The 10 Best Nail Guns – Buyer’s Guide

​​​​Nail guns come in different shapes, sizes, and ways to accomplish one simple task—drive a nail into a surface. We’ve put together the top ten best nail guns on the market, compared powering methods, and talk a little about what you need to consider before purchasing. 

The 10 Best Nail Guns – Buyer’s Guide

Nail guns may sound like tools best left to the professionals, but having a nail gun around the home can be more valuable than you may think!

 

Nail guns remove much of the guesswork of driving nails into various surfaces around the home. Replacing a few planks on the back deck, for instance, can be backbreaking work with a simple hammer.

 

With a nail gun, there’s no risk of smashed fingers, broken nails, or crooked drives. The best nail guns will drive a nail evenly into the surface with just one hit. And the best part? There’s no need to carry around a box of nails.

 

Nail guns come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and prices. While the best nail guns will have certain features and qualities that are the same no matter who’s producing it, there are also many different home and workplace setups that will require some features over others.

 

We’ll be breaking down our top ten best nail guns for home improvement, DIY tasks, and any situation that may require some nailing down. After a brief overview of what to look for, we’ll be overviewing these ten products and discussing which nail gun may need to end up in your digital shopping cart someday soon.

What You Need in a Nail Gun

If you haven’t used a nail gun before or generally aren’t familiar with how they operate, consider the following before making a purchase:

 

Not all nails are created equally. In fact, many nail guns are only designed for specific nail gauges. Much like with wire and needles, the diameter and size of a nail are dictated by a number, which represents the gauge.

 

Your standard nail is going have a gauge of about 16. The higher the number, the smaller and thinner the nail is going to be. Sticking with a 16 gauge nail gun is probably the safest bet, but a bigger or smaller nail may be required for certain tasks.

 

For instance, larger nails tend to crack and split wood. If you find that most of your nailing is on smaller or more brittle surfaces, you may want to consider an 18 gauge nail gun or smaller.

 

On the opposite end of things, you’ll need a nail gun with a thicker gauge if you’re going to be assembling large furniture or doing some framing. You may also need a gun with a different power supply—so check out our Buyer’s Guide for more information on the type of nail gun you may need.

How We Chose Our Products

We haven’t just selected any old nail gun to make our list.

 

These top test best nail guns are highly-rated and some of the top performers in their category. Whether it’s a finishing nail gun or a pneumatic nail gun, these products are designed for hard use and won’t stop on your during your home improvement job.

 

Several of these nail guns also come from trusted brands within the home tools sector, and many offer phenomenal customer service to keep your nail gun running for years to come. We also consider the public perception of each, and know that power and features on paper mean nothing if most customers aren’t able to use the product properly.

 

That all being said—let’s get right into the top 10 nail guns you need to pick up for your next job:

Top 10 Best Nail Guns

Thinking about getting a nail gun? Check out our top picks.

NuMax S2-118G2 Pneumatic 2-in-1 18-Gauge 2" Brad Nailer and Stapler...

NuMax S2-118G2 Pneumatic 2-in-1 18-Gauge 2" Brad Nailer and Stapler...
  • Nailed It: This 2-in-1 tool features durable and lightweight aluminum construction, an anti-vibration comfort grip, and...
  • Ultimate Versatility: This nailer can use two types of fasteners – 18 gauge brad nails and 18 gauge 1/4" narrow crown...
  • The Right Tool for the Job: We're committed to providing outstanding value, top tier customer service and long lasting,...

This budget-friendly nail gun and stapler is the perfect nail gun for anyone who already owns an air compressor and wants a versatile tool.

 

The NuMax nail gun and stapler boasts an impressive amount of adjustability when it comes to application. Plus, the stapler feature makes it handy for carpeted jobs and simple fixes around the house.

 

You won’t find much in regards to its ability to compete in speed and power with some of the other nail guns on our list, but the NuMax wasn’t designed for those jobs. Public perception is positive, with many praising the versatility of the gun in comparison to the cost.

 

If you don’t know where to start with a nail gun and don’t want to drop your entire paycheck on one, we can’t think of a better pneumatic gun to start off with.

