Finishing woodworks need both aesthetics and holding power to mingle. Among the alternatives, in this case, finish nailer surpasses most others. As an instance, Brad Nailer, the closest option, differs yards in terms of holding power.
So, whether it is carpentry or DIY best finishing touch comes from the best finish nailer. Thus, hopping forward we will gradually finalize our decision and dig out the deepest of the features to materialize the goal.
1. Hitachi NT65MA4 Angled Finish Nailer with Air Duster
Why choose it?
From exterior trims, the casing of doors and windows, and staircases to base and crown moldings the NT65MA4 is always equipped to gift you that reliable and durable touch of finish. This angled Hitachi product has the capability to accommodate 1.25 to 2.5 inch 15 gauge finish nails.
It’s the perfect solution for out-of-the-box workplaces and narrow nailing conditions. Duty cycles extend a lot due to the 100 nails holding a magazine that avails simple loading technique.
Both sequential trigger and contact fastening are in the list of top features. The amazing part is the actuation switch that puts the selection easy on your hand. Depression of the tip results in one fire at a time in the case of sequential mode while contact fastening penetrates the nail every time the tip impacts.
As selective actuation requires no extra tool or device, so is the depth drive adjustment of this 34-degree magazine angled nailer. The trigger grip has a neighboring depth adjustment dial. Not only precision but also control is improved due to the feature and finally, you end up with a next-level finish.
As for the depth of drive, the exhaust of the device is totally adjustable too. You, being a user, can keep the debris and oil away from your face by rotating the exhaust in any direction you like or need. So to say, the oil-lubricated finish nailer has a 360-degree adjustable exhaust.
The energy and time of users are the focal points of good manufacturers. Hitachi has maintained the fact with the addition of an air duster button in this finishing tool. Air from the compressor can be used to clean out dust and debris from working spots. This requires a gentle press of the air duster button near the grip and thus the airflow bypasses the nailing function to execute the aforementioned task.
What puts it behind?
Misfiring is a prominent issue among the users of this nailer. This is both irritating and detrimental to the workpiece, especially the top. Moreover, it would cost a lot of time to fix out the damage.
Adjusting the depth of penetration has popped out as one of the drawbacks of the tool. Both regular and occasional users can understand how disturbing the issue is.
2. BOSTITCH N62FNK-2 15-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer
Why choose it?
This 3.8 lbs Bostitch finish nailer is a trademark of finish nailing due to its great durability and lightweight structure. But it was not possible for the pneumatic finish nailer unless magnesium was used. So it will be a perfect pick for your nailing finishes in molding or trimming of furniture.
Tips of the nailer are featured with 4 angled profiles. The angled magazine comes to a lot of handy when working with parts of the ceiling and narrower regions.
Keep your workplace stainless is often more important than keeping it dust-free. Oil-free operation is the perfect and the most practical solution to this troublesome scenario. Gratefully, Bostitch N62FNK-2 avails it.
Whether it is crown molding or mounting, adjusting with the job at your hand is always crucial. This lightweight nailer appears with nail depth options. The hardest of the woods can be laid down under the 40 inches per lbs power of penetration. All you need to do is to take care of the nail depth dial which is easy too.
Changing nails of a nailer working between 70 to 120 psi is not always a practical idea. Hence, Bostitch has managed to incorporate a 130 nails magazine. Interestingly, nails ranging from 1.25 to 2.5 inches find their resting place in magazines which entirely tool-free.
Both easy cleaning and jam clearing options are added to the feature list. And all these comforts come packaged in a sturdy carrying case. Last, but not least: the finish nailer pops out of the box with a 7 long years of warranty in hand.
What puts it behind?
The dial for depth setting has the potential to confuse users. A great feature like this, if not used, is a total mess and waste.
Modern users do not find contentment in using plastic parts while working with nails. This tool has got some. Besides the nailer is only meant for nails of Bostich.
3. Senco 4G0001N FinishPro 42XP 15-Gauge Finish Nailer with Case
Why choose it?
NeverLube design is the uniqueness of this Senco finish nailer. That is to say, no lubrication is required whatsoever. Regular users know the pains of dealing with stains here and there.
The nailer is built heavily and is built for the hardest of materials. Even white oak would find a great finish along with both molding and trimming works. This is due to the use of 15 gauge nailers of any size between 1.25 and 2.5 inches. The finish nailer works equally strong for both galvanized and bright nails.
When the marriage of magnesium construction takes place with drive depth adjustment features, precision and efficiency turn out to be the obvious outcome. The dial-in depth gauge along with the thumbwheel work side by side to provide long term smooth nail driving experience. The 104 nails magazine ensures an enjoyable experience enhancing the duty cycle.
The machine has been optimized to get rid of both misfiring and double nailing issues. To clear out the nail firing path anti-jamming EZ-clear latch is provided. Besides the ergonomic and premium comfy grip blends safety with a homely feeling at the job site.
What puts it behind?
The case would take up unreasonably larger space than required. For the ones having space issue at the worksite, this is going to create trouble.
