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Best Framing Nailer Reviews of 2020 – Our Top Picks

Last Updated on March 11, 2020 by Robert Bennett

In the past few years or so, Framing Nailers have become popular among the mechanical geeks. With tons of distinct features and different brands, it’s an infuriating job to sort-out the best framing nailer for yourself.

Safety, speed, ease of use, reliability are few of the very deciding factors which play the most crucial role while picking up a framing nailer. But there are a lot of other things that you should keep in mind while looking for a framing nailer.

To save you from the frustration by making purchase errors while getting the suitable nailer, we’ll be providing a comprehensive list of best framing nailers with detailed analysis.

Not to forget the hundreds of hours of intense research and mechanical work we’ve put into listing these products, we will be giving unbiased, honest opinions on the biggies from the market. Discussing the specifications and downsides altogether, it will help you in making the right choice.

Best Framing Nailers 2020

1. Bostitch F21PL Framing Nailer

BOSTITCH F21PL Framing Nailer

With a product weight close to eight pounds, Bostitch F21PL is the best budget framing nailer currently in the market. The nailer under the brand name of Bostitch features extraordinary specifications in spite of staying on the lower side of the price spectrum.

Owing to the low product dimensions, this nailer is super easy to carry around and operate. Operating at 21 degrees, Bostitch F21PL is a high-end premium framing nailer that outperforms a lot of big names in spite of being manufactured in low dimensions.

The build quality looks sturdy enough, quite similar to that of Dewalt, as this one is also built on lightweight metallic magnesium with integrated rubber pads to provide one a better grip while operating. With the capability to fire nails falling under the size bracket of 1.5-3.5 inches, this nailer features two quick interchangeable nosepieces, which lets you switch in between as per your preference.

It also features a selectable trigger which rules out the need for tools for flipping in between single and multiple drives. Bostitch is well known for producing premium nailers suitable for big DIY projects.

Being lightweight does count as a big positive for portability and ease of use. It could be an irritating task to work on stuff that requires a lot of nails to fire because of average magazine capacity. Nonetheless, it’s still the best high-end performing framing nailer for regular use.

What We Like:

  • Lightweight, reduces the work fatigue significantly
  • Internal air filter ensures exceptional durability
  • Sturdy build quality

What Can Be Better:

  • Being a pneumatic nailer, it’s tough to get in congested areas
  • Average magazine capacity

2. NuMax SFR2190 Pneumatic Framing Nailer

NuMax SFR2190 Pneumatic Framing Nailer

Being originated from the same parent company, Numax and Freeman share a lot of similarities when we compare their products head to head with more or less no disjoints at the given range. Numax SFR2190 and Freeman PFR2190 do share tonnes of similarities with each other. Product weight and dimensions pretty much resonate, while functionality and performance make one superior to another.

This framing nailer operates at 21 degrees, and intake plastic collated nails falling under the size bracket of 2-3.5 inches. Being one of the lowest weighing framing nailers on our list, it comes with a secure ergonomic handle and interchangeable triggers for the ease of use. They have a magnesium metallic sturdy body.

The nailer perfectly goes well with construction sites and home DIY projects. Featuring the tool-less depth adjustment, it also comes up with the no-mar tip, which makes it perfectly adaptable to distinct working surfaces.

Along with the ergonomic grip, this nailer features an adjustable air exhaust, which makes it super easy to toggle between the air levels as per your preferences.

It also features an interchangeable trigger that lets you easily switch from two modes of firing: bump and sequential. Also coming up with the anti-dry mechanism as similar to the Freeman, it ensures excellent durability and safety to the nailer body.

What We Like:

  • Extremely affordable with high performance
  • Tool-less depth adjustment makes it easier to use
  • Anti-dry fire mechanism ensures safety

What Can Be Better:

  • Warranty is limited to one year

3. DEWALT DCN692B 20V Framing Nailer

DEWALT DCN692B 20V Framing Nailer

Dewalt DCN692B, being a beast in all aspects, is one of the best framing nailers currently in the market. Weighing only about eight pounds, this framing nailer features a magazine capacity of 55 nails. Featuring a brushless motor operating at 20 volts, it outperforms every single product currently by delivering great power with high efficiency.

