Framing Nailer Review and Buying Guide
Whether you are a professional contractor, a carpenter, woodworker or just an individual planning on framing, having with you the best framing nailer can subsequently save you both energy and time. By completely eradicating the former framing method of hammering by hand, you can ensure that all your projects are completed efficiently and on time with utmost quality.
Reviews on the best Framing nailers can significantly aid you in settling for your ultimate tool that will fully satisfy your needs. If you are first time purchaser or have never before used a framing nailer, you may not be certain of exactly what to look for when purchasing one. This guide will provide you with comprehensive information on what to look for when choosing a framing nailer.
What is a Framing Nailer?
In a simple definition, a framing nailer is an air powered gun that is used to nail and join together large material pieces. A framing gun eradicates the need to use a hammer and saves you both time and energy which you would use up when using traditional methods. Although smaller nail guns have been developed to guarantee precision, framing nailers have been designed for quick projects mandating large nails.
There are different brands and companies that manufacture framing guns among them; Hitachi, Bosch, Bostitch, Paslode, Max, Porter Cable, Dewalt, and Freeman. Nonetheless, even with these numerous brands, take your time to select the nailer that best suits your needs and then go ahead and compare their prices from different sellers. You should be cautious however when settling for a place to purchase. Be sure they are certified to sell these machines.
Weight and Comfort:
When settling for a nailer, ensure that you select lightweight guns since they are better and easier when it comes to usability. Some of the projects take several hours to complete and having a heavy framing nailer can result in shoulder and arm cramps hence the preference for lighter guns.
Moreover, settle for a gun you can easily and safely control. If you intend to use it in places that have a higher elevation, ensure you select a lightweight gun since heavy guns can result in the imbalance which can be dangerous for such situations. Compact Framing nailers facilitate easier movement and are more efficient when using.
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Best Framing Nailers
|Freeman PFR2190||60-115 PSI||21° 2"-3 1/2"|
|Paslode 501000||80-120 PSI||30° 2"-3 1/2|
|Paslode 905600||Cordless||30° 2"-3 1/4"|
|Hitachi NR90AES1||70-120 PSI||21° 2"-3 1/2"|
|NuMax SFR2190||70-115 PSI||21° 2"-3 1/2|
|Bostitch F21PL||80-120 PSI||21° 2"-3.5"|
|Dewalt DCN692B||Cordless||30° 3-1/2"|
|Paslode 902600||Cordless||30° 2"-3 1/4"|
Pneumatic and Cordless(Power source):
Prior to making conclusions on purchasing a pneumatic or a cordless gun, you need to put some key factors into consideration. Make your choice on basis of these features that each nailer has and select a nailer according to your set of requirements. Based on the source of power, there are three major types of framing nailers namely:
Pneumatic framing nailers:
These types of framing nailers are normally power-driven by means of an air compressor and an example of a very good model is the HITACHI NR83A3. If you already own an air compressor you do not require an extra one. With this type of nailer, there is a steady distribution of power. Nonetheless, for processing of the work, this nailer mandates for the user to remain attached to an air compressor. If you are using the nailer on a day-to-day basis, you can go for this type of nailers since they do not mandate for now and then charge. In case you already have an air compressor, ensure that it matches the PSI of the nailer before using it with the tool.
Our pick for Pneumatic Framing Nailers:
Cordless framing nailers:
The cordless framing nailer can either run by fuel or be powered by the charged battery. Moreover, with this nailer, its air compressor is not built-in. Cordless framing nailers are best applicable to customers that do not regularly use the nailer and who may already have an air compressor. Their enhanced flexibility characteristic makes them popular with customers especially those operating in enclosed locations where typical compressors cannot fit.
Our pick for Cordless Framing Nailers:
Electric framing nailers:
These types of framing guns are sold in two options: corded electric or cordless. Despite their flexibility, their sizes limit their applicability, especially in tight working spaces. Their application ranges from heavy framing jobs to small projects. In the aspect of power, the corded nailer beats the cordless nailer although it may mandate you to carry an extension for moving the machine around. With respect to efficiency in time, an electric nailer is better compared to a pneumatic one.
Our Pick for Electric Framing Nailers:
Coil or Stick (Magazine):
Framing guns are available in different magazine varieties particularly, coil or stick.
These magazines generally use the longer strip type of nails. In comparison to coil magazine, stick magazines have a lesser nail holding capacity. Nonetheless, the magazine arrangement in stick magazine is centered on providing not only better balance but better weight distribution especially for framing nailers that apply coil magazines.
In this type of magazine provision, wires are used to fasten the nails together and adjustable strings are used to aid in arranging the nails. In comparison to stick magazine, they boast a larger nail holding capacity. Moreover, in comparison to stick magazine, they are better able to fit in closed locations due to their structure.
