How To Find The Best Framing Nailer – The Definitive Guide

The market is packed with framing nailers. They vary hugely in terms of price, features, and specifications. Choosing the best framing nailer can seem overwhelming. We are here to help. If you follow this guide, you’ll be able to select the best model for your precise requirements. We simplify your task further by shortlisting the best 5 framing nailers.

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Types of Framing Nailers

  • Pneumatic
  • Cordless
  • Electric

An air compressor is used to deliver air to the piston through a hose that drives the nail. It is one of the best framing nailer types, faster and more efficient than the cordless nailer. You can perform a variety of jobs with a pneumatic model:

· Nailing down sub-flooring

· Fence building

· Tying up sheathing

· Building trusses

If you’re going to complete a large project, a pneumatic framing nailer could be your best option.

Factors for Choosing the Best Framing Nailer

framing nailer reviews

Each type of framing nailer is designed for specific jobs. They each come with their own advantages and disadvantages.

It’s up to you to figure out what it is you need to accomplish with the project you have in mind. Think about the best tool for the job.

If you are a professional, you’ll want a nailer that is capable of completing larger projects without any limitations.

If you are a DIY’er then a small, inexpensive and portable nailer would be a smart choice.

The purpose of this guide is to help you when you’re choosing the best framing nailer for your own needs.

Owning a framing nailer might sound tempting but you need to analyze what you are going to use it for before you buy it.

If you are just hanging some paintings on the wall or you want to sling up some tools in your garage, you might not need a nailer.

However, if you are a carpenter, a DIYer or if you have a larger home project to complete, a framing nailer could be money very well spent.

Air Compressor

If you’re going to buy a pneumatic framing nailer then you will also need a powerful compressor with ample pounds/inches (PSI) to support it. Do not overlook this issue.

The nailer should show how much PSI is necessary. Types of working projects you want to accomplish and how much air pressure you want are directly related and you should consider it before making a purchase.

This nailer requires a favorable air volume measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). To maintain this CFM, you’ll need an appropriate air hose for your compressor. The hose needs to stay clean and dry so that the airflow is smooth and unobstructed.

So… Make sure the air compressor has appropriate PSI and CFM.


Take a close look at the weight when selecting a nailing gun.

Cordless nailers are lighter than pneumatic nailing tools so they are more portable and are useful in tight spaces.

A tool made of magnesium and aluminum alloy could be the best choice as these materials weigh less and help prevent overheating.

Exhaust Plates

While using a nailer, exhaust and dust will be released from the nail gun.

The exhaust plates in the nailer throw the dust and exhaust away from you preventing any discomfort or injury.

Some tools come with fixed exhaust plates and some with adjustable plates.

You should ideally pick one with adjustable exhaust plates to set the incline and direction of exhaust to your own requirements.

Maintenance and Care

No matter how sturdy, heavy duty, and expensive a framing nailer you buy, it will need some maintenance.

No tool keeps delivering optimum results if you don’t carry out due care and maintenance.

Each nailer demands different maintenance priorities.

A pneumatic nailer needs regular lubrication to keep it running smoothly and efficiently. If the air inlet gets rusty then the nails will jam and they won’t get fired properly or accurately.

Place your nail gun in a safe box to avoid corrosion, humidity and dust. Otherwise, it could soon start malfunctioning.


If you mainly work in tight spaces, a small and compact design should be your goal.

However, some jobs need more powerful tools. For more ambitious projects you should certainly consider a bigger unit.


Get a framing nailer with sufficient power to meet your requirements.

If you are framing some large pieces with more depth, you’ll need a more powerful tool.

Bear in mind that there is no need to spend out on overpowered machines for smaller projects.

Top 5 Framing Nailer Reviews - Comparison Chart





Nail Size


Our Rating

NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer

20.8 x 15 x 5.8 in

9.8 lbs

360 degree adjustable

2-3.5 in

1 year

Editor Choice

Freeman P4FRFNCB Framing/Finishing Combo Kit

23 x 9.4 x 14.8 in

25 lbs

360 degree adjustable

2-3.5 in

7 years


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

23 x 16 x 6 in

9.1 lbs


1-3.5 in

7 years


Hitachi NR90AE(S) 3-1/2" Plastic Collated Full-Head Framing Nailer

20.8 x 4.9 x 7.5 in

7.5 lbs


3.5 in

5 years


Freeman PFR2190 21-Degree Full-Head Framing Nailer

20.8 x 6.5 x 14.2 in

14.5 lbs

360 degree adjustable

2-3.5 in

7 years