Best Framing Nailers in 2020 – Reviews and Comparison Guide
When building a new house or remodeling your house, you might come into unpleasant contact with your hammerhead while pounding nails. The pain is excruciating, and at times, you might find yourself unable to continue with the process. Such setbacks can eat into your time a lot. One of the best tools that can help you to avoid these unpleasant encounters is a framing nailer. If you cannot stand hammering nails, then finding the best framing nailer is an excellent idea.
The main reason why we have prepared this buying guide is to help you in getting the best product. Today the market is saturated with hundreds of models that claim to offer you with the best results.
When you think of it, getting a framing nailer seems very easy. However, when you decide to visit your local store or purchase the product online, you are likely to get confused because of the number of models available. This article aims at giving you crucial information that will help you to make an informed decision when it comes to the framing nailer that will fit your demands.
BOSTITCH LPF21PL Framing Nailer
DEWALT D51855 Framing Nailer
Hitachi NR65AK2(S) Fastening Strip Nailer
PORTER-CABLE FR350B Framing Nailer
Metabo HPT NR90AES1 21 Degree Pneumatic Framing Nailer
DEWALT DCN692B 20V Max Cordless 30° Paper Collated Framing Nailer
NuMax SFR2190 Pneumatic 21 Degree 3-1/2" Full Round Head Framing Nailer
Ridgid R350RHE Round Head Framing Nailer
Complete CN565Z ProGrade Coil Nailer
Makita AN923 Framing nailer
Freeman PFR2190 Pneumatic 21 Degree 3-1/2" Full Round Head Framing Nailer
- 1 What is a framing nailer?
- 2 Top Best Framing Nailer Reviews
- 2.1 1. BOSTITCH LPF21PL 21 Degree 3-1/4-Inch Low Profile Framing Nailer
- 2.2 2. DEWALT D51855 Coil Framing Nailer 1-1/2-Inch To 3-1/2-Inch
- 2.3 3. Hitachi NR65AK2(S) 2-1/2-Inch Strap-Tite Fastening System Strip Nailer
- 2.4 4. PORTER-CABLE FR350B Framing Nailer
- 2.5 5. Metabo HPT NR90AES1 21 Degree Pneumatic Framing Nailer
- 2.6 6. Ridgid R350RHE 3-1/2-Inch Round Head Framing Nailer
- 2.7 7. NuMax SFR2190 Pneumatic 21 Degree 3-1/2" Full Round Head Framing Nailer
- 2.8 8. Complete CN565Z ProGrade 0° Siding Coil Nailer
- 2.9 9. Makita AN923 Framing nailer
- 2.10 10. DEWALT DCN692B 20V Max Cordless 30° Paper Collated Framing Nailer
- 2.11 11. Freeman PFR2190 Pneumatic 21 Degree 3-1/2" Full Round Head Framing Nailer
- 3 Major Consideration before buying
- 4 Final Thoughts
What is a framing nailer?
A framing nailer also referred as a framing nail gun is a special airgun that is designed to make the work of the carpenter easier by removing the need of hammer.
The nailers are quick to use and will minimize the risk of the carpenter hurting himself while using a hammer.
Top Best Framing Nailer Reviews
Whether you are an avid DIYer, a professional woodworker or you are in another profession that you find yourself spending a lot of time driving nails with a hammer, it is the high time you consider getting a framing nailer. Getting the best framing nailer, will not only save you time but also help you to preserve your energy?
Today we are going to recommend the best framing nail guns available on the market. Go through each of these best framing nailer reviews for you to find a model that will meet your needs perfectly.
1. BOSTITCH LPF21PL 21 Degree 3-1/4-Inch Low Profile Framing Nailer
If you are looking for the best nailer to work in tight spaces then, BOSTITCH LPF21PL Framing Nailer may be a perfect choice. This is a small, lightweight tool but is very powerful for doing all types of projects.
Another reason why most people prefer this tool is that it comes with tool free adjustment features that ensure the best work quality for the lowest price available. This is an excellent choice especially if you are shopping for a finish nailer. Its compact head and lightweight design allow you to reach any tight space with ease.
What makes BOSTITCH LPF21PL 21 Nailer unique?
