The 5 Best Cordless Framing Nailers
This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in January of 2019. The jury's still out on whether there's a cordless framing nailer out there that can keep pace with pneumatic options, but nobody will deny how convenient loading up a battery is compared to firing up an air compressor and tripping over an air hose all day long. These models are especially helpful for busy contractors, making quick service calls easier than ever before. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
September 21, 2020:
Widespread availability issues, many stemming from manufacturer discontinuations, saw these rankings be largely rebuilt during this round of updates. While the Paslode CF325, Hitachi NR90GC2, OrionPower OGG-3490CH, Bostitch GF28WW and Metabo HPT NR1890DR were all removed from our list, the only two previous selections we chose to maintain were the DeWalt DCN692B and Paslode CF325XP.
Our new additions this time around are the Metabo HPT NR1890DCS — which can fire two fasteners per second and is backed by a lifetime tool warranty; the Milwaukee 2745-21 — which moves even quicker than the NR1890DCS, and fires up to three nails per second; and the Bostitch BCF30P1 — a brushless model with a 30-degree magazine that’s backed by a three-year limited warranty.
As you may have gleaned from the shortness of our list this time around, pickings are quite slim in this category. If I had to speculate, with framing guns requiring more power than other nailers, producing a profitable, battery-powered design probably presents quite the challenge for manufacturers, especially in a space like the tool industry — where durability and performance are prized above all. That being said, there are plenty of well-reputed, pneumatic framing nailers on the market – that may satisfy your needs, if you have any concerns with these cordless models – but going that route means you’ll incur the expense and inconvenience of hauling an air compressor around.
If you found your way to this page, there’s a very good chance that a framing nailer is exactly what you’re looking for. However, if you’re not a professional, and just starting to get this nailer thing figured out, do your due diligence and make sure that a framing nailer is exactly what you need for your applications. When it comes to nailers, bigger is definitely not always better, so if you need a nailer for delicate work, a framing model will leave you sorely disappointed. Semantics can get pretty muddy when it comes to this matter, with everything but a framing nailer sometimes referred to as a finish nailer, but for the most part, there’s four basic sizes of nail guns on the market:
Framing nailers: These are the nailers you see ranked on this page. As the name implies, these guns fire large nails that are suitable for framing and heavy-duty construction applications. They’re an absolute game changer for large projects – compared to the hammer-and-nail days of old – but they’re workhorses that’ll absolutely tear finish materials to pieces, which limits their usefulness.
Finish nailers: These units fire 15- or 16-gauge nails suitable for most finishing applications, but are still powerful enough to split some thin or fragile materials. They also tend to leave a small divot in materials that needs to be puttied over and sanded, to keep things smooth. We also maintain a separate set of rankings for cordless finish nailers.
Brad nailers: These tools use 18-gauge nails. They’re a favorite among upholsterers and finish carpenters, because of how well they work for finessed applications. And, although they won’t hold as well as a finish nailer, the mark they leave on material is so slight that it normally won’t need to be puttied over. We also maintain a separate set of rankings for cordless brad nailers.
Pin nailers: Sometimes referred to as pinners, and reserved strictly for the most delicate of applications, these nailers fire 20-gauge nails and smaller, and are intended for precise work.
January 29, 2019:
While a cordless nailer makes a handy addition to any professional's tool kit, they're not really designed for full-time work. That said, the hobbyist or dedicated DIY-er can still get tons of value from one, especially on smaller jobs like doghouses. Before making a purchase, ask yourself what kind of fuel you want to be working with, whether it's compressed air, gas, or batteries, as this can affect both the machine's power and its ease-of-use.