In this review, I estimate the most popular finish nailers and award the best models according to two categories: cordless finish nailers and pneumatic (or air-powered) tools that are network-powered.
I have tried many nail guns and considered the principal benefits of using each of the tools. I tried them for the particular tasks: door framing, trimming or concrete plates’ nailing. I was looking through the technical features (weight, power, comfort) and supportive ones (warranty, return possibility, etc).
The top-rated finishing nailer review
All of the nail guns feature a great performance and have many positive feedbacks. Yet each has its own tricks making it the best pneumatic and cordless finish nailers.
The best pneumatic finish nailer Hitachi NT65MA4 with Air Duster got all the votes for its handy enhancements that make it a pleasure to operate.
The best cordless finish nailer is Hitachi NT65MA4 which definitely is the best value for its price. Be careful, this thing is really FAST!
Cordless vs Pneumatic Finish Nailer: Comfort vs Durability
With the finish nailers, it’s also the choice of the operating power. The air-powered finish nailers need a good compressor. Such a tool has fewer parts than the battery finish nailer so it requires maintenance less often. They usually weigh less. And certainly, no battery means less wiring, and less cost.
- I can do long-term important work.
- Do not need frequent repairs or maintenance.
- Their light weight provides the fast operation.
- I have to pay less.
- I am limited by the hose.
- Compressor is needed as a power source.
The cordless finish nailers are handier as the worker does not depend on the length of the hose. But it depends on the capacity of the battery / fuel can. Cordless finish nailers need more frequent maintenance (purifying, oiling the details, recharging the fuel). They cost significantly higher.
- No limitation by the hose.
- I can reach any place I need.
- I pay more.
- Require more frequent maintenance.
- Do not fit for non-stop work.
The Best Pneumatic Finish Nailers Reviews
The pneumatic finish nailers hold on firmly to the top of the purchases. Check the eight awesome tools and pick your best finish nailer!
Hitachi NT65MA4 — for those who love innovation and value the quality
Even if you prefer the flat finish nailers, this gun will make you change your mind! It’s got so much to make your work comfortable! Nail any type of material – wood, plastic, concrete – and have it all fast as quick as you can move the gun. This tool has an improved jam clearing system yet you will definitely not have to use it often. It has more for protection of the job site – the no-mar tip, the air duster for clearing the surface kept my site clean and I could see well the surface and notice any deficiency before firing a nail in it. The maneuvering capacity is the mark of this finish nailer! The corner trimming, the exquisite doorframe with moldings can be done within seconds.
- I worked with different materials and can say this tool is powerful!
- Quick adjustment – allowed me to deal fast with the operating modes.
- Quality is high. I had no misfires and jams, no traces on the surface.
- Price above average.
- Just a wish – to have something to attach it to the belt.
WEN 61720 — a professional tool for the delicate job
This gun can be named the kid among the finish nailers due to its size and weight. It provides the perfect no-jam operation for the lowest price. Indeed, it has a bit more than 5 pounds – some ladies’ makeup kits weigh more! However, it fits greatly with the delicate trimming – like making the wood installation with tiny details. It works well at the extremes (even using the biggest 2 inches nails) and allows selecting the needed force of pushing the brad. My panel and a bit of a cut wood decor had hold on firmly yet no one would notice the nail. I could operate it with one hand only – sometimes, this feature can be decisive. Being the cheapest on the nominees’ list, this small guy definitely deserves its place among the best pneumatic finish nailers.
- I could perform delicate works – small size, using brads.
- Operates various sizes of brads.
- Perfect price / quality proportion.
- I tried it hard but could not find any.
Makita AF635 – a professional tool for the delicate job
Another powerful tool from Makita that makes the professionals hurry on with the purchase. It was marked for its high-quality performance that amazes even experienced carpenters! The magnesium body and aluminum cylinder allow making this finish nailer one of the most lightweight in its class and yet a very powerful and durable tool. I took it for the regular siding jobs and also changed the floor moldings all over my house within one day! Its speed and precision for sure fit the task. Still, I recommend that the contact area and the nails must be lubricated before starting to work. The Makita guys have fulfilled the dream of many of the finish workers and enhanced this air-powered finish nailer with the mechanism that does not allow the tool dry-fire. No nails – no job, that is. This protects both the tool and the working surface.
