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Best Framing Nailers – Types, How To Choose Best One – Rxharun

Best Framing Nailers – Types, How To Choose Best One

Best Framing Nailers/Looking for the best framing nailers? Well, you have come to the right place. Like many other prospective shoppers or curious individuals, you want to know which products are the best in the current market. Or maybe you are new to the whole nailing thingy and would like some insights on what makes a nail gun for framing desirable. After reading this review, not only will you know which is the best but will also be more confident to go out there and get yourself an excellent product. So without further ado, let’s begin the countdown.

List Of The Best Framing Nailers 

10 Freeman PFR2190 21-Degree Full-Head Framing Nailer

Since childhood, I have seen and used many framing nailing guns from the Freeman brand. A gun that I’ve recently grown fond of is the PFR2190 21-degree nailer. I like the full head that makes inserting nails easier and safer. It’s also straightforward to adjust to accommodate different nail sizes and to suit varied projects. In addition to nailing frames, I’ve also used this accessory to install siding, wall sheathing, pallet building, sub-floors, fencing, as well as for wood box assembly.

Freeman PFR2190 Pneumatic 21 Degree 3-1/2' Framing Nailer with Case
691 Reviews
Freeman PFR2190 Pneumatic 21 Degree 3-1/2" Framing Nailer with Case
  • Construction Applications: Designed for framing, subfloors, roof decking, pallet and shipping crate assembly, and wood fencing
  • Compatible Nails: 21 degree plastic collated full round head framing nails from 2" – 3-1/2" L and 0.113" – 0.131" diameter
  • Durable and Lightweight: Magnesium body and one piece drive blade of hardened steel result in a rugged tool great for long shifts
  • Anodized Aluminum Magazine and Cylinder: Prevents rust and corrosion for long lasting durability
  • Anti-Dry-Fire Mechanism: Prevents empty fires and reduces damage to internal components
  • Dual Mode Trigger: Fast and easy to switch between single sequential firing for precision or bump firing for speed
  • Tool-Free Depth Adjust: Simply turn the depth adjustment wheel by hand to change the driving depth of nails and staples for various projects and materials
  • No Mar Safety Tip: Prevents damage to working surfaces for a professional finish, remove for aggressive teeth and precision toe nailing
  • 360 Degree Adjustable Exhaust: Allows user to direct air away from face
  • Included: Blow molded storage case

Reasons To Buy This

  • Interchangeable triggers for contact or/and single firing
  • Adjustable depth for added versatility
  • Anti-dry fire mechanism for ensuring the gun works even when only 5 nails are left in the magazine
  • Plastic carrying case for improved carrying and convenience

DEWALT DC618K XRP 18-Volt Cordless

We all know that DEWALT is a force to reckon with when it comes to the best framing nailers. They have many nice units on the market. However, the DC618K XRP is one of their best. The nailer feels very light on the hand, and this makes using very easy and straightforward. I like the ergonomic design that ensures you don’t get tired even after using it continuously or from awkward positions. Other reasons I picked it are the responsive trigger, impact resistance, and fast operation.

DEWALT DC618K XRP 18-Volt Cordless 1-1/4 Inch - 2-1/2 Inch 16 Gauge 20 Degree Angled Finish Nailer Kit
282 Reviews
DEWALT DC618K XRP 18-Volt Cordless 1-1/4 Inch - 2-1/2 Inch 16 Gauge 20 Degree Angled Finish Nailer Kit
  • Engine design allows the tool to work as fast as the end user with consistent nail penetration into both soft and hard joints
  • Sequential operating mode allows for precision placement and the bump operating mode provides the user with production speed.
  • Easy access to the nosepiece for the removal of jammed nails without the use of screwdrivers or tool wrenches
  • Contact Trip Lock-Off allows trigger to be disabled when not in use. 20-degree angled magazine (up to 120 nail capacity) and will accept DEWALT and most other 20-degree angled finish nails
  • Integrated LED lights for long life and durability; Top cap is impact resistant and easy to remove for troubleshooting

Reasons To Buy This

  • Superior Engine design for fast operation
  • Sequential operating mode for precision placement
  • Bump operating mode for improved productivity
  • Easy access nosepiece for easier and convenient removal of jammed nails
  • Contact Trip Lock-Off for disabling the unit when not in use

Hitachi NR90AE(S) 3-1-2-Inch Full-Head Framing Strip

I won’t miss my words saying that the NR90AE(S) is one of the best framing nailers on the market. If you know nailers well, you will agree with me that the Hitachi brand is king. This unit is my favorite from the manufacturer and what I like most about it is the ergonomic design that makes handling pretty easy. All it takes to transition from contact to sequential nailing is the simple flip of a switch. This nailer can take a lot of punishment without the performance degrading thanks to the good quality.

