps even if used for hours on end. But the thing that I loved most about the device is that this one hardly gets jammed, and you can go through thousands of nails without a jam.
Maintenance is easier on account of the new head guard design which makes the disassembling a breeze. Another feature you should enjoy is its depth adjustment dial. You can quickly adjust the depth by simply turning the dial.
Unlike other nail guns, this thing doesn’t require you to change the trigger manually for switching modes. It features a selective actuation switch which lets you seamlessly toggle between sequential mode and bump mode. Moreover, replenishment is easier than ever with the quick 2-step nail loading system.
Another thing that I liked about this nailer is that it’s extremely accurate at toe nailing on rafter and joist blocking. That said, I didn’t like the fact that it didn’t feature a rafter hook. Adding a rafter hook could be a huge improvement and make this device a perfect 10.
Features Selective actuation switch
4. Freeman PFR2190 Full-Head Pneumatic Framing Nailer
Freeman is another subsidiary of prime global Inc. The biggest advantage of their products is that despite being priced at low-range, they don’t cut corners. You can expect all the bells and whistles from their products that you normally expect of a high-end framing nailer.
So, right off the bat, this thing is built with die-cast magnesium making it surprisingly lightweight. As a result, it won’t cause fatigue when you lug it around your workplace. However, despite being lightweight, it's quite large, which may give you difficulty when working in confined places.
Shooting blank can cause significant damage to the nail gun. In order to prevent this, it includes an anti-dry feature which stops firing once the number of nails comes down to 5. Something else I’m really appreciating is that you can quickly adjust the depth of nail by simply turning the adjusting crew.
If you are someone who likes to take care of their tools, then you are bound to appreciate the included plastic carrying case. It’s good quality helps you to look after the nail gun. Regarding nails, you can drive 21 degree round headed nails from 2” to 3-1/2” in length of any brand.
As opposed to the Hitachi NR90AES1, you will have to change the triggers manually to switch the firing modes. There’s a different trigger for both bump mode and single mode. If you aren’t familiar with the bump mode, essentially you can just hold the trigger down and press the nail gun to shoot.
The thing that makes this device a bit special is the inclusion of a pair of safety glass for the protection of your precious eye balls. Just a word of caution- due to being a pneumatic framing nailer, it will require an air compressor to work. So, unless you already got one, you would need to spend some extra bucks.
Features triggers for both bump and single firing mode
Includes a pair of safety glass
Comes with a plastic carrying bag
Includes anti dry-fire feature
Adjustable depth from 2” to 3-1/2” in length
5. Dewalt DCN692B Cordless Dual Speed Nailer
If you hate dragging around compressors and fancy the idea of a hose free nailer, then the DCN692B is perfect for you. This thing provides ample value for money and is one of the best cordless framing nailers on the market. The fact that it comes from a very renowned brand called Dewalt makes it no less attractive.
What makes this thing unique is its ability to drive both clipped and round-headed nails of 30-34 degrees from 2” to 3-1/2" in length. You need to, however, keep in mind that using clipped nailed in buildings is banned in regions that are vulnerable to natural disasters.
One of my favorite features is that you can toggle between sequential and bump action just by flipping the switch on the side. Don’t sweat if you find it hard to move the switch. Firstly, it’s not a bad thing as it can prevent unintentional switching of firing modes. Secondly, it will get easier over time.
Jam clearance system is a very simple one, requiring you to loosen both screws on the nose along with the one on the base. As a result, the magazine gets released, and the jam gets cleared. Another great feature is the depth adjustment wheel, which contains 11 clicking positions for making depth adjustment easier.
Having a swiveling rafter hook is a super nice feature and can be extremely handy. In addition, there’s also a lock-off trigger to ensure safety when you are not using the device or transporting it to somewhere else.
Last but not least, Dewalt DCN692B includes an anti dry-fire feature which prevents you from shooting once the number of nails comes down to 7. One of its limitations is its weight, which can be an issue for some people as 9.1 lb is a bit excessive compared to the other competitors.
Able to shoot both full headed and clipped nails
Features anti dry-fire lockout
Can easily switch modes
Includes a swiveling rafter hook
6. BOSTITCH PN100K Impact Nailer Kit
Bostitch is one of the most common framing nailer brands, and with the features that this particular model has, it just had to be the one kicking off our list. Let’s see what the BOSTITCH PN100K Impact has to offer.
If you’re going to be using the nailer at the construction site all day long, you need to know that the nailer is something you can lift and handle without straining too much. Weighing in at just 2.9 pounds, the BOSTITCH PN100K Impact is one of the lightest framing nailers.
This top-rated framing nailer features a steel nose construction. We’re talking about hardened steel here, meaning this baby will hold out for a long time.
The action of the nose knocking against the wood might lead to premature failure of some units but with this tool’s nose being made of hardened steel, that’s not a problem to worry about.
Later in this post, you will learn just how vital maintenance is when looking to keep your framing nailer working properly. Seems like this brand is committed to helping you maintain the tool, and that’s why they included a lubricant as well as some spare O-rings.
So, you can just use the lubricant that comes with the tool before purchasing more, and by the way, that tells you what kind of lubricant works for the tool.
There’s also a free hex wrench, and this will help you open up and maintain the tool whenever there’s a need for that.
