No matter if you plan to refinish hardwood floors, repair your roof, or tackle any other DIY project you’ve had sitting around your home for a while, you’ll want the best nail gun on hand to help move it along. A nail gun will quickly drive nails or other small fasteners deep into your wood’s surface without cracking or splintering the wood and reducing the structural integrity. There are dozens of nailers on the market, and there are so many different types that it makes it difficult to figure out which one will serve you the best. You can tailor your nail gun to your specific tasks, but most come with two delivery systems and two power sources.
I understand how vital it is to match the best nail gun to your project needs, so I’ve picked out 10 great choices that will help you around your home or garden. You can take a peek at the reviews and use them to compare the best nail guns on the list. Then, you can look through the handy buying guide for all of the considerations you want to keep in mind when you shop.
The best nail guns can take on larger projects but be low-powered enough to take on detailed work. The goal is to pick out the best nail gun that is going to give you the results you need with a durable finished product, and this requires some research.
1. Milwaukee FUEL Framing Nailer – Top Pick
When it comes to the cordless versus pneumatic nail guns, the pneumatic nail gun still wins for framing work or projects like installing baseboards or raised planter beds. This cordless framing nailer is available in 21° and 30°, and it’s slightly heavier to give you a very solid feel when you hold it. You get no delay when firing your nails to ensure they go exactly where you need them to go, and this includes when you’re rapid-firing them in bump mode. The folding rafter hook and tool belt clip make carrying it around and storing it between uses effortless.
You can also order an extended magazine for this nail gun, and it’ll hold up to two full sticks of nails to ensure you can work for an extended time without having to reload. There is a depth-adjustment feature that is quick and easy to adjust when you work on different mediums, and the electronic switch lets you quickly and easily flip between different firing modes without having to stop and take time out of your project. Despite the heavier design, it’s a very well-balanced nail gun that can take on a variety of tasks around the house.
- Easy depth adjustment
- No firing delay
- Folding rafter hook
- Easy to hook to your tool belt
- Well-balanced design
- Can adjust between 20 and 30°
- Convenient to store
- Has a heavier design
2. NuMax Pneumatic Nailer – Step-Up Pick
NuMax’s nail gun comes designed to speed up your framing process by supporting larger nails that are effective at securing 2x4s. It helps to reduce how much running around you do to reload during framing projects, and you get no-slip teeth for increased stability. There is also a nice ergonomic grip that increases the user’s comfort for extended projects, and you get an interchangeable trigger that makes it easy to fire nails in custom settings. You can also use generic-brand nails in this gun without worrying about it jamming, and this can make it easier and cheaper to source nails.
This is a 21° pneumatic nail gun that has a durable but lightweight magnesium body that will withstand heavy use without showing wear and tear. It has an easy depth adjustment with a no mar tip, and this allows you to adapt it to support different working conditions, including subfloor installation, framing, wood fencing, roof decking, and sheathing. You can swap between a single shot function or rapid fire, and this product gives you between 70 and 115 PSI. You get a one-year limited warranty from the date of purchase to protect your investment, and this product is warrantied, serviced, and sold in the United States.
- Can use generic-brand nails
- 21° pneumatic nails
- No mar tip
- Between 70 and 115 PSI
- One-year limited warranty
- Magnesium body
- Supports large nails
- Heavy frame leads to slower work times
3. CRAFTSMAN Cordless Brad Nailer Kit – Mid-End Budget Pick
This is a cordless brad nail gun that is a user-friendly and convenient model to help you make a porch swing bed or tidy up the trim in your home. This product helps get rid of the need for an air compressor and air hoses, and it’s a battery-powered option that makes fine carpentry tasks a snap. It has a hoseless design that is very sleek, and it comes with a tool-free depth setting that makes it easy to change the depth to deal with different materials while you’re on the job without having to stop and mess with it.
You get a powerful motor on this nail gun that gives you consistent firing power in different weather conditions without stalling, and you get an over-molded, contoured handle with a lightweight design that ensures you won’t have a problem with fatigue during longer usage sessions. It works with collaged 18 GA finish nails, and you get a tool-free stall and jam settings to make it easy to use with a balanced design. You can choose from eight packages when you order to tailor it to fit your needs, and you get a belt hook that makes it easy to access or store between uses.