The depth of drive adjustment tool is decent, which lets you navigate in with eleven positive clicking position aimed for your ease. Cleaning through the magazines is super easy with this tool, as just loosening three screws gets you in quickly.

The nailer comes with two firing modes: sequential and bump action firing mode. The switch to transition between the two firing modes is made tough on purpose to prevent accidental changes between the two during normal usage, but it could be a daunting task to figure it out and get used to it. It comes with a nail intake capacity between 2 to 3.5 inches.

The 20 Volt lithium-ion battery of this Dewalt nailer produces beast power while firing nails at the surface. Once charged, I was able to fire about six hundred nails easily with this nailer. Although, nailing till the battery runs out isn’t good advice for the lithium-ion batteries as it affects the durability severely. Still, one can fire around five hundred nails without caring much of the battery discharge.

One impressive feature about this nail gun is the trigger lock, when turned off, ensures absolute safety while no use or on the way to heavy use. The build quality is also sturdy, sufficient enough to ensure durability for at least half a decade. Based on my personal experience, I can surely recommend this product as one of the best framing nailers currently in the market.

What We Like:

  • Powerful 20V Li-Ion battery
  • It comes with two firing modes
  • Tough build quality

What Can Be Better:

  • A little expensive than others

4. Freeman PFR2190 Pneumatic Nailer

Freeman PFR2190 Pneumatic Nail Gun

Freeman PFR2190 framing nailer stands out in this list, accounting for only one reason, which is its affordability. Freeman has pretty much justified their point of creating superior premium nail guns at an affordable price by delivering PFR2190.

This twenty-one-degree framing nailer comes up with amazing built quality, magnesium being the primary metal used on the body to ensure years of durability coupled with the secure handle taking ergonomics in mind.

Interchangeable triggers allow you to perform single shots along with the tool-free finger depth adjustment, which makes it perfectly suitable to operate on different surfaces. Fencing, wall sheathing, sub-floors; Freeman PFR2190 doesn’t have any downsides working on different surfaces.

Just like Numax SFR2190, Freeman also has an Anti-Dust Cap, which keeps the internals perfectly fine even after hours of usage into dust and dirt. Nails with length if 2-3.5 inches are easily taken in without any difficulties. The seven-year warranty is a big positive compared to Numax, which ensures it’s durability for the better part of the decade.

What We Like:

  • Tool-free finger depth adjustment
  • A warranty of seven years

What Can Be Better:

  • There is no rafter hook

5. Paslode 905600 Framing Nailer

This portable heavy duty framing nailer from Paslode is currently one of the most intimidating products in the market. Paslode 905600 is an absolute any-time-on-the-spot cordless nailer, and you could rely on in any surroundings and conditions.

It’s a newer version of the famous CF325Li nailer, which is now discontinued by the company. This product from Paslode comes up with a super-powerful rechargeable 7V Li-Ion battery. It ensures fifty percent more nails per charge, which roughly estimates to nine thousand nails. This is very impressive when compared to the other nail guns.

The cordless nailer operates at thirty degrees and takes paper collated nails available in almost every variety, between the size range of 2-3¼ inches. The product weight of just over seven pounds makes it super-easy to carry anywhere around without any hassle.

A lot of framing nailer enthusiasts work off-duty at some places where you can’t use a compressor. In that case, Paslode 905600 pops up as the best framing nailer currently. You don’t need a compressor when in use; instead, it works on the fuel-cell for an efficient power source.

Being a cordless nailer, it does cost a far more of what you would usually spend on a decent nail gun. But the way I look at it, after hours of usage, this product justifies every buck spent on it for the years to come.

What We Like:

  • Powerful 7V Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Lightweight and highly portable
  • Higher power output

What Can Be Better:

  • Average Magazine Capacity
  • One of the most expensive models

6. Metabo HPT NR90AES1 Nailer

Metabo HPT NR90AES1 Nailer

You may know that Hitachi Power Tools has officially renamed itself to Metabo HPT, the same tools, the same mechanism, just a different name. Hitachi has always been the leading recommended professional nail gun brand in the past few years.

Metabo HPT NR90AES1 is a high-end performing framing nailer that seems to carry the name and legacy around. Being a lightweight nailer weighing about seven and a half pounds, it comes up with a better design for ease of maneuverability to ensure less user fatigue for big projects.

