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Best Electric Nail Gun: Alternative Power Where and When You Need It

If you ever have had to set a nail, you know how much effort that can take – especially if you are working on a job that requires more than just a few swings of the hammer. A nail gun can accurately place your nails with no more effort than it takes to pull the trigger, making it a handy tool indeed. Electric nail guns are an awesome alternative to pneumatic or fuel powered choices, especially when you are looking a for a dependable tool for your own personal jobs. The best electric nail gun is one that provides the power you need for the jobs you anticipate and is a tool you are comfortable using.

5 Best Electric Nail Gun Comparisons

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
byb2-table__imageHitachi 18V Cordless Brad Nailer
  • Job Type: Brad (good all-around)
  • Power Type: Lithium Ion battery
  • Warranty: Lifetime
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byb2-table__imagePORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Lithium 18GA Brad Nailer
  • Job Type: Brad (good all-around gun)
  • Power Type: Lithium Ion battery
  • Warranty: 3 year
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byb2-table__imageDEWALT 18-Volt Cordless 20 Degree Angled Finish Nailer
  • Job Type: Finishing
  • Power Type: Lithium-Ion battery
  • Warranty: 3 year
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byb2-table__imageBOSTITCH 20V MAX Cordless Straight Finish Nailer
  • Job Type: Finishing
  • Power Type: Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Warranty: 3 year
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byb2-table__imageRyobi 18V One+ Airstrike Brad Nailer
  • Job Type: Brad (all-around) nailer
  • Power Type: Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Warranty: 3 year
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What is a Nail Gun?

Nail guns, or nailers, is a powerful tool that can make nailing down materials so much easier than using a hammer. Although the use of them may not be justified for a simple task if you build, woodwork, are redoing any baseboards, crown molding, or other finishing details, they are well worth the investment. Many allow you to control the depth of the driven nail, and the different makes and models may be specific to the type of task you have in mind. They are powered via an air compressor, fuel canister, or electrically. All are powerful tools made to make your job easier.

Types of Electric Nailers

There are two types of electric nailers, corded and cordless. The corded nailers plug into a 110/120 volt outlet and is run via an appropriately rated extension cord. Cordless run off a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Although many corded power tools have been a household staple for many years, changes in technology have made battery run tools very popular, and this is very true when it comes to nailers. Corded nailers are difficult to find anymore, and are fairly limited to staple/brad nailer choices (although others exist). Electric nail gun reviews in the current market revolve around cordless models for dependable, powerful choices.

Cordless Electric

Cordless, electric nailers, as mentioned, run off a lithium-ion battery. Although a battery may limit your work time, most carry a long enough charge to provide what you need, and extra batteries are almost always sold separately as well. Although a cordless electric is not always considered as powerful as a pneumatic choice, there are many that are highly dependable to get heavy work done and are a great value.

Corded Electric

As explained, corded electric choices are not as popular as they once were, but still can pack a pretty strong punch overall. They are, of course, limited by the length of the cord, but are not limited in the time it can be used.

Nail Gun Firing Methods

Nailers have various ways of firing, and for safety purposes, you should always know what capabilities your gun has before use. Electric guns are either a contact or sequential firing method, with some even capable of having multiple choices you can pick from depending on what job you are using it for.

Contact

Contact firing, or bump firing, lets you work without pause if you keep the trigger pulled. All you have to do it move from place to place and ‘bump’ the tip against the surface you are working upon

Sequential

Sequential firing requires you to complete certain steps in a certain order before you can fire a nail. There are different ways to do this, but most require the tip to be in contact with a surface before the pulling of the trigger.

Types of Nail Guns

There are many different types of nail guns: specialized nailers for concrete, siding, flooring, etc… and there are those that are made specifically for heavy-duty professional building, as well as those specific to more hobby-like projects.

Framing

These are powerful tools capable of driving larger nails into hard, treated wood.

Roofing

These guns are made specifically to drive nails through asphalt roofing shingles and other roofing materials.

Finishing

Small building jobs and woodworking projects benefit from this type of gun. They provide the power needed to drive nails into detailed finishing projects for a clean, final look.

Brad

These are a good all around nailer that can handle a variety of jobs. They are popular with a lot of woodworkers, and those finishing up building projects as well.

Pin

These are a small nailer good for small projects and upholstery. They are a popular tool to have around for homeowners.

How to Choose a Electric Nail Gun

When deciding which nailer may be best for you, you need to first consider what kind of job you need to complete. There are many makes and brands available from which to choose, so if you have your needs narrowed down before being faced with all the choices that exist, you can steer yourself towards the best gun for you. Ask yourself the following questions prior to getting started:
What jobs do I have in mind?
Many model types can handle both heavy work as well as the finer, finishing touches. If you have a variety of ideas you would use your gun for, look for a model capable of handling a wide variety of jobs.
Do I have a power outlet available for a corded model?
If you like the idea of a corded electric model, be sure you have outlets available in the areas you would use it in. These are typically long lasting tools, despite not being as popular as cordless versions, but you want to be sure you can use it when you want to.
Am I planning on using a nail gun regularly?
All power tools will eventually stop working, which is why buying one with great reviews pertaining to durability and use is important. This is especially true if you plan on using the gun often, and for long periods of time- and not just for the random weekend job.

Top 5 Electric Nailers Reviews

Hitachi 18V Cordless Brad Nailer

Quick Info

  • Job Type: Brad (good all-around)
  • Power Type: Lithium Ion battery
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Hitachi is a top-rated brand and very popular for their powertool selection. Their nailers, in particular, are highly rated and well-liked by professionals and homeowners alike. This particular cordless brad nailer has a powerful 18-volt punch and is a great all around nailer. You can choose from either contact or sequential firing modes for your job description and has a lightweight, compact battery for easy handling and good balance. An LED light, pivoting belt hook, and side lock are all extras to make your job easier as you work. Although battery powered, it uses an air spring drive system to fire your nail and can handle up to 1650 nails per battery charge. This also allows you to drive 2 to 3 nails per second and gives a feel similar to a pneumatic nailer. This kit comes with everything you need: a gun, charger, battery, case, and even safety glasses.