- I’m delighted with its power and durability.
- Secure – I enjoyed the dry-fire prevention mechanism.
- I appreciated good weight and size while carrying along and working.
- The reliability of Makita tools.
- I have to pay USD 160.
BOSTITCH N62FNK-2 – all you need in a finish nailer
Choose this device if you need a reliable powerful finish nailer that will drive your nails within seconds. This sturdy heavy tool is made for solid jobs – and it performs impeccably. Almost every parameter of operation can be adjusted in this superb device. You can use the relatively small nails (1 and a quarter inches), chose between the four types of the rubber tips that allow doing the job in the most inconvenient places. Have your house corner siding look smart, as if it had always been like that! Watch the pressure, though. The power is high and it can drive the nail too deep. The 7-years warranty secures the choice. Tuning the tool might take some time, as the depth adjusting mechanism is a bit tricky.
- I enjoyed the continuous work – high quality of operation.
- Very powerful – nails easily at firm materials.
- Different nose tips allowed me to get to the inconvenient places as well.
- Large and heavy.
- Setting the device correctly took time.
Freeman P4FRFNCB – implements the whole spectre of ideas
Freeman P4FRFNCB is an offer of the year! Get four perfect quality tools for the price of one top-brand instrument that will drive all the nails you have in your storage – from 1 1/4 to 3 and a quarter inches. This professional set will secure any of your projects! The Freeman company has made a competitors-beating trick and offered a 4-toolkit at the price of one-and-a-half branded finish nailer. What you get is capable of satisfying the needs of the most daring project, just as mine has been. I worked with nails and staples, selected the needed degree and gauge for adjusting the blades and attaching the main slates, adjusting the decor. I worked with any surface without effort as the kit features the tips for all the tools. With the finish nailer, adjusting the panels at the edges is a piece of cake! Pay attention that the rubber bumper is black and can leave the marks on the surface. Guess it can be solved by taking something like a tape to it.
- I performed multiple-task DIY – contains four different tools.
- Price – four devices for the cost of two.
- Large and heavy but there are four of them!
Valu-Air T64C — a solid B in the finishing works
This aluminum-coated tool of the medium size is what you need if you plan to realize some long-lasting project. I’ve started to change the inside panels of a wooden house and it did help a lot! It puts up with the nails as short as 7/8 inches and can let you go as far as 2 and a half inches. For the small price, I also got the extra nails and an oil pot. The producer has taken care to steady this model firmly so that when operating nothing moves sideways. I was not impressed with the variety of options of this air-powered finish nailer, yet it has definitely made my day. Pay attention that the tensioner in the loading cup does not always work smoothly. Pay attention to the dark rubber tip that might be leaving traces on the surface. Get the professional’s choice as it allows operating the nails of different size and can be fully relied on.
- I can work with the different sizes of nails.
- Steady operation and fixed positioning.
- Clearing out the jammed nails is easy.
- Good price.
- Does not provide many options, tips, etc.
- I had problems with the loading.
DEWALT D51257K — getting into the tiniest corners
This finish nailer proves the ever-high quality of Dewalt tools. It is a carpenter’s gold mine. If the oil ends in this finish nailer, it won’t stop working. It has many features to make your finish work as simple as pie but you’ve got to pay for it. Its size and weight allow using it with one hand and driving nails into the places where there is no extra room (for example, window sills, chair railings, cabinet inside repairs). This gun is quite powerful so I quickly ran out of nails. Just as with some other finish nailers, this gun has a loading tensioner issue. While the tool puts up well with 1 inch and 2 inches nails, it gets naughty when offered 2,5-inch nails. The ergonomic handle and the trigger Lock-Off device make it a safe and convenient tool to realize any level of the DIY projects. The professional workers will also approve of the high power and the ability to work in the oil-free motor mode.
- Powerful work with solid materials.
- Comfort – I liked the ergonomic hand, medium size, and weight.
- Easy switching between the modes.
- I had issues when the magazine was next to empty.
- High price.
