Best Finish Nailer 2018 – Reviews & RatingsThere are two types of nailers required by finish carpenters, and those are brad nailers and finish nailers but also referred to as a nail gun. Carpenters and DIYers need this type of tool in their arsenal like a chef needs his knives. It’s used to drive nails into wood without needing a hammer. It’s driven by compared air (pneumatics), electromagnetism, and flammable gasses like butane, propane, or a small explosive charge.
In our Finish Nailer buyer’s guide, we will do our best to help break down each top brand of Finish Nailer to help you find the one that is just right for your next projects.
Best Finish Nailer Comparison
|Model: NT65MA4||Model: N62FNK-2||Model: D5276K||Model: DA250C||Model: 4G0001N|
|15 Gauge||15 Gauge||15 Gauge||15 Gauge|
|5 Year Warranty||7 Year||1 Year||3 Year||5 year|
|3.8 pounds||4.4 pounds||3.9 pounds||3.9 pounds||4.5 pounds|
|Accepts 15-Gauge nails 1-1/4″ up to 2-1/2″||Accepts 15-Gauge nails 1-1/4″ up to 2-1/2″||Accepts 15-Gauge nails 1″ up to 2-1/2″||Accepts 15-Gauge nails 1″ up to 2-1/2″||Accepts 15-Gauge nails 1-1/4″ up to 2-1/2″|
|Ratings: 4.7||Ratings: 4.5||(Great Value)|
Best Cordless Finish Nailer Reviews
|Hitachi 18v||Ryobi 18v||Dewalt||Porter-cable 20v||Senco 18v|
|Model: NT1865DM||Model: P330||Model: D5276K||Model: PCC792LA||Model: 5N0001N|
|15 Gauge||15 Gauge||16 Gauge||15 Gauge|
|2 Year Warranty||3 Year||1 Year||3 Year||2 year|
|7.3 pounds||6.8 pounds||3.9 pounds||5.7 pounds||6.1 pounds|
|Accepts 15-Gauge nails 1″ up to 2-1/2″||Accepts 15-Gauge nails 1-1/4″ up to 2-1/2″||Accepts 15-Gauge nails 1″ up to 2-1/2″||Accepts 15-Gauge nails 1″ up to 2-1/2″||Accepts 15-Gauge nails 1-1/4″ up to 2-1/2″|
|Ratings: 4.8||(Great Value)|
|Ratings: 4.5||Ratings: 4.6||(Editors Choice)|
Hitachi NT65MA4 Finish Nailer
Here is the Hitachi NT65MA4 2-1/2 inch 15-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer with Air Duster that is an ideal nailer for installing both base and crown moldings, door and window casings, chair rails, cabinets, etc. It’s angled magazine, and compact body makes for easy operation and placement in tight angles. Users can enjoy the convenience of an integrated air duster that clears workspaces of debris. We like how this tool is meant for the everyday pros, beginners and DIYers can enjoy the finish nailer, too, but it’s extra special when a professional can sink their fingers in a beast of a tool to handle demanding jobs while being lightweight.
Top Hitachi Finish Nailer Questions & Answers
Q – Does the nailer come with a case?
A – Nailer comes with a heavy duty case that has storage space for a couple of packages of nails.
Q – What length of nails can it work with?
A – Fires 1-1/4″ to 2-1/2″ 15g angled finish nails single and bump fire.
Q – What psi does it run?
A – Operating pressure is between 70 and 120 psi, based on the length of nail you are using, and the hardness of the wood that is going to be fastened.
Q – Do we have to strictly use Hitachi’s nails or can we use different brands of nails?
A – You can use any of the brands like Porter Cable, Bosch, and Hitachi without any problems surfacing as we feel Hitachi may just be covering themselves in case you use a low-quality nail that ruins the nailer you void any warranty.
BOSCH N62FNK-2 15-Gauge Finish Nailer
Here is the BOSTITCH N62FNK-2 15-Gauge 1 1/4-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch Angled Finish Nailer that comes in lightweight magnesium housing weighing 3.8 pounds reducing user fatigue and increasing productivity. Its engine is oil-free needing no lubrication and will not stain any surfaces. The highest power-to-weight ratio with its 400-inch-pounds of incredible driving power. We like the removable magazine on this tool as its tool-less making it much easier to clean and clear up any jams while using. We also dig the quick countersinking adjustments for depth control plus the tool-free adjustable exhaust that will direct the airflow – this beast of a tool is low maintenance and we like it!
