Best Framing Nailers | Reviews of Top Guns

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 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 many options when it comes to nailers. They come in different forms such as finishing nailers, roofing nailers, brad nailers, and flooring nailers.

However, if you are looking for framing nailers, you came to the right place. We checked out what the best ones out there are and handpicked those with the best features, so you can choose easily.

Find out below which framing nailers we recommend getting.

Our top pick is the Hitachi NR90AES1 Framing Nailer. This framing nailer is super lightweight, making it easy to maneuver and use. The tool is highly durable, thanks to its high-quality build. Loading nails in the magazine is an easy process and you do not need any tool to adjust the depth of the nail.

The Best Framing Nailers Are:

ProductDetails
1. Hitachi NR90AES1 Framing Nailer

  • Nail Size: 2 – 3.5 Inches
  • Pressure: 70 to 120 PSI
  • Capacity: 64 Nails
  • Power Source: Air-Powered
  • Weight: 7.5 pounds
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2. NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer Pneumatic Nail Gun

  • Nail Size: 2 – 3.5 Inches
  • Pressure: 70 to 115 PSI
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Power Source: Air-Powered
  • Weight: 8.6 pounds
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3. Valu-Air 9021C 21 Degree Full Round Head Framing Nailer

  • Nail Size: 2 – 3.5 Inches
  • Pressure: 90 to 110 PSI
  • Capacity: 100 Nails
  • Power Source: Air-Powered
  • Weight: 8.8 pounds
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4. Bostitch F21PL Round Head Framing Nailer

  • Nail Size: 1.5 – 3.5 Inches
  • Pressure: 80 to 120 PSI
  • Capacity: 60 Nails
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Weight: 8.1 pounds
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5. Freeman PFR2190 Pneumatic 21-Degree Full Round Head Framing Nailer

  • Nail Size: 2 – 3.5 Inches
  • Pressure: 70 to 115 PSI
  • Capacity: 55 Nails
  • Power Source: Air-Powered
  • Weight: 8.5 pounds
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6. Makita AN923 3-1/2 Inch Framing Nailer

  • Nail Size: 2 – 3.5 Inches
  • Pressure: 65 to 120 PSI
  • Capacity: 64-74 Nails
  • Power Source: Air-Powered
  • Weight: 8.7 pounds
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1. Hitachi NR90AES1 Framing Nailer — Best Framing Nail Gun

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 does not 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 easier replacements. You can start your woodwork project easily with its loading system that only uses two steps. Reloading is also fairly easy.

The new head guard of this tool also makes it easy and quick to disassemble during maintenance. It comes with a rubber-grip handle that makes the tool very comfortable to hold and use.

This tool can drive plastic collated nails that are 2 inches to 3.5 inches long. This unit is also lightweight, as it weighs only 7.5 pounds. The angle of the magazine is 21 degrees while the nail capacity is 64.

The air pressure of this tool is 70 to 120 PSI, which is commendable. It allows you to clear jammed nails easily and quickly without any tools. The applicable nail diameter is from .113 to .148 inches.

This is one of the best framing nailers on the market, and it is one tool that you can use to work for the whole day without feeling fatigued.

Specs

  • Nail Size: 2 – 3.5 Inches
  • Pressure: 70 to 120 PSI
  • Capacity: 64 Nails
  • Power Source: Air-Powered
  • Weight: 7.5 pounds

Pros

  • It is long-lasting and highly durable
  • It is lightweight, and you can use it to work for hours without feeling fatigued
  • Loading nails is much easier
  • You do not need any tool to adjust the compressor pressure
  • It comes with safety glasses

Cons

  • Some users said the tool jams occasionally

Verdict

Great for Everyday Use: If you work all day, every day 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, but it also has the right features, so you can work conveniently and easily.

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2. NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer Pneumatic Nail Gun

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 has a body made from durable magnesium materials. It features ergonomic and secure handles that have a trigger for single-shot or quick-fire.

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.

This is a great tool for DIY projects and professional construction contractors. This tool allows you to keep air away from your body while working, thanks to its 360 degrees adjustable air exhaust. It comes with an anti-dust cap/air filter that keeps the internal part of your nailer clean and dust-free.