Pros

  • Very portable and lightweight
  • Rubber bumper on safety tip falls off
  • Dependable

Cons

  • May have to work with depth adjustment to get it right
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Pro tip

Great for all around nailing needs, this is a powerful tool that can be used for framing and well as finishing.

PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Lithium 18GA Brad Nailer

Quick Info

  • Job Type: Brad (good all-around gun)
  • Power Type: Lithium Ion battery
  • Warranty: 3 year
Popular with homeowners, Porter-Cable is a useful tool with great value. One of the lightest in its class at 5.9 lbs, the 20 volt MAX lithium ion battery can drive up to 1300 nails on one charge. It also can hold 100 nails at a time in its magazine for less pause to keep you working on both large, and small jobs around your home and property. The kit comes with everything you need: the nailer, charger, and battery pack. Plus, you can always order another battery and even the correct nails as an optional package deal. As a brad nailing choice, this is a good all around pick if you need portable, and dependable driving power and depth.

Pros

  • Has an LED light for working in low light conditions
  • Lightweight and well balances
  • Durable and long lasting

Cons

  • Depth adjuster may not be fully accurate
  • 4.0 Ah lithium ion battery only battery with long life (sold separately)
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Pro tip

This is a homeowners dream gun- it is powerful for heavy job loads, but can still provide great nailing options for finishing work.

DEWALT 18-Volt Cordless 20 Degree Angled Finish Nailer

Quick Info

  • Job Type: Finishing
  • Power Type: Lithium-Ion battery
  • Warranty: 3 year
If you have every been on the market for a power tool, then you probably have come across the DEWALT brand name. They are dependable and popular for many reasons, and this finish nailer is a pick many consumers turn to. 18 volts power this 20 degree nailer, a popular style that lends itself well to a deep driven nail and consistency for finishing work. It also has both sequential and bump firing modes from which to choose from. This kit has the gun, battery, charger, and hardsided case for storage and easy portability. It also has easy to maintain features, and an easy to remove nose piece in case of jammed nails. The ready to load track can hold 120 nails, and it also includes an LED light.

Pros

  • Heavy duty and well balanced
  • Surprisingly powerful
  • Very precise

Cons

  • Slightly heavy
  • Bulky for tight situations and takes some maneuvering
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Pro tip

This is a great choice for both homeowners and professionals when a durable tool that can last through regular use is needed.

BOSTITCH 20V MAX Cordless Straight Finish Nailer

Quick Info

  • Job Type: Finishing
  • Power Type: Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Warranty: 3 year
Created from the need to stitch things together, BOSTITCH knows a thing or two about specializing in nailers. This company stay on top of recent technological advances and applies it to all their products, making them an industry leader in all things nail gun and nail gun accessories. This 20 Volt cordless Finisher is quite powerful, and provides multiple firing methods from which you can choose. A clear line of sight is provided by a narrowed tip, which is further aided by an LED light. This provides you the ability to work in a variety of situations. The kit includes a kit bag to hold the gun, battery, charger, and adjustable belt hook- which are all included.

Pros

  • Very lightweight and balanced
  • Good battery life
  • Gets into tight spaces well

Cons

  • Safety switch takes getting used to
p

Pro tip

This is a dependable finisher for both homeowner and professional grade jobs. With excellent accuracy, you have all you need for quality finished projects.

Ryobi 18V One+ Airstrike Brad Nailer

Quick Info

  • Job Type: Brad (all-around) nailer
  • Power Type: Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Warranty: 3 year
Ryobi has built a name around dependable power and value for homeowners, but strong enough for professional capacities. The one+ Lithium system is interchangeable with their line of cordless tools to power a wide choice of tools all from one source. The 18 Volts provided by this battery can drive up to a 2 inch nail with no problem, and is great for even heavy duty jobs. This tool also has the ability to change firing methods, making it even more versatile, and can drive up to 60 nails per minute when the contact method is chosen. The battery also can charge in as little as a half hour to keep you moving through your job. The entire kit contains the gun, battery, and charger.

Pros

  • Impressive power for the price
  • Easy to use and lightweight
  • Awesome for all around use

Cons

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Pro tip

This is truly a great choice for homeowners, as it can be used in a variety of ways, plus still provide the strength for more professional jobs.

Conclusion

All of the choices above are comparable to one another and are capable of providing power in both the home, and on the job as needed. They’re excellent, state of the art, tools that provide electric power in any place you can imagine. Although corded electric choices still exist, their popularity is not as strong due to the advances in battery charge and power- to create a portable nailer. Our favorite from above is the Hitachi 18V Cordless Brad Nailer due to the air spring drive system that places it in a pretty powerful category overall. This is a brad nailer capable of powering through serious jobs if needed. If you have any questions or comments concerning the above products, or have any personal experiences with any of them, we would love to hear about it below. And, as always, please share!

About The Author

Danielle McLeod

Danielle McLeod cuts a tragic figure in the High School English classroom teaching literature by day, and moonlighting as a writer and graphic artist by night. Published in a variety of travel magazines, and now a blog, Danielle enjoys coming up with home and garden projects to complete with her two young boys. A native of Michigan, she resides in Southeastern New Mexico with her variety of horses, poultry, and variable mix of rescue dogs (there’s a cat or two in there as well). In her free time she enjoys travel, art, photography, and a good book!

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