The DEWALT DWFP12231 Pneumatic 18-Gauge Nailer Kit is our best nailer which can drive nails from 5/8 inch to 2 inches of length at 18 gauge. In addition, contamination can be kept away from your work piece due to its rear exhaust feature. You can easily remove nails due to the jam release mechanism that requires no tools to operate. The nail head setting can be properly adjusted with detents due to the depth of drive adjustment that is also tool-free. With this nailer, you can keep the work surface clean due to its motor that lasts with durability and with little maintenance required.
Our step-up pick is the NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer and when there are only 5 nails in the magazine left, a mechanism called anti-dry fire will activate. It is able to shoot nails from the sizes of 2 inches to 3 1/2 inches at 21 degrees with a plastic collated round head. As a matter of fact, your working surfaces are safe due to its no-mar tip. You can easily adjust the depth to suit your work nature and you can choose from sequential or single firing with its easy to use dual mode trigger. It is overall a great nailer for use on sub flooring, roof decking, wood fencing, wall framing and other rigorous tasks.
The budget pick is the WEN 61720 3/4-Inch to 2-Inch Nailer and this nailer operates with a 1/4 inch NPT air inlet filling at a pressure from 60 to 100 PSI. Moreover, it can fire brad nails from 3/4 inch to 2 inches in length and it comes with a custom carrying case, 2 wrenches for adjustment and oil. The body construction is made from lightweight aluminum in which makes the nailer’s overall weight only 3 lbs. It also comes with a comfortable and ergonomic rubber grip handle. You can easily jam clear this nailer with its quick release feature and the nailer has a magazine capacity of 100 brads.
A Little Background
Back then, we only used to fasten wood with nails using a hammer. Traditionally, a hammer is made for driving nails into wood or any similar material. This is the way we have done it for years which has evolved so far today where hammers can be specifically shaped for a variety of purposes and nails come in a variety of lengths, strengths and materials in general. However, since times have changed, technology also rose and this also called the demand for better solutions in nailing and hammering.
When the industry called for speed and productivity, safety and precision were compromised. The problem with the industry ever since the machines came is that the demand for productivity led people to work faster and this in turn made people hurt their fingers when it comes to hammering nails into boxes, furniture and such just to keep up with the speed and productivity. In some cases, quality control is also compromised when you do it by hand.
Nothing hurts more in wood installations than accidentally hammering your fingers. Any person who uses a hammer is definitely at the threat of accidentally hitting their thumb or any finger part, which can pose a threat to manual work and to the productivity of a person or a unit of a production team. A person under pressure will not work as meticulous or as intricate as a person who is relaxed and just doing DIY projects for home use or without any deadlines to meet and standards to upkeep. When the worker messes up, this causes more trouble and compromises the productivity of the whole workflow.
This is why nailers were invented to make the task less frustrating. Nailers are usually air powered tools similar to drills that can automatically do the nailing for you with its power. Nailers are a great help for those who really need to nail a box or any wood material to its place without hurting their thumb and work at an exceedingly convenient and fast speed, especially if the industrial standards call for it. A nailer is a big advantage for those who are always rushing at deadlines when it comes to finishing projects and when it comes to smooth and near perfect quality work.
How We Picked
A great nailer should have a fairly large magazine capacity. Most nailers have a magazine that can hold and shoot up to 100 nails at a given time more or less. In some cases, a nailer will also have an alert feature to warn you if there are only a few nails left in the magazine, which is helpful so that the nailer magazine won’t break too quickly.
The housing of a nailer should be durable but lightweight to carry. You will mostly find a nailer that has a body construction made of magnesium or aluminum which is typical for making a lightweight build that is easy to grip without user fatigue in terms of a high quality nailer fit for any DIY or industrial job.
There must be an exhaust somewhere to keep the dust and debris away from your work piece. Keeping your work area clean and away from hassling dust is important due to the exhaust feature of a nailer, much like what you see on most grinders and power tools to make your job easier and frustration-free.
There must be some mechanism on the nailer that eliminates or prevents jamming or at least helps you to take out jammed nails easier. At the very most, nailers can be susceptible to jamming of the nails so you must be prepared. A good nailer should have an easy jam clearer to remove the nails easier.
DEWALT DWFP12231 Pneumatic 18-Gauge Nailer Kit
With our best nailer, the DEWALT DWFP12231 Pneumatic 18-Gauge Nailer Kit, nail head setting can be properly adjusted with detents due to the depth of drive adjustment that is also tool-free. You can easily remove nails due to the jam release mechanism that requires no tools to operate and it can drive nails from 5/8 inch to 2 inches of length at 18-gauge. The contamination can be kept away from your work piece due to its rear exhaust feature and you can keep the work surface clean due to its motor that lasts with durability and with little maintenance required.