Low profile design
A bulky nailer is not only hard to use in tight spaces but makes your hands feel fatigued very easily. This model comes with a small head that allows you to reach the toughest corner. Additionally, this framing nailer is lightweight allowing you to work for many hours without your hands getting fatigued quickly.
No need for extra tools
Another reason why you might consider purchasing this model is that does not need any adjustment tools. You just need to adjust the nailing mode between sequential and bumping firing modes depending on what you are working on. Whenever you want to attach the extra tools, you do not need any extra tool.
This model also comes with an air filter that will reduce the chances of getting the tool clogged. The air filter will also prevent the debris and dust from flying keeping you safe.
- Lightweight design.
- A sleek low profile design.
- A molded rubber grip for better control.
- Comes with a hanging hook.
- It doesn’t come with a case.
2. DEWALT D51855 Coil Framing Nailer 1-1/2-Inch To 3-1/2-Inch
Whether all you are doing is erecting the dog house or constructing the supporting framework of an actual building, you can count on the D51855's suitability on all fronts. The nailer's extensive functionality is not unrelated to the components that will be examined shortly.
And the nail gun's minimized air consumption is perhaps its most noteworthy characteristic. At an air consumption rate that is 20% lesser than that of many other pneumatic framing nailers, it can supply more driving power. This is a feature that sets it ahead of other nailers of its kind.
Standing at 10 pounds, this nail gun accepts nails whose lengths fall between 1 - 1/2 inches to 3 - 1/2 inches. Its high capacity magazine can hold between 200 and 300 nails at once, thus eliminating the monotonous drudgery of incessantly pausing work to reload.
Another factor that spurs the need to stop work and reload a nail gun, apart from the exhaustion of the nail within it, is the necessity to fill the gun with nails of a different size. But that problem doesn't suffice when you use this framing nailer.
You can quickly load nails of various sizes before work begins and switch between them while working, with the push of a button.
Also, the nailer's durable, air-powered nail-driving mechanism ensures nails can sufficiently penetrate the thickness of several materials ranging from the usual framing lumber to the engineered lumber.
The nailer's powerful nail delivery is further enhanced by a piston-catch that provides an equal amount of force in every shot fired. You wouldn't have to return to specific areas with your hammer because the nails were not driven into the surface firmly.
With the DeWalt Framing Nailer, nailing is done once and for all. Like many other framing nailers, you can adjust the nail drive depth of the DeWalt D51855, but in its case, the setting can be executed without the aid of any extra tool. It's merely the dream nailer of every handyman.
- Button for switching between nails of different sizes
- Piston-catch for an equal amount of power behind every shot
- Relatively low air consumption
- Solid rubber handle for excellent grip
- A detachable nail tray that allows easy loading of nails
- You can switch easily between nails of different sizes while working
- It offers minimal recoil
- When it jams, it takes a while to get it back up
- Its weight might cause your arm to tire after use for an extended period
3. Hitachi NR65AK2(S) 2-1/2-Inch Strap-Tite Fastening System Strip Nailer
Hitachi NR65AK2 is an air powered framing nail gun that comes with a variety of features making it easy to use.
This model is manufactured with the user’s interests in mind making it comfortable and easy to use. This is evidenced by the no-slip elastomeric grip that will fit in your hand perfectly.
What makes Hitachi NR65AK2 unique?
Although the unit does not come with a carrying case, this model is made with several protective features that keep it from wear and tear damage. These features include a carbon steel toenail that enhances precision and a hardened claw tip that will protect the nose of the gun.
Great depth adjustment controls
Some framing nail guns models do not come with a depth adjustment controls. Even if they do, the adjustment requires the user to use a special tool to do the adjustments. However, with this tool, you can make the adjustments by just using your hands. No separate tools are needed.
This unit has a weight of 5.7 lbs and an ergonomic design that makes it well balanced. This makes easy to use for extended periods.
- Lightweight and compact design.
- Solid construction.
- Does not require tools to make adjustments.
- Come with several safety features that keep both the machine and user safe.
- Does not have a carrying case.
4. PORTER-CABLE FR350B Framing Nailer
The PORTER-CABLE FR350B framing nailer is a good mid priced model that is not only easy to use but will also get the job done without taking too much of your remodeling budget.
