If you are dealing with a heavy-duty woodworking project, then a regular nailer simply isn’t going to cut it. This is why you need a framing nailer.
Only these tools have the right combination of power and capacity to properly handle large woodworking projects. But what is the best framing nailer for your particular needs? That is what we are going to consider in this article.
We have a list of five different framing nailers for you to take a look at, each with its own pros and cons. If you are in a rush and just want to buy a good nailer, we think the best overall option is the Paslode – 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer.
The Best Framing Nailers in 2020:
Best Framing Nailer Reviews:
BOSTITCH Framing Nailer
The first framing nailer that we want to bring to your attention is the BOSTITCH Framing Nailer. This is a great framing nailer to start off our review list on the right foot. As you will see in our in-depth review, the BOSTITCH boasts a high power output, an accurate, easy to use setup, a large nail capacity, and a bunch of other features that are sure to endear it to amateur DIYers and professional contractors alike.
For starters, we have to say that this is a pretty powerful framing nailer. It has a maximum power output of 1050-inch-pounds. It has a very easy to adjust depth feature, so you can quickly and easily change how deep you send nails into whatever it is that you are working on.
Overall, if you are working on a big project and are feeling like you will need some serious power to get it done, then you can’t go wrong with the BOSTITCH Framing Nailer. It probably isn’t the most powerful option that we will look at on our best framing nailer, but it certainly has enough power to handle a wide variety of very tough jobs.
Besides a high power output, the BOSTITCH Framing Nailer has a few other features that help to make it stand out. First and foremost, it is a surprisingly lightweight framing nailer. It feels really natural in your hand and it is easy to use, regardless of your experience level with framing nailers. At the same time, just because the framing nailer is lightweight and easy to use, doesn’t mean that it is a poorly made tool. In fact, the BOSTITCH is actually quite well-made and, in our opinion, it will last you for many years of hard use.
Finally, we also want to point out that this nailer comes with two different trigger types. You can either use the bump fire trigger or the sequential firing trigger. The option is up to you, so pick the one that you like the best.
- Very durable; will last for years.
- Designed to be used with either a bump fire trigger or a sequential trigger.
- Very powerful.
- Lightweight; feels great in your hand.
- Large capacity.
- Fairly pricey.
NuMax SFN64 Pneumatic 16-Gauge 2-1/2″ Straight Finish Nailer Ergonomic and Lightweight Nail Gun
Now, we aren’t going to lie, framing nailers are generally pricier than your average power tool. As you have seen from our best framing nailer list, the prices generally trend towards the higher end of the spectrum. However, as this next review will show you, you can get a good framing nailer for a very good price.
The NuMax SFN64 Pneumatic 16-Gauge 2-1/2″ Straight Finish Nailer Ergonomic and Lightweight Nail Gun is a great option for those who don’t do a lot of heavy-duty construction work and who may not need an expensive, high-end framing nailer.
By far the star of the show when it comes to the NuMax SFN64 Pneumatic 16-Gauge 2-1/2″ Straight Finish Nailer Ergonomic and Lightweight Nail Gun is its very low price. This is by far the lowest priced framing nailer on this best framing nailer list and it is probably one of the cheapest options on the entire market. It really is amazing how NuMax is able to offer such an affordable option, without compromising too much on quality.
In terms of power, the NuMax obviously isn’t going to be the most powerful option on this list given its price. However, it still manages to deliver a good amount of kick and you shouldn’t have any issues handling big jobs with it. This is especially true if you also have a good compressed air machine to go along with it.
If you like accuracy and having a lightweight tool to work with, then the NuMax SFN64 Pneumatic 16-Gauge 2-1/2″ Straight Finish Nailer Ergonomic and Lightweight Nail Gun is also a really good option. It may not be the most durable tool on this list, but it was clearly designed with ease of use in mind. This is an extremely lightweight tool. It feels like a feather in your hand and it helps to make being accurate a lot easier.
Also, the tool comes equipped with a no-mar tip, which isn’t a major feature by any means, but it is a nice addition. It also comes with other, very useful features. A good example would be the adjustable exhaust, which can be adjusted in any direction to help prevent blowback. Another example would be the anti-dust cap, which makes cleanup a lot simpler.
- Very affordable.
- Extremely light.
- No-mar tip to prevent damage to surfaces.
- High-capacity magazine.
- Adjustable exhaust and anti-dust cap.
- Exterior isn’t as durable as we would like.
Freeman PFR2190 Pneumatic 21 Degree 3-1/2″ Full Round Head Framing Nailer
For the next product on our best framing nailer list, we are going to be doing an in-depth review of the Freeman PFR2190 Pneumatic 21 Degree 3-1/2″ Full Round Head Framing Nailer. This is a fairly good nailer overall, however, what really makes it worthy of being included on this list is how it manages to deliver this good performance while still being moderately priced.
This is a decently powerful framing nailer. It can operate at PSI levels as high as 115, and it has a pretty decent inches-pound output. As with some of the other entries on our best framing nailer list, you could probably find a more powerful nailer if you tried, but at the same time we imagine that for the vast majority of you, the power output of the Freeman PFR2190 Pneumatic 21 Degree 3-1/2″ Full Round Head Framing Nailer will be more than enough.
At the start of the review, we briefly mentioned the price of this nailer and why it’s a good thing. What did we mean by that exactly? Well, the Freeman falls roughly into the middle of the spectrum when it comes to price.
Sure, there are cheaper and more inexpensive options out there, but there are also a lot of more expensive framing nailers as well. What makes the Freeman notable in our view is that it manages to deliver really high-end performance without being becoming as expensive as some other framing nailers (including a few that have been reviewed on our list).