It is a pneumatic framing nailer, which suits perfectly for sub-flooring and roof decking related tasks. As expected from a high-end performing nail gun, this one also stands up to the expectations and intakes plastic collated nails in the size bracket ranging between 2 to 3.5 inches.

The nailer also features a new head guard design to ensure quicker and easier disassembly while cleaning the internal parts. It also comes up with a selective actuation switch that lets you smoothly transition between the sequential and contact nailing just with the flip of the switch.

Along with the two-piece anodized aluminum magazine that ensures easier replacements with minimal expense, it also comes up with the rubber grip at the trigger to provide comfort and ensures a secure hold.

What We Like:

  • Anodized aluminum magazines ensures easy replacements
  • Actuation switch helps to switch between the two modes

What Can Be Better:

  • A pneumatic nailer that goes a bit out of the budget range

7. Porter-Cable FR350B Framing Nailer

PORTER-CABLE FR350B

Porter-Cable FR350B is a high-end framing nailer coming up with all the features you could expect in the top-notch list of premium framing nail guns. With an operational angle of 22 degrees, you’ll fall in love with the build quality of this nailer as Porter-Cable has paid particular attention to compact body design to get better balance, style, and mechanical output.

An exclusive feature you get with this nail gun from Porter-Cable is the internal piston catch mechanism, which ensures even power distribution with every nail you fire. Like Dewalt and Hitachi, this nailer also features the unique tool-free depth mechanism which detents proper setting of nail heads without giving any hassle to you.

It also comes up with a selectable trigger, which features restrict or contact actuation mode to make the switch relatively easy between the modes. Being a premium nailer, it intakes plastic collated sticks with round head framing nails falling under the decent size range of 2-3.5 inches.

Backed up by a magazine capacity of 60 nails, it can tackle the toughest of the tough tasks you might want to do. The product weight is about 7.3 pounds, which makes it perfectly suitable for professionals and big DIY projects, especially for tasks like carpentry.

What We Like:

  • Magazine capacity of sixty nails
  • Tool-free depth mechanism
  • Lightweight, suitable for long DIY projects

What Can Be Better:

  • Priced more out of the usual range
  • Proper cleaning of internal parts should be done regularly

8. WEN 61798 Pneumatic Nailer

WEN 61798 Pneumatic Nailer

Wen might not be as established brand as Dewalt and Hitachi when we talk exclusively about framing nailers. Still, for people running low on budgets, Wen has a lot to offer than any other manufacturer. 

The nailer operates on 34 degrees and is an excellent budget framing nailer. With the magazine capacity of up to a hundred nails, WEN 61798 can fire nails sized between 2-3.5 inches, which is pretty decent for a lower-priced nail gun.

This product also features an adjustable exhaust with air inlet fitting to improve the working experience and reduce mechanical fatigue. The build quality looks sturdy enough, but it’s recommended not to carry it around over long distances because it is a little heavy.

Even after having some negatives, it is a decent nail gun for small DIY projects and outdoor works. For the price it comes under, the WEN 61798 offers a lot more than one could get at that sum. So if you are running too low on budget, you can give this a try.

What We Like:

  • Adjustable exhaust with air inlet
  • Excellent magazine capacity

What Can Be Better:

  • It weighs more than 18 pounds

9. 3PLUS H2190SP Framing Nailer

3PLUS H2190SP Framing Nail Gun

3PLUS H2190SP has everything you could expect from a framing nailer lying on the lower side of the price spectrum. Even after being priced magnificently cheaper than the best framing nailers from the market, it doesn’t fall much short behind them.

Using 21 degrees full round head plastic collated nails falling in size range of 2 to 3.5 inches, this product also features a multi-directional air exhaust away from the user to provide relaxation and ease while in use.

Along with the single sequential trigger installed on the main body, this nail gun also comes up with a dry-fire lockout feature that prevents missing nails and ensures a durable motor life for years. It has a hardened claw tip, which accounts for minimum slippage during toe-nailing.

The product also features tool free-depth mechanism to ensure countersink nailing and exceptional durability. With extraordinary features and astonishing mechanical performance for the price it comes under, I see no reason to not recommend this gem to anyone looking not to spend a bomb on a nail gun.

