5 Best Palm Nailers of 2018 – Palm Nailer Reviews
Palm nailers are becoming increasingly popular both at home and in professional carpentry workshops. They offer superior accuracy and control over the nailing process in tight spots that no other power nailer can rival. If you are on the market for a palm nailer, we rounded up some of the best palm nailers for the money. Hopefully, it will help you get a good model that fits your need.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Palm Nailer?
- What Is Palm Nailer Used for?
- 5 Best Palm Nailers - Reviews
- What to Look for When Buying a Palm Nailer
What Is a Palm Nailer?
As their name suggests, a palm nailer is a nailer that fits right in your palm. It is not meant for speed, but rather for accuracy and control when nailing in tight areas.
Most power nails guns like brad nailers, framing nailers and so on uses nail collation. What this means is that a thin layer of either plastic, metal or paper glues the nails together so that they can be served quickly in the form of a nail strip from the magazine to the nail gun nose.
With a palm nailer, you drive individual and regular carpenter nails, one by one just as you would with the traditional nail and hammer - but in a much easier way.
What Is Palm Nailer Used for?
The ideal use of a palm nailer is where you do not need repetitive nailing in very tight and hard to reach areas. Contractors, homeowners and DIY enthusiasts use the palm nailer to get a wide variety of nailing tasks done every day. Technically any job that requires the precision of a nail and hammer can equally be accomplished with a palm nailer. Jobs like fencing, placing door swings, decking, fencing and basically any common nailing tasks can easily be performed with the palm nailer.
Furthermore, some materials are just too delicate to work with a framing nailer, which is where the palm nailer comes in handy. The brad nailer which equally specializes in delicate nailing is simply too big for tight areas. The palm nailer is much smaller than other power nailing tools and does not require the swing distance of a regular hammer, or large spaces to fit in, making it the go-to tool when nailing in very tight areas.
5 Best Palm Nailers - Reviews
Without further ado, here is our review of some of the best palm nailers available on the internet today.
1. Bostitch PN100K Palm Nailer Kit
2. Porter-Cable PN650 Palm Nailer Kit
3. Bostitch PN50 Mini Impact Nailer
4. Freeman PMPN Mini-Palm Nailer
5. Senco PC0781 Pneumatic Palm Nailer
#1. Bostitch PN100K Palm Nailer Kit
Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)
The Bostitch PN100K is delivered as a complete kit that allows you to get started right away. It comes with 3 hardened-steel magnetic noses of different sizes, lubricant oil, an Allen wrench and even includes a carry case. If this if your first time working with a palm nailer, this “kit” is an excellent first purchase.
The nose dive(s) allows you to use nails of different lengths when doing different nailing tasks. It is one of the rare palm nailers that can drive a 5 inches in material, making it very versatile and unique.
Additionally, it can easily reach small recesses that are impossible to nail with other power tools - not even with a hammer. The PN100K operates with a comfortable 70-100 PSI and most average-grade air compressors can provide that without breaking a sweat.
What we like the most about this unit is its ability to perform both sequential and contact mode firing. All you need to do is flick the trigger switch to change mode. Neat. It holds well in the hand and comfortable to use for long hours due to its ergonomic design and weight of 2.9 lbs. Bostitch even includes comfy leather gloves with this kit.
- 3 nose sizes made of magnetic hardened-steel. Can drive nails of 5 inches in length.
- Ergonomic design.
- Works in both sequential and bump mode.
- Comes with magnetic nose
- Many accessories since it is sold as a “kit”.
- Includes a carry case
- No depth adjustment
- No dry fire lockout
Who should buy?
Since it is delivered as a “kit”, it means that you will get all accessories you need to get started right out of the box. If you have never owned a palm nailer before and this is your first purchase, this is a great model to consider. Additionally, it can drive 5 inches nails making it an excellent choice for those who regularly work with long nails. The sequential and bump mode change is also a unique feature rarely seen in palm nailers. In our opinion, this model is by far the best palm nailer in this review.
#2. Porter-Cable PN650 Palm Nailer Kit
Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)
This palm nailer is one of the most popular models today. It has strong ergonomic features and powerful/accurate enough to be a full replacement of your regular nail and hammer. This model is delivered with 4 nose tips. The magnetic noses can drive regular 3d - 16d nails while the standard nose works comfortably with nails of up to 70d.
What we like about this unit is the versatility, mostly because of the magnetic nose. It can tackle regular nailing of 70d nails as well as nail 3d finishing nails with the steel hammer nose with great accuracy and delicacy.
Its is not the lightest model at 4.5 lbs, far from it, but feels well-balanced in the hand. The ergonomic design along with the comfortable glove makes it very comfortable to work with in all positions despite its "heavy" weight.
This is a versatile palm nailer that can accomplish a wide range of nailing tasks, and work with an even wider range of carpentry nails - 3d up to 70d.
- 4 nose tips for more versatility.
- Can drive 3d to 70d carpentry nails.
- Ergonomic design and feels well-balanced in the hand.
- More expensive
Who should buy?
If you require a very versatile palm nailer that can accomplish both finish nailing with 3d nails as well as regularly work with 70d nails, this is an excellent choice that will not disappoint.
#3. Bostitch PN50 Mini Impact Nailer
Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)
This palm nailer is one of the lightest models we know of. It is very easy to work in confined spaces and the ultra-lightweight means that there is no possibility of hand fatigue.