The only issue we found with this machine is the that the user manual is virtually useless. It doesn’t tell you how to make adjustments or what the extras like the wrench are for but hey, using the tool is a piece of cake.
7. PORTER-CABLE FR350B 3-1/2-Inch Full Round Framing Nailer
If you’re looking to handle large tasks with a framing gun, chances are, you will need several breathers, maybe to sit and gulp down a snack. You could also stop to reload the magazine, and when that happens, will you have to keep holding the nailer or keep it on the floor? That wouldn’t be very convenient, would it?
That’s why the unit’s rafter hook is so important. It lets you safely and conveniently hang the unit on a ladder or another object whilst not using it.
The hook is reversible, meaning you can hang the tool off the right or left side.
Weighing in at around 7.3 pounds, this nailer is heavier than the previous one but it’s still within the ‘lightweight range’. Moreover, it features an ergonomic design with a good weight balance from one end to the other.
This spreads out the weight and eases the burden while boosting the comfort. With the tool, you don’t need to strain your hand to create balance while working.
Another feature for ease of use is the over-molded grip that makes holding the nailer easy while giving you optimal control.
Safety is paramount when operating a framing nailer gun, and the PORTER-CABLE FR350B has virtually all the features you need to stay safe.
On that note, the trigger is selectable between contact mode and full sequential or restrictive mode. With the latter, there are minimal chances of the framing nailer firing unintentionally.
8. Paslode 902600 CF325 Cordless Framing Nailer
Pneumatic nailers are good for speed and power but when it comes to reaching tight/difficult spaces, you will likely find a cordless framing nailer more appropriate.
The Paslode 902600 CF325 is one of the best cordless framing nailers available for a couple of reasons. First, it is easy to use. The weight we’re talking about here is 7.5 pounds, which might not promptly come across as lightweight, but when that weight gets evenly spread out on the machine, handling becomes quite easy.
You can work with the tool for hours without getting worn out.
This nailer uses a super powerful lithium ion battery, and for that, it is able to drive thousands of nails on one charge.
And you know what is more interesting? Assuming you don’t have a spare battery and the battery you’re using dies, what do you do in a typical-case scenario? Wait for hours till the battery charges so you can get back to work, right? That means time is wasted, and you accomplish your tasks very slowly.
But, with this Paslode cordless framing nailer, you can give the battery a 2-minutes quick charge and guess what? That will give you enough juice to drive up to 200 nails. Amazing, isn’t it?
Moreover, the charge rate of the battery is up to 50 percent higher than that of other batteries.
9. Hitachi NH90AB Mini Impact Palm Nailer
If you like guns or you need something with enough power and speed while taking your safety into account, then you will love the Hitachi NH90AB Mini Impact Palm Nailer.
There are lots of things to talk about in the features category of this nailer. For instance, it features a magnetic nose, and with that, it is able to hold nails in place for nailing that is not only safe but also accurate.
There’s one issue that many people are concerned about whilst using a framing nailer – the exhaust. If this part faces towards you, then the will get blown at you during the operation and you will find yourself dodging the air and thus slowing down.
The Hitachi NH90AB solves this problem with an exhaust that faces away from you, thus bringing you to your optimal speed.
If you aren’t in a position to handle or lift heavy items, then you will want to know about the nailer’s weight. Weighing in at just 1.3 pounds, the Hitachi NH90AB is virtually the lightest framing nailer.
If you’re a contractor or a serious DIYer, you will be confronted with a variety of wood works, and it’s likely that you’ll find yourself using a range of nail sizes. Having the Hitachi NH90AB, which accepts nails sizes between 2.5 to 3.5 inches will ensure tasks are completed successfully.
10. BOSTITCH F28WW 2-inch to 3-1/2-inch Framing Nailer with Magnesium Housing
We can’t emphasize enough the importance of getting a framing nailer that guarantees maximum safety. Consider getting a framing nailer like the BOSTITCH F28WW that comes with a selectable trigger mode.
The BOSTITCH F28WW offers you the choice of setting either a bump-fire or a full sequential trigger mode.
From framing and decking to attaching wood to masonry and siding, the BOSTITCH F28WW is a highly versatile nailer that can handle it all. One of its versatility features is the adjustable depth of drive that helps you set the nails to go up to your desired depth in a.
And guess what? With the unit’s patented pushbutton, setting the depth of drive is not as hard as you’d think. With this handy pushbutton, you’re able to pull this off in a super quick and convenient manner.
There are several other benefits associated with an adjustable depth of drive. Most importantly, you will not need to adjust the pressure of the compressor.
Thus, you’ll not have to struggle with setting up two tools. When you initially set your compressor at around 90 PSI, you can forget about it and adjust the depth of drive suitably.
There are different sorts of support mechanisms for nails on the magazine, with some nailers using plastics or paper and others utilizing wires.
A wire support, like the one that the BOSTITCH F28WW uses, ensure the nails are adequately collated. Moreover, unlike with paper and plastic collators, there’s minimal jamming when wire collates the nails.
11. Valu-Air 9021C Round Head Framing Nailer
The Valu-Air 9021C presents a special design with incredible features and great longevity. Can you believe that this beast can drive 21-d full round head nails with a diameter to up to 0.148 inches and a length of 2 to 3.5 inches?