Top Bosch Finish Nailer Questions & Answers
Q – What is the angle of the nailer?
A – 25-degrees.
Q – Can this nailer gun be used to build wood fences from 6′ to 8′ Cedar?
A – It is a finish nailer. You’re going to want a framing nailer, and use ring shank galvanized nails.
Q – Does it come with a case?
A – Yes. It has a plastic case that works pretty well!
Q – Do I need an air compressor?
A – Absolutely! It’s a pneumatic tool, as it needs an air compressor to power the air-powered nail gun.
Dewalt D51276K 15-Gauge Finish Nailer
Here is the DEWALT D51276K 1-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch 15-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer that includes a tool-free depth adjustment, tool-free 360-degree exhaust, and a tool-free jam clear for an excellent low-maintenance tool that demands authority on the job site. We enjoy the 3.85 lbs of lightweight goodness this tool holds leaving us with less fatigue which increases our work performance and productivity.
Top DeWalt Finish Nailer Questions & Answers
Q – Could I nail in different angles?
A – Yes, as long as you adjust the depth adjustment on the gun to compensate if the nose of the nailer gun isn’t against the wood.
Q – I’m having trouble finding 1 to 1-1/2 inch pneumatic nails, finding only 2″ where can these sizes be bought?
A – Harbor freight or Senco carries those sizes.
Q – Is there a case included?
A – Yes! A Hard blow mold case with plenty of room for oil, nails, and goggles.
Porter-Cable DA250C Angled Nailer Kit
Here is the PORTER-CABLE DA250C 1-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch 15-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer that has a compact body created for easier placement and positioning. It also has an internal piston catch mechanism that keeps the piston at its initial position for all around consistent power and non-marring nose tip with onboard storage preventing unsightly marks from nailing. We love how effortless it is to install crown and base molding with this handheld soldier.
Top Porter-Cable Questions & Answers
Q – What other types of nails can I use with this finish nailer aside from the Porter-Cable?
A – You must use 15 gauge angle nails.
Q – Does it come with a sequential trigger?
A – Yes it has one.
Q – Is this a 34-degree finish nailer?
A – Yes! 34-degrees.
Q – Does it come with a hard case?
A – No, but it does include a carrying bag.
Q – What are the minimum and maximum fasteners?
A – Minimum of 1″ and a maximum of 2-1/2″.
Senco 4G0001N 15-Gauge Finish Nailer
Here is the Senco 4G0001N FinishPro 42XP 15-Gauge 1-1/4-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch Finish Nailer that’s designed for tackling some of the most difficult nailing jobs with an operating pressure of 70 to 120 maximum psi that is built to perform. It can drive both the galvanized and bright 15-gauge nails from 1-1/4 to 2-1/2″ inches in the hardest woods. It is ideal for exterior and interior trim work such as base and crown molding, window, and door casings, cabinets, etc. We love the magnesium housing that goes through a war with excessive wear and tear without showing signs of being abused.
Top Senco Finish Nailer Questions & Answers
Q – Can you get up into tight corners with this nailing gun?
A – Yes if you usually use an 18 or 16 gauge finish nailer gun you will be able to get into tighter corners with this 15 gauge. If you are already using a 15 gauge gun, you will probably not see any difference with the same code in that respect.
Q – Is there a belt hook on the tool?
A – Yes! It’s included in the case.
Q – Does the trigger need to be changed to go from sequential to “bump” firing?
A – Yes it does
Dewalt DCN660D1 20v Max Cordless 16-Gauge Angled Finished Nailer
Here is the DEWALT DCN660D1 20V MAX 2.0 Ah Cordless Lithium-Ion 16 Gauge 2-1/2 in. 20 Degree Angled Finish Nailer Kit that is perfect for fastening trim, baseboard, crown and base moldings, door and window casing. The cordless finish nailer gets the job done with no noise and hassle. The Multi-functional lights deliver both workspace illumination and tool diagnostics, and we like the Tool-free depth adjustment for precise countersinking of nails.
Top Dewalt Cordless Finish Nailer Questions & Answers
Q – Does the finish nailer come with a case?
