7 Best Finish Nailers 2020 By Experts

7 Best Finish Nailers

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A good finish nailer can give your workpiece the finish details that would make it come to life.

Since they are equally crucial for professionals and hobbyists, and because we know how frustrating it is to search for the right one for you, we have compiled a list of the best finish nailers on the market nowadays.

Our Top Picks:

Air CompressorLbsCapacity
Paslode - 9024004.5 100
Metabo HPT 4.2 100
Senco 9104
BOSTITCH BTFP721564.3100
BOSTITCH BTFP719177.3100
DEWALT D51257K7.6100
BOSTITCH N62FNK-28.7130

The 7 Best Finish Nailers in 2020


1. Paslode – 902400 –  Best Overall


Paslode 905600

 

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This 16-gauge nailer features the new In-Can System which is easier to install for reliable use.

It can drive 1-1/4 – 2-1/2 inches long nails using the Pro- Grade depth of drive adjustment. It has a magazine that can take up 100 nails, so you can use it without having to worry about reloading mid-work.

Thanks to its lightweight, angled magazine and cordless model, you can use it in tight places and in over-the-head jobs.

This powerful nailer is powered by a battery and a fuel cell so it is more powerful than the cordless finish nailers that are only powered by batteries. It can even drive 1200 nails per charge.

If you are worried about the batteries getting depleted quickly, you don’t need to because Paslode – 902400 uses Lithium-ion Technology that provides the users with better power management and shorter charging times.

Moreover, it features an on/off battery lock that allows it to conserve power and allows the user to work for longer periods before it requires charging.

Besides, it features a no-mar tip to prevent your work surface from any scratches, and an ergonomic angled handle that provides you with a better line of sight so that you can see where you are placing the nail exactly. It also has a nail lock-out, so it is safe to say that it does not fire any blanks.

It comes with a rechargeable lithium ion battery, battery charger, safety glasses, and a carrying case.

Pros

  • Cordless 
  • Powerful 
  • Tool-free depth of drive adjustment
  • A clear line of sight 
  • Accurate 
  • Does not fire any blanks

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Fuel cells are separately bought
  • May misfire 
  • Depth of drive may be inaccurate

Bottom Line

This is an excellent tool to use for door and window trims as well as paneling and crown modeling. Just press the switch and you are good to go!


2. Metabo HPT NT65MA4 – Runner Up


Metabo HPT NT65MA4

 

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This durable guy can drive 15 gauge nails ranging between 1-1/4 inch to 2-1/2 inch at 34 inches. Its magazine can take up to 100 fasteners, which is enough for any project.

It is specially designed for installing trim moldings and window or door casings. It is also great with working at tight places and angles thanks to its angled magazine.

You will find a tool-free drive adjustment dial under the elastomeric grip non-slip grip trigger. Adjustments can be made depending on the density of the material and the required air pressure. The drive adjustment dial lets you set the nails consistently for improved control and professional finish.

If you are fed up with accumulative dust and debris that is always on your work surface, use the unique air duster button that you will find right above the grip. The air duster blows the air from a hole in the front of the tool.

Moreover, you will find a 360-degree adjustable exhaust specially made to steer the dust and debris away from your face so that you have a more comfortable experience.

Do you feel that there are enough great features already? You are wrong! The awesome Metabo HPT NT65MA4 allows you to freely switch between the sequential and the contact firing modes using a selective actuation switch. It also has a no-mar tip so as not to damage your work surface.

The one drawback of this impressive finish nailer is that it needs frequent lubrication to keep working at its peak, which is not acceptable by many people because it puts your work surface at the risk of having oil spills all over it.

Pros

  • Selective Actuation switch
  • Air duster 
  • 360-degree adjustable exhaust
  • the tool-free drive adjustment dial
  • Suitable for tight places 
  • No-mar tip
  • Comes with safety glasses, and a carrying case 

Cons

  • Contact mode can be dangerous for inexperienced users
  • Occasionally misfires
  • Occasional double shots

Bottom Line

If you need a finish nailer for installing trim moldings and window or door casings, or if you need it to fit into tight spaces, get this one with no hesitation.


3. Senco 4G0001N – NeverLube Technology


Senco 4G0001N

 

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This 15 gauge nailer is not only lightweight but also durable thanks to its magnesium housing cover. It comes with a straight angle magazine that can take up to 104 finish nails, which is pretty great.

It needs an air compressor to operate, and it runs at 70 to 120 PSI. Moreover, it drives bright and galvanized steel. It also has a dial in-depth adjustment thumbwheel to make sure that you will make precise drives from the minute you start working until the very end.

