The 5 Best Nail Guns (2020 Review)

 The 5 Best Nail Guns (2020 Review)

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A nail gun is a handy power tool that can secure 2x4s or fasten crown molding. Nail guns come in a variety of models specialized for a number of DIY jobs, including repairing roofing and installing new flooring. To help you understand the intended use and benefits of nail guns, the This Old House Reviews team researched the best nail guns on Amazon and created this comprehensive buyer’s guide. Here are our top selections.

Best Roofing Nailer: Metabo HPT Roofing Nailer

Designed for serious DIYers, the Metabo HPT roofing nailer is a powerful tool that simplifies shingle installation. The gun contains a convenient side loading magazine and a tool-less nail depth adjuster that reduces set-up time and allows you to maintain a steady workflow. Additionally, the roofing nailer’s 5.5-pound frame and rubber grip prioritize comfort and reduce fatigue.

Key Features

  • Compatible with ⅞- to 1¾-inch roofing nails
  • Five-year limited warranty
  • 5.5 pounds
  • Pneumatic-powered

What Customers Are Saying

This roofing nailer from Metabo received an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 from over 200 customer reviews, which is in line with the average rating of 4.7 stars across all five recommended products in this review. When we considered customer reviews from other leading e-commerce sites, this nailer’s average rating increased to 4.8 stars. Additionally, 94% of customers rated this product 4 stars or above.

Positive customer reviews centered around the product’s durability, with one user applauding the gun’s bump-fire mechanism and resistance to jams. Other positive reviews focused on the gun’s overall ease of use. The Metabo roofing nailer only received a single one-star review on Amazon, in which a customer expressed frustration over constant misfiring.

Best Brad Nailer: DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit

Utilizing compressed air for a precise and powerful drive, this DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit contains the features necessary to secure delicate pieces of wood. The gun’s jam release mechanism and depth-of-drive adjustment are tool-less, allowing you to troubleshoot your tool without leaving your project. To protect its lightweight design, this nailer also comes with a carrying case for safe and easy transportation.

Key Features

  • Drives ⅝- to 2-inch nails
  • 5.14 pounds
  • Sequential firing requires the safety tip to be pressed before pulling the trigger
  • Three-year limited warranty

What Customers Are Saying

The DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit received an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 from around 1,340 customer reviews, which is slightly below the average customer rating of 4.7 across all top recommendations. When we factored in customer reviews from other top e-commerce sites, the brad nailer’s average customer rating increased to 4.7.

Positive reviews for this DEWALT nail gun praised the product’s quality and manageable size. Additionally, many positive reviews harped on the gun’s affordable price. More critical reviewers described their frustration at the nail gun’s constant jamming, which put a halt on their work. Some unhappy customers also explained that their nail gun would randomly cut out during repeated use.

Best Framing Nailer: NuMax Pneumatic Framing Nailer

This framing nailer from NuMax is designed to accelerate the process of framing a home by supporting large nails capable of securing dense 2x4s. This nailer reduces the legwork needed during framing, offering no-slip teeth for increased stability, an ergonomic grip for added comfort, and an interchangeable trigger for customizable nail firing. Additionally, the framer is compatible with generic-brand nails to eliminate the need for specific brand nails.

Key Features

  • One-year limited warranty
  • Compatible with a bump-fire or single-fire trigger
  • 8.58 pounds
  • Provides 70 to 115 pounds per square inch of force (PSI)

What Customers Are Saying

The NuMax Pneumatic Framing Nailer received an average customer rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 from over 2,500 reviews. When we averaged in customer ratings from other top e-commerce sites like Home Depot and Walmart, the nail gun’s average rating slightly decreased to 4.5. Although the NuMax nailer received the lowest customer rating on Amazon, only 5% of customers rated the product 2 stars or less.

Many positive reviews focused on the gun’s affordability, which some customers explained as the reasoning behind their purchase. In addition to the nail gun’s reasonable price, many users were pleased with the driving power and overall ease of use the framing nailer provided. Negative reviews centered around the nailer’s heavy frame, which increased fatigue and slowed work speed.

Best Cordless Nailer: CRAFTSMAN Cordless Brad Nailer Kit

As a cordless brad nailer, this CRAFTSMAN model is convenient and user-friendly. Eliminating the need for air hoses and an air compressor, this battery-powered brad nailer makes securing trim work and other fine carpentry quick and easy. Alongside its hoseless design, the gun is equipped with tool-free depth settings for fast adjustments while on the job.

Key Features

  • 7.64 pounds
  • 20-volt battery
  • One-year warranty
  • Includes 200 nails

What Customers Are Saying

This CRAFTSMAN brad nailer received an average customer rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 from over 540 customer reviews. This model has one of the highest percentages of 5-star reviews, with 83% of customers rating it as such.