A – Yes and it’s a hard case, too!
Q – Does it come with a battery and charger?
A – Yes to both.
Q – Can the tool set nails in hardwood?
A – Yes with the setting adjustment.
Q – Is it brushless?
A – Yes!
Hitachi NT186DM 16-Gauge Straight Finish Nailer
Here is the Hitachi 18V Brushless 16 gauge straight finish nailer – NT1865DM cordless and with no need for compressors, hoses, gas cartridges, and more equipped with a brushless technology. The cordless nailer provides enhanced power while being lightweight with longer runtime per charge. We like that it includes a tool-less depth of drive adjustment and a convenient on-tool battery life indicator. Drives around 1500 nails per charge with accurate, and flush results.
Top Hitachi Cordless Finish Nailer Questions & Answers
Q – How much does the tool weigh?
A – 7.3 pounds
Q – Is this a bare tool or do batteries come with?
A – The battery is included.
Q – Can the pivoting belt hook be on either side to accommodate left-handed users?
A – Yes! It can be mounted on either side for both right-handed and left-handed users.
Senco 5N0001N Fusion Finish Nailer
Here is the Senco 5N0001N Fusion Finish Nailer loaded with power and the utility of a pneumatic tool but with a more convenience cordless feature. We like their patented reflex-shot design that gives a quick shot when the pulling the trigger with no ramp-up time.
Top Senco Cordless Finish Nail Questions & Answers
Q – What’s the longest nail it can shoot and use?
A – Shoots 1 1/4″ – 2 1/2″ 15 gauge nails.
Q – How much does the cordless finish nailer weigh?
A – 6.1 lbs.
Q – Does it include a carrying case?
A – No case but a large bag with velcro straps – it’s real nice.
Here is the Porter-cable PCC792LA 20V Max Cordless 16-Gauge Straight Finish Nailer that is battery-driven demolishing the annoying need for a hose, compressor, or even gas cartridges that are expensive. Users will get a consistent firing power for different materials such as crown moldings, cabinets, baseboards, etc. We liked the LED lights that are dual multi-functional for both error indication and workspace illumination.
Top Porter-cable Cordless Finish Nailer
Q – Will this tool work for installing pine flooring which is a more softer wood?
A – Yes, just check out the depth settings and set the impact for thickness and hardness of wood.
Q – Can I use 18ga nails on this too or just 16ga?
A – Only 16ga as you don’t want to damage the striker or get a jam.
Q – Is there a carrying bag or case?
A – No.
RYOBI P330 15-GAUGE Finish Nailer
Here is the RYOBI P330 15-GAUGE Finish Nailer that introduces the fourth addition to the AirStrike line-up technology that squashes the annoying need for endless attachments such as bulky hoses, expensive gas cartridges, and loud compressors. Now you get a faster setup and can maneuver around easier with the cordless finish nailer. We like how this tool is a part of a collection that allows you the convenience to build on the ONE+ collection without spending more money for chargers and batteries for additional tools.
Top Ryobi Cordless Finish Nailer Questions & Answers
Q – Can this angle nailer shoot a 16-gauge angle nail from Paslode?
A – No it will cause jams.
Q – Can it be used for framing.
A – No.
Q – How many degrees are the nails?
A – 34-degrees.
Finish Nailer Buyer’s Guide
When you need to drive many nails fast, the ideal solution is that of a finish nailer, and they sink thousands of nails accurately and consistently. There are a variety of finish nailers to choose from, and one may have features that would work best with a particular task which is why more goes into purchasing reason why we’ve got a finish nailers buyer’s guide here for you.
Nailers are available in both a coil and a strip configurations.
Coil-style nailers: Coil-style nailers will use a long, flexible string of nails joined with wires. Then there is a round magazine on the tool holds the nails in a coil. These nailers can fit into tinier spaces that will not accept many strip-style models. Coil-style nailers contain more nails than a strip-style model, which also means you won’t have to reload as much as other tools.
Strip-style: Strip-style nailers will use nails arranged on a long, thin strip or stick that slides into an oblong magazine on the device. Pieces of paper, plastic or wire will tighten and keep the nails together. The strip-style configuration gives out the weight of the nails instead of concentrating it in a roll, as this will be giving the tool better balance than a coil-style nailer.