Something else about this framing nailer that is pretty notable, given the reasonable price, is how well-built it is. This is a very well-crafted framing nailer. The exterior is made from high-quality material that you can tell is going to last and that the tool won’t break on you in the middle of a big job. For a lot of contractors, having that sort of reliability would be worth a hefty premium, but with the Freeman, you don’t even have to pay a lot to get a reliable tool.
It also gives you some degree of customization as you can decide what kind of trigger to use. You can opt for a safer sequential trigger or a quicker bump fire trigger. The decision is completely up to you.
- Can be customized easily.
- Supports two trigger types.
- Reasonably priced.
Paslode – 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer
Let’s say that you are in the market for the absolute best of the best when it comes to framing nailers, where should you turn to? In this next review, we are going to be looking at a framing nailer that is probably among the best, if not the best, option on the market today. The Paslode – 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer is an amazing option and definitely one of the most well-made framing nailers out there.
As you can see from the product’s name, this is the first cordless nailer that we are reviewing on this list. Up until now, every other framing nailer that we have taken a look at has been what is called a “pneumatic” framing nailer.
Pneumatic framing nailers are powered with compressed air. The Paslode – 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer, because it is cordless, is powered with a charged battery instead. The battery does a great job and it lasts for a respectable amount of time. You don’t have to worry about constantly going back and forth in the middle of a big job to recharge the battery.
Now, if you are familiar with power tools at all, then you know that as a general rule of thumb, cordless power tools aren’t nearly as powerful as their corded or pneumatic counterparts. However, that traditional logic doesn’t apply here.
The Paslode – 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer is actually one of the more powerful options on our entire best framing nailer list. This is despite the fact that it uses battery power instead of compressed air. So, if the fact that this is a cordless tool is turning you off, don’t worry about it as it has more than enough power to deal with the toughest jobs.
Something that is somewhat unique about the Paslode is how it works in any temperature, no matter how extreme. It can be used equally well in both cold temperatures and extremely hot temperatures. This isn’t always the case with framing nailers.
- Powerful nailer.
- No annoying cord to deal with.
- Runs on battery power.
- Works in all temperatures.
- Long battery life.
- By far the most expensive framing nailer that we have reviewed on this list.
Hitachi NR90AES1 2″ to 3-1/2″ Plastic Collated Framing Nailer
For the last review on our best framing nailer list, we are going to be taking a look at a brand that we imagine that a lot of you are familiar with, especially if you are really into power tools. It is hard to be a power tool enthusiast and not have heard of Hitachi.
If you are familiar with the brand, then you are also probably familiar with the quality products that Hitachi tends to put out and you are likely not surprised that at least one Hitachi product is being featured on our list.
This is a really well-made nailer and it easily lives up to the high standards set by other Hitachi products. For starters, it is pretty powerful. You aren’t going to have any issues with the power output of this tool. It can easily handle a wide variety of very tough jobs.
It is also a very well-balanced tool. It manages to achieve a good balance between being lightweight and being durable. So, you end up with a power tool that isn’t too heavy in your hand, but that is also going to last you for a while. There are some small parts of the tool that are made with cheaper plastic and that we could foresee breaking easily, but the majority of the tool is made quite well and lives up to Hitachi’s standards.
Two other features that stand out to us are the really high-capacity magazine and the ability to switch between firing modes on the fly just by flicking a little switch on the side.
- Makes changing fire modes easy and quick.
- Powerful enough to tackle tough jobs.
- Very high-capacity magazine.
- Manages to be both durable and lightweight.
- Some components are made of cheap plastic.
Framing Nailer Buying Guide
We didn’t talk about it at the start of our best framing nailer article, but there are actually two parts to this article. In the first part (which is also the more substantial of the two parts), we reviewed five different framing nailers so that you could pick out a high-quality option that works best for you.
In this second part of the article, we intend to look briefly at some important factors for you to consider when looking for a framing nailer on your own.
Probably the most important factor to consider is the overall power output of your framing nailer. Whether it is a battery powered framing nailer or a pneumatic one, being able to use your framing to accomplish tough jobs is a real lifesaver.
You want to know that whenever you see a thick piece of wood, that your framing nailer is going to be able to reliably drive nails deep into the material without any issues.
Power can be measured in different ways depending on the type of framing nailer. Generally, you want to look for things like inches-pound or PSI rating, which are good indicators of how powerful a particular framing nailer is.
While there isn’t a recommended power range, as it will depending on what sort of work you do, we would recommend always going for the most powerful nailer available. From our list, the best options in terms of pure power would be the Paslode – 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer and the BOSTITCH Framing Nailer.
Something else to consider is the overall weight of the framing nailer. You often have to use framing nailers for long periods of time, and you don’t want to have to deal with a sore arm when you are trying to accurately place nails.
This is why you may have noticed that on our best framing nailer list, a lot of our selections trended towards the lightweight side of things. This is because it is just a lot easier to use a lightweight nailer and we think that most people would prefer a lighter option.
Battery Vs Pneumatic
Something else that we touched upon briefly as part of our best framing nailer review list was the differences between nailers that run on battery power and pneumatic nailers. Generally, pneumatic nailers are more common and will also tend to be more powerful (air pressure is usually more powerful than electricity).
However, we also showcased why this isn’t always the case. For example, one of the more powerful nailers on our list was the Paslode – 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer, which as you will recall, used a rechargeable battery for power. So, nailers that use battery power can end up being the more powerful option in some cases.
If you are still confused or curious about some aspect of our best framing nailer article (either our buying guide or our reviews), then we have some good news. You can go down and leave us a comment asking for clarification on any part of the article.