Best Nail Gun Reviews – 2018

Unlike many other power tools, nail guns/nailers are a rather diverse bunch. Though the primary function remains the same, you need to be careful when shopping for a new nail gun. There are many types of nail guns, each suitable for a particular type of task. Nail guns are available for professionals in carpentry, construction, and amateur DIY users.

This is why we felt it best to create a short but in-depth guide to the best nailers available online. This guide will help learn about the different types of nailers and introduce you to some of the best nail gun brands and models available on the market.

Top Picks For Best Nail Gun

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Hitachi NT50AE2 Brad Nailer
This is a pneumatic brad nailer, ideal for lighter tasks in carpentry, and woodworking. It is an 18 gauge nail gun that can accept nails ranging in size from ⅝ inches to 2-inches. This nailer is available as a single device, and in a combo with a compressor.
Price range: $70 - $80

*at the time of publishing

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ABOUT THIS PRODUCT

If you want a brad nailer for light-duty DIY and home improvement projects, this might be the best nail gun for you. Hitachi is a brand known for their expertise and experience in creating quality power tools. This is a pneumatic nail gun with an extensive list of features.

It has a selective actuation system, which allows you to change the firing/trigger system with just a flip of the switch. You can choose between bump fire and contact fire modes. And since it has a very lightweight construction, the nailer can be used all day without causing any undue fatigue. It weighs only 2.2 lbs.

And the grip also deserves special mention. It is made from soft elastomer and is very comfortable to hold. And the design also prevents any accidental slips. Nail jams occur even in the best nail gun models. That is a fact of life. This Hitachi nailer has a tool-less nail removal system, which makes it easier to resume work when a nail jam does occur.

Accuracy and precision are also guaranteed, thanks to a depth of drive adjustment knob. This knob is located near the nose of the gun. The gun also features a high capacity, a bottom-loading magazine for brad nails. It is designed to accept ⅝-2 inch long nails, with a varying head size between 0.075-1.9mm.

Users have praised this nailer for its accuracy and quality if finish. They say that this is a very consistent and reliable tool.

pros - Best Nail Gun Reviews – 2018
WHAT WE LIKED
  • Lightweight and easy to wield
  • Adjustable depth
  • Easy unjamming system
  • Adjustments are easy to make
  • Very durable design
cons - Best Nail Gun Reviews – 2018
WHAT WE DON'T LIKE
  • No angled firing capacity
  • Occasional jamming
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NuMax SFL618 Pneumatic Flooring Nailer
This is a pneumatic nail gun used mainly for flooring tasks. It can handle both solid and T&G flooring and uses 15.5 gauge flooring staples and 16 gauge cleats, ranging from 1-½ to 2 inches in length. It has two interchangeable base plates, and come with a no-mar rubber mallet.
Price range: $105 - $115

*at the time of publishing

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ABOUT THIS PRODUCT

If you want to do a lot of flooring projects, this NuMax model might be a great option. It has interchangeable base plates that makes it able to handle different sized nails (½ inch, ⅝ inch, and ¾ inch). The nailer can handle all the different types of flooring, including regular hardwood and Tongue and Groove.

This flooring nail gun can be used with both staples and cleats, making it a very versatile device for the job. The presence of a rubber mallet is very welcome, as it helps fire the nailer and in adjusting the flooring. And since it has a long reach handle, the chances of back pain from extended use is also reduced.

The nail gun operates at pressures between 70-110 PSI. It has a pre-installed NPT fitting, which means that you don't have to spend money to buy one separately. This NPT should fit most standard air hose couplers. The nail gun also has a high capacity straight magazine, which means that you don't have to waste time doing frequent reloads.

This nail gun has been praised for its beginner-friendly disposition. Users also commented on its durable construction, and the well-written instructions.

pros - Best Nail Gun Reviews – 2018
WHAT WE LIKED
  • Easy to use
  • Versatile and able to handle different nail sizes, staples, and cleats
  • Very durable build quality
  • Excellent for beginners and amateurs
  • Interchangeable base plate
cons - Best Nail Gun Reviews – 2018
WHAT WE DON'T LIKE
  • May not work properly on extra hardwood materials
  • Occasional jams
  • Sometimes leaves marks on lighter surfaces
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BOSTITCH RN46-1 Coil Roofing Nailer
This nailer is ideal for driving nails into shingles on rooftops. It has features like adjustable depth control and a coil magazine based feeding system. The nail gun uses ¾ inch to 1-¾ inch roofing nails. It has an adjustable shingle guide for proper spacing assistance.
Price range: $180 - $190

*at the time of publishing

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ABOUT THIS PRODUCT

If you plan to spend time repairing the roof shingles of your home or install some new tiles on some of your building projects, this might be an excellent choice. It is explicitly designed to handle roofing nails and shingles. The coil magazine is a nice touch, as it can load a larger number of nails.

