Best Framing Nailer

Best Framing Nailer

Until not so long ago, one could only see a framing nailer in the hands of a professional contractor. Thanks to the growing popularity of DIY hobbies, more and more people are realizing how awesome nail guns actually are.

With the right nail gun in your hand, you won’t be putting off that age-old DIY idea of yours any longer.

The best framing nailer will help you transform your projects into true works of art in a faster and more efficient manner. And, to help you pick out the right framing nailer for your needs, here are the 10 best framing nailers on the market. For tight spaces check out the best palm nailer.

Our Top Pick: Paslode 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer

Features

  • Compact, ergonomic design
  • Easy to use
  • Great battery life
  • Lightweight
  • Portable

DEWALT DCN692M1 Paper Collated Framing Nailer

DEWALT DCN692M1 Paper Collated Framing Nailer

Features

  • Weight: 4.2 lb
  • Power source: battery
  • Magazine capacity: 55 nails

With its long-lasting, heavy-duty brushless motor, the Dewalt framing nailer is more durable than most other nail guns. It’s really a true contractor’s tool.

The Dewalt boasts a consistency that every woodworker likes to see in their tools. For varying depth demands and nail lengths, the nailer is equipped with an optimized dual-speed motor.

It offers both bump and sequential fire modes. Switching between the two is easy thanks to the tool-free selector. The only downside of the Dewalt is the fact that it jams more often than most other models on the list.

However, removing jammed nails comes much easier than with other nailers. The nosepiece is easy to access.

There’s also the trigger lock-off that helps minimize tool damage and provides extra safety. It’s also a great tool for those hard-to-reach spots, as it’s compact, lightweight and entirely battery-powered.

Pros

  • Easy to remove jammed nails
  • Integrated belt hook
  • Brushless motor
  • Compact and lightweight

Cons

  • Jams more frequently than other nailers

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BOSTITCH F21PL

BOSTITCH F21PL

Features

  • Weight: 8.1 lb
  • Power source: pneumatic
  • Magazine capacity: 60 nails

With Bostitch, you essentially get 2 nail guns in one. Apt for a variety of demands, it’s one of the most versatile nailers on the market.

You can easily work metal or framing jobs thanks to the 2 quick-change nose pieces. One of the things that make the Bostitch F21PL so great is its sleek durable magnesium design.

The nailer offers depth adjustment and comes with an adjustable rafter hook. Features such as these make it great for both DIY and professional use. With its 1020 in-lb of power, the Bostitch can effortlessly drive 1-1/2″ to 3-1/2″ nails.

The nail gun can hold 60 plastic collated nails. Its only downside is the noise it makes. The Bostitch isn’t the perfect choice for midnight work.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Adjustable depth
  • Adjustable raft hook
  • 2 nailers in 1

Cons

  • Noisy

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Paslode 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer

Paslode 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer

Features

  • Weight: 7.2 lb
  • Power source: battery
  • Magazine capacity: 1 strip

The Paslode may indeed be the most capable cordless nail gun on the market. It’s a great choice for professionals who need a portable model.

The Paslode is just as powerful as a pneumatic model. Although it doesn’t require a compressor, it requires a gas fuel cell to work.

You can drive 1,200 nails with one gas cartridge. But it can drive 9,000 nails on one battery charge. It’s balanced and ergonomic design are a work of masterful engineering, they make it a real joy to work with.

With its 7.2 lb, you won’t experience hand fatigue so quickly. The nose is very easy to see around. Unlike with most cordless nail guns, there’s no firing delay.

Pros

  • Compact, ergonomic design
  • Easy to use
  • Great battery life
  • Lightweight
  • Portable

Cons

  • Noisy

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3PLUS H2190SP

3PLUS H2190SP

Features

  • Weight: 10.7 lb
  • Power source: pneumatic
  • Magazine capacity: 48 nails

If you’re looking for an entry-level nailer that won’t break the bank, the 3Plus nail gun may be your best option.

It’s easy to use and delivers on its promises. The 3Plus can drive 2 to 3-1/2″ nails with ease. For minimized hassle and easy portability, it’s equipped with a multidirectional exhaust.

The framing nailer also boasts tool-free depth adjustment. The rear nail loading allows for maximum convenience. The 3Plus allows for countersink or precise nailing.

Its the only drawback is the fact that it’s prone to jamming. If you’re a professional that needs a framing nailer for all-day use, it may be best to invest in a higher-end model. It’s still a solid tool for occasional DIY use.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Long motor life
  • Countersink or precise nailing

Cons

  • Prone to jamming

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NuMax SFR2190

NuMax SFR2190

Features

  • Weight: 8.6 lb
  • Power source: pneumatic
  • Magazine capacity: 55 nails

The versatile design of the NuMax SFR2190 makes it a great tool for a variety of different tasks. The NuMax boasts a durable but lightweight magnesium body.

It is comfortable to hold and sits well on the hand. You won’t experience hand fatigue so easily after prolonged use.

It comes with a dual-mode trigger that makes things much easier. You don’t have to use a switch in order to change between triggers.

One trigger is better suited for higher volume jobs while the other is great for smaller projects. The safety feature on the nailer prevents it from firing when there are just a few nails left in the magazine.

The NuMax can drive 3″ nails through woods such as Southern Yellow Pine with ease. If you’re a cautious buyer, you can rest assured you’ll get more than a bang for your buck with the NuMax framing nailer.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Versatile
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Accuracy could be better

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PORTER-CABLE FR350B

PORTER-CABLE FR350B

Features

  • Weight: 7.3 lb
  • Power source: pneumatic
  • Magazine capacity: 60 nails

Porter-Cable is known for making solid and dependable tools, and their framing nailer attests to that. With its selectable trigger options and easy depth adjustment, it’s one of the most versatile nailers out there.