If you asked us, we’d say that’s pretty robust.
You have the option of using either plastic or wire collators, though wire is better as it offers more reliable support.
The magazine is located on the rear side, and what’s amazing about it is that it is made of aluminum, which makes it durable.
Another feature that is related to the tool’s durability is the heat-treated depth of drive. With this, the wearable internal parts are protected from impact and the damage that could come with that.
Safety is well taken care of in the Valu-Air 9021C. You can set the trigger to bump or sequential mode, with the latter helping you avoid unintended firing.
If you love comfort while working with tools, then you will love the Valu-Air 9021C’s non-slip handle, which ensures you’re not struggling to balance the tool while operating it.
We found the instructional guide to be quite useless but hey, the tool’s got a simple design and using it is not that complicated.
12. Paslode 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer
One problem that really curbed the use of the cordless framing gun was the weather – until the Paslode 905600 Cordless XP was invented. This cordless framing nailer features revolutionary engineering making it possible to nail in temperatures as low as 14 °F.
If you’re building a house and it turns out that you’ll be using lots of wood, then you’re going to use thousands of nails. Even if you’re able to shoot a thousand nails per charge with a regular framing nailer, you’ll need to recharge the battery a couple of times.
That’s okay if you have a spare battery, but what if you don’t have one?
The Paslode 905600 Cordless XP comes with a 7.4 v li-ion battery, which gives you enough juice to shoot up to 9000 nails on a single charge. Mind-blowing, isn’t it?
What’s more, you’re able to bring the battery to full charge in just 1½ hours. Again, when the battery is empty, you can get up to 200 shots with a 2-minute quick charge. Doesn’t that just make the Paslode 905600 Cordless XP one of the best battery powered framing nailers?
This gadget uses a precise nail strip collation, and what this does for you is that it reduces the misfires and jams, thus optimizing the ease of use.
13. BOSTITCH LPF21PL Framing Nailer
When you’re going to use your framing nailer all day, you need assurance that it’s not going to leave your dominant hand sore or bruised. The BOSTITCH LPF21PL is a tool that gives you such assurance with its over-molded secure grip.
This is a gas nail gun, and that means it has lots of power to drive nails; however, the air could come with contaminants that could jam the internal parts and prevent the tool from working properly.
Fortunately, there are internal air filters that prevent the contaminants from getting in, thus keeping the tool working excellently. You will seldom have to deal with jamming.
The tool’s depth of drive is adjustable, and this helps you drive the nails to precise depths. What’s more amazing is that you don’t need tools to make the adjustments as you prefer; it’s fast and convenient as pressing a button.
The BOSTITCH LPF21PL features a low-profile design with the dimensions being 5.4x12.7x22.3 inches and the weight being 9.5 pounds. These features enable you to reach tight spaces.
With this tool, you’re able to drive nails with a length of 2 to 3.25 inches, and that denotes you can use the tool for a range of applications.
14. Makita AN923 Framing Nailer
The Makita AN923 is a full round-head nailer that shoots nails with a length of 2 to 3.5 inches and a diameter of 0.113 to 0.162 inches. As these are the commonly-used measurements, the nailer is applicable for a wide assortment of applications including siding, framing, repairing roofs and floors, and more.
This pneumatic tool also comes with a built-in air filter that ensures dust and debris are kept from reaching the internal components and causing the unit to jam.
This aspect denotes that you will not have to keep opening the tool to fix it and you certainly won’t have to replace the tool any time soon because it got broken.
There’s a hook on the tool, and this feature helps you hang the tool safely on a ladder or another object while taking a breather or reloading the magazine. As the hook is retractable, it won’t get in the way of your work.
Here comes one unique and amazing feature – the sharp spurs. While nailing, these grasp the wood, making sure the shot is controlled and accurate.
The trigger has a selector that allows you to choose between 3 modes – lock, contact, and sequential.
With the first one, you’re able to stop the gun from firing, and this can be very useful when you want to take a break. The third one is also a safety measure; it makes it virtually impossible to fire a nail by accident.
15. Paslode F-350S PowerMaster Framing Nailer
When a framing nailer is able to drive both the clipped head and the round head nails, that’s when you know you’ve found the best framing nailer. That’s one of the aspects that makes the Paslode F-350S PowerMaster Plus such a great option.
The super cool features of this nailer are abundant, so we’ll just highlight the most important ones.
To start with, there’s the rafter hook. As you might have noted by now, this awesome feature helps you keep the nailer secure when taking a short break.
There’s also the aspect of the power than this heavy-duty pneumatic framing nailer has. The Paslode F-350S PowerMaster Plus operates a pressure of up to 120 PSI, and with that, it is able to deliver over 10 percent more power than most other framing nailers, meaning that no matter how hard the wood is, it’s very likely the nail will penetrate.
If you’re looking to drive nails through engineered lumber, try out this tool.
Due to its power, the Paslode F-350S PowerMaster Plus is able to drive nails that are 2 to 3.5 inches long and 0.113 to 0.131 inches think. And you know what’s even more amazing? The tool has been showed to be able to drive more than 10 nails in a second. Amazing, isn’t it?
