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9 Best Framing Nailers Compared & Reviewed

Last Updated: 01.12.20

 

Best Framing Nailer Review – Top Rated Models with Buying Guide

 

If you are searching for the best framing nailer, you’ve come to the right place as you will find out right away the necessary information for an excellent choice. After evaluating customer reviews, sales figures, and other indicators, our team concluded that the model that should be number one on your list is the BOSTITCH Framing Nailer F21PL. First of all, you get two tools in one, a framing nailer and a tool for metal connector applications, so its versatility will help you tackle various DIY projects without a problem. The adjustable depth feature comes in handy when you need to drive nails to a certain depth. You will love how lightweight the tool feels in your hand, due to the magnesium body designed with your comfort in mind. In case you cannot find this model anymore, the Metabo HPT Framing Nailer NR90AES1 is a second-best choice we highly recommend.

 

 

Comparison table

 

The Good
The Bad
Verdict
Price

 

 

9 Best Framing Nailer (Updated Reviews) in 2020

 

 

To find the perfect tool for the job, you might have to wade through an impressive number of framing nailer reviews. We are here to make your job easy by supplying you with a list of critically-acclaimed products that have already been tried and tested by buyers just like you.

 

 

1. BOSTITCH Framing Nailer F21PL 

 

This tool works with plastic-collated framing nails, and also with metal connector nails, as you only need to change the nosepiece for this to happen. Any framing nailer review you will read can tell you that this tool from BOSTITCH is ideal not only for DIY-ers but also for contractors that can handle their projects with confidence.

You will appreciate the high-capacity magazine capable of holding 60 framing nails or metal connector nails. Have a look at the layout indicator present on the magazine to get a good feel of the distance needed between studs.

At 8.1 pounds, it is lightweight compared to other tools, and you will have no issues when you need to use it all day long. The power developed is 1,050-inch pounds. You will need a standard air compressor, and you will find it convenient. A 7-year limited warranty makes it a highly recommended choice.

 

Pros

When you purchase this model, you get a good deal because it is basically two tools in one, a framing nailer and a tool for metal connector applications.

You only have to push a button to adjust the depth at which you want the nails to sink into the wood, a highly convenient feature.

Users will enjoy the lightweight construction that allows them to put the framing nailer to good use for hours; the magnesium body ensures this is possible.

Anytime you need to put the tool down, you will be happy with the rafter hook that can be adjusted as you see fit.

 

Cons

While it works great as a framing nailer, it appears that the secondary function destined for metal connector applications is somewhat finicky.

It is surprisingly noisy, and some issues with the depth adjustment tip might take from the overall enjoyment of using this tool.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($201.55)

 

 

 

2. Metabo HPT Framing Nailer NR90AES1 

 

Enlisting the help of this framing nailer for your projects means that you will be able to handle a broad range of applications. First of all, it works with plastic collated nails between 2-inches to 3-1/2-inches in length. If you need a proper tool for flooring and framing, this framing nailer is for you.

Truss build-up and window build-up are also among the operations you will be able to tackle with ease when you are in charge of this tool. You can employ it for various projects, even housing construction as a whole since it’s suitable for subflooring, roof decking, and wall sheathing works without a problem.

You will notice that the model comes with a redesigned head guard, which helps you disassemble it when performing small maintenance tasks. That means that you won’t have to depend on expensive services to get your tool up and running again.

 

Pros

It works with 2-inch to 3-1/2-inch plastic collated framing nails, so you can easily say that it’s pretty versatile and handy for a large variety of projects.

A lightweight tool can take you a long way when handling large projects, so the 7.5 pounds of weight of this model surely recommend it as the weapon of choice for DIY-ers.

You will love the trigger that can be quickly adjusted for sequential and contact nailing, which means that your tool will adapt to the task at hand.

Users can also appreciate the rubber grip that ensures that the tool will not slip from their hands when they least expect it.

 

Cons

It is a bit disappointing to discover that the model doesn’t come equipped with a rafter hook, and you will need to buy one on your own.