Hitachi NR90AE(S) 3-1/2-Inch Full-Head Framing Strip (Discontinued by manufacturer)
268 Reviews
Hitachi NR90AE(S) 3-1/2-Inch Full-Head Framing Strip (Discontinued by manufacturer)
  • Hitachi Power Tools has renamed to Metabo HPT. Same great tools, with only a new name.
  • Equipped with a non-slip elastomer grip trigger. Ergonomically designed simple flip actuation switch allows for quick transitions between sequential and contact nailing.
  • Hardened claw tip reduces wear on the nose and minimizes slippage when toe-nailing
  • Two-piece anodized aluminum magazine makes repairs or replacements easy and with minimal expense
  • Lightweight at 7.5 lbs and well-balanced for ease of maneuverability and less user fatigue
  • Tool-less depth adjustment dial allows the user to countersink or flush drive nails into a variety of materials without having to adjust the pressure at the compressor

Reasons To Buy This

  • Non-slip Elastomer trigger for a firm and comfortable grip
  • Simple flip switch for fast transitioning from contact to sequential nailing and vice versa
  • Hardened claw tip for resisting wear and slippage
  • The two-piece anodized aluminum magazine for easy replacement and repair

NuMax SFN64 Straight Finish Nailer 16 Gauge

This happens to be my partner’s favorite piece. Occasionally, you will find me using it when my Freeman P4FRFNCB is not within reach. Though it may look smaller than other options, it packs quite a punch. It can easily deliver nails as long as 2 1 / 2-inches with ease. It also doesn’t get jammed easily, and in case it does, all you do is rely on the effective Quick-jam release. It’s a good choice for both interior and exterior and is fit for finishing, cabinetwork, crown molding, furniture, window casing, baseboards, and chair rail molding.

NuMax SFN64 Pneumatic 16-Gauge 2-1/2' Straight Finish Nailer Ergonomic and Lightweight Nail Gun with Tool-Free Depth Adjust and No Mar Tip
2,380 Reviews
NuMax SFN64 Pneumatic 16-Gauge 2-1/2" Straight Finish Nailer Ergonomic and Lightweight Nail Gun with Tool-Free Depth Adjust and No Mar Tip
  • Nailed It: This pneumatic 16-gauge straight finish nailer features a lightweight and durable aluminum body, and an ergonomic comfort grip handle. A no mar tip prevents dents and dings, and the quick jam release lets you easily clear jams without taking the nailer apart.
  • Many Uses: This finish nail gun is great for interior and exterior finish and trim, furniture, cabinet work, staircases, base boards, shoe and crown moulding, window casing, and chair rail moulding. Sequential firing and tool-free depth adjust allow you to customize for any project.
  • The Right Tool for the Job: We're committed to providing outstanding value, top tier customer service and long lasting, high quality products. We make nailers and staplers for every purpose, from roofing to siding to flooring and everything in between.
  • Tough and Dependable: We make an array of durable construction tools and accessories, including staplers and nailers for siding, flooring, framing, finish, and roofing. Compare our products to similar items by Makita, Hitachi, Bostitch, Senco, Paslode, and Dewalt.

Reasons To Buy This

  • 16-gauge for driving 1 to 2 1/2 -inch nails
  • Quick-jam release for clearing nail jams fast and easily
  • Adjustable depth for added versatility
  • Lightweight aluminum design for improved handling and durability

Hitachi NT65MA4 1-1-4 Inch To 2-1-2 Inch 15-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer With Air Duster

I haven’t used this nailer from Hitachi many times. But the few times I’ve used it have justified it being on this review. It has one of the simplest and easiest mechanism for clearing nail jams, and quickest transitions from contact to sequential nailing. I like the tool-less nature and simple flip switch that save time and effort. The NT65MA4 also scores highly for ergonomics, fast operation, and noise level.

Hitachi NT65MA4 1-1/4 Inch to 2-1/2 Inch 15-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer with Air Duster
508 Reviews
Hitachi NT65MA4 1-1/4 Inch to 2-1/2 Inch 15-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer with Air Duster
  • Hitachi Power Tools has renamed to Metabo HPT. Same great tools, with only a new name.
  • Integrated air duster can be used to clear away dust and debris from the work surface in preparation for nailing or gluing
  • Tool less, easy to clear nose for quick nail extraction should a nail jam during use
  • Selective actuation switch allows for either sequential or contact nailing with a simple flip of the switch no tools or parts required
  • Tool less depth of drive dial adjusts for flush fastening into varying materials for improved control and a professional finish
  • 360 degree fully adjustable exhaust portal directs air exhaust away from the user or work piece
  • At only 4.2 pounds, this finish nailer minimizes user fatigue, while increasing maneuverability
  • 34 degree magazine angle allows the user to reach into corners or tight spaces with ease
  • No mar tip protects the work surface from damage and can be removed if not needed
  • Rubber grip adds comfort and a secure hold

Reasons To Buy This

  • Selective actuation switches for choosing contact or sequential nailing
  • Fully adjustable 360-degree exhaust portal for directing air exhaust away from work or user
  • 4.2-lbs weight to reduce fatigue and enhance maneuverability
  • 34-degree magazine angle for reach spaces and corners
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BOSTITCH F21PL Round Head 1-1-2-Inch To 3-1-2-Inch Framing Nailer

Rarely will you come across a review on the best Bostitch framing nailers that don’t feature the F21PL nailer? Since its launch into the market, this item has continued to attract many people, both novices and professionals. It has one of the most accurate mechanisms that lead to a high-quality finish. It’s also very lightweight and ergonomically designed, and this improves usage, control, and storage.

