Having the right nail gun for framing may make the difference between a failed and a successful DIY project. It may save you from all the effort of hammering by hand, not to mention the accuracy and the speed a framing nail gun ensures- when used right, for sure.
The framing nail gun, aka “framing nailer” is the gun you use for nailing the large pieces of various materials together. You don’t need to use the hammer and this type of nail gun is a great choice for the fast projects that need pretty large nails.
Are all nail guns the same?
First thing to consider when getting a nail gun for framing is to know the minimal information on the types you may get. There are two main types of nail guns: coil and stick. Both types offer large magazine for nail storage, but it’s the coil nailer that presents bigger magazine capacity. Therefore, if you are involved in bigger projects, it’s better to go with a coil nailer so that you don’t have to load the magazine every five minutes.
When it comes to powering mode, the nail guns may be fuel powered or pneumatic. When portability is very important for your job, a cordless fuel-powered nail gun or a pneumatic type is the recommended option. If the pneumatic nailer is powered by an air compressor, the cordless models are either fueled or battery powered. Go with a pneumatic nail gun if you frame on regular basics and settle with a cordless model if you only use it every now and then.
Keep in mind that if you decide you need a pneumatic nail gun, you also need an air compressor. Therefore, this is also another investment to make. No matter how small your budget is, don’t settle for anything smaller than 2.5-gallon capacity tank.
You may be thinking you are only using the nail gun for framing, but don’t forget that versatility is also important on any tool. The more types of nails the nail gun, the higher the chances you will be using it a lot.
Working with a nail gun implies some dirty work- you may think. However, this is not mandatory and you shouldn’t settle for the nail gun that comes with no protective guards. You don’t want any flying debris on you or your toll either. The protective guard is even more important when you use metal nails and you may actually get some serious damage on your eyes or your tool. Even though the last one doesn’t hurt as much as your eyes would.
Some tips when shopping
If you have the chance, don’t miss the opportunity to have a feel on the nail gun. Go in a store or feel it when you see a fellow friend. You can always buy it online, but not all the technical info actually help you feel the nailer in your hand. After all, it’s you that is planning to use the tool and you can’t get the best out of it if you don’t feel it comfortable when handling it. This is why it’s useless to shop for the best nail gun for framing. The best one is the one that helps you the most.
Throw an eye on the weight of your nail gun and the design of the nail gun-they are important details to consider when shopping. A lightweight nail gun is more versatile and ensures strain-free use for longer time.
A nail gun should also feature with adjustable depth as various materials have various thickness. Don’t overlook the importance of quick jam clearance either as jam happen even to best nail guns out there.
Get a look at the functional features also: a durable hook to put away the tool when not in use, for instance.
The solid build, the high quality of materials have a big say on the quality of your nail gun.
When you get through the best nail gun for framing reviews, you get to find another important tip when shopping. You also need to follow manufacture’s instructions when using the nail gun. This is not only protecting yourself from any injuries, but also protects your nail gun from damaging.
In addition, last thing you want is to ruin your brand new nail gun. As good as it may be, if you don’t use it right, it may get useless all of the sudden.
Top 5 nail guns for framing
The Bostitch F33PT 33-Degree Paper Tape Framing Nailer / Metal Connector Nailer is a paper tape framing nailer that also doubles as a metal connector nailer, which explains its high versatility.
The nail gun drives 2- to 3-1/2-inch paper tape collated framing nails and 1-1/2 to 3-1/2-inch paper tape metal connector nails.
When we take a look at the metal connector part, we see its ability to change tip so you may use it on joist hangers, hurricane straps and so on.
The tool is quite strong and gives 1050-inches per pound of driving power- you may also use it for the heavy duty engineered lumber jobs.
The nail gun comes with 2 nosepieces that are easy and fast to change. You may use the tool for framing or for the metal connector applications. You may also use the bump or the sequential fire mode, according to your needs.
The tool has a magnesium design that gives longer lifespan to the nail gun. The ergonomic design minimizes hand fatigue and ensures steady grip. You may get in the tight spaces with the nailer.
As for the ease of use, we have to pinpoint the patented push-button and the depth-of-drive control that need no adjusting compressor pressure. You simply set the compressor at 80 psi and get the depth you need for the job.
The list of functional features continues with the 16-inch layout indicator on the magazine that helps you get the right distance between studs almost instantly.
The tool is protected from damage thanks to the bolt-on, steel wear guards with rubber skid pads.
The nail gun comes with two-barrel attachments. It’s a strong and lightweight tool, with two triggers that run rather smooth.