You might experience some jamming with brand nails, but it could be considered a minor nuisance.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($144.87)

 

 

 

3. NuMax SFR2190 Pneumatic Framing Nailer 

 

If you are looking for a cheap framing nailer, you’re looking at it. Don’t think for a moment that the low price point is synonymous with low quality because the NuMax SFR2190 will surprise you with its functionality, power, and array of features. It is versatile, easy to use, and an excellent choice for any DIY-er.

First of all, it is a pneumatic framing nailer, which means that the power developed is on par with what you can find on more expensive models. It has a body made from magnesium that guarantees it’s lightweight and easy to handle. It comes with a ¼-inch adapter so that you can attach it to most air hose couplers without a problem.

The interchangeable trigger ensures that you will have no troubles with bump and quick-firing, another aspect that adds to its overall versatility. You will be able to use it for various house construction tasks, such as siding and flooring, too.

 

Pros

The 360-degree adjustable air exhaust is an extremely convenient feature as it makes sure the hot air doesn’t get in your face and that the debris is pushed away from you.

For a professional finish, the no-mar tip is an excellent feature that projects the surface you’re working on from any dents and dings.

When you remove the no-mar tip, you can use the teeth of the tool to secure it in place for quick firing; this option adds to the overall versatility of the framing nailer.

The ant-dust cup is another excellent feature that protects the inside of the tool from debris and dirt, ensuring a long life for your tool.

 

Cons

When you get to the last several nails, you may notice that the tool stops shooting, which is an inconvenience.

Toenailing is not an operation that is performed with ease, and a more aggressive tip would have helped with this issue.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($86.3)

 

 

 

4. BOSTITCH Framing Nailer F28WW 

 

There are many things you can do with this framing nailer, such as framing, siding, and decking. When you want to attach wood frames to masonry, this tool will help you achieve fast and painless results. You will like the fact that it comes with a magnesium body, which makes it lighter than other models on the market.

A depth adjustment feature makes it stand out from the crowd, and the nicest thing about it is that it’s button operated. That allows you to choose the depth at which to drive the nails into the wood without a glitch.

The Smart Trigger employed on this model guarantees that you will be able to have complete control over your work. Even more, working fast is no issue at all, as the trigger allows you both bump firing and sequential firing. A 16-inch layout indicator present on the magazine lets you establish the right distance between studs.

 

Pros

An excellent product from BOSTITCH, it offers superior ease of use, and it works with 28-degree wire collated nails, both the offset round and clipped head varieties.

With a driving power of 1,050 inch-pounds, it is effective for the tasks you can perform with such a tool.

You only have to push a button to adjust the depth, a feature that comes in handy for many types of projects.

Unlike other similar products in its range, it comes with a 7-year manufacturer warranty; its reliability highly recommends it.

The magazine capacity is 100 nails, so you will find it handy for projects of various types.

 

Cons

Loading the tool with nails appears to be quite a nuisance, but once you start working, you will love this framing nailer.

It is a downside that you have to purchase only certain brands of nails, and that limits the tool in its applications to some degree.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($189.44)

 

 

 

5. Freeman PFR2190 Pneumatic Framing Nailer 

 

This tool works with 21-degree 2-inch to 3-1/2-inch full round head nails, and it’s an excellent option when you have to perform framing tasks, but not only. This affordable framing nailer is of great help for subflooring, decking, assembling pallets and shipping crates, as well as for fencing.

Because it is air-powered, it offers excellent driving power and versatility. When reading pneumatic framing nailer reviews, you will notice that this model is often mentioned due to its superior features and convenience of use. You will surely love that it comes with a dual-mode trigger that offers you the possibility of bump firing and sequential firing.

Among the features that will convince you that it’s an optimal choice for your projects, you will find a 360-degree adjustable air exhaust, a no-mar tip, and a tool-free depth adjustment option. An extra that will make your day is the carrying case, included with your purchase.

 

Pros

A broad range of features makes this model stand out from the crowd, such as the 360-degree adjustable air exhaust that makes your work convenient and safe.

Speaking of safety, the anti-dry fire mechanism makes sure you won’t shoot a nail by accident and protects your tool from wear and tear.

The interchangeable trigger is a plus, and it is ideal when you want to bump fire or shoot individual nails, depending on your project.