- Hoseless design
- Balanced center of gravity
- Eight packages available
- Belt hook included
- Consistent firing power
- Operates in different weather conditions
- Battery powered
- Battery can drain quickly
4. STANLEY Nail Gun – Bargain Budget Pick
This is an electric nail gun that comes with a cord, and this will give you a steady flow of power that ensures you don’t have to worry about the battery running out before you can finish your project. However, the versatility of this nail gun doesn’t end here. You can shoot small brads or heavy-duty staples with this choice, and it works well for everything from tacking down carpet or ceiling tiles to doing furniture repairs or installing molding in your home. You can choose the length and type of fastener you want to use to tailor it to your specific project.
The nail gun comes outfitted with an eight-foot cord to give you a decent range of movement, and it has a dual-power setting lever that lets you switch between low or high use with soft or hard materials. You also get a blunt-nose design that will help you reach into tight spaces without having to struggle with it. The contoured grip allows you to stay comfortable while you work, even on extended projects. It uses Arrow T-50 staples or ½, 9/16, or ⅝-inch brad nails. There are five styles available to choose from that allows you to tailor it to your specific usage.
- Electric model
- Has an eight-foot cord
- Dual power settings
- Blunt-nose design
- Contoured, comfortable grip
- Five styles available
- Tackles various projects
- Sourcing the staples can be frustrating
5. Freeman P4FRFNCB Pneumatic Framing Nailer – Best for Different Project Uses
There is no rule that says you have to stick to a single nail gun to finish your projects, especially if it’s something more complicated like building a porch. Instead of purchasing several separate units, you can buy this kit that comes with four different nail guns that all have the same functionality and build quality to them. Each gun comes designed with a different purpose, including a general nail gun for any project, a crown stapler for more delicate projects, an angle finishing one for tight corner projects, and a full head framing gun for construction.
You also get a nice canvas bag to keep all of the nail guns neatly organized and together, and this makes it easy to grab your set when you need them in one go. The angler and general-purpose guns work well for crown moldings, cabinetry, and baseboards. The crown stapler is great to have if you routinely take on decorative projects like trim, picture frames, arts and crafts projects, or fabrics. You get a dual mode trigger that lets you swap between bump firing to sequential firing, and you get an oil-free design that is very low maintenance. It also removes the threat of stains to give you professional-grade results.
- Several nail guns in one purchase
- Heavy-duty canvas bag
- Oil-free design
- Dual mode trigger
- High-quality builds
- Easy to adjust the firing depth
- Two styles available
- Slightly expensive
6. Senco F18 Nail Gun – Best for Short Projects
This nail gun comes with a very short cycle time between firing nails, and they come very close to competing with a pneumatic nail gun for speed. The F18 has an innovative design where the nose’s bottom half doubles as part of the magazine’s door. In turn, you can quickly and easily clear jammed nails to keep working without any huge delays. There is a decent amount of recoil on this nail gun, so it does have a short adjustment period when you start using it. This is a straight strip cordless tool, and it has a Lithium-Ion battery with a sealed piston driver to ensure you have enough power to work on your projects.
You can use this nail gun and have it fire multiple times in a second, and it can shoot around 600 nails on one charge. This is more than enough to take on small or even medium-sized projects, and you get a charger so you can ensure that it’s always ready to go when you are. It also comes with a single battery and a soft carrying case to make it easy to store or transport to different project sites.
- Short cycle time
- Comes with a carrying case
- Easy to clear jammed nails
- Lithium-Ion battery
- 600 nails per charge
- Rapid charger included
- Easy to transport or store
- Difficult to get in tight spaces
7. Makita XNB02RJ Nailer – Best for Trim Work
If you want to create garden or flower bed signs and wood burn them, this nail gun excels at working at awkward angles in smaller spaces to help you complete the project. You get a very thin profile that is very versatile, and the sides and base feature a rubber covering on them that protects the surface you place it against and the tool itself as you use it to keep it looking nice. If you get the kit version, you get two 2Ah batteries that are very slim and lightweight so they won’t overbalance the nail gun. The batteries also give you enough power to work throughout the day without a problem.