Older versions of Senco contained a belt hook in the package. Newer ones like this have missed out on the thing and replaced it with a universal hook that may irritate some users.
4. Paslode – 902400 16 Gauge Angled Cordless Finish Nailer
Why choose it?
Tight and narrow nailing is probably the best utilization of this 16 gauge Paslode finish nailer. This cordless tool is well acknowledged due to its maneuverability. So to say, nailing on ceiling or floor sections, every position of setting the nailer gets a lot easier.
A hefty nailer like this is rarely found to be so heavy duty. With a 7 volts Li-ion battery this nailer can penetrate 12,000 times in a single charge. This feature marrying with a whole day-long fuel service provides a greatly receded downtime.
Precision rises to the next level due to the integrated performance of finish nails and the fuel cell of the nailer. Especially the nail placement of this cordless machine is excellent owing to the angled magazine it comes with. Thus, baseboard and molding work at its edges find a fine finish.
Overwhelming features sharpen skills but comfort is something else. To add that too appears its heavy construction within a lightweight physicality. Weighing just 4.5 lbs this cordless finish nailer pops up as a master of great moldings.
For keeping the working material aloof from marks and scratches, the no-mar tip has quite no alternative. Paslode engineers have felt it right and have incorporated the feature.
Jockeying in the job site for achieving the best finish touch in nailing, demands convenience from the nailer too. The comfy and ergonomic design of this nailer makes maneuverability a part and parcel of nailing. Besides, hose-less operation adds up another dimension to its convenience.
What puts it behind?
Users pointed out the fact that one or more nails in a row don’t go through the material wholly. Often one out of 50 nails remains 1/64 or at best ¼ inch above.
The 902400 differs from its previous versions on the basis of battery design. The on and off feature is great but the hard part is to pull the battery out once it gets into the position.
5. DEWALT DC618K XRP 18-Volt Cordless 1-1/4 Inch
Why choose it?
The nailer of the kit is a rapid penetrator. It goes the same for both hard and soft joints due to its engine design. Fast and consistent nailing is its uniqueness that’s going to overwhelm you.
Two operating modes can keep you busy all day long in precise and fast nailing. The sequential mode of operation comes up with great placement, while the bump mode focuses on work speed.
Now you do not need a wrench or drivers to pull out nails. The nose piece can be accessed at ease when nails are jammed. Besides, impacts are dealt with smoothly with the help of top caps. You can remove the cap anytime for any troubleshooting as you like.
This LED-incorporated durable finish nailer has a magazine that can accommodate up to 120 nails. The magazine is 20 degrees angled for ease of action. Moreover, it avails a “contact trip lock-off” feature by dint of which trigger remains disabled as long as it is not used.
What puts it behind?
The old version used to afford 1.25 inches nails at an ease. The new angled one may get ruled out from your list due to the unavailability of the feature.
The nailer is relatively heavier than most other finish nailers in the market. Moreover, some users marked out the jamming effect while in use.
6. NuMax SFN64 Straight Finish Nailer 16 Gauge Ergonomic & Lightweight Pneumatic Nail Gun with Depth Adjust & No-Mar Tip
Why choose it?
Numax has called SFN64 a tough tool so has most of the users. A strong and stout aluminum body and the body cylinder have served the basis of this claim. You’ll also find single-piece drive blade along with rubber o rings that really take the share of a highly sturdy configuration.
The pneumatic finish nailer comes with anti-vibration comfort featured in its ergonomically designed handle. This is so crucial since such nailers work at 70 to 110 psi. But the main component of comfort is the anti-grip rubber which also ensures safety at the job site.
The adjustment feature is available both in cases of depth and exhaust. As you begin your project you can set the nailing depth you need. Once you are done, there’s no turning back as you go on with consistent depth of drive.
The 360-degree exhaust adjustment is the ultimate friend of yours to keep away debris and dust. Your body and workplace, both, come under protection.
Reloading nails takes eats up a considerable portion of your duty cycle. Numax presents a 100 finish nails magazine with this mighty nailer. Another time killer is the jamming issue. The quick-release latch of this tool ensures clearance of jamming without involving opening up the nailer. So it’s less downtime and more nailing.
Most air hose couplers ask for ¼ inch NPT fitting. If you are intending to buy such a fitting for your new pneumatic nailer, you may relax. This Numax product comes with one.
On one hand, sequential firing dictates one nail at a time. While on the other hand, no-mar contact prevents any dent or mark whatsoever. Besides, a dust cap keeps parts of the nailer to remain healthy enough to keep the machine always ready for the next shot.
What puts it behind?
Complaints are heard about not firing nails correctly once in a while. Some cases include no nails at all while some others encounter double nails at a single fire.
Some also claim that firing is not always fully horizontal. This is a serious issue since finish nailing demands a lot of straighter penetration.
Guide to Buy the Best Finish Nailers
Finish nailers are a great addition to the arsenal of your woodshop. There are at least dozens of places where they are looking to make your work hours more efficient and comfortable. It is high time we focused on things you should look for when you are buying a finished nailer.