Perhaps you’ll not drive 10 nails in a second, but at least you have the assurance that you will move pretty fast, and this is vital if you have a large project.
16. MAX SN883RH2 SuperFramer 20-Degree Strip Framing Nailer
When using a nailer, a most annoying problem you might face is that of a double fire. To counter that, the MAX SN883RH2 SuperFramer has been designed superbly with an anti-double fire feature, and with this, unintended double firing is a thing of the past.
Dust is one of the elements that cause a framing gun to jam and break prematurely. If you want to keep your tool working for a long time, consider getting the MAX SN883RH2 SuperFramer, which comes with a cap filter to keep the dust out.
If you hate doing maintenance routines for tools, you will be happy to known that this cap is maintenance free.
Using a framing nailer ensures that you move fast when driving nails into wood but that doesn’t mean that you will never have to deal with a problematic nail. Even if it occurs once in a month, you want to know that when a nail jams, you have a quick means of clearing it.
The MAX SN883RH2 SuperFramer features an open nose, and that makes sure that jam clearing is easy and super quick.
Something that we liked a lot about this nailer is the rubber grip. If you love feeling comfortable while using a framing nailer gun, you will certainly love this feature.
The only problem we noted is the not-so-sturdy plastic parts of the nailer but for the price, and the other handy features, that’s not a deal breaker.
What is framing nailer?
A framing nailer is a powered tool that you can use to drive nails into wood or other materials. Basicaliiy, it does what a hammer does, only that it helps you accomplish the task faster without requiring you to use too much elbow grease.
There are several ways in which a framing gun is powered, including through:
Unlike smaller power nailer models, which are meant for precision nailing, a framing nailer is designed for speed.
What To Look Before Buying Framing Nailer?
Wouldn’t it be a lot easier to pick the best framing nail gun, if you were given a comprehensive guide on the feature you should look for? Surely it would.
Well, complying with your wish, here I have listed the things that you need to take into account before you make a purchase.
When it comes to weight, the general rule is; always go for the lighter ones, unless you plan to do weight lifting with them.
An extra pound or two can feel like a lot when you are carrying that piece of the machine all day long and or lifting it up for doing overhead nailings. Wouldn’t all that be a bit easier if your device weighs only a few pounds?
Now the material used to build the machine is very important and generally determines how heavy it is. In simple words, the lighter the material used, the more lightweight the framing nailer will be.
The best material, in this case, would be magnesium as it’s one of the lightest elements in the world.
The rule of thumb, in this case, is that the smaller, the better.
For a bulkier nail gun will limit your options and may not allow you to work in smaller spaces.
Therefore, keep an eye on the size of the machine while you are deciding whether it’s worth your money or not.
When you fire a nail gun with no nails inside the magazine, it’s called a dry fire.
Dry fire may cause damage to your work and device.
To prevent this from happening, makers incorporate an anti dry-fire feature to stop the nailer from shooting when there’s no nail left in the magazine.
Thus, for the sake of your framing nailer, you’d do well to purchase a nail gun that includes an anti dry-fire mechanism.
Sometimes you may need to continually adjust the depth depending upon the thickness of your work.
Depth adjustment feature allows you to control how far the nail sinks into the wood.
So, keep in mind to check for the depth adjustment feature when you are conducting your pick.
Firing Modes Control
There are two types of action modes; one is bump mode which is meant to increase productivity, while the other one is the sequential mode, which prioritizes safety.
You need to be careful with the bump mode, for example, while climbing down the ladder if you accidentally press the nose to your leg or hip, it will shoot.
So, unless you are short on time or very experienced, don’t use the bump mode.
How to Use a Framing Nailer?
In today’s DIY world, framing nailers are some of the most essential tools. These tools help you build a home or repair your wood projects quickly, but before you start shooting those nails, there are certain instructions to learn and follow keenly. In this section, we’ll discuss how to use a framing nailer correctly and safely.
Watch this video to know more about how to use this tool.
Some of the things you will need:
Steps to follow:
1. Ensure your safety
A framing nailer is a kind of gun, and as we all can agree, guns are not the safest objects. Especially if you’re just getting started with nail guns, you need to be extra vigilant while using a framing gun.
Put on protective gear including a hard hat and safety glasses. Also, ensure there are no kids or pets playing around your work space. And if there are grown ups there, it’s essential that they too put on a hard hat; just in case a nail slips and flies in their direction.
Whenever you’re taking a rest or not using the machine for whatever reason, be sure to disengage the power supply and engage the safety.
2. Choose a firing method
There are two types of firing that you can utilize: bump firing and trigger firing. Let’s see what each of these has to offer.
(A). Bump firing
With this one, a nail is fired every time the nozzle is compressed. With bump firing, you can work very fast but you will have less control over the firing function. Why? What if you accidentally push the nozzle against the wrong place? A nail goes where you don’t want it to go.
Again, there are safety concerns with this firing method – if the gun is accidentally dropped, that might lead to a nail getting fired, and assuming it hit someone or something, that’s not a desirable outcome.
(B). Trigger firing
There’s a trigger like the one guns have, and when you pull it, the nailer shoots a nail. The good thing about this is that you have more control over the shooting function so it’s unlikely you will drive a nail into the wrong place.
Again, unlike with bump firing, there are minimal chances of a nail getting fired when the nailer drops accidentally. That is why this kind of firing is considered safer.
