Best framing nailers

Top 10 Best Framing Nailer | How To Choose A Framing Nailer

Last Updated: November 19, 2019

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A hammer will do you little to no good these days, especially when there is a framing nailer lying around. I once watched two veteran framers framing a building in this YouTube video.

With the way they were using the hammer, I say it would require only years of experience before someone can swing a hammer like the older one among them.

He was hammering 16d nails, all the way into the wood in one or two swings of the hammer. I was like, damn! That’s so mean. Is this aged Thor with his Mjolnir? (LOL).

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Seriously, these guys made my jaw drop. It’s no joke. Respect to these veteran framers.

However, no matter how good these veterans are with the hammer, equip me with a framing nailer, then they will struggle to compete. Because I’ll be sinking my 5th nail into the wood while they are still getting ready to swing the hammer.

That is what a framing nailer can help you do. It makes a pro framer out of a rookie, so to say. This thing shoots several nails in seconds when using the bump fire mode.

The most intriguing part is, unlike using a hammer, you don’t have to exert any force when using a framing nailer. Just place the nailer tip on the wood, compress the tip, and pull the trigger, and POW! The nail is in the wood before you know it.

No force exerted by you, no headache after the day’s job, the framing nailer does all the pounding and hitting for you.

Framing nailers are of different types, and they have different features. Some features may appeal to you, some may not.

In this article, I will be talking about the top 10 best framing nailers, their features and the different factors to consider before choosing a framing nailer, in order to help you choose the right one for your needs.

The following table shows a concise list of the top 10 best framing nailers to help you compare and make your choice easily.

Top Picks From The Best Framing Nailers

NailerPressureNail TypesWeight 
Bostitch F21PL80-120 PSI21° 2" to 3.5"8.1 lbCheck Price
NuMax SFR219070-115 PSI21° 2" to 3-1/2 8.5 lbCheck Price
Hitachi NR90AES170-120 PSI21° 2" to 3-1/2"7.5 lbCheck Price
BOSTITCH LPF21PL80-120 PSI21° 2" to 3-1/4"7.3 lbCheck Price
Paslode 50100080-120 PSI30° 2" to 3-1/28.4 lbCheck Price
Freeman PFR219060-115 PSI21° 2" to 3-1/2"8.7 lbCheck Price
Hitachi NV90AGS70-120 PSI1-3/4" to 3-1/4" coil nails7.7 lbCheck Price
Paslode 905600cordless30° 2" to 3-1/4"7.2 lbCheck Price
Dewalt DCN692BCordless30° 2" to 3-1/2"7.7 lbCheck Price
Paslode 902600Cordless30° 2" to 3-1/4"7.25Check Price

10 Best Framing Nailer Reviews

Below is our comprehensive review of the 10 best framing nailers in this list.

​1. Bostitch F21PL Round Head Framing Nailer | Editor’s Choice

Bostitch f21pl framing nailer

Specs
TypePneumatic
Nail type21° 2" to 3-1/2" and Metal connectors
Working Pressure80-120 PSI
Weight8.1 lbs
Magazine capacity60

What you get

The Bostitch F21PL framing nailer definitely takes first place in our list. It is manufactured by Stanley-Bostitch. They advertise a lot of mouthwatering features possessed by the F21PL, such as its ability to set nail depth with a simple push of a button. Easy switch between plastic-collated nails to metal connectors. Best power to weight ratio.

After careful study of this framing nailer, we can confidently say that it is as advertised. Just as advertised, it is not heavy. This is a tool you can use to work all day, which is a huge plus for the F21PL framing nailer. Although it is not heavy, that doesn’t mean it is fragile. It is very solid and sturdy.

One problem that people usually face with framing nailers is jams. That is, the nails get stuck in the nailer, and makes life difficult for you using it. Your chances of experiencing any jam while working with the Bostitch F21PL framing nailer is almost zero. This is one major reason why the Bostitch F21PL framing nailer is at the top of this list.

You also have the ability to change the direction of air discharge from the nailer when using it. The air discharging from the nailer can stir up dust especially if you’re working in a dusty environment. Therefore, it is important to be able to position the discharge verve in such a way that it will not stir up any dust while using it.

One of the most helpful features of the Bostitch F21PL is that, it is not just a framing nailer, but it can also be used as a metal connector, and the metal connector tip is very easy to change. It takes seconds. With this bad boy, you can install metal connectors like angle brackets, joist hangers and post bases very easy and efficiently.

The pointed silver metal connector tip is super easy to use, and provides accurate placement for the nails whether you’re using flat or angled holes for the connectors. The Bostitch F21PL framing nailer is just one hell of a tool. You can use different types of nails for this nailer, and it will prove up to the task.

Any kind of compressor will fire this nailer, but we recommend that you use a compressor that has enough pressure. This is because the amount of nails you can fire and the depth through which you can fire the nails depends on the size and pressure produced by the compressor you’re using.

Overall, the Bostitch F21PL is an excellent choice if you ever decide to spend your money on a framing nailer.

