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Whether you’re a first-time hobbyist or a seasoned pro, the right finish nailer will make any job a little easier.
Finish nailers bring speed and accuracy to your work. If you’re in the market for a finish nailer, dig into our buyers guide and reviews to find the right one for you.
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In a Rush?
Here's 3 products we picked out that thought you would be interested in depending on your budget...
Best Finish Nailer with Reviews
Here's a list of the best finish nailers on the market today:
1. DEWALT DC618K Cordless Angled Finish Nailer
Not so Good
This finish nailer kit is packed with features and accessories. This nailer helps you work quickly and get consistent results. You can use it with both soft and hard joints and the generous 110 nail capacity magazine means you won’t have to stop to reload as often, allowing you to focus more on the work that needs to be done.
Not only is the magazine large, it’s rear-loading for easy access. Should you ever have a jam, the nosepiece comes off easily without any tools. You get bot sequential and bump operating modes with this finish nailer and it’s capable of driving up to 5 nails a second. Plus, the integrated LED lights help you see exactly where you’re positioning the tip in even the dimmest lighting conditions.
This kit also includes one battery and a 1-hour charger, which is great because a lot of battery operated tools require you to buy them separately. In fact, the included battery can be used in any DeWalt tool. Also included in this kit are a reversible belt hook, no-mar tip, and safety.
As if all that wasn’t enough, it also comes with a 3-year warranty and 2 years of free service. This really is a great buy and a perfect choice for DIYers and professionals alike.
2. Hitachi NT65MA4 2-1/2" Angled Finish Nailer
Not so Good
The Hitachi NT65MA4 is a versatile and useful finish nailer. You can switch between sequential or contact modes with the flip of a switch. Sequential requires you to depress the tip and pull the trigger to drive each nail while contact automatically drives a nail each time the tip makes contact.
You can also change the depth-of-drive with the turn of a dial, allowing you to get a professional looking finish on a variety of materials. The 360-degree exhaust port lets you direct the air so it blows away from you, no matter how you’re using the tool. There’s also an air duster button that’s conveniently located about the grip. You can use this to clear away any dust or debris before you drive a nail or for clean-up at the end of your project.
The elastomer grip handle gives you something to grip onto so you can be sure you’ll always get accurate and precise placement. This nailer will need a bit of oil occasionally to keep it at peak performance. It comes with a convenient carrying case, safety glasses, and a no-mar tip.
3. PowRyte 2" Straight Air Finish Nailer
Not so Good
The PowRyte Basic is our budget choice and it’s pretty easy to see why. It’s packed with features and isn’t that much of an investment because it’s made for DIYers and beginners. It comes with a tool-free depth of drive adjustment to countersink nails accurately into a variety of surfaces.
The magazine has a reloader indicator so you can clearly see when you’re getting close to the end of your magazine so you can reload and avoid any dry firing that can damage the nailer. In the event of a jam, the special release mechanism makes it really easy to clear. You also get an adjustable 360-degree exhaust port so you can prevent the air from blowing in your face while you’re working.
The magazine isn’t angled so this isn’t a great choice for jobs that require getting into tight spaces. It’s made of plastic and cast aluminum so it’s somewhat durable but use caution with the plastic parts because the will break under the right circumstances. Still, this nailer has a lot of features for a really fair price. If you’re looking for something to use to install molding, chair rails, or other light jobs around the house, this is a great choice.
4. Paslode T250A Pneumatic Angled Finish Nailer
Not so Good
The Paslode T250A is a good pick for anyone from a DIYer to a professional. It’s able to tackle jobs that range from the simple installation of baseboards to stair assemblies. It’s lightweight construction and soft textured grip decrease fatigue and let you work for longer periods of time. The directional exhaust helps you stay comfortable while you’re working.
The magazine is rear-loading and has a two step follower that makes reloading faster and easier. It holds 100 nails and has a nail lockout when there’s 10 left so you’ll know to reload before the nailer runs dry. The angled design lets you use this nailer in smaller spaces, which makes it more versatile.
The 16 gauge nails are a plus because they’re smaller and less likely to cause splits in the wood. What’s great about this nailer is that it takes 16 gauge nails and has an angled magazine. There are more benefits to this nailer, too. You get a durable plastic carrying case, a spare no-mar tip, safety glasses, and plenty of references, cleaning, and user guides.