Here are the most important pros:
- You get a paper tape framing nailer and also a metal connector
- The tool is strong, yet lightweight
- The nailer comes with adjustable tip and gives two operating modes
- The nail gun is easy and comfortable to use
We also need to remind the cons:
- The hook is on the right side, which makes it a bit uncomfortable for the right-handed user
- You need a special order for the 33-degree nails
Despite the minor issues, the nail gun is still a versatile, strong and long lasting tool that any carpenter should have.
If you want freedom on the move when you’re working, a cordless nail gun gives you both speed and efficiency. The Hitachi NR90GR2 3.5-Inch Gas Powered Plastic Strip Collated Cordless Framing Nailer Gun is a good example on how you can get high quality and materials for a decent price.
The nail gun is gas powered which means high portability, no compressor or air hoses needed. The tool operates on a fuel rod and cordless battery. The indicator light tells if when it’s time to charge the battery so you don’t have any surprises.
As we talked about efficiency, we need to specify that the nail gun drives up to 2 nails per second and 1000 in one hour. It’s also able to fire almost 4,000 shots on a single charge. The nail gun fires up to 3.5-inch by 0.131-inch round-head nails.
The nail gun is also highly versatile and you may use it for various materials, in various jobs thanks to the adjustable depth of drive nosepiece. You may use it for fencing, framing, punch-out work and so much more.
The nail gun is easy to use and to load. The two-step nail-loading method lets you slide the attached strip of nails into the magazine. You simply release the feeder afterwards so that you lock the nails tight in place.
The nail gun is lightweight and has an ergonomic design. You may use it for long time, with minimal strain for your hand and shoulder. The tool is well balanced, which explains the comfort when using it. The handle features Elastomer compound so the vibration and slippage are minimal. The collapsible rafter hook keeps the tool at ease, when not in use.
We also need to mention the compact shape of the nail gun, which makes it easy to store.
The tool comes in a carrying case that also includes the battery, the 1-hour charger and some other useful items.
The nail gun is very well made, with high quality materials and comes at a very good price.
The list of things we like the most is:
- The nail gun is lightweight and has a compact shape
- The grip is sturdy and the ergonomic design allows comfortable one-handed operation
- The tool is long lasting and reliable
- The nail gun is highly portable and versatile
We think some things could be improved:
- The shell housing parts contains lots of plastic
- The tool doesn’t work in sequential mode
- The battery life isn’t very long
Overall, for a decent price, you get a reliable, versatile and highly portable nail gun.
Giving you high portability and great performance on the job for a long time, the Paslode 902600 CF325Li Lithium Ion Cordless Framing Nailer doesn’t surprise with its features and long life at all.
The cordless framing nailer is very practical, as you need no compressor since it uses a fuel cell. The battery life lasts forever and you don’t wake up in the middle of the job, right after you started, having to recharge. In fact, the nail gun only needs an hour for a full charge and 2-minute quick charge drives up almost 200 nails. This feature is very helpful when you’re almost at the end of the job and the battery seems to be fading. The Li-Ion battery is reliable and lasts for 5 hours.
The nail gun is lightweight and easy to use. It gives a good, sturdy and comfortable grip, with minimal strain even after some time of use. And, to make things even easier on the job, the nail gun also comes with a rafter/belt hook that is very durable and takes the heavy use.
The heavy-duty nose is well made and lets you toenailing at any angle. The tool-less depth adjustment is a nice touch that helps you fire at any angle.
The nail gun is versatile and handles not only the small jobs, but also the large ones.
It’s easy to use and load the nails and the cartridges. It uses 30-degree nails, fits even in the tight spaces and doesn’t jam. It gives you accuracy when working and is highly portable.
The nail gun comes with a helpful instruction manual, a hard plastic case, battery and charger.
Let’s highlight the most important pros:
- The nail gun uses a Li-Io battery that lasts for five hours and charges in only one hour
- The nail gun is versatile and highly portable
- It gets in the tight spaces and you may fire at any angle with it
- The 2-minute quick charge drives up 200 nails
We also have some cons to mention:
- It only holds one clip of nails
- It’s a bit loud
- It only uses Paslode nails
The minor issues do not have a big say on the overall quality of the nail gun that is portable, reliable and takes the heavy-duty jobs at ease.
Get ready to take the heavy-duty jobs with a powerful nail gun like the Max CN890F Coil Framer, Red.
The nail gun very powerful, yet lightweight and may be used in many situations. It’s a great option for framing, furring, decking.
The tool has a short height design so it gets easily into tight spaces. It has a nice design that ensures comfortable use, with minimal hand and shoulder strain for long time.
The nail gun features a side load magazine so you get load fast and easy when in need. The fold out nail support ensures easy loading. The tool gives a wide range of wire collated 15-degree fasteners.