​2. ​Numax SFR2190 Framing Nailer – Budget Friendly

Numax sfr2190 framing nailer

Specs
TypePneumatic
Nail type21° 2" to 3-1/2"
Working Pressure70-115 PSI
Weight8.5 lbs
Magazine capacity55

What you get

Talking about framing nailers, it will be very hard not to mention the Numax SFR2190 because it’s one of the most budget friendly top quality framing nailer you can get your hands on.

Even though it’s a bit cheap, the Numax SFR2190 is definitely one of the best nailers out there in the market right now.

The body alone is made up of magnesium which is the ideal metal used for making framing nailers. It’s the ideal metal because it’s the lightest, it’s very tough and resistant to corrosion.

It features the two main firing modes which are the single firing mode and the bump firing mode. For the two firing mode, there are two different triggers which you have to choose from, depending on the firing mod which you favor.

There is a black trigger for the single firing mode and a red trigger for the bump firing mode, and you can only use one trigger at a time. The nailer comes with the black single fire trigger already assembled, which is the best firing mode if it’s the first time you’re using a framing nailer.

If you want to fire nails using the bump fire mode, then you have to remove the single fire trigger and install the red bump fire trigger using the instructions in the manufacturer manual which is pretty easy to follow and install.

The Numax SFR2190 is a 21 degree framing nailer, which means it is made to fire 21 degree framing nails. Although it can fire a range of 20 to 22 degree framing nails, but it performs best with 21 degree framing nails.

As for size of nails, it can fire from 2 inches to 3 ½ inches framing nails from any generic brand. This means that, as long as the nails full round head and are 2 inches to 3 ½ inches long, it does not matter the brand, the Numax SFR2190 framing nailer can fire them. Which is very good especially if you have some leftover nails you’ve been using before. You don’t have to buy a new nails just because they’re not compatible with this nailer.

One more feature to take note of is that the nailer has an anti-dry fire feature which prevents the nailer from firing any nails at all when the nails in the magazine are almost finished. The nails in the magazine will not get exhausted before the nailer will stop working. As long as the nails have run low, the nailer will stop firing.

This feature is very good because it helps to alert you when nails are low so that you can load the magazine with more nails, and most importantly, it prevents damage that may result when you fire the nailer when there are no nails inside.

The damage may not be noticeable immediately, but consistently firing the nailer when there are no nails inside will results in damage to the piston and other internal parts which will build up over time, and as a result stop the nailer from working in the long run.

What I like about it

The Numax SFR2190 framing nailer is not as heavy as I thought it was. Being that it’s very cheap, I thought it would be very heavy, but it’s not. The magnesium body construction really went a long way to make to reduce the weight. Though, it’s not the lightest framing nailer out there.

One more thing I was particular weary about was if the nailer will be prone to jams and misfires, also considering the low price. But far from it, you’re not going to experience any jams or misfires while using this framing nailer. If you do experience any jam it will be very few, and it’s very easy to clear.

You can clear the jam simply by pulling the magazine spring backwards as if you’re trying to load a new strip of nails, and the jammed nail would fall off.

The depth adjustment is very good and easy to adjust. It is well made and can take some rough handling without giving out.

Overall, this is not the best of framing nailers, but if you’re looking for something wallet friendly, it’s the best. All you have to do is oil it daily as instructed in the manual, and you can continue nailing with it all day, until you run out of nails.

Where it can be improved

The major flaw I noticed in the Numax SFR2190 is the manual means of changing from single fire mode to bump fire mode.

Switching between the two firing modes will require you to remove the black trigger for the single firing mode and replace it with the red trigger for the bump fire mode, and vice versa, which I think is a little bit awkward and time wasting.

Though this does not affect the efficiency of the nailer in any way, however, a change from this to selective actuation which will require only the flip of a switch to change between the two modes will represent a great improvement in the Numax SFR2190 framing nailer, and will definitely increase the tool value.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a framing nailer that is budget friendly, but not lacking in quality, then the Numax SFR2190 is definitely your best bet.

​3. ​Hitachi NR90AES1 Framing Nailer

Hitachi nr90aes1 framing nailer

Specs
TypePneumatic
Nail type21° 2" to 3-1/2"
Working Pressure70-120 PSI
Weight7.5 lbs
Magazine capacity64

What you get

If we’re to group the most lightweight framing nailers out there together in a top 10 list, the Hitachi NR90AES1 will certainly make that list comfortably. With it weighing just 7.5 lbs only, the NR90AES1 is definitely one of the most lightweight framing nailers you can ever get your hands on, and that is what sets it aside from other framing nail guns out there.

To make it even more comfortable to use this nailer, the handle is designed ergonomically with rubber included in it to make it easier to grip and work with. The handle of a framing nailer is something that should never be overlooked when choosing a framing nailer.

This is because a poorly designed handle will not hold well in your hands, it may slip and may even cause you to develop cramps in your hands in an effort to hold it securely in your hands. Fortunately, the Hitachi NR90AES1 will not cause any of this because the handle is properly designed, with the rubber-fitting providing all the grip you need.

In order to make it easy to maintain the nailer, the head guard has been redesigned in such a way that it is now easier and faster to disassemble the nailer and access the working parts to carry out any maintenance required during or after using the tool. This saves a lot of time and makes the nailer even more user friendly.