When is A Finish Nailer Needed
Nailers are a huge part of work productivity in many types of high-end and finish carpentry. Some models are useful for more high-volume applications that are heavy-duty, while others work well for smaller tasks such as:
Framing nailers: Will handle many tough projects such as building decks, constructing room additions or framing houses.
Flooring nailers: Will speed up the installation of hardwood flooring.
Palm nailers are small, pneumatic tools that can drive separate nails in small spaces.
Finishing Nailers: Are much lighter than the framing nailers are and work perfectly for putting furniture and installing cabinets, trim and molding together.
Staplers, Brad Nailers, and Tackers: Lightweight and are ideal for precision work.
Roofing Nailers: Are for applying roof shingles.
When you need a tool with high portability or a tool that can work for longer periods of time then the power source for the finish nailer needs to be considered.
Fuel-Driven Cordless Nailer: Uses combustion to drive nails. Fuel drains out of the disposable gas cartridge and into the burning chamber. Battery delivers an electric charge to start the fuel, and the resulting explosive force will drive the nail. No annoying cords or bulky hoses are needed, giving this type of nailer good mobility and lower maintenance.
Battery-powered cordless nailer: Delivers much greater portability than a pneumatic nailer since it doesn’t need a compressor or a bulky hose. Plus the battery-powered cordless model has a fast start-up time, but it won’t have the power of a pneumatic nailer which is a bummer.
Best Finish Nailer Reviews – 2017 Guide
Nailers or Nail Guns are one of the most useful gifts of technology to the mankind. They eliminate the back-breaking work of manually hammering the nails while also ensuring time-efficiency and precision. For enhanced convenience, modern nailers are available in many different types, like roofing, framing, finishing, palm, flooring etc. This review post will talk about finishing nailers, their benefits, tips for buying, and a lot more.
Best Pneumatic Finish Gun: In case you are looking to pick a nail gun to attach to your compressor my pick would be which has got brilliant reviews and ratings on Amazon. In case you are looking for a budget pneumatic nailer then go for which is great for small DIY tasks.
Best Cordless Finish Gun: If you are looking for cordless variety then is a great option despite its heavy weight as it has some awesome features.
Best Nailer Power Combo: In case you are looking for multiple nailers then nothing is better than which comes loaded with Finish, Framing, Brad Nailers & Stapler option.
Best Finish Nailer Review (Combo Kit)
The P4FRFNCB Framing/Finishing Combo Kit from Freeman includes everything that a DIY-enthusiast or a contractor might need to get the job done, right from the beginning until the end. The kit includes a total of four different tools-
- 1 x Angle Finish Nailer
- 1 x Full Head Framing Nailer
- 1 x Narrow Crown Stapler
- 1 x Brad Nailer
Great Nail Capacity
- The finishing nailer, brad nailer and narrow crown stapler in the kit can accommodate up to 100 nails, whereas the full head framing nailer has a magazine capacity of 55 nails.
- This means lower reloading breaks and faster finishing of the job.
Excellent For Tight Spaces
- The finish nailer in the kit has 34 degrees standard angle, making it an excellent choice for jobs that need to be done in tight spaces.
- The cylinders and magazines of all the tools in this kit are made from anodized aluminium which is light in weight and ensures longevity. Moreover, all the tools feature Teflon O-rings for lesser wear over time.
- The best part of this P4FRFNCB kit is its size and weight. The entire kit measures 24 x 92 x 14 inches and weighs only 25.4 pounds. This makes it extremely easy for the users to pack and carry the kit even while walking between multiple job sites.
- The finish nailer, brad nailer and stapler also feature quick release mechanisms to quickly eliminate the problem of magazine jamming.
- Moreover, the kit also includes multiple maintenance tools, wrenches and oil. Also, the bag in which the tools are placed is made from high-quality canvas for enhanced durability.
- It also has a depth dial to easily control the driving depth. However, a lot of reviews suggest that the dial is not sensitive and this can affect the quality of work.
- One may feel that the Depth dial doesn’t functions as it should.
- Also there are times when the rubber tip of the finish nailer can leave marks on the work surface.
Best Pneumatic Finish Nailer Reviews
Hitachi never fails to impress with its products. Their products are known for their durability and are commonly used by professionals.
The NT65MA4 nailer is the perfect example of the amount of efforts Hitachi puts in, in each of its products.
