The Best Finishing Nail Guns – Our Comprehensive Guide

The Best Finishing Nail Guns – Our Comprehensive Guide

Nail Guns (or Nailers) are the perfect tool for quickly and effortlessly driving nails into wood, plaster, and other materials. If you are using a nail gun you can get a job done in around half the time it would take you if you were using a hammer and nails, and it is also much less effort!

The first nail gun was sold in 1950, and since then there have been many advancements in the technology used. The first nail guns ever used were powered by air pressure (pneumatic), but now as well as pneumatic versions, there are also electric and cordless nail guns available too.

If you have never used a nail gun before, it may be a little confusing deciding which one to purchase, so today we are going to look at the best finishing nail guns, to help you decide which one is right for you.

There are a few different types of nail gun available depending on what you will be using it for and the project you are working on, and you need to be sure you are using the right one, so let’s look at the different types of nail gun available first.

The 5 Main Types of Nail Gun Available

  • Brad Nailer

A Brad Nailer is perfect for attaching lightweight trim, these nail guns use ‘Brads’ which are a smaller, thinner type of nail. The advantage of using these thinner nails is that less finishing is required after the nail has been applied, due to the fact that the nail and head are thinner and smaller and so does not create such a big dent in the material.

See how Brad Nailers compare to Pin Nailers.

  • Finishing Nailer

A finishing nailer is a great all-rounder, perfect for working indoors on heavier materials. It uses 14 to 16 gauge, 1” to 2½” nails. Due to the size of the nails, it uses it is not suitable for use on thin pieces of wood or trim.

A Finishing Nail Gun can attach strong nails, so it is ideal for use on heavy materials such as baseboards, around windows, and for cabinet making.

  • Framing Nailers

Framing Nailers are the biggest and most powerful type of nail gun. They are used to join 2×4’s and other large pieces of wood together in heavy construction jobs and use large nails of up to 3½ inches.

  • Roofing Nailer

As the name suggests, this type of nail gun is designed to drive nails that are specifically used for attaching roofing materials such as asphalt, insulation boards, and fiberglass shingles.

Roofing nail guns use ‘coil nails’ which are a type of roofing nail on a coil, usually with about 120 nails to a coil, which enables roofers to go as long as possible between refilling their nails.

  • Flooring Nailer

Flooring nailers are a type of nail gun that is designed to make the installation of wooden flooring easier. These nail guns stand on the floor and drive the nail at the exact angle that is needed to attach it to the next floorboard.

You might also be interested: Brad Nailer vs Finish Nailer Compared – Which One Do You Need?

Pneumatic, Electric or Cordless – Which is right for you?

Pneumatic Nail Guns

Pneumatic Nail Guns use powerful compressed air to drive nails into materials such as wood. The power typically comes from a separate air compressor, and works in the same way as a water compressor would, with piston cylinders drawing the air in and pushing it out through the nail gun to drive the nail out.

Pneumatic nail guns are very popular, because not only are they cheaper than electric nail guns, but they are lighter and so very quick and easy to work with.

While pneumatic nail guns are very popular, there are a few things to consider that make them a little less practical: Firstly a separate air compressor is required, which can add a lot of expense if it is not something you already own, and secondly, a hose needs to be attached for the air supply, which depending on the project you are working on, could be impractical, so you should weigh up the pros and cons of this.

Electric Nail Gun

A corded electric nail gun is just as powerful as a pneumatic nail gun, but although it is more portable than a pneumatic nail gun, it’s quite a bit heavier. An electric nail gun needs to have access to a strong power source as it uses a lot of energy, which may not always be possible depending on where you are working.

Electric nail guns are more expensive, and slower to work with due to the extra weight, hence why these are less popular than the pneumatic versions.

Cordless Nail Guns

Cordless nail guns are a more expensive option, but they are very useful for working in areas where you may not be able to use an air compressor or plug into an electricity source.

They are powered by Lithium-Ion batteries, which means if you are working on a big project it would be a good idea to have a couple of spare batteries that can charge while you are working, as they will drain quickly.

The Best Finishing Nail Guns – Our Top 6 Picks

We are going to take a look at the best finishing nail guns available. We will look at the price, weight, and features of each one, as well as the pros and cons, and reviews from other customers to help you make your choice!

Hitachi NT65MA4 1-1/4 Inch to 2-1/2 Inch 15-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer with Air Duster

General Specifications:

Item Weight

4.2lbs

Product Dimensions

Length – 13-9/16″, Height – 12″, Width – 3-1/4″

Power Source

Pneumatic

Type

15 Gauge Finish Nailer

Magazine Capacity

100 Nails

Warranty

5 Year Limited Warranty

Customer Rating

4.4 out of 5

Review:

The Hitachi NT65MA4 is a durable and versatile nail gun with an angled magazine which allows it to easily fit into small areas. It’s very easy to use and can take up to 100 nails at a time which means less reloading and more nailing. It’s perfect for installing things like crown moldings, exterior trim, staircases, window and door casings, and chair rails.