Hitachi also made it very easy to adjust depth of drive of the nails by incorporating a tool-less depth adjustment dial in the NR90AES1 framing nailer. With the depth adjustment dial incorporated into the framing nailer, you don’t have to reduce or increase the pressure in the air compressor to adjust your depth of drive. All you have to do is turn the dial and you can easily adjust the nail depth easily.

This really helps in making work very comfortable for you and greatly reduces downtime, making you work faster and smarter.

Changing the mode of firing nails with the NR90AES1 is also very easy because, unlike the Numax SFR2190, it does not require you to manually remove and install different switches for the different firing modes. The Hitachi NR90AES1 features a selective actuation switch which makes it very convenient and easy for you to change from bump fire mode to sequential firing just by flipping a simple switch.

The design of the magazine is something also noteworthy because loading it requires only two steps from you. First, once you exhaust the nails in the magazine, you just have to take two strips of nails and slide them through the back into the magazine. Once the strip of nails are in the magazine, step two is to pull the spring supported slide at the side of the magazine backwards to hold the nails in place.

This two-step nail loading makes it quick and easy to replenish the nails once you exhaust the ones in the magazine, and ultimately reduce downtime.

The magazine is made up of two piece of anodized aluminum. This makes it very easy to disassemble, repair or replace in case of any damage, and it can support up to 64 framing nails angled at 21 degrees and with length ranging from 2 inches to 3 ½ inches, and with a nail diameter range of .113 to .148.

With all these features, I can certainly say without mincing words that the Hitachi NR90AES1 is packed with all the major features you would certainly expect in every top notch framing nailer.

What I like about it

One of the most important feature every nail gun, especially framing nailers should possess is being lightweight. This is very important because the weight of a framing nailer is inversely proportional to the length of time you can work with it.

Which means, the more weight a framing nailer has, the less time you can work with it. That is why I like the Hitachi NR90AES1. It is one of the most lightweight framing nailers you can get your hands on. With it having a weight of only 7.5 lbs, you can work from dawn till dusk with it without experiencing any fatigue.

I also like the 2-step nail loading, which makes it very easy to load nails into the nailer. You don’t have to do anything tricky. You just have to slide the nail strips into the magazine and pull the lever/slide backwards, allowing it to rest just behind the nails. That’s all.

This is very easy to do and really saves a lot of time.

Overall, the Hitachi NR90AES1 is one framing nailer among many that really makes a huge difference. It’s lightweight, well balanced in the hands, shoots nails like a champion even into the hardest of woods, not prone to jams and misfires, and just fantastic.

It’s really worth its price.

Where it can be improved

For a framing nailer of its caliber, I expected the Hitachi NR90AES1 to come with a rafter hook for hanging it while working with it. But to my disappointment, it has none.

I don’t know about you, but I think every good framing nailer should come with a rafter hook, because sometimes when you’re up there nailing with it, the rafter hook helps you keep the nailer secure and close to you all the time. It creates convenience and saves time.

Without the rafter hook though, the Hitachi NR90AES1 is still one hell of a framing nailer with all the features I mentioned above, but it’s just a little bit disappointing that it doesn’t come with one.

That is the only feature or accessory I wish it had.

​4. ​Bostitch LPF21PL Framing Nailer | Portable Low Profile

Bostitch lpf21pl low profile framing nailer

Specs
TypePneumatic
Nail type21° 2" to 3-1/4"
Working Pressure70-100 PSI
Weight7.3 lbs
Magazine capacity55

What you get

The problem most people have with framing nailers is that most of them are really big and bulky. Though they’re manufactured with the most lightweight metal on the earth, they are still very big in size, with some even requiring two hands to handle properly.

Well, Bostitch tried to solve this problem with the LPF21Pl low-profile framing nailer. This nailer is designed to go were the big boys (nailers) cannot go, and fit into small spaces where those big framing nailers can’t fit into. That is why it is called low-profile.

Low-profile it’s called, but this little fellow, though small in size can really pack a punch. With the capacity to produce 840 lbs of pressure, the Bostitch low profile LPF21PL produces brute force powerful enough to send 2 inches to 3 ¼ inch nails flying into lumber as hard as engineered lumber with ease.

It weighs 7.3 lbs, which means it’s one of the most lightweight framing nailers you will ever come across, even weighing less than the Hitachi NR90AES1. However, the Hitachi NR90AES1 shoots slightly longer nails (3 ½) about ¼ inches longer than the Bostitch low profile LPF21PL nailer. The Hitachi shoots slightly larger nails, but the Bostitch low profile nailer fits into smaller spaces where the Hitachi fit into.

The lightweight nature of LPF21PL means that you can work with it all day, even when used for overhead applications without experiencing much fatigue.

Surely, one of the perks of using the LPF21PL which cannot be easily overlooked is the tool free-depth of drive adjustment it features. This will allow you to tweak the nailer to shoot fasteners to the exact depth you want them to be just with the turn of a dial.

Talking about triggering mechanisms, the Bostitch LPF21PL nailer features a tool-free selective actuation trigger which allows you to change from sequential firing to bump fire mode, or the other way round easily.

