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A palm nailer helps you get into those small spaces where swinging a hammer is impossible.
They’re more convenient and can save you a lot of time and frustration.
If you’re looking for a palm nailer, look no further – Use our buying guide and you’re sure to find the right fit.
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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...
The Best Palm Nailer with Reviews
Here's a list of the best palm nailers we found:
1. Milwaukee M12 Cordless Palm Nailer
battery operated, LED light, charger and battery pack included, compact size.
Not so Good
expensive, not suited for professional use, have to monitor battery power, may need to buy second battery pack as a back-up.
Our top choice is the Milwaukee M12 Cordless Palm Nailer Kit. This is one of the first and few battery powered palm nailers. Its small, compact size makes it perfect for jobs around the house and it can squeeze into some pretty small spaces.
This palm nailer has some cool features that put it at the front of the others. The battery provides more than enough power for any job you’ll need to tackle around the house. One unique feature is the LED light to help you see what you’re doing. This comes in really handy when you’re working in tight spaces.
As we’ve mentioned, this is a battery powered nailer. While it might not be powerful enough to take on professional level jobs, it’s perfectly suited for DIY use. Not only that, but one of the best things about this nailer is that it comes with a lithium battery pack and charger. Pricewise, you might think this is a little pricey but keep in mind that most battery operated tools require you to purchase the battery and charger separately.
2. BOSTITCH PN100K Impact Palm Nailer
includes 3 different noses for a range of projects, hard plastic carrying case, ergonomic design, comes with maintenance tools.
Not so Good
changing noses isn’t straightforward, instructions are a little confusing, no air hose adapter included in the kit, leather glove is not going to work with really large hands.
This is actually more than a palm nailer; it’s a great kit from Bostitch that includes almost everything you need to get started right out of the box. The PN100 palm nailer is the star here, capable of driving nails of various lengths of up to 5 inches in both sequential and contact mode. It’s a perfect choice for anyone working in small spaces.
This is an exceptionally durable nailer, designed with a hardened steel nose to stand up to a lot of wear and tear. The magnetic insert in the nose holds nails tightly in place and you get three different ones to choose from – standard, finish, and large bore. You can use this kit on a variety of projects and nails.
Not only does this nailer perform well, it’s also really comfortable to use. It’s lightweight and has a great ergonomic design. Bostitch even includes a comfortable leather glove to provide extra protection and avoid any calluses or blisters with extended use. This kit also comes with a nose wrench, hex wrench, lubricant, spare O-rings, and a hard plastic case.
This is a little pricey compared to the rest of the palm nailers we reviewed, but that’s largely because of the amount of accessories that come with it.
3. Hitachi NH90AB Palm Nailer
compact size, lightweight ergonomic design, 360 degree swivel air hose attachment, magnetic nose to hold nails in place.
Not so Good
needs regular maintenance, doesn’t work well with hardwoods, no case, minimal accessories included.
The Hitachi NH90AB palm nailer is a new addition to the Hitachi line of pneumatic tools and rounds it out pretty nicely. It’s designed to install joist hangers and metal connectors specifically. It’s a nice, compact size that’s somewhere between a full sized palm nailer and a mini that could be the perfect fit for the job you’re aiming to do. The over-molded rubber grip makes for added comfort, a better hold, and reduces the vibration you feel in your hand.
There’s a lot of nice features with this palm nailer. The fitting for the air hose attachment swivels a full 360 degrees. This keeps the hose out of the way and eliminates a lot of the tension caused by pulling it around behind the nailer and makes it just a little easier to handle.
The magnetic nose holds nails in place so you don’t have to worry as much about placement as much. The exhaust is located in the front so you don’t have to deal with air blowing in your direction during use. Keep up with the maintenance, especially oiling every 100 nails or so. One downside we discovered is it doesn’t work quite as well with hard wood as it does with something like pine.
4. Ridgid R350PNE Palm Nailer
durable aluminum and zinc top cap for durability, includes several accessories including storage bag, tool-free micro adjustable depth-of-drive adjustment, Hex Grip comfort texture.
Not so Good
pricey, doesn’t work with nails with heads that are too big or too small, customer service lacking, jams if nails are too small.
For jobs in compact spaces, it doesn’t get much better than the RIDGID R350PNE. The magnetic guide helps you get the nails in just the right spot. It’s a compact, lightweight tool. The aluminum body and zinc top cap help keep it durable and let you drive your nails smoothly. It comes with a nice amount of accessories, too: a hex key, oil, hand strap, and a tool bag for storage and transport.
One thing that this palm nailer has that a lot of other models don’t is a tool-free micro adjustable depth-of-drive. This lets you get accurate depth for each shot without damaging the surface of your material. Combine the adjustable hand strap with the Hex Grip texture and you have a palm nailer that’s not only comfortable but also easy to control.
Another great thing about this palm nailer is the self-cleaning in-handle air filter. It will keep dust and debris out of the motor and extend the life of the tool. This is a little pricier than some of the other options in our list, but it really does have features that the others don’t. This is a great choice for a contractor although any homeowner or DIYer would be happy with it, too.
5. BOSTITCH PN50 Palm Nailer
small and compact, inexpensive, 360 degree swivel connector for air hose, 7 year warranty.
Not so Good
vibrates and bounces a lot, learning curve to figure it out, no safety features, won’t work with nails that have a large diameter.