To keep it in top condition, it is equipped with a low-nail lockout feature. The 22° magazine axis makes it a great choice for smaller jobs. This Porter-Cable nail gun can drive nails up to 3-½″ in size.

It can handle engineered lumber without any problems. Since it’s a lightweight model that comes with a nice, over-mold grip, the Porter-Cable framing nailer is a great choice for extended use.

What’s unusual about this nail gun are the safety features. They are perhaps a bit too good. An experienced user may find them overly sensitive.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Versatile
  • Tool-free adjustable depth
  • Durable

Cons

  • Safety features are too sensitive

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Max SN883RH3 Superframer

Max SN883RH3 Superframer

Features

  • Weight: 7 lb
  • Power source: pneumatic
  • Magazine capacity: 64 nails

Highly intuitive, easy to use, and lightweight, the Max Superframer is another excellent budget-friendly option. The recoil after firing is very light, which makes this nail gun very easy to maneuver.

The nose magnet is a particularly nice detail. It helps keep the nails in place. To make sure you can work with ease, both above and below, the nailer comes with a heavy-duty rafter hook.

And, to prevent twists and misfires, the Superframer is equipped with a tangle-free swivel plug.

Even when compared to higher-end models, the Max Super framer is one of the smoothest nailers—whether we’re talking about single or rapid fire. The only catch is, it can’t drive nails as deep as the other nailers on the list.

Pros

  • Well-balanced
  • Smooth
  • Lightweight
  • Nose magnet

Cons

  • Doesn’t drive nails as deep as other nailers

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Metabo NR90AES1

Metabo NR90AES1

Features

  • Weight: 10 lb
  • Power source: pneumatic
  • Magazine capacity: 70 nails

If you’re looking for a mid-range nail gun with a good configuration, the Metabo is a good choice.

When buying tools, many are put off by unfamiliar names, but this is actually a Hitachi nailer rebranded as Metabo.

Maintenance comes really easy with the Metabo. This makes it one of the most popular options among hobbyists and professionals alike. Even though it’s a bit heavier than other nail guns, the Metabo is a well-balanced tool.

It’s quite compact as well, which makes it great for working in tight spaces. However, working with it up high may be an issue as it doesn’t come with a rafter hook.

Pros

  • Easy to maneuver
  • Compact design
  • Well-balanced
  • Tool-free depth adjustment

Cons

  • No rafter hook

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Freeman PFR2190

Freeman PFR2190

Features

  • Weight: 8.5 lb
  • Power source: pneumatic
  • Magazine capacity: 55 nails

The Freeman is very similar to the NuMax. The two brands are even owned by the same company. Like the NuMax, the Freeman framing nail boasts a variety of features. It’s a great choice for more serious DIYers.

Features like the interchangeable trigger and adjustable air exhaust make it quite versatile and easy to use. It can drive 2 to 3-½″ plastic collated nails at a 21° angle.

The Freeman has an anti-dry fire mechanism and offers tool-free depth adjustment. It’s also equipped with a no-mar tip. The nailer comes with a generous 7-year warranty. However, it doesn’t come with a rafter hook.

Pros

  • 7-year limited warranty
  • Versatile
  • Lightweight
  • Durable magnesium body

Cons

  • No rafter hook

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WEN 61798

WEN 61798

Features

  • Weight: 18.1 lb
  • Power source: pneumatic
  • Magazine capacity: 100 nails

The Wen framing nailer holds up more than well for its price. It will get the job done without breaking the bank. While it’s larger than your average nail gun, it has an impressive magazine capacity (100 nails).

Its aluminum body is much sturdier than one would expect. The Wen framing nailer can drive 2 to 3-1/2″ paper collated nails.

The depth adjuster is a nice surprise as well. It’s even better than those of some higher-end models.

The nail gun comes with a couple of nice extras including, oil, safety goggles, and an adjustment wrench.

Pros

  • Adjustable exhaust
  • Tool-free depth adjustment
  • Budget-friendly
  • Wide pressure range

Cons

  • Large

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What to Consider Before Buying a Framing Nailer

It goes without saying, but not all framing nailers are made the same. To make sure you’ll buy a nail gun that suits your needs, here are a few factors you should consider:

Depth of Drive

Depth of drive refers to how deep the framing nailer can drive nails. Something less obvious, but more important, is the depth adjustment.

Most higher-end models allow you to adjust the depth of drive. However, the best nailers are the ones that offer tool-free depth adjustment.

Magazine Type and Capacity

A nailer can come with either a coil magazine or stick magazine. Stick magazines hold fewer nails than coil magazines, but they are more accessible. When working at an angle, coil magazines can be a bit cumbersome. However, on average, a coil magazine can hold over 50 nails.

Rafter Hook

The rafter hook is an optional feature, but a very useful one. When you can’t find a flat surface to rest your nailer, it comes in very handy. If you plan on working up high often, it’s best to get a nailer with a rafter hook.

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Conclusion

With the right framing nailer in your hands, you’ll never want to hold another hammer in your life. Because of its elegant design, versatile features, and quality construction, the Paslode 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer is our top pick.

It’s a bit on the pricier side, but its exceptional performance makes it worth every penny. Rarely does a cordless tool outperform its corded counterparts like the Paslode does.

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