It’s easy to use the nail gun and the switchable trigger helps you get from bump fire to sequential operation. The adjustable depth of drive gives versatility to the tool, whereas the aggressive saw tooth safety with non-marring tip lets you finish the job. The end cap filter is maintenance free just as well.
The rubberized handles ensures steady and comfortable grip and the anti-double fire mechanism provides safety on the use.
As long as you keep it oiled and take good care of the nail coils, the nail gun gives great performance, for a long time, no matter how challenging the job is.
Let’s list the most important things we like on the tool:
- The nail gun takes the heavy use, for long time
- The tool has a short height and gets in tight spaces
- It’s easy and comfortable to use the tool
- The side load magazine, the anti-double fire mechanism are important details
Along with the things, we like, come the ones that could use some improvement:
- The nail gun is on the heavy side
- The balance could be better
The minor issues don’t take out of the value of the coil nail gun that is a heavy-duty tool, durable and ready to take the intense use.
The more you are willing to pay, the higher quality you expect from your framing nail gun. It’s the case of the Makita AN930H Framing Coil Nailer Features that presents many useful features and pleases even the meticulous contractor out there.
The tool is highly versatile and the 2-mode trigger helps you select which mode fits the best the current job. You can set the contact or the sequential nailing mode so you get the best results each time. The versatility is also sustained by the ability of tool to drive standard wire collated 1-3/4” to 3-1/2” nails.
The canister has a large capacity and it holds 300 nails. When in need, loading is quite easy and may be done fast just as well. The nail canister is see-through so it’s very easy for you to see when you need to reload.
The nail size adjustment gives you more efficiency on every job. The aggressive nose improves your job, giving a better control when toenailing.
The nail gun is sure strong and the Innovative High Pressure technology lets you operate at 170-320PSI, giving you a consistent flush nailing.
The tool is easy to use and the rubberized handle ensures steady, cozy grip. The tool leaves a nice feel in the hand and the strain is minimal.
In terms of ease of use, we also need to mention the tool hook that lets you keep handy the nail gun when not in use.
The nail gun takes the intense use, for a long time and the metal exhaust housing cap sustains the long life span. The no-mar tip is also designed to protect the material from accidental damage. The large rubberized bumpers sure complete the protection of the tool and expand its life span.
Let’s sum it all up and list the most important pros:
- The nail gun is made with high quality materials and takes the intense use
- The nail gun is easy to use and to load
- The hook, the 2 mode trigger, the see-through canister are features that count
- The tool takes the heavy duty jobs, for long time
In terms of things we like less, we only need to mention the price, as the tool is not on the low price zone for sure.
As it’s durable, versatile and ready to take the intense use, the nail gun makes it as a fair option for any serious contractor.
Best nail gun for framing for the money/best value
Finding a great nail gun for framing when you are on a fixed budget isn’t an easy task, but it’s not impossible either.
You can get a pretty good deal with the BOSTITCH F21PL Round Head 1-1/2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Framing Nailer that presents many good features and only few drawbacks.
The pneumatic nail gun comes with a fastener collation and makes a great choice for subflooring, sheathing, and bracing jobs and, most important, framing.
The fastener depth control lets you get exactly the depth you need on a certain job. The tool uses 1-1/2inch to 3-1/2 inch nails and is strong, giving 1,050 inch-pounds of driving power.
The versatility of the tool is ensured by the two operating modes as the tool allows you to use the bump or the sequential trigger, according to the job.
You may see the tool as a 2nailers in one as it includes two nosepieces, easy to change. You may use the tool as a framing or a metal connector.
The tool has a magnesium housing that makes it durable and resistant to heavy use. The rubber skid pads give protection, minimizing damage.
The rubber grip is sturdy and comfortable and the slippage is minimal. The adjustable rafter hook keeps the tool handy when not in use.
In terms of performances, we need to mention the tool is very accurate and ready to take the heavy-duty jobs. The positive placement tip is an important feature, for sure.
The magazine holds up to 60 plastic collated 21-degree framing nails (2.0-3.5inch) or you may use 60 metal connector nails (1.5-2.5inch). You don’t need to worry about not knowing when it’s time to reload the magazine thanks to the 16-inch layout indicator on the magazine.
In order to get the best performances, you need to use HurriQuake nails on the nail gun.
Let’s list the most important pros:
- The nail gun features quick-change nosepieces so you may use plastic-collated framing nails or metal connector nails
- The magazine is pretty large
- The tool has many useful features that ensure easy, safe and precise use
- The nail gun has a good build and takes the heavy duty use
We also have some minor issues to remind:
- The nail gun doesn’t come with a case
- The nail gun is on the loud side
- The design on the depth adjustment could be improved
- The nailer is a bit heavy
We try to see the bigger picture and not focus on the downsides and this gives us the image of a reliable, strong, long lasting nail gun up to take the heavy jobs.