This hose-bound finish nailer is a standard good finish nailer peculiar for the magnesium housing that allows packing the tool with many tricks yet not make it heavier. It has several technologies applied for delivering the better performance. Yet as the end user I can say that the previous models of the tool were more reliable. The present Senco gun for finish nails does not need lubrication that is a great feature. Yet, sometimes a misfire or a jam can spoil the effect. This happened, though, I have easily cleared the jam by picking up a special latch and opening up the nose. This gun was designed for a comfortable use on the occasional projects so do not make it fire nails at the concrete or fiber cement. The important detail is that this finish nailer operates the 34-degree nails only so that pay attention while replenishing your nail stores. Though the finish nailer is not heavy, it has a large size so dealing with some siding in the corners might be an issue.
- Quiet and non-hurrying projects – it worked steadily.
- Lower maintenance – does not need a lubrication.
- Good price.
- Large size – I had troubles with the tight spaces.
- Reliability issue – misfires and jams can occur during constant operation.
The Best Cordless Finish Nailer Reviews
The cordless devices continue getting the popularity in spite of some drawbacks related to the autonomic power supply. Here go the quality cordless nail gun reviews.
DEWALT DC618K XRP — finish nailing like clockwork
This adorable cordless finish nailer has supreme engine characteristics that allow it to work in the rate you define for yourself. For a smooth string of nails, simply glide the device having pulled the bump mode trigger in advance. For the maintenance, I simply pulled and took off the removable top cap. If, by chance, the nail got jammed (this did not happen during all day of my DIY-ing in the garden gazebo) you can easily take it out with your hands. Safety is considered in every feature of this awesome finish nailer. It has a Lock-Off mechanism to disable the trigger and not let the tool fire when I just carry it along. The finish nailer is particularly well at handling the difficult joints. For the optimal performance, it is better to use original nails. And these are expensive!
- I tried all types of finish work – reliable, fast, powerful.
- Diversity of options – could set my best fitting mode.
- Easy maintenance – the removable cap, fast clearing of jams.
- Lowest price on the list.
- Considerable size and weight – I had my two hands in operation.
- High cost of the original nails.
DEWALT DCN660B — best flexible operation
It is a king of the portable finish nailers. It can do any kind of job and will save you the trouble looking for the long hose or the power socket. This finish nailer has made a good addition to my collection of other Dewalt tools as it is fully compatible with them. For instance, if a battery goes low in one of them, I can easily exchange it with another one. As any cordless device, this finish nailer is not intended for the production use yet can ensure the smooth and successful performance even with the biggest size of the nails (2.5 inches). It has an easy mechanism of changing between the modes of operation – I just pull the switch into the mode I prefer and go on working. It is precise and flexible as it works well even in the hardest places – around the corners, close to cuts, etc. I got one of the nails jammed upon working for two hours non-stop. What was good news, it could be easily cleared by just opening the cap.
- Various application modes – I worked well with different materials.
- Gets to the diversity of places – thanks to the ergonomic shape and a fitting nose.
- Different operation modes – switching smoothly.
- Fast and reliable operation.
- Nailing at the solid materials might lead to a jam.
Paslode 902400 — always ready for work
The Paslode finish nailer is noticeable for its weight – it has just 4.5 pounds while being quite as large as some heavy guns. Besides, it works very fast. While this tool is designed for working in different conditions, working at the height might not be perfect. However, the big size is recompensed by the ergonomic design that allowed me to hold the nailer firmly and operate it easily even on top of the electric pillar. This model has an improved Li-Ion battery that lasts more than the previous versions and provides for seamless operation. Its only drawback is a high price, while the full warranty is given for 1 year only.
- Size and weight proportion – light and easy.
- I performed various works with different materials thanks to easy depth control.
- Ergonomic design.
- High price.
- There can be issues while working at the height.
Buyers Guide — What to Look at While Buying the Best Finish Nailer
Below you will find a short FAQ that will definitely help in your choice of the best-fitting finish nailer.
What kind of finish nailer do I need?
Let’s see what kinds there are. For the source of the driving power the nailers can be:
- Pneumatic — using the air power.
- Cordless — using the electrical battery or fuel.
