Best Finish Nailer Reviews – Our Top 10 Picks For 2018

When working on different wood projects, you need to make sure that you have the right tools. One of the most versatile and efficient power tools you need is one of the best finish nailers available, which will help you take care of a wide range of pieces.

Finish nailers are a bit more robust and helpful because they drive larger nails, which can stay fastened for longer. Compared to a brad nailer, these devices will work on a wider array of projects, making them an essential part of any workshop.

Today we’re going to look at some of the best finish nailers on the market so that you can make sure you have the best one for your next project.

Best Finish Nailer – Comparisons

Picture Product Name Magazine Capacity Power Source Price
DEWALT DC618K XRP 18-Volt Cordless 1-1/4 Inch - 2-1/2 Inch 16 Gauge 20 Degree Angled Finish Nailer Kit DEWALT DC618K XRP 18-Volt 120pcs Battery Powered Check Latest Price
Paslode 902400 Cordless 16g Angled Lithium Ion Finish Nailer Paslode 902400 Cordless 16g Angled 100pcs Battery Powered Check Latest Price
Hitachi NT65MA4 1-1/4 Inch to 2-1/2 Inch 15-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer with Air Duster Hitachi NT65MA4 1-1/4 Inch 100pcs Air Powered Check Latest Price
BOSTITCH N62FNK-2 15-Gauge 1 1/4-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch Angled Finish Nailer BOSTITCH N62FNK-2 15-Gauge 130pcs Air Powered Check Latest Price
Makita AF601 16 Gauge, 2-1/2" Straight Finish Nailer, Makita AF601 16 Gauge 100pcs Corded Electric Check Latest Price
DEWALT D51257K 1-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch 16 Gauge Finish Nailer DEWALT D51257K 1-Inch 100pcs Air Powered Check Latest Price
Senco 4G0001N FinishPro 42XP 15-Gauge 1-1/4-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch Finish Nailer with Case Senco 4G0001N FinishPro 100pcs Air Powered Check Latest Price
BOSTITCH BTFP71917 Smart Point 16GA Finish Nailer Kit BOSTITCH BTFP71917 Smart 100pcs Air Powered Check Latest Price
NuMax SFN64 Straight Finish Nailer 16 Gauge Ergonomic & Lightweight Pneumatic Nail Gun with Depth Adjust & No-Mar Tip NuMax SFN64 Straight Finish 100pcs Air Powered Check Latest Price
Freeman PFN1564 15 Gauge 34 Degree Angle Finish Nailer Ergonomic & Lightweight Nail Gun with No-Mar Tip & Quick Jam Release for Moulding, Baseboards, Doors, Cabinetry, Furniture Freeman PFN1564 15 Gauge 100pcs Air Powered Check Latest Price

Best Finish Nailer – Reviews

1. DEWALT DC618K XRP 18-Volt Cordless

There are a few critical features that you have to choose when picking out the right finish nailer for your workshop. One of them is whether you go cordless or not. In many cases, not having a cord or an air compressor can give you greater flexibility while working, meaning that you can work anywhere at any time.

The downside, of course, is that you’re limited by your battery life. While DeWalt makes some excellent long-lasting batteries, you do have to make sure that you’re paying attention to how much charge is left. That being said, though, you can increase the nailer’s lifespan by buying a secondary battery to swap when the first is depleted. Fortunately, with a one-hour charger, you can keep working without any delays.

DeWalt makes a lot of high-quality power tools, and this cordless finish nailer is no exception. It can take 20-degree finish nails between 1.25 and 2.5 inches, which is ideal for most situations. However, if you need a straight nailer, then this won’t get the job done.

This model can hold up to 120 nails, and it works on both soft and hard joints. It comes with built-in LED lights so that you can see in low-light conditions, and it’s comfortable enough to hold in awkward spaces without getting too tired.

When it comes to safety, this nailer also comes with a non-marring tip so that your wood projects don’t get scuffed or ruined while working. Also, it has a locking mechanism so that you can’t accidentally fire when the nailer is not in use. Overall, if you’re looking for a cordless, angled finish nailer, this is a great option.

Pros

  • Portable cordless design
  • Works with both soft and hard joints
  • Dual operating modes
  • Sequential and bump firing
  • Easy access to nose for removing jams
  • Lock-off trigger for safety
  • 20-degree angled magazine
  • Holds up to 120 nails
  • Built-in LED lights
  • Removable impact-resistant top cap
  • Drives nails between 1.25-2.5-inch nails
  • One-hour charger provided
  • Six-position depth adjustment
  • Reversible belt hook
  • Non-marring tip

Cons

  • Only works with angled finish nails
  • Heavier than other cordless models

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2. Paslode 902400 Cordless 16g Angled

For the most part, when picking out a cordless nailer, the battery will do all of the work for you. While standard nailers require compressed air with a separate device, battery-operated models will work just fine without it. The downside, however, is that you need more electricity to drive the nail, which adds weight to the device.

