Finding the right framing nailer can be a challenge as there are so many different features to consider. At the end of the day, everyone just wants their nails to go into the wood or metal consistently without jams or other issues.
All of these nailers will get the job done, but it is the small features and accessories that could set one nailer apart from the rest when you are doing your research.
We have researched the best framing nailers and have also put together an informed buying guide to help you determine what you should look for in a framing nailer and guide you through the decision making process.
In a Rush?
- 10 Best Framing Nailer - Comparisons
- Best Framing Nailer - Reviews
- 1. Paslode - 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer
- 2. BOSTITCH Framing Nailer, Round Head
- 3. NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer
- 4. WEN 61798 Pneumatic 34-Degree Framing Nailer
- 5. Freeman PFR2190 - Full-Head Framing Nailer
- 6. Hitachi NR90GR2 Gas Powered Framing Nailer
- 7. PORTER-CABLE Full Round Framing Nailer
- 8. BOSTITCH LPF21PL Low Profile Framing Nailer
- 9. DEWALT 20V MAX XR Dual Speed Framing Nailer
- 10. BOSTITCH MCN-150 Metal Connector Nailer
- Buying Guide
- Framing Nailer Features to Look For
10 Best Framing Nailer - Comparisons
Best Framing Nailer - Reviews
1. Paslode - 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer
This is an overall great tool with some nice features. It will shoot nails ranging from 2 inches to 3¼ inches and weighs only 7.2 pounds. It is lightweight and designed to get into tough angles and tight spaces.
It runs on a battery and fuel cell, so there is no compressor needed, which makes it even more maneuverable. The framing nailer can work well in the cold, down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, which sets it apart from nailers who require a compressor to run.
The kit includes a carrying case, battery, charger, and spare gas. There is also room to put extra nails in the carrying case so everything is in one spot.
The battery is a 7V lithium-ion design and can fire up to 9,000 nails on a single charge. It has a rugged and durable design to withstand even the toughest construction sites.
You do have to reload the magazine fairly often, and it is quite loud when it is running, but it is extremely portable and can be taken anywhere easily.
If you are looking for mobility and productivity, then this is it. It is lightweight and designed to fit in tight spaces. It works in cold weather down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
Not so Good
The kit doesn’t come with a fuel cell, so you will have to buy that separately. It also does not have a large magazine capacity.
2. BOSTITCH Framing Nailer, Round Head
This Bostitch framing nailer sits at a 21-degree angle and is great for consistent, steady work. It uses a compressor for power. It has a 1-year limited warranty, and there is an overall positive customer service response.
What makes this product dynamic is the second nosepiece that can be changed out and used for nailing metal. This nailer has a lot of power and a wide range of nail length compatibility ranging from 1½ inches to 3½ inches.
You can adjust the depth to whatever you need to achieve the best outcome for your project. The base is made of plastic, and the magazine, guide, and other parts are made of magnesium for increased durability.
The kit does not come with a carrying case, only the nailer itself and the two nosepieces. It does not hold up well in cold weather, but is very dependable and performs consistently overall.
The nailer weighs in at just over 8 pounds, so it is fairly average in weight. This would be a great nailer for standard everyday usage.
This framing nailer can be used with a wide range of nails and is set at a 21-degree angle. It has two interchangeable connections, so it can be used for both framing and metal applications.
Not so Good
It is fairly heavy at over 8 pounds and is quite large overall. It is very loud and does not perform well in cold weather.
3. NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer
Durability is the name of the game with this nailer. The base of the tool is constructed out of magnesium. The nailer works with nails ranging from 2 inches to 3½ inches, and the depth of the nail drive can be adjusted to your preferred firing depth.
One of the great features of the NuMax framing nailer is the 360-degree exhaust, so no matter what angle you are at, the exhaust can be maneuvered away from you and your work.
A no-mar tip is included to ensure that no damage comes to the jobs you are working on. It weighs 8.5 pounds, which is fairly heavy, especially if you plan to get a lot of use out of it.
There are two triggers you can use, a bump-fire and a single-fire, depending on the speed or accuracy you need from the nailer.
When nails get low, the nailer will automatically stop firing. Additionally, there is an anti-dust cap to prevent any debris from getting inside your nailer.
Though the magazine can only hold 55 nails, the power and accuracy of this tool could outweigh the annoyance of having to regularly reload the nailer. This is an air-powered nailer, so a compressor will be needed.
The no-mar tip and the 1-year limited warranty are huge assets to this framing nailer. It is comfortable to hold despite its size.