You will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of ergonomics that includes a comfortable grip that offers anti-vibration functionalities and extra protection.

 

Cons

Don’t expect this framing nailer to shoot all the loaded nails to the last ones, as there are always 2 or 3 that remain.

The instructions are not clear on what you have to do to toenail with ease; what you need to do is remove the plastic guard.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($109.99)

 

 

 

6. 3PLUS H2190SP Framing Nailer 

 

The 3PLUS H2190SP is among the cheap framing nailers that deserve to be included on this list, as it delivers above expectations for its price tag. A various range of applications can be employed with its help, such as countersink nailing, toenailing, and so on.

One of the things about this model that will surprise you is its excellent durability. It may feel a bit on the heavy side as a result, but it is a drawback you might want to live with, seeing that you get a sturdy tool for the price.

The exhaust is multi-directional to provide you with a comfortable experience, while the no-mar tip guarantees that your working surface will be free of dents and dings. It comes with an ant-dry fire mechanism to prevent accidents; this feature also ensures that the motor will live a long life as a result.

 

Pros

An excellent feature that recommends this model is the hardened claw that makes it durable and also ensures that your nails won’t slip when you perform tasks with the framing nailer.

The no-mar tip will protect your working surface, and the good news is that it can be detached, something required for toenailing, for instance.

Precise flushing is possible with the tool-free depth adjustment feature that will come in handy when you work with this framing nailer.

Adjust the exhaust to accommodate your working style so that the hot air doesn’t get in your face, and the debris is pushed away.

 

Cons

Compared to other framing nailers, this model can be considered a bit on the heavy side.

Don’t expect it to work fast, as it’s a model designed for light use, so DIY projects you can perform around the house are the only ones within its application range.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($80.99)

 

 

 

7. Valu-Air 9021C Framing Nailer 

 

If you’re looking for affordable framing nailers, the Valu-Air 9021C is the right option for you. It is a suitable choice for a wide range of applications, including, but not limited to, flooring work, subflooring, roof decking, wall framing, window build-up, and many others. It works with full round head nails, 2-inches up to 3-1/2-inches, both plastic and wire collated.

The high versatility of this tool is easy to notice from the various features it comes equipped with. You can single fire or bump fire since a trigger made particularly for the latter is included with our purchase. The aluminum construction guarantees a long life for the tool, while the rear-loading mechanism adds to its superior convenience.

Countersink nailing is possible with the help of the tool-free depth adjustment, as well as precise flushing. You can use it with cedar, redwood, and treated lumber. The manufacturer offers information on what nails to use for various applications.

 

Pros

The aluminum housing is a plus and ensures that your tool will have a long life while remaining lightweight, which many DIY-ers can appreciate.

A wide variety of applications will be easy to perform, such as trussing, wall framing, window build-up, subflooring, and decking.

You will be pleased to see that the model comes with a rear-loading magazine also made from aluminum; its ease of use highly recommends this tool.

For precise flushing, the depth adjustment feature comes in handy and is also easy to use.

A bump fire trigger is included, for extra versatility, while the original trigger is handy for sequential firing.

 

Cons

The depth adjustment feature is not the most convenient, as you will have to use an Allen wrench to make it work, instead of a knob like on other models.

You will notice that the last 5 nails cannot be fired without adding a new rack of nails.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

8. Metabo HPT Cordless Framing Nailer Kit NR1890DR 

 

A cordless framing nailer can help you with demanding projects, and it’s a must-have when you don’t have an electric outlet nearby. The NR1890DR from Metabo (formerly Hitachi) comes equipped with a mechanism that uses compressed air to drive each nail into wood with maximum efficiency. Even the recoil resembles that of a pneumatic model.

It may not be easy for battery-powered framing nailers to beat pneumatic models, and this one doesn’t claim to be superior. However, the convenience offered by the compact Li-ion battery that allows you to shoot up to 400 nails on a charge is unbeatable. You can also use a Multivot 8.0Ah battery that guarantees you can shoot up to 1,100 nails on a single charge.

