Best Finish Nailers 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

The 8 Best Finish Nailers 2020 - By Experts

The family of nail guns is quite extensive. It holds several devices, each one designed for a specific job. Throughout this article, we will be discussing one kind, which is the Finishing Nail Gun. 

A worthy nail gun will come in quite handy on numerous occasions. They are used, as implied by their name, in those last finishing steps of a project such as crown moldings, baseboard work, rail fixation, and all these steps that give a certain aesthetic to your piece.

Hence, when choosing a finishing nail gun, there are specific criteria to look at and decide upon in order to fish out the best finish nailer for yourself.

List of the Best Finish Nailers :

  1. Numax SFN64 – Best Overall
  2. Dewalt D51257K – Runner Up
  3. Paslode 902400 – Best Cordless Finish Nailer
  4. Metabo HPT/Hitachi NT65MA4 – Sequential and Bump Modes
  5. Bostitch N62FNK – Huge Magazine Capacity
  6. Senco 4G0001N – Oil-Free
  7. Freeman PFN1564 – Best Self-Cleaning Finish Nailer
  8. Bostitch BTFP72156 – Smart Point nose

Our Top Picks:

Finish NailersPower PSI/Nails per Charge Weight GaugeType
Numax SFN64Pneumatic 70-110 4.5 lbs16-gaugeStraight
Dewalt D51257KOil Operated/Pneumatic 70-120 3.9 lbs16-gaugeStraight
Paslode 902400 Battery/Fuel cell 12,000 4.5 lbs16-gauge Angled
Metabo HPTPneumatic 70 4.2 lbs15-gauge Angled
Bostitch N62FNKPneumatic 70-120 4.15 lbs16-gauge Angled
Senco 4G0001NPneumatic 70-120 4.7 lbs15-gauge Angled
Freeman PFN1564Pneumatic 70-110 4.7 lbs15-gauge Angled
Bostitch BTFP72156Pneumatic 70-120 4.32 pounds15-gauge nail gun Angled

The 8 Best Finish Nailers in 2020 

1. Numax SFN64 Finish Nailer – Best Overall  

Numax SFN64

The Numax comes with a price tag that has not and will not be seen in this article again. It lies on the low-cost side. First things first, it is a 16 gauge finish nailer which can drive nails from 1 to 2.5 inches into your material. Nevertheless, it grants you countless options that you would typically find in high-end finishing trim nail guns. 

Actually, it is pretty similar to the DeWalt D51257K, which stands in second place on this list. They are both straight finishing nail guns with tool-less depth adjustment, adjustable exhaust, and the same magazine capacity of 100 nails. 

Though this guy does not offer a tool-less jam release, it has a quick jam release, which means that you can access the jammed nail rather quickly. However, you might still need a screwdriver/pliers to pull it out. It also has a no bump actuation mode.

One more thing offered by this nail gun is the anti-dust cap, which has not been seen before.

Pros
  • 360° adjustable exhaust that directs debris away from the user
  • No-mar tip
  • Tool-less depth adjustment
  • Extremely cheap
  • Lightweight aluminum housing
Cons
  • Short warranty
  • No adjustable belt hook
  • No bump actuation mode
  • Quick jam release rather than tool-less jam release

Final Verdict

There can hardly be a product representing “value for money” more than this finishing nail gun. You are getting all the main options that come with a high-end nail gun for less than half the price. 

If that’s not called a steal, we don’t know what can be! All the cons listed with the Numax can easily be overcome; some might even go unnoticed.

2. Dewalt D51257K Finish Nailer – Runner Up 

Dewalt D51257K

This 16 gauge product accepts nail lengths from 1 inch to 2 and a half inches and runs at an operating pressure of 70 to 120 PSI.

It also holds several keys to its users’ comfort and efficiency’. Apart from the rear and quite handy loading system, the device has an integrated internal piston, which allows for maximum power with each nail fired.

It also uses the Sealed Lupe Dual Technology, which allows the device to work with and without oil all the same, so you won’t face the risk of having stains on your finished project. 

Other criteria that fit this pneumatic nail gun are an over-mold grip, a belt hook, and of course, it being completely tool-free.