Toenailing is basically the technique of driving nails diagonally to join two pieces of wood that meet at an angle of 90 degrees. This method is vital in creating frames and here’s how to do it:
4. Do some through nailing
Depending on the kind of framing you’re doing, you might have two join two studs aligned side by side. Here’s what to do:
Line up the studs side by side.
Shoot a nail from one side of the studs, this time at angle of 90 degrees. Do the same on the other side to make the connection sturdy.
Types of Framing Nailers
There are various ways of categorizing framing nail guns including:
Pneumatic and cordless nail guns are the two main types of nailers. Each of them has their own advantages and disadvantages. Below we are going to go through them quickly.
Pneumatic Nail Gun
There’s no point for guessing how this one operates. It’s pretty obvious from the name that this thing works on compressed air from a compressor.
What that means is that along with a nail gun, you’ll also have to buy an air compressor. As even the best pneumatic framing nailer is markedly cheaper than the cordless ones, it pretty much balances out the extra money spent on the compressor.
One of the biggest advantages of the pneumatic nailers is that they are lighter and hence more portable than their counterparts, which might tip the scale in their favor for some people.
Cordless Nail Gun
Cordless nail guns are perfect for people who don’t like being attached to a hose all the time.
You might be wondering if it isn’t powered by an air compressor, then how does it work.
Well, a cordless framing nailer usually operates on the combination of battery and fuel cartridges to drive the nail.
The only issue I have with these fantastic nailers is that they are usually heavier and pricier than the pneumatic framing nailers.
Types of Nails
Clipped head nailers: These support nails with a kind of trimmed/clipped head. The benefit of these nailers is that they can load up to 30% more nails than round-head nailers. However, the government restricts the use of clipped head nails in some areas so be sure to find out if they’re allowed in your area before buying a clipped head nailer.
Some folks are concerned about the effectiveness of the clipped nails in supporting structures but research has showed these nails to be as strong and effective as the full round head nails. Understand that the effectiveness of the nail depends on the shaft; it has nothing to do with the head.
Full round head – nailers meant for driving full round head nails. Because of the size of the head and the collation used, full round head nailers cannot load as many nails as clipped head nailers.
Recommendation: get a framing nail gun that offers you the option of using either a full round head nailer or clipped head nailer. A good example is Paslode F-350S PowerMaster Framing Nailer, which is in the review above.
Type of firing
There are 3 main types of firing:
- 1Bump firing – this is where the nailers fires when the nozzle is pushed. Bump firing nailers are the most efficient at nailing but they’re a bit risky. On that note, if the nailer falls and the nozzle gets pushed accidentally, then an unintended shot will be fired.
- 2Trigger firing – trigger firing nailers still fast though not as fast as the bump firing ones. However, they’re a little safer.
- 3Sequential firing – nailers that use this form of firing are the safest. There are very slim chances of a shot getting fired by accident as you have to engage both the nozzle and trigger to fire.
Recommendation: get a framing nailer that offers you a selectable mode for firing so you can switch between the three based on the situation.
Type of magazine storage
Under this, there are two types of nailers – coil-style and strip-style.
Strip-style – the nails are lined up on a long stick or strip sliding into an oblong-like magazine. These nails are help together by wire, plastic or paper strips. A strip-style framing nailer has more balance than a coil-style nailer as the nails’ weight gets distributed over the tool instead of getting concentrated in a roll.
Coil-style – the nails are held together by use of wires, and a long nail magazine holds the nails in a coil-like fashion. Although the weight of the nails is not distributed on these nailers as on the strip-style models, the design of the coil-style nailers allows you to load more nails.
That means you won’t have to reload a coil-style nailer as often as you’d reload a strip-style nailer.
Moreover, as the magazine doesn’t take up too much space, the nailer can fit into spaces that a strip-style model can’t.
Best Framing Nailer Brands on The Market
Stanley Bostitch is an American company owned by the parent company Stanley Black & Decker. The firm is one of the most well-known producers and sellers of fasteners and fastening tools in the US, with a range of products including riveters, staplers, glue guns, nails, screws, and framing nailers.
Though the Stanley Bostitch brand began selling framing nailers and other tradesman’s tools only a few years ago (in 2013), it has quickly gained favor among DIYers due to the excellent value it offers.
If you want to buy from a brand that has been around long enough to have all the experience required for producing premier tradesman’s tools, then you ought to consider Paslode.
Paslode has been around for almost a century now. For the entire time, professional contractors as well as DIY enthusiasts have relied on their products to achieve superior efficiency and get great results in their projects.
Did you know?
Paslode was among the pioneers of the fuel powered cordless tools.
Thus, if you want a really nice cordless framing nailer, get one from Paslode; it’s unlikely that you will get disappointed.
Many of you might have heard of Hitachi. This is a prominent Japanese multinational company with numerous subsidiaries all over the world. It also ventures into more than ten business fields but the one we’re interested in here is the segment that focuses on construction machinery and more specifically, framing nailers – the Hitachi Power Tools U.S.A.
This branch of the Hitachi Group was started in 1980, and for the few decades that it’s been around, it has risen into one of the most trusted makers and sellers of power tools, especially the hitachi cordless framing nailer and the hitachi pneumatic nailer.
