LAST UPDATED: February 07, 2021

The Best Framing Nailers (Review) in 2021

Best Choice best nail framing gun NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer
Premium Pick The Best Framing Nailers (Review) in 2021 Metabo HPT Cordless Framing Nailer Kit
Best Value affordable nailer WEN 61798 Pneumatic Clipped Head Framing Nailer

Are you looking for an easier, faster way to drive nails into place? If you’re framing, you’ll want a framing nailer on hand. A combination of a framing tool and a traditional nail gun, a framing nailer allows you to drive nails into frames much faster and with less effort. If you’re equipped with a framing nailer, you can drive more nails more quickly and more efficiently, so you can get the job done in less time. Whether you’re looking for a framing nailer to use at home or on the job, there’s an option available that’s perfect for your needs. You just need to make sure you’re buying a quality tool with the right power, the right features, and the right efficiency. Check out our list of the best framing nailers to find the best option for your toolkit.

The Best Framing Nailers

Our top pick is the NuMax pneumatic nailer that is quick and easy to use around any building site and provides a quality result each and every time. One of the many reasons we love it is its lightweight, durable body. It is, perhaps even more importantly, comfortable to use too, thanks to the ergonomic design of the handle. NuMax obviously took time to carefully think out its design with the user in mind, and we thank them for that. It is fully adjustable, at least in terms of the depth that the nails from this framing nailer can go, and it can also work on several different surfaces. Therefore, even if you want to install sheathing, subfloor, or roof decking, you will be able to do so with relative ease.

Key Features
  • Lightweight and durable body
  • Adjustable nail depth
  • Ergonomic handle for comfort during use
  • Brand NuMax
  • Model SFR2190
  • Weight 8.6 pounds

Next on our list of framing nailers is this fine example of a pneumatic nailer from Bostitch. Bostitch nail gun tools are highly reputable, which speaks to how dependable they are in a variety of situations and how well they are made. This framing nailer is no exception, and it is certainly one of the best framing nailer tools that money can buy. It is essentially two air nail gun tools in one, due to the quick change nose pieces, allowing users to use it as either a framing nail gun or a metal connector. We also like that it is so lightweight — just over 8 pounds — yet it has the capability of 1050 inch-pound of driving power. Users will also find the sequential and bump trigger invaluable to completing jobs quickly and efficiently.

Key Features
  • Weighs just over 8 pounds
  • Has up to 1050 inch per pound of driving power
  • Comes with a sequential and bump trigger
  • Brand BOSTITCH
  • Model F21PL
  • Weight 10.6 pounds

This framing nailer gun from Freeman is useful whether you are a professional carpenter or an avid fan of DIY projects. It will be invaluable in a variety of situations as it works at 70 to 115 PSI and can hold up to 55 fasteners at a time. Nails as small as 2 inches will work within this nail gun as well as nails up to almost four inches in length. Additionally, we love the anti dry fire that stops internal damage from harming the overall use of your nail gun and therefore how long it will last within your tool kit. Plus this natty feature means that users won’t inadvertently cause their tool damage by using their nail framer when it is running low on fasteners.

Key Features
  • Magnesium body is easy to carry yet strong
  • 21 degree full head framing nailer
  • Can use nails as small as 20 degrees and goes up to 22 degrees
  • Brand Freeman
  • Model PFR2190
  • Weight 8.5 pounds

The Metabo HPT Cordless Framing Nailer is an excellent tool if you’re looking for premium quality and premium results. It does come at a higher price, but you get much more than just a basic framing nailer — and that value combined with high quality is what makes it our premium pick. This framing nailer is cordless, which makes it easy and convenient to operate. It’s powered by 18 volts and a brushless motor with a 3.0 Ah lithium-ion battery that recharges quickly. The framing nailer can drive plastic strip nails between 2 and 3.5-inches long quickly at two nails per second. You’ll be able to power through up to 400 nails on a single charge. And there’s zero ramp up time to increase your driving speed. In addition to the powerful and speedy framing nailer, you also get additional supplies. The Metabo HPT framing nailer comes with a charger, a contractor’s bag, and a pair of safety glasses. Whether you’re looking for a complete set or simply need a framing nailer that can get the job done reliably, you don’t want to miss this model.