Bostitch made the nailer even more convenient and easy to use with the addition of an adjustable rafter hook, which I myself think is a huge plus for this nailer. It allows you to safely and easily hang the nailer over joists and rafters while working with it.

What I like about it

The Bostitch low profile LPF21PL framing nailer does not pack all the muscle and power, but it packs all the comfort, convenience and ease of use you could ever get from any nailer.

It is very lightweight, so you can use it for far longer periods without feeling the tiredness and fatigue that you will get from using heavier and bulkier nailers. Seriously, your hands will thank you at the end of the day after using the Bostitch low profile nailer.

Using this nailer actually reminds me of the movie “The Mask”, where the actor had to send his dog through the prison bars to get the jailers keys that will allow him to escape, and save the girl he’s in love with from the evil crime lord.

This nailer is actually your small dog that you can fit even between 13 inch spaced studs with ease and get your nailing done without breaking a sweat. The LPF21PL’s ability to fit between these tight spaces is really something I admire.

With bigger nailers, you’d have to bend the nailer in order for it to go between those studs, and it will seem as if you’re toenailing where you don’t have to. With this one, it goes in fair and square and you can shoot those nails into those studs without bending the nailer.

I also like the fact that you don’t have to worry about any jams and misfires, because this nailer is almost free from them. Nothing sucks more than getting a framing nailer that won’t shoot 50 nails without getting jammed or misfiring some nails.

A nailer that jams not only creates discomfort to you, but also wastes useful time which is meant to carry out important tasks, but instead used for clearing jams. So, as for jams and misfires, you can absolutely trust that the LPf21PL framing nailer will not take you down that stressful part.

Adjusting depth with the depth of drive adjustment dial is a breeze and changing between sequential firing and bump firing is just a walk in the park for this nailer.

Overall, I would say that this nailer is the real deal. It brings to life the dream that even veteran framers dream of, that is a nailer that is compact, lightweight, adjustable and easy to use all day.

Where it can be improved

The Bostitch low profile framing nailer has a lot of perks, but it also comes with some drawbacks. First of all, the air exhaust cannot be adjusted or redirected, which makes it kind of annoying when the air just blasts straight to your face.

I don’t know why they did not make it adjustable just like the F21PL framing nailer which is also manufactured by Bostitch. This stationary exhaust is just not working for me, therefore if the Bostitch engineers can replace this exhaust with an adjustable one, it would definitely be a huge improvement, and it would definitely make a lot of customers happy as well.

The nailer does not also shoot 3 ½ inch nails. This is not actually a problem to me. To me, it’s just a feature or something this nailer is not made to do, because it’s clearly stated that the LPF21PL framing nailer shoots from 2 inch to 3 ¼ framing nails. So, there’s no room for 3 ½ inch framing nails.

I think this is the price you actually have to pay to get all the comfort and awesomeness of using a smaller more compact framing nailer.

If you want to shoot 3 ½ inch nails, then you have to go for a bigger nailer.

Another thing you also have to note is that this nailer will not function in the freezing temperatures that accompany the winter period. However, Bostitch took care of that by manufacturing their own winter oil which you can use to operate it successfully during the winter period without experiencing any tool failure. You can simply order it on Amazon, just in case.

To cap it off, try to always wear eye protection when using this framing nailer because the plastic collation material flies out of the nailer really fast. So, you don’t want any of these to find its way into your eyes. So, for safety reasons, don’t fail to use eye protection when using this nailer.

Though the Bostitch LPF21PL low profile framing nailer is not the perfect tool, but it is really one hell of a nailer because it affords you those important options the big sized nailers can’t afford.

​5. ​Paslode 501000 F-350S PowerMaster Plus Framing Nailer

Paslode 501000 powermaster framing nailer

Specs
TypePneumatic
Nail type30° 2" to 3-1/2"
Working Pressure80-120 PSI
Weight8.4 lbs
Magazine capacity84

What you get

When judging a good framing nailer, power is one of the things to check for. A framing nailer needs to produce enough power to sink those nails in its magazine effortlessly without any hassle.

This is where the Paslode 501000 F-350S framing nailer shines. No wonder Paslode calls it the “PowerMaster Plus”. With more than 10 percent more power than most of the framing nailers in its class, the Paslode 501000 PowerMaster Plus is built to rain nails on wood with meanness.

Hence, if you are going to be working with very hard wood like engineered lumber, then the 501000 is definitely a good choice for you.

You can use this framing nailer no matter the kind of project you are hoping to engage in, because it can fire different sizes of nails ranging from 2 inch to 3 ½ inch nails.

So, whether you’re hoping to build some simple DIY furniture like a coffee table, or you want to engage in a more complicated project like framing a whole building, you can count on the Paslode 501000 framing nailer to sink all the nails you intend to use in the project.

Equipped with a large capacity aluminum magazine capable of holding up to 84 framing nails, means that there is definitely little room for downtime when using this nailer, as compared to other nailers which have magazines that hold far lesser nails.

In terms of weight, it weighs just over 7.9 lbs. So we can comfortably say that it is lightweight and will not cause any fatigue to your arms if you work with it all day.

Another important feature of this Paslode framing nailer is that it is not selective on the type of nails it shoots. It is made to shoot both round head and clipped head framing nails. This is a really good feature, which I personally appreciate.

