Nail guns are a modern creation that needs to be added to anyone’s toolbox who does a fair amount of carpentry. They can shoot hundreds of nails into all sorts of different materials such as wood and concrete. Inherently, the principle is always simply shooting a nail really hard into a material. In reality, though, all nail guns are different, and there isn’t a single one which can do all jobs. Framing nail guns are heavy duty tools which are most often used for making timber frames, however they can also be used very effectively for decking, fencing and sheds as well. The right framing nail gun for you is waiting out there and this guide will make it much easier to find it.
Different nail guns can shoot different sized nails and can be powered by different sources. There are also nail guns which are designed for different applications. Choosing the correct gun for the job is key to the success of your project as well as your safety.
- Top 10 Framing Nail Guns
- How to Choose the Best Framing Nail Gun
- Framing Nail Gun Reviews
- 1. NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer
- 2. Paslode 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer
- 3. APACH CN70-E2 Industrial 15-Degree Coil Nailer for 1-3/4-Inch to 2-3/4-Inch Wire Coil Nails
- 4. BOSTITCH F28WW Clipped Head 2-inch to 3-1/2-inch Framing Nailer with Magnesium Housing
- 5. DEWALT D51855 Coil Framing Nailer 1-1/2-Inch To 3-1/2-Inch
- 6. PORTER-CABLE FR350B 3-1/2-Inch Full Round Framing Nailer
- 7. Numax SFR3490 34-Degree Clipped Head Framing Nailer
- 8. Hitachi NV83A5 Coil Framing Nailer with Rafter Hook, 3-1/4”
- 9. Freeman PFR2190 21-Degree Full-Head Framing Nailer
- 10. BOSTITCH N89C-1 Coil Framing Nailer
- Our Pick
- Freeman PFR2190 21-Degree Full-Head Framing Nailer
Top 10 Framing Nail Guns
|NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer||PVA / Electric||$|
|Paslode 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer||Stainless Steel||$$$$|
|APACH CN70-E2 Industrial 15-Degree Coil Nailer for 1-3/4-Inch to 2-3/4-Inch Wire Coil Nails||Stainless Steel||$$$|
|BOSTITCH F28WW Clipped Head 2-inch to 3-1/2-inch Framing Nailer with Magnesium Housing||Stainless Steel||$$$|
|DEWALT D51855 Coil Framing Nailer 1-1/2-Inch To 3-1/2-Inch||Stainless Steel||$$$$|
|PORTER-CABLE FR350B 3-1/2-Inch Full Round Framing Nailer||Stainless Steel||$$|
|Numax SFR3490 34-Degree Clipped Head Framing Nailer||Stainless Steel||$|
|Hitachi NV83A5 Coil Framing Nailer with Rafter Hook, 3-1/4"||Stainless Steel||$$$$$|
|Freeman PFR2190 21-Degree Full-Head Framing Nailer||Nylon||$$|
|BOSTITCH N89C-1 Coil Framing Nailer||Nylon||$$$$|
How to Choose the Best Framing Nail Gun
Regardless of the job, if you have a lot of nailing that needs doing, you need a nail gun. A framing nail gun is a heavy-duty nail gun for decking, timber frames and other large jobs. If you try these jobs by hammering in each individual one without a nail gun it will take you a long time and more effort than you’d like. Framing nail guns will save you a lot of time and effort on big jobs and this list will help you choose the right one.
Framing nail guns can come with two different power sources: pneumatic and battery. Pneumatic nail guns need an air compressor to be attached which shoots compressed air through a tube to push the nail out of the gun. The compressor must be bought separately, however, and the hose can often get in the way. Pneumatic nail guns can also take a while to start up as the compressor needs to compress the air before it can be used. These nail guns tend to be very reliable and powerful
Cordless electric nail guns are perfect if you hate cords getting in the way of your work. These have a gas canister inside and the battery provides a spark which ignites some gas to shoot the nail. The drawback of these framing nail guns is that the battery needs to be recharged and on really big jobs you may have to wait a while. This can be solved by having a backup battery and choosing ones which charge quickly so you can charge one while using the other but batteries tend to be expensive. The fuel canister also needs to be replaced when it runs out which is another expense.
Types of Nails
The type of nails that you will be using is an important consideration when choosing your nailer. Nail guns are designed for specific types of nails so make sure you get the right one. Framing nail guns will work with bigger nails for bigger projects. You also need to look at whether they accommodate round-head nails as well as clipped-head nails.
Types of Trigger
Framing nail guns have two main types of firing mechanism, bump fire and single fire. Bump fire nailers can be quicker as you can hold down the trigger with your index finger and just press the tip of the gun to the material to shoot a nail. The downside of this is safety, all it takes is an accidental tap of the tip to shoot a nail when you don’t mean to.