It features a handy tool-free depth of drive adjustment dial, which located just under the grip trigger for convenience, so you can be sure that all the nails will be at the correct depth into the material.

The 360-degree exhaust is fully adjustable, so you can make sure it’s pointing away from you while you are working, and it also has an integrated air duster, which can be used to blow away dust and debris at the press of a button.

Hitachi NT65MA4 Finish Nailer | Amazon

Hitachi’s 15-gauge angled finish nailer, the NT65MA4 is durable, reliable and effective for successfully installing crown and base moldings, window and door casings, chair rails, cabinets, exterior trim and staircases.

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Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Lightweight

Can be tricky to load the nails

Easy to use and Quick to work with

Nail jams can happen

Clean shot every time

Quite Loud

Low maintenance

Requires oil for maintenance

Powerful

Requires an air compressor

Angled magazine makes it easy to work in small spaces

Integrated Air Duster

Tool Free Depth Adjustment Feature

BOSTITCH N62FNK-2 15-Gauge 1 1/4-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch Angled Finish Nailer

General Specifications

Item Weight

3.8lbs

Product Dimensions

11.63″; Length: 140.69″; Width: 3.13″

Power Source

Pneumatic

Type

15 Gauge Finish Nailer

Magazine Capacity

130 Nails

Warranty

7 Year Limited Warranty

Customer Rating

4.3 out of 5

Review:

The BOSTITCH N62FNK-2 is an oil-free pneumatic finishing nailer. The fact that is it oil free is very appealing, as it requires no regular maintenance, and means you won’t get splashed and stained with oil while you are working.

It features an adjustable depth guide and tool-free removable magazine, making it easy to reload and unjam if a nail gets stuck. It can take up to 130 nails in one go, meaning less downtime for reloading.

A magnesium body ensures that this model is tough and durable, but still very lightweight, so very easy to use and move around with, particularly for overhead jobs such as mounting crown molding. It comes with a protective carry case, and a very long 7-year warranty, so you can be sure the manufacturers are confident in their product!

BOSTITCH Finish Nailer | HardwareWorld
$343.95

This 15 GA "FN" style angled finish nailer kit is a convenient tool that offers an led work-light for jobs that go into the night and a rear exhaust that directs the air away from you while you are working.

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Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Very Lightweight

Depth changer dial is difficult to see while you are using the Nail Gun

Easy to use and Quick to work with

Only accepts Bostitch Nails

No oil required

Requires an air compressor

Magnesium housing

Powerful

Angled magazine makes it easy to work in small spaces

Tool Free Depth Adjustment Feature

Certified for hardwoods

High Magazine Capacity

Rarely jams or misfires

DEWALT DCN660B 20V 16 Gauge 20° Finish Nailer

General Specifications:

Item Weight

6lbs

Product Dimensions

13.1 x 4.4 x 12.4 inches

Power Source

20v Lithium-Ion Battery

Type

16 Gauge Finish Nailer

Magazine Capacity

110 Nails

Warranty

3 Year Limited Warranty

Customer Rating

4.5 out of 5

Review

The DEWALT DCN660B is a powerful cordless finishing nail gun, operating with a 20v Lithium-Ion Battery, which eliminates the need for using a compressor, hose or corded power source. This is incredibly useful if you are working in an area without any power, or if you need the freedom of not being tied to a power source or air compressor.

The DEWALT DCN660B features a brushless motor which extends the runtime as well as the life of the machine. The extended runtime is particularly helpful due to the fact that it is powered by a battery, it can fire up to 800 nails on a single charge!

It also has bright LED lights to illuminate the workspace, very helpful when a job runs into the evening hours. It’s quite expensive, but the convenience of being cordless more than makes up for the high price.

DEWALT 20V MAX Finish Nailer
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Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Powerful

Very expensive

Integrated LED lights

Heavier than pneumatic versions

Battery Powered

Nails can get jammed

Brushless Motor

Can’t handle some very hardwoods

Compact

Good value compared to other battery-powered models

Long Runtime

Senco 4G0001N FinishPro 42XP 15-Gauge 1-1/4-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch Finish Nailer

General Specifications:

Item Weight

4.5lbs

Product Dimensions

Height: 11 1/4″ x Length: 13″  xWidth: 3 1/2″

Power Source

Pneumatic

Type

15 Gauge Finish Nailer

Magazine Capacity

104 Nails

Warranty

5 Year Limited Warranty

Customer Rating

4.1 out of 5

Review

The Senco 4G0001N FinishPro 42XP is a powerful Pneumatic nail gun designed for heavy use, perfect for all kinds of woodworking and finishing projects. This model does not require any oil and features ‘EZ-Clear’ latch technology which virtually eliminates jams, reducing any downtime.

A high strength driver and a metal cylinder for increased durability make this nail gun suitable for professional use as well as DIY projects and home renovations.

This model is very ergonomic and easy to use, with a thumbwheel for adjusting the depth of drive. The fact that it is lightweight reduces arm and wrist fatigue making it much more comfortable during a long days work. As well as being easy to use, this model is very powerful and able to handle all types of hardwood.

