Best Framing Nailers – Expert Buyers Guide

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Best Framing Nailers Buyers Guide

If you have some big jobs to work on then a standard nail gun just isn’t going to be up to the task. What you need is a framing nailer – designed with power and strength, they are there to secure nails and other fixtures into a wide range of materials. The best framing nailer is there for anyone who has a large number of nails that they need to secure into strong materials such as wood. It may be that you are redecking your bank garden or completing larger home renovations – a framing nailer will be there for you.

When looking for a framing nailer you need to consider not just the power that they are going to offer but also the accuracy and precision that they will be able to exert on a range of materials. Here are the best models that we have found.

Best Pick – Milwaukee M18FFN-0C

Milwaukee M18FFN-0 M18 Fuel Framing Nailer 18V Cordless Body Only 4933471406
  • The most powerful of its kind digging into the surface of hardwoods
  • Ready to Fire technology eliminates cadence time between nails
  • Without gas cartridges and without cleaning, designed to offer durability and reliability to the most demanding users with very low maintenance
  • Two selection modes: allows you to select accuracy between shooting or speed
  • Depth adjustment without tools, fast and easy to ensure that the nails are hidden

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Only Got 5 Minutes?

One too many hammer hits to the fingers? Or maybe it’s the amount of time you have to spend pulling out nails that have gone in at the wrong angle just to start all over again? Whatever the reason, if you are in a rush to get your framing nailer, and quick then you’ve come to the right place. All those crucial features that you need to look for, plus our favourite framing nailer, to save you the hassle of even having to go looking in the first place!

Framing Nailer Features

Here are some of those key features that you need to be looking for in a framing nailer. Without considering these, you may find that you have shot yourself in the foot, so keep reading for all you need to know!

Power Source

There are two main types of framing nailer that you will find – pneumatic and electric. The electric models can however then be broken down further into corded or cordless operation. There are pros and cons to both power types depending on exactly what it is that you are looking for.

Pneumatic models tend to offer more power for the equivalent price and size than electric will, however these do have the disadvantage of having to be connected to an air compressor, which means you either have some extra money to pay out or need to already have an air compressor lying around! Electric models tend to be cheaper, and you will still find that they have more than enough power to get the job done, however when it comes to working with particularly hard or large materials you may find that they start to struggle.

When deciding whether a cordless or a corded model is right for you just remember to consider where exactly it is that you are going to be working. The cordless models on the market at the moment tend to offer less power than corded. Plus, if you are going to be working inside, it is unlikely that you are going to be far away enough to justify purchasing a cordless model (although admittedly not having the faff of the wires is a benefit).

TOP TIP: If you are opting for a battery powered model then make sure to have a spare battery to hand. This will save you from having to pause during jobs whilst you wait for your battery to recharge.


The magazine is where you insert the nails to get them ready to be used. The size of the magazine that you opt for really depends on the size of the jobs that you are completing. A bigger magazine will hold more nails meaning that it needs refilling less regularly. But this will make the tool heavier and more cumbersome if you are trying to get into tighter spaces! It is also worth looking at the design of the tool, as some have magazines that are more built into the rest of the shape of the tool, whereas others it will stick out from the back of the machine.

It is also important to look for a magazine that is going to be easy to open and close. Look for ones with safety latches and easy opening methods! Some offer “two-stage loading” which means that you literally have two steps to follow to refill the magazine before you can get working again!

Nail Firing Depth

The nail firing depth will largely be determined by the size of nails that you choose to work with. However, it is also partly linked to the firing depth determined by the framing nailer. All framing nailers will work to different depths and you can often change this depth depending on the job that you are completing. Look for a tool that is able to offer you a range of depths so that you are able to work with different materials at ease and create flush, sunk or proud nailing with the flick of a switch.

TOP TIP: It is worth watching out for models that offer tool-less depth adjustment as these will save you a considerable amount of time when working.

Size and Weight

The size and weight of your framing nailer is important as you are going to be holding your nailer for extended periods of time and often at uncomfortable angles. They are always going to be heavier and larger regular drills and nailers – this is the compromise you have to make for the power on offer – however there are models that are cheaper than others. We would recommend opting for framing nailers that have a magnesium build as these will be more lightweight so reduce strain whilst you are working. Some standard framing nailers weigh as little as 6lbs whereas others can go all the way up to 20lbs.