BOSTITCH Framing Nailer, Round Head, 1-1/2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch, Pneumatic (F21PL)
1,225 Reviews
BOSTITCH Framing Nailer, Round Head, 1-1/2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch, Pneumatic (F21PL)
  • Two nailers in one: includes two quick change nosepieces to convert tool to either framing or metal connector applications
  • Patented push button adjustable depth guide of the framing nailer gun sets nails to desired depths
  • Lightweight magnesium design for durability
  • Adjustable rafter hook allows users to hang tool on rafters and joists
  • Drives plastic collated 1-1/2-inch and 2-1/2-inch metal connector nails (.131-inch - .148-inch diameter)
  • 1 1/2 inch to 3 1/2 inch framing nailer; 1,050 inch pounds of driving power; sequential and bump trigger
  • 2 nailers in one: includes two quick change nosepieces, converts to framing or metal connector applications
  • Lightweight magnesium housing; integrated rubber skid pads; rubber grip
  • Includes 1 framing nailer
  • 14 1/4 by 20 1/2 inches; 8.1 pounds; 7 year limited warranty

Reasons To Buy This

  • Magnesium housing for reliability and durability
  • Compact and Lightweight for improved handling
  • Integrated rubber pads for preventing slippage
  • 2 quick-change nosepieces for easy transitioning from sequential to contact and vice versa
  • Rubber grip for a firm hold

DEWALT DWFP12231 Pneumatic 18-Gauge 2-Inch Brad Nailer Kit

It’s effortless to come across the DWFP12231. It’s loved by both beginners and seasoned woodworkers, carpenters, hobbyists, and other people. The simple-looking pneumatic bailer can easily drive 2-inch long nails and will keep up with this performance even under demanding situations. The trigger has a good response and leads to flawless finish or framing. And thanks to the maintenance-free motor, you will spend lesser time servicing the unit.

DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit, 18GA, 2-Inch (DWFP12231)
3,343 Reviews
DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit, 18GA, 2-Inch (DWFP12231)
  • Long life maintenance-free motor to keep from staining the work surface
  • Tool-free depth-of-drive adjustment with detents for proper setting of nail heads
  • Tool-free jam release mechanism for easy nail removal
  • Rear exhaust to keep contaminates away from work
  • Drives 18 gauge nails from 5/8 in. to 2 in. length
  • Adjustable belt hook allows the tool to be kept near the user
  • Kit includes: carrying case, and owners manual
  • Removable non-marring nose tip with on tool storage
  • Integrated rubber grip for improved comfort
  • Sequential style trigger

Reasons To Buy This

  • Maintenance-free motor for long life and reduced operation cost
  • The tool-free jam release mechanism for quick and easy nail removal
  • Rear exhaust portal for directing contaminates away from you and the work
  • High power for driving 5/8 to 2- inch nails

WEN 61720 3-4-Inch To 2-Inch 18-Gauge Brad Nailer

Before purchasing the Freeman P4FRFNCB Framing/Finishing Angle nailer, this was my favorite piece. However, it has been through a lot and is almost on its final days. The nailer has served me extremely well and still works like a champion other than the frequent jamming because of aging. Firing 3 /4 to 2 –inch nails feels like inserting them in butter. It also has a responsive trigger that never misses the target. I have loved its lightweight, ergonomic design, and sturdy housing from the word go.

DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit, 18GA, 2-Inch (DWFP12231)
3,343 Reviews
DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit, 18GA, 2-Inch (DWFP12231)
  • Long life maintenance-free motor to keep from staining the work surface
  • Tool-free depth-of-drive adjustment with detents for proper setting of nail heads
  • Tool-free jam release mechanism for easy nail removal
  • Rear exhaust to keep contaminates away from work
  • Drives 18 gauge nails from 5/8 in. to 2 in. length
  • Adjustable belt hook allows the tool to be kept near the user
  • Kit includes: carrying case, and owners manual
  • Removable non-marring nose tip with on tool storage
  • Integrated rubber grip for improved comfort
  • Sequential style trigger

Reasons To Buy This

  • Aluminum body construction for reliability and long life
  • 3-pound weight for lightness, improved maneuverability, and easy carrying
  • Rubber-grip handles for improved support and maximum comfort
  • Operating pressure of 60 -100 PSI
  • Magazine with a holding capacity of 100 brads
  • Quick-release for convenient and easy clearing of jam

NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer

I usually use this framing nailer when helping my sibling with his wood projects. And although it looks fundamental, this item delivers impressive results. The 21-degree nailer will fire nails as long as 3 1 /2-inches long. It will continue firing even when there are only 5 nails in the magazine. This allows you to finish your project faster and also minimizes unnecessary delays. The nailer supports both single and sequential firing and can easily be adjusted to suit various operations.