Features & Strengths
- The ergonomically designed nailer features an actuation switch with the help of which you choose between contact and sequential nailing with a simple flip of the switch.
- The drive dial of the nailer doesn’t need any tools for adjustment and can be easily adjusted as per the type of material you are working on. This provides you with an improved control over the nailer and helps in improving the quality of your work. It has an easy-to-clear nose which allows you to easily clear the jam of nails in the magazine.
- The NT65MA4 finish nailer also has rubber grips for enhanced comfort and sports a 360 degree exhaust port to exhaust the pesky air away from the user.
- The no-mar tip of the nailer is removable and aids in protecting the work surface from damage.
- It can accommodate 15-gauge nails that range between 1-1/4” and 2-1/2” inches.
- The compact nailer only weighs 4.2 pounds and measures 13.6 x 3.2 x 12 inches, making it easier for the users to carry the nailer.
- The powerful nailer can fire more than 1000 nails before needing any maintenance check.
- Few users complain that the nailer needs a lot of care and maintenance as it is oil based to avoid problems. To compensate, it comes with a 5-year limited warranty. Its pistons, O-rings and drivers carry a 90-day warranty.
- Thanks to its power, it is not ideal for small projects. Also you may find it a bit costly when compared with other nailers that offer similar features.
This nail gun has been there in the market since 2004 and has received excellent reviews on all ecommerce sites. Users love its air blowing feature, continuous nail firing mechanism and ability to accept popular standard nail sizes from other manufacturers as well.
DeWALT is a well-known name in the world of hand-tools and the D51257K finish nailer from DeWALT succeeds in impressing the DIYers and professionals alike.
The pneumatic nailer has an operating pressure of 70-120 PSI and can accommodate 100 sixteen-gauge nails ranging from 1” to 2-1/2” at a time. While the nailer is reasonable priced, it has a number of features that you’ll only find in high-end nailers.
- The nailer has an innovative Sealed Lube Dual Technology which allows you to use the nailer with and without oil to ensure that there are no stains on the working surface.
- It has a 360-degree rotating exhaust which allows you to point the wood dust, oil and moisture in the direction you want.
- Nail depth adjustment is placed on the machine itself to eliminate the need to go to the compressor for adjusting the depth.
- It features a no-mar tip that not only ensures a high-level of nailing accuracy but also aids in protecting the work surface from nicks and scratches.
- The nailer has a rear-loading magazine for quick reloading and the front of the nailer opens easily to easily remove the jammed nails.
- Moreover, it also sports a trigger lock to ensure complete safety of you and others around you.
- The belt hook of the nailer can be adjusted to easily fit your hand size for enhanced convenience.
- Moreover, the DeWALT D51257K nailer comes with 1000 two-inch finish nails as well as a carrying case.
- Some users found the loading mechanism to be a bit bothersome and felt that Dewalt could have designed it better.
- Also the nailer does not tell you when you run out of nails, so users need to keep an eye on the rail feed after each nailing round.
Best Pneumatic Finish Nailer For The Money
If you are looking for a budget straight finish nailer, the NuMax SFN64 will be a perfect choice for you.
Features & Strengths
- The nailer can fire 16 gauge nails between 1” and 2.5”. So, if the nails are straight-faced, this finish nailer can be used for a myriad of small and large projects, like furniture trim, decorative trim, window casings, assembly of picture frame, base molding of windows and doors, etc.
- The nail gun also allows you to easily adjust the drive depth to eliminate the need to pull the hammer out for setting in the proud nails.
- The SFN64 is one of those finish nailers that do not require you to use a putty or sealant to cover the head of the nail as it drives the nail completely into the surface and its head sits flush with the surface.
- The nailer has rubberized grips and an exhaust port that can be adjusted 360-degrees.
- The operating pressure of this nailer ranges between 70 and 110 PSI.
- It features a top-loading magazine that can accommodate up to 100 nails at once. Moreover, if at all, the nails get jammed in the magazine, there is a quick-release button to eliminate the jam.
- A minor drawback of this nailer is that it is pressure sensitive to an extent and might need an additional regulator to control the sensitivity.
- If we talk about the cost of this finish nailer, a number of experienced professionals find it hard to believe that a nail gun with a capacity of 2.5” is available at such a reasonable rate.