If you want more power and less weight, though, then the best thing to do is to buy something like this model from Paslode. Rather than using just a battery, you also buy a fuel cell that uses flammable gas (like butane) to drive the nails. Thus, you can work faster and more efficiently without getting fatigued.

That being said, you will have to buy more gas tanks as they dry up, so consider the long-term costs of having a nailer like this. However, if portability and power combined are valuable to you, then it can be worth it.

Overall, this nailer is decent for a variety of jobs. It can drive 16 or 18-gauge nails up to 2.5 inches, and it works quickly and efficiently. Because of the gas canister, you can drive up to 1200 nails on a single charge, making it better than most other battery-only models.

This unit also comes with a non-marring tip that helps protect your wood finish, and it has an ergonomic grip to help you work longer without having to stop. Finally, it has a heavy-duty belt hook so that you can keep it handy at all times.

You can watch the video below to have a detailed video review from our friend from ToolBoxBuz:

Pros

  • Cordless finish nailer
  • Lightweight model for less fatigue
  • Pro-grade depth adjustment
  • Heavy duty belt hook
  • Ergonomic soft grip handle
  • Non-marring tip
  • Uses batteries and fuel canisters
  • Nail lockout prevents dry firing

Cons

  • Fuel canisters are an extra expense
  • Internal components cannot take drops or hits

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3. Hitachi NT65MA4 1-1/4 Inch to 2-1/2 in

For the most part, when picking out a finish nailer, you’ll have to choose a model that runs on compressed air. While cordless units are handy because they don’t require extra equipment, you don’t get as much power behind each drive, nor do you get the unlimited amount of work potential.

Thus, if you have an air compressor and you’re looking for a lightweight and resourceful finish nailer, you’ll want to choose a pneumatic model like this one from Hitachi. At just over four pounds, it’s light enough to work in any setting, and it’s reliable enough to last through almost any job.

One element of nailers, in general, is how they fire. There are two primary methods – bump and sequential. Bump firing is when the nail drives when the trigger and the tip are compressed. Thus, you can keep the trigger pulled while moving the nailer, bumping it to fire each time (hence the name).

While bump firing is fast and efficient, it can also be dangerous if you’re not careful. Because you can accidentally bump the tip with the trigger pulled, you may either damage your piece or fire a nail into the air, where it can be a hazard. Typically speaking, you only want to bump fire when you have the experience and the focus to make it work.

Sequential firing, on the other hand, is when you have to pull the trigger each time to fire a nail. It’s slower and requires more grip strength, but it’s much safer. That being said, sequential firing is usually better when you don’t have to drive too many nails, as repeatedly gripping the trigger can be exhausting.

Fortunately, this nailer from Hitachi allows you to switch back and forth easily. Thus, you can adjust your method depending on the project and your needs.

Overall, this is an excellent pneumatic tool that will work in a variety of settings.

Pros

  • Pneumatic finish nailer
  • Built-in air duster for cleaning surfaces
  • Easy-to-clear nose for quicker jam removal
  • Dual firing – sequential or bump nailing
  • Tool-free depth of drive dial
  • Adjustable exhaust port
  • Weighs just over four pounds
  • 34-degree magazine
  • Non-marring tip
  • Holds up to 100 nails

Cons

  • In rare cases, it may have trouble countersinking
  • In rare instances, it may jam frequently

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4. BOSTITCH N62FNK-2 15-Gauge

So far, we’ve only been looking at angled finish nailers. When picking out the right model for your workshop, you have to determine which shape is right for your needs. Many finish nailers come at a variety of angles, such as this one from Bostitch, which is at 25 degrees.

The benefit of using an angled nailer is that you can work in tighter spaces because you only have to keep the tip on the wood. However, the downside is that you usually have to buy nails that are made for that type of angle. Also, you can’t keep the nailer flush to your wood as that will skew the nails that come out.

Nonetheless, angled nailers are common in the industry, so it’s imperative that you figure out which one is right for your needs. This one is an oil-free pneumatic model, meaning that it doesn’t require as much maintenance and upkeep and it will last longer. Also, it’s made of magnesium, which helps it weigh less than the competition at less than four pounds.

One unique feature of this nailer is that it comes with four different tips. Each one is non-marring to help protect your wooden surface, but they enable you to work on a wider range of projects because each tip serves a particular purpose.