Single fire triggers are a lot safer as they have a sequential mechanism. The tip must be placed against the material first, then you press the trigger with your index finger to shoot the nail. This can be slower but also more controlled and precise so be sure to get the right one for you. If you need a job done quickly but the positioning of the nail isn’t vital then a bump fire will do, a job that requires more patience and control will do best with a single fire nailer.
Stick-style and coil-style are your two options when choosing the magazine type of your nailer. Both types store your nails on the gun so you can do lots in a short time. Stick-style magazines keep your nails in a row and can therefore store fewer nails and will need changing more often. A coil-style magazine stores the nails in a big, circular drum which can hold significantly more nails. If your project requires only a small number of nails then a stick-style will be adequate. Larger projects requiring hundreds of nails will be completed a lot more quickly with a coil-style magazine though.
For pneumatic nailers the hose can be quite a hassle and get in the way of your work. Some framing nail guns have swivel tube connectors which allow the cable to be moved around easily and remove a lot of the difficulty of working with a hose.
As with any guns, a nail gun can jam. Some nail guns can have their jams cleared easily, though. Easy access to the nail feed is important so that you can clear the jam quickly and easily without letting it slow you down.
Nail depth adjustment can be very handy. This allows you to change the setting of the nailer so it hammers the nail in with differing amounts of power to drive it to different depths as needed. If your project will require nails at different depths then ensure you get a framing nail gun which can be changed easily.
If you do a lot of nailing with different sized nails then look for a framing nail gun which can be adjusted to accommodate different sized nails.
Framing Nail Gun Reviews
1. NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer
The NuMax SFR2190 is a versatile, pneumatic framing nail gun with lots of handy features. It has a dual-mode trigger which can be switched between bump firing for quicker nailing and single firing for more accurate placement. It also has depth adjustment so you can tailor the nail to the job required. This nailer also has a 360-degree swivel tube to ensure the cable can be easily moved out of the way.
21-degree nails can be shot with this nail gun ranging from 2 inches to 3.5 inches in size with plastic collated round heads. It also has a mechanism to prevent dry firing which activates when there are 5 nails in the magazine. The stick-style magazine can hold 55 nails making it ideal for medium-sized jobs as you won’t have to add more very often. There is a special tip to stop the gun from denting your material. This tip can be removed to reveal teeth which help to grip wood for better nail placement.
- No-mar tip and gripping teeth
- Large stick-style magazine
- Dual-action trigger
- Depth adjustment
- Anti-dry-fire mechanism
- 360-degree swivel tube
- Quite heavy
2. Paslode 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer
The Paslode 905600 is a cordless framing nail gun with an incredibly long-lasting 7.4V lithium ion battery that can drive up to 9,000 nails before needing to be charged again. The battery takes up to an hour and a half for a full charge however it can be rapid-charged in two minutes to do another 200 nails.
It is a slightly lighter nailer, weighing in at just 7.2 pounds, meaning it can be used for long periods of time with minimal strain and effort. It can also work down to temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit when used with the Paslode all-season formula. Its magazine raceway is stainless steel and designed to reduce the number of jams. This is quite an expensive framing nail gun and doesn’t have some of the nifty extra features of the other nailers. It does, however, give you a lot of power for driving nails and its benefit as a cordless nail gun is brilliant.
- Long lasting battery
- Lots of power
- Rapid charging
- Lacks handy features like bump firing
3. APACH CN70-E2 Industrial 15-Degree Coil Nailer for 1-3/4-Inch to 2-3/4-Inch Wire Coil Nails
The Apach CN70-E2 is a pneumatic nail gun with a swivel tube to make it easier to adjust the hose to the compressor and get the job done quickly. It shoots 15-degree nails from a coil magazine capable of holding a large number of nails to get big jobs done with fewer interruptions. It is powerful and rapid and nails from 1.75 inches in size to 2.75 inches can be fired from this nailer.
The nose of this nail gun has a 2-piece joint guide and a protector cap to stop debris from flying out and hitting the user. It has been designed with ergonomics in mind and its grip is comfortable and the tool is well-balanced making extended use easier.
- 2-piece joint guide
- Coil magazine
- Swivel tube
- Ergonomic design
- Not very good value
- No extra features
4. BOSTITCH F28WW Clipped Head 2-inch to 3-1/2-inch Framing Nailer with Magnesium Housing
This framing nail gun is a lightweight yet powerful nailer with a power of 1050-inch-pounds despite weighing just 7.6 pounds. It has a magnesium housing for lightweight durability and a dual-action trigger for sequential firing or bump firing. This gives it the versatility to be used to fire lots of nails in a short space of time or slower, more accurate firing.
It shoots nails ranging from 2 inches in size to 3.5 inches. It is a pneumatic nailer that requires a compressor to work. There are buttons to alter the depth drive of the nailer so you can use it for lots of different applications. This is an affordable, versatile framing nail gun and great value for money.