Key Features
  • Zero ramp-up time gets you to work faster with increased driving speed
  • Features a unique air spring drive system and uses compressed air to drive nails
  • The brushless motor offers longer run time and less maintenance over time
  • Delivers professional-level results 
  • Brand Koki Holdings America, Ltd.
  • Model NR1890DR
  • Weight 10.1 pounds

If you’re in need of a versatile framing nailer, take a look at the Valu-Air 21 Degree Full Round Head Framing Nailer. While it might seem as straightforward and simple as any other framing nailer, this handy tool offers impressive range. You can use it on a wide range of different products and tasks, making it highly suitable for many jobs both professionally and for the DIY enthusiast. This framing nailer is great for framing walls, floors, and roofs, and you can also put it to work if you’re framing sub-flooring, wall sheathing, or siding. It can drive 21-degree full round head nails measuring between 2 and 3.5 inches with shank diameters ranging from 0.113 to 0.148 inches. It works easily and effectively thanks to a selective single or bump fire trigger, and it offers tool-less depth adjustment so you get precise, flush nailing. Additionally, the Valu-Air framing nailer gives you options. It comes with a carrying case, optional bump fire trigger, Allen wrench, and lubricant oil to offer everything you might need for your next job. It’ll work with traditional nails as well as plastic strip nails. You can even use this tool with vinyl coated steel nails. It’s all possible with this versatile model.

Key Features
  • Offers both a selective single trigger and an optional bump fire trigger
  • Solid rear-loading aluminum magazine increases tool’s durability
  • Suitable for a wide array of applications and many different nails
  • Brand Valu-Air
  • Weight 8.8 pounds

There is nothing more annoying than not being able to fit your nail gun into a tight corner where you most definitely need to fit a nail for fastening. If that is the case, this Paslode nail gun is the answer. It is such a versatile tool as it is a cordless nail gun that is compact and small enough to fit into tight spaces. Owners of this particular Paslode framing nailer love it, as it allows them to affix crown molding or even baseboard into corners for a highly professional finish that will last years and years. Plus, the benefits of being cordless are endless and give the user the ultimate maneuverability not to mention the fact that this Paslode nail gun is one of the lightest framing nail gun tools in our top framing nailer list.

Key Features
  • One of the lightest nail gun tools at only 4.5 pounds
  • Handle has been designed with ultimate user comfort in mind
  • Small size allows for use in tight spots
  • Brand Paslode
  • Model 902400
  • Weight 4.5 pounds

This Bostitch nail gun is another fine example of a framing nailer. It can be used in a variety of places around the home, so that if you have any subflooring to take care of, then this nail gun can do it for you with ease. It will also cope effortlessly as a nail gun for work on framing, siding, and fencing. Users of this particular Bostitch nail gun love it for its contact trip trigger and a large capacity magazine so that projects can be completed quickly with minimal reloading of the gun itself. It makes it so easy to use, which is why it has a spot on our top best framing nailer tool list.

Key Features
  • Contact trip trigger
  • Large capacity magazine
  • Coil frame nailer so it's perfect for framing, roof decking, any siding and fencing
  • Brand BOSTITCH
  • Model N80CB1
  • Weight 8 pounds

This is a framing nailer by Porter Cable that will suit those that want a lightweight device due to continued and consistent use. It is perfect to add to a person’s toolkit if he works on a building site. It weighs just over seven pounds, yet has the power to drive in nails up to 3 ½ inches deep by 0.131 inches even into engineered lumber. Plus, it is one of the easiest pieces of equipment on our framing nailer list to adjust as it does not require any tools to be altered. It, therefore, makes general use even simpler and far less fiddly than some other nail gun tools on the market. Additionally, it has a selectable trigger that also comes with a trigger lock out for increased security during use. This trigger lockout can activate either a restrictive or a contact actuation mode, depending on the user’s needs.