Positive customer reviews confirmed the product’s effectiveness as a DIY nail gun, with many homeowners experiencing positive results when using the gun for projects like securing baseboards or putting up trim. Many of the negative reviews were from customers who experienced the nail gun unexpectedly turning off during use.

Best Starter Kit: BOSTITCH Air Compressor Combo Kit

This BOSTITCH Air Compressor Combo Kit is designed with the beginner in mind, consisting of all the tools necessary to use a pneumatic nail gun. The kit comes with three nail guns, including a brad nailer, straight finish nailer, and heavy-duty crown stapler, so that you have all of the tools required to complete a wide variety of carpentry projects.

Key Features

  • One-year limited warranty
  • Six-gallon air compressor
  • Compressor operates at 80 decibels (dBA)
  • Includes three pneumatic-powered nail guns

What Customers Are Saying

This BOSTITCH Air Compressor Combo Kit received an average of 4.7 stars out of 5 from over 1,700 customer reviews, which is in line with the average customer rating of 4.7 stars across all five recommended nail guns. When factoring in reviews from other leading customer review sites, the BOSTITCH kit’s average customer rating increased to 4.9, showing a lift in customer satisfaction outside of the Amazon platform.

Many positive reviews praised the kit’s affordability and the quality of the three included nail guns, while most of the negative reviews pointed out the air compressor’s inefficiency, with one user experiencing the air compressor giving out in a matter of days.

Buying Guide

Before purchasing a nail gun, it’s important to understand the differences between available models so that you make the right selection. In this buying guide, we explain how the design, power source, firing modes, and nail capacity affect how a nail gun operates.

Design

Nail guns come in a variety of designs, with some of the most popular being framing nailers, roofing nailers, brad nailers, and finish nailers.

A framing nailer has a heavy-duty build that’s designed to simplify the process of fastening wood for projects like fence building and new construction. Framing nail guns typically work with large, 3.5-inch nails called 16-penny nails. Similar to framing nailers, roofing nail guns are heavy-duty tools used by professionals to secure shingles, tar paper, and insulation boards.

Brad nailers are used to inconspicuously fasten detailed wood-like trim, moldings, and cabinetry. As the name suggests, this type of nail gun fires brad nails, also known as brads, which are made of small-diameter steel wire.

Finish nail guns are similar to brad nailers in that they use fine nails to secure detailed pieces of wood. However, finish nailers can fire nails that are larger in diameter and are built to secure larger pieces of wood.

Power source

A nail gun typically comes with one of two power sources: battery or pneumatic. Battery-powered nail guns may be a good choice for DIYers who want a cordless and mobile tool. Although battery-powered nailers are convenient, they’re often more expensive and less powerful than their pneumatic counterparts.

Pneumatic nailers are powered by an air compressor that allows the user to continuously fire, as long as the tool is loaded with nails. Pneumatic models are more powerful and less expensive than battery-powered nailers, but they require an air compressor and additional set-up time.

Firing modes

Some nail guns come with various firing modes that allow you to customize how you use the tool. For example, some models allow you to fire a nail simply by bumping the nose of the gun, while others possess a safety feature that requires the nailer’s tip to be engaged before pulling the trigger.

Nail capacity

When selecting a nail gun, consider its nail capacity, which refers to the number of nails the gun can hold and fire before requiring a new set.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best nail gun for around-the-home use?

The best nail gun for home use is the CRAFTSMAN Cordless Brad Nailer Kit. This cordless brad nailer removes the hassle of purchasing an air compressor by utilizing rechargeable batteries that are capable of accurately driving nails for small DIY projects around the home.

As a cordless brad nailer, this CRAFTSMAN model is convenient and user-friendly. Eliminating the need for air hoses and an air compressor, this battery-powered brad nailer makes securing trim work and other fine carpentry quick and simple. In addition to its hoseless design, the gun is equipped with tool-free depth settings for fast adjustments while on the job.

Why is my nail gun jamming?

A jammed nail gun can be caused by a number of factors, including an inadequate amount of oil, a misshapen coil, or an improperly sized fastener. Oil your nail gun prior to each use to prevent jamming. Additionally, make sure that your fasteners fit your nail gun’s specifications.

How often should I oil my nail gun?

The frequency in which you oil your nail gun depends on how often you use the tool. If the nailer is being used throughout the day, oil may need to be applied multiple times to maintain its efficiency. If you use the tool less frequently, you may only need to apply oil prior to each use. Check the owner’s manual to learn about your specific nailer’s oil requirements.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.

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