Best Framing Nailer Reviews (2020): The Top Tools For The Money

Last Updated: by Peter Lynn

Gone are the days when you can only rely on a hammer and a nail to finish any woodworking project. Today, you can significantly cut down your woodworking time and reduce the effort it takes to make your projects with the help of power tools such as nail guns, also known as nailers.

Nailers automatically drive nails into any material including wood and metal without having to use too much manual effort. With just a single press, you can drive nails effectively. It is an indispensable tool that will help make your work easier.

The market has a lot of options when it comes to nailers. They come in different forms such as finishing nailers, roofing nailers, brad nailers and flooring nailers. But if you are looking for framing nailers, you came to the right place. We checked out what the best ones out there are and hand-picked those with the best features, so you can choose easily. Find out below which framing nailers we recommend getting.

Framing versus Finishing Nailer – Which One is the Best Option?

When it comes to nailers, there are two most basic choices: the framing and the finishing nailer. While they are both nailers, they actually have different uses and benefits. Here are some of the things you should know:

Framing Nailer

The framing nailer is most suitable for bigger kinds of wood projects. If you are building a deck or constructing framing for a house or just basically doing big construction works in a property, this is the nailer to get. It is not just capable of framing, it can be used for wood sheathing as well and building fences. It can be used to create sidings and is an all-around nailer that can be used for major carpentry jobs. Because it is more heavy-duty compared to other nailers out there, professionals and contractors use this nailer.

Almost all the framing nailers out there are capable of accommodating nails up to 3-1/2 inches in size. You can use round-headed or clipped-headed nails for these nailers. If you are working on a high-volume woodworking project, go ahead and choose the framing nailer.

Finish Nailer

You also need a finish nailer because it can help you accomplish smaller woodworking tasks. Just like what its name suggests, this type of nailer is used to “finish” jobs. Its job is to make end results look prettier. It is also highly useful for doing trimming and paneling. If you are putting up moldings, this is also the nailer to get. People who like to build cabinets and furniture from scratch must always have a finishing nailer in their arsenal.

These are the differences between these nailers. If you have these two, you should be able to handle any kind of carpentry work in your home or in your workplace.

Best Framing Nailer 2020 Reviews

Now that you know all these, it’s time to find the best framing nailer. Here are our suggestions:

Check out all  that these nailers have to offer:

1. Hitachi NR90AES1 Framing Nailer

Hitachi NR90AES1 Framing Nailer

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This sleek-looking nailer is a good addition to your work arsenal. It is incredibly lightweight for easier usage and maneuverability that also relieves hand fatigue. Quickly change from sequential into contact nailing with just the flick of your fingers, thanks to its selective actuation feature. It even has a depth adjustment system that doesn’t require extra tools to change.

You can rely on this nailer for many more years to come, so durable is the exterior. The magazine is made from 2-piece anodized aluminum for extra durability and for easier replacements. You can start your woodwork project easily with its loading system that only uses two steps. Reloading is also fairly easy.


  • This nailer has industrial parts that make this a long-lasting nailer you can rely on for many more years to come.
  • It is lightweight. It just weighs about 7.5 pounds, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to carry around or use all day.
  • It is quite compact and smaller in frame.
  • You can change from sequential fire to bump seamlessly through its selective actuation switch. This is a nifty feature that woodworkers and contractors will like.
  • It doesn’t require an extra tool to adjust the compressor pressure.
  • Loading nails is much easier with this.
  • This product comes with a pair of safety glasses.
  • Price-wise, it is more expensive than others, but it actually justifies that with its quality.
  • Many customers said they have subjected this nailer to a lot of damages and it still remained unscathed.


  • Some said they have issues with jamming occasionally.

2. NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer Ergonomic & Lightweight Pneumatic Nail Gun

NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer Ergonomic & Lightweight Pneumatic Nail Gun

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If you are looking for something a little less expensive but also no less competent, set our sights on this one from NuMax. It is a pneumatic framing nailer that is has a body made from durable magnesium materials. It features ergonomic and secure handles that have a trigger for single shot or quickfire.

It aids you in your various woodworking projects, thanks to its useful depth adjustment feature that will allow you to drive the nails to the depth you want. In fact, it is so versatile, it can also be used to install decks, fences and sub-floors.


  • It won’t break the bank.
  • It has the versatility that will allow it to be used on different projects such as decking, installing sub-floors and even sheathing.
  • Made from high-quality and durable materials
  • It comes with a 1-year limited warranty and 30-day wearable parts warranty
  • The 360-degrees adjustable air exhaust is a nifty feature. It prevents air from blowing into your face while working.
  • You work surfaces won’t be damaged, thanks to its No-Mar Tip feature. It also features a no-slip teeth function for more stable firing.
  • Many customers commend this for its ability to work without jamming.


  • There are customers who said they wished this was a bit faster.

