Best Framing Nailer Reviews 2017

Best framing nailer reviews

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A quality framing nailer is vital for any project, whether you are building for a hobby or as your profession. With the right nailer, you can cut down on the time your project takes and save yourself plenty of energy as well. So, when you go shopping for one, you want the best framing nailer you can buy.

But if you aren’t a professional contractor, chances are you have never needed to purchase a framing nailer before. And that means you might be a bit uncertain about what to look for and how to evaluate the various options on the market. Well, there is no need to go into the purchase blind; we are here for you. To help, check out our framing nailer reviews below.

Before we get into our reviews, it is important that you know what a framing nailer is and why you would want one. A framing nailer is commonly called a nail gun, because it shoots nails into various materials, holding them together; it even uses a trigger and has a set up similar to an actual gun. There are many different types of nail guns, and framing nailers are on the larger end of the spectrum, designed to be used with large nails and on projects where millimeters won’t make a big difference in terms of precision.

Best Framing Nailer: Our Pick

In general, the differences between framing nails are rather subtle, so narrowing down our list to just five choices was difficult for us. And selecting a top pick was even harder. However, after comparing the many options on the market, we chose the NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer as the best framing nailer on the market.

Why did we choose this specific model as our top pick? Because it offers the most features for the price and is designed for ease of use, making it great for both professionals and DIYers alike. So, does that mean this is the ideal choice for you? Maybe, but maybe not. To help you make the right choice for your needs, take a look at our features to consider and framing nailer reviews below.

Top 5 Framing Nailers - Comparison Table

Product
ImageWeightPower Source
Magazine CapacityAngle
Our Rating
NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing NailerNuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer10.7 poundsAir-Pressure55 nails
21 degrees
Editor’s Pick
#1
Freeman P4FRFNCB Framing/Finishing Combo KitFreeman P4FRFNCB Framing/Finishing Combo Kit with Canvas Bag, 4-PieceVarious due to multiple nailers in the kit.Air-PressureVarious due to multiple nailers in the kit.Various due to multiple nailers in the kit.#2
BOSTITCH F21PL Round Head 1-1/2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Framing NailerOSTITCH F21PL Round Head 1-1/2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Framing Nailer with Positive Placement Tip and Magnesium Housing11 pounds
Cordless-Electric
60 nails21 degrees#3
Hitachi NR90AES1 2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Plastic Collated Framing NailerHitachi NR90AE(S) 3-1/27.5 poundsAir-Pressure64 nails21 degrees#4
Freeman PFR2190 21-Degree Full-Head Framing NailerFreeman PFR2190 21-Degree Full-Head Framing Nailer8.5 poundsAir-Pressure55 nails21 degrees#5

Important Features to Consider

As is the case with any product, not all framing nailers are created equal. There are many features that help to set the various options apart from each other, some of which matter more than others. Below are some of the most important features to consider when purchasing a framing nailer.

Coil or Stick and Capacity

This refers to how the nails are held together inside the magazine before entering into the chamber of the nail gun. What is the difference between the two? Coil nailers use nails held together in a coil and are able to handle more nails in rapid succession, and thus they tend to come with larger magazine capacities. Stick nailers have the nails on a stick, and they are unable to handle as many nails at a time. This is unlikely to make a difference if you are looking to use your framing nailer occasionally or for smaller projects. However, if you are looking to use it professionally, coil will be best.

Type of Power

Best framing nailer reviews

If you are looking for plenty of power, then you will want a pneumatic, or air-pressure, powered framing nailer. These framing nailers are hooked up to an air compressor, which then uses the pressurized air to push the nails out with great force. While these models offer lots of power, they also come with the added expensive of renting or purchasing an air compressor. Sometimes it is best to sacrifice some power for mobility, depending on the project. In such a case, you would want a cordless model. Cordless framing nailers use either fuel cells or batteries to power the nail gun.

Angle

The angle refers to the angle in degrees at which the nail is driven into the material. For the majority of projects, the 20-30 degree range is ideal. While there are straight framing nailers on the market, they are not able to drive nails with thicker gauges as easily, so you are better off with an angled gun. Unless you are looking for a framing nailer for professional use, this 20-30 degree range should be all you need.

Based primarily on the criteria above, we evaluated a variety of framing nailers, trying to determine which would be the best framing nailer for the majority of buyers. In the process, we narrowed our list down to the five best framing nailers available for purchase online. In our search, we focused more on those that work for casual users and DIYers rather than professional contractors. So, which framing nailer is best for you? Check out our comparison table and framing nailer reviews below.