Best cheap/budget nail gun for framing
Just because you don’t have it, or don’t want to spend the extra buck for a framing nail gun, it doesn’t mean you can’t find really decent tools for a quite a low price. If that’s the case for you, you can sure give it a try with the NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer that is not only versatile, but holds up for various jobs for quite some time.
The nail gun is a low-priced option for wood fencing, sub floors, wall framing and even roof decking. It features a dual- mode trigger so that you may use either the single or the sequential firing.
The tool also features a depth adjustment feature so you may set the right depth for various materials, in different jobs. The no-mar tip protects your working space.
You may use 21-degree nails that range in size from 2” to 3-1/2” plastic collated round head.
When it comes to the functional features, we also need to remind the anti-dry fire mechanism that doesn’t let you fire when you’re down to 5 nails in the magazine. We also need to mention the 360-degree adjustable exhaust that keeps the working surface clean and nice.
The tool has an ergonomic design, which ensure comfortable and steady grip. The die-cast magnesium body is durable and takes the intense use.
The driver blade is made of strong heat-treated one-piece hardened steel, so this adds up to the durability of the tool.
The nail gun doesn’t jam and features a jam removal hole, just in case.
Here are the most important pros:
- The nail has a good build and is quite durable
- The tool is versatile and you may use it for framing, roof decking, wood fencing and so on
- You may operate the single or the sequential firing
- The tool is versatile and is reliable
Of course, we have some comments to make:
- The depth adjustment doesn’t run very smooth
- The tool has no hook
- The nail gun is on the heavy weight side
All in all, for the money you pay, you get a pretty reliable, versatile and strong nail gun that helps you with many jobs.
Best overall nail gun for framing
The lightweight of the next nail gun shouldn’t mislead you as the tool is stronger than you may anticipate. The Hitachi NR83A3 2 Inch to 3-1/4-Inch Plastic Collated Full Round Head Framing Nailer is not only lightweight, but also well balanced, which gives you ease when handling it.
The tool has many useful features that ensure efficiency on your various jobs. The tool depth adjustment lets you set the depth you need on a specific drive, according to your material and job.
The tool is not only easy to use, but also easy to load, as the magazine is a 2-piece unit, made of steel for longer lifespan.
The open nose on the tool saves you when some nail jams. The tough aggressive toenail push lever takes the use for long time. We also need to remind the selective actuation (ANSI Compliant) that lets you get from single to contact actuation.
As for the grip, the tool features a rubber handle that gives you steady, cozy grip each time. The fatigue on the hand and shoulder is minimized and you get to use the nail gun for long.
The tool is able to drive 2”-3-1/4” nails, fast and precise, even when you work some tough materials.
The nail gun has a professional grade build and is ready for the most challenging jobs.
Let’s pinpoint our main pros:
- The nail gun has a professional grade build
- It’s lightweight, yet powerful and long lasting
- It’s easy to use and gets through the toughest materials
- It’s versatile and easy to load
As much as we’d like the nail gun, we still need to mention the not-so-good parts:
- The nail gun doesn’t come with a case
- The magazine could be tougher
The cons aren’t deal breakers though and we think the nail gun is a great tool to have, no matter if you’re new or experienced when it comes to using nail gun for framing.
Best nail gun for picture framing
For the hobbyist that needs a good nail gun for his/hers picture framing, a sure buy is the Meite V-NAILER SERIES V1015B Picture Frame Joiner.
The nail gun is an industrial Class tool that provides easy and durable picture and art framing. You may successfully use it for picture and door assembly for a long time.
The tool drives Meite V-nails of various sizes: 7, 10, 12, and 15 mm in diameter of 10.3 mm. It has a 200pcs capacity and it’s easy to reload when in need.
The nail gun is air-powered and needs a 100PSI for a good performance. It’s highly portable and quite powerful. It gives you good control when using it and also great flexibility.
The tool has an industrial build and takes the intense use. It’s safety pressure mechanism is efficient and helps you work safely every time.
Even though it’s rather small, the tool is not only powerful, but also versatile and reliable. It’s fast and gives you a smooth running.
The rubberized grip gives you a sturdy, yet cozy feel when using it.
The tool doesn’t need a designated workstation and you may easily store it.
Here are our most important pros:
- The tool is small, yet powerful
- It’s versatile and durable
- The nail gun is portable and easy to display
- The tool has an industrial build
Along with the good things, come those that could use improvement:
- The tool jams sometimes
- The nail depth could use more consistency
The cons aren’t deal breakers and we think the tool is a small, strong and durable option for your picture framing and more.