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The 5 Best Nail Guns (2022 Review)

A nail gun is a convenient power tool that reduces the manual effort needed to perform tasks like framing a home, tacking on a new roof, or installing baseboards. In this review, the This Old House Reviews team details some of the best nail guns available to help you select a quality model for your next job. The products included in this article are available at various home improvement stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

Nail Gun Adobe

A nail gun is a handy power tool that can secure 2x4s or fasten crown molding. Nail guns come in a variety of models specialized for a number of DIY jobs, including repairing roofing and installing new flooring. To help you understand the intended use and benefits of nail guns, the This Old House Reviews team researched the best nail guns on Amazon and created this comprehensive buyer’s guide. Here are our top selections.

Comparison

Product Type PSI Range Weight Limited Warranty
Product Type PSI Range Weight Limited Warranty
Metabo HPT Roofing Nailer Pneumatic 70 to 120 5.5 pounds Five years
DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit Pneumatic 70 to 80 5.1 pounds Three years
NuMax Pneumatic Framing Nailer Pneumatic 70 to 115 8.6 pounds One year
CRAFTSMAN Cordless Brad Nailer Kit Battery-powered N/A 7.7 pounds One year
BOSTITCH Air Compressor Combo Kit Pneumatic 75 to 80 42 pounds One year

Top 5 Nail Guns


Best Roofing Nailer: Metabo HPT Roofing Nailer

Best Roofing Nailer: Metabo HPT Roofing Nailer

Best Roofing Nailer: Metabo HPT Roofing Nailer

  • $235

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Designed for serious DIYers, the Metabo HPT roofing nailer is a powerful tool that simplifies shingle installation. The gun contains a convenient side loading magazine and a tool-less nail depth adjuster that reduces set-up time and allows you to maintain a steady workflow. Additionally, the roofing nailer’s 5.5-pound frame and rubber grip prioritize comfort and reduce fatigue.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Includes a side-loading magazine for simple nail replacement

✔ Offers a tool-less depth adjustment

✔ Easy to handle at just under six pounds

✘ Some customers experienced the gun misfiring during use

✘ Doesn’t include an air hose

What Customers Are Saying

This roofing nailer from Metabo received an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 from over 200 customer reviews, which is in line with the average rating of 4.7 stars across all five recommended products in this review. When we considered customer reviews from other leading e-commerce sites, this nailer’s average rating increased to 4.8 stars. Additionally, 94% of customers rated this product 4 stars or above.

Positive customer reviews centered around the product’s durability, with one user applauding the gun’s bump-fire mechanism and resistance to jams. Other positive reviews focused on the gun’s overall ease of use. The Metabo roofing nailer only received a single one-star review on Amazon, in which a customer expressed frustration over constant misfiring.


Best Brad Nailer: DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit

Best Brad Nailer: DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit

Best Brad Nailer: DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit

  • $84

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Utilizing compressed air for a precise and powerful drive, this DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit contains the features necessary to secure delicate pieces of wood. The gun’s jam release mechanism and depth-of-drive adjustment are tool-less, allowing you to troubleshoot your tool without leaving your project. To protect its lightweight design, this nailer also comes with a carrying case for safe and easy transportation.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Offers a tool-free jam release to remove nail blockages

✔ Contains a rear exhaust to safely remove dust and debris

✔ Equipped with an adjustable belt hook for simple transportation

✘ Some users experienced air leaking out of the gun’s handle

✘ Doesn’t include any nails

What Customers Are Saying

The DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit received an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 from around 1,340 customer reviews, which is slightly below the average customer rating of 4.7 across all top recommendations. When we factored in customer reviews from other top e-commerce sites, the brad nailer’s average customer rating increased to 4.7.

Positive reviews for this DEWALT nail gun praised the product’s quality and manageable size. Additionally, many positive reviews harped on the gun’s affordable price. More critical reviewers described their frustration at the nail gun’s constant jamming, which put a halt on their work. Some unhappy customers also explained that their nail gun would randomly cut out during repeated use.


Best Framing Nailer: NuMax Pneumatic Framing Nailer

Best Framing Nailer: NuMax Pneumatic Framing Nailer

Best Framing Nailer: NuMax Pneumatic Framing Nailer

  • $86

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This framing nailer from NuMax is designed to accelerate the process of framing a home by supporting large nails capable of securing dense 2x4s. This nailer reduces the legwork needed during framing, offering no-slip teeth for increased stability, an ergonomic grip for added comfort, and an interchangeable trigger for customizable nail firing. Additionally, the framer is compatible with generic-brand nails to eliminate the need for specific brand nails.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Contains a scuff-free tip that helps prevent surface marking

✔ Supports single-fire or bump-fire triggers

✔ Includes an adjustable air exhaust

✘ Some users’ guns jammed during use

✘ Some customers experienced a lack of consistent firing with their gun

What Customers Are Saying

The NuMax Pneumatic Framing Nailer received an average customer rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 from over 2,500 reviews. When we averaged in customer ratings from other top e-commerce sites like Home Depot and Walmart, the nail gun’s average rating slightly decreased to 4.5. Although the NuMax nailer received the lowest customer rating on Amazon, only 5% of customers rated the product 2 stars or less.

Many positive reviews focused on the gun’s affordability, which some customers explained as the reasoning behind their purchase. In addition to the nail gun’s reasonable price, many users were pleased with the driving power and overall ease of use the framing nailer provided. Negative reviews centered around the nailer’s heavy frame, which increased fatigue and slowed work speed.