Talking about the issue that scares everyone when it comes to nailers, jams and misfires, this nailer performs optimally. After shooting about 2500 nails with this nailer, there was not even a sign of jamming. It shoots every time you pull the trigger.

The F-350S shoots in both sequential firing mode and bump fire mode, and switching between the two modes is fairly easy to do. So, you can use any one you are comfortable with.

When holding the Paslode F-350S, you find out that it is well balanced in your hand. One side is not heavier than the other. This is something that you will really appreciate if you’ve ever used another nailer which is not balanced. So, this Paslode is definitely a winner in this aspect.

One more important feature which really shows the overall quality of this nailer is the rafter hook that comes with it.

A framing nailer can really be top-quality, and has all the top features you need in a nailer, but without a rafter hook to hang it safely when not in use, then there is something missing. Though, not a must-have feature, but it definitely makes a difference if it’s there.

What I like about it

If you read the above few paragraphs carefully, you will note many of the great features of the Paslode F-350S framing nailer.

All of those features are amazing, and I really like all of them. However, the real reason why I added the Paslode F-350S framing nailer to this top 10 list is its power.

The F-350S PowerMaster Plus is really a heavy duty framing nailer that you need around, when you want to tackle really hard lumber.

Not all framing nailer are capable of sinking nails in engineered lumber. Some will sink the nail, but will not sink it all the way in. They don’t have the power to do that.

But with the F-350S, you got a beast in your hands with the muscle needed to really sink the longest nails in the hardest of woods.

Although, it has all this power, it is not just a brute hulk that smashes everything in its way. You can adjust the depth of drive according to the hardness of the wood.

So, if you are working with wood that is not that hard, then you can reduce the depth of drive, so that you don’t over-sink the nails.

There are other important features of this nailer which might appeal to you, but this is just what catches my eye.

Where it can be improved

You actually need an allen wrench to adjust the depth of drive of this nailer. This is where I think the Paslode F-350S needs improvement.

It’s got all the great features, but personally, with all the other brands featuring a tool-free depth of drive adjustment in their framing nailer, I don’t think I fancy using an allen wrench to adjust the depth of drive of the Paslode framing nailer.

If Paslode wants to make this tool a lot more awesome, then they should dish the allen wrench, and modify the Paslode F-350S to include a tool-free depth of drive adjustment.

Nobody wants to use an allen wrench to adjust the depth of drive of their framing nailers this days, period.

​6. ​Freeman PFR2190 Framing Nailer

Freeman PFR2190

Specs
TypePneumatic
Nail type21 degree 2" to 3-1/2
Working Pressure60-120 PSI
Weight8.7 lbs
Magazine capacity55

What you get

The Freeman PFR2190 is one of the best modestly priced framing nailers you can ever get your hands on today. It’s a 21 degree framing nailers with some of the best features that can be found in any framing nailer.

It’s a 21 degree framing nailer, but it still works well for 20 degree to 22 degree framing nails. However, I think it’s important that you use 21 degree framing nails to get the best performance out of the Freeman PFR2190. If you don’t have or cannot find 21 degree framing nails, then you can opt for 20 to 22 degree framing nails.

As for size of nails, the Freeman PFR2190 can fire framing nails of 2 inches to 3-1/2 inches in size. So, no matter the project you’re working on, the Freeman PFR2190 can fire the nail sizes that’s required.

To fire nails, you have to choose between sequential firing or bump fire modes. Though, you have to interchange triggers when switching between the two firing modes. To use the bump fire mode, you have to remove the sequential firing trigger and replace it with the bump firing trigger, and do the same thing as well if you want to use the sequential firing mode instead.

It comes equipped with a no-mar tip which can be easily removed as needed, and it’s meant to protect your work surface from dents or any form of damage if you’re working on something delicate.

The handle that comes with it is well rubberized, in order for you to have a good and comfortable grip on the tool as you work with it.

Adjusting the depth of drive depending on the nail size you’re using or the hardness of the wood your nailing can easily be done using a depth adjustment dial close to the tip of the nailer.

Included also is an anti-dry fire mechanism that stops the nailer from firing when there are only 5 nails left in the magazine. This helps to protect the nailer from continuous wear that may lead to damage in the long run.

Like I said earlier, the Freeman PFR2190 framing nailer comes fitted with very nice and useful features that you’ll find very useful as you work on your projects. Though it’s modestly priced, you can tell from its magnesium construction that it’s made to last.

What I like about it

In terms of performance, the Freeman PFR2190 does the job of firing framing nails quite well. I like the fact that it works as it should, that is to fire nails, period.

It got the needed features to keep the nailer working efficiently, like the depth of drive adjustment dial, the no-mar tip to protect work surface, and the anti-dry fire feature that actually protects the tool itself from damage.

Some people may complain about the nailer not firing when the nail gets to 2 or 3 in the magazine, but that’s not a fault or a problem. The Freeman PFR2190 framing nailer is actually designed to work that way. That is, to stop firing when there are very few nails in the magazine.