- Dual-action trigger
- Depth adjustment
- Limited selection of nails
5. DEWALT D51855 Coil Framing Nailer 1-1/2-Inch To 3-1/2-Inch
The Dewalt D51855 has been specially engineered to have excellent power and minimal recoil. It can drive 1.5 to 3.5-inch nails into regular timber and engineered lumber all the way. It also uses 20% less air than previous models without losing power. It has a pull-out nail tray to easily load the magazine and the size of the nails can also be adjusted very easily.
The depth that it drives nails can be changed by hand making it quick and easy. It is ergonomically designed with a rubber handle and good balanced for comfort and control. There are also steel guards to improve jobsite protection. It can also be hung to a belt or rafter using a handy hook.
- Excellent value for money
- Top quality nailer
- Efficient air consumption
- Easy loading
- Well designed
6. PORTER-CABLE FR350B 3-1/2-Inch Full Round Framing Nailer
Porter Cable is one of the top brands for power tools, providing high-quality, reliable products at decent prices. The FR350B Framing Nailer is no different, it is very affordable and great value. It is lightweight at 7.3 pounds and well balanced for comfortable use and added control. Despite the weight it has the power to drive 3.5-inch nails into engineered lumber.
The depth of drive can be adjusted easily and without a key for proper setting and there is a trigger lockout mechanism for restrictive or contact actuation mode. This nailer uses full, round-head, plastic collated nails. It has selectable trigger settings for different uses making it versatile as well.
- Top quality nailer
- Adjustable depth of drive
- Trigger lockout mechanism
- Only one type of nail can be used
7. Numax SFR3490 34-Degree Clipped Head Framing Nailer
The NuMax SFR3490 is a framing nail gun that shoots 34-degree clipped head nails or offset d-head nails. The nails can be anywhere from 2 inches in size to 3.5 inches and the nailer can use lower degree nails too (30-34 degrees). There is a rubber cap on the end to protect the material from being marred by the action and its handle has a rubber comfort grip for easier use.
Its magnesium housing makes it lightweight but still sturdy and durable. An anti-dry-firing mechanism protects it from operation with no nail loaded. It is a great value nailer as it is very affordable and yet still versatile and well-designed.
- Very affordable
- Great value for money
- Decent range of nails compatible
- Can shoot offset d-head nails
- Rubber comfort grip
- Not cordless
8. Hitachi NV83A5 Coil Framing Nailer with Rafter Hook, 3-1/4”
The Hitachi NV83A5 provides a more expensive, higher quality option for those willing to splash out for a brilliant nailer. It has tool-less depth drive adjustment so you can ensure correct setting of the nail heads. There is a selective actuation on the trigger to quickly switch between quicker bump fire or more precise sequential firing.
The cylinder valve system has been designed for rapid response and increased durability. The coil-style magazine can hold hundreds of nails and easily slides out to be reloaded. The claw on the end is hardened for great grip which doesn’t reduce overtime so that you can more easily drive nails in at different angles. Although expensive, this is a great product. There is, however, a major downfall as it can only drive 3.25-inch nails and this cannot be adjusted.
- Excellent quality
- Rafter hook
- Depth drive adjustment
- Coil-style magazine
- Selective actuation
- Only shoots 3.25-inch nails
9. Freeman PFR2190 21-Degree Full-Head Framing Nailer
The Freeman PFR2190 is a pneumatic framing nail gun with a handy swivel tube to help reduce the hassle and irritation of the hose. The depth drive can be adjusted to make it effective for different jobs and there is a no-mar tip to protect the material you are driving the nails into. It uses 21-degree round-head, plastic collated nails and these can be anywhere from 2 inches in length to 3.5 inches.
The trigger can be changed easily so that you can use it for precise and controlled single firing or faster bump firing. The stick-style magazine can hold 55 nails making shorter work of bigger jobs. Its affordable price marks this nailer as a great contender for whatever projects you are doing, be them big or small.
- Incredibly good value for money
- Great quality
- Ideal for use on big or small projects
- Swivel tube
- Variety of nail sizes can be used
- Bump or single fire
- Decent sized stick-style magazine
- Depth adjustment
- Sturdy and strong
- Doesn’t have a rafter hook
10. BOSTITCH N89C-1 Coil Framing Nailer
This is a pneumatic framing nail gun which has an adjustable exhaust. The magazine is coil-style meaning it can hold a lot of nails. This is a great trait for big projects that require hundreds of nails as reloading needs to be done a lot less often. There is a push-button style depth drive adjustment which easily lets you choose the depth it drives your nails to.
It has a lightweight magnesium housing for added durability without the expense of weight. The nailer can take 15-degree nails which are 2 to 3.5 inches long. There are also wear guards which protect the nail gun from damage on rough surfaces. Its ergonomic grip and light weight makes it easily usable on large jobs for long periods of time without lots of strain and discomfort.
- Good quality nail gun
- Adjustable exhaust
- Depth drive adjustment
- Coil-style magazine holds 300 nails
- Light and ergonomic
- Variety of compatible nails
- Hard to clean mash from the large holes