Key Features
  • Uses full round head, plastic collated nails
  • The magazine is set at a 22 degree axis requiring 22 degree plastic collated nails
  • Does not come with a carry case
  • Model FR350B
  • Weight 9 pounds

The Metabo HPT Framing Nailer is a great option that delivers professional-level quality in a tool that absolutely anyone can use. While Metabo HPT is one of the preferred brands by professionals when it comes to pneumatic nailers, this framing nailer is also acclaimed by many others. In fact, it’s won awards each year since 2014. The handheld tool is lightweight, weighing just 7.5 pounds, and is well balanced so it’s easy to hold and maneuver. The framing nailer trigger allows for quick nailing transitions, and the 21-degree head will work with fasteners between 2 and 3.5 inches long. You have options when it comes to the Metabo HPT Framing Nailer. You can use it for flooring as well as framing. It can be helpful as you work with sub-flooring, roof decking, and housing construction. A tool-less depth adjustment dial means making changes as you work is easy. And you’ll stay comfortable the entire time with a cushioned rubber grip that helps you hold the framing nailer securely.

Key Features
  • Suitable for use with 2 to 3.5-inch nails
  • Quick transition trigger allows for switching between sequential and contact nailing
  • Designed for professional-level work
  • Brand Koki Holdings America, Ltd.
  • Model NR90AES1
  • Weight 7.5 pounds

Last but not least is this example from WEN. It is a fantastic framing nailer, as it is reliable enough for any home or work project. It can be used with paper collated fasteners that range from 2 to 3 ½ inches in size and anywhere between 30 and 34 degrees. Those nails can also be anywhere between 0.113 in width to 0.131 inches in width, so it is a highly adaptable tool that allows up to 100 nails to be fitted in its magazine at once. The body is made from aluminum, so it is very very strong yet lightweight. As a result, operators will find that their arms and hands do not suffer from any fatigue for a long period of time. This nail gun features an adjustable exhaust and it works from 70 PSI shooting up to 120 PSI when fitted with a 1.4-inch NPT air inlet fitting.

Key Features
  • Instantly recognisable blue and yellow design
  • Comes in a variety of angles
  • Magazine holds up to 100 nails
  • Brand WEN
  • Model 61798
  • Weight 18.1 pounds

Best Framing Nailer Buying Guide & FAQ

Trying to determine which framing nailer is the best of the bunch isn’t easy. There’s a lot to consider, from the types of jobs you’ll need this tool for, to the capacity and capability of each option available. Framing nailers come in many styles and offer different speeds. And each one is designed for different nails or materials. Fortunately, we’re making the search for the perfect framing nailer much easier. Follow our buying guide to learn the ins and outs of different framing nailers to find the best one for your needs.

Features to Look for in a Good Framing Nailer

There are a number of features to keep an eye out for when choosing the right nail gun for you. All framing nailer tools vary from manufacturer to manufacturer in subtle ways so it’s good to know what your needs are before you buy one. From Hitachi nail tools to Paslode framing nailer products, you need to figure out what your budget is from the outset.

Some nail gun tools can be quite cheap, but you tend to get what you pay for. Plus look at the weight of the tool itself too, there are some nail gun tools on our list that weigh only a few pounds. So if you have a weaker arm than you’d like or you know that you will be using your air nail gun over a long period of time, make sure you choose a gun that is a weight you can carry.

Finally, you need to look at ease with which the air nail gun can be adjusted to alter the depth of how far in nails go to a piece of wood. If you know that you will need to adjust the depth quite a lot, you need to find a pneumatic nailer that has a straightforward and efficient way of making that adjustment. Some of the bad examples of a framing nail gun on the market come with fiddly mechanisms making nail framing a much slower and laborious task than it needs to be. Also, ask yourself how you want the nails to fire out of the cordless nail gun too. If you want a single fire mode, ensure that it has one, but many operators will also want a bump fire mode too. Additionally, some operators like to see a contact trigger for the ultimate in speed firing.

nail gun

Benefits of Using a Framing Nail Gun

It can be frustrating to hammer one single nail in at a time. Hammering is careful work, but when you’re working on framing projects, you need to get a lot of nails in place without wasting an entire day. Fortunately, that’s where a framing nailer can come in handy.