The model comes with excellent features that boost its precision while remaining comfortable in your hand. If you are looking for a solid tool to use in your remodeling work, then this might be a good choice.
What makes PORTER-CABLE FR350B Nailer Special?
One of the features that can make any power tool difficult to use is an uncomfortable handle. This unit comes with an over-molded grip that absorbs the shocks while providing you with a firm grip.
Unlike other models that have the ability to drive a 2-inch nail, this model will help you to drive nails up to 3.5 inches. This means you can use it in simple and demanding framing applications with ease.
Trigger and impact drive modes
This model also comes with selectable trigger and impact drive modes that will help you in completing difficult tasks efficiently. Besides these features, this it comes with a tool-free adjustable depth of drive that will help you to set the nail heads properly. Additionally, the selectable trigger has a trigger lockout that allows for restrictive as well as contact actuation mode.
- Durable and comfortable.
- Easy and hassle-free.
- Highly effective.
- Very comfortable.
- No air exhaust adjustment.
5. Metabo HPT NR90AES1 21 Degree Pneumatic Framing Nailer
Metabo, a sub-brand of Hitachi, already owns the users' trust by their next-generation industrial designed products. And the Metabo HPT NR90AES1 is just another feather on their cap.
What Makes Metabo HPT NR90AES1 Special?
Unique Head-Guard Design
Metabo is renowned for industrial standard designed tools. And the Metabo HPT NR90AES1 is just another proof of that.
This unique head design allows the user to do quicker disassembly for easier maintenance.
Selective Actuation Switch
The framing nailer features a selective actuation switch for a quick transition between bump actuation and sequential nailing. You can do this task only by flipping a simple switch. Isn’t it easy?
This nailer accepts a wide range of plastic collated framing nails. The perfect nail size of this nailer lies between 2 inches to 3.5 inches.
It weighs only 7.5 lbs. Thus, the users can keep this nailer well-balanced for a long time without using much fatigue.
Besides being a lightweight product, this Metabo HPT NR90AES1 also has a rubberized grip. It ensures a secure and comfortable grip.
Tool-Less Depth Adjustment
Metabo HPT allows the user to adjust the firing depth without changing the air pressure of the valve.
- Unique design
- Selective actuation switch
- Easy depth adjustment
- Rubber grip
- Accepts plastic nails only
- Aiming is quite tricky
6. Ridgid R350RHE 3-1/2-Inch Round Head Framing Nailer
To make the unit durable and lightweight at the same time, Ridgid R350RHE model comes with magnesium housing.
This makes it lighter than other models on the market while offering the user with a service they can depend on for many years to come. This is a great choice for homeowners who are looking for speed and power on a budget.
What makes Ridgid R350RHE special?
This unit comes with an improved design, which is 22 percent more compact and 16 percent lighter than its predecessor is. Its full strike drive system will also give you maximum power output in a compact size.
Another great feature that comes with this model is the powerful motor that has the ability to drive up to 3.5 inches nails with ease. Additionally, this model has an improved rear loading magazine system that has a bypass pusher that allows for a quick two-step reloading. This will save you a lot of time and energy while reloading your unit.
As previously mentioned this model comes with magnesium housing, which is not only lightweight but also very durable. This housing will not only prevent quick wear and tear but also ensure that the unit will provide you with a service you can depend on for many years to come. Additionally, there is the dry-fire lockout feature that prevents empty drives while preserving the life of the tool.
- Powerful motor.
- Compact design.
- Easy and hassle free adjustments.
- Over-molded handle for enhanced comfort.
- Lightweight magnesium housing.
- Clip holder tends to come loose.
7. NuMax SFR2190 Pneumatic 21 Degree 3-1/2" Full Round Head Framing Nailer
The NuMax SFR2190 is a standard framing nailer for your in-house DIY projects. You can work on wall framing, wood fencing, subfloors, and roof decking with this nailer.
What Makes NuMax SFR2190 Special?
The NuMax SFR2190 comes with an adjustable depth feature. It allows you to adjust the depth-of-drive by using the dial.
The built-in jam clearing mechanism of NuMax SFR2190 works too well. It doesn’t encounter any jamming issue even after firing 500 nails.
However, you can easily remove the jam by using a simple latch on the back.