The anti-dry fire is also there to prevent internal damage, as it stops the tool from firing if the nails are low. To get back to work, all you have to do is to load more nails.

This framing nailer delivers air pressure between 70 and 115 PSI. The magazine of this tool fits nails from 2 inches to 3.5 inches long. It is also compatible with a wide range of brands out there.

With the comfortable grip handle and lightweight nature of this tool, you can use it to work for longer periods without feeling tired. The packaging of this tool also includes adjustment tools and air tool oil.

Specs

  • Nail Size: 2 – 3.5 Inches
  • Pressure: 70 to 115 PSI
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Power Source: Air-Powered
  • Weight: 8.6 pounds

Pros

  • It is inexpensive
  • It comes with a 360-degree adjustable air exhaust
  • It is made from durable and high-quality materials
  • It will not damage the surface of your workpiece

Cons

  • Some user said they wished it was a bit faster

Verdict

Reliable for Heavier Usage: 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.

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

Make sure you add this to your list of 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 does not 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 does not require extra tools for adjustments.

This tool accepts nails that are 2 inches to 3.5 inches long with .113 to .148 inches shank diameter. It comes with a trigger that allows you to switch between single or bump fire. This tool comes with a single-piece heat-treated drive guide that helps to prolong the lifespan of internal wearable parts.

You can use this tool to work on a variety of materials, thanks to its tool-free depth adjustment. This tool is air-powered and the air pressure is from 90 to 110 PSI. It works with the standard 1/4 inches NPT air hose connector.

Specs

  • Nail Size: 2 – 3.5 Inches
  • Pressure: 90 to 110 PSI
  • Capacity: 100 Nails
  • Power Source: Air-Powered
  • Weight: 8.8 pounds

Pros

  • It comes with an ergonomic and non-slip handle for easier usage
  • It is more affordable than many other framing nailers out there
  • You can use it work on a variety of materials
  • The tool is lightweight and highly durable

Cons

  • It cannot accommodate the second sleeve of nails

Verdict

Easy to Use: This framing nailer took the user’s comfort and needs into consideration. This one has many features that make this easier for users to utilize even on a daily basis and an extended period of time.

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4. Bostitch F21PL Round Head Framing Nailer

If you fancy getting one of the best framing nailers out there for professional usage and money is not 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.

This tool allows for the use of framing nails that are 1.5 inches to 3.5 inches long. This nailer is a dual-function tool, as it comes with two quick-change nose pieces that convert to metal or framing connector applications.

The power source of this tool is pneumatic and it operates at air pressure between 80 and 120 PSI. This tool weighs only 8.1 pounds and it is ergonomically designed to allow for comfortable and easy handling.

This tool comes with an impressive 7-year limited warranty, which is pretty impressive. This means you can use it to work confidently, knowing it is well-backed. This highly flexible framing nailer also allows you to control the depth of the nail with a push button.

You can also hank this tool on joists or rafters, thanks to its adjustable rafter hook. The magazine can hold up to 60 metal connector nails or 6 plastic collated 21-degree framing nails.

Specs

  • Nail Size: 1.5 – 3.5 Inches
  • Pressure: 80 to 120 PSI
  • Capacity: 60 Nails
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Weight: 8.1 pounds

Pros

  • You can convert it to a nailer that does metal connector applications
  • An adjustable rafter hook that allows you to hang the tool after use
  • It comes with a 7-year limited warranty
  • A push-button adjustable depth function

Cons

  • It is on the higher end of the price spectrum.

Verdict

2-in-1 Nailer: This nailer can work as a metal connector as well. You can save money by not having to buy two devices. It comes in handy on several occasions and it offers great value for your money.

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5. Freeman PFR2190 Pneumatic 21-Degree Full Round Head Framing Nailer

If you are looking for the best framing nailer that you can use to handle a variety of projects, you might want to consider the Freeman PFR2190 framing nailer. Freeman made this tool with durable and lightweight magnesium.

The driver blade itself is made out of hardened steel. In addition to being highly versatile, this tool can withstand everyday job site abuses, thanks to its rugged build.

This tool can use any nail from 20 degrees to 22 degrees, but we suggest you use 21-degree nails for the best performance. It comes with a high-capacity magazine that fits nails from 2 inches to 3.5 inches. It is also compatible with different brands, which means you do not have to worry about getting a particular brand.