 

We’re giving the NuMax 18-Gauge Nailer and Stapler 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Pros

  • Built-in 0.25-inch NPT fits all air hosing couplers.
  • Anti-vibrating handle allows comfort and safety.
  • Protects the interior with the outer anti-dusting cap.

Cons

  • List Element
  • List Element
  • List Element

Quality

Price

Rating

$$$

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Hitachi NT50AE2 18-Gauge 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch Brad Nailer

Hitachi NT50AE2 18-Gauge 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch Brad Nailer
  • Hitachi Power Tools has renamed to Metabo HPT. Same great tools, with only a new name.
  • Selective Actuation allows the user to select bump fire or contact fire modes with the simple flip of a switch
  • At only 2.2 pounds, this finish nailer is lightweight & well balanced making it easy to use all day long

This next nail gun is another pneumatic nailer that cuts back on raw power for a lightweight finish.

 

Hitachi is a respected company in the field of power tools, and their standard brad nailer seems to be designed with that reputation in mind. Their 18-gauge nailer comes in at just over two pounds, and with a sizable high-capacity magazine, you can easily drive dozens of nails before even feeling fatigued.

 

The other interesting feature Hitachi went with is dual firing. Instead of just a traditional trigger drive, Hitachi offers the ability for users to switch over to bump driving. Bump driving better for experienced nailers that need to perform repetitive jobs quickly.

 

Reviews of the Hitachi are no less than glowing, and the feature set and small size and price make considering this nail gun a no-brainer.

 

We’re giving the Hitachi NT50AE3 Brad Nailer 5 out of 5 stars.

Pros

  • Works with 5/8 – 2-inch brad nails
  • A depth dialer to adjust the depth of the nail in the wood
  • Easy switching between contact fire and bump fire mode
  • High capacity nail magazine – approximately 100
  • Included in the kit: mounted nose cap, safety goggles, and a protective storage case

Cons

  • It is a bit challenging to shoot the brads from certain angles
  • No indicator informing you when the nails have run out

Quality

Price

Rating

$$$

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Craftsman C3 19.2v Brad Nailer

Craftsman C3 19.2v Brad Nailer
  • Single sequential mode and contact mode
  • No need for compressors or hoses; Drives 5/8"-2" nails; Tool-less jam release
  • 2 LED lights helps illuminate the work surface and Low-nail indicator to quickly see when you need to reload

Shifting away from pneumatic nail guns for a moment, this premium battery-powered gun comes with the strong power of a Craftsman product, but unfortunately, the high cost of one as well.

 

The Craftsman C3 19.2v Brad Nailer utilizes a large battery to do the driving instead of compressed air. This makes it a popular choice for anyone who needs to do their nailing across larger distances. Instead of moving an air compressor around, all you’ll need are a couple of charged batteries and more than enough brad nails.

 

Features include either single sequential or contact mode, LED lights for where you’re doing your nailing, bump fire, and even a belt hook. It’s currently near three times the cost of the Hitachi pneumatic nail gun, but if you’re hoping for a product that comes with no strings attached, this Craftsman gun is a powerful ally for your toolshed.

 

We’re giving the Craftsman C3 19.2v Brad Nailer 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Pros

  • Doesn’t have the noise that an air compressor nail gun does
  • It’s easy to carry this power tool without the added compressors or hoses
  • Batteries are long lasting
  • Penetrates through tough materials easily

Cons

  • The cartridge is made of plastic and can be loose. This causes the slide to jam with the nails.
  • The tool is heavy and not very balanced which impacts its efficiency
  • Replacement parts have been discontinued

Quality

Price

Rating

$$$

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BOSTITCH Finish Nailer, Angled, 15GA, 1-1/4-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch...

BOSTITCH Finish Nailer, Angled, 15GA, 1-1/4-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch...
  • This pneumatic nailer is the world's first 15GA tool with ultra-quiet rear exhaust to direct air away from the user
  • Integrated air blower of 15 gauge finish nailer allows user to clear away debris from work surface (patent-pending)
  • LED work-light for working in closets and dark spaces

As another pneumatic nailer, Bostitch’s finish nailer sets itself apart as a nail gun specifically designed for larger surfaces and awkward angles.