If it continues to fire, the nail will eventually finish and you likely will not know, and the next time you fire the nailer, it will just be dry fires. No nails will come out to fasten your work-piece together. That is not only disappointing, but also wears down the tool gradually until it eventually damages the nailer.

Where it can be improved

The Freeman PFR2190 framing nailer performs very well, but I don’t like the fact that you have to actually remove and interchange the triggers before you can switch between firing modes.

It would definitely be a huge improvement if the change between firing modes can be done just by flipping a small switch as can be found in some other framing nailers.

Apart from that particular aspect, the Freeman PFR2190 is a very good framing nailer that will certainly give you back your money’s worth in the form of value and performance.

​7. ​Hitachi NV90AGS Coil Framing Nailer

Hitachi NV90AGS coil nailer

Specs
TypePneumatic Coil Nailer
Nail type1-3/4" to 3-1/2" coil nails
Working Pressure70-120 PSI
Weight7.7 lbs
Magazine capacity200 to 300

What you get

The Hitachi NV90AGS coil framing nailer is the nailer you need to get if you working on a large project and you need to speed up your work, because it has a large capacity coil magazine that can hold from 200 to 300 nails at once, which allows you to work for a long time without any downtime from reloads.

It’s a pneumatic nailer which has the capacity to drive 1-3/4 inch nails to 3-1/2 inch nails, which makes it a very versatile tool for any kind of project you’re working on. Whether you’re building a fence, framing, building a deck, siding or sheathing, the Hitachi NV90AGS can work well with the nails you need.

Changing from contact firing to sequential firing is very easy. By just flipping a switch close to the trigger, you can switch between the two modes easily.

Also close to the trigger is a depth of drive adjustment dial which you can use to easily set how deep you want the nails to be sunk into the wood.

The coil magazine is loaded from the side which is very good because it makes reloading very easy when you run out of nails, in order to reduce tool downtime.

A good rubberized handle, balanced design and the lightweight nature of the tool makes it easy for you to use continuously without getting fatigued.

Like I said earlier, if you desire a nailer that will enable you to work smarter in the jobsite, the Hitachi NV90AGS is a very good choice of nailer that will allow you to sink between 200 to 300 framing nails before you even think of reloading the coil magazine.

What I like about it

I like the fact that you can work for a long time with the Hitachi NV90AGS framing nailer before you need to reload, due to the high capacity coil magazine. This really helps to reduce downtime and speedup your work.

Where it can be improved

For a nailer of this size, holding this much nails, I expect it to come equipped with a rafter hook to help hang the nailer when you’re up working with it. Unfortunately, it does not come with one.

Though that does not undermine the performance of the nailer, but it will be a very good improvement if a rafter hook is added in the future.

​8. ​Paslode 905600 XP Cordless Framing Nailer

Paslode 905600

Specs
TypeCordless
Nail type30° 2" to 3-1/4"
Battery7 Volts
Weight7.2 lbs
Magazine capacity1 strip

What you get

If you’re weary of all the hullaballoo from air compressors and their long air hoses dragging along the ground, then a cordless framing nailer like the Paslode 905600 is exactly what you need.

Even if you already have a pneumatic nail gun with a compressor to power it, a cordless framing nailer like the Paslode 905600 is very handy when you need to get to tight spaces, like in between trusses when roofing a house.

If you’re a handyman, it will also be more convenient for you to carry just the cordless framing nailer with you when going about your day, than having to carry air hoses, an air compressor and pneumatic nail guns all together.

The Paslode 905600 framing nailer is capable of firing 2 inches to 3-1/4 inches sized framing nails, depending on what you prefer.

Instead of compressed air, the Paslode 905600 works with a combination of 7.4 volts lithium ion battery and Paslode’s framing fuel cell.

In terms of weight, you have nothing to worry about because it weighs just 7.2 lbs. The lightweight nature of the tool plus an ergonomically designed handle ensures that you can work with it all day without getting cramps in your hand.

Though it cordless, power is not an issue for the Paslode 905600. You can drive nails flush into any kind of wood, even if it’s treated or engineered lumber.

If you really want to enjoy the freedom and convenience of a cordless framing nailer, the Paslode 905600 is one you should seriously consider.

What I like about it

The convenience of using this tool is what really drives it home. You can work with it anywhere, especially hard to reach places.

You can quickly eliminate the need for compressors and hoses with just one tool, the Paslode 905600. The convenience this tool provides is just something everyone, whether hobbyist or professional contractor would love.

I also like the fact that it got a lot of power even though it’s not pneumatically powered. This thing can fire nails into whatever kind of lumber you’re working with. It fires effortlessly, provided you’re using the recommended paslode framing nails with it.

Where it can be improved

The only con about the Paslode 905600 is that you have to buy fuel cells to get it to work. Though, the fuel cells are a pretty inexpensive, but the money can add up over time.

Apart from that, the Paslode 905600 has no defect to be worried about. I believe the convenience and comfort you’ll get from using it in your projects will actually eclipse any money you spend buying fuel cells to get it working.

​9. ​Dewalt DCN692B Cordless Framing Nailer

Dewalt DCN692B

Specs
TypeCordless
Nail type30° 2" to 3-1/2"
Battery20 Volts Max
Weight7.7 lbs
Magazine capacity55

What you get

The Dewalt DCN692B is another cordless framing nailer that gives you the option to escape the use of air compressors and air hoses for your nailer.