If you opt for heavier models then make sure that they have anti-kick back features – particularly if you are on the lighter side yourself – otherwise you could injure yourself trying to work the machine!


As the trigger is the part of the framing nailer that you are going to be working with the most, it is important that you make the right choice. Look out for models that have a strong and sturdy trigger but that also isn’t too hard to use as this will often affect your grip on the tool overall and reduce the amount of time that you can work for. Different machines will also have different trigger controls depending on the type of job that you are completing. These range from sequential and bump triggers, to dual mode triggers.

Many of the best framing nailers also come with anti-dry fire mechanisms which are worth looking out for if you are safety conscious but also wanting a professional finish.

Best Budget – Salki Nailer

Salki 86900006 Nailer Pneumatic CSK P06 | Pin 0.6/12 – 35 mm
  • USE: Insert up to 100 nails into the side magazine, remove the security system and shoot the pins on the work surface
  • VERSATILE: It is suitable for carpentry, joinery and DIY, for projects with wood, in the construction of furniture, in the installation of doors, skirting boards or in repairs. In addition, thanks to its light weight, this pneumatic nail trigger is easy to carry
  • QUALITY: The charger is made of special aluminum anti-corrosion and anti-wear. The carrying case includes a pack with protective glasses, keys, maintenance lubricant and replacement head
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Additional Features of Framing Nailers

Now that you know the main features that you need to look for in a framing nailer, here are some of the additional features that we really liked in the best framing nailers.

  • Continuous trigger – If you are used to using a framing nailer and have a lot of nails to put in in one go then a continuous trigger is a must. This will allow you to keep your finger on the trigger whilst it continually inserts nails into the material that you are working with.
  • Ergonomic comfort grips – Framing nailers are heavy and powerful tools. The best way to reduce the fatigue that you come under when using the tool is to opt for models with comfort, ergonomic grips that will be easy on your hands when you are working.
  • Actuation mode – This allows you to adjust the firing of the nailer to suit you. Whether you are wanting quick firing or more precise, slow nailing you can adjust the tool to suit you.
  • Belt hook – Sounds like a small thing but a belt hook will make a big difference when you are working as it will make your tool easy to access no matter where you are working.
  • Status alerts – This is a feature that you don’t find in many framing nailers but it is one that we really love! When the number of nails you have left in the machine is getting low, it will alert you to this! Saves you having to keep checking and avoids the hassle of getting halfway through securing panels to find that you are out of nails!
  • Sturdy case – Framing nailers aren’t the cheapest tools on the market so it is important that they are going to be well looked after and protected. Make sure to look out for a model that comes with a sturdy case (ideally with space for an assortment of nails as well!).
  • Carbon claw tip – Opting for a model with the tip made out of carbon will help to stop the claw tip from slipping whilst you are working. This helps you to achieve more accurate nailing, which is crucial if the nails are going to be on show at the end of the job.
  • Open access to the magazine and head of the nailer – One of the main downsides to using a framing nailer is the ways in which the nails can become jammed, particularly if you are working with a continuous trigger. Opt for a tool that has taken this into consideration both with the design of the magazine and the ways it allows you access to the different parts of the tool.
  • Adjustable air distribution – You are always going to get some dirt and debris when working with nailers, but this feature will allow you to direct the dirt, debris and air away from your face whilst you are working.

Framing Nailer Nails

The nails that you can use in your framing nailer will really depend on the tool that you opt for. There are MANY different framing nails out there so sometimes it can be a bit difficult to know which is going to be right for the job – and for your tool! Make sure to check whether you have an angle machine on your nailer, as if you do then you are going to need angled nails as well! Plus they will need to be at the right angle! This information can almost always be found in the product details or instruction manual of the framing nailer that you purchase.

You will also find that different nailers can work with different sizes of nails. We would recommend opting for a framing nailer that offers flexibility in the size of nails that you can work with, as this will mean that it can be used for a wider variety of jobs. Some can work with nails as small as 1 ½ inches, all the way up to other models that can work with 4 inches so this is important to check for.

