10 Best Framing Nailers – Reviews & Buying Guide

Best Framing Nailer

When you are working on a project that requires you to nail large pieces of wood and boards fast and do it accurately, the framing nailer is always the perfect tool for the job.

Framing nailers are designed to make a carpenter’s or woodworker’s job much easier by eliminating the need to use a hammer.

And they are intended for use on quick and high-powered wood projects, unlike other smaller and less powerful nailers that are more ideal for precision work.

Framing nailers are the heaviest duty nailers when you compare them to the many other types and they will save you a lot of time and energy.

These nailers will be handy for everything from building a house to making a chicken coop or doghouse. But, you still need to choose the best framing nailer from the many brands and models out there.

Our detailed guide below highlights some of the vital things you need to know about these powerful nailers, and also provides detailed reviews 10 of the best-rated framing nailers.

You can also read other nail gun reviews such as flooring nailer, finish nailerbrad nailerroofing nailerpin nailersiding nailerpalm nailer. If you search for top-notch framing nailers, here are some reviews that I recommend you to read like Hitachi framing nailer, Bostitch framing nailer, Bostitch F21PL, Paslode 902600, Hitachi NR83A3, Bostitch F28WW, Porter Cable FR350B, DeWalt DCN692M1

Product Name

Power Source

Nail Capacity

Magazine Angle

Weight

Rating

Current Price

1. NuMax SFR2190 Framing Nailer

Pneumatic

55

21º

8.5 lbs

4.4

2. Hitachi NR90AES1 Plastic Collated Framing Nailer

Pneumatic

64

21º

7.5 lbs

4.5

3. Bostitch F21PL Round Head Framing Nailer

Pneumatic

60

21º

8.1 lbs

4.2

4. Freeman PFR2190 Full-Head Framing Nailer

Pneumatic

55

21º

8.5 lbs

4.2

5. Hitachi NV90AGS Coil Framing Nailer

Pneumatic

200-300

16º

7.7 lbs

4.2

6. Paslode 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer

Battery-powered

30

30º

7.2 lbs

4.7

7. Bostitch F28WW Framing Nailer

Pneumatic

100

28º

7.6 lbs

3.9

8. Paslode PF350S Clipped Head Framing Nailer

Pneumatic

84

30º

10.1 lbs

4.6

9. Hitachi NR1890DR Brushless Framing Nailer

Battery-powered

37

21º

10.1 lbs

4.3

10. Porter-Cable FR350B Full Round Framing Nailer

Pneumatic

60

22º

7.3 lbs

4.0

#1. NuMax SFR2190 Framing Nailer

Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)

NuMax SFR2190 Framing Nailer
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Nail Capacity: 55
  • Magazine Angle: 21º
  • Weight: 8.5 lbs

NuMax SFR2190 is the cheapest item on our framing nailer reviews but it still performs as good as many others that cost double the price or even more.

It is a pneumatic framing nailer with a 21-degree magazine and it comes with a dual mode trigger that makes it possible to select single or sequential firing which can be very convenient.

The framing nailer allows for depth adjustment to ensure that you can choose how far you want to drive your nails depending on the project or the material.

The NuMax SFR2190 also has a 360-degree adjustable exhaust to help keep air away from the user's face and to blow away debris, and an anti-dry fire mechanism to prevent internal tool damage.

Other things like the no-mar tip that protects the surface from scratches and ergonomic grip also help to make this a great framing nailer.

Pros:

  • Dual-mode trigger
  • Easy depth adjustment
  • No-mar tip
  • Anti-dry fire mechanism
  • 360-degree adjustable exhaust

Cons:

  • Does not comes with a carry case or hanging hook

#2. Hitachi NR90AES1 Plastic Collated Framing Nailer

Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)

Hitachi NR90AES1 Plastic Collated Framing Nailer
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Nail Capacity: 64
  • Magazine Angle: 21º
  • Weight: 7.5 lbs

Hitachi makes some of the best air framing nailers, and their model NR90AES1 will not disappoint you whether you are using it for professional or DIY projects.

Like most other high-performing framing nailers, it has selective actuation which means that you can easily switch between bump and sequential firing depending on the project.

It is also a relatively lightweight framing nailer as it only weighs 7.5 pounds. And both depth adjustment and jam clearing are fast and easy, and you will not need any tools for either.