The capacity of this magazine is 55 nails, which is not bad. It also comes with an anti-dry fire system that stops the tool from firing when it is low on nails.

This feature helps to prevent nail jams and prolong the lifespan of the tool. This tool will not damage or scratch your workpiece, thanks to its no-mar flat tip. This unit also allows you to control the depth of the nail without any tool.

It comes with a plastic carrying case that makes it very easy to store and transport. This tool operates at 70 to 115 PSI and it works with a pre-installed 1/4-inch NPT Fitting.

It also features a 360-degree adjustable air exhaust that keeps air away from your face while working. The ergonomic handle of this tool ensures a secure grip and provides anti-vibration comfort.

Specs

  • Nail Size: 2 – 3.5 Inches
  • Pressure: 70 to 115 PSI
  • Capacity: 55 Nails
  • Power Source: Air-Powered
  • Weight: 8.5 pounds

Pros

  • It features a highly durable and lightweight design
  • It will not scratch or damage your workpiece
  • It is compatible with generic brands
  • It comes with a case for easy storage and transportation

Cons

  • The capacity of the magazine is a bit low
  • The loading process can sometimes be difficult

Verdict

Value for Money: If you are looking for a tool that will offer you great value for your money, then this is the right tool for you. It comes with several great features and you can use it to handle a wide range of projects.

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6. Makita AN923 3-1/2 Inch Framing Nailer

The last framing nailer on our list is the Makita AN923 Framing Nailer. This is another great framing nailer on the market, and it is from a highly reputable brand. This is a reliable and powerful tool, and it is going to serve you for years.

The engine of this tool is protected against debris and dust, thanks to its internal air filter. This helps to extend the lifespan of your tool. It comes with a backpressure function that gets rid of any dust from the tool when released.

The unique feature of this tool is that it comes with a three-mode selector – lock, sequential, and contact. This further boosts the versatility of the tool, as it gives you more nailing options.

You can also hang this tool when you are done with it, thanks to its retractable hook. The rubber-grip handle also makes it easy and comfortable to use.

You can adjust the nail depth without any tools, and the process is quick and easy. This tool also has 9 different depth adjustments to choose from, making it a highly versatile option.

The magazine accepts nails that are 2 to 3.5 inches long. It comes with an anti-dry mechanism feature and a limited 3-year warranty. The tool operates at an air pressure of 65 to 120 PSI.

Specs

  • Nail Size: 2 – 3.5 Inches
  • Pressure: 65 to 120 PSI
  • Capacity: 64-74 Nails
  • Power Source: Air-Powered
  • Weight: 8.7 pounds

Pros

  • It has 9 different depth adjustment settings
  • Internal air filter to protect the motor from dust and debris
  • It has sequential, contact, and lock options
  • It is highly durable and reliable

Cons

  • It is a bit weighty
  • Spurred tip slips frequently

Verdict

Versatile: This is the most versatile framing nailer on our list. This tool has lock, contact, and sequential options. It also offers 9 different depth adjustment options. It is highly durable and you do not need to break a bank to buy it.

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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 by the task of choosing the best one.

To help you out, here are some tips you should keep in mind:

Decide Which Type Of Nailer Works For Your Kind Of Carpentry Or Woodworking Project

You have two 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 do not like to buy an additional compressor to get the job done, you can always go for the other types of nailers such as the cordless ones. If you are only going to use this occasionally, a cordless one should be a perfect choice. 

On the other hand, if you are working in a small space where an air hose will not easily reach your framing nailer, it is better to get one that is fuel-powered.

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 counterparts. Otherwise, you can just go with something as simple and basic as the stick-style nailer.

Check What Kind Of Nails It Can Accommodate

Some nailers only accommodate clipped-head nails. However, 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 do not offer a lot of flexibility.

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 a 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 kickback.

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, 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-head 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 your workplace.

Visit our homepage to discover more tools that you might want to add to your collection.

Conclusion

Make sure your workshop is equipped with all the right tools needed to accomplish various woodworking projects.

Our top pick is the Hitachi NR90AES1 Framing Nailer because it is incredibly lightweight, making it easy to use and maneuver. It is also very powerful, safe to use, and it comes with a high-capacity magazine.