What We Like:

  • Tool-free depth mechanism
  • Dry fire lockout feature ensures the durability of the motor

What Can Be Better:

  • Replacements/repairments could be expensive

What is framing nailer used for?

Framing nailers are heavy-duty nailers specifically used to handle big projects, including construction work like framing houses, fence making, or other major carpentry jobs.

Any task that involves driving a large number of nails into thick wood or concrete tends to become hassle-free with the use of a framing nailer. From building a ship deck to adding a room to your residence, a framing nailer will surely help you out.

A lot of people question which one is the superior one between a framing nailer and a finishing nailer. The apparent difference between the two is the maxima of workload (a framing nailer is required for bigger tasks and a finishing nailer for much easier tasks). Buying a framing nail gun is a much better purchase, considering the versatility and accessibility you get with it.

A beginner’s guide to learn the basic techniques to use a framing nailer:-

Things to Consider When Buying a Framing Nailer

Pneumatic vs Cordless

Both kinds come with their own sets of pros and cons, and the decision usually boils down to personal preferences. Though Cordless seems like the better option when compared to the traditional Pneumatic nailers, there is a lot that needs to be considered before choosing the one between the two since that’s an invalid argument with these parameters.

Pneumatic framing nailers take on the cordless ones in terms of final finishing, as they are better known for their even power distribution while firing guns. Also, with the attached air compressor, you get the constant force. For someone finding the use of the tool daily, pneumatic nailer stands out as the much superior and obvious choice.

Cordless models come in handy much more for occasional users as they don’t require any air compressor, which offers much more accessibility and maneuverability. Also, working in tight spaces with a pneumatic nailer could be a nuisance. Without any air compressor, cordless models fit ideally in such a situation.

Magazine Capacity

Of course, magazine capacity speaks volumes about the capability and performance of a framing nailer; but higher magazine capacity necessarily doesn’t equate to a better framing nailer.

A lower count is a definite negative, but a higher number shouldn’t be delusional enough to prefer one over the other. A magazine capacity of about 60-80 nails coupled with decent features would suffice. It shouldn’t be the only parameter while going for the best one.

Nail Type

It has to be noted that most of the construction blueprints recently have been taking only round-head nail types in the significant portion of the task. With all the decent features, this requirement should be tick marked beforehand if you are looking to renovate something around your house.

Power

While this parameter is ruled out when we talk about pneumatic framing nailers, it stands out as a big factor when we shift our focus to Cordless nailers. It’s quite normal to exhaust batteries while working on big projects with a cordless nailer.

It is not very cheap to keep buying Lithium-ion batteries again and again just to finish one project. Cadmium ion batteries last way too long but costs much higher than Lithium batteries. For DIYers, it’s nothing to worry upon; but for professionals used to performing big tasks, it’s a critical factor.

Comfort and Portability

One should also consider product weight and ease of use before making the final call. Because some big projects require hours of continuous nail firing, even a ten pounds cordless nailer can be a possible nightmare for you to work for hours.

Also, it could be an irking thing to fit in yourself and a pneumatic nail gun with an air compressor in congested spaces. Unless you have a lot of endurance and muscle power, weight and ease of use should be prioritized well enough as per the personal preferences.

Final Words

After listing out the best picks from the market, it becomes essential to conclude the comprehensive list, which involved hours of research and mechanical reviewing. We’ve discussed almost every high-end performing framing nailer in nearly all of the price ranges. While some lie on the extreme right and some on the extreme left, the zeroth step before making the final purchase usually boils down to the amount of money you are willing to spend on a product.

For the buyers with a well-off budget, I’ll recommend you to check out Dewalt DCN692B or Paslode 905600. But if you’re running low on budget, Numax or Bostitch can be the best budget pick for you.

Terminologies such as magazine capacity, operational angle, the kind of framing nails it takes; all should be considered well enough while making the purchase. As framing nailers aren’t something a lot of people will purchase every new month, so to ensure a better experience and great deal, you should look up to your preferences too.

About Robert Bennett

Hey there! I'm Robert from San Antonio, Texas. I've worked as a carpenter for six years, and I'm very passionate about writing on stuff related to woodworking and DIY. I love to spend my free time working in the workshop or playing with my kids.