Pros
  • Case and 1000 to inch finish nails included
  • No-mar pad
  • Tool-free adjustment
  • Tool-free jam clearing
  • Seal Lupe Dual Technology
  • 360° exhaust
  • Rear loading
  • Integrated piston
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Sequential mode only
  • Have to buy bump-mode kit separately
  • Some parts are plastic, so they are susceptible to wear and tear
  • The nose is not exceptionally slim
  • Cannot get into tight spaces

Final Verdict

For the money that you are paying, you do get a lot with this device. However, there are some mishaps that can be caused by its failings. The absence of bump mode can be quite annoying, plus it can only work in wide spaces.

3. Paslode 902400 – Best Cordless Finish Nailer 

Paslode 902400

The Paslode here takes a totally different track from the other finish nail guns. It is battery powered, so it comes with absolutely no hassle, no chords, and no compressors. Moreover, it is perfect for on-the-go jobs. 

The angled cordless battery powered finishing nail gun is the essence of precision and practicality. It gets you into those real tight nooks and corners by driving 1-1/4 – 2-1/2 inch of 16 gauge nails into your material.

The 7.4 V lithium-ion battery can shoot up to 12,000 nails per charge. You need just one hour to charge this bad boy, and if you charge it for two minutes, It will give you 200 nails. It is both lightweight and durable for the comfort of both your hand and your pocket. 

With a no-mar tip and an ergonomic handle, this finishing nailer is designed to protect your material and give you maximum comfort when you are working with it. 

Pros
  • Oil-free
  • Battery operated
  • Rapid charge
  • Less downtime
  • Lightweight
  • Tool-free depth adjustment
  • Tool-free jam release
  • Dry-fire lockout system
Cons
  • Expensive fuel canister and Paslode nails
  • Only works with Paslode nails
  • No dual actuation mode
  • Fixed exhaust
  • General higher coast of operation

Final Verdict

With this specific trim nail gun, you get a lot for your money. Just the idea of hassle-free jobs is quite enough to win you over. 

You’ll have no need to spend more money on an air compressor. You do pay a little bit more, but we would say that it’s worth it.

4. Metabo HPT/Hitachi NT65MA4 – Sequential and Bump Modes

Metabo HPT/Hitachi NT65MA4

Metabo or Hitachi is a name that you can always count on to provide magnificent products. This specific finishing nail gun is blessed with so many options that verify that statement.

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, this finish nailer is a 15 gauge one. The said nails can range in length from 1-1/4 to 2-½ inch at 34 inches. Of course, the fact that this is an angled finishing nailer allows the user to get into tight corners and angles with relative ease. With this guy, you get the normal magazine capacity of 100 nails. However, it is quite easy to load.

It has an angle of 34° plus an integrated air duster. This allows you to effortlessly clear away any debris or oil, consequently allowing you to continue your work smoothly without having to stop every now and then to clean your workspace. 

It also features a 360° completely adjustable exhaust port, which means that no matter which way you end up holding the nail gun, you can always make sure that the exhaust port is facing away from you.

It has two firing modes; sequential and bump mode, but the thing here is that switching between them has never been easier, just a small button by the trigger. 

It’s very lightweight at 4.2 pounds, so combined with being an angled device, you can get into really tight places no trouble whatsoever. One last thing is that the pre-installed air fitting is angled upwards; this helps in keeping the compressor hose conveniently out of the way

Pros
  • Lightweight in an aluminum housing
  • Integrated air duster
  • Tool-less depth of drive adjustment
  • Sequential and bump modes
  • Affordable
  • Good grip
  • Carrying case included
  • No-mar tip
Cons
  • Occasional nail jamming
  • No dry-fire lockout
  • No Tool-less nail-jam reles\ase

Final Verdict

Hitachi has always given us some A-quality products. This guy here is convenient, lightweight, affordable, and offers you the ability to get into nooks and corners with minimal effort.

However, there have been some reports of users claiming that sometimes it does double shots or doesn’t shoot nails right. Hence, complaints do, unfortunately, exist. However, the majority of feedback has been quite exemplary.

5. Bostitch N62FNK Finish Nailer – Huge Magazine Capacity 

 Bostitch N62FNK

This guy here is quite revolutionary; the first thing that will catch any buyer’s eye is the increased magazine capacity of 130 nails in lieu of the standard 100. Those nails can go from 1 1/4-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch in the 15 gauge category. It is oil-free, so that is a lot of hassle removed. 

