Hey!  Tom here!  Looking for a new nail gun to add to your tool box?

About a year ago, I started thinking about getting myself one.  Getting a little too old to be swinging a hammer manually.  I looked at a ton of different framing nailers but after comparing a bunch of different ones, I finally got down to this list of what I consider to be the top 5.

Some people may have other ideas on what the best would be, but trust that my suggestions are good ones. 

Let's get right to this buyers guide for choosing the best framing nailer...


​Great for both small-repair works and full-time construction jobs!

NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree

​Excellent bang for your buck!

Paslode 905600 Cordless XP

​Looking for the best cordless framing nailer?  This might be the right one for you.

Hitachi NR90AES1

​Do simple tasks around the house or get professional work done, this power tool delivers.


​Another most excellent choice!

It is difficult to imagine life without the hard-working framing nailers. With their capability to nail through literally any kind of wood, these nail guns are a must when framing a house or for that matter any building. However, not all framing nailers are created equal. It is not a product that you can go to a store and buy, just like that. There is some research that you need to do. This will help you decide on the right framing nailers in the market for you. So, let's look at what to look for when buying a framing nailer.

Types of framing nailers

The first thing that you need to decide is on the type of framing nailer that you need to buy. There are basically two types available; the coil, and the stick type. If larger magazine capacity is your requirement then you need not look beyond the stick type. Just in case you need the nail gun for applications where magazine capacity is not an issue, then you could always opt for the coil nail guns.

Choice of power source

This is again strictly a personal choice. One choice that you have are the cordless types of framing nailers. These are usually battery powered. Some are coil framing nailers. Some of them are also powered by fuel or equipped with round head nails. Since they are the cordless type, they are obvious choice if you want something that is easier to handle. Then you have the choice of pneumatic powered nail guns. These are powered by compressed air. The pneumatic nail guns are typically used for tougher jobs.

Nail types

Just as there are different types of framing nail guns available at the stores, there are also different types of nails available. There are framing nailers that are known to fit in only one type of nails. Then there are other models which are versatile enough to fit in a variety of sizes and shapes. Another key aspect that you need to take care of is the kind of nail head that you are going to use. This is because there are certain brands of framing nailers that accept only round-head nails. Similarly, there are also models which specifically accept only clipped-head nails.

Comfortable handling and Ergonomically Designed

The weight of the framing nailer is another key aspect that you need to consider. The lighter ones are the obvious choice if you want to make your work easier. The areas where you are going to work also dictate the weight. For example, if you are going to work on ceilings, then the light weight ones are the right choice. If it is the walls that you are looking to work on, then probably the pneumatic powered ones, even though a bit on the heavier side, would be the right choice. If you are looking for easy maneuverability, then your choice could once again be the light weight models made possibly for tighter spaces.

Additional features

The way technology is impacted every field of life is well documented. This being the case, it is not surprising that framing nailers too are getting more sophisticated by the day. The latest models come with a variety of features. Take for example, most of the latest models come with depth adjustment feature. Depending on the thickness of the wood, you can now adjust the depth with toolless depth adjustments. Then there is the jam clearance feature that many latest models come with nowadays. Getting jammed is often an issue with framing nail guns. With this feature however, jams can be cleared in virtually no time, and work could carry on without any hindrance.

Protective Gear

One of the important but often neglected aspect when buying framing nailers is protective gear. Remember, the very nature of work that these nail guns do means that you need protection from flying debris. There are specially designed guards available these days that you need to buy along with the framing nailers.

Air compressors

If you have decided on purchasing a pneumatic powered framing nailer, then you will also need a good quality air compressor. Thankfully, there are scores of brands of air compressors available these days. You can always arrive at the right choice after a search on online sources.

Online forums

It is an accepted fact that there is nothing like buying a product based on the recommendation of a known acquaintance. It could be your friend, colleague or some family member, there is nothing like listening to an existing user before you make your final purchase decision. These days there is also lots of help available in the form of online forums too. Online reviews are another great way to judge the different brands of framing nailers that are doing the rounds of the market. You can also get in touch with a few of the reviewers and get to know their firsthand experience with a particular brand. All this research will surely help find you answers to the question what to look for when buying a framing nailer, making your shopping process a breeze.

Looking for other types?  Take a look at these best nailers.