NuMax SFR2190 Pneumatic 21 Degree 3-1/2' Full Round Head Framing Nailer Ergonomic and Lightweight Nail Gun with Tool-Free Depth Adjust and No Mar Tip
5,807 Reviews
NuMax SFR2190 Pneumatic 21 Degree 3-1/2" Full Round Head Framing Nailer Ergonomic and Lightweight Nail Gun with Tool-Free Depth Adjust and No Mar Tip
  • Nailed It: This 21 degree pneumatic framing nailer features a lightweight and durable magnesium body, ergonomic secure handle, and interchangeable trigger for quick fire or single shot function. It's ideal for professional construction contractors and home DIY projects.
  • Versatile and Powerful: The framing nailer features depth adjustment and a no mar tip, making it adaptable for different working surfaces. It's perfect for framing, and it can also be used to install subfloors, roof decking, wood fencing, and sheathing.Minimum Recommended Air Delivery SCFM @ 90PSI:2.4
  • The Right Tool for the Job: We're committed to providing outstanding value, top tier customer service and long lasting, high quality products. We make nailers and staplers for every purpose, from roofing to siding to flooring and everything in between.
  • Quality and Durability: We manufacture tools with the most durable materials under strict quality control guidelines, suitable for professional contractors and do-it-yourselfers alike. Our tools are sold, distributed, serviced, and warrantied in the USA.
  • Tough and Dependable: We make an array of durable construction tools and accessories, including staplers and nailers for siding, flooring, framing, finish, and roofing. Compare our products to similar items by Makita, Hitachi, Bostitch, Senco, Paslode, and Dewalt.

Reasons To Buy This

  • The dual-mode trigger for improved sequential and single firing
  • Depth adjust for supporting varied applications and minimizing damage
  • 21- Degree for supporting 2 to 3-1/2 inch plastic collated round head
  • An anti-dry mechanism for firing with 5 nails in the magazine

Freeman P4FRFNCB 4 Piece Framing-Finishing Combo Kit

I bought the P4FRFNCB finish nailer as the replacement for my aging WEN 61720 18-Gauge Brad Nailer. And to tell you the truth, it deserves the first slot on the top 10 best framing nailers in 2019 review. It is convenient and makes inserting nails very easy. The good ergonomics together with nice weight and dimensions make nailing a breeze. I usually nail continuously and never seem to get tired. Once done or when I need to move with it, I insert it in the includes handy carry bag.

Amazon Best Seller
Freeman P4FRFNCB 4 Piece Framing/Finishing Combo Kit with Canvas Bag and 1000 2-Inch by 15 Gauge Angle Finish Nails
1,442 Reviews
Freeman P4FRFNCB 4 Piece Framing/Finishing Combo Kit with Canvas Bag and 1000 2-Inch by 15 Gauge Angle Finish Nails
  • Bundle includes Freeman P4FRFNCB Framing/Finishing Combo Kit with Canvas Bag, 4-Piece and Freeman AF1534-2 2-Inch by 15 Gauge Angle Finish Nail, 1000 Per Box
  • PFR2190- 21 Degree Full Head Framing Nailer, uses 20-22 Degree Round Head plastic collated framing nails ranging 2" to 3-1/2" in length
  • PFN1564- 15 Gauge 34° Angle Finish Nailer, uses 34 Degree Angle Finish Nails ranging 1-1/4" to 2-1/2" in length
  • PBR32Q- 18 Gauge 1-1/4" brad nailer with quick release nose, uses 18 gauge brads ranging 5/8" to 2" in length
  • PST9032Q- 18 Gauge 1-1/4" Narrow Crown Stapler with quick release nose, uses 18 gauge 1/4" narrow crown staples ranging 1/2" to 1-5/8" in length
  • Includes a canvas carrying bag

Reasons To Buy This

  • Canvas Bag for portability and convenience
  • 21 Degree Full Head for maximum productivity
  • Quick-release nose for fast performance
  • Narrow Crown Stapler for reaching tight spots and corners
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FRAMING NAILER BUYING GUIDE

Those days are gone when carpenters or contractors use a hammer and a bunch of nails to accomplish their tasks of framing, sheathing, decking, remodeling houses, or other heavy-duty jobs by spending a ton of time and labor. Nowadays it is clear to all of us that the advantages of using an automatic framing nailer far outweighing the uses of manual hammers.

Framing Nailer already proved itself as a productive and error-free tool. Not limited, the flexibility, swiftness, and responsiveness of robot-like framing nailers is an ideal tool to reduce the risk of work-related incidents, improve job satisfaction, and maximize contractors’ profit.

Consider the outperforming advantages we appear here to provide a detailed guideline on how to choose the best framing nailer for your project.

WHAT IS A FRAMING NAILER?

