Buying the best nail gun for woodworking is no easy task. There are many different options on the market and each one has their own unique features.
We’ve done all of the research so that you don’t have to. If you’re looking for a new nail gun, we recommend these 5 products based on price, reviews and popularity.
These are our top picks in various categories like cordless nail gun, brad nailers or finish nailers depending on your needs and budget!
Nail guns are tools that use compressed air to fire nails or staples into materials like wood which makes them much easier to work with.
Choosing a nail gun for woodworking is important because there are many different types that will each have varying features and benefits.
We chose these nail guns based on some of the most popular and highest reviewed new products on the market.
What are nail guns and what are they used for?
The best nail gun is a tool that allows for quick and effortless nailing of nails into objects such as 2×4’s, plywood sheets, wood boards, etc.
Woodworkers/carpenters who construct items out of wood will need to use a nail gun in order to easily and quickly fasten the boards together.
Most common types of nail guns include pneumatic, coil, and electric nailers; some popular examples of these would include brad nailers, framing nailers, finish nailers, and roofing nailers.
Some practical tips to remember when looking for a nail gun for your next project include choosing one that is light enough for you to use easily, has the proper safety features in place to ensure your protection, and one that is durable enough to last.
Best Nail Gun for Woodworking Reviews
This is a curated list of the top 5 nail guns for woodworking. Whether you need to build a cabinet or just do some home repairs, these are the best nail guns that will complete your project quickly and easily.
1. Dewalt DCN680D1 Cordless Brad Nailer Kit
This best nail gun is just what you’re looking for! It has a powerful battery that will drive nails up to 2.0 inches long right where you need them, and it also comes with a cordless design that makes it easy to use with one hand. It is lightweight, compact, and the battery is interchangeable with other Dewalt 18 volt batteries.
The Dewalt DCN680D1 has an easy tool free depth adjustment that allows you to set the depth quickly and easily, and it can fire 10 nails with 1 charge. It is powerful enough for finish work but lightweight enough to use with one hand.
- The DCN680D1 is driven by a powerful XRP lithium ion battery
- Work without the hassle and nuisance of cords or loud compressors
- Dewalt is a trusted name in the world of power tools
- The DCN680D1 has an XRP lithium ion battery with up to 50% more runtime
- This gun comes with dual speed settings for working on various types of material
- It can be used without any noise or fuss that you would get from using compressors or extension cords
- Narrow nose helps avoid obstacles
- No compressor needed for operation, which reduces clutter and enables users to work in tight spaces
- 20% lighter than previous models
- Limited run time
The Dewalt DCN680D1 Cordless Brad Nailer Kit is a great tool for professionals that are looking for power with mobility. It has an easy-to-use tool free depth adjustment and a narrow nose for easier access to tight spaces.
2. PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA 20V MAX Cordless Nail Gun
The PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA Brad Nailer is a battery-powered brad nailer. This is the best cordless nail gun. This means that it relies on a fully rechargeable Lithium Ion 20V MAX* battery to fire the gun, instead of being hooked up to an air compressor or an electrical outlet. It weighs in at 5.9 pounds but still packs a lot of power for such a light tool.
As the name of the tool suggests, it will fire brad nails between 5/8 inch and 2 inches in length. It is also the best electric nail gun.
The maximum fastener driving depth is 3-1/4 inches or 82 millimeters. This means that you can sink the nails about half of their length into the wood.
Being cordless, it features an anti-slip grip design with over molded rubber to provide you with a comfortable handling experience. The side handle can also be adjusted to accommodate your needs. It comes fully equipped with a belt hook for easy carrying and storage options.
This best cordless nail gun also comes with two 20V MAX* Lithium Ion batteries, a charger and a nail gun combo kit box.
- Lighter than most competition, which is nice if you’re planning on working in tight spaces or overhead
- Easy to use; comes with detailed instructions
- No need for compressor or air hose
- Packs enough power for most DIY jobs (good for small, detailed projects like crafts)
- Battery powered nail gun
- Nails can sometimes bend, which makes them stick up out of the wood
- Not always compatible with all 20V MAX* batteries; you may end up getting another or buying an adapter (which defeats the purpose of having a cordless brad nailer)
- Slightly heavier than other models (though not by much)
3. NEU MASTER NTC0040 Electric Brad Nailer
This best nail gun is an electric brad nailer by NEU MASTER provides consistent operation and ease of use. Insert the fasteners, bend the nails with your fingers, place in remover hole on bottom of gun, squeeze trigger to release bent nails. It is so incredibly simple even my three-year old son can clear away some of his toys with this thing, which is exactly what I bought it for.
My electric brad nailer rocks the casbah with its single-handed operation and artful simplicity, but there are a few flaws. The fasteners are slightly difficult to load because the holes are very tight despite being easily accessible. Also, if you need to replace or remove jammed fasteners, this gun is near impossible to open. This thing is really sturdy and has a firm grip though, so I don’t think that will be much of an issue unless you are trying to do it with your teeth.