Top 5 Framing Nailers Details Reviews

1. NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer

This framing nailer was our top pick. It offers many quality features, but does not compromise its usability simply to pack in extra features. As such, you can use it quite easily, even if you have never used a framing nailer before. It is a fairly compact model that is designed with ergonomics in mind, so you can use it on a larger project without your hand cramping.

This model does use air pressure to power the gun, which means that you will need an air compressor to use it. If you do not have one, you can rent it from a home improvement store, or, if you plan to use your framing nailer often, purchase an air compressor. This will limit your mobility, but it does offer superior power. The magazine can hold up to 55 nails at a time, giving you plenty of time between magazine changes on the majority of projects.

It also offers a few special features that help it stand out from the crowd. The 360 degree exhaust allows you to angle the exhaust away from your face, no matter where you are standing relative to the gun. You can adjust the firing depth to suit the material you are working with. Fianlly, it has interchangeable triggers, allowing you to get the style of firing you need each and every time without needing to switch framing nailers.

2. Freeman P4FRFNCB Framing/Finishing Combo Kit

This framing nailer was our top pick. It offers many quality features, but does not compromise its usability simply to pack in extra features. As such, you can use it quite easily, even if you have never used a framing nailer before. It is a fairly compact model that is designed with ergonomics in mind, so you can use it on a larger project without your hand cramping.

Out of all the options on this list, this one is the most industrial. It is ideal for avid DIYers as well as professional contractors. This combo kit has everything you need to tackle any possible project. In addition to the framing nailer, it also includes a finish nailer, brad nailer, and narrow crown stapler.

This combo kit uses air pressure to power the guns. As with all framing nailers powered by air pressure, this comes with the added expense of needing an air compressor and limited mobility. However, if you are looking to complete a professional grade project, it is worth the extra expense and limited mobility.

Some of the special features offered by this kit include a 360 degree exhaust, built-in air filter, and a no-mar tip that helps to eliminate damage to working surfaces, ensuring that professional finish. While this kit might be a bit much for the average user, it is ideal for those looking for professional results.

3. BOSTITCH F21PL Round Head 1-1/2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Framing Nailer

This model is the only cordless model we chose to place on our list of the best framing nailers. While going cordless usually means a little less power behind the nails, this framing nailer is similar in PSI to air-pressure powered models. This option is perfect for those who want to complete smaller or infrequent projects and are worried about mobility.

This framing nailer is also a lightweight model due to its magnesium body. As such, it is a good choice for anyone with limited tensile strength or joint problems. It also has a large capacity despite its light weight, holding up to 60 nails in the magazine at a time.

However, it is important to consider that you will need to change or charge the battery fairly often, making it harder to complete longer projects with this framing nailer alone. Before you buy, you need to decide if the increased mobility is worth the downtime with the battery.

4. Hitachi NR90AES1 2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Plastic Collated Framing Nailer

At just 7.5 pounds, this is the lightest framing nailer on our list. For short jobs, this doesn’t make much of a difference, but if you plan to tackle larger projects, the few pounds that separate this framing nailer from the others will matter. It is also a great option for those with limited tensile strength or joint problems. Despite it being smaller, it still offers the same power as bulkier models.

This is an air-pressure powered model, so once again you have the extra expense and the limited mobility. However, the power behind the gun and not needing to stop to change or charge batteries could be worth the trade-off. With a magazine capacity of 64 nails, you should be able to tackle larger projects without constantly changing the magazine.

This framing nailer does not have many special features, having eliminated them to save on weight. Its most unique feature is the selective actuation switch, which allows you to switch from bump and sequential fire. It also comes with a tool-less depth of drive, which eliminates the need to adjust air pressure at the compressor, simplifying operation of the framing nailer.

5. Freeman PFR2190 21-Degree Full-Head Framing Nailer

In terms of special features, this model offers the most of any framing nailer on our list. However, all those special features do mean it is a little bit more complex to use. As such, we recommend this model for those with experience using framing nailers or those who want to tackle complex projects that will clearly benefit from these additional features.

What are some of the special features it offers? It can handle many different nail sizes, ranging from 2-3 ½ inches. It offers a 360-degree exhaust, a built-in air filter, and an anti-dust cap. It is made from die-cast magnesium, which helps to reduce the weight despite the extra features. The framing nailer comes with interchangeable triggers, allowing you to choose between single and contact firing.

So, Which Framing Nailer is Best for You?

While we do have our top pick, it isn’t necessarily the ideal framing nailer for you. Having read our framing nailer reviews, we hope that you have a better idea of which option is right for you. From commercial projects to small tasks around the house, the framing nailers here give you all the options you need. So, which framing nailer from our framing nailer reviews will you purchase?