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What Is The Best Framing Nailer

Pneumatic Vs Cordless Framing Nailer

Framing Nailer, What is the Best For Your Project?

While a pneumatic framing nailer is a distinct nail gun category, these tools are still available in different subcategories, with the two main ones being pneumatic and cordless.

Hence, as you shop for the best framing nailer, you will first need to decide the type that you want.

Pneumatic Framing Nailer

Pneumatic framing nailers are the most common type of the two.

These framing nailers are powered by an air compressor, which makes them the most powerful option, and will hence be the best for heavy-duty use.

However, to use one, you will need to buy or rent an air compressor if you do not own one, which means extra cost.

Cordless Framing Nailer

Cordless framing nailers are powered by batteries, which in most instances, is a lithium-ion battery.

These framing nailers offer a portable framing solution as you can carry and use them from anywhere.

However, this comes at a price as besides being more expensive, they are relatively less powerful and have limited runtimes.

Final Thoughts Best Full

We get lots of comments about how we make the final rankings. As weve stated, there are hundreds of ways to compare tools. The good news is weve openly shared ALL the data from our tests, and you can rank the tools however you want. Dont care about the price? No problem eliminate that from the matrix above and re-rank them. Hopefully, youll find this Head-To-Head useful in comparing a wide range of full-size pneumatic framing nailers.

What Other Jobs Do I Have In Mind

Do you have other jobs in mind that would benefit from the use of a nailer? If so, consider what those may be to ensure you purchase one that may work for a larger variety of jobs. Nail depth adjustments, firing methods adjustments, and the ability to fire a wider range of nail types are all considerations for this concern.

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Battery And Fuel Cell Combo

Cordless framing nailers can be powered by a battery or a combination of fuel cells.

It is possible to drive a large number of nails with one charge in battery-operated cordless nail guns.

However, its always a good idea to keep a spare battery on hand in case your primary one dies in the middle of a job.

Due to the fact that the fuel cell is utilized in combination with a battery, the body of the nailer equipped with this technology can become very large.

When it comes to power, fuel-driven nailers have a slight advantage over battery-powered nailers, but theyre about the same price.

Cordless Framing Nailer Buyers Guide

Best Cordless Framing Nailer Reviews of 2019
Backyard Boss

Battery vs Battery and Fuel Cell Combo

As mentioned, cordless framing nailers can be powered by a battery or a combination of a fuel cell and a battery. Battery-driven cordless nail guns have decent runtime and can drive hundreds of nails in one single charge. Plus, you dont have to wait long for the battery to charge. But its always sensible to have an extra battery at hand just in case you run out of juice in the middle of a project.

Cordless framing nailers can also be powered by a fuel cell that contains butane or propane. The fuel cell is used in conjunction with a battery, so the body of the nailer that uses this system can get very bulky. Fuel-driven nailers are more powerful than battery-powered nailers, but they are on par with battery-driven nailers when it comes to price. But keep in mind that you will need to buy new fuel cells in the future, so that can add up to the expense.


Framing nailers have magazines that are positioned at different angles. These angles are 21°, 28°, and 30°. When buying fasteners in the future, keep in mind that you can only load nails that match the angle of your magazine.

21° Framing Nailers

Some framing nailers are equipped with a stick magazine that is angled between 20° to 22°. Just like 15° framing nail guns, these nailers use round head nails. But unlike 15° nail guns that use wire-coil nails, 21° framing nails use plastic-collated nails.

28° Framing Nailers
30° Framing Nailers

Actuation Modes

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Why Do Framing Nailers Come In Different Angles

In general, different angles are an option because of the variety of tasks you can use a framing nailer for.

Some angles are better when space is tight. For example, the higher the angle, the easier it is to use this type of gun at difficult angles and in more closed spaces.

Its also worth pointing out that youre not allowed to use certain types of nails in some locations. In some parts of the US, you have to use specific nail head types or framing nail collations to pass building code regulations.

The weather has a lot to do with these requirements. Where there are more dramatic weather conditions, such as hurricanes, a nail with greater pull-through resistance would be a requirement. You can check requirements in your area by contacting your building regulations department.

Metabo Pneumatic Hpt Framing Nailer

Metabo comes with a cylinder valve drive system that makes it last longer. It gets power from a pneumatic power system, making it never run out of juice even with a days long use. Use the nailer with different wood sizes given the easy-to-use, tool-free depth adjustment dial. You can select between the sequential and contact nailing options for more convenience with the selective actuation function.

For a secure and comfortable holding, you have the nailers ergonomic handle. Its compact and lightweight design increases its maneuverability so that youre free to work with the nailer in tight spaces. The nailers 2-piece magazine lasts longer. It comes with a convenient 5-year warranty period.


  • It comes with an ergonomic handle

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Why Are There Two Types Of Paslode Gas Framing Nailers

Following the expiry of their impulse patent and subsequent market congestion, Paslode realised that they had to raise the bar, by immediately instructing their research and development team to develop the next generation in cordless nailing technology.