Unlike the Paslode 905600 cordless framing nailer we talked about above, which uses both battery and fuel cell, the Dewalt DCN692B is 100 percent powered by battery. All you need is Dewalts 20 Volts Max batteries, nothing else, and you can get the nailer firing as you wish.

It’s equipped with an engine consisting of a brushless motor which provides the power to drive nails ranging from 2 inch nails to 3-1/2 inch framing nails flush into any wood.

The nailer is designed to fire nails at two different speeds, one to increase the amount of nails you can fire by using less charge, while another one to fire the nails more aggressively but at the expense of using more battery juice.

So, in case you buy the Dewalt DCN692B, try the two speeds to see which one works to your taste. If the speed 1 is not driving the nails flush, then use speed 2 which drives the nails more aggressively. If speed setting 2 is too aggressive and sinks the nail too deep into the wood, use the depth adjustment dial to adjust the nailer until it fires the nail flush with the wood.

The Dewalt DCN692B is also design to use the two firing modes, which are sequential and bump fire modes. Use sequential firing to have more control over the nailer to sink nails more accurately. Use bump or contact firing to fire away and speed up your work.

If by any chance a nail jams in the nailer, you can easily remove it through the nose cap of the nailer. For safety, the Dewalt DCN692B is equipped with a trigger lock mechanism to lock the trigger and prevent it from firing accidentally when the nailer is not in use.

Overall, I’ll simply say the Dewalt DCN692B is surely one of the best framing nailers you can acquire today. The fact that it’s not only cordless, but 100 percent powered by battery ensures that you’ll not have to spend any more money buying fuel cells to get it running.

What I like about it

The above mentioned features says it all. What I appreciate most is the fact that’s all battery powered. No fuel cells to spend extra money, just like you have to for the other cordless framing nailers of it’s kind.

The overall performance of the Dewalt DCN692B framing nailer and the included features show that a lot of thought was really put into the design.

If you decide to get it, it would be a good choice.

Where it can be improved

It’s a little bit selective when it comes to nails. Grip-rite nails don’t seem to fire properly when used on it. However, it fires Paslode framing nails without a hitch.

So, that is one tip for you right there. If you decide to part with cash for this one, you should opt for Paslode framing nails to go with it.

​10. ​Paslode 902600 Cordless Framing Nailer

Paslode 902600 cordless nailer

Specs
TypeCordless
Nail type30° 2" to 3-1/4"
Battery7.4 Volts
Weight7.25 lbs
Magazine capacity1 strip

What you get

With the Paslode 902600, you get a cordless framing framing nailer that’s powered with the combined action of a lithium ion battery and Paslode fuel cells. It’s a close cousin of the Paslode 905600.

Just like the Paslode 905600, it’s capable of driving 2 inch to 3-1/4 inch nails, and you can drive up to 6000 nails per single charge.

The Paslode 902600 is definitely one of the best framing nailer, and the fact that it’s cordless affords you the opportunity to do away with using an air compressor and messy air hoses, and assume the comfort of using the nailer only.

It comes equipped with a good tool free depth adjustment dial to help you set how far you want the nails to be sinked.

Loading nails into the magazine is fast and easy, so that you can continue with your project and reduce downtime.

If you’re looking for a framing nailer with the comfort only a cordless tool provides, then the Paslode 902600 cordless framing nailer is one of the best ones you can choose from.

What I like about it

​The Paslode 902600 is just like the Paslode 905600. It’s powerful enough to drive framing nails into hard framing lumber and it’s very easy to use.

Where it can be improved

It has a small nail magazine that holds a limited number of nails. So, the nails get exhausted pretty quickly and you have to reload frequently to keep up.

That is not a big issue though. Provided it fires the nails properly, anyone should be able to do with a small nail magazine.

​How To Choose The Best Framing Nailer

There are many types of framing nailers. To choose the best one for your needs, I believe it’s necessary for you to know the different types first, so that you can know the differences and decide on the one that will work best for you.

So, here are the different types of framing nail guns.

​Types of framing nailers

There are two main types of framing nailers. They are pneumatic framing nailers and cordless framing nailers. And there is a third type known as brushless framing nailer, which is still under cordless framing nailers. They have different features and they have different pros and cons. Read on to know more about them.

​Pneumatic Framing Nailer

Pneumatic framing nailers, as the name implies are operated by compressed air from an air compressor. Which means, if you intend to get a pneumatic framing nailer, then you have to get an air compressor with it, to power it. If you already have a suitable compressor, then you don’t need to worry about purchasing a new one.

The way the pneumatic framing nail gun works is that there is an air verve on the framing nailer through which you can connect it to the air compressor by means of an air hose. Once connected, a pull of the trigger will cause the air from the compressor to drive a piston inside the framing nailer, which in turn hammers the nail, driving it into the wood or lumber. All this happens in the fraction of a second.

ProsCons

Lightweight

Less expensive if you already have an air compressor

Simple design

The better choice for more heavy duty framing application.

Inconvenient to use. You have to drag the compressor hose around with you.