Features like adjustable depth control ensure that you have complete control over the task at hand. This roofing nailer can work on insulation boards, fiber cement surfaces, and drywall as well as roofing tiles.

This pneumatic nail gun can drive in 100 nails per minute, working at an optimal pressure level of 100 PSI. It also has some nifty safety features, like zero-nail lockout feature. This prevents dry firing when the mag is empty, and also gives you an alert when it is time to reload.

Bostitch is a brand know for making some of the best nailer models in the market. This particular version is ideal for pros as well as amateurs. It is very comfortable and light to hold, and doesn't compromise on durability either. The nailer is made from aircraft grade aluminum and has a durable carbide insert at the tip.

Many buyers have commented on the ease with which this nailer accepts nails of various sizes. Most have commented on its near flawless operation and accuracy on roofing.

pros - Best Nail Gun Reviews – 2018
WHAT WE LIKED
  • Extremely durable yet lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Gets things done fast
  • Very reliable product
cons - Best Nail Gun Reviews – 2018
WHAT WE DON'T LIKE
  • Double nailing at times
  • Occasional misfires
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DEWALT DC618K XRP Cordless Finish Nailer
This is an exact angled nailer ideal for driving nails into crown molding, cabinets, shelves, window and door trim, and of course, paneling as well. This is an 18-volt cordless device, with extra mobility. It is a 16 gauge nailer which accepts 1-¼ to 2-½ inch nails.
Price range: $310 - $320

*at the time of publishing

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ABOUT THIS PRODUCT

If you are into woodworking and carpentry and need a heavy duty nail gun, this Dewalt nail gun might be the right one for you. It is an excellent cordless nail gun, with a heavy duty 18-volt batteries from Dewalt. The nailer comes with one battery and a good quality one-hour charger.

The nailer has a high capacity magazine that can carry 120 nails. This tool accepts Dewalt and Paslode 20 degree nails in its rear load magazine. And in the case of jams, the nose is easily accessible for quick removal of the obstructing nails.

The finish nailer weighs just 8.5 lbs and is very comfortable to hold. Fatigue may not be a great concern thanks to the excellent ergonomic design. And this nail gun has LED lights which make it an excellent option for working in low light areas.

The battery performance is excellent, and provide 40% more run time than regular Nickel-cadmium batteries. And since this tool uses the Dewalt interchangeable battery system, if you have other Dewalt cordless tools, you may be able to use those batteries in this nail gun.

Users loved its ease of use, and the ability to work in a wide range of situations. And they also like the fact that it is a cordless device that can be taken to different parts of the job site without having to worry about power cords or air hoses.

pros - Best Nail Gun Reviews – 2018
WHAT WE LIKED
  • Excellent battery performance and backup
  • Powerful performance
  • Very easy to use
  • Can be unjammed fast
cons - Best Nail Gun Reviews – 2018
WHAT WE DON'T LIKE
  • Struggles when dealing with hardwoods
  • 8lbs is still quite heavy
  • May not work in compact spaces due to bulk
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Freeman PFR2190 Framing Nail Gun
This a very versatile nail gun that can tackle a wide range of heavy-duty tasks, like pallets, wood boxes, sub-floors, and wall sheathing. It has both single and contact firing, thanks to interchangeable triggers. The gun can accept 2 inches to 3-½ inch framing nails with plastic collation.
Price range: $140 - $150

*at the time of publishing

barcode - Best Nail Gun Reviews – 2018

ABOUT THIS PRODUCT

The Freeman is not a very known pro-grade brand, but it is a very affordable option for light-duty DIY and enthusiast projects. That is why this framing nail gun is on our list of the best nail gun models. It is ideal for all kinds of framing jobs, like pallets, wood box, fencing, sidings, and wall sheathings.

You have the option of choosing between contact firing or single firing, thanks to the interchangeable triggers. This device also comes with adjustable depth for added accuracy. And it also has some useful safety features, like anti-dry fire systems.

The air exhaust is adjustable, meaning you can move it away if it is facing you. The nail gun is quite light and has a durable magnesium construction. It has a no-mar tip, which is great for avoiding dents and dings on your work surface. The hand has a very comfortable grip, making this a very user-friendly power tool.

It accepts plastic collated nails. These nails are perfect for DIY tasks, as they are held together by strips of plastic. You don't have to worry about glue or sharp pieces of metal debris flying all over the workspace.