Not so Good
The nailer does not come with a carrying case or any useful accessories. It is quite heavy and only has a 55-nail capacity in the magazine.
4. WEN 61798 Pneumatic 34-Degree Framing Nailer
If you want a framing nailer for household projects or DIY crafts, then this is a durable option. It has a 1-year warranty, and the base is constructed of aluminum, which means it will be a lighter, but still heavy-duty, option.
The magazine has a large capacity and can hold up to 100 nails. Additionally, the nailer works with nails ranging from 2 inches to 3¼ inches in length. It is a dynamic tool that is great for a variety of different needs.
This nailer sits at a 34-degree angle, slightly steeper than some other nailers, so it is important to know what you will be using the framing nailer to get the most efficient angle.
The kit comes with oil, adjustment wrenches, safety glasses, and a carrying case. The exhaust on the WEN framing nailer is adjustable so you can maneuver it to a suitable angle.
This nailer might not hold up to long-term regular usage and is meant more for occasional home projects and crafting use. It does require an air compressor to be used.
The magazine is large, almost double the capacity of some other framing nailers. It can shoot at both a 30-degree and a 34-degree angle. The kit comes with a carrying case and other accessories.
Not so Good
This is a framing nailer designed more for DIY and occasional use than for heavy construction.
5. Freeman PFR2190 - Full-Head Framing Nailer
A lot of thought went into the design and features on this Freeman framing nailer. It sits at 21 degrees and has an ergonomic grip for comfort. The nailer feels comfortable and solid in your hand.
There is a sensor to prevent dry-fire and an anti-dust cap to protect the interior of the nailer. Though much of the base is made from plastic, the nailer is 8.5 pounds. The body of the nailer is made from magnesium, which is extremely durable.
You can adjust the firing depth depending on how deep you want the nail to be inserted.
Additionally, the nailer works with nails ranging from 2 inches to 3¼ inches in length and 0.113 inches to 0.131 inches in diameter.
A huge advantage with the Freeman is that it comes with a 7-year limited warranty. It works on compressed air, which will be needed.
The magazine capacity is only 55 nails, so if you fire a lot of nails each day, be aware of this limitation.
There are interchangeable triggers depending on your need, and it includes a no-mar tip as well as a 360-degree adjustable exhaust.
Not so Good
This is a heavy framing nailer, weighing in at 8.5 pounds. Much of the body is made of plastic, which means it is not as durable as some of its competitors, and the magazine only carries 55 nails.
6. Hitachi NR90GR2 Gas Powered Framing Nailer
This nailer does not need a compressor, which is a huge bonus; however, the battery lasts about four hours. If you plan on using this all day, every day, then you will need to have extra batteries on hand, which means added cost.
It weighs 7.9 pounds and is quite small, so it can fit into tight spaces and corners. The kit includes a battery charger, one battery (7.2-volt), safety glasses, a hex wrench, and a carrying case. The case is hard-sided to keep your tool protected when not in use.
Keep in mind that a fuel rod is not included. There is a 1-year warranty. This Hitachi framing nailer is compatible with nails up to 3.5 inches long and 0.131 inches in diameter, though it can only handle one clip of nails at a time.
The framing nailer has a great design, and a jam or misfire is extremely rare. Its ability to be brought anywhere without lugging around a compressor makes it great for any-size job site.
The nailer has a retractable rafter hook, so you can hang it up when you need both of your hands, increasing jobsite efficiency.
This is a portable tool that uses gas and battery power to operate. It weighs 7.9 pounds, which is on the lighter end for a framing nailer.
Not so Good
The battery lasts about four hours, so if you are planning to use it for a full workday, be sure to have extra batteries on hand. It only fits one strip of nails.
7. PORTER-CABLE Full Round Framing Nailer
Porter-Cable is pretty well known for making quality products. This framing nailer is light and easy to use. It feels comfortable in your hand, despite needing to be hooked up to a compressor. It only weighs 7.3 pounds.
The framing nailer is compatible with nails up to 3½ inches long and 0.131 inches in diameter. It does not have a very large magazine, but it does lock out when nails are low so the framing nailer doesn’t dry fire.
It is designed with a rafter hook that is reversible, so you can hang it on either side of you when you are working and need both of your hands. There is a safety on the trigger to prevent worksite accidents.
The only thing you will receive when you order this is the nailer itself. There is no case or other accessories, though you may find that you need a case or some oil for maintenance.