Empty Magazine Warning
This nailer won’t work if you have less than four nails in the magazine. It’s a great feature to save your wooden surface free from empty pounding.
No-Mar tip is an excellent choice to save your work-piece from divots made by a nail gun. So, you will get a comparatively smoother surface.
Adjustable Air Exhaust
Facing the exhausted air directly on your face is an operational hazard. Fortunately, you don’t need to face that if you use NuMax SFR2190. This tool features an adjustable 360-degree air exhaust to keep your face free from air.
However, you can also use it to clear dust from your workplace.
- Adjustable air exhaust
- Dust cap available
- Depth-adjusting mechanism
- Versatile and powerful
- No-mar tip
- Quite heavier
- Fires plastic collated nails only
8. Complete CN565Z ProGrade 0° Siding Coil Nailer
Sometimes it's not the roof that needs fixing; you could need to construct a siding, which also serves as a protective feature for a building. It is built with the wall as padding to create an ambient temperature within the building. A decent nailer designed specially to fix this feature is the ProGrade Siding Coil Nailer.
It is structured to be used with plastic collated zero-degree coil nails ranging from 1 - 1/4 inches to 2 - 1/2 inches. You need not worry about reloading the nails at short intervals because this nailer's magazine holds a whooping sum of three hundred nails!
If you thought the tool's magazine capacity was worthy of awe, wait till you discover the next feature on our list. The nailer fires nails at the pull of a bump trigger and releases as many as 6-7 nails per second. Impressive, right? It goes without saying.
The features above of the ProGrade Nailer are accompanied by a knob that allows you to adjust the depth of the nails while considering the materials' thickness. This means the fear of damaging a material alongside that of having loose joints is removed.
Several factors endear the ProGrade nail gun to its users but none more than its versatility. It can efficiently and satisfactorily complete tasks in cement siding, sheathing, soffit, and even fencing. You can correctly consider this nailer as a jack of several trades and a master of all.
- Packs a magazine with a capacity of 300 nails
- Flexible handle and belt hook for secure handling
- Bump fire trigger for rapid firing
- Knob for the adjustment of the depth of driven nails
- It has a high nail capacity
- Can perform an extensive range of tasks including framing, decking, and fencing
- The nails it was designed for are pretty pricey
9. Makita AN923 Framing nailer
Makita is one of the popular power tool manufacturers that have been in the production of framing nailers for quite some time now.
This manufacturer is known to produce high-quality tools at a reasonable price. The Makita AN923 Framing nailer is another high-performing product from the manufacturer that is designed to fire nails from two to 3.5 inch sequentially or on contact with a flip of a switch.
What makes Makita AN923 special?
Large capacity air chamber
This pneumatic framing nailer comes with a larger capacity air chamber that offers more power nails ranging from a length of 2 to 3.5 inches. The increased power means that the tool will fire more nails in a minute making it a great choice for individuals who are looking for a model to use in large remodeling projects.
The main advantage of selecting a lightweight framing nailer is that you can keep using it for longer without your hands becoming tired. The compact and lightweight design makes this product easy to use when trimming, making furniture, doing cabinet work and much more.
Great for the interior and exterior finish
This model also comes with advanced features that make it ideal for multiple types of works. Some of the features that make this model a great pick includes the built-in filters. It minimizes the dust and debris from entering the tool.
The tool-less depth adjustment that is specially designed for the more precise flush as well as countersink nailing. In addition, this model comes with a Retractable hook that allows you to keep the tool close but never in the way.
- Adjustable firing depth.
- Easy to reset after a jam.
- No-mar tip protects material surface.
- Very comfortable.
- Anti-dust cap keeps debris out.
- A bit more expensive.
10. DEWALT DCN692B 20V Max Cordless 30° Paper Collated Framing Nailer
If you are looking for a framing nailer equipped with the latest technology, the Dewalt DCN692B might be a good choice for you. With a highly powerful motor and the latest technology, this Dewalt nailer becomes one of the best cordless framing nailers.
What Makes the Dewalt DCN692B Special?
Dual Speed Brushless Motor
If you want to distinguish this Dewalt DCN692B from the other framing nailers, then the dual-speed brushless motor will stand in first. This motor increases the effectiveness and runtime of this nailer. It also enables you to get sufficient control over the nail depth.
