9 Best Finish Nailers for Your Home Improvement Needs | Reviews & Buyers Guide

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finish nailer

Chances are, you have a project that requires the use of a finish nailer. Whether you’re building a deck or simply remodeling a tired-looking staircase, your toolkit needs to include one of these guns so you can drive nails in tight spots where they’ll be virtually invisible.

For anyone who has ever done any work around the house, you know that there are a lot of different tools and power equipment to choose from. One of these items is the finish nailer, which can be used for many purposes such as installing trim or windowsills. The right finish nailer will make your project go more smoothly so it’s important to research what kind you need before they buy one.

However, when it comes time to buy one for yourself there’s no shortage of options on the market and choosing just one can get confusing fast. That’s why we’ve done all the hard work for you! In this article, we will review 9 different finish nailers with an accompanying buyer’s guide that should help narrow down your search to find the perfect model for your home improvement needs.


Here’s a rundown of what we cover in this best finish nailers review article:

  • First, we compare our top 9 models against each other in a comparison table. Ideal if you have little time!
  • Next, we explain their main features and benefits you’ll find handy
  • Then, we share their drawbacks we think you need to know
  • And finally, our buying guide will provide all the extra considerations you need so you can buy the right model

How does that sound? Great, let’s get started!

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Best Finish Nailers | Compared

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Related Reading: Brad Nailer Vs Finish Nailer: Which Nail Gun is Right for You?

 


9 Best Finish Nailers | Reviews

 

1. Metabo HPT Pneumatic Finish Nailer Kit (Best Overall)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Safety Glasses, 1/4″ NPT Male Plug, No-Mar Tip, Carrying Case included
  • Durable
  • Award-winning pneumatic nailer
  • Dust & exhaust control feature
Cons
  • Expensive

 

2. WEN (Model 61764) Pneumatic Straight Finish Nailer 16 Gauge (Best Value)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • 2-year warranty
Cons
  • Lacks the power to set nails deep

 

3. BOSTITCH Finish Nailer Kit (Model BTFP71917)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • 7-year warranty
  • Compact finishing nail gun
  • Accurate nail depth
  • Extra no-mar tips included
Cons
  • Prone to jamming

 

4. PORTER-CABLE Straight Finish Nailer (Model PCC792LA)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Cordless
  • 3-year warranty
  • Battery and charger included
Cons
  • Expensive

 

5. Ryobi P325 One+ Cordless Finish Nailer

Related Reading: Ryobi P197 Lithium Ion Battery Review | A Superior Upgrade?

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • ONE+ compatible
  • Cordless
  • Affordable
  • Excellent productivity on one charge
Cons
  • Battery not included
  • Heavy

 

6. DEWALT (Model DCN650D1) Cordless Angled Finish Nailer Kit

Related Reading: Best DeWALT Impact Driver 2021 – Reviews and Buyers Guide

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Brushless motor
  • Micro nose improves line of vision
  • Excellent run time
  • On-the-go vehicle charging
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Heavy

 

7. NuMax SL31 Pneumatic Finish Nail Gun

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Versatile
  • Lightweight
  • 1-year warranty
Cons
  • Not as durable

 

8. 3PLUS (Model HCBTF3SP) Pneumatic Nail Gun Combo Kit

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Ideal beginner set
  • Jam prevention feature
Cons
  • Less power
  • DIY use only
  • Lacks long-term durability

 

9. Makita (Model AF635) 15 Gauge Angled Finish Nailer

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Dry fire tech
  • Well made
  • Reliable
Cons
  • Won’t use the entire stack of nails
  • Sinking nails is tricky

 


Video: Tips for Using a Finish Nailer

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Finish Nailer Buying Guide

Buyers are often faced with the task of choosing between many different brands, models, and types. With so much variety to choose from it may be difficult for you to decide by yourself.

That is why we have created this handy buyer’s guide to help narrow down your choices. With this buying guide, you’ll learn what to look for in a good nailer long before taking out your wallet!

finish nailer
PORTER-CABLE (Credit: Amazon)

What is a finish nailer?

A finish nailer is a powerful tool that drives nails through various materials. These tools are often used in carpentry or trim work to fasten small pieces together. Finish nailers have evolved and can now be fitted with different air compressors for convenient use, but with the advancement in battery technology, cordless models are a popular choice.

To make a project look more professional, you may want to invest in a finish nailer. These tools are specifically designed for those projects that require nice and pretty finishes like cabinets or countertops. They will help put the finishing touches on your work before it’s done so everything looks perfect when completed!

Finish nailers are available in many different sizes and styles. Some of the basic features to consider when purchasing a finish nailer include ease of use, weight, positioning options, power level, and durability. Finish nailers also come with a variety of nails which means you can customize your tool specifically for what type of project you’re doing.

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Pneumatic finish nailers

One of the most powerful nailers is the pneumatic finish nailer. It can be powered by an air compressor, which provides a lot of power for difficult projects and multiple shots in quick succession. The downside? They’re not as easy to transport or maneuver around; they also cost more than cordless options like electric-powered models do.

A single compressor can provide enough energy to charge up to three different tools simultaneously which saves time and effort on any project! Pneumatic nailers are a good option for those who need power, want to work on difficult projects without sacrificing quality, and/or don’t mind paying more. However, this may not be the best choice if you’re working by yourself or trying to save money.

Electric finish nailers

One of the best choices for beginners and those on a budget is an electric finish nailer. They are very easy to use, typically less expensive than pneumatic models, but they just don’t offer as much power or versatility. That said, if you need something lightweight and inexpensive this can be a good choice!

