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If you want to make some improvements around your house where you install new hardwood floors or repair the ones you have, a good flooring nailer will be a great addition to your workshop.
And while it’s true that you can nail the wood pieces by hand, but that’s pretty time-consuming and exhausting.
To make the process of choosing easier for you, I’ve created this list of the best flooring nailers you’ll find on the market.
Our Top Picks
The 7 Best Flooring Nailers
1. Bostitch BTFP12569 2-in-1 Flooring Tool
It operates at a pressure between 70 and 100 PSI and has a pneumatic driving action. Thanks to its interchangeable and non-marring base plates for 1/2 inch (12.7 millimeters) through 3/4 inch (19.1 millimeters) flooring. The base plates do not cause scratches on the material and enable the nailer to work on various flooring thickness. Moreover, it has an ergonomic handle, and a rubber grip to make the process of handling the nailer easier for the user. They also allow the user to be comfortable while maintaining maximum control.
Moreover, it can drive 15.5 GA flooring staples and 16 GA L-shaped cleats from 1 1/2 inch to 2-inch length.
However, it comes with many negative sides as well. To name a few, its magazine usually fails to hold cleats in place, so you may think that the job is going great, only to realize later that you have been shooting blanks for the whole time, which would be a huge waste of time and effort. In addition to this, you might dry fire it without realizing that you are doing so, which is again, effort and time gone with the wind!
It includes a nailer, Interchangeable base plates, mallet, wrenches, and 1/4 inch (6.4 millimeters) air fitting with dust cover.
- Ergonomic handle design
- Great on hardwood
- Seven-year limited warranty
- Accepts 15.5 GA flooring staples
- Accepts 16 GA L-shaped cleat nails
- Relatively expensive
- Does not shoot T-cleats
- Lousy magazine
- Fry firing
Bostitch BTFP12569 may be a great nailer, but its drawbacks are huge. The idea of working and then realizing that you have been wasting all your effort and time is just terrible to think about.
2. Freeman PFL618BR Pneumatic Flooring Nailer and Stapler
It is the best pneumatic flooring nailer out there. It works between the pressure of 70 and 110 PSI, and its body that is made of die-cast aluminum makes it very durable. Moreover, it is pretty much versatile as it can fire staples, T-cleats, and L-cleats. Like Bostitch BTFP12569, it features interchangeable base plates, 1/2 and 3/4 inch, that enable it to install different flooring thickness.
Moreover, its magazine is very handy. Its capacity enables it to accommodate around 100 and 120 cleats/staples. Its nails rarely get jammed; anyone who has used a floor nailer before will know that this is such a relief.
Besides, Freeman PFL618BR is a useful tool for professionals and DIYs as well, due to its ease of use and maintenance. To maintain it, you just need to add a few drops of lubricant at the start of every day. It is also comfortable to use due to its long reach handle and its padded grip that enables you to have full control with next to nothing fatigue.
It comes with handy stuff such as a no-mar rubber mallet, goggles, wrenches, and oil. It also comes with a seven-year limited warranty.
- Durable body
- Padded grip
- Seven-year warranty
- Hard plastic carrying case
- Shoots staples, T-shaped cleats, and L-shaped cleats
- Easy to maintain
- Great on hardwoods
- Jams if you use low-quality nails
Freeman PFL618BR is a great flooring nailer. Its high-capacity magazine, ergonomic handle, padded grip, easy maintenance, and versatility makes it very attractive to purchase.
3. DeWalt DWFP12569
Dewalt DWFP12569 is versatile, reliable, and small. It is versatile because it can use staples and nails. Indeed, nail installation is outdated, but it provides longevity. Staples installation is trendy and reliable as well, so it is a great plus that it allows you to do both. It is extremely reliable and durable that it will keep on working for years and years after you buy it. Moreover, its small size allows you to move it around effortlessly, which is a big deal if you are doing a nail-intensive job like putting in a floor.
Besides, it is compatible to work with the most common nailing fasteners, namely, the 15.5-gauge staples and the 16-gauge L-shaped cleats.
Like Freeman PFL618BR and Bostitch BTFP12569, it has an ergonomic handle, and a rubber grip, so you do not need to worry about having sore hands during and after working. Likewise, it also has non-marring base plates that make it adjustable to any flooring size and thickness.
Another A+ point is that it requires lower CFM than its fellow pneumatic nailers, so you won’t need to run air compressors for a long time. Moreover, you can use it with almost any air compressor because it is fitted with the standard 1/4-inch air fitting. The only negative thing is that its O-ring is prone to failure. If the O-ring fails, it will cause losing air pressure.