Senco 4G0001N FinishPro 42XP | Amazon
$179.99

Designed for the unique demands of dedicated professional use, the Senco FinishPro 42XP 1-1/4-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch 15-Gauge Finish Nailer is packed with the powerful, innovative features you need to tackle virtually any job.

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04/29/2021 03:52 pm GMT

Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Can handle all types of wood

Rarely Jams

Comfortable to use

Requires an air compressor to use

Lightweight

360-degree adjustable exhaust

Stretch comfort grip

Thumb wheel depth of drive

No-Mar tip to protect work surfaces

PowRyte 16 Gauge Straight Air Finish Nailer

General Specifications:

Item Weight

3.1lbs

Product Dimensions

10 x 9.8 x 2.4 inches

Power Source

Pneumatic

Type

16 Gauge Finish Nailer

Magazine Capacity

90 Nails

Warranty

2 Year Limited Warranty

Customer Rating

4.6 out of 5

Review

The PowRyte Finish Nailer is a great choice for anyone on a budget as it’s excellent value for money. This model is perfect for light jobs around the house but wouldn’t be suitable for professionals who need to drive hundreds of nails a day.

One of the best features of this nail gun is that it has a reloader indicator on the magazine to let you know when your nails are running low, this handy feature helps avoid misfires that could damage the nail gun.

This model is pneumatic and features a 360-degree exhaust, so you can make sure it is facing away from you while you are working, and it comes with a tool-free depth of drive adjustment so you can easily make sure you are firing nails at the correct depth for the project you are working on.

One bad point we have to say is that the magazine is not angled, making it tricky to get into some smaller spaces, but for this price, you can’t complain!

PowRyte 18 Gauge Air Brad Nailer
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Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Very reasonable price

The magazine is not angled

360-degree exhaust

Not professional grade

Zero Nail lockout feature to prevent dry firing

Can’t handle some types of hardwood

Reloader Indicator

Some of the plastic parts are less durable

Easy to clear jams

Doesn’t come with a case

Very Easy to load and use

Light weight

Makita AF635 15 Gauge, 2-1/2″ Angled Finish Nailer

General Specifications:

Item Weight

4lbs

Product Dimensions

L 13.8″ x H 12.6″ x W 3.7″

Power Source

Pneumatic

Type

15 Gauge Finish Nailer

Magazine Capacity

100 Nails

Warranty

3 Year Limited Warranty

Customer Rating

4.7 out of 5

The Makita AF635 Finishing Nailer is a powerful and compact finishing nailer, designed by a well known and trusted brand. This model is very durable, featuring a tough magnesium body with an aluminum magazine.

It lightweight and compact, but has been designed for professional use, so it can be used daily with ease. The magazine has a capacity of 100 nails and has a window so you can see when you need to reload.

The Makita AF635 features a built-in air duster to blow away any dirt or debris while you are working, and it also has a multi-directional exhaust, which you can ensure faces away from you while you are working.3

A tool-free depth adjustment ensures you are driving nails in at the correct depth for the project you are working on, and it also features a nail lockout mechanism to prevent misfires.

Makita AF635 15 Gauge Angled Finish Nailer
$189.00
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04/29/2021 03:52 pm GMT

Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Sturdy Construction

Pneumatic- requires an air compressor

Multidirectional exhaust

Nail lockout feature to prevent dry firing

Viewing window in the magazine

Powerful Motor

Very Easy to load and use

Light weight

Affordable

The Verdict

All of the nail guns we have featured are great options, each for their own reasons. For bigger jobs such as a full home renovation, we recommend the Makita AF635 Finishing Nailer.

This model is professional grade, so it’s designed to handle pretty much any material that you would need to use a finishing nailer on, and we like the price too, which comes in at under $140. It offers a huge array of features and is lightweight and easy to use for long periods of time.

For a cordless option, you can’t go wrong with the DEWALT DCN660B, although it’s quite pricey at close to $300, the portability it offers makes up for it. It is a little heavier than the pneumatic models, so we would recommend using a pneumatic nail gun for bigger more time-consuming jobs if possible, as this would reduce fatigue.

If you are looking for a budget option for DIY jobs around your home then the PowRyte 16 Gauge Straight Air Finish Nailer is an excellent choice. At under $40 you get a powerful nail gun that is perfect for most jobs around the home.

To make a final decision on which finishing nail gun to buy, you need to consider what sort of jobs you will primarily be using it for, as each type of nail gun has its own merits and pitfalls. Someone who is doing lighter DIY jobs would not need the same professional tools as someone doing an entire home renovation from scratch.

We hope this guide has been useful to you and helped you to decide which finishing nail gun is best for you. If you have any questions about the products we have reviewed, or about your home renovation, get in touch- we would love to hear from you!

Further read:

Jodie Chiffey

Whether it’s a minor home-fix project or a turnkey home renovation project, Jodie can help you. She’s an avid blogger as well as a home renovation expert. Having helped renovate numerous properties in the past, she understands what bothers homeowners, and works on useful tips, and recommendations to help you take your home renovation project to the next level.

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