 

The angled profile helps to drive nails that need to come in at an angle, as opposed to straight down. You can drive up to 130 nails with a single magazine, and if you should ever come across a problem, you can rely on Bostitch’s generous 7-year warranty.

 

This nail gun is specifically for those who need an angled pneumatic gun. It may not be especially customizable, but what it does do, it completes with precision.

 

We’re giving the Bostitch N62FNK-2 15-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Pros

  • The BOSTITCH N62FNK-2 is made ofSuperior quality. It is rugged and flawless.
  • Weighs just 3.8 pounds, extremely light as compared to the other nailers.
  • It requires no oil for lubrication, and has a very little maintenance.
  • Great Finish nailer for the first time users.

Cons

  • Some parts of BOSTITCH N62FNK-2 are made of out plastic and it doesn’t have rapid fire triggering mechanism.

Quality

Price

Rating

$$$

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Ryobi P320 Airstrike 18 Volt One+ Lithium Ion Cordless Brad Nailer...

Ryobi P320 Airstrike 18 Volt One+ Lithium Ion Cordless Brad Nailer...
  • Drives up to 1700 nails per charge
  • No compressors, hoses or pricey gas cartridges required. Cordless design offers both convenience and superior...
  • Convenient adjustment dial regulates air pressure for optimum results.

If you’ve already got a hold of a few batteries, this nailer is one of the most affordable of its kind.

 

Battery-powered nail guns aren’t known for their low cost, but a new or refurbished model from Ryobi such as the ZRP320 One Plus is an effective nailer that utilizes the same type of battery as a myriad of other home tools. Reviews are high, and a lockout feature, selectable drive shift, and low-nail indicator make this nail gun something worth considering.

 

It doesn’t come with a battery, but if you can get this product going, you’ll be sure to be satisfied with its quality.

 

We’re giving the Ryobi ZRP320 One Plus 18V Cordless Brad Nailer 4 out of 5 stars.

Pros

  • Improved visibility through clear line-in-sight.
  • Easy and fast jam removal through the metallic nose.
  • Adjustment of driving depth ensures proper setting.
  • Selectable switch for two different operations.

Cons

  • Penetration over the hard surface is difficult to obtain.
  • Random misfiring is likely to take place.
  • May require machine oil for smooth working.

Quality

Price

Rating

$$$

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DEWALT Finish Nailer Kit, 18GA, 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch (DWFP12231) ,...

DEWALT Finish Nailer Kit, 18GA, 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch (DWFP12231) ,...
  • This electric finish nailer has long life, maintenance-free motor
  • Tool-free depth-of-drive adjustment with detents for proper setting of nail heads
  • Tool-free jam release mechanism for easy nail removal

The always-popular and highly-lauded DeWalt brand makes a few nail guns that perform admirably in whatever category they so choose. Their pneumatic option here comes with easy nail removal mechanisms as well as a depth-of-drive adjustment for specific tasks.

 

The DWFP12231 pneumatic nail gun is fairly expensive for its product type, but makes up for it by being the most adjustable pneumatic gun on our list.

 

For that, we’re giving the DeWalt pneumatic gun 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Pros

  • We found it durable and dependable.
  • Easy to use with safety features
  • Carrying case with the user manual.
  • Magnesium body with stunning design.
  • It has long life maintenance-free motor.

Cons

  • You need to buy an air compressor separately.
  • Not suitable for big projects.
  • Need some basic knowledge to use it properly.

Quality

Price

Rating

$$$

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DEWALT DC608K 18-Volt 18-Gauge 2-Inch Brad Nailer Kit

DEWALT DC608K 18-Volt 18-Gauge 2-Inch Brad Nailer Kit
  • Engine design allows the tool to work as fast as the end user with consistent nail penetration into both soft and hard...
  • Sequential operating mode allows for precision placement and the bump operating mode provides the user with production...
  • Straight magazine, accepts 18 gauge nails ranging in legths from 5/8-inch to 2-inch

DeWalt’s battery-powered variant of their nail gun is similarly costly, but might just be the most powerful product on our list.