Dewalt DCN692B is a battery-powered tool. So, it’s time to say goodbye to air compressors, hoses, and even the gas cartridges.
Now you can bring your nailer anywhere you want. And the 55 magazine capacity is good enough for the moderate DIY projects.
Easier Jam Releasing Technology
This Dewalt nailer is equipped with the latest jam releasing technology.
You can access the jammed nails by opening the nose piece cover. And you can open this cover easily by using the “Allen Key.” It requires only a few seconds to remove the jam.
By the way, there are very few incidents of this tool getting jammed. So, there’s nothing to worry about the jamming issue.
You can drive nails both in bump and sequentially with this Dewalt DCN692B framing nailer. There is a button to change the nailing mode. This tool-free actuation makes this tool more efficient.
- Dual speed motor
- Dry fire lockout
- Both sequential and bump modes
- Tool-free depth adjustment
- Cannot drive all branded nails
- Not as powerful as the pneumatic ones
11. Freeman PFR2190 Pneumatic 21 Degree 3-1/2" Full Round Head Framing Nailer
Freeman is a name of trust in the DIYer community. Since 2008 this company produced hundreds of tools for DIY lovers.
The Freeman Tools are well known for manufacturing reliable tools within a limited budget. Today we are representing a popular Freeman nailer, which is Freeman PFR2190 Full Round Head Framing Nailer.
What Makes Freeman PFR2190 Special?
Freeman PFR2190 comes with rust-free anodized aluminum magazine and cylinder. This anodized magazine makes this tool pitch-perfect as a powerful nailer.
Materials like Magnesium is used in tools where lightness is of major significance. And the body of this nailer is made of Magnesium, which allows the user to work for a longer period. Thus, you can work more with less sweating.
This air-powered tool is highly versatile in your workplace. PFR2190 is compatible with 10-12 gauge 21-degrees framing nails ranging from 2" to 3.5".
Further, there is a dual-mode trigger, which allows you to choose both sequential or bump actuation firing.
Nobody wants to work in a filthy environment. But you can get rid of that issue by using this Freeman nailer. This nailer features an adjustable 360-degree air exhaust to keep your workplace clean.
It will also change the air route, and thus you can save your face from the air.
Freeman PFR2190 stops firing when it has 3 or 5 nails. This feature helps reduce the internal damaging of your nailer.
- Anodized aluminum magazine
- Lightweight Magnesium body
- Adjustable air exhaust facility
- Multiple firing modes
- Accurate firing
- Quite louder
- Tough to balance
Major Consideration before buying
You should consider some factors when selecting the best framing nailer. You can either decide to go for a cordless or pneumatic nail gun but this will depend on your specific needs. The cordless nailers use either fuel or battery to power them while the pneumatic nail gun is powered by an air compressor. The following factors will help you to select the best framing nail gun.
1. Weight and comfort
This is probably the most crucial factor you need to consider when selecting a framing nailer. A finish nailer that weighs less will not only be easy to work with but also allow you to work for longer since your hands will not get fatigued faster. Selecting lightweight framing nailers will also allow you to work on ceilings and other high areas. Additionally, selecting a light nailer will make it easy to transport to your job site. Comfort is also very important.
A model that comes with a comfortable handle will boost the efficiency of the user. You will not also get fatigued quickly allowing you to tackle a larger area. On the other hand, a comfortable nailer will enhance your safety as it provides you with better grip, which is very helpful for easy maneuvering.
Generally, comfortable and lightweight tools are great, as they feel nimble especially if you have to deal with overhead work as well as other tasks that require you to use the tool for many hours.
2. Coil or Stick
Another crucial consideration is the type of the stick. Generally framing nailers comes in two stick types. One of the types is the coil stick while the other is a straight stick. The main difference between the coil stick and the straight one is that the coil stick will hold more nails than the straight one.
The framing nail gun also comes with two different magazine types. These includes stick magazine and coil magazine. A model with stick magazine usually has a straight magazine where the nails are placed on plastic or paper collation. As previously mentioned this type of magazine will hold fewer nails making the nailer ideal for lightweight duties.