It’s lightweight with a magnesium housing, which makes overhead jobs a piece of cake. Moreover, this guy does enjoy a tool-less feature, which is magazine removal. Yet, unlike the other models which we have discussed, it does not have a tool-less depth adjustment; rather, it has an adjustable depth guide that you set up. 

User reviews have stated that this specific model is ideally suited for delicate and minor details due to the adjustable nail depth. 

One more thing is that Bostitch has always been known for its attention to safety. Consequently, this model has an adjustable trigger with the safety lockout. This trigger allows you to choose between single or multiple fastener drive mode.

Pros
  • Lightweight magnesium housing
  • Adjustable depth guide
  • Oil-free
  • Tool-less magazine removal
  • LED lights
  • 130 nail magazine capacity
  • Comes with a carrying case, Hex benches, and four profile tips
  • Integrated air blower
Cons
  • Depth adjustment system can be confusing in the beginning

Final Verdict

Well, while scouring the Internet, we have not found any deal breakers on this specific model. 99.9% of the reviews have praised it to the moon and back. There’s nothing that you might need in a nailer that is not available with this trim nail gun.

As mentioned above, there are hardly any cons, and the only drawback is that some people have found the depth adjustment system a little tricky to deal with. The reason behind this is that it’s a relatively new feature. By time and experience, you will get used to it, and it will be your second nature. 

6. Senco 4G0001N Finish Nailer – Oil-Free

Senco 4G0001N

Another lightweight, durable magnesium housed finishing nail gun. It’s a 15 gauge straight finishing nailer that operates in sequential mode only.

Nevertheless, we have some new additions to our list, courtesy of this guy. The Senco 4G0001N works with the NeverLube technology, meaning that you will never ever have to lubricate this nail gun or worry about oil getting everywhere in your workshop again.

The second new thing is the EZ-Clear latch technology, which allows you to remove jammed fasteners more safely. Coupled with tool-free jam release and depth adjustment wheel, such options allow for comfort and ease of use.

It comes with a magazine capacity of 104 nails. Though it’s not a lot more, it’s still above average. Plus, the custom grip will always give you a luxurious, comfortable, and safe feeling when using the tool. Another thing that can add greatly to your safety is the 360° exhaust.

Pros
  • NeverLube Technology
  • EZ-Clear Latch Technology
  • Oil-free
  • Lightweight magnesium housing
  • No-mar pads
  • Comes with a carrying case
  • Mishap resistant (Misfire and double firing)
  • Less reloading time
Cons
  • Uncomfortable rubber tip.

Final Verdict

This finishing nail gun has just taken the competition up a few notches. Bringing two new technologies to the table, it has become the pioneer of user comfort. 

Still, users have reported that it is a little bit harder to maneuver around work. As though it is generally lightweight, it is heavier than most of our previously mentioned devices, so over the head jobs might not be that easy, but that’s just how the cookie crumbles.

7. Freeman PFN1564 – Best Self-Cleaning Finish Nailer 

Freeman PFN1564

This device comes with a lot of technological modifications done to enhance it significantly. But first, the basics; it’s a 15 gauge finishing nailer that can drive either tape or glue collated nails 1-1/4 inch to 2-1/2inch into your material. 

It is made of anodized aluminum, which keeps it lightweight yet extremely durable. The Teflon O-rings keep the maintenance of this device to a minimum and keeps it working efficiently for much longer. The 34° angled head gives this finish nailer a decided advantage; no angle is too tight for it.

It is oil-free and enjoys a 360° adjustable exhaust port, which keeps all of the debris away from the user. Moreover, it is fitted with both a dust cap and an internal air filter, which allow the device itself to be free of debris at all times whether the power is on or off. 

Other attractive options include a dual-mode trigger, which means that you can work using either sequential actuation mode or bump actuation mode dependent on the job at hand. The last and most attractive thing about this device is that it holds the longest warranty that we have seen. With the Freeman, you are protected for seven full years, which is definitely a plus!