 

Despite the 18v battery coming in weaker than the Craftsman nailer, the DeWalt DC608K is one of the highest-sold and highest-rated nail guns wherever it makes an appearance. Many builders swear by DeWalt products for their continued excellence and life-long engines.

 

This is the top of the line for a battery-powered nail gun.

 

We’re giving DeWalt’s battery-powered nail gun 5 out of 5 stars.

Pros

  • Contact Trip Lock-Off to disable the tool when not in use.
  • Tool-free jam release mechanism.
  • Has built-in LED light to illuminate the job site.
  • The narrow nose easily fits tight areas.
  • Compact and lightweight.

Cons

  • The NiCad batteries DC608K works with are sensitive to the memory effect Comes with no accessories.

Quality

Price

Rating

$$$

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PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Brad Nailer Kit with 1 Battery, 18GA...

PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Brad Nailer Kit with 1 Battery, 18GA...
  • 100% battery power of the cordless brand nailer eliminates need for compressor, hose or costly gas cartridges
  • Motor design of 18 gauge brad nailer provides consistent firing power into various materials and climate conditions
  • Multiple Tool-Free settings of the battery brad nailer provide ease of use

Porter-Cable opts not to compete with the DeWalt brand regarding power but in sustainability. This model utilizes a 20v battery that lasts longer and holds more power than any other nail gun on our list.

 

It’s similarly pricey but comes with consistent driving depth and a 3-year warranty to dissuade any that may question the quality. The Porter-Cable battery-powered nail gun is similarly highly-rated, highly-lauded, and fast-charging.

 

We’re giving the Porter-Cable PCC790LA 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Pros

  • The Li-Ion battery is not susceptible to memory effect.
  • Features tool-less stall and jam release mechanism.
  • Has inbuilt lights, unlike the previous models.
  • Features tool-less stall and jam release mechanism.
  • The Li-Ion battery is not susceptible to memory effect.

Cons

  • Won’t be suitable for very tight spaces.
  • No bump operation mode.
  • Quite big.

Quality

Price

Rating

$$$

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WEN 61718 18 Gauge 2" 2-in-1 Pneumatic Brad Nailer & Stapler with...

WEN 61718 18 Gauge 2" 2-in-1 Pneumatic Brad Nailer & Stapler with...
  • Shoot 18-gauge brads ranging from 5/8 to 2 inches in length
  • Fire 1/4-inch crown staples ranging from 5/8 to 1-5/8 inches in length
  • Features a depth adjustment wheel, a nail gauge, a rotating exhaust, a 1/4-inch 18 NPT air inlet, and a quick release...

Taking a hard shift from top-of-the-line battery-powered options back to the pneumatic market, this nail gun and stapler comes with a slick carrying case and boasts the lowest price out of any of our other options.

 

The Wen 61719 isn’t pretty—nor does it do much more than push nails into wood. However, this pneumatic option is perfect for people who already own compressors and want a product that works—nothing more.

 

For that, this nail gun is not only commendable but recommendable as well. We’re giving this one 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Pros

  • Lightweight Remaining fasteners clearly visible

Cons

  • Some customers  found that there are a few times that they shoot and only air comes out.

Quality

Price

Rating

$$$

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Makita AN611 2-1/2" Siding Coil Nailer

Makita AN611 2-1/2" Siding Coil Nailer
  • “Tool-less” depth adjustment with 9 detents settings engineered for more precise flush and countersink nailing
  • 3-mode selector switch (contact, sequential, lock) allows user control over nailing options
  • Drives 15º wire and plastic collated nails for added convenience

Our final nail gun is a pneumatic option that features some of the highest capacity out of any of our choices here.

 

The Makita AN611 coil siding nailer, as the name would imply, utilizes a coil to hold well over 300 nails at a time. The pneumatic requirement means you may be pressed to travel very far with this option, but if you need to drive nails without constantly reloading a magazine, this is the product for you.

 

We’re giving the Makita AN611 nail gun 4 out of 5 stars.

Pros

  • Durable and solid aluminum construction
  • Large magazine capacity of 400 nails
  • Easy to adjust depth of drive
  • Ergonomic shape feels great in the hand.