This nail gun works well for baseboards, trim work, and installing crown molding. It’s powerful and compact, and it’ll drive 16-gauge finish nails from 1-inch to 2 ½-inches long. It has a magazine that will hold up to 110 nails in one fill, and the batteries can drive up to 1,000 nails before it wears out. There is an anti-dry fire mechanism that will protect against firing blanks and damaging your surface. There is a dual mode trigger switch, trigger lock button, selector switch, and a tool-less depth adjustment feature to ensure all of your nails are flush. It has some of the fastest drive times, and it comes outfitted with Star Protection computer controls.
- Star Protection computer controls
- Transmits real-time data to the battery
- Drives up to 1,000 nails per charge
- Get two batteries per order
- Holds up to 110 nails
- Nicely balanced design
- Fast drive times
- Can be slightly rear-heavy
8. BOSTITCH Coil Roofing Nailer – Best for Roofing Projects
This company is one of the oldest power tool brands available, and they’ve been around since 1896. This is a trustworthy and well-known brand that makes pneumatic tools, including some of the best nail guns. It supports 1 ¾-inch nails and below, and it has a maximum gauge rating of 11. You will need a compressor with a minimum of 7 PSI for it to work correctly, and the maximum pressure this nail gun will work with is 120 PSI to help with harder surface projects. It has an aircraft-grade aluminum body that is very lightweight but durable, and it comes with a seven-year warranty on it.
You get an adjustable shingle guide with a side load canister for your nails. It has a precise and fast operation speed to help you fly through your projects without any delays, and the product weighs just over five-pounds. This can reduce user fatigue and allow you to use it for longer periods. It’ll work well in more extreme conditions, and it undergoes rigorous testing in the labs to ensure the durability factor. It gives you 410-pounds of torque, and the dry fire lockout won’t allow it to fire when you run out of nails. There is also an over-molded rubber grip with an adjustable depth dial.
- Seven-year warranty
- Adjustable shingle guide
- 410-pounds of torque
- Very well-known brand
- Undergoes rigorous testing
- Dry fire lockout feature
- Trigger can break
9. Freeman PE2118G Nailer – Best for Quick Projects
This is a tool you want on-hand for quick projects. It’s a budget-friendly nail gun that comes with a charger, battery, and a blow-molded case. It uses 18-gauge nails that are great for hanging trim, and it can double as a stapler for other projects. This makes it more versatile than others on the list, and it’s compact enough to fit easily into tight spaces or for more awkward angles. The built-in LED lighting will help ensure you can work in different conditions without worrying about being able to see, and it’s bright enough to use at dusk or later.
It’s important to note that this nail gun does tend to leave marks on the walls or surfaces when you use it, so keep this in mind as you work. It runs on an 18-volt battery that removes the need to have an air compressor and the worry about tripping over the hose. It charges in 45-minutes, so it’s ready to go very quickly when you need it. The battery will shoot around 400 nails per minute or 30 fasteners, and you get dual batteries when you order it. The kit also comes with 500 staples, 500 brad nails, and two hex keys. The hard-sided case allows you to store or transport everything neatly while protecting it from damage.
- One year limited warranty
- Comes with nails
- Dual Lithium-Ion batteries included
- Charges in 45 minutes
- Built-in LED light
- Works in tight spaces
- Has a hard-sided case
- Batteries die quickly
10. Metabo HPT Framing Nailer – Best for Framing
This final nail gun on the list comes built like a tank, and it weighs in at 7.5-pounds, so this allows you to use it for longer periods without any fatigue. You get an open nose piece design that allows you to clear jams out quickly, and the nail magazine has a two-piece design that makes it quick and easy to disassemble. In turn, you’ll be able to reload it quickly and continue on with your project. You can switch between bump firing to sequential without a problem, and this allows you seamlessly anchor wall studs to horizontal support beams.
This nail gun has larger teeth that sink into the wood to steady the gun while you shoot the nails in either straight or at an angle, and this is helpful when you have to work off the ground. The durable metal body won’t show a huge deal of wear and tear with heavy use, and you get a decent amount of power when you use it to ensure the nails drive in flush. You can choose from four packages when you buy it to tailor your choice to suit your needs, and you get a tool-less depth adjustment.
- Four packages available
- Easy to disassemble
- Weighs 7.5-pounds
- Clear jams quickly
- Larger teeth to steady it
- Metal body
- 20° angle
- No rafter hook for storage
Best Nail Gun – Buying Guide
When it comes to picking out the best nail gun, what should you look for when you start to shop? Are there features that are more important than others? If so, what are they? This short guide will outline everything you need to know about shopping for the best nail gun and comparing products below.
