Using a framing nailer not only saves time but also saves effort as well. Which is a pretty big deal when you are trying to put up the walls for a new addition as quickly and efficiently as possible. Of course, they can be used for more than just fastening wall frames and can come handy in a number of different situations. Fortunately, there are a number of great models available and there’s one for just about anyone.
That’s not saying that it’s easy to find the best framing nailer. With so many different models out there, there is always the risk of buying a sub-par model. Which is why I’ve decided to do some research and select what I think are the best framing nailer models that are out there. The following tools are high-quality, durable and capable of getting the job done right.
10. Bostitch Clipped Head F28WW
Suitable for not only framing but also for attaching wood to masonry and decking as well, this lightweight tool has to power and the versatility to do it all. It has a clipped head design that has an adjustable depth guide that allows the user to set the nail to the depths they need it easily. This allows the user to make adjustments without having to alter compressor pressure and prevents them from having to run back and forth to the compressor for different jobs. This tool weighs under 8-pounds, drive 2-in to 3.5-inch wire framing nails and is designed for day-to-day usage.
9. Numax SFR3490 34-Degree Clipped Head
This lightweight nailer is made with magnesium, which helps it to maintain its durability without adding too much weight to it, and has a rubber grip handle that makes it comfortable to hold and easier to use. This model uses 2-inch to 3.5-inch 30-34-degree .113 to .131 paper collated clip heads but can also use offset d-head nails. This makes this a good clipped head nailer for all kinds of framing work including but not limited to fastening decking, attaching siding or for general remodeling work. It has a tool-free depth adjust that’s quite easy to use and a quick-load magazine, too.
8. Valu-Air 21-Degree Round Head 9021C
Manufactured with general fastening and framing in mind, this tool can be used as a single nailer or can be equipped with the optional bump trigger and used as a bump nailer. This tool also has a tool-free depth adjustment that makes it easy to dial in nailing depth and a heat-treated drive guide that’s designed for durability. And since this unit also has a solid rear-loading aluminum magazine, this tool has a longer life than comparable framers on the market. This unit can drive 21-degree full round-head nails, 2-inches to 3.5-inches, and with a 0.113-inch to 0.148-inch shank diameter.
7. NuMax 21-Degree SFR2190
Framing isn’t the only activity that this tool is capable of handling. It can also do a number of different nailing jobs including fencing, roof sheathing, the installation of siding and other various general remodeling chores. It fires 21-degree nails that are anywhere from 2-inches to 3.5-inches with a collated round head. This unit also has an anti-fire mechanism that prevents the tool from dry-firing when it has five nails or fewer in its magazine. And since this unit is constructed using die-cast magnesium, it’s not only durable but is also lighter than tools made from steel.
6. Hitachi NR90AES1 Plastic Collated Nailer
With an industrial design and a revolutionary head guard, this unit is able to fire nails quicker and more effectively than some of the other nailers available. Its innovative head design is also quicker and easier to disassemble than previous models have been, which makes it easier to be disassembled for maintenance. This tool also has a lightweight design, allows the user to change between contact and sequential nailing by flipping a switch and has a 2-piece anodized aluminum magazine. Everything considered, this unit is durable, lightweight and powerful enough for just about any nailing job.
5. Bostitch Round Head F21PL
Useful for both framing and metal connector applications, thanks to its quick-change nose pieces, this unit is suitable for just about any job thrown at it. This air tool has a fastener depth control, 1.5-inch to 3.5-inches, and deliver over a thousand inch pounds of driving power. Another feature that can be found in this tool include a bump and sequential trigger, integrated rubber skid pads and has an operating pressure of 80 PSI to 120 PSI. This tool is easy enough to use for DIYers or professional workmen and is designed to have a long service life.
4. Bostitch PN100K Kit
Whether it’s used for fastening metal connectors or for a variety of different nailing jobs, this impact nailer kit is designed to drive nails up to 5-inches in length and is a convenient size for getting into tight areas. It weighs just under 3-pounds, so it’s easy to hold and has an ergonomic design so it’s comfortable to use for long periods of time. This tool comes with a standard, finish nail and large bore noses, a nose wrench, a hex wrench, extra O-rings, and lubricant. Everything that’s needed to keep the nailer running and doing the job it is designed to do.