This nailer is pneumatic power and has a nail magazine capacity of 100 and it also comes with a sequential style trigger. The DEWALT DWFP12231 Kit includes a tool storage with a non-marring nose tip that is removable and you can easily secure the tool with a belt hook that is also adjustable. Moreover, a no-slip grip is ensured to the rubber grip that has been integrated with the nailer for better comfort with the DEWALT 18-Gauge Nailer Kit.
In addition, the DEWALT DWFP12231 Nailer Kit is super lightweight at only 4.8 lbs and is a great nailer for hobbyists or on the job. It easily adjusts to any skill level, whether you are a beginner or an expert. As for the accessories, the nailer includes a user’s manual, a carrying case and 500 pieces of 1 1/4 inch nails. The DEWALT Pneumatic Nailer Kit is currently backed by a 3 year warranty.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
The only small known flaws about the DEWALT DWFP12231 Pneumatic 18-Gauge Nailer Kit is that some units had air leaking, but this can be greatly replaced by the warranty option.
NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer
The NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer is our step-up pick and is a great nailer for use on sub flooring, roof decking, wood fencing, wall framing and other rigorous tasks. In fact, when there are only 5 nails in the magazine left, a mechanism called anti-dry fire will activate. Moreover, your working surfaces are safe due to its no-mar tip. This nailer is also able to shoot nails from the sizes of 2 inches to 3 1/2 inches at 21 degrees with a plastic collated round head.
With the NuMax SFR2190 Nailer, you can choose from sequential or single firing with its easy to use dual mode trigger and you can easily adjust the depth to suit your work nature. It is great for use on most framing jobs and is a comfortable grip ensures ergonomically pleasing work. The NuMax Framing Nailer has a finger depth adjustment for your needs.
The NuMax Nailer SFR2190 has a highly adjustable exhaust at 360 degrees. Moreover, it is also applicable for installing sidings, fencing, sheathing walls and roofing, assembling wood boxes and many more. As for the convenience, this air powered nailer weighs about 10 lbs and it has a body construction made from die cast magnesium to give you more durability but lower weight.
In terms of hardened steel is the material of the driver blade that has been heat treated for durability. The SFR2190 NuMax Nailer is also also an ideal nailer for DIY and professional work and it is ideal air compressor pressure is about 100 PSI. It is backed by a 1 year warranty for the gun body and 1 month for the wearable parts.
WEN 61720 3/4-Inch to 2-Inch Nailer
Our budget pick is the WEN 61720 3/4-Inch to 2-Inch Nailer in which body construction is made from lightweight aluminum in which makes the nailer’s overall weight only 3 lbs. Moreover, this nailer operates with a 1/4 inch NPT air inlet filling at a pressure from 60 to 100 PSI and the nailer has a magazine capacity of 100 brads.
The WEN 61720 Nailer can fire brad nails from 3/4 inch to 2 inches in length. It also comes with a comfortable and ergonomic rubber grip handle and it comes with a custom carrying case, 2 wrenches for adjustment and oil. You can easily jam clear this nailer with its quick release feature.
The WEN 2-Inch Nailer is very efficient as the brads it can fire are up to 18-gauge. It is also ideal for use on door casings, base boards, nailing trim and similar jobs. In addition, it might also work for 3 inch to 4 inch screws on doing stair noise. It is great for use on DIY workers and is backed by a 1 year warranty for parts and labor.
Nailer with Rubber Mallet
NuMax SFL618 3-in-1 Pneumatic Flooring Stapler/Nailer
The NuMax SFL618 3-in-1 Pneumatic Flooring Stapler/Nailer comes with a rubber mallet and can use L-cleats, T-cleats and staples. In terms of design, the driver blade is extra hardened and this pneumatic nailer has a white rubber mallet. The base plates are interchangeable and the nailer comes with an anti-dust cap. In addition, the drive blade is a one piece design for sturdiness.
When it comes to capacity, the magazine has a 3 in 1 design with a capacity of 100 to 120 cleats or staples. It has been made with die cast aluminum for its body construction. Moreover, an important thing to know about this best nailer is that the driver blade is made from heat treated steel.
It is also backed by 2 base plates that are composite and non-marring for more protection from scratches and it also comes with rubber o-rings of great quality, an air filter that works internally and an aluminum cylinder. The NuMax SFL618 3-in-1 nailer weighs 12 lbs. However, most users agree that it is recommended that you oil the plunger before using as well as after 1,000 nails.
