Best Framing Nailers Of 2017 – Ultimate Nail Gun Buying Guide

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Carpentry has come a long way and gone are the days when woodworking projects took a lot of muscle and time. This is thanks to a wide selection of tools tailored to fit the needs of any project. It is important to do your homework and get the best framing nailer for your budget.


Nail guns are one of the most important and versatile tools you can have in your arsenal, mainly because they help minimize time and effort.

Best Framing Nailer

 

It’s important to remember there are several types of nail guns available in the market today.  Each one with a unique range of project options. Finishing nailers are used to assemble furniture, in cabinetry, and also for attaching trim and moldings.

Aptly named, roofing nailers are used to apply roofing shingles, while flooring nailers are used for installing flooring. Palm nailers come in handy when you have tight spaces.

One of the most used nail guns is the framing nailer. A framing nailer is often used for large projects or high volume projects. It is used for framing, siding, sheathing, room construction and just about any big project.

The framing nailer you choose can make or break your project, depending on your carpentry needs. It’s also important to know what features to consider when choosing the best framing nailer.

Features To Look For When Searching For The Best Framing Nailer

There are two main types of framing nailer: pneumatic and cordless. A pneumatic framing nailer requires an air compressor to work. Once attached to the nail gun, the air compressor turns a piston which then drives the nail into the wood.

A cordless framing nailer works similarly, but it uses a disposable compressed air canister that is placed within the nailer.

When choosing the best framing nailer for the job, it’s important to know what kind of project you’re working on. Is it a large project that requires a sturdy, heavy-duty nailer, or is it a small, one-time project that does not require too many nails? Are you a professional carpenter, DIYer, or a first-timer?

Look at the chart and info below to help you decide, if your still in the need for more detailed information like product specs check out the different manufacturer sites. This Hitachi site shows you every spec for every type of nail gun, which can be very helpful.

Types of Nails

Another thing to keep in mind when choosing the best framing nailer is the type of nails it will use. You’ll find that nail guns are designed for specific types of nails. Some framing nailers have long magazines or cartridges that hold the nails.

Some have coils of nails in a round magazine. Whichever you choose is an issue of personal preference as it will have little bearing on completing your project.

Types of Triggers

There are two main types of triggers for framing nailers: bump and single fire. With a single fire, you have to press the tip against the piece and pull the trigger for each nail.

A bump-fire, on the other hand, requires that you hold the trigger and bump the nail tip into the wood. Although a bump-fire trigger is faster, a single fire trigger is more precise and controlled.

 

ImageProductPriceRating
 NUMAX SFR2190$4.3 / 5
 BOSTITCH F21PL Round Head$$4.4 / 5
 Hitachi NR90AE$4.7 / 5
 Porter-Cable FR350B$$4.4 / 5
 Freeman PFR2190$4.6 / 5
 Freeman P4FRFNCB Framing/Finishing Combo Kit$$4.5 / 5
 DEWALT DCN692B 20V Max XR Brushless Dual Speed Nailer$$$3.9 / 5
 Paslode 902600 CF325Li Lithium Ion Cordless Framing Nailer$$$4.8 / 5
 Ridgid R350RHA 3-1/2-Inch Round Head Framing Nailer$$4.1 / 5
 Hitachi NR83A3 2 Inch to 3-1/4-Inch Plastic Collated Full Round Head Framing Nailer$$$4.4 / 5

NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer

Gone are the days when you have to sweat buckets just to drive a nail into a piece of wood. Carpentry has come a long way from that. These days, you can drive a nail in seconds and finish an entire row in minutes.

The NuMax SF2190 21-Degree Framing Nailer is made with lightweight magnesium which also features a Non-Stick o-ring. The drive blade is a single piece of hardened steel.

Features

  • Dual-mode Trigger
  • Shoots 21-degree nails (2 to 3 ½ inch plastic collated round head)
  • Anti-dry firing mechanism
  • Power source: air-powered
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 6.5 x 14.2 inches

Pros

  • Light weight, ideal for vertical beams
  • Comfortable hold that conforms to hand
  • Made with sturdy materials
  • Equipped with two triggers to easily switch between single and multiple fire
  • Safety feature stops cartridge from firing when reload is necessary
  • Can drive a 3-inch nail through hardwood with minimal effort
  • Reviewers have reported little to no jamming

Cons

  • Anti-dry firing mechanism has been reported to shoot blanks after 4-5 consecutive fires
  • Some parts of the firing mechanism have been formed or stamped instead of machine-forged
  • Some have report that accuracy is not as good as expected

Verdict

The NuMax SF2190 21-Degree Framing Nailer is a beefy nail gun that is sturdy enough to be used for small to medium-size projects. It is powerful enough to push nails through hardwood giving you more options on wood pieces.