Coil magazine would best suit you if you work with a huge nail number and since it has a large holding capacity, you will be subjected to lesser reloads. However, if you operate using a small number of nails, stick magazine would best suit your needs.
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The Air Compressor:
As earlier mentioned, the pneumatic and cordless framing nailers both use air compressors. Nonetheless, in case you settle for the pneumatic framing nailer, it is necessary you take into consideration the air compressor you purchase for powering it. Make sure you purchase an air compressor able to provide a capacity tank of at least 25 gallons.
There are several certified brands that offer framing nailers among them Hitachi, Bosch, Bostitch, Paslode, Max, Porter Cable, Dewalt, and Freeman. Different brands offer varied warranty services and as such, you should be very vigilant in your purchase and ensure you peruse through the warranty provisions prior to buying. One of the company’s Bostitch offers a 7-year warranty which is one of the longest warranty periods.
In your search for a good framing nailer, ensure you look for the type of framing nailers that operate with round head nails. The major reasoning behind this is based on current building code specifications which mandate for use of round head nails only during renovations. As such, it is better to purchase a machine that uses round head nails just to go with the construction specifications.
Before you purchase your own framing gun, below are some of the additional specifications that you should adhere to:
With this specification, you are well able to decide on the depth at which you desire to drive the nails devoid of damaging or interfering with the surface. It is also important for you if you are working with diverse material since this characteristic will aid you in gauging and driving the nails at precisely chosen depths.
Quick jam clearance:
One characteristic of the framing nailers is the fact that they have a tendency to jam. For anyone using these machines, these jamming instances can be both tiresome and time wasting and as such, purchasing a gun that allows easy jam clearance will aid you to save both time and effort.
Swiveling air connectors:
Pneumatic framing nailers use a distinct type of spinning air connectors referred to as swiveling air connectors. For you working with a pneumatic framing nailer, you are sure to be spending all your time with the air compressor and as such, it is highly recommended for you to have an easier way of working while moving around with the cord. With the swiveling air connector, you are well able to freely move around with the cord which makes your work easier.
In your use of a framing nailer, you will constantly experience debris hitting both your machine and your body. Nonetheless, this mandates for you to always have your protective gear on to ensure you protect yourself from this type of debris. This characteristic will guarantee a safer experience when using the framing nailer and will safeguard you from any other related risks.
Moreover, high-quality nailers should come in material that is durable and are characterized by compact material well able to absorb the forces that come as a result of the device’s action. This allows you to have comfort while handling the tool which is safe for your use. As such ensure you go for quality to guarantee safety.
Nail size adjustment:
There are numerous and dissimilar nail size types in the market for framing nailers. If you want to guarantee that in your projects you will be using a variant type of nails, look for the type of framing nailer that can allow you to use a variant range of nail sizes.
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Where To Purchase Framing Nailers:
Framing Nailers are available in the almost online store that sells power tools such as Amazon and etc. Although getting these machines can be quite easy, getting them at relatively affordable prices may be your greatest challenge. Since prices vary with retailers, it is best you do a comparative research on the market prices before you settle for one.
The Framing nailers are also available in online forums such as Amazon.com. At Amazon.com, you can get the nailers at affordable and discounted prices. Moreover, the use of these online forums ensures that you save on among others time and additional costs such as those you would incur while taking a trip to a local store.
Tips Of Using Framing Nailers And Safety Measures:
Preventing something is always better than curing it and as such, when handling any machine or device as in this case a framing machine, safety should always come first.
- For anyone who is a first time user of this tool, ensure that you carefully scheme through the instructions as outlined in the manual prior to using the tool. Reading, understanding and applying the instructions will guarantee that you use the framing Prior to using the machine, ensure that you undertake an extensive and thorough inspection of the tool to ensure it is devoid of any manufacturer defects that may hinder its proper operation.
- When performing a maintenance check ensure that the nails have been removed and the power is not connected.
- Ensure that neither your hand nor any other body part is in front of the Framing nailer’s nose.
- When you are loading the framing Nailer with nails, ensure that the direction you are aiming the gun is away from you.
- When you are using it, ensure that you have your eyes protected from any hazards by wearing your glasses.
- The Nailers have been designed in a distinct way and as such, avoid any tampering or subsequent modifications of this machine for whatsoever reason.
- When the machine is hooked up, ensure that you never leave it unattended particularly around the children.
- Ensure that your use of the machine is as recommended and not for any other purposes.
Tips for using a framing nailer:
Outlined below are some important tips about how to properly use the Framing Nailer:
- When you are not using the gun, ensure that you have kept it in a safe location and preferably out of the reach of children.
- When applying oil on the machine, ensure that you specifically apply oil designed for your particular machine only.
- Ensure you have tightened all the bolts and screws of the machine on a monthly basis.