If you want a basic, inexpensive palm nailer that has a lot of punch packed into a compact package, look no further than the Bostitch PN50. This is an exceptionally compact model that’s actually considered a mini palm nailer. It may be small, but it gets the job done.
The handle has a great rubber overmold that provides you with grip and comfort. It also adds some insulation that muffles any vibrations. The 360 degree swivel connector for the air hose is a great feature that we’ve seen on some higher end models and were a little surprised to see here. It lets the hose spin freely with gravity, which is really convenient because it keeps it out of the way.
This is a great option and, believe it or not, it has the longest warranty of any palm nailers we reviewed at 7 years. It will drive a wide range of nails, from framing to finish to timber. Overall, this is a surprisingly good option for the price. If you’re looking for something to use for small projects around the house, this one is definitely worth checking out. There’s a bit of a learning curve with this one so make sure you practice on some scrap until you get the hang of it. Also, this palm nailer doesn’t have any safety features so it’s not a good choice for a house with children or pets.
6. PORTER-CABLE PN650 Palm Nailer
has a depth-of-drive adjustment, takes a wide range of nails, comes with 4 different tips, leather case with strap included.
Not so Good
two of the heads are not magnetized, can be tricky to change between all the heads, large size, might be difficult for anyone with small hands to use.
Porter-Cable has also included a depth-of-drive adjustment in their PN650 palm nailer, letting you adjust how far in the nail goes and get a smoother finish. For this review, we looked at the PN650 kit, which includes the palm nailer itself and a nice array of accessories.
The magnetic tip holds the nail for your so you can get better placement, especially in tight spaces where you’re just not going to be able to use your other hand to hold the nail. Three other tips also come included in this kit: a finishing tip, wide nail tip, and steel hammer tip.
The range of nail lengths it works with is impressive, too: 1 ¼ to 6 ½. This adds a lot of versatility to this nailer. You also get a soft leather case to help increase comfort with an integrated strap that helps you keep your grip. It comes with a nice case to keep everything together.
There are a few downsides to this one, too. First, not all of the heads are magnetized. This is a little disappointing because having a magnetized head makes it much easier to do the job. Second, changing between the four different heads isn’t always straightforward.
How to buy a palm nailer
Palm nailers are a time saving tool that can be used anytime you would use a hammer. The thing that they’re particularly good for is getting into small spaces where there just isn’t enough room to swing a real hammer. If you’re in the market for a palm nailer, here are some things you should keep in mind.
Most palm nailers are about the same size because they’re designed to be used by anyone who needs one. That said, if your hands are particularly large or small, pay special attention to the dimensions of the nailer you’re looking at. Using a palm nailer that is too big or too small for your hand can affect accuracy and ease of use.
In our reviews, we did include a mini palm nailer. There are a few of these out there and they may be a really good choice for an adult with smaller hands. They basically perform the same way but without a lot of additional features. This includes safety features so minis are probably not a good choice if you have young kids or pets around.
Weight is a tricky thing with palm sanders. Obviously, you don’t want yours to be too heavy or it will be too hard to use. If you get one that’s too lightweight, though, it might be too hard to control it. This is often the balance you have to find with palm nailers.
The most important thing to consider when it comes to comfort is whether or not the nailer has an ergonomic grip. If it does, it will fit nicely in your hand and make your work a whole lot easier.
Most palm nailers are designed to be used by both left and right handed users so, if you’re a lefty, it’s not something you really need to worry about all that much. That said, if you are a lefty who typically has a difficult time using ambidextrous items, take some time researching the palm nailer you’re interested in to make sure it will be a good fit.
Some palm nailers come with a lot of accessories or added features which make them more versatile and, often, a better buy. Some of the accessories you can find are:
Basically, the more tips you have, the more versatile your palm sander is. Each tip is designed for a different kind of nail so the more tips you have, the more nails you can use your palm sander with. Some palm sanders have more interchangeable tips than others, but look for a palm nailer with a kit that contains as many as you think you’ll need. It will definitely be a better buy than going to the hardware store and getting everything individually.
If the tips are magnetic, even better. Magnetic tips hold the nail in place so you don’t have to fuss with placement as much or worry about using your other hand to secure the nail. Not only will your drives be more accurate, you also won’t have to worry about hurting your fingers.
Palm sanders that come with a leather cover and hand strap are generally more comfortable to use. They give you a softer grip and protect your hand from the vibrations when the tool is driving in the nail. If your palm nailer doesn’t include one, it would probably be a good idea to get one anyway. It really will make it easier to use.
A storage case is nice to have with any tool simply because it gives you a way to store your tool when you’re not using it in a way that will keep it safe and protected. A case is especially useful with a palm nailer that you have a variety of tips for. This keeps everything all together in one place.
Depth of Drive Adjustment
A few of the palm nailers we reviewed let you adjust the depth of drive. This gives you control over how far in the nails go into the surface and can help make sure the nail head isn’t too far above or below the surface. This is a pretty nice feature to have and is often something found on more specialized nailers that are pretty expensive.
If you’re in the market for a palm nailer, we have to recommend the Milwaukee M12 Cordless Palm Nailer Kit. It’s one of a handful of battery powered palm nailers and is the ideal tool for DIY projects and small jobs around the house. In addition to being compact, convenient, and portable, it also includes a battery pack and charger. You truly get everything you need to start working right away with this palm nailer kit from Milwaukee.
If you’re not keen on a battery powered nailer or if you had something else in mind, take a look at our best palm nailer reviews and buying guide to find the right one for you.