By the types of nails. Nails can vary in length (1/2 inches to 2.5 inches) and gauge (15,16, 18 gauge). Just think how deep your nails should be driven and what would be the impact on the material. Some nailers also use the staples.
Multi-operational or single-operation tools. It means that they either can fire the nails one by one or also have the option of doing it in series.
Straight or angled. This is important for choosing the right type of nails used.
They can have different noses and tips. The more tips there are the larger is the area of the nailer’s use.
Different power. The high power is needed for professional jobs while the domestic needs suffice with less-powered devices.
Is the Angled Finish Nailer More Convenient?
Saving the space (and your time), I’ll just say – yes. The angled finish nailers provide better flexibility, they fit more of the tiny spaces and they are more convenient to hold.
They are usually smaller in size and weight. The majority of in-house projects can be fulfilled easily by using the angled nailer.
Still, the angled nailers have a more complex mechanism so they are inevitably more expensive.
What’s the Gauge?
With regard to the nail, it is the thickness and length. The latter can vary. For example, the 15 gauge nails can have the length of 2,5 inches or 2 inches. The most popular gauge types for finish nails are:
15 gauge – these are the thickest nails up to 2.5 inches long. They are good for thick woodwork and more solid materials as metal, concrete and so on.
16 gauge – are a bit thinner than 15 gauge. Can be used for panel works, trimming, inside door installations.
18 gauge – are much lighter. These nails are perfect for occasional in-house repairs, toys making, trimming. The length varies from 1 and a quarter to 2 inches. Most of the cordless finish nailers handle this type of nail gauge.
23 gauge – is the smallest nail gauge available at finish nailers. The length of the nails does not exceed 1 inch.
What to Buy a Finish Nailer For?
With the finish nailers, you simply turn the adjustment wheel on your finish nailer and do not have to measure and make several tries. For making a straight line of the nails hold the panel firmly, switch the nailer into the relevant mode and glide it along the surface. You can build and decorate, adjust and fix nicely, in straight (or angled) lines. And all that does not require some extra skills or power.
Selecting Your Best Finish Nailer – What Features to Consider?
Cord vs. No cord. It is a question of the convenience. Cordless portable finish nailers are more handy and ergonomic but more expensive. They are good for occasional jobs and projects. Meanwhile, the cord-applied models are more sturdy and powerful and fit for everyday work on the site.
Power type. Choose the most accessible and convenient source of power. Sometimes, charging the electric battery is better than buying a compressor and an additional cable hose for the pneumatic tool.
The magazine organization. There are two types of the finish nailers’ magazines:
- stick magazine – the nails are set in a row or a “stick” and come one by one detached from the stick that contains 40 nails in average;
- coil type – the nail sticks are wrapped in a coil that is put into the magazine and unwrapped during the operation. The average capacity of the stick is 200 nails.
Operation mode. The finish nailer can fire the nails one at a time or make a series of fires. These modes serve the different goals and are called bump and sequential modes respectively.
Gauge type. In order to select the needed gauge type, think of the general volume of the work you are going to perform. Remember that the gauge defines the length of the nail as well.
Depth of drive. The depth adjustment is a handy mechanism allowing controlling the power applied to the nail and the depth it is driven in.
Finish nailer orientation. The angled finish nailer is more compact and fits more different location types. Meanwhile, the straight models are less expensive and more powerful.
Clearing of jammed nails. Getting a nail jammed is a regular issue with the finish nailer. Prefer the model that does not require a special tool for opening the cap.
The Tips for Making the Final Choice for the Best Finish Nail Guns
At the end of this overview, I’d like to make a short summary and remind of the features of the awesome devices I tried.
The best pneumatic finish nailer Hitachi NT65MA4 is definitely the best value for its price. It is an air-powered finish nailer that is adopted for a strong performance on the solid materials and certainly is the best finish nailer for the money. Its numerous enhancements like the built-in air duster and the dialed adjustment of the driving depth allow having your paneling timberwork done just in the way you planned it.
The best cordless finish nailer is Hitachi NT65MA4. Be careful, this thing is fast and full of handy tricks! It is ergonomic, easy cleared, conveniently changing the modes. For the best performance, use the Dewalt nails for replenishment.