Makita is yet another old player, having been around for over a century. Initially, Makita was a small company that sold electric motors but today, it’s one of the biggest power tool brands with operations in over 40 countries.
This brand has achieved quite a lot in the industry; for example, it was the first company to introduce the 7.2V cordless drill.
Over the years, the brand has improved its cordless as well as pneumatic products tremendously.
If you need the best framing nail gun, you can never go wrong with a Makita pneumatic nail gun or a Makita cordless framing nailer.
How to Maintenance and Take Care of Your Framing Nailer for Longevity
The framing nail gun is a great tool and having it in your DIY tools collection will go a long way in enabling you to accomplish various tasks especially those that include making or repairing furniture. This tool unnecessitates having to use a hammer and wasting all that energy, and it helps you accomplish tasks quickly.
Sadly, like any other tool, the framing gun is prone to wearing and degradation over time especially when used or stored improperly. On the brighter side, there are several maintenance measures you can utilize to keep your framing nailer going for a long time. Here are the most important among these:
1. Checking for loose areas
There are several bolts and screws on your framing gun, holding various parts together. If these get loose or come off, your tool might lose efficiency, or even fall apart during use one of these days.
To prevent that from happening, we recommend you check the gun’s bolts and screws at least every month. Be sure to tighten all the ones that seem to have gotten loose.
If you use the tool daily, understand that the vibrations running through the tool are quite significant, and that this increases the chances of the fasteners coming off. So, if you use the nailer daily, it’d be more prudent to check on the fasteners at least once each week.
After purchasing the nailer, it is likely for many people to open the box and use the tool right away. But that’s not the right approach. Realize that during shipment, some of the nuts and screws might have gotten loose; checking them first is essential.
Most powered machine need oil to keep working properly, and framing nailers are not an exception. You see, when parts run against rub against each other, they create friction, and without oil acting as a cushion between them, the efficiency of these parts reduces, and the parts also wear quickly.
To keep your framing nailer working properly, you have got to oil it on a regular basis, preferably before use. Luckily, oiling the tool is a no-brainer. Here’s what to do:
Safety tip: ensure the power is disengaged and the safety is engaged while applying the oil. You don’t want to accidentally fire a nail into your body.
3. Cleaning the feed system
This is especially important if your framing nailer is a pneumatic model. Dirt and debris can be attracted into the feed system, and when that happens, the gun can get jammed and firing can become a problem.
One way of solving the situation would be to point a compressed can of air at the feed system and spray to get rid of the dirt and debris.
Alternatively, you can remove the dirt from the system using a rag.
Tip: avoid using oil on the feed system as the dirt might get attracted to the oil and hold onto it firmly, making cleaning very difficult.
Misfiring and jamming are some other annoying problems that result from neglecting your duty to maintain the framing tool as required. If you want to avoid such issues, be sure to utilize the maintenance tactics we’ve outlined above.
Pneumatic Vs Cordless Nailers: What's the Best Choice?
Even though it has a hose running down from it, a pneumatic nailer might be a few pounds less heavy than a similar battery-powered cordless nailer. Part of the reason for the cordless model’s increased weight is the weight of the battery but there’s also the aspect of the design.
But you shouldn’t just look at the weight when considering the ergonomics.
With a pneumatic model, you have to drag around a cable and you might trip over it sometimes and perhaps make an accidental shot.
A cordless model might have more weight than a pneumatic nail gun. But, with a cordless model, you’re not dragging around a cable or tripping over it. And as you’re not having to drag a cable, you can work more flexibly, often reaching heights and other areas that a pneumatic model can’t reach because of the limitation from the cable and the air compressor.
Pneumatic nailers are often less expensive than their cordless counterparts. While the price of a pneumatic nailer may be listed at 50 bucks, that of a similar cordless model might be as much as 150 dollars. That is thrice the price of a pneumatic model!
But wait a minute. Remember, none of these models powers itself. After accounting for the power, you might find that the cordless model needs a 200-dollar battery to run efficiently. That sums up to 350 bucks.
For the pneumatic tool to work, throw in a good rolair compressor going for around 250. Get some fitting and hoses as well, totaling to around 100 bucks. Adding the costs, including the 50 bucks you used to buy the tool, you get 400 dollars.
That makes the pneumatic tool 50 bucks more expensive than the cordless version.
So, looking at it superficially, the cordless model might appear more expensive but when you do the match more deeply, you might find that it’s actually the less expensive option.
But remember, there are plenty of brands and models out there, so it might be a bit tricky to determine which of the two types of tools is less expensive.
Working with any framing gun will likely create noise as the nails dig into the wood. However, the level of noise you have to put up with while using a pneumatic nailer is more than the one you will endure while using a cordless unit. Why? The air compressor.
A pneumatic model gets power from an air compressor that might create lots of noise while running. A cordless nailer, on the other hand, derives power from a battery, and as we all know, batteries don’t make noise while discharging power (at least not anything that the human ear can hear).
4. Run time
Now this is where you really feel the difference between a pneumatic and a cordless model, especially if you’re using your framing nailer for large tasks.
A cordless model runs on a battery, and judging from the fact that batteries are both lightweight and compact, you will likely have more than one battery.