You will need to use plastic collated nails with this framing nailer. Be sure to wear safety glasses as the plastic can fly out when the nail is fired. You can use both 21-degree and 22-degree nails.
It only weighs 7.3 pounds and is one of the lightest framing nailers on the market. It can be used with both 21-degree and 22-degree nails.
Not so Good
This nailer does not come with a case or a warranty. This is a gun meant more for home projects or lighter usage.
8. BOSTITCH LPF21PL Low Profile Framing Nailer
This Bostitch hits the nail on the head, literally. It has a 7-year warranty and is designed to last. It is small, only 12 inches tall and 7.3 pounds, but it gets the job done.
It can fit nearly anywhere, and the nail depth and trigger speed can be adjusted without needing a hex wrench or other tool.
The framing nailer does not come with a case or any accessories that might be needed to properly maintain the nailing gun. There is a no-mar tip to prevent any damage to the project.
One of the major setbacks of this nailer is the inability to adjust the direction of the exhaust. This means if you are in a tight space, the exhaust could be blowing right into your face.
There is no low-pin indicator, which could be a problem if you like using every single nail before reloading. You will need a compressor to run this framing nailer.
This framing nailer weighs only 7.3 pounds. It is small and can get into tight spaces and corners. It has multiple modes for nail depth and trigger speed that can easily be switched.
Not so Good
It does not come with any accessories or a case. There is no low-nail indicator, so it can dry fire if you aren’t paying attention. You cannot adjust the exhaust.
9. DEWALT 20V MAX XR Dual Speed Framing Nailer
Dewalt is a household name, and this is a great household framing nailer. It should last most, if not all, of the workday without needing to be recharged.
While the battery is long-lasting, the magazine only holds up to 55 nails, so you will need to reload it often if you are working on a big project.
You can use up to a 3.5-inch nail with this framing nailer, and it is not recommended to use a nail smaller than 2.5 inches. There is a trigger lock, so you don't have to worry about misfiring the nailer when you pick it up.
There are also two trigger speeds depending on your need. A bump trigger will fire the nails off fast, while the standard trigger is a bit slower, but better for work where you need precision. The nailer comes with a 3-year limited warranty and can use up to a 20 V battery.
If you have other Dewalt tools, then those batteries should be compatible with this framing nailer. This tool does not come with a carrying case or a battery, so you will need to purchase those, if needed.
This is a battery-operated framing nailer that works at a 33-degree angle. It has a trigger lock and two trigger speeds to suit your needs.
Not so Good
The magazine only holds 55 nails, and it does not come with a battery or carrying case. You need to purchase batteries and a charger separately.
10. BOSTITCH MCN-150 Metal Connector Nailer
The Bostitch MCN-150 is a great little tool that is light and durable. It is only 4.6 pounds and is powerful enough to make metal connections consistently. It comes with a 7-year limited warranty, and Bostitch has great customer service if anything does happen.
In addition to the nailer, the kit comes with some replacement parts and several fasteners. It does not come with a case. It uses air power, so a compressor will be needed.
It is compatible with 1½-inch hot fasteners and paper tape collated metal connector nails. The diameter of the nails can range from 0.131 inches to 0.148 inches. As with many compressor-run framing nailers, it does not do well in the cold and will freeze up.
The nailer does not have a large capacity, so be prepared to load nails in regularly. It does have a low-nail indicator and will stop working before you get to your last nail to prevent dry firing.
The nailer is designed with a rafter and belt hook, which makes it easy to hang somewhere when you need both of your hands. It rarely jams and can handle regular, heavy usage.
This is an extremely light framing nailer; it is only 4.6 pounds. It is meant for metal connections and has a 7-year limited warranty. The kit comes with several accessories.
Not so Good
Though the nailer comes with some accessories, it does not come with a case. The nailer does not hold up well in the cold.
A framing nailer is a useful tool. It can be used for a lot of different applications. You don’t have to be a construction worker who will be firing thousands of nails a day to want or use a framing nailer. They can make home projects and even DIY crafts more efficient.
Framing Nailer Features to Look For
All framing nailers do basically the same thing. They all insert nails into wood or metal so you don’t have to use a hammer to do so.
What makes each nailer special is in the details. Whether you are looking for something to use day in and day out on a jobsite or for occasional home projects, there is a framing nailer that would be great for your needs.
How it is Powered
This is probably one of the biggest factors that will influence your decision. There are two main ways to power a framing nailer. The first is with an air compressor, and the second is with a battery and fuel cell rod combination.
