What Is the Best Finish Nailer?
Our top choice for best finish nailer is the DeWalt DC618K XRP Angled Finish Nailer Kit because of its overall quality and positive customer reviews. It effectively drives nails into soft and hard surfaces, and you can easily remove jams. You can adjust the depth and switch between sequential and bump mode– all without tools. LED lights allow for efficient illumination and troubleshooting.
When you’re working on a project, you need the tool that’s right for you. Not only must it be capable of getting the job done, it should also be easy for you to use and handle.
We took those factors into consideration when looking for the best finishing nailer. We read hundreds of customer reviews and looked at almost as many devices.
We weighed the pros and cons of each and considered any special features they had to offer. Finally, we narrowed it down to nine. From there, we selected our top
Top 9 Best Finish Nailers: Our Picks & Recommendations
- Best Overall: DeWalt DC618K XRP 18-Volt Cordless 1-1/4″ to 2-1/2″ 16-Guage 20-Degree Angled Finish Nailer Kit
- Best Budget: Valu-Air 764C 16-Guage Finish Nailer 7/8″ to 2-1/2″
- Best air powered finish: Hitachi NT65MA4 1-1/4″ to 2-1/2″ 15-Guage Angled Finish Nailer with Air Duster
- Best electric finish nailer: Makita AF635 15-Gauge 2-1/2″ Angled Finish Nailer, 34-Degree
- Best cordless Finish Nailer: Bostitch BCN662D1 20V Max 16-Guage Cordless Straight Finish Nail Gun
- Best Pneumatic Finish Nailer: Paslode T250A 16-Guage Pneumatic Angled Finish Nailer, No. 500910
- Best 16 gauge finish nailer: Bostitch FN1664K 16-Guage Straight Finish Nailer
- Best 15 gauge finish nailer: 3PLUS HDA1564SP 15-Guage Angled Finish Nailer
- Best 18 Guage Finish Nailer: Best 18 gauge finish nailer: Paslode 901000 18-Guage Finish Nailer
How to Choose the Right Finish Nailer?
When you’re looking for the best cordless finish nailer, electric finish nailer, or similar device, here are some factors to consider.
Straight vs angled finish nailer
Straight or angled refers to the position of the magazine. Angled nailers are a good choice if you need to get into tight spaces. They’re highly-accurate, but take thicker nails than their straight-situated counterparts. Straight nailers are thinner and ideal for jobs that require a high nail volume.
The power type you choose depends on what you want and whether the unit is capable of achieving the desired level of pressure.
Some magazines require extra tools to open. Your best bet is a magazine that you can access quickly for loading and to clear any jams. Coil magazines hold more nails– between 150 and 350. Nail sticks hold strips of nails, usually in 20–40-nail increments.
Type of Gauge
The type of gauge depends on the nail and material thickness you’re looking at. A lower gauge number indicates thinner nails and a thinner material. Typical gauge sizes are 15, 16, 18, and 23.
Size and Weight
A heavy tool will put too much pressure on your hands, while a lightweight tool won’t cause fatigue and, because of its compact size, is likely to fit better in small spaces.
The nail depth you need depends on the material you are using. Adjustable depth control allows you to customize your device settings and effectively power through different material thicknesses without resorting to other tools.
Nail jams are a headache. To quickly remove them and get back to work, look for a nailer that has a magazine that easily swings open so you can fix the problem without fuss.
Gauge and Angle
The gauge indicates how thick your nails are, and the angle can help you nail more precisely. An 18-gauge nail, for instance, is thinner than a 16-gauge. The higher the number of the gauge, the thinner the nail it calls for.
While some nail guns are electric, others are pneumatic and may require an air compressor to operate. Still others are gas-powered. They’re less popular because they generate a lot of heat, but they do provide plenty of power.
The type you choose just depends on what you prefer. Battery-operated finish nailers are also available.
A durable unit will last longer. Look for one made of magnesium or aluminum. These and similar materials are sturdy, but lightweight.
Get to know your device’s operating modes for maximum efficiency and safety. The bump-firing is ideal when speed is a priority. Similar to single-sequential mode, single actuation mode gives you more control over how you fire.
Nailers that are equipped with sufficient lighting– usually LED lighting, can effectively illuminate your work area, especially when you’re nailing in cramped, dark spaces.
9 Best Finish Nailers Review
Here’s a list of the best finish nailers on the market:
What You Will Love: Durable, can be used on a variety of surfaces, fast and efficient.
If you are in search of the top finish nailer overall, look no further than the DeWalt DC618K XRP 18-Volt Cordless 1-1/4″ to 2-1/2″ 16-Guage 20-Degree Angled Finish Nailer Kit.
Its superior engine design makes this tool fast and efficient, penetrating nails into joints both hard and soft.
You can use the sequential mode for precise nail placement, while the bump mode is for maximum speed and productivity.
When nails become jammed, as happens from time to time, you can easily remove the nosepiece to clear them– without using screwdrivers or wrenches.
If you’re concerned about safety or want to prevent dry firing, you can disable the trigger when the unit is not in use; just use the contact trip lock-off feature. The magazine accepts 120 20-degree nails by DeWalt and most other manufacturers.