The battery-powered nailer will run until the battery is out of power, and in most cases, that won’t happen until you have made at least 400 shots. Some batteries will have enough power for more than 1500 shots.
If you keep one battery charged, you ensure that once the one you’re using runs out of power, your work will get interrupted for only about a minute as you change the battery and connect the other to the charger.
In contrast, a pneumatic nailer runs on an air compressor, and you’re able to shoot nails until the air runs out. If you have a huge air compressor, you’ll likely not have to worry about running out of power but then, you will have used lots of cash to get such a compressor.
On the other hand, if you’re using a compact air compressor, you could end up waiting for more than 15 minutes as the tank refills each time it runs out of air.
Earlier, we mentioned that the pneumatic nailers are better than the cordless models when it comes to speed, and do you know why? Well, it’s because the pneumatic units shoot the nail as soon as you pull the trigger. Many cordless models, however, have to spin up before shooting the nail.
Though a few brands like Hitachi have designed their cordless models to shoot immediately after pulling the trigger, there have been reports of overheating.
Keep in mind that performance is also about the tool not getting jammed and certainly not firing incorrectly. For the sake of that, consider maintaining your framing nailer gun as explained in the section above.
In a nutshell, the cordless model is an almost maintenance free nailer while the pneumatic framing nailer needs lots of maintenance. Let’s dig deeper.
As opposed to an electric nailer, a pneumatic nailer comes with hoses and fittings and on the tool, there are many components tied together. That means your maintaining tasks will be plenty if you’re to keep the tool working properly. Your routine tasks will be to make sure that:
With the cordless model, all you need to do is ensure that the batteries are charged.
Before using the pneumatic nailer, there are a couple of things you have to set up. You have to turn on the air compressor and set the correct pressure based on your needs and you also need to connect the hose between the compressor and the gun.
And that’s not all. As you will see in the instructional menu, there are a few setups you will need to do to prevent the air from leaking.
As for the cordless nailer, you only have to attach the battery and start nailing.
While it could take up to 30 minutes to setup a pneumatic nailer and start using it, the cordless nailer’s setup barely takes 30 seconds.
Apart from that, when you’re done nailing with a pneumatic nailer, there are a few steps you have to take to prevent corrosion. The air in the hose needs to be drained and the condensation water from the tank also needs to go. That will take a few minutes to pull off.
As for the cordless nailer, you just turn off the power and that’s it.
Advantages of Using Framing Nailers
There are several ways in which you can connect wood pieces to each other. You can use a hammer, a screw gun, a strap, or you can use a framing nail gun. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but if you asked us, we’d tell you to use a framing nail gun.
Here are some of the reasons:
1. Ease of operation
Ever used a hammer to drive nails into wood? How many nails did you drive in each round before getting tired and taking a rest? 10? 15? What if we told you that with a powered framing nailer, you can drive 50 nails without feeling as tired as you would driving 5 nails with a hammer?
If the project is lengthy and you will need to drive plenty of nails, consider using a framing gun. What you can accomplish in a week using a hammer can be accomplished in a day using a framing nailer.
Sometimes when you try hammering a nail into wood, the nail gets crooked and you have to pull it out and straighten it out or use a different nail.
This is not only time wasting but also quite annoying, and it’s a problem that you will very rarely face when using a framing nailer.
2. Safety for your fingers
If you’re experienced at using a framing nailer and you take the necessary precautions, you will almost never hurt your fingers while driving nails into wood. It’s hard to tell the same story if you’re using a hammer. Even for an experienced hammer operator, striking one’s fingers with the hammer once in a while is almost inevitable.
Missing the head of the nail and landing that hammer on your fingers hurts, doesn’t it?
Nonetheless, you need to be careful while using a powered framing nailer because if you’re not and the gun shoots into your hand, the experience will be very painful and you will likely need medical attention.
Ever seen hammers broken at the neck and wondered how such robust objects broke? Well, it’s true that hammers are robust but due to the process of smacking against nails and getting pulled on in an attempt to extract crooked nails, they gradually grow weak.
A framing nail gun is still as sturdy as a hammer but it’s not manipulated as hammer is, and therefore, it’s able to maintain its strength. With the right maintenance, a framing nailer will last longer than a hammer.
4. Cost effectiveness
There are plenty of ways in which a framing nailer is more effective than traditional methods of joining pieces of wood. Here are a few:
Magazine Types: Stick or Coil?
Framing guns can be categorized according to the kind of magazine thay have. There are two main types of magazines -stick and coil. Let’s see what each of these is about.
This is a long row-like magazine that arranges the nails evenly on the nailer. It uses paper strips, thin wires or plastics to hold the nails together.
Because of the arrangement utilized, a stick magazine cannot load very many nails and if you have a huge nailing task, you will have to stop many times to reload the gun with nails.
However, as you’re not carrying very many nails at a go, you will not feel very tired lifting and using a framing nailer that uses this kind of magazine.
Again, as the nails are distributed evenly over the body of the nailer, the nailer has better balance, making it easy and comfortable to use the tool.
This is a magazine that arranges the nails in rolls, and due to this arrangement, very many nails can be loaded at a time. In this magazine, wires are used to hold the nails together.