- Lower CFM requirement
- Easy to operate
- Interchangeable non-marring base plates
- Fitted with the standard 1/4-inch air fitting
- No dry fire lockout
- 0-ring is prone to failure
Dewalt DWFP12569 is extremely useful to purchase. You won’t regret buying it due to its small size, durability, and versatility. Being able to use nailers and staples is such a great feature at such a price. Moreover, since it is compatible with many nailers and almost all air compressors, it is going to prove handy on many occasions.
4. NuMax SFL618 Flooring Nailer and Stapler
NuMax SFL618 is made of die-cast aluminum, which means that it is durable, and light. You can easily carry it around with you wherever you need it. Moreover, it is powerful as it can operate between 70 and 115 PSI. This PSI makes it great for both thin and dense wood floors.
This nailer is very versatile as it accepts staples, L-cleats, and T-cleats. That way, you can use it with almost any flooring project. Moreover, it comes with interchangeable base plates, and depending on the thickness of your flooring planks, you can choose to use either the 1/2 or 3/4-inch plate. Additionally, it has a magazine that can take up to 120 nails to reduce downtimes.
What makes NuMax SFL618 even greater is that it has a 23-inch tall extended handle that prevents back pain, anti-dust cap, a non-mar rubber mallet to move flooring in place, and a light strike bumper for low impact fastener driving. Moreover, it is compatible with most air compressors out there due to its 1/4-inch NPT fitting.
However, this air compressor is best suited for small jobs; otherwise, it may get sloppy. It also may run out of nails without giving any indication. It is still a great nailer for its price (106.94$)
- Relatively cheap
- Hard to tell when it is out of nails
- Uses staples, L-cleats, and T-cleats
- Tall handle
- Interchangeable base plates
- High-capacity magazine
- Mallet handle is a bit smooth
This is one of the greatest flooring nailers on the market. It is portable and durable. It also has an ergonomic handle and is relatively cheap. Moreover, check the pros section, and you will be more convinced to buy it.
5. Freeman PDX50C Lightweight Pneumatic 3-in-1 Flooring Nailer and Stapler
This 15.5-Gauge and 16-Gauge 2″ flooring nailer uses a 16 gauge T-cleats and L-cleats, and 15.5 gauge flooring staples. It, too, has interchangeable base plates, which makes it great for solid wood tongues, grooves, and engineered flooring from 1/2″ to 3/4″.
Moreover, its anodized aluminum magazine, one-piece drive blade, and high-quality rubber O-rings make it highly durable. However, it does not have a mar protection plate. It also comes with lightweight fiberglass handle mallet.
Freeman PDX50C is suitable for professionals and DIYs as well, due to its ease of use and versatility.
- Seven-year warranty
- 90 Day Wearable Parts Warranty.
- Interchangeable base plates
- Suitable for professionals and amateurs
- Jams occasionally
This lightweight flooring nailer is ideal for professionals and DIYs alike. It is easy to use and versatile. It is also highly durable due to its anodized aluminum magazine, one-piece drive blade, and high-quality rubber O-rings.
6. Bynford Hardwood Flooring Stapler Nailer
This lightweight nailer is suitable for both professionals and DIYs. It can work as a stapler and a brad nail. It uses standard 18 gauge narrow crown staples and 18 gauge brad nails up to 1-9/16″. It is also versatile due to its adjustable shoe plate. Moreover, the new shoe design enables it to be used on floors with a longer lower lip on the groove side. It is designed for floors from 1/4″ – 9/16″, or 3/4″ in limited applications.
This means that it is suitable for working with different floor thicknesses. Being able to adjust the depth of the drive provides users with a professional finish because it ensures users that the staple or brad is in the correct position for the particular density of the material.
Bynford Hardwood Flooring Stapler Nailer is also suitable for use inside a closet, cupboard, or closed spaces thanks to its ability to change the position of the nail gun from straight to 45 degrees.
However, it is not recommended to use it on heavy-duty tasks.
- Works as a stapler and a brad nail
- New shoe design
- Adjustable shoe plate
- Not the best thing to use on heavy-duty tasks
- Does not work with cleat nails
Bynford Hardwood Flooring Stapler is great to use for professionals and DIYs. It will also save you money if you buy it instead of renting a nail gun or a stapler if you want to install hardwood or laminate flooring.
