Best Framing Nailers

Framing nailers are powerful nailing guns on construction sites. Like hammers, these nailers place nails in a fast and efficient way. These power tools drive nails deep and securely into the wood, for quick building, assembly, and security. You can use this tool for all kinds of projects, and there are many options to choose from to suit your needs. 

Our Top 5 Best Framing Nailers

Whether you’re a professional worker looking to build larger-scale construction projects, or a homeowner interested in home improvement and DIY projects, you need a framing nailer that you can trust to help you along the way. You need a safe, convenient framing nailer designed for your kind of projects. 

We’ve gathered a list of options for your best framing nailer to look at and help you complete your projects. These nailers are convenient to use and at a great value. They are built both for professional builders or do-it-yourself homeowners. Pay attention to the differences between each nail gun while you look so you pick the best option. 

BOSTITCH Framing Nailer


Specs

  • 21 degree 
  • Pneumatic 
  • Includes two nose pieces for framing or metal connectors 

Pros

  • Versatile 
  • Suitable for DIY and professional use 
  • Sequential and continuous nailing modes 

Cons 

  • Heavyweight 
  • Nails for metal connecting are hard to find

The BOSTITCH Framing Nailer uses one ⅓ inch to 3 ½ inch nails. It is a  21-degree nail gun. You can use it for both do-it-yourself home projects and professional construction. It comes with two interchangeable nose pieces that fire the nails. You can choose to nail standard nails or metal connector nails for joist hangers with the two nose pieces. 

As a 21-degree nail gun, this nailer relies on 21-degree nails. We recommend that you use eye protection when operating these kinds of nails. 

The BOSTITCH Framing Nailer has different nailing modes. One is for single-shot use, and the other is for continuous nailing for more speed and efficiency. This nailer is a reliable option over time and works great on all kinds of wood. The nails used for connector metals can be expensive and harder to find.

Milwaukee Electric Tool Framing Nailer


Specs 

  • Nitrogen air spring mechanism 
  • 30-34 degrees framing nailer
  • Three nails per second in continuous mode 

Pros

  • Fits all M18 batteries
  • Cordless framing nailer 
  • Adjustable depth 

Cons 

  • front-heavy design

The Milwaukee Electric Tool Framing Nailer is our choice for the best framing nailer. This tool is a Nitrogen air and battery-powered nailer designed to help you nail fast and robust. It will work with M18 Redlithium batteries. You can use it for both clipped or full head nails. Another bonus is that this tool is entirely cordless for mobility. 

The Milwaukee Electric Tool Framing Nailer also has different firing modes. You can toggle the digital switch for single-shot mode, which will drive a nail straight through wood with the trigger’s pull without revving. The other option is a continuous mode that will fire three nails per second. The Milwaukee has a comfortable grip and a simple trigger system. 

Milwaukee designed this framing nailer for compactness. It is a 30-degree to 34-degree nailer, and so it is heavier in weight due to the larger amount of nails in the magazine. It is front heavy, and we do not recommend wearing it on a tool belt as it will sag. 

It is depth adjustable by a knob located near the nose piece. People with larger fingers may find it hard to adjust the depth because the knob is comparatively small, but it is smooth for easy adjustment.

Paslode Cordless XP Framing Nailer


Specs 

  • Lightweight 7.2 lbs 
  • 7V Li-ion battery
  • 9000 Nails per charge 

Pros 

  • Reliable and powerful framer
  • Compact design
  • Lightweight 

Cons 

  • Loud operation 
  • Gas sold separately

The Paslode Cordless XP Framing Nailer is a reliable option even in weather as cold as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. It uses a 7V Lithium-ion battery and will fire up to 9000 nails per charge. It is also powered by gas, which you load at the back of the nailer. The gas is sold separately. 

This option is our lightweight recommendation for framing nailers. It is a reliable and powerful nailer that comes in a small, compact design. It is also cordless, so you get all the power you need with no restraint on mobility. This nailer is recommended for do-it-yourself home projects because it is lighter and compact. 

The only warning we have is that this nailer is very loud when it operates. We recommend you and anyone with you wears both eye and hearing protection when you use it.

Metabo (Hitachi) HPT Framing Nailer


Specs

  • 2 inch to 3½” framing nails 
  • 21-degree nailer 
  • Tool-less depth adjustment 

Pros

  • Suitable for DIY projects and construction
  • Preferred Pro Brand of Pneumatic Nailers 
  • Suitable for flooring and framing 

Cons 

  • Requires a cable, not cordless 

The Metabo is the North American brand for Hitachi products. 

Their framing nailer is a 21-degree Pneumatic nailer model. Hitachi is an award winner Pneumatic Nailer brand. With a lightweight design weighing just 7.5 lbs, this framing nailer works for both framing and flooring.

With the Metabo, you can switch between single or continuous nailing. In single mode, you depress the push lever and then pull the trigger to nail. In continuous mode, simply depressing the push lever will operate the nailer so you can quickly drive in as many nails as you need. The Metabo nailer uses 2 inches up to 3.5-inch plastic collated framing nails. 