With integrated LED lights, the unit is designed with longevity in mind and. Another helpful feature is the top cap that can be quickly removed for troubleshooting.
- Allows for precision and speed
- Magazine is easy to access
- A bit heavy.
What You Will Love: This device offers lots of features at an affordable price and is ideal for many different projects.
If you’re on a budget and looking for the right finish nailer at an affordable price, consider the Valu-Air 764C 16-Guage Finish Nailer 7/8″ to 2-1/2″.
This device is best for working with molding, baseboards, decorative trim, cabinets and furniture, window casing, chair rails, and even bedding.
Built to last, the unit features heat-treated aluminum hosing. With its 360-degree adjustable exhaust deflector, you can keep air output away from your face as you work. Plus, along with the tool, you get a carrying case, a strip of 2″ nails, oil, and 2 adjustment wrenches.
Since you can adjust the drive-depth without tools, you can enjoy higher productivity and seamlessly switch between nailing for precision and nailing for speed. Likewise, you can open the nosepiece without tools to easily clear jams.
With its no-mar tip, the unit protects work surfaces from the damage that can happen during nailing. Weighing in at slightly more than 4 pounds, its lightweight and portable, too.
- Lightweight and versatile
- Easy to use
- The trigger may respond slowly or fire ineffectively
Best air powered finish nailer
What You Will Love: Plenty of user-friendly features, such as depth-adjustment and easy nosepiece removal, plus an air duster to clear surfaces before nailing or gluing.
When it comes to the best air powered finish nailer, the Hitachi NT65MA4 1-1/4″ to 2-1/2″ 15-Guage Angled Finish Nailer with Air Duster has a lot to offer.
One thing that sets this unit apart is its integrated air duster that allows you to remove dust from work surfaces before nailing or gluing.
If nails become jammed, you can easily clear the nose of the device without tools. When you want to go back and forth between sequential and contact nailing, all you have to do is flip a switch.
For flush fastening with a variety of materials, you can easily set the nail-drive depth. To direct air output away from themselves and their workpieces, users need only adjust the 360-degree exhaust portal.
Another feature that you’ll appreciate: the 34-degree angled magazine that allows you to reach into tight spots.
- Lightweight (about 4 pounds)
- Easy-to-use, comes with air duster
- No locking mechanism to prevent dry firing.
Best electric finish nailer
What You Will Love: Durable, designed to prevent dry firing and afford extra protection for your work surfaces, allows for precise and rapid nailing, and it’s easy to clear jams.
In our search for the best electric finish nailer, we came up with the Makita AF635 15-Guage 2-1/2″ Angled Finish Nailer, 34-degree.
Designed for optimal strength and durability, it’s constructed with an aluminum magazine, magnesium body, and cylinder.
The motor design allows for optimal efficiency, and housing bumpers provide extra protection not only for the device, but your work surfaces, too.
No-mar tips help to further safeguard the materials you’re fastening. For accurate flush and countersink nailing, you can easily access the adjustable drive-depth feature.
While work surfaces can be damaged by dry fires, you won’t have to worry about that with this tool, because it’s equipped with a locking mechanism that disables the trigger when you’re not using the device.
Additionally, you can use the air duster to clear work surfaces before (and after) nailing as needed.
- Durable, comes with features that promote ease-of-use and protection for the tool and your work surfaces.
- May not work with all nail brands.
Best cordless Finish Nailer
What You Will Love: Easy to use, LED lighting illuminates your work piece, user-friendly features don’t require tools.
If you want to save time and money, the best cordless finish nailer that will help you do that is the Bostitch BCN662D1. To operate it, you don’t need a compressor, just a battery.
(The battery and charger are included. With a brushless motor and superior engine design, you can drive 16-guage straight finish nails from 1-1/4 to 2-1/2″ long.
The narrow nose gives you a clear line of sight so you can place nails accurately, while LED lights illuminate your work piece and provide tool diagnostics.
You can easily adjust drive depth using just your hands. Plus, you can quickly clear the magazine– without tools– should it become jammed. I
f you want to go from sequential to contact mode, and vice versa, all you have to do is use the selector switch– no other tools required. If the driver blade stalls, you can conveniently reset it with a release lever.
- Convenient features
- Jams are easy to fix, and you have a clear line of sight.
- Somewhat heavy.
Best Pneumatic Finish Nailer
What You Will Love: Durable and lightweight, it’s designed for a variety of uses.
In our quest for the best pneumatic finish nailer, we came up with the Paslode Pneumatic Angled Finish Nailer No. 500910.
With this device, you can drive angled finish nails ranging from 1-1/4 to 2-1/2″. Its 16-guage system means less wood splitting and smaller nail holes.
One thing that customers found especially valuable about this unit is its versatility, as it’s well-suited for cabinetry, baseboard, and shoe molding, chair railings, door and window casings, doorjambs and stops, crown molding, and more.
With its angled magazine, you can reach tight spots and corners better than you can with straight finish tools. And the device holds up to 100 nails, or 2 strips.
Its textured handle and lightweight design make it easy to grip and carry. Since it has an exhaust cap, you can keep dust and air output away from yourself.