There are plenty of benefits to using a framing nailer instead of a basic hammer. One of the most obvious is the ease and efficiency a framing nailer brings to framing work. With one of these tools in hand, you’ll be able to quickly complete any job. You can deliver hundreds of nails in place in mere minutes without needing to rest or recharge. You’ll be able to join materials together securely without worry — and with impressive speed. What’s better than increasing your efficiency so you can work even faster?

In addition to making application easier, a framing nailer can also ease your comfort and improve your control while working. Holding a hammer and performing hammering motions repeatedly can be tiring and even cause repetitive strain injuries. But with a framing nailer, you can rely on your tool to do all of the hard work for you. The framing nailer will do the hard stuff while you keep your hand on a comfortable grip and the trigger.

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Pneumatic Vs. Cordless Nail Gun

The main choices you can opt for when buying a framing nail gun are a pneumatic nail gun and a cordless nail gun. Ultimately, the decision is up to the preferences of the carpenter or operator, but one of the main differences people will see is the price. Pneumatic nail gun tools are far cheaper than a cordless nail gun tool.

Pneumatic nail gun tools tend to be much lighter, even when taking into account the hose that is hanging down from it. However, that hose can be incredibly cumbersome and tiresome after a while, so having a cordless nail gun at your disposal during jobs where you will be moving around a lot can be very helpful. Lastly, in terms of performance, the pneumatic nail gun is slightly quicker by a second or two.

Best Framing Nailer FAQ:

Q: What is a framing nailer?

A framing nailer can also be referred to sometimes as a framing gun or a nail gun. Whatever it is called, they’re a handy piece of equipment to have on a building site owing to their uses.

For starters, a framing nailer has the ability to install a large number of nails into wooden frames at a speed that even a skilled person could not achieve when simply using a hammer. The best nail framers, therefore, increase the pace at which building site workers can frame a wall.

The only problem with nail framers is that so many people use them incorrectly that they actually become unsafe. However, when used properly they are one of the best bits of a kit that a carpenter can have given the speeds that they can help a carpenter reach.

Q: How do I use a framing nailer?

Using a framing nailer is easy, but it pays to get learn how to use your nail gun before setting upon a task. This is because it will help keep you safe but also it will ultimately improve the quality of your workmanship.

A framing nailer has a large tube above the tip of the tool. The tip is where nails shoot out from. The tip helps keep users safe as a nail will only be released as it needs to be pressed down a little against a wall before the nail gun’s trigger can be pressed itself.

Then, when you are getting ready to use your pneumatic nailer, all you need to do first is ensure that that tube and the tip of your nail gun are lined up and pointed where you ultimately want a nail. Then, apply a little pressure to the gun against the wall to Deactivate the safety mechanism. Pull the trigger.

After this, the nail framer should do all the hard work for you. It should have released only one nail into the wood you are framing. You should notice that the head of the nail has been depressed into the wood’s surface a little. The amount that this depression is can be changed by you on the nail gun itself. You may want it to sink into the wall more or less than the default setting.

Q: How should I maintain my framing nailer?

It’s imperative to maintain your framing nailer so that it works at its optimum performance at all times. The main way to do this is to take it apart if possible every few times you use it to clean out any dust or debris in the smaller compartments so that it won’t overheat in the future. However, the most vital thing to do with regards to a framing nailer is to ensure that you clear out any jams in the magazine and nail head as soon as possible. Do not keep pressing the trigger hoping the blockage will simply clear. It won’t do this by itself and will need a proper assessment by yourself to unjam the mechanism.

yellow framing nailer

Our Top Pick

The NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer is our choice for the best framing nailer. This pneumatic tool wins us over with its incredibly lightweight build and its comfortable design. Forget about the frustration and discomfort of working with a hammer and nails — this framing nailer is light in your hand and very comfortable to work with, even if you struggle to maneuver power tools. It features an ergonomic design with a handle that’s comfortable to hold and move at any angle. Whether you’re working around the house or on professional projects, the NuMax framing nailer will make any task easy. You can easily adjust the nail depth to suit your needs, and it’ll handle sheathing, sub-flooring, or roof decking without any issue. If you’re looking to make life easier while you work, you can’t beat this framing nailer and its convenience.