Best Nail Gun: Choices for a Job Well Done
Whether you are a seasoned construction veteran, or are simply working on your own home improvement, you’ve most likely perused the aisles of your local building supply store and considered the use of the many products offered. Power tools, in particular, are a handy item to have for most building projects, with favored items well know by even the greenest of builders. But are you aware of the convenience a nail gun can lend to your projects? If you have ever pondered the purchase of a nailer, and are considering what these products can provide, then look no further as we review some of the top rated nail guns below.
Table of Contents
- NuMax 21 Degree Framing Nailer
- Hitachi 7/8-Inch to 1-3/4-Inch Coil Roofing Nailer
- BOSTITCH 15-Gauge 1 1/4-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch Angled Finish Nailer
- DEWALT Pneumatic 18-Gauge Brad Nailer
- PORTER-CABLE 23-Gauge Pin Nailer
Electric Nail Gun
Pneumatic Nail Gun
The two most often used types of nail guns are electric and pneumatic powered. Both corded and cordless version of electric nailers exist, both with their own sets of pros and cons. A corded gun requires an extension cord able to reach to the job you are working on, and a cordless version has you at the mercy of battery charge times. They do have their advantages though in that they are convenient, more lightweight, and very portable. Pneumatic nailers require compressed air for use, meaning you must have the hoses and air compressor, as well as the extension cords to run power to the compressor. These are generally very powerful tools, however, and provide excellent dependability for larger jobs.
Obviously, not all nail guns are made the same, and there are different firing methods to consider when looking over various models. It is important to know how your nail gun works for safety reasons when working with them to avoid accidental discharge or a marring of your work surface.
Obviously, when choosing a nail gun you need to look first for what is best for the job you have in mind, and not the best looking nail gun. Then you can begin to narrow them down according to more personal preference surrounding coil and strip feed styles, as well as firing and power source methods. Not all types of nailers are offered in all styles, so it is best not to get your heart set on a cordless roofing nailer that has a coil style feed- as it may not exist. Instead, look to what is needed, what you feel you can handle, and what fits within your budget. Of those choices find what best fits you and your preference. If you are unsure of the features offered on the models, you can always read up on reviews (such as these) or speak with a friend who has experience with them and may be able to let you handle different kinds prior to purchase.
There are many different nailers available to consider, but the following reviews help showcase some of the best-made nail guns for your needs and highlight the features of each to better allow you an understanding of how they work before making your own decision. If you have been wondering what is the best for your job, read on below for some marked differences in makes and models.
- Type: Framing
- Firing Method: single or full sequential
- Nail type: strip-style
- Warranty: 1 year
- Dual firing control is helpful
- Very well built and durable
- Solid performance with no misfires
- Heavy for its size
- Accuracy not as good as pro models
- Type: Roofing
- Firing Method: contact or single sequential
- Nail type: Coil-style
- Warranty: 5 year limited
- Easy knob style nail depth adjustment
- Great for both hot and cold temperatures
- Well balanced and lightweight
- 7/8th inch nails may not drive straight
- Single sequential choice must be sent away for
This is a tool made specifically for roofing and is designed to work with the common roofing materials found in construction. This model is made to be long lasting and easy to work with to keep from slowing you down on the job.
- Type: Finisher
- Firing Method:contact or single sequential
- Nail type: strip-style
- Warranty: 7 year limited
The Bostitch 15 gauge angled finishing nailer is smaller than their 16 gauge model but drives a heavier nail. With the ability to use it as a contact or single-sequential firing method, this is a popular choice for finishing detail work within your home or other visible areas. As an air compression model, it is considered a dependable choice and has a tool-less angled magazine that can hold up to 130 nails between 1 ¼th to 2 ½ inches in length.
It also has an adjustable depth control to avoid damage to more delicate wood, as well as a bypass nail pusher. The extremely lightweight design is only 3.8 lbs, making it easy work with as you move your way up and around various jobs.
- Very easy to handle
- No nail jams
- Handles both light and medium work well
- Overtime may need to replace firing pin
- Not as accurate as a 16 or 18 gauge
This is a good choice for a dependable drive. The 15 gauge nail it takes is specifically for heavy hardwood and can hold them securely in place permanently to avoid having to reset your finishing in the years to come.
- Type: Brad nailer
- Firing Method: single sequential
- Nail type: strip-style
- Warranty: 3 year limited
DEWALT is an industry leader in power tools, and their pneumatic 18 gauge Brad Nailer is no exception and beats out other brad nailers of both pneumatic and electric models in terms of dependability and popularity. A single sequential firing method supports 18 gauge nails from ⅝ th to 2-inch lengths for accuracy whether you are securing a mid-sized building job, or finishing crown molding. Made for versatility and value, an adjustable depth control makes switching from job to job an easy one, plus the jam release helps reloading an easy task. It also is lightweight for such a durable product, and only weights 5.1 lbs to help keep you from getting fatigued as you work.
- Very precise with no marring
- Easy to use and comfortable to grip
- Very versatile for many types of jobs
- Some piston sealer ring defects, covered by warranty
- Casing not as durable as a more pro model
If you are looking to get more than one type of light to medium-type job done, this is a tool that can handle most finishing and detail work. The nail size and firing method help keep you accurate, plus you can drive up to a 2-inch nail.
- Type: Pin Nailer
- Firing Method: auctuation
- Nail type: strip-style
- Warranty: 3 year
Although a pin nailer may not be as strong as its more powerful relatives, it holds its purpose for more delicate woodworking- which many of the above are too strong for. The Porter-Cable 23 gauge Pin Nailer is a popular go-to for delicate finishing work and upholstery jobs. And since it is powered by and air compressor, can drive a nail up to 1 3/8th inch into solid, heavy oak. Able to hold up 130 nails of 3/4th to 1 3/8th inch size, you can work for quite some time before having to reload. The tool easily loads variable-sized nails without having to adjust each time, and the auctuation style firing keeps you working accurately and smoothly. Depth settings are also available depending on the length of the pin you are using. It also has a dry fire stop to keep from marrying your wood, and also allows you to see how many nails are left.
- Works great on thin and fragile wood
- Rubber tips to keep from putting too much pressure on wood
- Works great with small compressors
- Trigger system doesn’t stop you from shooting before setting
- May not last under long, professional work
This is exactly what you need for those easier to see, delicate jobs such as cabinet making, furniture, and mantle work. The small nail size allows to avoid splitting more delicate pieces as well and provides you the length for a durable, long-lasting hold.
When considering your choices, a cheap nail gun is probably not always your best bet, unless you are looking for rare, occasional use. The best -made nail guns are going to be those that hold up under the stress of work and the test of time, and the above choices fit the bill. Air compressed choices seem to be the most popular due to the strength behind the driving force, as seen in the overviews of these top picks. Since each is specific to certain jobs, you need to choose what matches best with the work you have in mind, although the DEWALT Pneumatic 18-Gauge Brad Nailer has the capability to work well for everything but the heaviest or delicate of jobs and is a good homeowners-pick. If you have any experience with any of these guns or have any questions, please let us know below. And, as always, please share.