Whether you’re looking for speed or accuracy, you can conveniently switch between sequential and contact mode.
- Durable and versatile.
- No consistent problems found.
Best 16 gauge finish nailer
What You Will Love: Easy to use and low-maintenance
When it comes to the best gauge finish nailer, we discovered that the Bostitch FN1664K Nailer delivered as promised.
The oil-free engine doesn’t require regular lubricating, cutting down on maintenance and doesn’t leave grease stains on workpieces.
To convert between sequential and contact modes, all you have to do is access the selectable trigger system. While we’re talking about the trigger, you might also like to know that it can be locked when the device is not in use.
Not only does this prevent dry firing, it also lets you know when it’s time to reload. Since the unit has a swivel air fitting with filtered inlet, it’s easier to maneuver and the engine lasts longer.
At not much more than three pounds, this tool is easy to transport and carry, no matter the size of the project you’re working on. More than two-thirds of customers gave it at least four stars.
- User-friendly features allow for easy loading and operation lightweight and low-maintenance.
- Several reports of jamming and air leaks, especially around the trigger
Best 15 gauge finish nailer
What You Will Love: You can use the tool for several different applications, achieve professional results, and avoid damaging your work surfaces.
Like many other finish nailers, the 3PLUS HDA1564SP Finish Nailer is compatible with 1-1/4″ to 2-1/2″ 15-guage angled finish nails.
As you can adjust the depth without tools, this device allows for flush fastening into a variety of materials, giving you control over nailing and making it possible to achieve professional results.
With its no-mar tip, your work surfaces are protected from the damage that can occur during fastening. You can adjust air output full-circle with the exhaust portal, too.
Even better, you can use the tool for a range of applications: crown and base moldings, window and door casings, cabinets, and exterior trim, to name a few.
With so much to offer, it’s not surprising that the vast majority of customers gave this nail gun at least four stars, noting the value they got at a reasonable price.
- Lots of user-friendly features
- Allows for precise fastening
- There were a few complaints about jamming and air leaks.
- Best 18 gauge finish nailer
Best 18 gauge finish nailer
What You Will Love: The Paslode 901000 18-Guage Finish Nailer is easy to use and maneuver, works on a variety of surfaces, and doesn’t require a compressor.
This cordless gas finish nailer accepts 5/8″ to 2″ 18-guage nails. You can easily adjust nail-drive depth for precise fastening.
The long narrow nose optimizes your line of sight, and the high-visibility magazine makes it easy to recognize when it’s time to reload.
With a comfortable “sure grip” and soft trigger, your hands won’t get a workout from handling the nail gun. Since it weighs just under 5 pounds, you’re even more likely to appreciate its ergonomic design.
As if all these perks weren’t enough, you might also like to know that you don’t have to deal with hoses or compressors, either. The narrow no-mar tips make it easier for you to access those hard-to-reach places.
The side-loading magazines makes for especially convenient loading– and unloading, while the easy-to-remove nose allows you to seamless clear jams, although those shouldn’t happen often.
With its powerful motor, this nail gun can take on the toughest woods. The fuel cell may provide enough juice for you to drive up to 1,200 nails before you need to replenish the supply.
- Easy to operate
- Seamless jam-clearing
- Some units broke down after a short time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is a finish nailer?
Finishing nailers allow you to install fasteners more quickly and accurately than you can by hand. They are incredibly helpful when you’re working on that DIY “hobby” project– building furniture, installing a deck, and more.
It’s meant for putting the finishing touches on a project when you are concerned about aesthetic appeal.
What’s the difference between a brad nailer and a finish nailer?
The primary difference between a brad nailer and finishing nailer is the nail gauge used. Brad nailers are usually designed for 18-gauge nails. If you’re concerned about nail head size or splitting wood, you may want to use a brad nailer.
You can use it for paneling, trimwork, casing, baseboards, and more. Finish nailers are likely to use a thicker nail, usually from 15-gauge to 18-gauge.
What is a finish nailer used for?
You can use a finish nailer for a variety of projects, such as trim work, creating furniture and cabinets, and casing.
A brad nailer can be used for some of the same purposes, but you may want to use a finish nail gun for heavier materials because it creates such a strong hold.
What brand makes the best finish nailer?
Many leading tool brands make superior finish nailers. A few examples are: Hitachi, DeWalt, and Paslode. You can check customer reviews, or use this buying guide, to see which brands outperform the others.
These trusted names have built a solid reputation, offering tools that are dependable and give you optimal value for your purchase.
How much will it cost to buy a finish nailer?
Finish nailers span a considerable price range. You can get a budget one for less than $100, or a more high-end unit for a few hundred dollars or more.
How much you spend will likely depend on how often you’ll be using it and with what materials. If you’re looking at a fuel-powered unit, consider the cost of fuel-canisters, too.
When looking for the best finish nailer, you have a variety of options to choose from. It’s important to consider what nail gauge you need, which depends on the type of materials you’re working with.
You may be looking for something that fits your budget, too. Choosing the best finish nail gun for you can help you transform those amateur DIY projects into a hobby that yields professional-looking results.
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