Best Finish Nailer

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Industry’s Best Pneumatic Framing Nailers by Mallory Kramer

For many craftsmen, a pneumatic framing nailer is one of the greatest tools in the world. Making quick work of jobs that can take what feels like forever, and doing it with professional strength and precision, these nailers are an irreplaceable asset. If you’re in the market for one of the best framing nailers in the pneumatic world, well, you’re in luck. The following is a compiled, compacted set of reviews of the best framing nailers, and their prices, on the market today.

Hitachi’s NR83A2 framing nailer is one of the most high-quality, high-performance pneumatic framers on the market today. Weighing only 7.9 lbs the tool is clearly lightweight and the tool is extremely well balanced for the most comfortable operation and maneuverability. The framer has a tool-less depth adjustment allowing craftsmen to choose their depth of drive, and with an open nose design, extracting a jammed nail is hardly a hassle. The framer also features selective actuation, a favorite feature of most users, which allow craftsmen to simply transition from single actuation to contact actuation for the greatest versatility through a variety of applications. The tool is strong, fast, and versatile, and because it’s also so lightweight and well-balanced, continuous work and awkward applications are far less strenuous. Ultimately, the NR83A2 is a seriously tough framer built for durability on the jobsite and for reliability through the most heavy-duty applications. Lastly,pricing from about 0 – 0, Hitachi’s framer is a bit spendy, but is worth every penny. (Note: This tool is also available as a sequential trigger gun (NR83A2S) for just about 0.)

On another hand, Porter-Cable’s FR350A 3-1/2″ roundhead framing nailer is one of the more heavy-duty pneumatic framing tools on the market today. With the power to drive nails up to 3-1/2″ x 131″ into engineered lumber, the tool has intense power. The framer’s compact body design contributes to its well-balance and overall smooth style while an internal piston catch mechanism ensures each shot is consistently powerful. A selectable trigger transitions modes between restrictive or contact actuation mode, and with a tool-free adjustable depth-of-drive, craftsmen have complete control over the tool’s performance. The tool is simple to reload, and a nail lockout mechanism alerts you when its time to reload your tool. Keeping your materials protected during work, the framer also has a (tool-free, adjustable) exhaust and a (removable) non-marring nose tip, and also having on-tool storage, the FR350AR is endlessly convenient. Ranging in price from about 0 – 0, the framer is abrilliant tool at a certainly reasonable price.

The FR350A is also available reconditioned (FR350AR) for just about 0. As a reconditioned tool, this nailer presents a truly superior value to craftsmen and builders. For those unfamiliar with recons, they are an extremely great value that bring craftsmen the highest-performance tools at a tiny fraction of regular cost. Reconditioned tools, for some minor cosmetic or technical defect, have been returned to the manufacturer. There, they undergo a series of stringent tests and retests and restoration processes before being re-released with an “R” trailing the model number. This little “R” (and potentially hundreds of dollars) is truly the only difference between a brand new tool and a recon. The value with reconditioned tools is a no-brainer; when they are available, buy them.

Like Hitachi and Porter-Cable, Senco is known for building some of the best pneumatic tools and nailers in the industry. With well-seasoned experience and superior craftsmanship, Senco is an steadfast contender in the world of pneumatics. Pricing from about 0 – 0, their SN902XP framing nailer is a brilliant and saucy little tool with 904 in/lbs of power in a compact, 7.3 lb package. This round head framer is also built with a innovated design that requires up to fifteen-percent less air than other comparable models, and still having the power to drive 2 – 3-1/4″ (round head plastic collated) framing nails with fast efficiency, the nailer perfectly unites precision power and lightweight convenience. The nailer also drives 2″-3-1/2″ smooth shank nails and 2″-3″ ring shank nails. The tool’s compact design also contributes to its ability to work in tight spaces in between studs and joists, and its overall balance and ease of operation. Additionally, the gun is easy to transition from rapid fire to sequential fire and is simple to load and unload for optimal convenience on the job. The SN902XP is ideal for a huge number of applications from framing, fencing and subfloors, to trusses and decking. It additionally has a patented TrueDrive magazine to prevent jamming and an adjustable depth of drive for unfailing precision with every shot. Like the above Porter-Cable nailer, Senco’s SN902XP is also available reconditioned (if you can find it) for about 0.