If you have a huge nailing project, you will find a coil magazine more appropriate as it takes away the need to stop and reload the gun. Less time is wasted and more work is accomplished.
But there are issues with this magazine that you need to know about.
First, you know there are many nails and what does that mean? The weight of the machine is significantly increased, and you’ll likely have soreness on your hands once the task is complete.
Furthermore, due to the fact that the weight of the nails is not evenly distributed over the tool, balancing the tool is not a piece of cake. This reduces the ease of use.
Safety Issues You Need to Know When Working With a Framing Nailer
According to data from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission , there were approximately 45092 reported cases of nail gun injuries in the US between 2009 and 2013.
This might not seem like a big figure, but we believe that if DIYers and construction workers were more careful while using framing nail guns the stats could go down tremendously.
Most of the framing nailer injuries involve the hands, thighs, legs, and feet, so it makes sense to pay attention to these areas. Let’s examine a few steps that you can take to protect yourself against framing nailer injuries.
1. Choose the correct trigger system
The trigger for the gun to fire nails plays a huge role in safety. There are two trigger systems to choose from – the contact trigger and the full sequential trigger.
With the contact trigger, the nailer fires as soon as a single action is taken, perhaps pulling the trigger or pushing the nozzle.
There’s significant risk with just one of these contacts. For instance, when the nailer falls and the nozzle is pushed, it might fire and injure someone if that was the trigger. Again, if the trigger is accidentally pulled, then the gun might shoot and injure someone.
With the full sequential trigger, the nailer only shoots when both of these scenarios take place: the trigger is pulled and the nozzle is pushed.
What is the probability of both triggers getting engaged at the same time? Um, let’s see – almost zero!
So, for the sake of safety, try using the full sequential trigger, especially when there are other people in the place you’re working from. It’s also wise to have a new inexperienced worker or DIYer use this mechanism till they’re experienced enough to use a contact trigger mechanism.
Will this mechanism slow you down? Yes, by around 10% so if you were to accomplish the task in an hour, you might end up using an hour and six minutes.
2. Offer/get some training
If you’re new to using framing nailers, ensure you get some training from an experienced professional; ask them everything you need to know particularly about working safely.
On the other hand, if you’re an experienced framing nailer operator, and you’re looking to bring someone into the business, be sure to offer them all the training they need. Here are some general topics to focus on:
Additionally, there are some specific topics you will need to cover including these:
3. Follow procedures for using the framing nailer safely. Here are some of these procedures:
When you first receive the nailer, go through the manual and ensure you understand the manufacturer’s instructions for setup and use.
Have the user manual on hand while using the nailer just in case you need to refer to it for something.
Check if the tool is working properly before using it. Especially check the nuts and screws and ensure they’re tight as they should be.
Check the wood for nails, knots, straps, and other problems that could lead to ricocheting of nails.
While nailing, ensure you’re the other hand (not the one you’re using to hold the tool) is at least 12 inches away from the spot of nail insertion. Actually, if it is possible, use clamps instead of your hand to support the wood.
Make sure you’re shooting away from people and certainly away from yourself.
Be sure to engage the safety and disengage the power when you’re not using the nailer even if you’re taking a 5-minutes rest, clearing a problematic nail or getting something from downstairs.
5. Use safety gear while working with a framing nailer. These include:
Whether you’re a DIYer or a professional, these are some of the most important safety strategies to use while working with a framing nailer. Observing them will go a long way towards ensuring your safety and that of those in the working area.
If you’re an employee at a construction site and you happen to have a framing gun injury, be sure to report if no matter how minor it is.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
There must be questions lurking inside the back of your mind. Don’t worry; they are going to be answered. Here we’ll look at some of the most frequently asked questions on the internet.
1. Is the size of the nails important?
Many people know that the size of the nails you use when joining lumber is important but they don’t take it seriously. Realize that if you use nails that are too long or too fat, the wood might just split. Again, if the nails are too short or too thin, the connection might be very weak.
2. What nail size should I use for interior wall framing?
For interior wall framing, the most common size of nails is 3.5 inches in length and 0.162 inches in diameter. This nail is also known as a 16-penny or a 16-d.
3. How do framing nailers work?
Framing nailers use power shoot nails into wood. The power they use can be derived from an air compressor (for pneumatic/air-powered models) or a battery (for cordless units).
Pneumatic nailers use compressed air from an air compressor to work as a propellant for firing nails. On the other hand, the cordless generate hammering force from the combination of battery and fuel cartridge.
4. What’s the size of a 6d, 8d, 12d, and 16d nail?
A 6d nail is the least among these nails, with a length of 2 inches. 8d and 12d nails measure (in length) 2.5 inches and 3.25 inches respectively. The 16d nail is the longest in the list, with a length of 3.5 inches. But of course, there are nails that are longer than 3.5 inches.
5. How much air pressure do you need for a framing nailer?
It depends on the model and size of your framing nailer. However, the required air pressure for the nail gun usually ranges between 100-130 PSI.
6. Do you have to have a compressor for a nail gun?
Only pneumatic nail guns require an air compressor.
Having read my framing nailer reviews, finding the best nail gun for nailing should be an easy task for you. The steps are simple.
Read the buying guide. Go through the reviews again.
See if any of these match your requirements. If it does, well you know what you ought to do.