Reloading the nailer is a quick and easy process that only involves two steps, and the new design of the head guard makes disassembly quick for easy maintenance.

The rubber grip is also very comfortable and also provides a secure hold of the tool to make it easier to control.

Pros:

  • Allows for both bump and sequential firing
  • Tool-less depth adjustment
  • Quick and easy reloading
  • Comfortable and secure rubber grip
  • Fast and easy jam clearing

Cons:

  • No built-in hanging hook

#3. Bostitch F21PL Round Head Framing Nailer

Editor's Rating: (4.2 / 5)

Bostitch F21PL Round Head Framing Nailer​
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Nail Capacity: 60
  • Magazine Angle: 21º
  • Weight: 8.1 lbs

The two quick-change nosepieces that you get when you buy the Bostitch F21PL are some of the many things that make this a special framing nailer. These nosepieces make it possible to use the tool both for framing and metal applications.

It is also a well-built framing nailer with a lightweight and highly durable magnesium body. And it uses a 21-degree magazine with a capacity of 60 nails.

This framing nailer has a dual mode trigger that allows you to choose whether to use sequential or bump firing, and a simple push-button depth adjustment

Also, it will come with an adjustable hook to make it possible to hang it on rafters or joists when not in use, and it is backed by a 7-year manufacturer warranty.

Pros:

  • Lightweight magnesium housing
  • Dual mode trigger
  • Easy depth adjustment
  • Quick-change nosepieces
  • 7-year manufacturer warranty

Cons:

  • Quite prone to nail jamming

#4. Freeman PFR2190 Full-Head Framing Nailer

Editor's Rating: (4.2 / 5)

Freeman PFR2190 Full-Head Framing Nailer
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Nail Capacity: 55
  • Magazine Angle: 21º
  • Weight: 8.5 lbs

If you tend to do a lot of wall sheathing, pallet building or siding installation you will be happy to have the Freeman PFR1290 framing nailer around as it can be very useful.

It is the second most affordable item on our list. Given its impressive built quality and performance, it is the best framing nailer for the money as you will hardly get anything better without spending more.

This high-performing framing nailer has an interchangeable trigger that allows you to choose whether to use single or contact firing, and the depth is adjustable to make it ideal for various applications.

The no-mar tip ensures that you will not damage the workpiece while the 360-degree adjustable exhaust helps to direct air away from the user, and there is also a useful anti-dry fire mechanism.

You can also be confident that you will be using this framing nailer for many years to come as the manufacturer provides a 7-year limited warranty.

Pros:

  • Interchangeable trigger
  • Adjustable depth and anti-dry fire
  • No-mar tip
  • 360-degree adjustable exhaust
  • 7-year limited warranty

Cons:

  • Might not be very effective in sinking longer nails

#5. Hitachi NV90AGS Coil Framing Nailer

Editor's Rating: (4.2 / 5)

Hitachi NV90AGS Coil Framing Nailer
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Nail Capacity: 200-300
  • Magazine Angle: 16º
  • Weight: 7.7 lbs

As you are shopping for a good framing nailer, it is always a great idea to go for something from a highly reputable brand like the NV90AGS coil framing nailer from Hitachi.

This Hitachi framing nailer has the highest nail capacity on our list as it can hold between 200 and 300 nails. The higher magazine capacity minimizes the need to reload and hence means less downtime.

For a coil-framing nailer, it is also relatively lightweight. It also feels well-balanced which makes easy to maneuver and minimizes hand fatigue.

This nailer allows for quick and tool-less depth adjustment and the open nose design makes jam clearing also fast and easy.

Reloads are also fast and easy as it uses a side load, tilt bottom magazine, and the rubber grip will provide a secure and comfortable grip.

Pros:

  • Higher nail capacity
  • Relatively lightweight and well-balanced
  • Tool-less depth adjustment
  • Fast and easy reloading
  • Easy jam removal

Cons:

  • Does not take plastic coil nails

#6. Paslode 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer

Editor's Rating: (4.7 / 5)

Paslode 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer
  • Power Source: Battery-powered
  • Nail Capacity: 30
  • Magazine Angle: 30º
  • Weight: 7.2 lbs

Despite the Paslode 905600 being a battery-powered framing nailer, it is still the lightest framing nailer on our list. And so you can be sure of easy control and minimal hand fatigue when using it.