The safety feature signals you if there are a handful of nails left in the cartridge, which can be a bit of an issue if you’re working on a larger project.

Overall, the NuMax SF2190 21-Degree Framing Nailer is a good alternative if you’re looking for a nail gun framer that will do the job without the price tag.


BOSTITCH F21PL Round Head

Carpentry can be a difficult and time-consuming process, especially if you don’t have the right tools.

Professional carpenters and DIYers no longer need to spend hours working on wood projects. They now have an assortment of power tools designed for ease of use. One such tool is the nail-gun used for framing specifically.

Framing nail guns are a specific type of air gun that is intended and designed for quick, high-powered projects.

The Bostitch F21PL Round Head is a nail-gun framer that also doubles as a metal connector. It consequently drives 21 to 23 degree plastic collated round head nails from 1 ½ inches to 3 ½ inches. The driving power delivers up to 1,050 pounds per inch, and the nail gun is made with lightweight magnesium housing.

Features

  • 1-1/2-inch to 3-1/2-inch framing nailer
  • Housing: lightweight magnesium
  • Integrated rubber skid pads with rubber grip
  • Inclusion: 1 framing nailer
  • Has driving power up to 1050 LBS per inch

Pros

  • Easily drives nails without incident
  • Powerful enough to drive the nail in completely, no need to hammer
  • Nose attachment included with product
  • Works well with metal brackets
  • Sturdy and reliable
  • Fits well between frames
  • An easily adjusted head allows for switching between nail sizes

Cons

  • Tends to jam when used in upside down position
  • May spark when driving a nail, though the spark lessens with use
  • Sensitive trigger
  • Will not fire if tip is depressed
  • Heavy
  • Some complaints as to kickback
  • Noisy
  • On occasion drives nails too deeply
  • Does not come with air connector

Verdict

First of all the Bostitch F21PL Round Head is a sturdy, powerful nail gun that does the job well. It can drive different types of nails and can even fit into small-spaced frames or studs. Although it can emit sparks when triggered, this will lessen the longer you use the gun.

The Bostitch F21PL Round Head can be quite heavy on the arm after extended use, so you may have to rest in between. Overall, the F21PL  is a great option if you are looking for a nail gun that can work with different nails. Definitely one of the best framing nailers you’ll find.


Hitachi NR90AE(S)

One of the most used tools in carpentry is the nail gun. Nailers allow the user to drive nails with just one hand freeing the other for positioning the work. It also allows the user to get into tight or awkward spaces that would be difficult to reach with a regular hammer.

With the number of nails used in even a simple project, it’s no wonder there are so many different products available on the market today. These products offer a wide range of features, from the type of material used for the housing to the size of the nails they can accommodate.

The Hitachi NR90AE is an ergonomically designed nail gun, which ensures that it sits well on the hand. Furthermore comes equipped with a non-slip elastomer grip trigger which provides extra comfort and safety.

In addition the Hitachi NR90AE features a convenient two-piece aluminum magazine which makes switching nails a breeze.

Features

  • Non-slip elastomer grip trigger
  • Flip actuation switch
  • Hardened claw tip
  • Two-piece anodized aluminum magazine
  • Weight: 7.5 pounds

Pros

  • Sturdy build
  • Works well with high and low volume projects
  • Withstands normal wear and tear
  • Well-designed safety slide peg located at the back of the nail channel
  • Rarely jams or misfires when using standard nails, even on high-volume jobs
  • Lightweight
  • Clear window shows remaining nails
  • Does not leave deep imprints on hardwood

Cons

  • The shallow setting is powerful enough to leave deep imprints in softwood
  • Slider may jam every so often, failing to sink the nail all the way through
  • Does not shoot 2-inch brads as well as advertised, potentially only sinking the brad halfway
  • Not oil free

Verdict

Overall, the Hitachi NR90AE is a good and inexpensive nail gun. Most importantly it’s  sturdy enough to withstand a good deal of abuse and lightweight enough for use on long projects. While this powerful nail gun rarely has jamming issues when using standard nails, it does not work as well with 2-inch brads.