Pneumatic and electric or cordless finish nailers are the most common finish nailers in the market. Gas-powered nail guns are also there but are not as popular as the other two alternatives. They are both powerful and portable. But who wants all these messes dealing with oil and gas.
Pneumatic finish nailer has its popularity among both professional and occasional users. They are known for their power due to the addition of air compressor and that’s their drawback too. Air compressor means a heck of problems ion portability and counting extra bucks too.
Electric, especially cordless, nailers are taking up the place of pneumatic ones but not to a great extent. Corded nailers offer continuity in the operation but are less convenient than their cordless versions.
Finish nailers are available in the market ranging from 15 gauge through 16 and 18 gauges up to 23 gauge. But you need to keep in mind that as the number before the gauge is getting larger, the nails, physically, are getting smaller.
When heavier works are at your hand, like moldings in your house, make sure that you’re using larger nails to hold that lot of stuff i.e. 16 gauge. So it’s redundant to say for smaller works you need low holding power and so it is a higher gauge number that you should look for.
15 gauge nails are suitable for furniture, baseboard, and installation of moldings. But the installation of trims is done best with 16 gauge nails. If you are an occasional user or fond of DIYs you may go for 18 gauge ones. For repairing and lightweight works they are perfect.
23 gauge finish nails are the thinnest and so are called pins. They are particularly famous for miniature and lightweight constructions like frames trims, etc. The advantage associated with such nails is that they protect the integrity of the material without introducing any crack whatsoever.
In the course of the evolution of nailers, day by day, handles are becoming more and easier to hold and comfortable. Manufacturers are putting soft grips, which has not remained now a parameter to distinguish one from another. Buy the ones that slip your hand the least.
Tool-free nail clearing
If you have a jam you certainly need to fix it within the shortest time. Even the best nailers in the market get jammed one in a while. Now, what’s the best solution?
Modern nailers come with bail for tool-free jam clearing. You need to push the bail down that would permit the nailing channel to snap open. If nails are stuck in there, they could be taken out or placed appropriately.
This is a handy way for clearing nails since you don’t need to panic or run around in the middle of your work to find the right tool to open the finish nailer nose.
Tool-free depth of punch
You often need to drive nails into materials of different thicknesses. So each time you would want a different measure of the depth your nails penetrate into. For example, think of oak and pine; the depth won’t be the same.
Best finish nailers come up with a dial that can be turned to control the depth of nailing. This is very convenient because, once again, this is a tool-free operation. All you need to do is to take a test shot and find out which depth puts the nail into the upper surface of the working material remains even.
The 360-degree exhaust
In pneumatic finish nailers, the air is forced into the gun and so it has to come out at some point. The exhausted spot mustn’t be a static one. It should have a rotating adjustment all the way around 360 degrees. Otherwise, the debris and dust will hamper both you and your project. Of course, you don’t want a glaucoma test every time you’re dealing with a nail gun.
Sequential and Bump nailing
Following are two nailing processes each having its own merits.
In sequential nailing firstly you need to contact your working material and push the safety portion down. Then you press the trigger to release a nail at once. That is to say, each time you need to go through the same series of actions and squeeze the trigger.
In case of bump nailing, you are allowed to hold squeezed the trigger the whole time. Each time you want a shot, you need to contact the material and push the nailer down.
Top-class finish nailers avail both modes. These nail guns put a switch, mostly near or incorporated on or under the trigger.
When the nailer’s out of nails but you trigger or bump the nailer for a nail shot, the nailer puffs air with great force on the material. This is known as dry fire. This is the source of great frustration since the result is a worked-out material having weak zones. This may break up your material too.
Finish nailers that prevent firing in such cases are the best ones to pick.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Which one should you prefer between straight and angled finish nailer?
A: Straight finish nailers are mostly for thinner nails having low holding power. It is because thinner nails can penetrate deep into wood involving no hewing as it goes through.
Angled nailers, other the contrary, are capable of firing nails as thick as 15 gauge ones. Thinner nails are best used for finishing and trimming works.
Q: What’s the difference between FN and DA finish nails?
A: FN and DA both refer to 15 gauge finish nails. But they differ in angle. The standard DA nail has got about 34 degrees of angle. FN finish nails, on the other hand, keep 25 degrees of angle.
Q: What if I used finish nails in brad nailers?
A: Brad nailers use comparatively smaller metal gauges. Brads lack a head on either end and thus they do not have that much holding power as finish nails offer. That is, brad nailers do not make use of standard-sized nails.
Pneumatic finish nailers may not be entirely compared with cordless ones. But each product must be put against the alternatives of its class which is done for you. And of course, keep a track of the price and your affordability.
No doubt the list contains the best finish nailers chosen for practical users. But drawbacks are to be inspected carefully and held responsible for eliminating a nailer from your list of choice. Like both Hitachi and Numax products of our list has the occasional problem of misfiring. Likewise, others have their own limitations.