Lastly, there will be different nail heads on offer for you depending on the job that you are completing. For jobs that aren’t going to be on show this might not matter to you, but if you know that the finish is going to be on show then try to opt for smaller nail heads that will be more discreet!

Best of the Rest

Silverline 282400 Air Framing Nailer 90 mm 10 - 12 Gauge
  • Cut-out mechanism prevents empty firing
  • Fires 50 - 90 mm 34° paper collated, clipped head nails
  • Accepts 10 - 12 gauge nails
  • 90pce magazine capacity
  • Includes 1/4" male quick connector

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

DEWALT DCN692N-XJ 18V XR Cordless li-ion Brushless Framing Nailer 90mm (Bare Unit).
  • Powerful: The brushless motor technology guarantees sufficient performance for smooth driving of 90 mm ring shaft nails up to 28 mm.
  • Practical: compact dimensions for smooth operation in all areas.
  • Versatile use: can be used with all 18 V XR batteries
  • Safe operation: the safety switch prevents accidental triggering.
  • Box contents: 1 x battery nail, 1 x protective cover, 1 x belt clip.

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Tacwise GCN57P Air Coil Nail Gun, Uses Flat Top Coil Nails, 25 - 57 mm
  • PROFESSIONAL COIL NAIL GUN - Heavy-duty flat-top coil nailer supplied in a durable carry case, designed for speed, reliability and continuous nailing in a variety of industrial and construction applications
  • 2.7KG LIGHTWEIGHT DESIGN - Ergonomic, well-balanced magnesium alloy body with a cylindrical magazine drum and a vibration emission level of 2.7m/s² to ensure complete control during heavy-duty nailing
  • FEATURES - Offers a contact trip (bump) firing mode, high durability driver blade, 360° multi-directional air deflecting exhaust port, safety contact tip and soft rubber grip
  • COMPATIBILITY - Efficient high-capacity magazine drum, enables firing of up to 400 x 2.1 – 2.3 mm diameter, 25 - 57 mm long flat top coil nails without reloading; we strongly recommend using Tacwise nails for a smooth, uninterrupted performance
  • VARIETY OF APPLICATIONS - Professional coil nail gun for a range of industrial applications including pallet, case and crate manufacturing, roofing, decking, fencing, timber framing, cladding, and siding as well as the construction of sheds and garden buildings

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

If you are thinking that a framing nailer may be more power than you actually need then why not check out our best nail guns for some smaller, slightly less powerful models.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do framing nailers need oiling?
Many framing nailers do need oil to work effectively and to get the most out of the tool that you are using. Any standard oil will be enough and you will only need a few drops each time, but this is crucial if you want your tool to last.

What is a palm nailer?
A palm nailer is a small framing nailer that can be held in the palm of your hand – hence the name. This small framing nailer won’t hold as many nails as bigger models but they are compact and easy to use

What warranty length comes with a framing nailer?
We found that warranties for framing nailers vary quite considerably so it is important to check this before you make your purchase. Some are as little as one year whereas others go all the way up to 7 years, which suggests a massive difference in the quality of the product that you are getting!

What can you use a framing nailer for?

A framing nailer is traditionally used for larger jobs such as decking, fencing and roofing. However, some models can be used for smaller jobs too if you don’t mind holding a larger tool.

  • Performance
  • Features
  • Ergonomics
  • Value
About Thomas Paxton 368 Articles
Hey there, I'm Thomas Paxton, your Tool Guru with a Twist! I've been knee-deep in the world of tools since I was a little tinkerer in my dad's shed. Now, I'm running my own website where I share my passion for tools and gardening products through buyers guides and insightful tips. I've got the knowledge and experience to break down complex concepts into simple, easy-to-understand language. I purchased Tools Review from Mike Jones at the start of 2023, he has done a sterling job of building the site and I hope I can continue in his success! When I'm not writing guides, you'll find me in my garden or garage, putting my skills to work and pushing the boundaries of creativity. So, whether you're a pro or just starting out, join me on this adventure, and let's conquer DIY projects together!

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