The magazine on this nailer is also helpful, thanks to the fact that it can hold up to 130 nails (most other models can only contain 100), and it’s easily removable so that you can clear any jams that may occur.

Pros

  • Pneumatic finish nailer
  • Durable magnesium construction
  • Oil-free nailer for less maintenance
  • Four profile tips for more versatility
  • Weighs less than four pounds
  • Adjustable depth control
  • Removable angled magazine
  • Built-in belt hook
  • Holds up to 130 nails
  • 25-degree angle
  • Built-in LED light

Cons

  • In rare cases, the nailer may double fire
  • Doesn’t work with all 15-gauge nails

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5. Makita AF601 16 Gauge, 2-1/2″ Straight

As we mentioned, one of the critical elements you have to consider when choosing the best finish nailer is whether you want one that is angled or straight. If you decide that straight is the ideal way to go, then you’ll love this model from Makita. This is not only one of the better straight finish nailers, but it’s a contender for best overall.

What makes this tool (and other Makita products) so reliable is the motor. It’s a high-efficiency design that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance or upkeep. Simply put, it will last longer than the competition while still maintaining the same level of power and performance.

One element we like about this finish nailer is that you can switch back and forth between bump and sequential firing. Also, there is a built-in dust switch so that you can use the air from your compressor to clean off the surface of your wood before you continue working.

Other features that we appreciate about this model are the nail lockout mechanism that prevents dry firing, the tool-free depth adjustment, and the built-in belt hook so that you can keep it next to you at all times.

Pros

  • Pneumatic finish nailer
  • Straight edge – no angle
  • Works with 16-gauge nails
  • Efficient motor design
  • Nail lockout mechanism prevents dry fires
  • Tool-free depth adjustment
  • Automatically countersinks nails
  • Built-in air duster for convenience
  • Sequential and bump firing modes
  • Integrated belt hook
  • Weighs less than four pounds
  • Adjustable exhaust port
  • Fires nails between 1-2.5 inches

Cons

  • Doesn’t work with angled nails
  • Rear loading mechanism may not be ideal for all users

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6. DEWALT D51257K 1-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch

We’ve already seen what DeWalt can do with a cordless finish nailer, but if you want a pneumatic model with a straight edge, then this is an excellent choice. Although it doesn’t come with as many extras as the Makita, it’s both reliable and rugged, making it a welcome addition to any workshop.

One feature that we appreciate with this and other nailers is the adjustable exhaust port. Since you’re using compressed air, it has to go somewhere after you fire. Depending on where you’re working, that air can go straight into your face. Thankfully, having a 360-degree rotating knob ensures that you don’t experience that problem.

Although we like this nailer overall, it only does the sequential firing. While we believe that’s safer than bump firing, it can still be exhausting if you have to drive a ton of nails. Thus, we suggest this unit only if you are doing smaller projects that don’t require hundreds of nails.

Finally, this model can drive nails between one and 2.5 inches. Many other units can’t fire nails that small, meaning that you get a more substantial range for your next project.

Pros

  • Can be lubed or oil-free
  • Adjustable belt hook
  • Tool-free depth gauge
  • 360-degree rotating exhaust
  • Works with nails between 1-2.5 inches
  • Sequential firing for safety
  • Non-marring pad
  • Lock-off trigger prevents accidental fires
  • Overmolded grip for extra comfort

Cons

  • Sequential firing can be tiring
  • In rare cases, the unit may jam and damage the tip

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7. Senco 4G0001N FinishPro 42XP1

In many cases, having an angled finish nailer is just the ticket to getting the job done. If you have to drive nails on wood trim for various indoor projects, this design shape can make it so much easier and more efficient than if you used a straight edge model.

This unit from Senco is one of the more reliable and robust finish nailers we’ve seen. However, it does only offer sequential firing, so keep that in mind if you have to drive a ton of nails at once. Still, with a rugged magnesium housing and a soft grip handle, you can work for hours without getting too tired.

This unit is low-maintenance, thanks to its easy to use jam removal mechanism, its rotating exhaust port, and the fact that it doesn’t require lubrication to operate. Overall, this is one of the best angled finish nailer.

Pros

  • Durable, lightweight magnesium housing
  • Thumbwheel depth adjustment
  • No lubrication required
  • 360-degree exhaust
  • Soft comfort grip reduces fatigue
  • EZ clear latch for faster jam removal

Cons

  • Sequential firing can be exhausting
  • In rare cases, the unit may double fire regularly

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8. BOSTITCH BTFP71917 Smart Point 16GA

When using any type of nailer, the tip can have a significant impact on your job performance. If the tip doesn’t work well, then you could be misfiring nails or scuffing your project. Fortunately, this model from Bostitch has Smart Point technology, which avoids these issues.