In the meanwhile, we already got an idea about the definition of a framing nailer. However, for better understanding here we quote the definition from Wikipedia.

“A nail gun, nailgun or nailer is a type of tool used to drive nails into wood or some other kind of material. It is usually driven by compressed air (pneumatic), electromagnetism, highly flammable gases such as butane or propane, or, for powder-actuated tools, a small explosive charge. Nail guns have in many ways replaced hammers as tools of choice among builders.

WHEN SHOULD YOU USE A FRAMING NAILER?

Framing Nail gun is a handy device that you can use in a wide range of heavy-duty as well as smaller woodworks or construction projects like as follows –

  • Deck Building
  • Installing Hardwood Subfloors
  • Applying Roof Shingle
  • Sheathing
  • Wood Fencing
  • Assembling Furniture
  • Installing of Cabinet
  • Pallet and Crate Manufacturing
  • Room Additions
  • Framing Houses
  • Remodeling Houses
  • Wooden Siding and suitable for projects involving plaster where typical hammers can cause plaster to loosen and crack

TYPES OF FRAMING NAILER

It is essential to know the types of nail guns to select the best device match with your purpose, especially if you are fresh in this line. Framing nailer can be classified in different ways, but the most common types of framing nailers available on the market are

  • Pneumatic Framing Nailer – Because of versatility and heavy-duty performance, pneumatic types are the most popular nail gun among contractors. The engineering term ‘Pneumatic’ means to achieve mechanical motion by applying compressed air or inert gases. In the case of the pneumatic nailer, the air compressor turns a piston which then drives a nail with high pressure to fasten two pieces of material.
    Hence, to generate the hammering force in a pneumatic framing nailer, you need a separate machine. That means, if you want to use a pneumatic nail gun, you had to have an air compressor or if not then have to buy it independently.
    However, you need to be careful during the purchase of an air compressor for framing nailer as different guns required a different rate of air-pressure to run. They rated as PSI – pounds per square inch and CMF – cubic feet per minute, which needs to be equal or more than the requirements of a nail gun.
    While a pneumatic nailer can be powerful and capable of heavy-duty tasks, simplicity in design and control, reliable and safe, the compressor and air hose limit the mobility.
  • Cordless Framing Nailer – A cordless framing nail gun, powered by battery-fueled offers more prominent movability than a pneumatic model since it doesn’t require an air blower or a hose. So, people who have no compressor or do not like to be attached with a hosepipe all the time, a cordless framing nailer is for those.
    You may wonder that without compressor how it runs. In fact, the principle is the same, instead of a compressor, compression occurred by fuel combustion. Fuel discharged from a disposable gas cartridge into the chamber. A battery provides an electric spark to ignite the fuel. The resulting explosive force drives a nail into the wood.
    There is another version of cordless found in the industry which is entirely powered by a battery, no fuel cell. This type of nailer use 18V or 20V Lithium-Ion battery to drive the motor.
    Though the model has a quick start-up time, however, doesn’t have the equal intensity of a pneumatic nailer.
  • Electric Framing Nailer – Electric nailer is operated by a rotating electric motor which gradually compresses a spring to store energy and suddenly releases it. However, this sort of nailer made to perform a small scale of works like brads or staples. Electric framing nail guns are corded – need mains to power means limited mobility. Plus point is you will require no compressor, no fuel-cartridge or battery to charge it.

NAIL GUN TYPE

PROS

CONS

Pneumatic

Design for heavy-duty works, Powerful, simple design, and control, reliable and safe,
deliver a consistent amount of force each time,
fewer parts mean less chance of break or wear-out

Air hose mess, slow start-up, a bit louder, requires an air compressor

Cordless

Faster, Quieter, Cordless – higher mobility,
convenient to work in tight space, (modern battery-powered nailers are powerful too)

Expensive,
Required charging batteries

Electric

Inexpensive, compact and light,
no issue with charging the battery or carrying a compressor

Only suitable for the small scale of works

Once you decide to get a pneumatic framing nailer or a cordless one, yet you have to consider a few more factors to choose the best framing nailer.

WHAT FEATURES SHOULD YOU CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A FRAMING NAILER?

Power

  • The power source is an important aspect that everyone needs to consider before purchase a framing nailer. Because the cost of operation and convenience largely depends on that. Like if you choose air framing nailer, you will get heavy-duty performance, but you have to manage or buy an air compressor additionally which involves in making some initial investment.
  • On the other hand, if you choose battery operated nail gun, you will get convenient operation in tight place but have to buy fuel cartridge (if run by fuel combustion) and or charge the battery in a specified interval. We enthusiastically discuss the pros and cons of each framing nailer in our review part to backing you to pick the right one according to your project nature.