Various advantages make this model stand out; for instance, the pivoting rafter hook allows you to take breaks from your work without worrying that you don’t have a place to hang your tool.

 

Pros

An air spring system installed on the tool ensures enough recoil for you to experience the same you would with a pneumatic model.

The 3.0Ah Li-ion battery is compact so that it doesn’t take up a lot of room inside your power tool and keeps it as light as possible.

You will receive some nice accessories with your purchase, such as a contractor bag and a pair of safety glasses.

With 400 nails per charge, this model is a dependable tool when working on larger projects, and the speed is 2 nails per second.

The brushless motor ensures a long lifespan for your tool and requires a lot less maintenance.

 

Cons

It is not as user-friendly as a pneumatic model, and it’s not the most convenient to use, especially when trying to use it at different angles.

Another downside is that it jams once in a while, so its reliability is so and so.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($299)

 

 

 

9. Estwing EFR2190 Pneumatic Framing Nailer 

 

A pneumatic model that will get you through a plethora of DIY projects without a glitch, the Estwing EFR2190 is an excellent addition to a DIY-er’s arsenal. It comes with a padded carrying case that ensures your tool doesn’t get damaged during transport. This feature may please contractors who need to carry their tools around in proper conditions.

A closer look at this model will tell you that a lot of care was employed to offer users a plethora of features that will come in handy. The magnesium body offers convenience as it keeps the tool lightweight. You will be able to switch between sequential firing and bump firing for various tasks.

There is a pre-installed ¼-inch NPT fitting that offers you the possibility of connecting the tool with standard air hose couplers for maximum convenience. A no-mar tip, no-slip teeth, and an anti-dry fire feature provide extra comfort and peace of mind while working.

 

Pros

The magnesium body ensures that the weight of the tool is kept to a minimum so that you can spend a long time shooting nails without getting tired.

Comfort is paramount when undertaking DIY projects, and the ergonomic grip is one of those features that ensure you will enjoy your working session.

It comes with a tool-free depth adjustment and a selectable trigger, so its versatility and convenience are superior.

A rafter hook is integrated with the construction, allowing you to take breaks as you see fit when working.

The no-slip teeth ensure safe firing, and overall this tool is built with your safety in mind.

 

Cons

If you try to use this tool in winter, the cold temperatures will cause it to malfunction, so it’s not as versatile and reliable as other models.

The way the trigger is designed gets in the way when you want to bump fire, and some modifications are needed.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($179)

 

 

 

Our Comprehensive Buying Guide

 

A framing nailer is an excellent tool for a vast array of tasks related to house repairs and construction, so it is good to have one in your shed. However, to get the best framing nailers, you will need to learn a few things about them, as they are explained below.

Pneumatic vs. cordless

The first choice you will have to make is between a pneumatic model and a cordless model. As their name indicates, the way they are powered is different. Each one has its ups and downs, so you will have to weigh them carefully to choose the right one for your needs. For instance, the best cordless framing nailer cannot have the same driving power as the best pneumatic framing nailer, and that’s a fact. However, the former has clear advantages that cannot be overlooked.

Starting with pneumatic models, you should know that they must be connected to an air compressor. If there’s an inconvenience to that, it is the necessity of having this type of equipment purchased separately. Usually, these models are lightweight, and they can undertake heavy-duty applications. The price for these tools is usually under their battery-operated counterparts, as all the cordless framing nailer reviews.

Pneumatic tools have a simple design, and they don’t require a steep learning curve. On the downside, they come with some inconveniences since you will have to drag the air compressor with you around, and the hose that connects them cannot be too long.

Cordless models come with their fair share of advantages. First of all, they are versatile and flexible. Even when you don’t have an electric outlet around, you will still be able to work with such a tool. A Dewalt cordless framing nailer might beat some pneumatic models in terms of features, for instance, so the brand is essential. The maintenance for such models is minimal, and brushless models have a long lifespan, too.

On the other hand, they do require you to recharge the battery, and there’s a limit to how many nails you can fire on a single charge.

 

Comfort and weight

The two work hand in hand, as a lightweight model will always help you perform more work without your arms getting tired after a while. That is why it is essential that you check the specifications offered by the manufacturers to see what weight the model you want to purchase has.