In the end and whatever your needs may be, one of these nailers is certain to be an ideal framer. With big power, acute precision, and the accountability of a time-honored manufacturer, these pneumatic framing nailers are the best of the best.

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james frank asked Do i really need a 5 gallon air compressor ? Or a 2 gallon will do just fine?

I know I will have some use for a brad nailer/finish nailer. some for dusting. not going to use any wrench tool. Framing maybe.

Should I really spend extra to invest in a 5 gallon?

And got the following answer:

Given what you described, the 5 gallon compressor would be a wise investment. It might take you back a bit with its cost, but should pay for itself over the long run.

Kyle Trotter asked How much would it cost to rent a finishing nailer from home depot?

i Just wanted to rent a finishing nailer from home depot for a day or two and waswondering what kind of pricerange am i looking at?

And got the following answer:

Instead of renting one, I bought one plus a small 3/4 hp pancake compressor (about $250 total). They have the combo pack for $199 online only. You might find that these things are neat and might want to own one. They don’t publish rental rates online, so you’ll have to simply call and ask. I imagine rental rates vary as to location and demand.

You may have to rent a compressor also. Or if you rent an airless nailer (Paslode brand if they rent them), you’ll have to buy the fuel to make it work.

Jason H asked What does one use a pneumatic stapler for?

I bought a finish trim set from Bostitch that includes a Brad Nailer, Finish Nailer, and a Stapler. I know what the first 2 can be used for, but I have not found a use for the stapler. What are some examples where one would use a power stapler with 1 1/2″ staples for the home? Attaching a subfloor maybe?

And got the following answer:

The Stapler you got is called a Crown Stapler (or Narrow Crown Stapler). They are different than those used for flooring. A Crown Stapler is excellent for fastening thin material. An example would be attaching the thin MDF cabinet back to the cabinet frame.

WoodHokie4 asked What is the best floor nailer to use?

I’m about to install hardwood floors in my house and I’m looking at different floor nailers. If I can get away from the big $400 air-powered cleat style, i’d prefer it. I found a manual cleat nailer that was inexpensive, but was told that would be too much headache than would be worth it. I also was wondering about standard air-powered finish nailers and how they work with T&G flooring. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

And got the following answer:

I think that Bostitch are good for the money………….

tyrone c asked What kind of nailer do I use?

I used 1 by 8 for my baseboard but i want to add a molding on the top of it and a smaller baseboard at the bottom should i be looking to purchase a finish nailer or can i use a brad? And if brad how do the electric ones work ? Do they set the nail good?

And got the following answer:

Electric ones don’t have a lot of umph. 16 gauge is normally considered a “brad nailer” and 18 gauge a “finish nailer.” Either would work, though if your molding is small, I’d lean toward the brad.

However, if you do not have a compressor and will only use this occasionally, unless you have money to burn, I’d suggest a hammer, nail set, and a box of brads. $20 and you’re ready to go.

Aaron asked want a cordless finish nailer, how difficult to use?

looking at a dewalt 18volt 16 gauge finish nailer is it easily used and how well do the nails hold and do they look acceptable for finish work, and how often do they have problems like jamming etc. thanks.

And got the following answer:

They are easy to use and usually convenient. All nail guns can jam. The cordless finish nailers work pretty well. The framing nailers are too slow, in my opinion, for any big job (sheathing especially).

If you think you might someday want a framing gun, roofing gun, brad nailer, pinner, stapler, air sander, drill, sprayer, etc, etc, I’d recommend a compressor. For about the same cost as that cordless gun, you could get the kit from Porter-Cable that has a pancake compressor, 16g finish, 18g brad, and narrow crown stapler. And then you have the option of adding many other tools.

Ryan asked what type of air compressor do I need to run two roofing nailers or one framing nailer?

I currently have a large framing nailer and a finish nailer. I will be putting a roof on this summer as well. I am wondering what type of air compressor will be the best for this.

And got the following answer:

Just a small portable “pancake” compressor. Available for purchase at Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc. But, you may want to just rent one from HomeDepot, or another rental shop in your area. Besure to also get at least 100 feet of air hose that will interface with both gun and compressor.