However, it is also the priciest on our list and has the smallest nail capacity which means it will require more frequent reloading.

This framing nailer also has a rubber grip handle to make it even more comfortable to operate. But, the significantly longer battery life is what many users will love as it will shoot up to an impressive 9,000 nails per charge.

Also, it only takes about 1-1/2 hours to charge but there is also a fast 2-minute charging when you do not intend to fire more than 200 nails. And this reduces downtimes significantly to help cement its places as one of the best cordless framing nailers out there.

The lithium-ion battery, charger, wrenches and carrying case are all included in the package to make this framing nailer ready for immediate use.

Pros:

  • Comfortable rubber grip handle
  • Tool-free depth adjustment
  • Longer battery life and fast charging
  • Battery and charger included
  • Relatively lightweight

Cons:

  • Significantly more expensive
  • Small nail capacity

#7. Bostitch F28WW Framing Nailer

Editor's Rating: (3.9 / 5)

Bostitch F28WW Framing Nailer
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Nail Capacity: 100
  • Magazine Angle: 28º
  • Weight: 7.6 lbs

The easy to use Bostitch F28WW is a very useful power tool when it comes to siding, decking and general framing projects.

It is a 28-degree magazine nailer that is easy to control and maneuver and with a relatively higher nail capacity as it will accommodate up to 100 nails.

With the dual mode trigger, you also get to choose whether to use sequential or bump firing and the push button adjustable depth guide means you get to choose how far to drive the nails.

The lightweight and highly durable magnesium body will also make this a great tool. And because the manufacturers are sure that it will last, they will provide a 7-year limited warranty.

Pros:

  • Easy and convenient depth adjustment
  • Dual firing mode trigger
  • Durable and lightweight magnesium housing
  • Relatively higher nail capacity
  • 7-year manufacturer warranty

Cons:

  • Truss hook is made from cheap plastic

#8. Paslode PF350S Clipped Head Framing Nailer

Editor's Rating: (4.6 / 5)

Paslode PF350S Clipped Head Framing Nailer
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Nail Capacity: 84
  • Magazine Angle: 30º
  • Weight: 10.1 lbs

For the woodworkers and carpenters that prefer to use the full head nails for their projects, the Paslode PF350S will be a great buy.

The framing nailer features a tough and more rugged construction to ensure that it can withstand regular use and the occasional falls or bumps into things. And it is also fitted with an equally durable driver blade.

Paslode PF350S uses a switchable trigger that makes it quick and easy to move between sequential and bump firing depending on the project requirements.

Also, it has a dry fire lockout mechanism to prevent firing when the magazine is empty and comfortable rubber grip to minimize hand fatigue.

Pros:

  • Tough and rugged construction
  • Dry fire lockout
  • Switchable trigger
  • Comfortable rubber grip
  • More durable driver blade

Cons:

  • Relatively heavy
  • Quite expensive

#9. Hitachi NR1890DR Cordless Brushless Framing Nailer

Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)

Hitachi NR1890DR Cordless Brushless Framing Nailer
  • Power Source: Battery-powered
  • Nail Capacity: 37
  • Magazine Angle: 21º
  • Weight: 10.1 lbs

If you want to get the efficiency of a pneumatic framing nailer without having to deal with hoses and air compressors, the Hitachi NR1890DR is what you need to buy.

It uses a unique air spring drive system that performs as good as a pneumatic model with no ramp-up time and faster nailing which helps to make this one of the best battery framing nailers.

The more efficient brushless motor provides longer run times for every charge while also requiring less maintenance and ensuring a longer tool life.

Hitachi NR1890DR allows for fast and tool-less depth-of-drive adjustment to make it ideal for various applications. And it also has a selective actuation trigger that makes it possible to switch between bump and sequential fire mode,

The dry fire lockout mechanism is also a great feature as it will ensure the framing nailer does not fire any nails when the magazine is almost empty which provides added safety.