We like the rubbery plastic coating on the palm rest area. It is non-skid and very comfortable to hold. It also retrofits as an insulator and does a great job keeping the heat away from your palm under "heavy-duty" nailing.
Bostitch engineered a 360-degree air swivel in this model which makes it much more maneuverable. Coupled with the 1lbs weight, this model is a pleasure to work with, especially in very tight areas and awkward positions. Best, the front air exhaust keeps oil and debris from spilling on your nailing area, which is a big plus. All in all, this model is superior than others when it comes to nailing in awkward positions.
- The lightest palm nailer we know of at only 1 lbs.
- Comfortable to hold and easy to work in small areas
- 360-degree air swivel
- Front-air exhaust
- Not as powerful as other models in this review
Who should buy?
The lightweight of this model makes it ideal to work in tight spots and odd angles. It better suited for finish nailing on low-density material.
#4. Freeman PMPN Mini-Palm Nailer
Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)
The Freeman PMPN is one of the smallest, most affordable and most compact palm nailer in the review. It measures a puny 2.75 x 5 x 4.375 inches and weighs only 1.23 lbs. It is incredibly lightweight, especially when compared to the Porter-Cable PN650 but loses by a few ounces to the Bostitch PN50. Ironically, its small size can be deceiving as it does a very good job driving nails of 6d to 16d up to 3.5 inches in relatively tough material.
The soft palm rest is coated with rubber and general ergonomic form factor makes it very comfortable to hold and work with. For such a small palm nailer, it feels solid and right in the hand. Users with very large hands might not work comfortably with this model, but it should fit most people like a glove.
- Very lightweight at 1.23 lbs.
- Very small. It easily reaches small recesses
- Nails most carpenter nails of 6d - 16d up to 3.5 inches
- Not the most comfortable with people with very large hands.
Who should buy?
If you work mostly in very tight spots and require a power tool that can nail there, there is not palm nailer smaller than the Freeman PMPN that we know of. It only works with 6d carpenter nails so it is not the best palm nailer for finish work. We recommend it mostly for those looking for a general purpose nailer in small areas.
#5. Senco PC0781 Pneumatic Palm Nailer
Editor's Rating: (4.1 / 5)
The Senco PC0781 has been a reference palm nailer for years. It has been endorsed by many professional carpenters and newbies alike. That is simply because it just works. It is a little bit more expensive that other palm nailers in this review, but it is built to last and feels very well-balanced in the hand. It is not the lightest palm nailer at 2.5 lbs but remains very maneuverable and its small size of 4 x 3.2 x 5.8 inches can easily reach tight spots.
Additionally, the magnetic nose works well with a wide range of carpenter nails from 5d to 70d. It is more than suitable for any type of nailing tasks, whether it is for finishing jobs or regular nailing.
- Durable and quality construction.
- Leather grip for secure hold.
- Magnetic nail nose
- Rubber palm rest makes it comfortable to hold and ergonomic shape reduces hand fatigue.
- Works with 5d up to 70d carpentry nails.
- Comes with only 1 magnetic nose dive
Who should buy?
If you are looking for a compact palm nailer that is comfortable and packs a punch, the Senco PC0781 is your ideal candidate. It can work with 5d to 70d nails with equal ease and it feels great in the hand despite its 2.5 lbs weight. It is durable and should last you quite a while even if used every day.
What to Look for When Buying a Palm Nailer
- Power - Most of the heavy-lifting in a palm nailer is done by the air compressor. To ensure that you get the most out of your palm nailer, you need a decent quality air compressor that can output at least 50 - 125 PSI. This is the "sweet spot" for palm nailers.
- Nail Size - Your choice for a palm nailer is directly related to the nail size you plan to use. Most palm nailers will comfortably work with smaller carpentry nails but if you want to shoot 3.5 inches nails in material, you’re better off going with a more powerful model.
- Magnetic Mose Dive - It is important that your palm nailer has a magnetic nose. This holds the nail firm in position pre-nailing and prevents it from falling. A magnetic nose is especially helpful when you want to nail in awkward positions and tight spaces, where you cannot afford losing your nails.
- Size - The shape and size of your nailer plays an important role that helps limit hand fatigue. You need a palm nailer that is appropriate for your hand size. If you have larger than average hands, going with a mini palm nailer is not the best choice. Try one that is a little bit larger (even if it is heavier) for a more comfortable fit.
- Ergonomics - To limit hand fatigue, your palm nailer must have an ergonomic shape that marries your hand. Furthermore, rubber domes and leather straps are nice additions that make it even more comfortable to work with in the long term. It limits hand fatigue by placing less pressure on your muscles.
- Brand: Always go with a branded model when buying palm nailers. You get the guaranteed and reassurance that your model is made from quality materials, and built to last.
- Security - While not necessarily the most important feature when shopping for a palm nailer, it is always beneficial to get a model that has a security feature like a trigger lock mechanism. It may prevent injuries or material damage, especially if other people often use your palm nailer.
That’s a wrap! As we have seen, the palm nailer is a great replacement for your traditional hammer and nail as it works with almost all carpentry nails. It performs intricate and accurate nailing in tight places that a framing nailer and other nailing gun types can't. Indeed, it is a very handy power tool to have in the workshop and its affordable price makes it an even easier purchase decision. If you have not found the best palm nailer for your need yet, go through our palm nailer review one more time.