First, the tip of the nailer is smaller and thinner than most. This means that it can fit into tighter corners, which is helpful in many finishing situations. Second, it’s see-through, which helps you ensure that you’re firing in the right spot each time. Finally, because the tip is smaller and rounded, you don’t have to worry about making marks on your wood.

Another thing that we like about this finish nailer is that you can quickly switch between bump and sequential firing. There is a lever on the side next to the trigger so that you can operate as necessary without having to stop and shift gears. However, with that in mind, you have to be careful not to switch by accident.

Other features that we like about this nailer include the adjustable belt hook, the integrated pencil sharpener to help you work faster, and the soft grip handle that helps reduce fatigue. This model is also less than four pounds so that you can operate with impunity.

Pros

  • Smart point technology
  • Non-marring safety tip
  • Comfort grip handle
  • Tool-free jam release
  • Dial-a-depth control
  • Built-in belt hook
  • Sequential or bump firing
  • Integrated pencil sharpener
  • Oil-free motor
  • Weighs less than four pounds

Cons

  • Can be tricky to reload nails
  • Changing nail sizes can be challenging as well

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9. NuMax SFN64 Straight Finish Nailer

If you need a decent straight finish nailer and you don’t want to pay extra for a name brand, then this model from NuMax may be an ideal choice. Although we don’t necessarily recommend it for professional woodworkers or contractors, it’s perfect for the DIY enthusiast who needs something fast and easy.

Overall, this finish nailer comes with all of the standard features. It has a rugged aluminum housing so that it won’t rust or break down, and it has a soft grip handle to help reduce fatigue. Also, at just 4.5 pounds, you can carry it around without getting tired.

This particular model can work with 15-gauge nails between one and 2.5 inches, which makes it better than those that can only go down to 1.25 inches. Also, with a dial depth adjustment and a quick jam release, you can work faster and more efficiently.

One unique feature of this nailer is the dust cap for the air hose connector. This can help keep your tool in good condition when it’s not in use since you can be sure that dust and debris won’t get into the connector by accident.

Pros

  • Soft rubber tip
  • Dial depth adjustment
  • Air connector cover
  • Quick jam release
  • Works with nails between 1-2.5 inches
  • 360 adjustable exhaust
  • Holds up to 100 nails
  • Sequential firing for safety
  • Durable aluminum housing
  • Weighs just 4.5 pounds

Cons

  • The unit cannot be taken apart for repairs
  • In rare cases, the unit may jam quickly

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10. Freeman PFN1564 15 Finish Nailer

Our final finish nailer is another angled design. At 34 degrees, you can get into tighter corners than other models, making it a viable option for many different professionals and DIYers alike. We really appreciate the sleek and versatile design of this nailer.

This model has a dual trigger mode, meaning that you can choose between sequential and bump firing. It also has an adaptive nose so that you don’t scuff your surfaces, nor do you have to readjust yourself with each new nail.

Overall, this nailer is easy to use and reliable, even if it doesn’t come with some extra features and benefits. If you’re looking for a resilient and long-lasting angled nailer, this is an excellent choice as your best finishing nail gun.

Pros

  • Sleek, ergonomic design
  • Dual trigger mode
  • Bump and sequential firing
  • Quick jam release
  • Rubber non-marring tip
  • Open nose design adapts to your surface
  • 34-degree angle
  • Finger depth adjustment

Cons

  • Heavier than other models
  • In rare cases, the trigger may stick

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Final Verdict

Because best finish nailers come in a variety of styles, it’s impossible to say that one is definitely better than the rest. Thus, we want to share our top picks on these finish nailer reviews for each type so that you can make a more informed decision.

For Cordless Users – we like the DeWalt DC618K XRP nailer. We appreciate the larger nail capacity, the extra power offered by the battery, and the ruggedness of the housing.

For Angled Users – although the degree may vary between models, we really like the Senco Finish Nailer. It’s tool-free jam removal, lightweight design, and reliable operation make it a versatile tool for any woodworker.

For Straight Users – the Makita AF601 is our top pick for anyone who needs a straight-edged finish nailer. It has a lot of helpful features, and it doesn’t jam easily. Makita is a reliable brand, and this is one of the best finish nailers you can find anywhere.

 

Relevant Resources:

 

Sean J. Stone
 

Sean has been a woodworking enthusiast for 8 years, and in that time has written huge resources on woodworking and tools.

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