Type of Nail Gun
Did you know that there are seven broad categories for nail guns out there? Picking out the best nail gun will be easier if you decide on a type before you shop. They include:
- Framing – A framing nail gun is for larger projects like building a new extension or attaching wood siding. They can shoot round or clipped nail heads, and they can shoot larger nails deep into wood to get a secure hold.
- Finish – Finish nail guns have 15 and 16-gauge designs that work well for detailing projects. They use thinner nails that you can easily hide with wood putty, and they work best for hanging crown molding, installing baseboards, or putting up chair rails.
- Brad – Brad nail guns use 18 to 23-gauge nails, and they work well for these extremely delicate projects you have around the house. You’d use this type of nail gun for crafting, reupholstering furniture, or attaching delicate trim.
- Roofing – A roofing nail gun is a necessary tool if you want to repair or replace your roof. They hold the shingles in place, and the nails come in coils instead of the traditional strips. They have broader heads with shorter bodies.
- Flooring – Flooring nail guns come in a broad range of styles, and they’re vital for helping you install flooring. They don’t come at an angle, and they usually shoot one or two-inch nails.
- Palm – This is a very basic model, but the best nail guns can work for framing projects, building fencing, between wall studs, and for redmodeling. They’re small but powerful, and you feed the nails in one at a time.
- Pin – A pin nail gun works well for crafts or very fine detail work because they shoot tiny nails. You’d use it for installing wood trim, cabinetry, and holding wood together as it dries.
Since there are so many products on the market, finding out the best nail gun to match your needs can take time. However, deciding on a type right away can narrow down your field, and you can further zone in on specific products by looking at the power source and firing modes.
You want to get the most use out of your nail gun as possible when you get it, and this involves being able to use different-sized nails. Some nail guns only accept one or two sizes, but others allow you to adjust it to multiple sizes. Try to get a nail gun that accepts a range of sizes to ensure it works for different projects.
You want to take a look and see what firing modes your best nail gun offers. If you get a single-action trigger, you’ll pull the trigger every time you want to shoot a nail. This is good for detailed work like installing your hardwood flooring or baseboards. A bounce trigger will fire a line of nails when you have the nose of the nail gun on the wall and you squeeze and hold the trigger. This allows you to work much quicker.
When you buy a nail gun, there are generally three nail trigger mechanisms you can get, and they include:
- Bump Fire – With this mechanism, you press the trigger while bumping the nail gun where you want the nail to go.
- One-for-One – With this setting, you’ll drive one nail in each time you pull the trigger. This is common in staple or brad nailers.
- Squeeze and Release – This allows you to shoot several nails until you relase the trigger. They’re very sensitive, and less experienced uses usually accidentally shoot several more nails than they really need.
Do you want an electric, battery, or pneumatic nail gun? Electric nail guns plug into the wall and give you a steady supply of power for consistent results. Pneumatic nail guns require an air compressor to give them the power to shoot the nails, and a battery-operated nail gun gives you freedom of movement because you don’t have to worry about trailing cords. However, the battery can die quickly. Decide which one suits your needs the best and go from there.
The depth adjustment lets you control how deep the nails or staples go into your selected surface. This is more important if you want to buy and use a finish nailer over other types, or if you’re planning on working on different caliber projects like finishing trim or attaching 2x4s into studs. It’s easier to do on some nail guns than others, and this can keep your project moving.
If you’re tackling a large project like installing cheap flooring outside, you’ll want a very comfortable nail gun. The best nail guns come with an ergonomic handle and a rubberized comfort grip. This makes it easier to operate the nail gun without experiencing fatigue. The weight and balance on your nail gun will also play a role in the ergonomics.
You can create beautiful planter boxes with the correct tools, and the best nail gun is key. They’ll help you get a durable finish that lasts from season to season.
A case doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker between one nail gun and the next, but it’s something to consider. Ideally, you’ll get a hard-sided case that protects your nail gun when you store or transport it, and it should have space for every part of the gun. There are soft-sided cases too, and these usually come with kits that need storage space for multiple pieces.
The best nail gun can help you tackle a huge range of projects inside and outside of your home, like building planter boxes. I’ve picked out 10 high-quality options for you, and you can use the reviews to compare them to narrow down your options. When you get down to a few, use the short buying guide to make your final choice.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.