In 2008, the SERIES-i IM90i was launched into the UK market, offering key features and benefits over the original IM350 Nailer as well as alternative brands.

The main improvements were not only based around the tool, but also the nails and fuel canisters, notably:

  • 30% more power, capable of fully driving a 90mm ring shank nail
  • New patented self-locating fuel cell with cold weather performance
  • LED indicators showing remaining fuel, power and when its time for a clean
  • Full round nail head, as opposed to a clipped head, for improved aesthetics and stronger fix

The brand new patented fuel cell was a different shape and could only be used with the upgraded Paslode SERIES-i gas nailing machines. In other words, the two Paslode 1st Fix Nail Guns required different nail and fuel packs.

In truth, the nails were interchangeable between old and new, but the gas canisters were most certainly not. To avoid confusion in the marketplace, the obvious solution would have been to kill-off the original IM350 Nailer, but concerns over losing market share meant that the two different Paslode first fix platforms were to be produced and made available side-by-side.

This is still the situation that remains today, with the most recent models.

Makita An923 Framing Nailer

Best Pneumatic Framing Nailer Head To Head

To avoid harming siding with strong blanks and dry discharge, Makita created a powerful straight cordless nail gun with an anti-dry discharging mechanism.

Even though minor this tool does not contain a battery, but it can be used with most standard Makita batteries and delivers 24 amps however, a 5-amp battery will give you the most power.


  • Depth Adjustment Is Easy

When it comes to the depth adjustment dial, Makita does things a little differently.

Because its on the bottom of the nailers business end, access is slightly more limited than with a side- or top-mount installation. The most crucial thing is that the dial turns smoothly.

  • Adjustment of Actuation without the Use of a Tool

The ability to make adjustments without using any tools is remarkable.

Some models still require you to swap out the trigger to switch between single and bump fire settings.

The Makita frame nailer doesnt have this annoying flaw. Most framing nailers have a switch above the trigger that you can turn to change the direction of the nailers head.

  • Power of Firing

The Makita framing nailer is a pleasant surprise in the tool world. In terms of nail-firing capacity, the Makita AN923 can compete with the industrys best.

When you use it in single-fire mode, it is capable of driving nails through thick, resistant materials.

If youre working with more rigid materials, proceed slowly and set the nailers pressure dial to 120 PSI instead of 140 PSI.


  • Slightly low firing strength


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Types Of Framing Nailers Based On Nail Collation

Nail collation refers to the degree of nails used in a specific framing nail gun. Depending on your project and the angle you are working with, you need to pick out the perfect nail gun. There are usually four variants when it comes to framing nail gun angles. They are 15 degree, 21 degree, 28 degree, and 30-34 degree.

What Size Air Compressor Is Needed For A Framing Nail Gun

You only need an air compressor for a pneumatic framing nailer. It doesnt need a continuous air supply, so the air compressor only has to use short bursts of air to get the nails into the wood. Typically, this means you can use a portable compressor, but it needs to have a 2 CFM rating and a tank capacity of between 2 and 6 gallons.

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Bostitch F21pl Framing Nailer Best Overall

If you are looking for a sound investment for your contracting business, the BOSTITCH F21PL Framing Nailer is the one to choose. It has the rugged design and time-honored history of excellence that makes it the go-to framing nailer for any serious professional contractor.

This model is actually two nailers in one. It has the framing nose piece that is common with most nailers, but it also has the option of a metal connector, which is useful when versatility is what you crave. And it can handle 1 ½ to 3 ½-inch framing nails, driving them into your framing project at 1050 inch-pounds of driving power.

The one flaw of this model is in the metal connector application. The nails are very specific and difficult to find, and the instructions provided dont mention that. An oversight by Bostitch that can cause frustration, but once the right nails are located, you are in pretty good shape.

  • Metal connector needs specific nails

Tacwise 400els Electric Nail Gun

9 Best Framing Nailers 2017


The Tacwise 400ELS Electric Nail Gun comes with an angled magazine system which offers extra convenience when you want to fire into those very tight spaces due to its extremely compact design. Adding to its convenience is its 1.8kg weight which sounds manageable for extended working periods. Furthermore, this tool is corded electric meaning you have no limitation on the power supply.

This nailer is capable of firing 6 lengths of nails ranging from 20-40mm in a single shot trigger. It does that at speeds of 30 nails per minute which is more than enough for practically all kinds of jobs. In addition to its incredible speeds, the tool has a magazine capacity of 100 nails. It also features a metal, quick release magazine with an easy close butt.

The manufacturer recommends using Tacwise nails for this nail gun just to ensure the lowest chance of any nail gun jams. Furthermore, Tacwise nails are fairly priced so the idea seems to be a no-brainer. In any case, it features a quick-release nose gate in the unlikely event of a jam.