Users like the fact that it seems designed especially for DIY enthusiasts. TYhey says that it is very easy to use, and quite accurate as well.

pros - Best Nail Gun Reviews – 2018
WHAT WE LIKED
  • Lightweight design
  • Beginner and DIY friendly
  • Movable exhaust
  • Depth adjustment for accuracy
cons - Best Nail Gun Reviews – 2018
WHAT WE DON'T LIKE
  • Has some minor but noticeable design flaws
  • Rather a bulky shape
  • Some recoil issues
lshl process - Best Nail Gun Reviews – 2018

Nail Gun Buying Guide

When do I need a nail gun?

If you only have to drive nails very infrequently at your home, probably for hanging a framed picture or mirror, a nail gun would be an overkill! You can make do with just a humble yet useful hammer. Nails guns are more of a professional and amateur enthusiast-oriented power tool, rather than an essential device for the average homeowner.

If you were a pro in any of the following industries like woodworking, carpentry, home building, and construction, you would not be asking this question. Time is money for pros, and a nail gun can save you a heck of a lot of time.

Another section that benefits immensely from upgrading to a nailer would be amateur carpenters/woodworkers, and DIY enthusiasts who like taking up more substantial home improvement and construction projects.

What is the best type of nail gun?

Sadly, there are no such things as the best nail gun for all tasks. Nail guns are somewhat specialized tools, available in different specifications and designs. There are at least half a dozen different categories of nailers, each suited for a particular type of surface, material, and application. Understand what each type of nailer is suitable for, and you can choose the one that fits your needs safely.

What are the different types of nailers?

Framing Nailers: these are nail guns capable of driving heavy duty nails into any wood surface. They are perfect for situations where you need load bearing capacity, like in constructing frames for homes.

Roofing Nailers: these are compact and lightweight devices that you can easily carry on to roofs of houses. They use special roofing nails that are driven into roofing shingles. They are almost identical to framing nail guns in appearance but often have a coil magazine. They can hold more nails than a nail gun with a straight magazine.

Finish Nailers: These are predominantly used in woodworking and furniture making. There is some variety among various models of finish nailers regarding the size and type of nails they accept. They are best for jobs like trims, paneling, crown molding, and cabinetry.

Flooring Nailers: As the name suggests, these are used to fasten hardwood and laminate flooring. They can handle materials of different thickness, and come in the form of staplers and cleat nailers.

Brad Nailers: And last but not least, these are a smaller cousin of the finish nailer. They drive the smallest kind of nail, called the brads, into smaller trim work and carpentry projects. They are typically used by DIYers in light-duty woodworking and carpentry jobs.

What are the different power systems used in nail guns?

There are two main options when it comes to the types of nail guns based on their powering systems: pneumatic and electric. Electric can be further sub-divided into corded and cordless systems. Each has their advantages and disadvantages.

  1. Pneumatic: this system uses the pressure from compressed air to drive the nail into the work surface. Many models are sold with an air compressor for this task. This system can handle very heavy duty tasks, but your mobility is limited due to the connecting air hose. Though they are slow to start, they are extremely reliable and powerful.
  2. Electric: these are usually found of light-duty nailers like the ones used with brads, or staples. Corded electric nail gun models are found in the amateur and hobbyist sections of the market. They usually don't have the power that professional grade tasks demand. On the plus side, they are quite inexpensive and compact devices.
  3. Cordless Electric: The power cord length hobbles regular electric nailers. If you need mobile nail guns that are not tied down by power cords or air hoses, this is what you need to look for. They use an explosive gas to power the gun and require a battery to run the ignition. These nail guns are limited by the battery capacity and charging times. Though convenient, the more powerful models can be quite expensive.


If you are a beginner to using nail guns, check out this informatie video on YouTube for an excellent intro to the subject of nail gun usage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YppDjRTlD0

And before we go, lets just remind you that nail guns are incredibly dangerous power tools that can cause serious physical injury if used without proper safety precautions. Why do you think they are so popular as weapons on countless Hollywood movies, TV shows, and books?

Please check out this guide from OSHA regarding safety tips and guidelines before using a nail gun.

Conclusion

As we already mentioned, it is hard or even impossible to call a product "the best nail gun," unless we go deep into the different subcategories. Since this is a general buyers guide, we have tried to include all the different types of nail guns on our review list. They are all great at their specific tasks, but if we had to pick a favorite, it would have to be the Hitachi Brad Nailer. It offers outstanding quality and performance, perfect for both pros and DIY amateurs.

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