7. Ramsond RMM4 2-in-1 Air Hardwood Flooring Cleat Nailer and Stapler Gun
Ramsond RMM4 2-in-1 Air Hardwood Flooring Cleat Nailer and Stapler Gun is a durable and lightweight nail gun. Its can handle floors of different thickness and has a non-marring base system to protect it from damage and provide it with optimal positioning against the work surface for fast and accurate installation.
Moreover, it lets you shoot staples and cleat nails from the same gun, which means that you do not have to worry about the whole process of changing magazines. Its magazines can take up to 100 staples/cleats. It is easy and rapid to load; all you need to do is pull the magazine back, put the fasteners in it, and release the drawer. It is designed for 15.5- and 16-gauge staples from 1 to 2 inches and “L” cleats from 1-1/2 to 2 inches.
Besides, the nailer works with a maximum speed (60-120 PSI) due to its patented air booster, and that provides you with ease and quickness. It is also equipped with a standard 1/4-inch NPT air inlet for easy compatibility. RMM4, just like most nailers, stores compressed air inside its body. The air gets released after a mallet strike to shoot the fastener. RMM4 goes the extra mile as it does not just store compressed air in one chamber, but in another booster chamber that is located in the handle. This additional chamber ensures that the fasteners are shot with sufficient force for perfect penetration in the floor surface. Moreover, they accommodate quicker retraction of the actuator and blade when compared with conventional units.
It is okay if you are worried that you won’t know how to align the nailer; however, you do not have to think about this anymore if you buy RMM4. The direction and angle of the staple/cleat will be automatically aligned to achieve a very precise driving.
It is suitable with different thickness of hardwood flooring (1/2 inch, 5/8 inch, 3/4 inch, and 25/32 inch). It comes with two nylon composite base plates, so you can just install the appropriate base plate for your application.
Last but not least, this nailer is extra comfy to use thanks to its die-cast alloy body, lightweight, and padded long handle. Moreover, its driver blade is constructed of heat-treated hardened steel that provides it with durability.
- Non-marring base system
- Heat-treated drive blade
- Padded handle
- Extra air chamber
- Seals get blown
- Air leaks
RMM4 is a great flooring nailer due to its versatility, ease of use, and lightweight design. It is suitable to use on different floor thicknesses; 1/2 inch, 5/8 inch, 3/4 inch, and 25/32 inch. It can also shoot cleats and staples.
How to Choose a Flooring Nailer?
When you’re deciding on a flooring nailer, there’s a lot more to consider than the reputation of the brand. For the best results and to reach your desired objectives, here’s what you have to consider.
Manual vs. Pneumatic Operation
The first thing you’ll have to consider is whether you want it to be operated manually or pneumatically.
Manual ones are simpler and quicker to operate, relatively more affordable, have lower operating costs. However, they may require multiple mallet hits.
On the other hand, pneumatic nailers are more powerful and have more precise results. They also usually require a single mallet hit and work very well for large surfaces. However, they’re relatively more expensive.
If you’re looking for something accurate, reliable, and fast, go for a pneumatic one. However, if you’re shopping on a tight budget and you’ll be working on smaller surfaces or occasional flooring projects, a manual one will do just fine.
18-Gauge vs. 16-Gauge
Using the wrong nails can ruin the floor by either splitting the material or failing to hold it in place, resulting in noisy squeaking. Most of the time, the choice will be between 18 and 16-gauge flooring nailers.
If you’re going to work with thinner or more brittle material, go for an 18-gauge flooring nailer. On the other hand, if you’re going to do professional work and want something that can handle harder and thicker wood flooring planks, you should opt for a 16-gauge flooring nailer.
Cleats vs. Staples
Many modern flooring nailers use both cleats and staples, so it all depends on what you intend to use your nailer for.
But generally, if you’re looking for more professional use, look for a nailer that uses both staples and cleats.
For casual DIY projects or if you’re a homeowner looking for a budget choice to use on your small-scale flooring projects, you can go for the affordable staples nailers.
It’s always better to get the most durable and well- built choice your budget can afford as you don’t want to change your tool after every few projects. But you don’t want it to be too heavy either.
Usually, aluminum is used to manufacture flooring nailers, and it perfectly combines being tough and lightweight.
While all the seven choices listed above can easily be considered the best flooring nailers on the market, I’d have to give the cake to the DeWalt DWFP12569.
The Freeman PFL618BR is a runner-up, but didn’t make it as the top pick due to its performance is too dependent on the quality of fasteners you use. The Bostitch’s BTFP12569 could have also made it to the top if it weren’t for how poorly it holds the nails in the magazine.
If you’re looking for an affordable option with a lot to offer, I’d recommend the NuMax SFL618.