Weight and Handling

  • Once you have decided pneumatic or cordless, the next most significant aspect is the mass of the tools. It is essential because lift-up a 4 or 5 kg nailer for a single time will not feel so heavy, but when you have to hold it for a long time even a whole day or when you are going to do some overhead framing works, this small amount of load may seem like a burden.
  • Rolling of the time, engineers’ continually applies different innovative ideas on each tool and equipment that we use in our daily life, framing nailer is no exception. For the comfort of work the manufacturers design the handle of nailer ergonomically and cover with a soft rubber grip that reduces the effect of mass and allows you to work a long time without fatigue.
  • Another excellent creativity that happened on modern framing nailers is the use of lightweight build materials without compromising performance. Magnesium is the lightest engineering metal in the earth’s crust with a density of 1.73g.cm-3. Recently many companies are starting to use magnesium as the build material of the body of nail guns to make it lighter and sturdy. The NuMax SFR2190 which holds the first position in our framing nailer reviews is used magnesium to construct it.

Therefore, for the proper completion of your project, it is necessary to check the quality and weight of the framing nailer that you are going to purchase. It is okay if it constructed with magnesium, or similarly lightweight and durable metal.

Size

  • When weight indicated the mass of a product, size stands for the volume it occupied. For the sake of job nature sometimes you may need to work in a confined space and sometimes not. Hence, it is essential to check the size of the nailer before purchase along with its weight.
  • Generally, pneumatic nailer occupies bigger space as they required to connect a hosepipe to drive nails. So, to work in a narrow space cordless option is better. However, the cordless nail gun is not as powerful and heavy-duty as a pneumatic one. Then the other option that comes in mind is the coil framing nailer which is compact in size and can hold more nails to serve you continuous shooting for a long time. You can check Bostitch N89C-1 for the best coil nail gun in our review part.
  • If you already decided to have a pneumatic one and at the same time want to work in tight space, then you can go for a low profile nailer too. An excellent example in this category is Bostitch LPF21PL low profile framing nailer, which you can check in our reviews.

Types of Triggers

A trigger in framing a nailer is not only required to choose the actuation mode but also it is an essential safety component. Generally, there are two main types of triggers found in framing nail guns: sequential trigger and contact trigger.

  • i) Sequential Trigger –is also known as a single-shot trigger or restrictive trigger or trigger fire mode. In this mode, a framing nailer drives a nail when the safety contact tip depressed against the material, then presses the index finger trigger to release a nail. This method usually used when precision is required. It is also the safest mode as it fire nails when the controls are active in a specific order. However, a certain skill is necessary to operate the nail gun in this mode safely.
  • ii) Contact Trigger – is also known as bump trigger, multi-shot trigger, successive trigger, dual-action, touch tip, contact tip, and bottom fire. In this mode, the nail gun drives a nail as soon as the contact tip touches wood or materials. This mode is appropriate for those who need speedy nailing rather than precision. However, this is not a safe way as accidentally a nail can shot out in any direction which causes serious wounds.
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BUYING TIPS

Most of the modern nail gun equipped with a dual-mode selector switch which helps you to change the mode as per your job requirement. However, it is advisable that you not use bump mode if you are short in time or very experienced.

During framing nailer review, we found Makita AN923 nailer offers three-mode selector switch instead of dual – contact, sequential, and lock mode for more control over the trigger. So, check the trigger option carefully before making the final decision.

Depth Control System

  • We do not need the same depth of drive during nailing. In case of using a hammer, we can fix the range by manually, but that was laborious. So, modern nail guns come with a depth adjustment mechanism that allows you to set the depth of drive or how far a nail goes into the wood. Depends on the brand you can fix it by manually using a wrench or automatically using switches, dials or buttons.
  • Contemporary nailers come with Tool-less depth adjustment system which is convenient and easy to use. However, the tool-free mechanism is not as accurate as a manual adjustment system, mainly when you need frequent change. However, due to the continuous improvement of this system, it has become the industry standard nowadays.

Air Pressure

  • If you already decided to go with pneumatic one, then you must need an air compressor. Generally, we use framing nailer in different wood construction, and wood finishing works. Based on work nature we have to select various lengths and depth of nails. A nail how much goes through a material is depends on how much pressure you applied.
  • Usually, air pressure measured by pound per square inch (psi) and to drive a 2 to 3½ inch nail with a framing nailer correctly it required max 130 PSI and 3 CFM air volume.

BUYING TIPS

Pneumatic nail guns required constant air pressure to drive a nail with equal strength. You have to choose a compressor that meets the specification of 2-3 gallon tank capacity, engine power around 1-2 HP, can generate 70 – 120 PSI pressure, and 2 to 3 CFM air volume for correct operation. However, this specification is for a small size compressor, to keep some room or connect more than one nailer you can go for a bigger one like Makita MAC5501G.

