Odds are if you live near a new subdivision or an area where construction is happening, you have probably heard all the nail guns that contractors use when building a new home. Nail guns are popular amongst home builders and the framing nailers are perhaps the top sellers since they can take the abuse that workers give them on a daily basis and keep performing at a top level. A framing nailer is used for framing and remodeling projects in construction. There are countless buying guides online when it comes to framing nailers, but most experts say you want to buy a tool that is easy to use, has minimal recoil, provides enough power, is well balanced, and it should be versatile. You want the framing nailer to be able to work on composite, natural timber, and other materials without bogging down. Pneumatic framing nailers will generally drive 8d to 16d nails just fine. The top rated brands include Paslode, Bostitch, Milwaukee, Porter Cable, Hitachi, Senco, and Makita.
Buying Guide - We found lots of reviews online for the round head and clipper head framing nailers. The two basic types of power framing nailers are the stick and coil variety. Stick style nailers are the best selling of the bunch, including the Porter-Cable FR350A Round Head, although the Makita AN901 Round Head is a well respected coil framing nailer on Amazon. Any good framing nailer needs to be high powered and able to do fast work for hours every day. The best selling cordless framing nailer is the Paslode Cordless IMCT Framing Nailer which is recommended by all the experts and owner reviews are quite positive on Amazon. Comments and feedback on almost all the power nailers was very favorable with really only one exception, both the DeWalt models on Amazon get less than adequate ratings from owners so we say stay away from them and go with the top ranked models. In terms of expert reviews comparing the top framing nailers, we found Toolcrib.com and Toolsofthetrade.net did the best job of highlighting the top brands and models with their "picks" in several categories like "best framing nailers for weekend work" and "most powerful". We also found dozens of reviews by contractors and homebuilders for specific models of framing nail guns on websites like Contractortalk.com, Onlinetoolreviews.com, and in the forums at Jlconline.com. The Paslode, Porter Cable, and Bostitch consistently ranked in the top 3 amongst professional builders who use these tools everyday and the owner ratings on Amazon backed up these findings. RECOMMENDED - You can view the top selling framing nailers online here.
Best Framing Nailer:
RECOMMENDED - There is no better model than the Porter-Cable FR350A which is the #1 seller on Amazon. Not only do consumers rate the FR350A as the best, but so do plenty of professional home builders. The Porter Cable framing nailer is capable of driving in 2 inch to 3 1/2 inch round head nails - total capacity of 64 nails in the magazine. Owners say the trigger, with both a restrictive and contact actuation mode, is both responsive and easy to control. Operating pressure for the nail gun is between 70 - 120 PSI and almost any size compressor tank will run it. The actual framing nailer measures 19 1/2 inches long and 14 inches tall and weighs a bit over 8 lbs. Owners say the weight isn't as issue as it will "help to dampen the recoil a frame nailer produces" says Dean Bielanowski at Onlinetoolreviews.com. He goes on to say you will feel "some wrist fatigue" but that the tool "performs its task very reliably". When you order the FR350A you get a quality carrying case, a 1/4 inch air fitting with dust cover, and oil. The top reasons for ordering the Porter Cable are because it's affordable, easy to use, and has flawless operation per many owners. RECOMMENDED - Another very popular model is the Bostitch F21PL with the capability to handle 1 1/2 inch to 3 1/2 inch nails. The F21PL from Bostitch gives you 1050 inch pounds of driving power, handles stick framing nails or metal connector nails, and features a lightweight magnesium housing. Owners say the push button adjustable depth guide lets you quickly set nails to specific jobs and the nailer works great on jobs like framing, sheathing, siding, trusses, engineered lumber, exterior decks, and more. Lots of reviews noted the Bostitch framing nailers versatility and several professional contractors say the F21PL "exceeded their expectations". The other top selling models on Amazon are the Milwaukee framing nailers - the 7100-20 and the 7110-20, both are priced around $180 to $200.
Top Rated Cordless Framing Nailer:
RECOMMENDED - There is no doubt in experts or consumers minds which cordless framing nailer is the BEST. It's clearly the Paslode 902600 CF325Li Lithium Ion Cordless Framing Nailer. Max and Hitachi offer cordless framing nailers, but most experts agree that the Paslode is the better product and certainly the owner reviews we found posted online back up this claim. The Paslode has been around for years and continues to rank as the top selling cordless model on the market. It's compatible with full and clipped head 2 inch to 3 1/4 inch nails, features a depth of drive adjustment, soft trigger, and weighs less than 7 pounds with the battery. Owners say you get less arm and wrist fatigue with the Paslode since you are not dragging around an air hose. The battery will drive up to 4000 nails when fully charged and professionals say it's a great tool to have in tight spaces with limited overhead room. The Paslode framing nailer works great on building rafters, stairs, joists, soffits, and sheathing. Most professional homebuilders agree that this is the best tool when considering non-pneumatic framing nailers for a job. Carpenters and remodelers rely on Paslodes technology for all their construction and framing projects. Owners say the 900420 provides "solid performance", is "easy to use" and is a great "alternative to air powered nail guns". Amazon carries the Paslode which comes with battery, charger, belt hanger, plastic carrying case, safety goggles, and it has a 5 year warranty. You will find that the cordless framing nailers will need to be cleaned more often than their corded counterparts, but you get excellent startup time and without an air hose obstructing your work flow, you get jobs done much quicker.
Coil Framing Nailer:
RECOMMENDED - The Makita AN901 Round Head 1-3/4-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Coil Framing Nailer is top rated and gets high praise from professional framing crews and weekend DIY homeowners. The Makita AN901 will fire 1 3/4 inch to 3 1/2 inch coil framing nails and the fastner capacity per strip is 100 to 300 nails. The operating PSI is 65 - 120 and owners say the 9 quick dial adjustments let you easily control the nail depth. Choose from sequential or bounce on nail mode and the rubber grip on the handle makes for smooth handling. Several reviews done by general contractors say the Makita is superior to the Hitachi coil guns and another owner says when pitted head to head with a Max nailer, the AN901 is better in almost all areas. The coil nailers are more expensive than the stick variety - you will pay a premium for the Makita since it costs about $375 compared to $200 for the Bostitch. If you had to consider an alternative to the Makita, most experts agree that the Hitachi NV83A2 3-1/4-inch Coil Framing Nailer is a quality power tool as well.