Nail Guns That the Modern Woodworker Will Love

December 12, 2017 , In: Home Improvement, Indoors , With: No Comments
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You know your way around a hammer, and it’s one of the good old originals for sure. But it’s not as if we’ve all managed to escape scot-free from the wrath of terrible aim. Yes, experience helps, but the hammer and nail combo is a little outdated. Given there’s so much at stake — like your fingers — we think you owe it yourself to invest in a nail gun. You’ll soar through what used to be time-consuming nail jobs, and your woodwork may even look more professional as a result.

Engineers invented the nail gun to automatically drive in nails, making the hammer redundant. The nail gun will easily take on all sorts of carpentry as well as building construction projects around your house or on sites.

What Nail Guns Are out There?

Most nail guns are framing guns, brad guns, finish guns, siding guns or palm guns. Let’s take a look at each:

  • Framing Gun: A framing gun can put nails into pretty much any kind of wood, making them ideal for fence jobs, wooden sidings, house frame construction or general house renovations.
  • Brad Gun: Brad guns are more light-duty friendly. Use a brad gun for smaller jobs with less space. Brad guns are smaller specimens but still command some satisfactory nail action.
  • Finish Gun: Finish guns are less small-project appropriate as they may cause lighter wood panels to break. Finish guns are great for paneling and general jobs with hardwood.
  • Flooring Gun: Flooring guns are — you guessed it — for floors. They are tough and robust and of course, pneumatic. This means huge amounts of force and a job done fast.
  • Siding Gun: Siding guns are better for lighter wood pieces and for attaching wood to non-wood components.
  • Palm Gun: As the name suggests, palm guns fit right in your hand and are best for tight spots, such as putting nails into cupboards and other confined spaces.

nails in upholstery

What to Look for in a Nailer

First of all, let’s consider the power source. Battery-powered guns are much quieter than pneumatics. They are also easy to charge and are ideal for crowded spots. Pneumatics are much more powerful given the strength of all that compressed air, and they are, therefore, a far better option if you’re a heavy-duty kind of gal.

One thing to consider as far as costs: Pneumatics may seem to be cheaper than battery-powered guns. However, their air compressors usually aren’t factored into that initial cost, so be sure to keep that in mind.  

Now for some trigger-nometry. Opt for a gun with a trigger that makes sense to you, and make sure you understand this component of it before you purchase. Would you prefer multiple nails to be discharged or one at a time? What sort of kickback or recoil could you get used to? Safety first, kids.

You’ll also need to consider what sort of capacity you will need. If you have a project requiring lots of nails, looks for a gun with larger capacity. The DeWalt is a winner for this, but the Makita does go mega with its 300-400 capacity.

Our Top Five

In our experience, the online options do offer better value for money, but sometimes in-store options do promotional sales that can’t be beat. For the most part, you will be able to source the majority on Amazon, eBay, The Home Depot or Walmart.  

Here are our top five picks:


  1. DEWALT 18-Volt Cordless 20 Degree Angled Finish Nailer Kit

The top pick comes in at circa $314.99, and yes, it’s worth it. It’s the deluxe of all nail guns —dependable, reliable and with features that nothing else on the market will come close to. Its outstanding service contract of two-years does make it almost incomparable. However, it still weighs a hefty 8.5lbs and requires a battery.

  1. Makita AN611 Pneumatic Coil Siding Nailer

One of the highest caliber brands around, it’s often been referred to as a woodworker’s “significant other” or “bae.” So with such quality companionship, $349.00 is a small price for true love.

  1. Ryobi P854 ONE Plus 18V Cordless Lithium-Ion Brad Nailer Kit

One of these bad boys can be picked up for $247.59, or less if refurbished. It’s cordless, but it still packs a hefty punch to get your chores done to perfection.

  1. BOSTITCH F21PL Round Head Framing Nailer

One of the cheapest around for the quality, the handsome little go-getter is available brand new for $207.70, and cheaper again if refurbished or second hand. This nailer can handle most types of wood and is a great choice for carpenters all round.

  1. Freeman PFBC940 4-in-1 19-Gauge Mini Flooring Nailer/Stapler

For a stunningly reasonable $84.48, this Freeman could be the one for you if you’re not flashing cash right now. It’s so compact and travels well — it may not do much for your Instagram feed, but this agile little thing is so versatile, you’ll forgive its few lacking points.

Have fun with your nail gun, but remember to study up first. There are a lot of choices out there, and while the nailer does make life much easier, safety is most important.

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Nail Guns That the Modern Woodworker Will Love
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Nail Guns That the Modern Woodworker Will Love
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Know someone who is a burgeoning woodworker? They may be looking for tools that ease repetitive tasks, like nailing. Here are nail guns to consider.
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Your Wild Home
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Megan

Editor at Your Wild Home
Hey! I'm Megan. I am a dog-lover and enjoy exploring the outdoors. Your Wild Home covers a lot of topics, including (but not limited to) home improvement, home decor, construction, real estate, and sustainability. I enjoy writing in third-person and I am addicted to chocolate, coffee, and terrible puns. Learn more on my About Me page!

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