The Hitachi NR90AE is a good option if you’re looking for a nail gun to use for home projects and small to mid-size jobs, but it may not be a good alternative for high volume job sites.


Porter-Cable FR350B

A nail gun is the best solution if you want to drive a lot of nails efficiently and with minimal time and effort. Nailers can drive through thousands of nails a day, accurately and also consistently.

This is why being able to find the right kind of nail gun is important for both professionals and DIY-ers alike.

Many well-designed nail guns available today can make choosing one seem like a daunting task. Therefore, It’s important to know what kind of nail gun to use for the project at hand.

In addition, the Porter Cable FR350B is a framing nailer designed specifically to drive nails of various sizes. Lightweight framing nailers are designed to be easy to use. Therefore they feature a trigger lockout for contact actuation or restrictive mode to make things easier.

Another benefit is that it uses a full round head and plastic collated nails with an over-molded grip for better handling.

Features

  • Can drive nails up to 3-1/2-inch by 0.131-inch
  • Weight: 7.3 pounds
  • Tool-free adjustable depth of drive
  • Selectable trigger with trigger lockout
  • Magazine set at 22 degrees to the drive axis

Pros

  • Well-designed and sturdy
  • Weighs 7.3 pounds
  • Over-molded grip
  • User friendly
  • Easily loaded
  • Powerful enough to drive a 3-inch nail straight through a 2X4 piece of wood with minimal effort
  • Rarely jams or misfires
  • Trigger lock for enhanced safety
  • Comes equipped with hanging hook

Cons

  • Safety is sensitive and you must fully engage in order to fir
  • May spark when driving nails, lessens with extended use
  • May develop an air leak after a while, resulting in professional or at-home repair

Verdict

In conclusion the Porter-Cable FR350B is well-designed and said to be the best framing nailer by many because of it’s ease-of-use and comfort . The over-molded grip makes it easy to hold and comfortable. As a result of the lightweight design, this framing nailer handles nicely during extended use.

It has several safety features, the most notable being its lockout trigger. It rarely jams and can drive through hundreds of nails without issue. Overall, the Porter-Cable FR350B is a great option if you’re looking for a good framing nailer without a hefty price tag.


Freeman PFR2190

First of all when choosing the right nail gun, there are a few factors you need to consider. First the type of project you’re working on, next is the volume of nails you’ll be driving, and lastly any special features you may need.

The Freeman PFR2190 is made specifically for 21-degree full head nails. The PFR2190 is ideal for wall sheathing, siding installations, subflooring, framing, building a fence and also assembling wood structures.

This Freeman nail gun uses 21-degree round head plastic collated framing nails that can range between 2 to 3 ½ inches in length. In conclusion the anodized aluminum cylinder and magazine, a one-piece drive blade, and also an anti-dry cycle mechanism make this gun a top choice.

Features

  • Anodized aluminum cylinder and magazine
  • Finger depth adjustment
  • One-piece drive blade
  • Anti-dry cycle mechanism
  • Fastener gauge: 8 to 10; Range: 2 inches to  3 ½ inches

Pros

  • Can drive a variety of nails such as 2; 3/8; 3 1/2; straight; and ring shanks
  • Minimal jamming and misfires
  • Easy reload
  • Comes with a single fire and rapid fire trigger
  • Powerful enough to easily drive nails
  • Features nail-depth adjustment
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Locks when nails are running low, which some users find annoying
  • No nail window
  • May leak air after a few months of use resulting in  professional or at-home repair
  • Too bulky to fit in tight spaces
  • Nails are not easy to load compared to other nailers
  • More recoil than normal which may send nails flying around the workspace

Verdict

If you are looking for a framing nailer that is sturdy and powerful, than the Freeman PFR2190 is  a good option. It works well with a variety of nails, therefore has fewer issues with jamming and misfires.

Although there are a few reports of air leaks after a few months it is still one of the best framing nailers on the market. The Freeman PFR2190,  is without a doubt a good inexpensive option for a nail gun.


If you interested in learning about some different types of nail guns, like finish and brad nailers than take a look at this. Hopefully this article cleared up any questions you had about framing nail guns, if not please ask us in the comment section below.

Until next time, Happy nailing!