The great news is that this quite great finish nailer features the NeverLube technology, so you will never -ever- need to lubricate it. Plus, you will no longer worry about oil slips over your work- we know how frustrating this is! We also know how irritating it is to have your work surface damaged, so we are happy to tell you that Senco 4G0001N has no-mar pads to protect your work surface and material from any damages.

Besides all these appealing features, this big man comes with the EZ-Clear latch technology that enables you to easily and quickly clear jams that will happen, as is the case with all finish nailers. It also has an adjustable exhaust that can rotate up to 360 degrees, so that no dust or debris reach your face.

For your comfort, this finish nailer comes with a belt hook for convenient storage, an integrated construction ruler to help you make quick measurements, a balanced ergonomic design with a premium custom grip, and an improved trigger reach to keep your hand comfortable.

Sadly, though, it can only operate in the sequential firing mode.

Pros

  • Lightweight 
  • No-mar pads 
  • 360 adjustable exhaust 
  • NeverLube technology
  • EZ-Clear latch technology 
  • Thumbwheel adjustable depth of drive
  • Ergonomic

Cons

  • Operates in sequential fire mode only

Bottom Line

This lightweight finish nailer will make your work very easy thanks to its ergonomic handle and facilitating features. It can give you precise work without damaging your work surface.


4.BOSTITCH BTFP72156 – Small Nose


BOSTITCH BTFP72156

 

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This 15-gauge finish nailer is an angled one, which means that it can get into tight places. What is even more impressive is that it features an 80% smaller nose, so it will definitely get into tight spaces and angels with no effort at all. Also, the small nose offers better visibility and, consequently, precise nail placement.

It also has a small angled head that further helps it enter into tight spaces and allows you to see exactly where the nails are being driven.

This nailer drives “FN” style angled finish nails 1-1/4inch to 2-1/2 inches in length and has a 100-magazine capacity, which is very basic, yet enough for most projects.

It also features a tool-free jam release, so you will not have any trouble clearing jams. Besides, the nails can precisely countersink thanks to the DIAL-A-Depth adjustment control.

The lightweight of this comfortable nailer allows you to use it for over-the-head jobs. Moreover, it lets you choose between the sequential and the contact firing modes, so that you get the best results you want.

Pros

  • DIAL-A-Depth adjustment control
  • Both firing modes
  • 80% smaller nose
  • Small angled head
  • Lightweight 

Cons 

  • Not very durable

Bottom Line

Thanks to the smaller head and nose, you can use this for-the-rescue nailer to reach the places that you thought were impossible to reach.


5. BOSTITCH BTFP71917 – Two Fire Modes


BOSTITCH BTFP71917

 

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At 7.34 pounds, this finish nailer will make you drive in nails without exerting much effort. It can drive 16 gauge nails measuring between 1-1/4 to 2-½ inches.

Moreover, you can use it in tight angles and places that you normally fight with your nailer to get through thanks to the Smart Point Technology (narrow nose) that also allows you to actuate the tool without punching against the work surface.

Also, its 80 percent smaller head size allows it to reach tight spaces as well as provides you with better visibility of the work surface so that you can see where the nail is being driven.

Besides, it features a tool-free jam release that allows you to remove jammed fasteners easily. What is even more significant is its Dial-a-Depth feature that will enable you to control the countersinking of nails, and it’s selectable trigger system that gives you the freedom of switching between sequential and contact operation firing modes.

To facilitate your tasks even further, it has a 360-degree adjustable exhaust to keep dust and debris away from your face, and an adjustable belt hook that comes with an integrated pencil to spare you from all the hassle of measuring and marking.

Its oil-free operation is worth mentioning as well because this ensures that you will not have your work damaged by oil slips all over it.

Pros

  • Two fire modes
  • 80% smaller head size 
  • 360-degree adjustable exhaust
  • Dial-a-Depth feature
  • Smart Point Technology
  • Comes with a carrying case 

Cons

  • The driver on the gun seems loose

Bottom Line

If you need a finish nailer to handle tight angles and spaces, this is the one. Thanks to its narrow nose and small head, it can squeeze its way through any tight place you want.


6. DEWALT D51257K – Oil-free Operation


DEWALT D51257K

 

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DEWALT D51257K is ideal for professional carpenters and DIYs alike. It is a pneumatic finish nailer that needs an air compressor to perform. It can run at an operating pressure from 70 to 120 PSI.