3. Valu-Air 9021C 21 Degree Full Round Head Framing Nailer

Valu-Air 9021C 21 Degree Full Round Head Framing Nailer

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Make sure you add this to your list options. With a variety of uses under its belt such as doing flooring, framing walls, doing siding or wall sheathing and doing sub-flooring, it is a versatile, all-around framing nailer that you will turn to over and over again. It has a 21-degree driving force that makes use of round-head nails, it doesn’t matter whether you are using the wire collated or the plastic ones.

The rear-loading magazine is made from aluminum materials that can withstand wear and tear. The depth adjustment feature is precise and doesn’t require extra tools for adjustments.


  • It is more affordable than many other framing nailers out there.
  • It does what it intends to do all the time. Delivers nails straight without any issues.
  • The non-marring tip is a nice addition to its line-up of features.
  • You can work on materials other than wood because of its depth adjustment feature.
  • The housing is lightweight, relieving hand fatigue when working.
  • It also features ergonomic and non-slip handles for easier usage.


  • Can’t accommodate the second sleeve of nails.

The instructions are difficult to understand but setting it up without it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

4. Bostitch F21PL Round Head Framing Nailer

Bostitch F21PL Round Head Framing Nailer

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If you fancy getting one of the best framing nailers out there for professional usage and money isn’t an issue, get this one. It is a compressor type of framing nailer that makes use of 1050 inch-pounds of driving efficacy. It features a bump and sequential trigger for easier switching. You also get more fastener depth control and collation.

The housing is made from lightweight aluminum to ease the pressure on your hands. It can also be used for metal connector purposes as it has nose pieces that you can use to convert it.


  • Can be converted into a nailer that does metal connector applications.
  • Has a durable and lightweight framing.
  • It comes with a rafter hook that can be easily adjusted, so you can hang it after use.
  • It features an adjustable depth function.
  • It comes with a 7-year limited warranty.
  • The magazine can hold up to 60 plastic collated framing nails or 60 metal connector nails.


  • Can cost a little bit more than others out there.

Which One is the Best Choice for You?

Now which of these products would be more perfect for your specific needs?

Great for Everyday Use: Hitachi NR90AES1 Framing Nailer. If you work all day, everyday in your workshop, you definitely need something as reliable as this one from Hitachi. Not only does it have industrial-quality exterior and interior mechanisms, it also has the right features, so you can work conveniently and easily.

Reliable for Heavier Usage: NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer Ergonomic & Lightweight Pneumatic Nail Gun. One of its best traits according to users is its ability to work without suffering from a single jam. It does get the job done without any issues, so you can work frustration-free.

Easy to Use: Valu-Air 9021C 21 Degree Full Round Head Framing Nailer. This framing nailer took the user’s comfort and needs into consideration. This one has a lot of features that make this easier for users to utilize even on a daily basis and an extended period of time.

2-in-1 Nailer: Bostitch F21PL Round Head Framing Nailer. This nailer can work as a metal connector as well. You can save money by not having to buy two devices.

Tips in Buying the Best Framing Nailer

When you go out there, you will be surprised at the many types of framing nailers available. You might find yourself daunted with the task of choosing the best one. To help you out, here are some tips you should keep in mind:

1. Decide which type of nailer works for your kind of carpentry or woodworking project.

You have 2 basic choices when it comes to framing nailers – the pneumatic ones and the cordless ones. The pneumatic nailers are these types of nailers that make use of a compressor. These framing nailers are better for the everyday handyman or professional contractor as they are powerful enough to be used every day.

If you don’t like to buy an additional compressor to get the job done, you can always go or the other types of nailers such as the cordless ones. If you are only going to use this occasionally, a cordless one should be the perfect choice.  On the other hand, if you are working in a small space where an air hose won’t easily reach your framing nailer, it is better to get one that is fuel-powered.

2. Determine which nail storage solution is the best option for you.

You can find coil-style and stick-style framing nailers available today. Both these styles of nailers are ideal when it comes to storing nails. Which one you should choose will actually depend on your personal needs. If you do a lot more woodworking projects in one sitting, it makes more sense to get the coil-style framing nailers as they typically house more nails compared to their stick-style counterpart. Otherwise, you can just go with something as simple and basic as the stick-style nailer.

3. Check what kind of nails it can accommodate.

Some nailers only accommodate clipped-head nails. But today, there are local codes that specify what type of nail you can use for renovations or construction work. Many specify the need to use round-head nails. While you might be able to store more clipped-head nails in these nailers, these nailers don’t offer a lot of flexibility.

4. Compare features and look for those that can simplify your woodworking project.

From nifty features such as jam clearing to being able to adjust the size of nails you can use, there are plenty of features that can make life a bit easier for the woodworker or contractor. Also make sure you look for features such as nail depth adjustment system to control how deep your nails are going to be driven. Having air connectors that swivel is also a nice feature to prevent the cord from getting all tangled up. You would also want to look for safety features such as protective guards to avoid getting hit by debris from the kick-back.

What to Do Next?

Make sure your workshop is equipped with all the right tools needed to accomplish various woodworking projects. Visit our homepage to discover more tools that you might want to add to your collection.