When you order the NuMax Flooring Stapler/Nailer, it includes wrenches and oil. Also, the white rubber mallet has a non-marring design. It is currently backed by a 1 year warranty on the gun body and 30 days on other wearable parts.
Best Straight Nailer
NuMax SFN64 2-1/2-Inch Straight Finish Nailer
Being a nailer that has a depth adjustment, the NuMax SFN64 2-1/2-Inch Straight Finish Nailer has a driver blade that is hardened for durability and reliability. Its internal parts are all made from high quality components and in addition to that, it also has a convenient air filter.
It is important to know that this straight finish nailer can take 16 gauge nails at 2 1/2 inches and its exhaust is highly adjustable and can be turned up to 360 degrees to direct the air away from your work area. In addition to its neat features for added convenience to any user, the tip has a no-mar feature and the driver blade is a one-piece construction.
Moreover, this nailer is ideal for window casing door installation, railing installation, crown molding, base molding for doors and similar projects. Overall, the NuMax Straight Finish Nailer can shoot up to 500 nails without jamming and it is currently backed by a 30 day warranty for wearable parts and a 1 year warranty for the gun body. In addition, it can work on oak hardwood floors at 3/4 inch thickness.
Nailer with Magnesium Housing
BOSTITCH F21PL Round Head Framing Nailer
Not all nailers are made from aluminum – the BOSTITCH F21PL Round Head Framing Nailer is made from magnesium housing and it also accommodates nails from 1 1/2 inches to 3 1/2 inches. Its driving power is at 1,050 inch pounds and it also uses a bump and sequential trigger. Moreover, it comes with a positive placement tip.
Being housed in a magnesium body for better durability but lightweight feel, the BOSTITCH Framing Nailer comes with an ergonomic rubber grip and also includes integrated skid pads made from rubber for a non-slip operation. It comes with 1 framing nailer and accepts round head nails.
A nailer that is quite lightweight at only 8 lbs, with the BOSTITCH F21PL Framing Nailer, you get two nailers for the price of one due to the easy conversion for metal connecting and framing because of its 2 nosepieces that allow for quick change in any operation. Additionally, this nailer can hold up to 60 framing nails collated and at 21 degrees and it also has a layout indicator measuring 16 inches to give you correct stud distance.
The nailer uses a smart trigger as well as a patented push button operation for depth adjustment for the nail and it also has an adjustable rafter hook to organize and store your nailer by hanging it on rafters or joists. It is important to know that the recommended air tank for this nailer is 30 gallons. This nailer is backed by a 7 year limited warranty.
Nailer with Air Duster
Hitachi NT65MA4 15-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer
The Hitachi NT65MA4 15-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer is available in 15-gauge and 16-gauge and it uniquely comes with a convenient air duster for a cleaner workplace. It is a nailer that will reward you and that in the event of a nail jam, there is a quick nail extraction method using the nose that is easy to clear and requires no tools to operate.
Moreover, the depth of the drive dial is also tool-less and easily adjusts to fasten different kinds of materials while not wrecking the nailer or the material itself. It also has a selective switch for actuation that is also tool-less so you can do contact nailing or sequential nailing using a simple switch flip.
Ideally, the air duster is great for removing debris and dust to prepare your work space for gluing or nailing as it definitely fits nails from 1 1/4 inches to 2 1/2 inches at 15-gauge. As for the ergonomics, this angled nailer weighs only 4.2 pounds and is truly lightweight, easy to maneuver and light years away from fatigue.
The magazine can be angled at 34 degrees so you can reach tight spaces and hard to reach corners and areas without much hassle and the magazine is a rear loading type and can take as much as 100 nails. The recommended air pressure for this nailer is from 70 PSI to 120 PSI and it also already comes with safety glasses, 1/4 inch NTP male plug, no-mar tip and a carrying case.
The Hitachi Angled Finish Nailer exercises flexibility in fastening any material such as wood and it is currently backed by a 90 day warranty for other accessories such as o-rings, drivers and pistons and 5 years warranty for materials and workmanship.
Best Aluminum Housing Nailer
BOSTITCH N66C-1 Coil Siding Aluminum Nailer
The BOSTITCH N66C-1 Coil Siding Aluminum Nailer is an aluminum housing nailer which can drive and weld coil nails that are plastic inserted. As for design, it comes with an adjustable exhaust that requires no tool to operate and keep the exhaust away from your work piece for a cleaner environment. What’s more, for helping you nail your job better, an included depth guide is adjustable to suit your operation so you can meticulously set the nail depth in an instant.