The Metabo requires an input cable for gas, but it is still a great home and construction tool. The magazine holds anywhere from 64-70 nails at once, and the nailer is depth adjustable. The open nose design makes it safe to clear any jamming that could occur in operation. 

NuMax SFR2190 Pneumatic


Specs 

  • Weighs 8.58 lbs
  • Nails at 70-115 PSI
  • Depth adjustable 

Pros 

  • Lightweight and durable magnesium body 
  • Ergonomic, secure handle
  • Interchangeable trigger for continuous or sequential use 

Cons 

  • Stops shooting at last three nails 
  • Not cordless  

The NuMax is our most durable option for a framing nailer. The NuMax has a lightweight and durable magnesium body. You’ll love the ergonomic and secure handle for comfort on this nailer. It also comes with an interchangeable trigger for quick or single shots. 

You can adjust the depth of the nails through the threaded nut on the tool. This option is a 21-degree nailer that is useful in tighter surfaces and small spaces. 

For different surfaces, the NuMax is depth adjustable. It can go between 70-115 PSI. Pneumatically powered, this nailer has a 3-gallon tank capacity. The NuMax Framing Nailer is not cordless. You will need ⅜ inch or up to ½” of air line for optimal use. 

At 8.5 lbs, this is one of our heavier nailers. Though it is heavier than most of our recommended lightweight nailers, it is proven to be a durable and reliable DIY home option.

What to Look For in a Framing Nailer?

The best way to know which is the best framing nailer for you is to know what kind of project you’re going to need the nailer for, along with your personal needs and preferences. The project’s size will determine things like the amount of power your nailer will need, whether a cordless nailer would be best, or possibly if you need a nailer with a larger magazine. 

Nailer Degrees

The first thing to think about is the kind of nails you will need for your project. The angle specified by each framing nailer indicates the only nail that the tool can use. For example, a 21-degree framing nailer can only use 21-degree nails. There are pros and cons to each angled nail. It’s best to determine which type of nail you’ll need for your projects to get the best results. 

Smaller Projects 

Smaller projects in tighter spaces might be easier to do if you have a nailer that doesn’t require a cord for air. There are several options on our list today that has a compact, lightweight design. These are sufficient for a smaller at-home project and give you all the power and versatility you’ll need. They are also lighter weight so you can work without straining yourself. 

For these projects, a 21-degree nailer might be best for the tighter, smaller spaces. However, the specific project you are doing should determine the kind of nailer you use. 

Bigger Projects 

More extensive projects usually mean you need more nails and possibly more power. You will likely need a nailer built to operate an extended amount of time and a fast continuous nailing mode. Some of the nailers on our list today have the option for larger nail magazines. These will come in handy for more immense structural work. 

You will commonly find nailers with 30-degree and 34-degree nails on construction sites for larger projects. These nailers can operate quickly and have higher capacity magazines. If you have a larger project and are willing to take on the heavier weight, these nailers are good options. 

Builder Preferences 

You should also think about your personal needs as a builder. Think about the kind of strain your body can take and what nailer you would enjoy using. How comfortable you are using the nailer and how easy it is to use will likely be a factor in how often you’ll want to use it. Get a nailer that’s good both for you and for the projects you want to do.

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions when it comes to buying and operating framing nailers. 

Which framing nailer is best? 

The answer to this question all depends on the builder and their project. Our recommended nailer is the Milwaukee Framing Nailer, as this is a powerful and versatile option. However, your project’s size, along with your personal preferences, will determine which nailer is the best one. Purchasing the wrong kind of framing nailer can hinder your progress rather than help. 

Purchasing the right nailer from you comes from knowing yourself as a builder too. If you understand your needs and learn a little more about your workflow, you can make a better choice when purchasing a framing nailer. Take your time, ask questions, and try them out before you buy if it’s at all possible. 

Why are framing nailers angled? 

There are a few standard angles for nails. These are 21-degree, 28-degree, 30 and 34-degree and then 15-degree. The angle specified by the framing nailer indicates the kind of nail that that tool uses. This specified angled nail is the only nail that will work with the nailer’s magazine to operate it. 

Each angle of the nail offers different strengths and weaknesses. For example, a 21-degree nail works well in tight spaces; however, 21-degree nailers often have lower capacity magazines. 

You will likely see 30-34 degree framing nailers on construction sites as these are incredibly versatile with larger magazines. The larger magazine size makes the nailer heavier, though. So, it is a tradeoff with an angled nail. 

Can a framing nailer be used for roofing? 

No, there are some significant differences between a framing nailer and a roofing nailer. A roofing nailer cannot be used to frame, and a framing nailer cannot be used to roof. 

Final Thoughts

Our best overall framing nailer is the Milwaukee Framing Nailer. As a 30-34-degree nailer, it is a solid choice for professional use and home projects. Though front heavy, it is cordless and very convenient to use. It is versatile and will handle most tasks you’ll need it for. 

The best nailer for you comes down to you and what kind of work you’re doing. We recommend that you keep in mind the safety guidelines of eye and ear as you operate power tools like framing nailers to keep yourself and those around you safe. 

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