Electric nailers are the perfect tool for trimming and finishing projects. Powered by electricity, they come in two varieties: corded units or battery-powered variants. Corded models offer lighter weight but require a mains power source to be available at all times; meanwhile, batteries make these tools heavier with continual upkeep needed over time as it often requires recharging before you can use them again due to their limited capacity.

In conclusion, electric finish nailer models will depend on your individual preferences between weight and portability. The convenience of movement throughout different spaces, without access to an electrical outlet while still getting results that need accurate placement from where nails should go.

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Gas-powered finish nailers

If you’re a contractor who needs to use max power, consider a gas-powered nail gun. Though they are noisy and expensive, these portable powerhouses can give you all the punch that an air or electrical model won’t provide. Keep in mind though – because they rely on a mix of butane and propane as fuel for operation – that maintenance costs should be expected.

Gas-powered nailers use a mix of propane and butane gas in a pressurized container and are ignited by a spark powered by the onboard battery.

pin nailer
3PLUS HCBTF3SP (Credit: Amazon)

Weight

Finish nailers vary in weight a lot. For example, some of the ones we reviewed weighed between 3 and 10 pounds. You’ll want to go for lighter-weight models if your project is larger or longer than average (or any other factor). Otherwise, it’s going to be hard on both you AND your schedule since they’re not as easy on our arms after a while, plus there will always be times when breaks are needed too which can set back a timeline quickly.

Magazine type

The nailer’s magazine is the holder for nails; it supplies them to the device when you push down on its firing mechanism. There are two types of magazines: Stick and Coil, which differ in their capacity, convenience-level (Stick being more inconvenient than Coil), as well as price point.

Stick magazines are more compact than their counterpart but, typically, hold fewer nails at any given time; whereas coil magazines take up considerably more space but provide for an endless supply to be accessed when needed!

The benefits for choosing either type depend heavily on what kind of work you’ll be doing; if it’s small projects like putting up shelves then a Stick magazine is great because there aren’t many nails needed (stick magazines generally store about 30). But, when working on more involved projects such as building cabinetry where loads of nails are needed, getting a Coil option will save you from reloading every few minutes!

Ultimately, your choice will depend largely on what you’re using your nail gun for and how much room there is to work with it – so consider all these factors before making a purchase decision!

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Nail gauge

A nail gauge is a number assigned to nails, which indicates the size of a nail and what they are capable of holding. A larger gauge number means smaller diameter; larger nails can hold more material as well as penetrate harder materials (wood) faster than their counterparts.

15-23 gauge refers to how thin or thick your finish nailers need to be depending on what type of project you’ll be working on – but don’t worry too much about getting lost in all those numbers.

For those who are just starting as amateurs or hobbyists, we would suggest purchasing 15 gauge finish nailers because they can be used on thinner nails but still work well if thicker ones pop up. However, depending on the task at hand (building furniture vs building roof shingles) there may be different requirements, so don’t forget to do some research before making any purchase decisions.

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Finish nailer jams

The most common problem with a finish nail gun, or any similar power tool, is jamming. Some people say that the way to fix this problem is simple – just smack it on the ground and all will be well again. This usually goes about as well for someone smacking their computer screen if they have an issue with their monitor!

To avoid nail jams as best you can, it’s helpful to choose a model that has the ability for easy access and quick clean-up.

Nailers are designed with various features in mind, but few models offer all of them – which is why picking one out may be an overwhelming task. One feature worth considering when making your decision is how easily accessible the input system on the said tool will be should jamming occur at some point down the road.

If not taken care of quickly this could lead to more serious problems like jammed nails inside framing members or excessive wear-and-tear on both machine parts and operator’s hands alike.

No-mar tips

Have you ever had a nail gun scratch up your work? With most modern nailers, this is no longer an issue. No-mar tips are now standard on many guns so that even if the end of the barrel grazes against something while firing nails into it, there will be no damage to finish results. If you have any doubts about what these features might mean for future projects though, read through all product information carefully before buying a finishing nailer!

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Warranty

A nailer is a relatively pricey tool, so it’s important to protect your investment by ensuring that any purchase comes with the appropriate warranties. It can be difficult to compare these features when shopping online however because different manufacturers use different terminology in their descriptions. Some of the most common terms you may see are “lifetime warranty” or “limited lifetime warranty” or they specify the period in years.

For example, a lifetime warranty could last the lifespan of the product–usually 20-30 years. A limited lifetime means that it is only valid for a certain period or it only covers certain aspects of the tool. Fair wear and tear are likely to be excluded, as well as deliberate damage or negligence. And finally, a specified time limit usually means something like “within one year” or “during three months”, but you may need to register the tool with the manufacturer within a period after purchase, to be eligible for the warranty.

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Conclusion

Our Best Overall choice went to the Metabo HPT Finish Nailer Kit. This is a professional power tool for installing crown molding, baseboard trim, and casings. The NT65MA4 accepts 1-1/4″ to 2-1/2″ nails which means that you’ll never run out of them! This nailer also comes with an air duster so your work site stays nice and clean.

The Best Value award went to the WEN 61764 Pneumatic Straight Finish Nailer can shoot both contact and sequential nails, making it perfect for a variety of jobs. The depth adjustment wheel makes this nail gun easy to use by novice users while still being useful to experienced professionals who can make precise adjustments quickly with the handle’s trigger-operated lubrication feature. Plus, an included carrying case will neatly store your nailer so it is always handy in a pinch!


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Here are our favorite pin nailers

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Walter Snyder