Nail Guns

I have been a contractor for almost 20 years now and I have seen my fair share of power nailers. My crews use all the different types of nail guns – brad nailers, finish nailers, roofing nailers, framing nailers, and flooring nailers. Over the years we have bought all brands of nail guns from Bostitch to Porter-Cable to Hitachi and of course we’ve had our favorites. New models come along, but the best nail guns are always easy to spot and we have posted several of the best sellers down below. The majority of nail guns are air powered so they need an air compressor to work, but the newer cordless nail guns are gaining in popularity and use battery packs to give them their power. The air nail guns are still preferred on larger jobs where we are working all day at a particular task, but a cordless nail gun comes in handy for jobs that only take a few hours or when having a cord trailing behind you is too much trouble. For example, when you are doing a framing job, a cordless framing nailer is much more versatile and easier to use and we prefer the Paslode framing nailers. Cordless nailers are more expensive since they are more versatile and have no cord to bog you down. On the contrary, using a cordless nail gun may require more hand/arm strength since they are heavier than their corded counterparts. RECOMMENDED – We shop online for all our power tools and Amazon.com has the lowest prices when we compare their site to others. Their customer service is first rate, their selection of brand name nail guns is unmatched, and you can read all the owner reviews before purchasing anything. Check out the most popular nail guns online here.

Top Rated Power Nailers:
Reviews, Descriptions, and Pricing
Brad Nailer Hitachi NT50AE2 Brad Nailer – This is the #1 selling brad nailer on Amazon and we own several. The Hitachi NT50AE2 takes 5/8 to 2 inch 18 gauge brad nails and it features sequential or bump fire modes. Our guys in the field prefer this nailer since it’s lightweight (reduces arm fatigue) and the depth of drive dial is simple to use. These units are practically jam free and easy to clear if one does occur. This is the most “reliable and durable brad nailer” say owners and we couldn’t agree more. With years of trouble free nailing in the field with our crews, we would buy this Hitachi again. We also RECOMMEND the Milwaukee 7150-21 which has served us well and the warranty with Milwaukee power nailers is impressive compared to the competition. In head to head comparisons, the 7150-21 is right up there with the NT50AE2 in terms of performance and power. See the most popular brad nailers here
Framing Nailer PORTER-CABLE FR350A Round Head 2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Framing Nailer – We have used Porter-Cable products for years and can’t say enough about their FR350A framing nailer, which by the way is the top rated model on Amazon based on 100’s of owner reviews. It operates at 70-120 PSI and has a selectable trigger allowing you to go from restrictive to contact actuation mode. Features a 64 nail capacity magazine and this 2 inch to 3 1/2 inch round head pneumatic framing nailer can be described as having “perfect balance” and “flawless operation”. We have listed the Paslode cordless nailer in another category (see details down below). You can view all the top selling framing nailers online here
Finish Nailer Hitachi NT65MA4 15-Gauge Angle Finish Nailer – Ok, so we are going with another Hitachi nail gun, but trust me they perform exceptionally well and have given us zero trouble over the years that we have owned them. Online reviews by other contractors back up our findings and at less than $150 the NT65MA2 is the perfect 15 gauge angled finish nailer. It’s both lightweight and durable so our guys can use these nailers all day without getting fatigued. Features like an adjustable air deflector, easy clear nose, and depth of drive adjustment that is simple to use make the Hitachi a winner in all respects. It shoots 15 gauge 1 1/4 to 2 1/2 inch angled finish nails into hardwoods without a problem. Has a nail capacity of 100 nails and is the perfect companion for finish carpenters, custom homebuilders, and DIY homeowners. You can browse all the top rated finish nailers here.
Best Cordless Nailers:
Reviews, Descriptions, and Pricing
Cordless Framing Nailer Paslode 900420 Cordless IMCT Framing Nailer – This power nailer is ranked #1 for cordless nailers on Amazon.com (rated by over 100 owners) and it’s loaded with features. We especially like the fact that the Paslode 900420 is compatible with clipper and full head 2 inch and 3 1/4 inch nails. The long, narrow nose is perfect for getting into tight spots like stairs, rafters, joists, soffits, studs, and more. My crew of carpenters and remodelers are constantly satisfied with the performance of this cordless framing nailer and although it’s more expensive than the corded models, the freedom of motion (without the cord) proves to be a huge advantage. You can drive up to 4000 nails with a single charge. Check out all the top rated cordless nailers on Amazon here.
Cordless Finish Nailer Paslode 902000 16 Gauge Straight Finish Nailer – Once again we use this exact model in the field and not surprisingly it holds up to the reputation that Paslode has in this field. It’s comfortable to hold and you can control it easily with the sight lines. The 902000 shoots 3/4 to 2 1/2 inch nails and it will handle all your finish nailing applications. We use ours for crown molding, base shoe, door stops, paneling, cabinetry, and window casing. This non-pneumatic nailer is the “best cordless finish nailer” on the market and the reviews on Amazon back up our opinion of this power nailer.

For our flooring needs when we install hardwood floors, the tool of choice is the BOSTITCH MIIIFN 1-1/2- to 2-Inch Pneumatic Flooring Nailer – zero complaints from this nailer. Another excellent alternative to the Bostitch is the PORTER-CABLE FCN200 Pneumatic Flooring Cleat Nailer. The FCN200 floor nailer works smooth and is pretty much “hassle free” installation. We just recently bought the Porter-Cable PIN100 1/2-Inch to 1-Inch 23-Gauge Pin Nailer and will update this article as we use it more. We usually like to test out tools for at least 6 months before posting any comments. When it comes to roofing jobs, we never attempt them without our Milwaukee 7120-21 3/4- to 1-3/4-Inch Coil Roofing Nailer – we have 2 of these and they both have performed exceptionally well and the 5 year warranty assures us of the durable and reliability. We feel that the Milwaukee roofing nailer outperforms earlier models of Hitachi and Bostitch nailers we owned. Read the reviews online and you will see what others have to say about the 7120-21.

Nail Gun Reviews

You can find nail gun reviews online at websites like Newwoodworker.com, Onlinetoolreviews.com, Toolsnob.com, and at Toolsofthetrade.net. We found excellent in depth reviews of framing nailers, finish nailers and brad nailers. Professional opinions are important when making a buying decision, but you also want to hear from non-biased power nailer owners who post their feedback online at sites like Amazon and Epinions. We say research all the top models and brands and make a wise purchase. We have used all types of nail guns for years and have at least given you a headstart as to which models work the best for us in the field and many of the same models are rated #1 or #2 on Amazon as well.