Magazine Angle

  • The degrees between the nailer head and the magazine is known as a magazine angle. However, this angle doesn’t affect the direction at which the nail discharges from the head. Usually, we hold the head flush of the nail gun against the material surface and drive nails perpendicularly into that. Hence, the purpose of angling the magazine is entirely saved the space or made the nailer suitable to work in a tight area.
  • In our review part, we observed that most of the framing nailer angle is exist somewhere between zero and 34 degrees. Among this range 21, 28, and 30 – 34 degrees are the most common. The steeper the angle allows you to work in a more tight space it is.
  • The heavy-duty pneumatic nailers that suitable to fastening 2 to 3½ inches nails are usually 21 degrees magazine angle. This angle magazine can hold a maximum number of nails besides saving 15 percent horizontal space compare to zero angles. Also, a 21-degree framing nailer is perfect to drive around head nails instead of the clipped head which is banned by many local building codes.
  • You may think that the 28-degree magazine angle will allow you more room to work in a compact space. Yes, you are right, but in that instance, you will not get the same strength as like 21 degrees due to the complex driving mechanism. Therefore, in any of your lighter projects like interior carpentry where space saving is more important than power 28 or 30-34 degree nailer is best. Usually, we see that cordless nailer is using 30-34 degree magazine to make them lightweight and compact.

BUYING TIPS

For your heavy-duty job like framing – 21-degree pneumatic framing nailer is the perfect match. Elsewhere, if you need a tool that perfect for finishing related works in tighter space, you can go for a 28 or 30-34 degree category.

Magazine Style

  • Stick and Coil, these are the two major types available in the market. The magazine-style largely depends on the purpose and types of nails which you are going to use.

i) Coil Style Magazine
In this fashion, the nails are held together by the use of two thin wires that loads into a round feeder of a nailer. Usually, it can hold large capacity nails which can save your time of reload.

Pros

  • Nail holding capacity 200 to 300 nails per coil at 15-degree angle
  • Can fire nails at a speedy rate
    Less reloading compare to stick style
  • Easily fit into a tighter space

Cons

  • Centered design magazine cannot equilibrium the weight
  • Pretty heavy
  • A bit expensive than the stick type
  • Not suitable for overhead work like roofing

ii) Stick Style Magazine:
In the stick-style nailer, utilize an extended flat magazine that holds a single line of nails. The nails are confined together by wire, plastic or paper strips. The straight magazine of nails slides into a feeder area on the framing nailer near the nose.

Pros

  • Provide better balancing as the weight distributed evenly
  • Used to fire three varied kind of nails – paper collated nail (30 to 34-degree nails), plastic collated nail (20 – 22-degree nails), and wire-weld collated nail (28-degree nails)

Cons

  • Cannot hold more than 40-60 nails per strip, required frequent reload
  • Not suitable to work in tighter space always

BUYING TIPS

For the project where you need to fire many nails together without any interruption, the coil style is best. On the other hand, the job which demands more maneuverability and balance stick style might be a perfect choice.

 Jam Clearing

  • Modern framing nailers designed such a way that the chances of getting jam are very less. However, occasionally a nail goes out of alignment and stuck the nailer. Previously, the framer’s need to clear the jam by manually with the help of tools. Modern nail gun reduces that hassle and facilitate tool-free jam clearing mechanism. So, during purchase check what the system is.

Anti-Dry Fire

  • Anti-dry fire is the latest technology in framing nailers which prevents firing when there is limited or no nails in it. This feature is useful as it saves the tools and the working surface from the possible damages. It is also a great feature that helps to prevent jamming in a great extent. Check that this feature has in your tools or not during go for a new one.

Rafter Hook

  • Imagine that you need to climb up with a nail gun or may need to free your both hand during framing or truss building job. If your framing nailer has a rafter hook, you can quickly hook it up with your belt or hang on a rafter. So, having a rafter hook with your device is a plus point.

Contact Tip

  • Some framing nailers accompany diverse sorts of contact tips. For example, the nailgun may have a no-mar tip that prevents the tool from leaving marks on the working surface. Another form is the positive placement tip which allows you to nail precisely on metal pieces, for example, metal joists.
  • Contact tip also has a significant role in differentiating two actuation modes of framing nailers. Different contact tip keeps different effect on nailing. For example, some types of contact tips are – Pointed, Spiked, No-mar, Exposed, Interchangeable, metal connector, and so forth.

WHICH PARAMETERS SHOULD YOU CONSIDER BEFORE SELECTING NAILS?

During choose the best framing nailer, besides considering the above points, it is equally essential to think about what sort of nails it will use. Different nail guns designed for different types of nails – some for straight magazines or cartridges, others for round or coil magazines, some nails are joined together with paper; others may gather with plastic or wire.

Nail length

Selecting the type of nail guns depending entirely on project nature. Likewise, the length of the nail depends on the kind of job. So, there is a thumb rule – choose the nail gun by taking it into consideration the application and nail size. As different nail guns designed to shoot different lengths of nails. For example, brad nailers can shot 3/8 to 1¼ inches nails which most suitable for interior woodworking jobs. On the other side, a framing nailer typically can shot 2 to 3½ inches nails which makes it ideal for framing as well as other hefty carpentry jobs.