- While it doesn’t have a lot of fancy features, it does have everything that you might need in a standard nail gun.
Best Cordless Finish Nailer
While the DC618K might look like any standard finish nailer, it is different than majority of the finish nailers available in the market.
- The nailer is cordless and doesn’t need an air compressor for functioning. It is powered by a battery which offers a power of 18 volts.
- It can accommodate 16-gauge nails measuring 1-1/4” to 2-1/2” at an impressive rate of 5 nails in a second.
- The nailer has a rear-loading, 20-degree magazine which can hold up to 110 nails.The magazine of the nailer is sealed to prevent the debris and dust from entering inside and result in malfunctioning of the nailer.
- The finish nailer can be used in Bump Firing mode for faster nailing or Sequential mode for one-by-one nailing.
- The narrow nose and angled magazine of the nailer enables you to use the nailer even in hard-to-reach areas.
- Moreover, it features integrated LED lights that allow you to use the nailer in low-lighting areas.
- The swing-type nosepiece of this nailer can be easily opened to clear nail jamming. Some of the other features of the nailer are no-mar pad, safety contact lock-off, precise adjustment of depth and reversible belt hook.
- The finish nailer weighs 8.5 pounds, which is a little higher than the standard weight of most of the finish nailers available in the market.
- It comes with a carrying case, 18-volt NiCad battery, charger and safety glasses. It is backed by a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty, a 90-day money-back guarantee and a service contract on the NiCad battery.
- The model is little heavy and also unit’s head is little fat. But the tool compensates this with power and performance.
- Cordless varieties are little pricey but that is expected as you are saving on the cost of air compressor which is needed for pneumatic varieties.
If you are looking for a compact and powerful cordless finish nailer, the 902400 from Paslode can be an excellent choice.
- The nailer features professional grade, tool-less drive depth adjustment and has an innovative in-can fuel system for easier installation.
- Its rechargeable lithium ion battery can fire up to 6000 nails in a single charge, making it a perfect choice for every small repair work or large construction projects.
- Paslode 902400 features a 2-position battery lock feature for securing the battery in off position and save run-time.
- It sports no-mar tip to make sure that the work surface is not damaged in the process. The nailer also has a nail lockout feature to prevent the problem of blank driving.
- The finish nailer features a rear-loading magazine that can accommodate 100 sixteen-gauge smooth and galvanized nails, measuring 1-1/4” to 2-1/2”.
- It is light in weight and only weighs 4.5 pounds along with the battery. The nailer comes with a rechargeable battery, charger, manual, hex wrench and safety glasses. It carries a 1-year full warranty and 5-year limited warranty.
- What may inhibit your excitement about the product is that it only accommodates a limited type of brad nails. Also, some nails do not set below the work surface.
What is a Finishing Nailer?
A finish nailer is a type of nail gun which is a lot more versatile than most other types of nailers. They are generally used for larger and bulkier wood trims. They use nails of 15 or 16 gauge and even more. These nails are slightly larger than the standard brad nails and this provides them with better holding strength.
While all the framing nailers might appear similar to the untrained eye, there is a major difference between them.
Nailers are divided in two different types- Brad Nailers and Finishing Nailers.
Brad nailers are your standard nailers that can be used with 18-gauge small nails. On the other hand, finishing nailers are used with larger, 15-16-gauge nails. This review will only focus on finishing nailers.
Finishing nailers are excellent for professionals as well as the DIY crowd if you need to work with bulky and larger wood trim. When used on smaller trims, these nailers can split the wood and can also result in imperfections on the surface.
A major drawback of finishing nailers is you’ll generally need to use putty for covering the nail openings as the diameter of the fastener will be larger. But there are some finish nailers that ensure that the nails sit flush with the work surface, eliminating the need to use putty.
On the other hand, brad nailers drive entire nails into the surface and the nails are almost invisible to the naked eye. However, it is generally recommended that you should have both, a brad nailer and a finishing nailer if you regularly mold or trim.
If you are searching for a finishing nailer, the abundance of options available in the market can be quite confusing, especially if you are purchasing a nailer for the first time. To help you make an informative decision, we’ve reviewed 6 of the top finishing nailers. Go through the reviews to understand which variety will best suit your requirements.