Best Cordless Nailer: CRAFTSMAN Cordless Brad Nailer Kit

Best Cordless Nailer: CRAFTSMAN Cordless Brad Nailer Kit

Best Cordless Nailer: CRAFTSMAN Cordless Brad Nailer Kit

  • $179
  • $219
  • 19% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

As a cordless brad nailer, this CRAFTSMAN model is convenient and user-friendly. Eliminating the need for air hoses and an air compressor, this battery-powered brad nailer makes securing trim work and other fine carpentry quick and easy. Alongside its hoseless design, the gun is equipped with tool-free depth settings for fast adjustments while on the job.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Doesn’t require the use of an air compressor

✔ Capable of firing 420 two-inch nails on a single charge

✔ Equipped with a contoured ergonomic handle for precise control and comfort

✘ Use of a battery limits its runtime

✘ Doesn’t come with a carrying case

What Customers Are Saying

This CRAFTSMAN brad nailer received an average customer rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 from over 540 customer reviews. This model has one of the highest percentages of 5-star reviews, with 83% of customers rating it as such.

Positive customer reviews confirmed the product’s effectiveness as a DIY nail gun, with many homeowners experiencing positive results when using the gun for projects like securing baseboards or putting up trim. Many of the negative reviews were from customers who experienced the nail gun unexpectedly turning off during use.


Best Starter Kit: BOSTITCH Air Compressor Combo Kit

Best Starter Kit: BOSTITCH Air Compressor Combo Kit

Best Starter Kit: BOSTITCH Air Compressor Combo Kit

  • $270

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This BOSTITCH Air Compressor Combo Kit is designed with the beginner in mind, consisting of all the tools necessary to use a pneumatic nail gun. The kit comes with three nail guns, including a brad nailer, straight finish nailer, and heavy-duty crown stapler, so that you have all of the tools required to complete a wide variety of carpentry projects.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Includes a compressor, brad nailer, finish nailer, crown stapler, and air hose

✔ Protected under a one-year limited warranty

✔ Doesn’t require oil, eliminating the need for daily maintenance

✘ Included nail guns don’t come with carrying cases

✘ Some customers experienced the air compressor leaking during use

What Customers Are Saying

This BOSTITCH Air Compressor Combo Kit received an average of 4.7 stars out of 5 from over 1,700 customer reviews, which is in line with the average customer rating of 4.7 stars across all five recommended nail guns. When factoring in reviews from other leading customer review sites, the BOSTITCH kit’s average customer rating increased to 4.9, showing a lift in customer satisfaction outside of the Amazon platform.

Many positive reviews praised the kit’s affordability and the quality of the three included nail guns, while most of the negative reviews pointed out the air compressor’s inefficiency, with one user experiencing the air compressor giving out in a matter of days.


Buying Guide

Before purchasing a nail gun, it’s important to understand the differences between available models to find the right type of nailer for your needs. In this buying guide, we explain how the design, power source, firing modes, and nail capacity affect how a nail gun operates.

Design

Nail guns come in a variety of designs, with some of the most popular being framing nailers, roofing nailers, brad nailers, and finish nailers.

A framing nailer has a heavy-duty build that’s designed to simplify the process of fastening wood for projects like fence building and new construction. Framing nail guns typically work with large, 3.5-inch nails called 16-penny nails. Similar to framing nailers, roofing nail guns are heavy-duty tools used by professionals to secure shingles, tar paper, and insulation boards.

Brad nailers are used to inconspicuously fasten detailed wood-like trim, moldings, and cabinetry. As the name suggests, this type of nail gun fires brad nails, also known as brads, which are made of small-diameter steel wire.

Finish nail guns are similar to brad nailers in that they use fine nails to secure detailed pieces of wood. However, finish nailers can fire nails that are larger in diameter and are built to secure larger pieces of wood.

Power source

A nail gun typically comes with one of two power sources: battery or pneumatic. Battery-powered nail guns may be a good choice for DIYers who want a cordless and mobile tool. Although battery-powered nailers are convenient, they’re often more expensive and less powerful than their pneumatic counterparts.

Pneumatic nailers are powered by an air compressor that allows the user to continuously fire, as long as the tool is loaded with nails. Pneumatic models are more powerful and less expensive than battery-powered nailers, but they require an air compressor and additional set-up time.

Firing modes

Some nail guns come with various firing modes that allow you to customize how you use the tool. For example, some models allow you to fire a nail simply by bumping the nose of the gun, while others possess a safety feature that requires the nailer’s tip to be engaged before pulling the trigger.

Nail capacity

When selecting a nail gun, consider its nail capacity, which refers to the number of nails the gun can hold and fire before requiring a new set.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best nail gun for around-the-home use?

The best nail gun for home use is the CRAFTSMAN Cordless Brad Nailer Kit. This cordless brad nailer removes the hassle of purchasing an air compressor by utilizing rechargeable batteries that are capable of accurately driving nails for small home improvement projects, such as decking.

As a cordless brad nailer, this CRAFTSMAN model is convenient and user-friendly. Eliminating the need for air hoses and an air compressor, this battery-powered brad nailer makes securing trim work and other fine carpentry quick and simple. In addition to its hoseless design, the gun is equipped with tool-free depth settings for fast adjustments while on the job.

Why is my nail gun jamming?

A jammed nail gun can be caused by a number of factors, including an inadequate amount of oil, a misshapen coil, or an improperly sized fastener. Oil your nail gun prior to each use to prevent jamming. Additionally, make sure that your fasteners fit your nail gun’s specifications.

How often should I oil my nail gun?

The frequency in which you oil your nail gun depends on how often you use the tool. If the nailer is being used throughout the day, oil may need to be applied multiple times to maintain its efficiency. If you use the tool less frequently, you may only need to apply oil prior to each use. Check the owner’s manual to learn about your specific nailer’s oil requirements.


Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.