Nail Diameter Range

Similar to the length, the diameter of the nails also depends on the job nature. If you want to do interior carpentry work, the long or fat nail may split the wood. Likewise, for framing works thin and short length nail would not be a good solution. The available framing nail guns on the market usually support 0.113 to 0.148 diameter nails (that is 16D, 12D, 8D, and 6D) to drive smoothly

Nail Angle

Nail angle, framing nailer angle or magazine angle, are all the same and describe as a degree between the nails and the horizontal surface of a workpiece. Usually, we see four different angles of nails – 21, 28, 30, and 34-degree on the market. The most used nail angle is 21 degrees. However, check the magazine angle of your framing nailer before purchase nails.

 Nail Head Type

The head is the top part of a nail where we hit with a hammer or in case of framing nailer, the driver stocks on this part. Though, there found many types of nail heads, the most common are the round-head and clipped-head among those.

  • Clipped head nails – comes with little-trimmed head and always collated with a stick. It allows the shank of the nail to attaches each other tightly. Thus, it can load up to 30% more nails than the round head.
    Building codes of many states do not support to use clipped head nails, because there is a perception that the fastening capacity is not as strong as like round head. However, there is no significant difference in holding power between round-head and clipped-head as the shank of the nail covers the maximum task.
  • Roundhead nails – comes with a circular head design and looks like an ordinary one that you see in most of the hardware stores nearer you. In the arena of framing nailers, all coil nails must be round head nails, but all stick nails are not necessarily round head.

Nail Collation

To make the nails usable for nail gun manufacturers organized them together with paper or plastic or wire which is known as a nail collation. There are three common collation as follows

Paper Collated Nails

Paper Collated Nails are an expensive option among other collations. However, it has a significant performance benefit – when the nail-gun fired, bits of paper pushed into the wood instead of scattered around the site or into the framing nail gun user. According to NC Nail Industry Co. Ltd., the paper-collated nails won’t “flag” or leave collation material over the top of the nail head to create an uneven surface and prevent nails from seating fully.

  • Pros: Less flying debris, safer, cleaner, can hold more nails per strip than plastic collations, and consistent nail penetration. Usually, used in 30 to 34-degree collation.
  • Cons: Moisture can ruin collation – not suitable to use in wet weather

Plastic Collated Nails

Plastic Collated Nails are the budget variant option among collated nails. Usually, the manufacturer uses the most inexpensive quality plastic to make them. When pressing the trigger, bits of plastic fly around the job site or into the framing nail gun user.

  • Pros: Generally used for 20 – 22 degree and 15-degree collations, most economical type of collated nail
  • Cons: Easily breakable and the most prone to damage, more susceptible to jamming nail guns, holds fewer nails than other collations.

Wire-weld Collated Nails

Wire-weld Collated Nails are collated together with a thin wire to the side of each nail by tack-welding. The benefit of this process is to keep the nails in proper alignment and make them impervious with the impact of weather and job-site abuse. This collation mostly used in case of coiled nails.

  • Pros: No chance of getting wet and damaged by moisture, there is no effect of hot or cold temperature; very durable in stick form as well as in coil form
  • Cons: Prone to dwindling; rebounding bits of metal chips are dangerous; expensive than plastic

How To Oil A Framing Nailer?

A framing nailer is a combination of many small parts like piston ring assembly. During running, they are come in contact with each other and create friction. Proper lubrication will act as a cushion between them and increase the part’s efficiency as well as save from quick wear out. Thus, it helps to improve the life of a nailer.

To keep your framing nailer working smoothly, you have to oil it daily, if possible twice a day. Apply oil regularly will also reduce the chances of a misfire. Fortunately, lubricating the tool is a breeze. Here’s what to do:

  • Disengage the air hose from the nailer if connected. Firmly hold the nail gun with one hand and grasp the air hose coupling with the other one. Then pull back the connector away from the nailer until it disconnected.
  • Position the nail gun in such a way that the nipple of the air inlet is facing up. Place the tip of the oil bottle right over the nipple of the air inlet. Gently squeeze the bottle to force a drop of oil out and enter into the air inlet. Repeat the procedure 2 to 3 times.

Tips

  • Don’t use car oil or other machine oil – there is specific pneumatic oil available on the market for a framing nailer. There are two versions of pneumatic oils, one for the winter season and another for regular use segregated based on viscosity. Always use specific oil recommended for the pneumatic tools.
  • Preferably apply it daily – once before starting the job in the morning and secondly in the afternoon to keep your cylinder lubricated to moving smoothly.

Conclusion

Featured above are the top 10 best framing nailers. To come up with this list, I looked at the most critical features. These include ergonomics, ease of use, quality, weight, maintenance ease, size, ease of transitioning from sequential to contact nailing, and versatility. It was also important to focus on brand reputation, head design, safety features, and the cost as well.

When using any of these products, not only are assured of excellent service and maximum satisfaction but will also have peace-of-mind in knowing they are the top 10 best framing nailers.

References

Consumer Information – TrustArc The Leader in Privacy Management SoftwareLooking online for info on your child's health? Here are some tipsJanja Kristan - Chief Administrative Officer - AACI | LinkedIn
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