3. NuMax Straight Finish SFN64
Operating at a pressure of 70 PSI to 110 PSI, and with an adjustable depth selection, this 16-gauge nailer is capable of doing all kinds of different nailing jobs. It can be used for lightweight framing jobs, trim, furniture, and even cabinets and it can use 1-inch to 2.5-inch finish nails. Other features which can be found in this unit include a quick-jam release, a high capacity magazine that holds up to 100 nails, an anti-dust cap, ergonomic grip, sequential firing, and a 360-degree adjustable exhaust. It’s also manufactured using aluminum so it’s durable and lightweight as well.
2. Paslode 905600 Cordless XP
This lightweight cordless nailer has a 7.4-Volt lithium-ion battery that can deliver up to 9,000 nails on a single charge. That’s enough to handle even large framing jobs and if the battery ever runs out of charge during a job, it can be given a 2-minute quick charge that will enable the user to get 200 extra shots out of it. This model is designed to drive nails flush, even when its used in older hardwoods, and has fewer jams than some models do. And it can even be used in temperatures as low as 14-degree Fahrenheit, so it can be used for framing almost all year round.
1. Freeman PFR2190 21-Degree Full-Head
Whether it’s used for framing or for some other purpose such as putting up fencing, installing sub-floors, building pallets or wall sheathing, this full head nailer has the power and firing rate to get the job done quickly and efficiently. It has interchangeable triggers that allow for contact and single nail firing, has an adjustable depth and comes with an anti-dry-firing mechanism that prevents the tool from firing with 5 nails or less remaining in the magazine. This tool uses 21-degree round head plastic collated framing nails between 2-inches to 3.5-inches in length.
Framing Nailer Guide
Whether you want to call it a framing nailer or a nail gun, these handy tools are great to have around to change the look of your home and increase the display space. As with any power tool, you need to know what to look for or could end up spending money on pointless features where something simpler will suffice.
The following guide will help you to find out the specific purposes that a framing nailer can be used for, and will educate on what you should look for in a quality product. Some help with accuracy, whilst others have multiple purposes. By the end, you’ll know the right one for you.
Why Use A Framing Nailer?
For many people, a framing nailer is one of the most essential tools in their armory, saving them time and adding a much-welcomed convenience to manual nailing. Professionals and anyone who does a fair bit of DIY will tell you, a nailing gun allows you to speed through what can be a time-consuming task. Because of the force a nailing gun emits, it is often considered to be more accurate and sturdier than inserting a nail with a hammer.
Not only that, but they can take the strain away from the repetative motion of hammering nails.
Types of Framing Nailers
The two main types to choose from are pneumatic and cordless nailers. These vary in convenience, fluctuate in price and come with unique benefits.
These are usually a lot cheaper than a cordless nailing gun without losing any of the functionality. Not only that, but most of the time they are quicker and lighter – even with the weight of the hanger. The wiring of a pneumatic framing nailer can get in the way at times but when you don’t know any different, it isn’t an issue.
The battery life of a cordless nailer has come a long way and you can get a lot of use out of them before they need to be recharged now. However, this is one of the main differences. It can be frustrating when you are caught short in the middle of a job and have to wait for the battery pack to recharge. The battery pack is what makes them heavier but for most people, this isn’t much of a problem, even over extended use.
What To Look for In A Framing Nailer
Not all nailing guns take a variety of nail sizes, some are more specific and will only take longer nails used for heavy-duty carpentry. A framing nailer will typically take nails that are up to 3.5″ in size.
With framing nailers, you are going to be looking at two types of heads – round head and clipped head. A lot of professionals opt for clipped head framing nailers because they can hold more nails at the same time which stops you from having to reach for the next one.
There are two options here, bump and single fire triggers. Bump triggers require you to both hold the trigger and pumps the nail into the wood. Single fire has the benefit of being safer as it will not fire the nail if the tip is bumped against a surface and needs to be pressed against the wood but will not fire unless the trigger is pulled.
Some versatile products offer you both firing modes, allowing you to change your preference.
For some people, the better the safety features, the better the framing nailer, and many people won’t go near certain types without knowing they are reliable first. Some products protect you against accidental misfiring by using a trigger lock mechanism but always wear appropriate clothing and keep up to date on framing nailer safety guidance.
Some will come with protective guards that protect the user from debris that might fly around and even if it does, it is always important to wear protective goggles when using a framing nailer.
The driving power of the device will let you know if it will make light work of harder woods but in reality, they are all built with enough push to get nails through the wood so if a framing nailer is boasting about this, it might be compensating for something else.
Adjustable angles help to get a job done a lot faster, whilst some framing nailers will come with LED lights to improve accuracy, especially when working later in the day. Others will have a jam clearing system but almost all of them should come with a sturdy carry case that makes transportation and storage safe.