Best Framing Nailer Buying Guide – Ultimate Nail Gun Guide

A framing nailer is one of the most important carpentry tools. It can help you fix trims, crowns, and molding, and it can serve multiple DIY purposes too.

Driving nails a bit bigger than the brads, the framing nailer can even double as a brad nailer for applications where utmost precision is not that important.

Here's a list of Top 5 Best Framing Nailer

If you need such a tool in your arsenal, read on to find out which is the best framing nailer on the market. But first, find out what you should consider before buying.

How to Pick a Framing Nailer

The first thing to consider before investing in a framing nailer is the type of power source you need. Framing nailers are either cordless, fuel-driven, or pneumatic, as highlighted below:

  • Cordless framing nailer: Gives you unlimited mobility, but the power can rarely match that of a fuel-driven or pneumatic tool. You will also have to keep charged batteries within easy reach or deal with a limited runtime.
  • Fuel-driven framing nailer: Boasts the same unlimited mobility of the cordless type, but exhaust gases might be an issue. Nevertheless, this type of nailer is your best bet if you value both power and mobility.
  • Pneumatic framing nailer: Drives power from an air compressor connected to the nailer with an air hose. It might not be the perfect solution if you have to move regularly from one job site to another, but it’s undoubtedly the best bet if you need utmost power for heavy-duty framing and other high-volume tasks.  

Types of Nails

It is also essential to check what types of nails you can use with the specific framing nailer you like before buying. The most popular kinds are the clipper head and round head nails.  

  • Clipper head nails: Are small and occupy a little space in the magazine. They are also cheaper, but also weaker than their round head counterparts. For this reason, these nails are banned from use in some states.
  • Round head nails: Are robust, but expensive and heavier to carry around. Nevertheless, they are ideal for heavy-duty tasks.

Magazine Type

Framing nailers can have coil or stick magazines.

  • Stick magazines: Have a rather low capacity but are the most popular due to the easy loading. They work with strips of nails, which are both lighter and easier to use than coil nails.
  • Coil magazines: Work with nails gathered into a twisted sequence, an arrangement that gives them a coil-like appearance. Due to the round magazine, the gun can hold more nails, but they are trickier to load. The main advantage of this type of gun is the narrower tip that fits into narrower spaces.

Top 5 Best Framing Nailers in 2019

1. NuMax SFR2190

NuMax SFR2190


  • Pneumatic operation
  • No-mar tip
  • Depth adjustment
  • High magazine capacity
  • Interchangeable trigger

Interchangeable Trigger

Whether it’s quick-fire or single shot function, you can have it all thanks to the NuMax SFR2190. This pneumatic tool is perfect for both contractors and DIYers thanks to its versatile, powerful construction.


Withstanding most jobs, this tough and dependable tool is ideal for construction works, including framing, roofing, finishing, and even installing flooring. It’s made from durable materials and can hold up to 55 nails thanks to its high capacity magazine.

Overall Assessment

Ideal for all types of projects, this pneumatic framing nailer comes at a price that won’t break the bank and can handle whatever the job site is throwing at it. Its no-mar tip and depth adjustment function enhance versatility, making it adaptable for most surfaces. Perfect for nailing and stapling, it is a versatile contractor or DIY tool.

NuMax SFR2190 Video Review

2. Metabo HPT NR90AES1

Metabo HPT NR90AES1


  • All-steel construction
  • Easy nail loading
  • Tool-less adjustment
  • Anodized aluminum magazine
  • Selective actuation

Innovative Head Guard

Ideal for both contractors and beginners, this pneumatic tool comes with an innovative head guard that allows for quick and easy maintenance. Furthermore, the tool is lightweight and perfectly balanced, just what you need for quick fixes or prolonged operation.


This framing nailer accepts a wide range of nails with sizes between 2 and 3.5 inches. The driving depth is also very easy to adjust by simply changing pressure on the compressor. We also like its anodized aluminum magazine that’s easy to repair or replace with minimal expense, whenever needed.

Overall Assessment

A brand name made by Hitachi, this pneumatic framing nailer brings all you could wish from a best in class. It’s tough enough to handle heavy-duty jobs, yet versatile enough to satisfy the beginner or amateur. Lightweight and easy to maneuver, this tool brings unrivaled value for money.

Metabo HPT NR90AES1 Video Review




  • Various depth control
  • Changing nose piece
  • Magnesium housing
  • Lightweight
  • Sequential or bump trigger


The BOSTITCH F21PL is one of the most versatile tools on the market, a framing nailer that can simply swap nose piece for metal connector applications. This is another excellent pneumatic tool to add to your arsenal.


Another thing we really like about this tool is its maneuverability ensured by the lightweight magnesium housing. The unit features integrated rubber skid pads and a rubber grip that enhances grip and make the tool easier to handle in all circumstances.

Overall Assessment

Containing two versatile nose pieces and converting for metal connector applications, this is one of the most versatile framing nailers out there. It can handle most framing nails and drive them to various depth thanks to its multiple adjustments. Undoubtedly, a great tool to add to your arsenal.

Bostitch P21PL Video Review




  • Brushless motor
  • 20V battery
  • Dual operating modes
  • Dual speed
  • Large magazine

Cordless Operation

A framing nailer ideal for those who want limitless mobility with no strings attached, this cordless tool can satisfy professionals and amateurs alike. It works with various nail sizes and is powered by a 20V interchangeable battery that works with all power tools in the system.

Easy Operation

Equipped with a brushless motor and designed to last for a long time, this framing nailer is also very easy to operate. It boasts sequential and bump operating modes as well as dual speeds. It can hold up to 55 paper collated nails and serves multiple applications, either on the job site or at home.

Overall Assessment

A great alternative to the pneumatic framing nailers, this cordless option delivers the power expected by a professional. It can serve multiple applications and boasts versatility, working with 3.5-inch nail size. Great for most tasks, this is a great alternative to the pneumatic options if you need unrivaled mobility.

Dewalt DCN692 Video Review

5. Paslode 905600

Paslode 905600


  • Fuel-driven
  • Drives up to 9,000 nails per charge
  • Works in all temperatures
  • Compact design
  • Easy to maneuver


Last entry on our list of the best framing nailer, the Paslode 905600 is an expensive but highly reliable tool you can use in all circumstances. It’s fuel-driven, which means you’ll get professional power and DIY mobility.


Unlike cheaper fuel-driven framing nailers, this unit won’t give you issues in low temperatures. It can handle whatever the weather is throwing at it and can work in under 14°F. Furthermore, the unit is lightweight and very easy to operate.

Overall Assessment

Thanks to its compact design and all-season formula, this is a fuel-driven framing nailer we truly recommend. It’s a bit on the expensive side; nevertheless, it is well worth every penny. You will get long runtime, comfort, and control when working overhead or in tight spaces.


A framing nailer is a versatile tool that can serve multiple purposes. Whether you want it for professional purposes or for DIY projects, we hope you now know which are some of the best models on the market.



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