When it comes to ease of use, the tool has a rubberised handle grip and top cap. This makes it very comfortable to hold for long periods but even so, gloves are usually recommended to prevent burns. The tool comes in a strong carry case which is handy for storage and transportation.



  • Its electrical cord is quite short.

Our recommendation

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Silverline 282400 Air Framing Nailer


The Silverline 282400 Air Framing Nailer is a powerful nailer that fires 50-90mm 34 degrees paper collated clipped head nails. It has a working pressure of 75 115 PSI which can go up to a maximum of 120PSI.

This nailer has the ability to fire nails of different styles including thanks to its adjustable penetration depth. It accepts 10 -12 nail gauges as well as nail shank diameters from 2.87 3.33mm. This is a very useful feature when working on carpentry jobs that involve nails of variable lengths and diameters. A cut-out feature prevents empty firing and this ensures that all your nails are well utilised.

At 3.3kg, the Silverline 282400 Air Framing Nailer is amongst the lightweight models available. This is greatly due to its aluminium body construction as well as magnesium housing these materials are known to be extremely light. The primary handle is finished with rubber which not only provides excellent grip but is also comfortable for when you have to hold the tool for extended periods.

One outstanding feature of this tool is its 90-piece magazine capacity. This is a big advantage compared to most other models in our list and even others on the market. Another impressive thing is the no-mark tip which protects the work surface from potential damage. Also included in this tool is a 1/4 inch male connector.


  • Supplied with low quality nails.
  • Some reports of the customer service could be better.

Our recommendation

What Is A Cordless Nailer

Although many nail guns are run through pressurized air, which requires a connection to an air hose and air compressor, cordless nailers provide you with the freedom of movement and unrestricted by hoe lengths or pressurized charges.

Pneumatic nailers are considered amongst the most powerful, but advances in recent technology have allowed the industry to see an increase in cordless choices that can hold their own against the more traditional gun. Cordless nails can be described in one of two ways: battery-driven, or fuel-driven.

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Hitachi Nr90gc2 Cordless Gas Clipped Head Framing Nailer


The Hitachi NR90GC2 framing nailer is an improvement from the NR90GC2 nail gun. It has a well-balanced design and is lightweight which makes it very easy to work with for an extended period of time.

This cordless gas clipped nailer fires up to 1,200 nails per fuel cell and has a driving power of up to 90 joules. Its fitted with 2 x 1.4Ah batteries and a quick 60 minutes charging time which effectively eliminates downtime, increasing your productivity. It features a quick to load access magazine and a double-action nail feed. This simply means the nails are dropped, and when you pull back the feeder, its ready for action.

The fuel cell chamber is well located and easily accessible, plus the design of the magazine enhances visibility so you can be able to see if youre running low on nails. It has a very soft grip and is incredibly easy to clean and maintain. It holds about 47 at a time with a battery capacity of 4000 nails per charge and a fuel capacity of up to 1000 nails. The Hitachi NR90GC2 features a dry firing lockout function which increases your safety by preventing unintentional firing. Once purchased, the nailer comes supplied with

  • 1 x carry case
  • Lightweight for that much needed ease of handling.
  • It is precise and accurate meaning that it has a very minimal misfire.


  • The batteries have a limited run time.
  • The rafter clip swings too much.

Our recommendation

Hitachi Nr90aes1 Pneumatic Framing Nailer Best Overall

What Are The Best Framing Nailers to Buy?

The Hitachi NR90AES1 is the best pneumatic framing nailer in our review. It features both tool-less depth adjustment and an easy switch between sequential and contact nailing. What sets this model apart, though, is its ease of use. It features one of the quickest reload times on our list, as there are only two steps required to replace nails, which will save you a lot of time in the long run. It also comes with a tool-free depth of drive adjustment, so that you dont have to finish off nails with a hammer.

The two-piece anodized aluminum magazine is easily removed. This means in the unlikely event that the magazine is damaged, it doesnt make the entire gun worthless. You can take the magazine off to make repairs, or purchase a new magazine and install it, as opposed to buying an entirely new nailer.

The only downside is that, like a lot of framing nailers, it doesnt come with a hanging hook.

The Bostitch LPF21PL is our runner-up, providing a lot of features that you can find on our top pick, but packing into a much tighter package. This model is designed to easily fit between rafters and in other tight spaces, making it a superior design for when youre working in those situations. It features a tool-free selection between contact and sequential firing modes, and it also allows for easy depth of drive adjustment, and a filter to separate out debris that might otherwise damage the internal components.

  • Doesnt work with 3-1/2 nails

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Which Framing Nailer Angle Is Suitable For Trim Work

A framing nailer is used in a variety of construction projects, but when the tool isnt being used for wider applications such as flooring and siding, it typically has an 18 degree angle.

A trim work framer usually needs to have less power so that fitting nails into tight spaces dont cause any issues with jamming or misfires.

Its best to use a 15 degree nail gun- as this will give you more control over your line while still giving you enough power to drive home tough-topping nails without extra effort on your part.


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