Its easy-to-load magazine, as all the magazines of its previous fellows, can hold up to 100 fasteners. It accepts 16 gauge finish nails of lengths ranging between 1 inch to 2 ½ inches.

It features a tool-less jam clearing, 360-degree adjustable rotating exhaust to help you keep dust and debris away from your face.

Moreover, to maintain the quality of your work surface and to make sure that no damages happen upon it, there is a no-mar tip to prevent any damage to the work surface.

Also, it features a sealed lube dial technology, which means that it does not use oil at all, which eliminates the risk of having oil spills on your work surface.

Besides all these great features, DEWALT D51257K’s care for your safety is apparent in its trigger lock that ensures that the nail gun is safe to use for everyone. It also has a belt hook so that you can tie it to your waist if the situation demands doing so and over-molded grips to provide you with comfort.

Sadly, it uses sequential action mode only.

Pros

  • Sealed lube dual technology
  • No-mar pad 
  • 360-degree adjustable rotating exhaust 
  • Oil-free
  • A belt hook 
  • Over-molded grips

Cons

  • Occasionally jams
  • Fires several blanks
  • sequential action mode only

Bottom Line

At an affordable price, DEWALT D51257K offers you impressive features ranging from the sealed lube dual technology, 360-degree adjustable rotating exhaust, no-mar pad, and over-molded grips.


7. BOSTITCH N62FNK-2 – Four Angled Profile Tips


BOSTITCH N62FNK-2

 

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BOSTITCH N62FNK-2 has a tool-free magazine that can hold up to 130 nails whose measures fall between 1.25 to 2.25 inches in length, which means that you can work continuously without having to reload. This feature allows you to have more consistent work results and more productivity. Moreover, the magazine can be easily removed so that you can clear jams with absolute ease. It also features a no-mar tip to prevent your work surface from getting damaged in any way.

This tool takes utmost care of the most delicate details because it comes with a choice of four angled profile tips to ensure a pristine finish and best drive. It is oil-free, which eliminates the risk of having your work stained with oil. It also means that you will not need to maintain it that often.

The adjustable nail depth lets you easily decide the depth at which you want the nail to rest. Its lightweight will allow you to use it for long periods of time, even if you are doing over-the-head jobs like installing cabinets and crown moldings.

It comes with a carrying case so that you can safely store it while transporting it from one place to another, and a 7-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • Oil-free operation
  • Removable magazine
  • 7-year limited warranty 
  • Adjustable depth control 

Cons

  • The trigger may break

Bottom Line

This is the best finish nailer to take care of very fine details. It is especially excellent with handling over-the-head jobs due to its lightweight and ease of use.

What Is a Finish Nailer?

A finish nailer “finishes” the job, literally. They usually use thick nails ranging between 14, 15, and 16-gauge nails. The nails are typically 1 to 2.5-inches long.

Their nails are headless, non-removable, and blend into the wood, giving your workpiece a professional and neat look.

You can also paint over them to add a flat nail-less appearance to your work. They provide you with more long-lasting results than hammers and nail guns.

How to Pick a Finish Nailer?

The features you need in a finish nailer depend on whether you need it for a professional job or just for our house.

We will tell you the most significant features that you must check to facilitate the process for you.

Gauge And Angle

Finish nailers with 15 gauge or 16 gauge are the most common on the market. They are the only sizes that a homeowner or a casual user will need.

In case you do not know, the higher the number of the gauge, the thinner it is. So, the 16 gauge is a bit smaller than the 15 gauge, and so on. The difference might not be very noticeable; nevertheless, you must consider it in regards to your project.

Another essential thing that you must know is that the gauge relates to the angle of the nailer’s magazine. Now, let’s jump onto the significance of the angle itself.

The larger the angle, the easier the nailer can squeeze into tight places. Hence, straight and angled 16 gauge nailers can go up to 20 degrees only; whereas, a 15 gauge has angles up to 34 degrees. So, if you need a sharper angle, go with a 15 gauge nailer.

We will talk about these with some more details later on.

Nails

You must know the length of the nails you need for your project in order to get the right nails. Most of the nailers have a range that runs anywhere from 1 – 2 ½ inches long, which is enough for almost all projects.

You should know that the more the range, the better, especially if you will be using the finish nailer for a professional job.

Power Source

Some nailers are air-powered, and others are battery-powered. We will discuss both briefly.

Air-Powered

An air-powered nailer needs an air compressor to operate. If you are a professional who already has one, that would be great. However, if you are a homeowner or someone who is just getting started, you should know that an air compressor is not cheap, so its price is going to be a factor in your decision-making process.