Pros
  • Both sequential and bump actuation modes
  • Oil-free
  • Quick jam release
  • Dust cap
  • No-mar tips
  • Seven-year warranty
  • Lightweight and durable diecast and aluminum housing
  • Secure grip
  • Can fit into tight places
Cons
  • The adjustment wheel can be a little bit tricky
  • Only works with Freeman’s nails
  • Freeman nails are not always available on the market

Final Verdict

This guy is perfect for all sorts of carpentry jobs; molding doors and baseboards. It will get the job done no matter what, so you are getting a huge package for the money you’ve spent.

8. Bostitch BTFP72156 Finish Nailer – Smart Point nose 

Bostitch BTFP72156

This guy also brings to the table things that we have not seen on this list. Firstly, it’s a 15 gauge angled finishing nailer that can shove nails 1-1/4inch to 2-1/2 inches into your material. 

The Bostitch BTFP72156 enjoys the Smart Point nose; in simple words, the nose here is 80% smaller than it would generally be, which allows for better visibility of where your next nail is going. Consequently, there’ll be less pressure applied by you on your work, which means less marring and top-notch final product. 

Another thing is the Dial-A-Depth adjustment control, which means that nails counter shoot to the exact nail depth that you have chosen. Plus, it enjoys a tool-less jam release, and an adjustable belt hook and an integrated air blower.

One last thing is that it has a magazine capacity of 129 nails, which means fewer reloads.

Pros
  • Smart point technology
  • Dial-A-Depth technology
  • Oil-free
  • Lightweight and durable build
  • Comes with a carrying case, sample fasteners, and extra no-mar tips
  • Better visibility
  • Less reloading time
Cons
  • Occasional nail jamming

Final Verdict

This device will be your trusty pal if your work is all about the details. It is angled, and it enjoys the smart point system so it can easily get into those nooks and corners. 

Furthermore, as mentioned before, even if you can’t really see where the nail is going, the Dial-A-Depth adjustment system will place it perfectly.

How to Pick a Finish Nailer

Now, there are so many features and options that can help you decide which finish nailer to buy. When the need arises for a finish nailer when your hammer and nails are not sufficient anymore, you would definitely want to pick the greatest finish nailer on the market. 

Nevertheless, the vastness of available options and models might confuse you. So, we will break it down for you.

Power

A finish nailer can either be electric, corded or cordless. It can be powered by an air compressor/pneumatic as it can be oil/fuel powered. You have to know your own needs and capabilities before deciding which one you’re going to use. 

If you’re going to go for a fuel-powered one, you will have to add to the cost of the device the additional cost of the oil canisters, which can be quite pricey. Also, you have to keep in mind the possibility of oil spills and the need to rapidly clean them to avoid certain disasters.

If you’re going to go for a pneumatic one, then you have to either already own an air compressor or have the extra funds to purchase one and, of course, have adequate storage space for all of that. 

If you decide to go for an electric finish nailer, then you will have to choose between a corded one and a battery-powered one. If you work from your own workstation or your own garage and the projects come to you, then a corded one will be a better match since it is cheaper. 

On the other hand, if you’re always on the go -you go to the job and not the other way around, then you might want to pay the extra buck and purchase a battery-powered one. So that you are not hindered by the absence of a plug, also try to invest in one that comes with its own charger and an extra battery for security.

Angled vs. Straight

It’s, of course, know that almost all nailers come in either an angled or a straight variety. The difference between them and why you should choose one over the other depends on the work this finish nailer is meant for. 

If you’re going to be working on larger, wider boards that are mainly straight, then save your money and go for the straight finish nailer.

Yet, if your work revolves more around baseboard work and jobs where you have to get into tight nooks, corners, and angled places, then go for the angled finish nailer. The angled finish nailer can do the straight finish nailer’s job but not vice versa. You will not be able to place a nail in an angled situation with a straight finish nailer.

Gauge

The simplest definition of the word gauge is the number of nails per inch. Meaning that if I say that this is a 23 gauge, I mean that if I stack 23 nails next to each other, they will amount up to an inch. 

Rule of thumb states that as the gauge number goes up, the nail gets thinner. Each gauge has its own specific uses, and we will discuss them right now.