Pros:

  • More efficient brushless motor
  • Zero ramp-up time
  • Tool-less depth adjustment
  • Selective actuation trigger
  • Dry fire lockout

Cons:

  • Smaller nail capacity
  • Relatively pricey

#10. Porter-Cable FR350B Full Round Framing Nailer

Editor's Rating: (4 / 5)

Porter-Cable FR350B Full Round Framing Nailer
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Nail Capacity: 60
  • Magazine Angle: 22º
  • Weight: 7.3 lbs

Although the Porter-Cable FR350B looks rather basic, it is still well-built and with many fantastic features that help to make it one of the best pneumatic framing nailers out there.

The 22-degree angled magazine nailer weighs just 7.3 pounds which makes it one of the lightest items on our list, and it has a nail capacity of 60 which is not very low.

This pneumatic framing nailer has a selectable trigger to make it possible to switch between sequential and bump firing. And it also has a low nail lockout mechanism to enhance safety.

The tool-free depth of drive adjustment helps with proper setting of the nail heads and also makes this nailer ideal for various projects and for use on different materials.

Also, it has an overmolded grip that makes it comfortable to hold and will also improve control. And there is reversible rafter hook for hanging the tool when not in use.

Pros:

  • Tool-free adjustable depth
  • Selective trigger mode
  • Low nail lockout mechanism
  • Comfortable overmolded grip
  • Reversible rafter hook included

Cons:

  • Will not come with a carry case

Types of Framing Nailer

Your hunt for a good framing nailer that will help in your projects should always start by understanding the different types in the market. And the two most common types are pneumatic and cordless framing nailers.

#1. Pneumatic Framing Nailer

Pneumatic Framing Nailer

Pneumatic framing nailers are operated by an air compressor and so if you do not already have one you will need to buy it to use these nailers.

They are generally more powerful than the cordless types and also more efficient as the air compressor provides a consistent and reliable supply of power.

Because they do not have a battery, they are generally lighter than the cordless types, and will also not require regular recharging which often leads to more downtimes.

Pneumatic framing nailers are great for daily use and for heavy-duty projects like house building.

However, they can be quite inconvenient to use because you have to drag the compressor around, and there is also a hose to deal with. Also, the need for a compressor means higher operating costs and maintenance.

Pros:

  • More powerful
  • Highly efficient
  • Lightweight
  • No recharging required

Cons:

  • Higher operation costs
  • Limited portability

#2. Cordless Framing Nailers

Cordless Framing Nailers

Cordless framing nailers will in most cases rely on batteries as their source of power. And this means that you can only use them for as long as the battery can hold the charge if you do not have an extra battery pack.

But, it is also important to note that the gas-powered framing nailers that are not very common can still be classified as cordless framing nailers. They also do not have a cord or hose linking them to the power source.

The cordless framing nailers offer the convenience of being able to use them almost anywhere provided the batteries have charge. And you will never have to drag weighty air compressors around or worry about getting tripped by a hose.

Since you will not need an air compressor, there is no additional cost to incur when using the cordless framing nailers, and they generally require less maintenance.

However, the presence of the battery makes them relatively heavier and also leads to more and longer downtimes as you have to recharge it often

Pros:

  • Highly portable
  • Require less maintenance
  • Relatively cheaper to operate

Cons:

  • Longer and more downtimes
  • Relatively heavier

Buying Advice: If you are looking for something more powerful for daily use or for heavy-duty and large-scale projects, the pneumatic framing nailer is the best choice.

The cordless framing nailers, on the other hand, are a more appropriate buy for those that want something portable for use in different work sites. And also those that hate having to drag an air compressor around or deal with a hose.

How to Buy Framing Nailers

How to Buy Framing Nailers

A framing nailer might be a very handy tool to have around but like with any other power tool all are not the same, and they will differ in much more than the brand. To make sure that you get a top framing nailer for your projects, you need to consider the following crucial things.

#1. Stick or Coil Magazine

The magazine is what holds the nails that you are using to join your wood pieces or boards, and so it is an essential part of the framing nailer. Framing nailers are available in different magazine styles but the two most common ones are stick and coil-style magazines.

Stick Magazine

The stick magazine framing nailers will use nails that come in long strips and they often have a relatively smaller nail capacity than those that use the coil-style magazines.

However, the arrangement of the nails means that framing nailers that use stick-style magazines will have a more even weight distribution. And so they will provide a better balance than those with coil-style magazines.

Coil Magazine

Coil-style magazine framing nailers have a larger nail capacity than the stick-style nailer. These nailers use nails that are joined with wires and arranged in flexible strings that then form a coil.