Air-powered finish nailers are more reliable. They give you the same power for as long as they are connected to the air compressor.

However, they are not portable, so they will limit your mobility. Moreover, the tubing adds tension and weight to the nailer, which can be dangerous at times.

Battery-Powered

Battery-powered finish nailers, like any other electronic devices, are prone to depletion. However, if you have a charger and a spare battery, you will never face such a problem.

Moreover, some battery-powered finish nailers have a fuel cell that propels the nail. The fuel cell tries to mimic the same pressure that an air-powered nailer has. It consists of compressed gas that is powered by the battery.

Such finish nailers are more potent than the ones that are powered by the battery alone. The only thing that may hold you back from buying a cordless finish nailer that features a fuel cell is that you will have to buy an additional cost for it.

To sum up, nothing could ever beat the convenience, safety, and portability of a cordless finish nailer. I definitely recommend it.

Tool-less Depth Of Drive Adjustment

This is an excellent feature in general, and for professionals in particular because it helps you do the job perfectly from the first try, so it increases your productivity.

Some people claim that they are not always accurate, but even if you can figure them out by getting used to your tool.

Multi-Directional Exhaust

It gives you the ability to draw the air away from getting blown into your face.

Air Duster

It cleans the dust and debris that are all over the place on a job site. They can also help you clean up after you are done.

Size And Gauge of Your Finish Nailer

The size of the finish nailer you buy is an essential factor. You must know its dimensions, and hold it in your hands to make sure it feels comfortable. You will probably use it for extended periods, so it will be much better if you have pain-free work hours.

Moreover, if you will use it for over-the-head jobs, make sure that it is small and lightweight.

Now, let’s go back to the gauge. There are big nails that range between 15 and 16 gauge, which are usually called finish nailers; midsize 18-gauge nailers called brad nailers; and small 23-gauge nails that are typically called a pinner, or a micro pinner.

Want to know more? Okay!

1. 15-Gauge Finish Nailer

Want to nail ¾ inches- thick baseboard and trim? Want to nail door jambs or stair treads? A 15-gauge finish nailer is an excellent choice for doing this. These nailers have a large piston, and sometimes they have angled magazines, so they know how to get into tight places.

Brand 15-gauge finish nailers drive nail lengths up to 2-½ inches.

2. 16-Gauge Finish Nailer

A 16-gauge finish nailer is smaller and lighter than the above gauge. Similar to the 15-gauge finish nailer, they, too, drive nails of up to 2 ½ inches long. They are also suitable for a thick trim.

I, for one, believe that the 15-gauge finish nailers are better because of the fatter the nails, the more holding power they provide.

3. 18-Gauge Brad Nailer

If you want to buy one trim nailer only, get this size. Why do you ask? Well, that is because it is not only perfect for a standard trim, and furniture making, but it will also have your back with any odd jobs around the shop.

Some common models shoot brads up to 1-1/4- inches, but I would recommend you spend some more money and buy a gun that can handle brads up to 2 inches long.

4. 23-Gauge Pinner

This is the least helpful nailer because its tiny pins do not have enough holding power. Still, it is good with nailing small parts.

When To Use a Finish Nailer?

A finish nailer can handle different types of wood. It is especially great with MDF types of wood like plywood, hardwoods, and softwoods. You can use it for moldings around windows and doors, baseboards, chair rails, and such, as well as cabinet making.

FAQ on Finish Nailers:

Q: Can a finish nailer be used for framing?
A: They can be used for framing, but this is not their primary job. Finish nailers are designed to “finish” the job. For framing, you better use a framing nailer.

Q: Do all finish nailers need a compressor?
A: Not all finish nailers operate with a compressor. There are some cordless finish nailers on the market that operate using a battery or a battery and a fuel cell.

Q: Is buying a finish nailer with a fuel cell suitable?
A: It is powerful, but if you use a fuel cell, you will need to replace it every 500 nails, for example, This is an added cost that you won’t need to pay if you use a compressor.

Final Thoughts

Finding the best finish nailer is not a hard job anymore. You just need to reread the above reviews, and you will be good to go.

I would recommend Paslode – 902400 because it is cordless, so you can take it with you to any place you want. It is also an appealing finish nailer because of its power and accurate nail placement. This is, of course, if you have money.

In case you need an impressive finish nailer that is not as expensive as Paslode – 902400, get Metabo HPT NT65MA4. It has a selective actuation mode, so you can freely choose how you want to place the nails, and a tool-free depth adjustment to provide you with accuracy.

All the other products are great as well. Just pick the one that you feel suits you and your needs best.