- Nail Magazine Type- One of the most important things that you need to decide before buying a finishing nailer is the type of magazine you want in your nailer. There are two different types of magazine – coil and stick. Coil type magazines use flexible, long nail strings that are joined with the help of wires. They have a round magazine that can accommodate 100 to 300 nails at a time. On the other hand, finishing nailers with stick type magazine have a long stick or strip that slides in the long magazine of the nailer. These nailers make use of plastic, wire or paper strips for keeping the nails together. This type of magazine can hold anywhere between 20 to 60 nails.
- Power Sources- The models can be divided into basically two different types when it comes to their power sources. There are pneumatic corded nailers and cordless nailers. Pneumatic nailers are powered by air and will require you to have a compatible air compressor. Cordless nailers are powered by battery or fuel. While cordless finishing nailers are more convenient to use, it’s the pneumatic compressors that will offer better functionality if you are a contractor or are generally involved in large scale projects.
- Nail Firing Methods- The firing method of nails generally depend on two controls- a firing trigger and the safety tip which fires when the tip comes in contact with the work surface. These nailers feature safety tip and/or firing trigger. Based on these control, the firing methods are divided in four different types- contact, full-sequential, single sequential and single actuation. Please note that different manufacturers use different names for these firing methods.
- Depth Adjustment- Many of the nailers come with a depth adjustment tool which allows you to adjust the depth up to which you want to drive the nails in the work surface. By adjusting the depth you can leave the nails flush, protruding, sink and countersink. There are also some nails that do this job automatically.
- Jam Clearing- It is also very important to make sure that the finish nailer you choose has easy jam clearing feature. It is very common for the nails to get jammed in the magazine. Thus, with the help of quick release jam clearance, you’ll be able to clear such jams easily.
Different Gauge Types : What Do They Stand For?
Finishing nailers are broadly on the basis of the Let us have a detailed look at different gauges and jobs they are recommended for.
- 15 Gauge Finish Nailers- 15 gauge finish nailers can generally handle nail lengths up to 2-1/2”. They are recommended for heavy and large wood trims, like furniture and cabinet building, assembly of picture frame, molding, trim installation, upholstery trim, etc. These nailers are generally air powered, but there are some cordless models as well.
- 16 Gauge Finish Nailers- Just like 15 gauge nailers, a 16 gauge nailer is also used for applications, like installation of window and door trim, panelling, baseboards, door jambs, crown modelling, etc. 16 gauge nailers are generally lighter than 15 gauge nailers. They too can accommodate nails up to 2-1/2”.
- 18 Gauge Finish Nailers- This nailer is the most famous when it comes to DIYers and people who only use a nailer occasionally. They are generally used for panelling, furniture repair and trimming jobs. These nailers can accommodate nails sizes ranging from 1-1/4” to 2”. It is highly recommended that if you are buying an 18 gauge finish nailer, spend some more money to buy one that can accommodate up to 2” nails.
- 23 Gauge Finish Nailers- These nailers offer the least holding power and are only ideal for jobs that need small nails, like building a dog house, picture frame assembly, small trim, etc. They are available in headed and headless variations. Thus, it is very important to choose a 23 gauge trimmer based on the type of nails you’ll use. They can shoot nails ranging from ½” to 1” in length.
Straight vs Angled Finish Nailers
Another major difference between finish nailers which you should know while buying is their built. Finish nailers are available in two different types- straight and angled. In short, the major difference between the two is that the angled nailer is more compact, expensive, accurate and a breeze to use with thicker nails in tighter spaces.
On the other hand, straight guns are bulkier, cheaper and not that easy to use in tight spaces. Moreover, straight guns are generally compatible with smaller nails ranging from 16 gauge, whereas, angled guns can be used with 15 gauge larger nails.
If you are working with heavy and large pieces of wood trims, like baseboards, cabinetry or a wide crown molding, a brad nail will not be able to provide you with the required holding power. Thus, if you don’t use finish nailers for such jobs, there is a possibility that the wood will completely rupture off from the wall.
Moreover, crown molds or baseboards are generally installed to drywalls that are not known to be structurally very strong. Thus, if you use brad nails on drywalls, they can detach much more easily as compared to finish nails. Even though brad nails are known to provide well-hidden holes on the work surface, their holding capacity is not very impressive when it comes to heavy, bulky woods. As a result, if you want your attachment to remain in place, a finish nailer is what you need.