The shape of these magazines means that the framing nailers are able to fit into tighter spaces than those that use stick-style magazines. But, coil-style magazine nailers are generally more expensive.

Buying Tip: If you are going to be working on projects that require you to shoot hundreds of nails, a coil-style framing nailer is your best choice. But, if you will be using fewer (less than 40) nails per project, the more affordable stick-style magazine framing nailers are a good buy.

#2. Clipped Head vs. Round Head Framing Nailers

The debate on whether to go for a framing nailer that uses the clipped head or round head nails is not going away anytime soon. But, understanding the pros and cons of both will help make your choice more informed.

Clipped Head

The clipped head nailers or what many carpenter and woodworker fondly refer to as the D head nailers use nails with a D-shaped head which is a result of clipping off half of the male head.

This shape allows for more nails to be packed in the magazine which translates into fewer downtimes as you will not have to stop to reload as often as you would with the round head framing nailers.

Also, these nailers will generally have a smaller and lightweight magazine which can be a significant advantage for many woodworkers. And this is because it makes the tool easier to handle for long periods and improves maneuverability.

The clipped head nailers are also more cost-efficient because they hold more nails but the shape also makes them more prone to jamming. Building codes in many countries and jurisdictions also do not approve them for use in construction projects.

Pros:

  • Fewer downtimes
  • Cost efficient
  • Smaller and lighter magazines

Cons:

  • More prone to jamming
  • Not approved for use in construction in many places

Round Head

Round head framing nailers are those that use nails with a full head and they are the more common type of the two.

The full head is what makes many woodworkers assume that they are more secure and provide greater holding power. But, this is not necessarily true because there is no proof that a full head provides more hold power than a clipped one

Building codes in many jurisdictions require you to use full head nails for construction as the design is considered generally safer. Also, the round head nailers provide for faster nailing and are less prone to jamming.

But, the magazines hold fewer nails because the full head means they cannot sit flush with each other. These nailers are also relatively more expensive but their popularity means that you will have a larger product selection to pick from.

Pros:

  • Faster nailing
  • Safer overall design
  • Larger product selection

Cons:

  • Relatively smaller nail capacity
  • More expensive

Buying Advice: The choice between round and clipped head nailers should depend on the building code in your jurisdiction and preferences. But, many woodworkers seem to prefer the round head for construction while the clipped head is a good choice for other projects that require one to shoot many nails at a go.

#3. Magazine Angle

The angle of the magazine on your framing nailer will not only affect the maneuverability but also determines the nails that you can use.

When it comes to the magazine angle, the most common framing nailer options are 21, 28, 30 and 34-degree nailers.

The kind of project that you intend to use the framing nailer for and your personal preferences should guide you when it comes to choosing the most appropriate magazine degree.

#4. Weight and Comfort

Because most of the times you will need to hold the framing nailer for extended periods, the weight is important. And the lighter the nailer the better it will be as it causes minimal hand fatigue.

A lightweight framing nailer is also more comfortable to operate. But, also watch out for the size and type of grip as it also affects the comfort.

Here you should go for something ergonomic that is soft and rubberized as it will feel good on the hand, and will be much easier to maneuver.

#5. Depth Adjustment

Different framing projects will require different nail drive depths, and so a good framing nailer is one that allows for depth adjustment.

This feature is particularly important if you work with woods with varying thicknesses a lot. Besides being able to adjust the depth, the process should also be fast and easy, and without requiring you to use any special tools.

#6. Protective Guards

Safety should always be a key concern when using any power tool, and the framing nailer is not an exception.

One of the key safety features to look out for is whether the nailer comes with protective guards or not. Protective guards are important because they help to shield both the tool and the user from debris.

Conclusion

The best framing nailer for you whether you are a professional contractor or a hobbyist is one that will allow you to accomplish your woodworking projects fast and in a safe and easy manner.

A good framing nailer should also not cost a fortune. But, even with all this in mind, you still need to take into account the vital factors discussed above such as the magazine type and angle, depth adjustment and the type of nails that the nailer will shoot.

And with our detailed top 10 best framing nailer reviews for recommendations, it should not take a lot of time or effort to find the perfect framing nailer model and brand for you.