- The NEU MASTER NTC0040 Electric Brad Nailer is compact and lightweight, making it the ideal tool for those who work with thinner pieces of wood.
- Comes in a variety of different colors, including black and pink!
- Operates on electric power only, so no gas bottle necessary.
- Uses 18 gauge nails that are 1.25 inches long to securely fasten your wood together–great for building outdoor decks or fence boards!
- Has two depth settings: deep grooves for surface nailing or shallower grooves for finishing nailers
- Very simple operation
- Consistent nails
- Pressure switch is easy to operate
- Sturdy construction
- Slightly difficult to load fasteners
- Impossible to open without taking it apart
4. PORTER-CABLE PCFP12234 Air Compressor Kit
The best nail gun in this kit is a god-send and the compressor has kicked my old one in the pants. I was hoping to find a brad nailer that was easy to use and had plenty of pressure. This brad nailer from PORTER-CABLE supplies the perfect amount of power and using it is as easy as pie.
It nails the nailers up to 3.5 inches apart and its nail capacity is very impressive, I was able to use it for 5 hours without stopping.
The PORTER-CABLE PCFP12234 Air Compressor Kit has an included rubber hose and a medium-duty compressor so it will work best for the average user. Even though this kit is not industrial grade, it still has more than enough power to handle most jobs.
- Has great directions
- Nails 3.5 inches apart
- Can take a few strikes to nail well
- A little loud compared to others
5. NuMax SL31 Pneumatic 3-in-1 Finish Nailer and Stapler
The NuMax SL31 Pneumatic 3-in-1 Finish Nailer and Stapler is a lightweight tool that can be used for finishing carpentry work. For woodworkers, this tool is rated the Best Nail Gun because it does not use electricity or require battery charging.
The NuMax SL31 Nailer is an air powered nail gun that features adjustable magazine depth, sequential nailing capability, and 5 degrees of trigger angle for optimum productivity. This tool is one of three tools in the NuMax 3-in-1 line which features a framing nailer, finish nailer, and stapler. These features make this product versatile in multiple trades to be used in a range of applications.
This NuMax SL31 Nailer features a sequential firing mode allowing for one-touch nail placement and the option to bump fire nails like a conventional pneumatic gun without having to press the trigger multiple times. This function can be turned off to prevent bump firing which is beneficial if you are working in an area where nails need to be placed with precision. To turn on this feature, a switch is located on the top of the tool over the depth adjustment knob.
- Inexpensive nailer and stapler for DIY projects.
- Can use as a nailer as well as a staple gun.
- Heavy recoil when using the tool as a stapler.
The Best Nail Types for Woodworking
It is important to use the right type of nail when doing delicate woodworking projects because nails with smaller diameter heads won’t hold together pieces of veneer as strongly as larger headed nails. Larger headed pins need a bigger hole which can cause tearouts in thin, fragile pieces of veneer and board stock.
15 & 16-Gauge Finish Nails
15-gauge or 16-gauge finish nails are the best nails you can use for woodworking like building cabinets, installing crown molding and finishing trims.
15 & 16-gauge finish nails are great for woodworking because they can easily be concealed with putty, paint or stain.
Another advantage of 15 & 16-gauge brad nails is that they are lightweight, so it’s easy to hold them up to your work and use them without hurting your arms.
18-Gauge Brad Nails
The 18-Gauge have a crown width of 5/8″. These nails have the capability to hold two pieces of wood together. They can also be used in a variety of other applications such as light trim and molding work.
These nails are known for their small head diameter which minimizes splitting when driven into hardwoods that have been difficult to nail or when nailing in places with little working space for a hammer.
23-Gauge Pin Nails
The 23-gauge pin nails are used for delicate works of woodworking. They are typically used to hold together thin veneers on door skins, drawer fronts, cabinet backs and other small wooden objects. These pins have relatively smaller diameter heads which means they leave very small holes when they are removed since the head is so small it won’t fill up with sawdust or wood shavings.
Buying Guide for Best Nail Guns For Woodworking
Many people have a hard time finding certain tools for specific jobs, and nail guns are one of those items that everyone seems to need at least once in their life. It’s not that hard to find the best nail gun for your carpentry and woodworking projects.
Even if you’ve never used a nail gun before or don’t plan on using one anytime soon, it’s always good to know what features to look for when buying a nail gun.
The features of a good nail gun are many and varied depending on the consumer’s needs. Individuals who plan on using their nail gun every day will need features that would be inconvenient for occasional woodworkers.
However, there are a few features that everyone should look for in a nail gun. These features ensure that the time and effort spent on building or fixing is rewarded with minimal discomfort and maximum efficiency.