An air compressor will provide constant power to your framing nailer as long as it has power itself. Depending on the size compressor you have, it can provide more power to fire the nails into the wood or metal than a battery might.
The key benefit to a battery and fuel rod is its mobility. If you will be moving around a jobsite and not spending a lot of time in one spot, then the battery will likely be the way to go.
Most batteries will last at least half a day, and most can last a full workday. You just need to be prepared with extra batteries if you are anticipating a long day.
Compressors do not work well in the cold. If you live somewhere that has a true winter and you anticipate using your framing nailer on a jobsite that is not heated, then you might want a battery-run nailer as it can handle the cold better.
Size and Weight
There is not too much variety in weight and size for pinners, but some are significantly lighter than others.
Most will fall in the 7.5-pound to 8-pound range. Anything under 7.5 pounds is considered to be fairly light and would be good for someone who uses the nailer all day.
The dimensions of the nailer are also important. If you are going to have to get into tight corners or small spaces with the nailer, you will need to consider its size in your decision. Some nailers are great for maneuvering into tight spots, while others are a bit clunky.
Warranties are a great addition to any tool or product, including framing nailers. It gives you some peace of mind if something goes wrong with the framing nailer.
If you know how to maintain and fix tools, this might not be a big deal. However, for people who don’t know the intricacies of a framing nailer, finding a product with a good warranty might be a huge factor.
Most warranties for framing nailers range from one to seven years. You should research what is included in the warranty as most are limited to the body and nothing else. You can find details on warranties on manufacturer websites.
Most framing nailers will come at an angle. The standard angles are 21 degrees, 30 degrees, and 34 degrees. There really is no major difference in quality in any of these angles. They all work great. However, they have a few specific advantages and disadvantages.
The 21-degree nails can accommodate a wider head on the nails. Many building codes require nails used to be full-head nails, so this could significantly impact your decision.
30-degree and 34-degree nail clips tend to be lighter than the 21-degree clips and can fit into tighter spaces. Different regions tend to prefer or even require different angles, so you can ask around to see what is required or preferred in your area.
Price is usually one of the main deciding factors when choosing between multiple products. With framing nailers, the price can vary from under $100 to well over $400.
If you are looking to use the nailer daily on a professional jobsite, the more expensive nailers tend to be lighter, faster, and more durable, so you could benefit from splurging a little.
Most of the cheaper nailers would be great for use on DIY projects or around your house. If you like doing household projects a couple of times a year, then spending several hundred dollars for a nailer is probably unnecessary.
Most of the nailers on the list have a fairly small nail capacity to keep them mobile and not weigh them down too much. There are a few that have up to a 100-nail capacity, which is great if you just want to be able to load them up and work continuously.
The average magazine capacity is about 55 nails. If you are doing a household project, this might be all you need, but if you need to fire a lot of nails a day, you might want to look at something with a higher capacity, unless you are okay with regularly inserting nail strips.
Maintenance and Accessories
You will want to look into the maintenance required for each of the framing nailers you are looking at. Some will require the O-rings to be oiled or the magazines and other parts to be cleaned out before and after usage.
Taking care of your tools can significantly extend their life, so knowing how to best care for them can save you a lot of money and headaches in the future. Not properly maintaining the tools can cause them to break down, misfire, or jam regularly.
Some of the framing nailers come with everything you will need to safely use and maintain them, whereas others only come with the body of the nailer. You can always buy the oil, protective carrying case, or other accessories separately, but that will obviously be an added cost.
What angle is better, 21-degree or 30-degree?
While there are benefits to each of those angles, it really depends on what is preferred or required in your area and how you will be using the nailer.
Why is there such a large price difference in different framing nailers?
Some framing nailers are better for home projects or DIY crafts, whereas others are designed to withstand long-term usage on construction sites.
Is pneumatic (air-powered) or battery-powered better?
It depends on your needs and how much you will be moving around. Being attached to a compressor provides constant power, but it can be hard to move around with. The battery provides mobility.
Choosing the right framing nailer can increase your efficiency on a job and make your life a lot easier.
While there are a lot of different things to consider when choosing a framing nailer, knowing what you will be using it for and how much you will be using it is a huge advantage.
My top overall pick is the Bostitch framing nailer. You can depend on it to get the job done every time you pick it up. It is easy to make adjustments for nail depth and trigger speed.
A framing nailer can be a great addition to your tool kit and can improve your jobsite efficiency significantly. A durable framing nailer that fits your needs can be a useful tool to have around.