You have to spend extra money to buy a compressor, if you don’t already have one.

Cordless or Electric Framing Nailer

The cordless or electric framing nailer are framing nailers operated without the use of an air compressor. They typically make use of the combination of charged batteries and fuel cartridges to power the nailer.

The way it works is similar to the way normal car engines work. A pull of the trigger causes a small amount of fuel from the fuel cartridge to mix with a small volume of air, while a spark ignites the mixture which explodes and provides the required force to push the piston which in turn propels the nail out of the gun into the wood.

This happens so fast that you can shoot up to 3 nails in 1 second with the nailer. So, don’t worry. It’s not as long as it took you to read this sentence.

Under cordless framing nailers, you’ll also find another type of nailer which we’ll be talking about below.

Brushless Framing Nailers

Brushless framing nailers are just a third type of framing nailers which also fall under cordless framing nailers. They are powered by brushless motors, and they don’t normally use fuel cartridges as the other cordless framing nailers. They’re powered with the use of batteries only.

ProsCons

Flexibility to use it anywhere without being limited by compressor hose. Very convenient to use.

Requires less maintenance.

It’s more expensive than the corded framing nailers

You continue spending money to buy fuel cartriges if you buy those that require the fuel cartriges to operate. Though, you don’t have to continue buying fuel cartridges if you’re using brushless framing nailers like the Dewalt DCN692B and the Bostitch BCF28WWM1.

The bottom line

Right now, you might be asking, should I purchase a pneumatic or a cordless framing nailer? If it’s up to me, I would say purchase the two if you can afford them. No one can replace the other because they both have their place when it comes to framing.

If you’re about to frame a whole building, a cordless nailer cannot be able to handle the whole task. By the way, there are some really hard engineer lumber that a cordless framing nailer cannot penetrate all the way. Hence, a pneumatic nailer is better suited for all heavy duty tasks.

However, when framing the roof of a building, dragging the hose of a pneumatic nailer with you to the top of the building can actually be a pain in the butt. But with a cordless nailer, you can take it wherever you want to take it, even if it’s the moon. You’re not limited or drawn back by the compressor hose.

Additionally, if you just want to handle small jobs at home, or you just want to frame your fence around your backyard, you should also go cordless.

Finally, if you’re a home builder and you engage and carry out a lot of framing jobs, you’ll get more peace of mind when you get the two, because both of them exist to complement each other.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Framing Nailer

Whether you decide to get a pneumatic framing nailer or a cordless one, there’re some factors you need to consider when choosing a framing nailer which will make sure that you get best, not only to save you added expense when a bad one fails, but also to provide you with more comfort and ease associated with a more ergonomic one.

Here are the factors you need to consider.

​Weight

If you carry out a lot of construction work and home renovation, you’d definitely want to consider the weight of a framing nailer before purchasing it. The reason for this is not hard to explain. This is something you have to carry around with you, sometimes throughout the day.

Sometimes you have to carry out overhead framing jobs which will require you to raise the nailer up above you and nail stuff above you. If your nailer is too heavy, then it’s going to be a problem after some time. So, try to consider the weight of the nailer you’re going for.

Framing nailers have undergone a lot of upgrade in recent years. Hence, many framing nailers are now constructed with magnesium which is the lightest element on the earth’s crust right now. It’s not only the lightest, but it’s also very strong and resistant to corrosion.

As a result of this, it’s mainly used in constructions here on earth and even in space. Framing nailer designers have taken advantage of this, and are now making many framing nailers right now with magnesium.

So, one easy way to check for quality and weight of the framing nailer you’re about to purchase is to check for the kind of metal that it was built with. If it’s magnesium, or a similar lightweight and strong metal, then it’s fine.

​Size

I have to talk about size differently from weight, because a material can be very big, but can be lightweight. Something like foam can be very big like your sitting room, but it’s certainly lighter than the engine in your car. The weight of a matter is determined by the density of the material, while size is determined by the volume it occupies.

Now, the question is why should the size of your framing nailer matter? It matters because the size will determine where you can use your framing nailer. A small sized framing nailer will allow you to work even in tight spaces. Whereas a big framing nailer, even if it is lightweight will not allow you to work in such tight space.

If size is really your concern, then you should get a framing nailer with a low profile design. A good example of such a nailer is the Bostitch LPF21PL low profile framing nailer.

It is low profile in the sense that it is made to be small to be able to fit into tight spaces, unlike the other framing nailers in this article which may be too bulky to fit into such spaces.

So, you should definitely check it out if a small sized framing nailer is what you are looking for.

It all depends on you. You have to be honest with yourself and determine where and how you want to use your framing nailer. This will allow you to determine if the size matters or not.

​Nail Type

Framing nailers can shoot different sizes of nails from 2 inch nails to 3 ½ inch nails. Note however, that there’re different type of framing nails. We have the round head framing nails and the clipped head framing nails, and one framing nailer cannot shoot both type of nails.

A framing nailer is either made to shoot a round head nail, or a clipped head nail. So, you’ll have to choose between the two. Some area building codes does not allow the use of clipped head nails in building. So, it will be advisable for you to go for framing nailers that shoot full round head nails.

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