Updated December 10, 2020 by Will Rhoda

The 10 Best Nail Guns For Concrete

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This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in January of 2019. As the name implies, concrete nailers are used to drive fasteners into cement-based substrates. While it is possible to accomplish this same thing with a hammer or powder-actuated tool, these pneumatic- and gas-powered models are more efficient and allow you to get the job done significantly quicker. Some are even suitable for driving pins into steel, and most accept a variety of nail sizes. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.

1. DeWalt DCN890P2

2. Hilti GX120

3. Freeman PCTN64

Editor's Notes

December 07, 2020:

Without much evolution in the category since the last time we visited it, this was a relatively uneventful round of updates. The only option we ended up removing was the Hitachi NC40G, which has been discontinued.

My original suspicion was that this discontinuation was simply due to the company’s 2018 rebrand, which left a new line of virtually identical, like-model-numbered Metabo HPT tools available for former fans of Hitachi. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Not only was Metabo HPT not offering a replacement for the NC40G at the time of this update, but it also appears to be offering no replacement for the CM75EBP — another nail gun rated for concrete that Hitachi used to offer. A conversation with a representative from the company didn’t provide us with any insight as to why these tools have been discontinued, or if and when a replacement will be offered.

This is purely speculative, but I can’t imagine that it’s easy to engineer a tool up to this task, and I wonder if an inordinate amount of warranty claims on these units led the company to remove them from their lineup, if they felt the current design wasn’t living up to their brand’s standard of quality. Notably, the Makita GN01 – a cordless option that could fire fasteners as long as 1-9/16 inch – has also been discontinued without an apparent replacement.

If you need a nailer like this regularly at work, then there’s no doubt that they can save you hours, compared to most powder-actuated alternatives, but pneumatic models also require you to show up to the job site with an air compressor, an air hose and maybe even an air hose reel — which can be quite a pain. Of course, battery-powered models – like our new addition: the DeWalt DCN890P2 – provide an easy workaround for this, but if you’re looking at these tools simply to fire a few fasteners for a small home renovation, perhaps you’ll be interested in checking out our list of powder-actuated tools, which can be more affordable at the lower end (though just as expensive at the top of the category).

You’ll also want to be careful that the nailer in question is capable of accommodating the right length of fasteners for whatever job you’re hoping to take on. Some models in this category can only fire nails as long as an inch, while others – like the Freeman PSSCP – can handle hardware up to three inches long. We noticed that the Senco SCP40XP presented conflicting information, claiming to have a 1-1/2-inch magazine, yet purportedly only being able to accommodate 1-1/4-inch hardware. As the company didn’t get back to us with a comment in time for the publication of this update, we played it safe and went with 1-1/4 inches for the purpose of our description.

January 22, 2019:

We realize people have different needs when it comes to buying a concrete nailer. Contractors will require a much more powerful and durable model than a consumer doing a one-off job on their home for whom price will be a major factor in their buying decision. Because of this, we strived to include a variety of tools that are well-suited to each of these needs. We also made sure to include both gas- and air-powered options.

Special Honors

DeWalt DCN891B This option is very similar to the company's discontinued DCN890B model, but features a reduced magazine size of one inch. While this cuts the tool's maximum fastener length down by more than half – the DCN90B could handle nails as long as 2-1/4 inches – it also leaves it a little bit lighter, and better equipped to get into tight spaces. dewalt.com

4. Senco SCP40XP

5. Freeman PCN65

6. Bostitch MIII812CNCT

7. Freeman PSSCP

8. Max HN120 PowerLite

9. Air Locker CN64A3

10. Apach LHT-64


Will Rhoda
Last updated on December 10, 2020 by Will Rhoda

After deciding that the pen was mightier than the pliers, Canadian electrical contractor William Rhoda abandoned his career and headed back to college, where he majored in marketing and advertising and won a scholarship along the way to earning a diploma in creative communications. His past career landed him a depth of knowledge in tools and hardware, while his current career schooled him in audio, video and camera equipment. During his leisure time, he’s learned lots about outdoor gear, and years of tiresome backyard maintenance have taught him all about pools and hot tubs. His recreational pursuits include rest, relaxation and revolutionary action, and his roommate’s a hairless cat.


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