  • 15-16 Gauge: Those are the most prominent gauges available for finish nailers. They are thick nails used for heavy work as they enjoy excellent holding power and no need for glue. Still, they leave quite visible holes behind them, so you will definitely need some putty to hide their traces if they are in a visible place. 15-16 gauges are available on the market, so no worries there.
  • 18 Gauge: Eighteen gauge nails are thinner, so they are used for smaller, more delicate woods so as not to split them. They are mostly used for steps that come after a finishing nail gun.
  • 23 Gauge: This is the smallest gauge out there, and it belongs to the smallest nail gun in the family. This is used for fine woods as it has hardly any holding power but leaves almost no visible traces behind it. Therefore, it can be used in those last-minute decorative touches.

Size and Weight

This is something that tends to be skipped by many buyers as they get sucked in all the available options and technologies and forget about their own comfort. 

You have to know the exact dimensions of your product and check the grip and hold in your hand to make sure it’s comfortable, especially if you’re going to be using it for extended periods. The same goes for the weight of the device. 

If you have a lot of overhead work, then you have to be absolutely sure that your arms are capable of holding the finishing nail gun up for the needed time without tiring out.

Magazine Capacity

The standard magazine capacity is 100 nails. However, some options that we have mentioned above give you up to 130 nails. We believe that higher magazine capacity is always better as it allows for less reloading time.

Accessories 

Accessories and spare parts can be quite a hassle to look for. So, always ask around if the items of the model you have chosen are available on the market.

Things such as nails, magazines, no-mar tips, batteries, chargers, spare buttons, and triggers can be quite a pain when lost or destroyed, and then you have to replace them in order to resume your work. 

Always know the state of the market before you purchase a specific model.

Budget

We have spoken about finishing nail guns that go all the way from $51-$384. Hence, the market is chock-full of different devices with different specifications, features, and options. So, always search once, twice, and thrice for what you need. 

Sign up for newsletters from websites such as Amazon so that you’ll be on top of all of their new offers and discounts. Perhaps even wait for the holidays or Black Friday to purchase your tool

Useful Options

We all know the basic job of a finish nailer, which is to put nails of a particular gauge into a wood piece. However, companies have been competing for years to provide a user-friendly experience, and they have achieved that through several options and features added to your standard finish nailer. 

  • Tool-less jam release: you can open the nail gun front with no tools whatsoever to release the jammed nail quickly. 
  • Tool-less depth adjustment: Setting the depth that you want your nail to go into the wood has never been easier. It requires no tools whatsoever. You will just set it yourself.
  • No more tip: A specialized tip that does not dent your wood upon hitting it.
  • Dry fire lockout: When you’re out of nails, the device will not keep on firing into the wood and marring it. It will stop and alert you.
  • Dual actuation mode: If you need precision, then you should go for the sequential actuation mode, which fires one nail at a time. If you are going for speed in a not-so-visible part of your work, then go for the bump activation mode, which fires each time your device touches wood.
  • LED lights: They allow you to see exceptionally clear where your nail will be going.
  • Grip: Over mold rubber grips make you feel secure and comfortable when holding a power tool.
  • Adjustable exhaust: A 360° adjustable exhaust will protect you from all the dust and debris generated by the power tool, so you have to fix it away from you.
  • Internal air blower: This will clean your workspace as you go, saving you a lot of valuable time.

Warranty 

Always check the warranty that comes with your device. Most warranties are split into limited and unlimited, so try to go for the most extended unlimited period possible. For example, Freeman gives you seven years of warranty.

Safety Precautions

Safety comes before all when using any sort of Power tools.

  • Always make sure you are appropriately dressed in safety goggles, gloves, and even safety shoes. Make sure you are working in a well ventilated and lit area.
  • Always wear fitting clothes that will not get caught on your power tool.
  • Do not ever start your power tool while not paying attention.
  • Make sure your work area is completely dried and kid/pet free.
  • Always read your user’s manual thoroughly.

Final Thoughts

Finishing nail guns are essential to carpentry, crafts, and DIYs. They are, as mentioned before, the final steps that give identity to your piece. Subsequently, investing in one is a vital decision that so many details go into. We have already discussed those in detail. 

Still, if we are to recommend you one out of the eight models that we have discussed, the Numax SFN64 will have to win. There is not a single disadvantage that comes with this product that cannot be overcome. Add to that the number of options that you get for such a low price, it wins hands-down.

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