5. DEWALT D51257K 2-1/2" Finish Nailer
Not so Good
The DEWALT D51257K is lightweight and has a no-mar pad to protect your surface from any damage. It’s accurate and precise, ideal for a new DIYer or a professional carpenter thanks to the internal piston catch which delivers even, maximum power with each shot.
A cool thing about this nailer is the sealed lube dial technology. This means that the motor can work both with and without lubricating oil. This helps keep maintenance minimal and makes the tool all that much more versatile.
The rear loading magazine is easy to reload and jam clearing is easy and tool-free. Nails are fired in sequential mode for safety and accuracy. There are over-molded grips so you can keep a good grip on the handle while you’re doing you work. It comes with a belt hook so you can hook it onto either side of your waist, keeping it out of the way when you don’t need it and close at hand when you do.
One downside is that some of this tool is constructed with plastic so you have to careful with it. If you’re too rough, there’s a good chance it will break.
6. Senco 4G0001N FinishPro 42XP 2-1/2" Finish Nailer
Not so Good
The magnesium housing makes this Senco 4G0001N lightweight and durable. This is a new version of this tool and has been overhauled: long life driver, improved durability, and better ergonomics. The 360-degree adjustable exhaust and balanced lightweight design keep you comfortable while you’re working. This is a high-performance nailer that can drive nails into the hardest woods with professional looking results.
There are some standout features on this Senco finish nailer. The tool-less depth of drive adjustment is done with an easy to use thumb wheel. The two no-mar pads protect your work surfaces from unintended damage. There’s even a ruler included so that you can get more precise measurements.
If there’s a jam, te EZ-Clear latch will help you clear it fast so you can get back to work right away. No lubrication is required with this nailer thanks to the brand’s NeverLube technology. This nailer also comes with a hard plastic case for transport and storage.
7. Paslode 902400 Cordless Angled Finish Nailer
Not so Good
This battery powered finish nailer from Paslode is designed for working with trim work, though it’s versatile enough to do a variety of jobs. If you need to do work overhead or squeeze into tight spaces this is a good choice. It’s cordless, so there’s no air hose to get in your way or compressor to drag around behind you.
Cordless tools like this one that use a battery and a fuel cell are a little more powerful than purely battery operated ones. In these tools, the battery ignites the fuel in the cell which powers the nail. You can drive into harder woods than a battery alone.
There are a lot of other features packed into this nailer, too. The tool-free depth of drive adjustment is done with a simple dial. The ergonomic handle is designed with an angle that gives you a great line of sight so you can always get the nail right where you want it. The reversible belt hook lets you hang it close to you when you’re not using it. There’s a no-mar tip to protect the surface and a nail lock-out so it doesn’t try to fire blanks.
You get a lot with this tool, including a rechargeable lithium ion battery, battery charger, safety glasses, and a carrying case. You’ll have to buy the fuel cells separately. This tool is a little on the pricey side but it truly has a lot to offer.
8. Freeman PFN1564 15 Gauge Angled Finish Nailer
Not so Good
This Freeman PFN1564 is packed with a lot of great features. For one, you can switch between sequential or contact mode with the flip of a switch. The ergonomic, soft grip helps keep you comfortable while you work, which means you can work longer and get the job done faster.
The thing that stands out the most about this tool is the warranty. At 7 years, it’s the longest one of any of the finish nailers we reviewed. Having a warranty that longs gives you a little bit more confidence in how a tool is going to perform.
There are other great features, too. The anodized aluminum magazine and cylinder keep the nailer lightweight but also really durable. If this nailer happens to jam, it’ll be easy to clear thanks to the tool-free quick release. The anti-dust cap keeps dust and debris out of the internal parts. Teflon O-rings keep the inside of this nailer functioning properly and the no-mar tip protects your work surface.
The depth adjustment dial is a little difficult to figure out. Practice on some scrap first until you get the hang of how to turn the dial to get the depth you want because it’s not clearly marked. The nails can be a little hard to find, too.
9. Makita AF601 16 Gauge, 2-1/2" Straight Finish Nailer
Not so Good
The Makita AF601 packs a lot of features into a compact finishing nailer. The magazine takes standard 16 gauge nails. It not only has a nail lock-out to stop you from firing when the magazine has run out, but also a large window so you can keep an eye on your supply.