As expected, the makers of power tools strive to make their products competitive by using durable but lightweight materials when constructing the body. You will notice that there are models on the market with a magnesium body and others with aluminum housing. These materials are excellent because they are durable and keep the weight of the tools to a minimum.

While a reduced weight is important for the user’s comfort, other features must be considered. The best battery operated framing nailers need to have a compact battery, too. They are heavier than their pneumatic siblings, which is why the type of battery used is essential.

Both types of framing nailers share other features. A depth adjustment feature is essential for precise flushing and countersink nailing. However, the way it is designed is critical. Less competitive models need an Allen wrench for adjusting the depth, while popular framing nailers are button-operated when it comes to depth adjustments.

A comfortable grip is another must-have. Seeing how you may end up spending a lot of time shooting nails into wood, you don’t want a model that might slip from your hand when you least expected. Another feature that caters to your comfort is a dual-mode trigger, or at least the presence of interchangeable triggers. For sequential firing and bump firing, such an option is a must.

Safety features

Protective guards are essential, and they are present on high-quality models. But they are not the only aspects that cater to the user’s safety. For instance, you will want a model with no-slip teeth, as that will help secure the tool when you shoot nails so that the framing nailer doesn’t slide on the working surface.

A no-mar tip may not be essential for the user’s protection, but it does protect the working surface, which you don’t want to be destroyed by dents and dings. Choose a model that allows you to remove the tip for toenailing with ease. The anti-dry fire mechanism present on some tools is a sure way to protect the motor and ensure that your framing nailer will have a long lifespan.

 

Other extras

When you purchase a framing nailer, you may want to check what extras are delivered with your purchase. For instance, it is nice to have a padded carrying case, as all the tools you carry with you need to be protected from dust and debris, as well as mechanical damage. It doesn’t hurt to have a pre-installed ¼-inch NPT fitting on pneumatic models so that you can connect them to air compressors with ease. An extra pair of safety goggles might also increase the value you get for your money.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: What size nails can I use?

If you want to work with a framing nailer, you should know that these tools work with up to 3-1/2-inch nails. Used for joining 2×4’s, they are handy in many situations, so if you want to handle one of the following tasks or all, you’ll know that these are the nails to use.

For instance, you can use such nails for decking, flooring, window build-up, siding, fencing, sheathing, or many others that deal with house construction. It is impressive just how many things you can do when you have plenty of nails and a framing nailer.

Some models work with round head nails, while others with clipped head nails. The latter have larger magazines, and they can hold many nails, so you will find them useful for large-scale projects. Don’t think of the others as inferior; they don’t hold as many nails as clipped head models.

Q: How do I use a framing nailer?

Regardless of what kind of framing nailer you have, cordless or pneumatic, the way to use one is the same. Take a look at your tool and observe the large cylinder placed above the tip from which the nails are shot when activating the nailer. The tip is there to ensure that you drive the nails straight into the wood, and there isn’t a chance for them to fly in all directions.

It also protects the working surface for a professional finish. Make sure that the cylinder and tip are aligned with the direction you chose for shooting nails. Since these tools can be used for angle nailing, it is essential to know what you want to achieve.

Now press the tip against the working surface until you notice that it withdraws upward. Only then press the trigger. The nails should sink into the wood a little – 1/8 inch depth – but not too much. If you notice any issues, use the depth adjustment feature.

 

Q: What’s a good brand for framing nailers?

When you look at the vast array of options on the market, you may wonder which brands are the most recommended for this type of power tool. Bostitch is an excellent brand focusing on anti-jamming features that make working with any framing nailer made by it a breeze.

Metabo is another name you will often encounter when taking a look at the highest-rated models. While it may sound new to your ears, Metabo is the company formerly known as Hitachi, a global leader in making power tools.

Dewalt is a name that you will surely recognize from the ones that always come up when selecting the most reliable power tools, including framing nailers. It makes both pneumatic and battery-operated models, so you’ll have plenty to choose from if you opt for its lineup. Another name worth mentioning is Numax, a company with a focus on the user’s comfort.