Therefore, if you are looking for an inexpensive model for home use, a nailer with a stick magazine will be ideal for you. On the other hand, a coil nailer has the nails collation together with wire. This feature allows the nails to detach more easily, making this type of nailer effective for heavy application.
3. The power source
When choosing the best framing nailers, you have to choose between two options when it comes to the power source. This is the cordless models, which are powered by fuel or battery, and the pneumatic types, which use compressed air.
The cordless model is great for individuals that are looking for a nailer that provides portability and versatility. This means you can work on hard to reach areas with ease. On the other hand, using the best pneumatic framing gun will be more cost effective especially when tackling a large project.
They are more powerful and can be used to drive long nails through tough materials easily. Additionally, these are heavy-duty tools and can be used for a very long time without overheating.
The main cons of these nailers are that they cannot be used as finish nailers as they usually work with longer nails. This means that you cannot use them to work on delicate materials.
4. Extra features
To make it easier for you to operate the framing nailer, the model you select should come with various special features that will enhance the overall productivity. Some of the crucial features that you should ensure that your model has to include Depth adjustment, swiveling air connectors as well as quick jam clearance.
The depth adjustment feature will help you when selecting the depth that you will want to drive your nails. This feature is also useful, especially when handling woods that have varying thickness. Additionally, the quick jam clearance tool is crucial for helping you to clear the jam. This feature will save you a lot of frustration and time.
5. The brand
We cannot dispute that there are many entry products from less known brands that are doing well. However, most of the less known brands have a reputation of constructing weaker products that fall apart soon after you start using them.
On the other hand, the trusted brands tend to keep their word and continue producing high-quality products that are not only effective but also durable.
One of the best ways of finding a reliable nailer is to look at the customer reviews. This will let you know how the product performs and how it feels in your hand.
Some customer feedback will also tell you whether the product is worth the price. Some of the trusted brands is Dewalt, which has been in the production of power tools for more than three decades.
Selecting Dewalt framing nailer is a great idea if you are looking for a model to give you a service you can depend on for many years to come.
6. Design and safety
Another crucial consideration is the design of the nailer. The best framing nailer should come with a compact design to make it easy to maneuver even in tight spaces. Another benefit of selecting a compact framing nailer is that it is easy to store.
This model will fit in your tool cabinet easily, meaning that you do not have to look for any other storage space. On the other hand, you need to consider the safety. Ensure that the product comes with protective guides as they help in shielding you from any frying debris.
Ensure that you look at the safety features that come with your product before making your selection.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I use a framing nailer for larger projects?
Yes, you can. Framing nailers are perfect for massive construction. From your housing structure to the larger decks, these nailers work well everywhere.
2. How can I maintain my pneumatic nailer?
Maintaining the pneumatic one isn't a big deal. Disassemble the entire tool once in a month and clean every part of your machine.
Regular cleaning will prevent overheating and also remove the blockages of nail heads and magazines. Thus, you will get flawless performance from your machine.
3. Can I reduce the noise of my nailer?
Sadly, it's not possible. You cannot reduce your nailers' noise. If you don't like the sound, you may choose a nailer that generates a comparatively lower sound.
4. What is the difference between a finish nailer and a framing nailer?
Finish nailers are mainly used for smaller construction. You can use it for making lower cabinets, windows molding, ceiling cradling, etc.
On the other hand, framing nailer is suitable for heavy construction. For example, it's perfect for framing a building, joining the beams, making decks, or attaching planks.
5. Pneumatic vs. cordless nailer: which one should I use?
You can use both of these for any substantial construction. Choosing one among these solely depends on your preference.
If you are on a tight budget, the pneumatic nailer is the right choice. Comparatively, the cordless nailers will cost you more than the pneumatic ones.
On the contrary, if you prefer the portability, the cordless nailer is the only solution for you.
Choosing a framing nailer isn't a piece of cake. Thousands of nailer is available in the market right now, which makes the selection process more complicated.
However, if you understand the basics of a nailer, you can easily choose the right product. And you know, using a framing nailer is a better solution than framing nails with a hammer.
I hope this list of best framing nailer has successfully eliminated all of your confusions before choosing the best framing nailer for your particular needs. All of these tools reviewed above are good enough for any hobbyist or professional nailer.
Choose your tool today, and keep nailing!