When looking for the best nail gun for woodworking, one must consider what type of nailer they need. There are two basic nail guns: pneumatic and electric.
Electric nail gun: Electric nail guns use an internal battery or plug into an outlet to power nails through their barrels at a high rate of speed. The nail gun may be able to work without the battery upon activation. The nail gun is good for DIYers because it is light, does not require much maintenance or care, and can store easily when not in use. However, nail guns are difficult to handle while used consecutively for a long period of time due to its weightiness. It also can be difficult to nail into tricky spots with nail guns.
Pneumatic nail gun: A nail gun powered by compressed air is categorized in the pneumatic nail gun category. These nail guns are more heavy duty than electric nailers, which makes them easier to handle when nailing consecutively for a long period of time. Pneumatic nailers can also nail into tricky spots easily. However, nail guns require an air compressor to power it. The nail gun will not work without the nailer attached. The nailer must be constantly turned on while working in order for it to work properly. An alternative for pneumatic nail guns is battery powered nail guns that are designed to last long periods of nail driving and nail in tricky spots.
The brand name is one of the most important determining factors when buying nail guns for different purposes. Some well-known brands that produce nailers are Bostitch, Dewalt, Porter Cable, Hitachi, Makita, Senco, and Porter Cable.
Depth Adjustment of the nail gun
Depth adjustment is a common factor when looking for the best nail gun. It helps determine how deep the nails go into the wood to prevent visible damage or splinters on the other side.
This feature allows you to control how deep the nails should be driven in and this added feature will help to save time and money as there won’t be visible marks or imperfections on the other side of your project.
Depth adjustment makes it easier to work with different types of wood without the use of glue which can be time consuming to install.
It is a feature that you should consider when looking for the best nail gun especially if you’re working with delicate pieces of hardwood, plywood, or MDF.
Safety Features of the nail gun
Different safety features make nail guns for woodworking safe to use and also more efficient. Some safety features include: safety trigger, safety contact trip, safety lockout, and spring-loaded safety.
Some safety features such as safety contact trip and safety lockout will require you to carry your hands up in order for the gun to work when nailing consecutively for a long time.
Other safety features reduce the risk of slipping or dropping tipping over during use.
The different types of safety features are important to look for when buying nail guns because if you accidentally drop the gun, it will not work. It is also a good idea to have your hands up to prevent injury while working consecutively with your nailer for a long period of time.
The weight of the nail gun can be an important factor when deciding on buying one because if it is too heavy, it will not be easy to handle or control. The nail gun should also be light enough for you to hold up your arms consecutively for a long period of time.
The best nail gun for woodworking should be light enough to handle, but strong enough to work efficiently while holding it up for a long period of time. This will require you to pay attention while using your nailer consecutively.
Price is another important factor when looking at different models and brands of nail guns. The price of the nail gun will depend on the job that it is used for, what brand it is, and safety features that are included in the design of the nail gun.
Nail guns can be expensive depending on their features. Some common features include depth adjustment, safety mechanism, durability, additional tools included in purchase price, and warranty.
Nail guns prices range from $50 to $400 or more, depending on their features. You can check online or shop around for the best nail gun that fits your budget and project needs. Additional tools included in a purchase price may be helpful when you buy a nail gun, however it isn’t always necessary to have a nailer that comes with something extra.
Warranty is another feature to look at when deciding on buying a specific brand of nail gun because some brands use the best materials and warranties vary from one manufacturer to another. It can be helpful to have a warranty as some problems may arise over time. Warranty will help protect your investment in case something goes wrong.
There are different types of materials that are used in producing nail guns including metal, plastic, and aluminum alloy.
Metal is often stronger than other types of materials, however it can cause more damage because wood may splinter or split during use. Some people don’t mind using a metal nail gun on their projects as long as they have a spare.
Plastic nail guns are more affordable and lighter, however it is important to look at the quality of plastic before deciding on buying one. Some low-quality or poorly made plastic guns may not last for a long period of time if used repeatedly.
Aluminum alloy makes nail guns stronger and affordable. They are typically used for different types of projects, however they can often cost more than other materials or plastic.
When buying a nail gun for woodworking, it is important to look at the weight of the nail gun. You should also consider different safety features that are included in the design of the product before deciding on purchasing one. It is essential that you buy a nail gun with an appropriate weight if you plan on holding it up consecutively for a long period of time. Always look at the price and warranty before purchasing a nail gun for woodworking. You should also read reviews or inquire about different brands and models to find out which one is best for you.
In conclusion , when selecting to buy a nail gun for woodworking it is important to consider the potential uses and future projects. With this in mind, you won’t have to purchase another tool anytime soon and you can save money.
I love to share my expertise and love for the art of woodworking with others, providing tips and tricks, reviews of saws and other tools, and inspiration for new projects.