- When you are replacing components of the machine that may have been damaged or worn-out, ensure that you only use manufacturer or subsequent recommended parts.
- Ensure that after using the machine, the air fitting is lubricated on a daily basis and that you clean the feed system.
- In case you own a battery operated framing nailer, ensure you undertake a periodic battery check to certify full power.
Best value Framing Nailer Reviews
Paslode F-350S PowerMaster Plus Pneumatic Framing Nailer
First on our list of framing nailers recommendations is the Paslode F-350S PowerMaster Plus. This powerful nailer has a ton of amazing features and is powerful enough to handle demanding tasks, which doesn’t mean it’s complex or difficult to use. On the contrary, this device weighs only 8.4 pounds and is able to drive framing nails from 2 to 3.5 inches long. This device is proof that a framing nailer doesn’t have to be robust or bulky to get the job done. It’s light and easy to carry around, fits very well in the hand, which means it’s perfect for long working sessions.
The Paslode F-350S PowerMaster Plus is built for use in any type of weather and it will work perfectly fine under all conditions. One of the strongest features of this nailer is the built-in depth adjustment gauge. This means it can be easily adjusted for more power, according to your preferences. This saves a lot of time and makes the device even more user-friendly.
Another thing that stands out about the PowerMaster Plus is the high capacity one-piece aluminium magazine, which holds up to 84 nails. You’ll be thankful for the high capacity, especially when tackling a big job. This is where the usability of this feature really shines through. And – this is great by all industry standards and this is what, combined with things we’ve previously mentioned, makes this machine a professional tool. Even though it is ridiculously easy to use, the PowerMaster Plus is suitable for professional work, so highly trained professionals and hobbyists both will fall in love with this nailer. Decking, sub-assembly blocking, sheathing, trussing – this framing nailer handles all of this tasks perfectly well.
Ridgid ZRR350RHE 3-1/2 in. Round Head Framing Nailer (Certified Refurbished)
Next in the line of our list of framing nailers recommendations is the Rigid ZRR350RHE is a certified refurbished version of a classic framing nailer, many professionals are already familiar with. This is around head nailer and pretty much a no-nonsense product in quite a few different ways. Simple, effective and convenient. Weighing about 7 pounds, this framing nailer is surprisingly light, considering what it has to offer. This definitely makes a difference when you have to use the machine for an extended period of time, not to mention how light this nailer is, compared to similar devices in its class.
Featuring a full strike drive system (meant to provide maximum air power) and a very powerful motor able to drive 3-1/2 x 0.162 inches framing nails into all kinds of lumbers, the Rigid ZRR350RHE performs exceptionally well. This isn’t one of those ultra-modern framing nailers that have a ton of features, most of which you’re probably never going to get to take advantage of anyway. Simply put, this is a great product that combines traditional properties of the world’s most famous nailers with modern technology. But it doesn’t overdo it or make things too complicated. In fact, this is another extremely user-friendly device made by Rigid, so even those who have never used a framing nailer before should be able to make full use of it in no time.
The Rigid ZRR350RHE really shines when it comes to ease of use, but there’s one feature that really stands out – the jam clearing mechanism. This is a really clever design solution that every other company should implement. Most framing nailers on the market are desperate for a good, efficient jam clearing mechanism, but the Rigid ZRR350RHE has that. If there’s one thing everyone agrees on, it’s how frustrating jamming is. But, that is not an issue at all with this device. And one of the best things about it is the price – this is definitely an affordable product that won’t burn a hole in most budgets. Highly recommended.
Nailer Metal Connector 2-1/2in
And last, but not least, on our framing nailers recommendations list is the Nailer Metal Connector 2-1/2 inch. Perhaps an unconventional product in a way, the Nailer Metal Connector is an absolutely brilliant tool, packing a lot of power. Even though extremely lightweight (weighs less than 6 pounds), this nailer packs a lot of power. One of the device’s strongest features is the efficient nosepiece probe – it is able to locate 1-1/2 – 2-1/2 inch metal connector holes with great accuracy and precision.
Even though it may not look or seem too powerful, thanks to its dimensions and lightweight, the Nail Metal Connector is incredibly powerful and able to drive through engineered lumber with great ease. A couple of convenient features, such as the adjustable rafter hanger can definitely come in handy, but the ergonomic handle is what makes things even better. Considering this is a lightweight product and a device that fits well in the hand, long working sessions are a breeze. Even inexperienced homeowners shouldn’t have a hard time using and utilizing the Nailer Metal Connector.
The fact that this machine is made by a world famous company Senco also helps. It’s always a great sign when a piece of machinery comes from a reputable company with a long tradition of producing different kinds of tools. Combine that with the relatively low price and you get – a great deal and huge value for money. Another brilliant product made by Senco.