Cons

  • N/A

Quality

Price

Rating

$$$

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Product

Image

Details

Our Rating

Price

NuMax S2-118G2 Pneumatic 2-in-1 18-Gauge 2" Brad Nailer and Stapler...
NuMax S2-118G2 Pneumatic 2-in-1 18-Gauge 2' Brad Nailer and Stapler...
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The NuMax nail gun and stapler boasts an impressive amount of adjustability when it comes to application.

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Hitachi NT50AE2 18-Gauge 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch Brad Nailer
Hitachi NT50AE2 18-Gauge 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch Brad Nailer
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Hitachi is a respected company in the field of power tools, and their standard brad nailer seems to be designed with that reputation in mind

Shop now at Amazon.com
Craftsman C3 19.2v Brad Nailer
Craftsman C3 19.2v Brad Nailer
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The Craftsman C3 19.2v Brad Nailer utilizes a large battery to do the driving instead of compressed air.

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BOSTITCH Finish Nailer, Angled, 15GA, 1-1/4-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch...
BOSTITCH Finish Nailer, Angled, 15GA, 1-1/4-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch...
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The angled profile helps to drive nails that need to come in at an angle, as opposed to straight down.

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Ryobi P320 Airstrike 18 Volt One+ Lithium Ion Cordless Brad Nailer...
Ryobi P320 Airstrike 18 Volt One+ Lithium Ion Cordless Brad Nailer...
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Battery-powered nail guns aren’t known for their low cost, but a new or refurbished model from Ryobi

Shop now at Amazon.com
DEWALT Finish Nailer Kit, 18GA, 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch (DWFP12231) ,...
DEWALT Finish Nailer Kit, 18GA, 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch (DWFP12231) ,...
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always-popular and highly-lauded DeWalt brand makes a few nail guns that perform admirably in whatever category they so choose.

Shop now at Amazon.com
DEWALT DC608K 18-Volt 18-Gauge 2-Inch Brad Nailer Kit
DEWALT DC608K 18-Volt 18-Gauge 2-Inch Brad Nailer Kit
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DeWalt’s battery-powered variant of their nail gun is similarly costly, but might just be the most powerful product on our list.

Shop now at Amazon.com
PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Brad Nailer Kit with 1 Battery, 18GA...
PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Brad Nailer Kit with 1 Battery, 18GA...
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Porter-Cable opts not to compete with the DeWalt brand regarding power but in sustainability.

Shop now at Amazon.com
WEN 61718 18 Gauge 2" 2-in-1 Pneumatic Brad Nailer & Stapler with...
WEN 61718 18 Gauge 2' 2-in-1 Pneumatic Brad Nailer & Stapler with...
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this nail gun and stapler comes with a slick carrying case and boasts the lowest price out of any of our other options.

Shop now at Amazon.com
Makita AN611 2-1/2" Siding Coil Nailer
Makita AN611 2-1/2' Siding Coil Nailer
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The Makita AN611 coil siding nailer, as the name would imply, utilizes a coil to hold well over 300 nails at a time.

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Buyer’s Guide

Our best nail guns utilize many different types of power supply. Each has its pros and cons.

 

Nail guns can be powered in a variety of different ways. You’ll often see pneumatic nail guns on construction yards, while the battery and gas-powered variants are popular choices for the home. A traditional plug-and-run nail gun is also an option and is especially cost-efficient, but may be lacking in power.

 

Take some time to consider the constraints of your home and which mode of power is right for you.

 

Also, consider your needs in capacity. Smaller homes won’t be as reliant on large magazines, while larger homes will need both a battery-powered and high-capacity nail gun.

 

Finally, be sure to consider the following before making a purchase:

  • The way the nail gun is powered (pneumatic, battery, or gas)
  • The capacity of the magazine
  • The angle of the drive
  • The method of the drive (bump or trigger)

The best nail gun for you will be the nail gun that meets your needs outlined above, comes with a fair warranty, and is ready for some hard use.

 

With the right nail gun, you may never need to pick up a hammer again.

Last update on 2021-02-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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