To help you with your work stability, it comes with a rubber foot that makes it safe to use on softer wood materials. This nailer can take nails with sizes of 1 1/4 inches to 2 1/2 inches and this coil siding nailer has a driving power of 515 inch pounds. It is important to know that the operating range of the nailer is from 70 to 120 PSI.
The BOSTITCH N66C-1 Nailer is so far applicable for various materials such as clapboard, light gauge steel and cement and is also ideal for fencing projects and its overall weight of the tool is 4.9 lbs. It has an aluminum lightweight construction that is durable and it also comes with a carrying case for safety and tool longevity. As a matter of fact, some Amazon users even recommend that you can even use this on hardie boards (fiber cement boards). It is backed by a 7 year limited warranty.
Best Mni Nailer
BOSTITCH PN50 Mini Impact Nailer
If you want a super small and lightweight at only 1 pound nailer then you should go for the BOSTITCH PN50 Mini Impact Nailer which is definitely a budget option nailer. It can be used for timber nails, framing projects, bulk finish and similar jobs and like most nailers, it also has a front exhaust to keep the air away from your project.
Overall flexibility and accessibility is top notch with its swivel design at 360 degrees for its air fitting. In addition to those features, vibration and user fatigue is reduced and insulated due to the rubber grip that is ergonomically designed. The PN50 Mini Nailer is also a great nailer for smaller and confinder areas, metal connectors, joist hangers and many more and is also backed by a 7 year limited warranty for your convenience.
Ideal Nailer Kit
PORTER-CABLE BN200C 2-Inch 18GA Brad-Nailer Kit
The PORTER-CABLE BN200C 2-Inch 18GA Brad-Nailer Kit is a great nailer in which the depth of drive adjustment is tool-free and can be used to set the nail heads properly using detents. It is a nailer which uses brad nails and that accepts 18 gauge nails up to 2 inches and it comes with an adjustable belt clip to give you better visibility as well as a contact safety feature at the back of the driver guide.
Moreover, the tool storage has a nose tip that is non-marring and removable. In terms of safety and convenience, the jam release mechanism does not require tools and can easily remove nails. It also comes with a lock off switch for the sequential style trigger and you can keep your work area clean with a long-life motor that avoids constant maintenance.
The driver blade has been especially hardened to match the durability of most competitor brands. The PORTER-CABLE Brad-Nailer Kit also has a low nail reload indicator to inform you when the magazine has run out of nails and it also conveniently includes a carrying case, a 1/4 inch fitting, a user’s manual, the nailer and some brad nails.
Other nailers did not have a sturdy body construction and had little capacity for their magazine and lacked the important features which make up a best nailer in the long run for durability, flexibility, safety and reliability.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the things you need to know about finish nailers?
A: According to the Family Handyman , you should know what gauge of nails the finish nailer accepts. For instance, 15-gauge nailers are ideal for stair treads because of their angled magazines and this also makes them a great choice for smaller and hard to reach areas.
The 16-gauge nailers shoot up thicker nails than the 15-gauge but are roughly the same in features while the the 18-gauge brad nailer is usually smaller and are usually cheaper and ideal for furniture and standard trimming. However, a 23-gauge pinner is the most uncommon of all because there aren’t too many jobs that require pinning.
You should always remember to use nails before you screw something in and what’s more, pushing the baseboard with a block saves you more time and effort. In fat, you can also position certain material parts using a gauge to hold them in place before using a finish nailer. In addition, you should also nail parts before you clamp them, especially if the work pieces are slippery. Last, but not the least if you want clean-looking finishes then you can go for pin nailers that do not have sticking out heads.
Q: What are the pros and cons of getting a cordless nailer?
A: According to Tool Barn, cordless nailers are convenient and do not require air pressure from a compressor and a hose and you no longer have to wait for the compressor to cycle and this makes your job more efficient without stalling. The maintenance in terms of expenses are reduced with cordless nailers in general and you have fewer chances of getting tangled with an air hose because of the clean design of a cordless nailer and you can also move about freely with a cordless nailer.
On the other side however, pneumatic nailers are at an advantage over cordless nailers due to more frequent maintenance. Cordless nailers are also quite expensive when it comes to fuel cell cost and specialized nails and of course, your workflow is limited by the battery power when it comes to nailers that are cordless in design.
Wrapping It Up
To wrap it up, the DEWALT DWFP12231 Pneumatic 18-Gauge Nailer Kit is our best nailer to get the job done without hurting your fingers in terms of door and wood work installation. You will definitely nail it with this convenient machine.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.