There are a lot of features included in this nailer that just make it nice to use. The reversible belt hook gives you a way to hang the nailer within reach when you’re not using it, regardless of whether or not you’re left or right handed. The exhaust port is multidirectional so the air will blow away from you while you’re using it. There’s also a built-in air duster so you can clear debris from your work surface or clean up when you’re all done.
One downside to this nailer is that it’s not angled so you might have a difficult time getting into smaller spaces. Another issue is the nail lock-out is a little twitchy and doesn’t always prevent dry firing.
How to buy a finish nailer
In order to buy the right finish nailer, think about what kind of jobs you’re planning to do with it. If you’re a contractor who is looking for something that can take season after season of heavy work, you’ll want to consider some things that a casual DIYer might not. After you have some idea of what you want to accomplish, think about your budget. Once you know these two things, you can start thinking about the more specific features that finish nailers have to offer.
Gauge and Angle
The finish nailers we reviewed are all either 15 gauge or 16 gauge. These are the two most common. They’re also really the only two that a homeowner or casual user would need.
So, what’s the difference between the two? Well, nail gauge is just like wire gauge – the higher the number, the thinner it is. This means that the 16 gauge is just a little bit smaller than the 15 gauge. This isn’t much of a difference at all, but you should take you individual project and materials into consideration.
The biggest thing to consider when it comes to gauge is that it relates to the angle of the nailer’s magazine. Why do these angles matter? Because a large angle will make the nailer easier to squeeze into smaller spaces. Most 16 gauge nailers are straight and angled ones only go up to about 20 degrees. If you need a sharper angle, go with a 15 gauge which has angles up to 34 degrees.
The length of the nails that you can use with your finish nailer matters insofar as how long you need the nails to be for your project. Most of the nailers have a range that runs anywhere from 1 – 2 ½ inches long. This is enough of a range for most projects. If you’re a contractor or using your nailer in a professional setting where you’ll be doing a variety of jobs, the more range you have, the better.
The finish nailers we reviewed are either air powered or battery powered. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
If you use an air powered nailer, you’re going to need an air compressor. If you’re a professional contractor, chances are you might already have one. If you’re a homeowner, you might not and the cost of buying one might factor into your decision about which finish nailer to buy.
Air powered nailers typically have a little more power than battery operated ones. They’re reliable and every shot will have the same amount of power behind it. The downside to these is that the tool has to be constantly attached to the compressor tubing to work. The tubing adds tension and weight to the nailer. This can be at best annoying and at worst dangerous, depending on how well you are able to work around it.
The same problems that happen with any battery operated tool apply here. You have to always be aware of where your battery’s charge is and you have to have a spare if you want to keep working when you battery dies. Initially, this can be a bit of an investment. Most of the battery powered nailers we reviewed do come with a battery and charger, but you might want to consider getting a spare.
Some battery powered nailers also have a fuel cell. These aim to mimic the same amount of pressure that an air powered nailer has. The battery powers the fuel cell, which is compressed gas that then propels the nail. These are great and slightly more powerful than ones powered by batteries alone. The only thing to consider is that you’ll have the small additional cost of buying the fuel cells.
Despite the drawbacks, you can’t beat a cordless nailer for convenience. You can literally take them anywhere you want to go without worrying about hauling a compressor around with you.
There are some features that are available on some of these nailers that aren’t necessary, but are really nice to have:
- Tool-less depth of drive adjustment – While these aren’t always accurate, you can usually figure them out if you take some time getting to know your nailer before diving into your big job. This makes the tool a little more versatile and is a good feature for a professional to have.
- Air duster – This is a great little addition that can clear your work surface of any dust and debris that comes in really handy on a job site where there’s a lot going on. It’s also a great way to clean up when you’re done.
- Multi Directional exhaust – This might seem like a little thing, but once you’ve worked without the air from you nailer’s exhaust blowing on you, you won’t want to go back.
There are a lot of finish nailers out there and we have no doubt you’ll be able to use our buying guide and reviews to find the perfect one for you. We can’t recommend the DEWALT DC618K XRP enough. This kit comes loaded with a battery and charger and the nailer is equipped with both sequential and bump mode. You also get a great warranty and service package, too. If you don’t think this is the right one for you, we’ve given you a wide range of choices to consider. Hopefully, one will fit the bill.