Best Cordless Framing Nailer: Top 5 of 2022
Whether you work construction, are a contractor, or are just a weekend Do-It-Yourselfer that likes to save money working on your own home, at some point in your life, you’ll find yourself needing a framing nailer. Let’s face it, trying to move about the job-site with a hose connecting you to a compressor somewhere is a real pain in the #$%!!! The alternative is a cordless framing nailer. Don’t find this out the hard way. Take a look at some of our favorites before wasting your time and money on junk.
Paslode XP Cordless Framing Nailer
✔ Battery & Fuel Cell Powered
✔ Best Option For Framing Hardwoods and Engineered Lumber
✔ Great for Professionals
✔ Lightweight & Fits in Tight Spaces
✔ Extremely Powerful
✔ Up to 9,000 Nails Per Charge
Dewalt DCN692B 20V Max Cordless Framing Nailer
✔ Sequential or Bump Operating Modes
✔ 3-year Warranty
✔ Dual Speed
✔ Drives up to 3-1/2″ Fasteners
✔ Long Motor Life
Metabo HPT 18v Cordless Nail Gun for Framing
✔ Metabo HPT was Previously Hitachi Power Tools
✔ Low Maintenance & Durable
✔ Includes (2) 18-volt Lithium-Ion Batteries
✔ Rapid Charger with USB-port Included
✔ Small & Lightweight
BOSTITCH 20v Max Framing Nailer Kit
✔ Brushless Motor w/ 2-Speeds
✔ 2.4GHz Remote Control
✔ Comes with Carry Bag & Charger
✔ Drives Up to 3-1/2″ Fasteners
✔ 3-Year Warranty
Dewalt DCN21PLM1 20v MAX Cordless Framing Nail Gun
✔ Battery-Powered (Dewalt 20v MAX)
✔ Dual Speed Motor Optimized to Drive a Wide Range of Fasteners
✔ Tool-Free Depth Adjustment
✔ Perfect Kit for the Weekend DIYer
✔ Sequential or Bump Firing Modes
✔ Uses 21-Degree Plastic Collated Stick Framing Nails
Our Proprietary Ranking System Takes The Following Factors Into Consideration
Source of Power
Size & Weight
Features & Kits
Framing Nailer Reviews
Cordless Framing Nailer Buying Guide
Getting the right tool for the job can make so much easier at the site. Have you heard the saying, “buy once, cry once”? I’m not sure where it originates from, but basically it means that you’d be better off buying the right item, and one of good quality so you only have to purchase it once. Yes, it might cost a bit more, but in the long run it’ll save you money.
We’ve all been there before where we’ve bought something because it was cheap. Then what? You’ll buy another one sometime in the future because the cheap on doesn’t work or broke already. Hopefully this second time, you’ll buy a good one. What we all figure out eventually is that we could have actually saved money by just buying the best one first.
What to Look For in Cordless Framing Nailers
Some of us thoroughly enjoy buying new tools, knowing that they’re going to make life easier on the job-site. But, that’s not true for everyone. In fact, many dread making such a purchase. They feel the pressure of possibly making a mistake and buying a piece of junk or wasting money.
The good news is that we’ve taken all the guesswork out of buying a cordless nail gun for framing. In this guide we talk about the critical few criteria to keep front of mind. They include the power source (battery, fuel cell, or a combination of the two), the framing nailer’s size and weight, and the features or accessories that come with it.
Best Cordless Power Source
Cordless framing nailers are awesome because there is no need for an air compressor/air hose and the inconvenient hose you’d normally have to drag around the job site. There are 3 different ways cordless nail guns are powered.
- Fuel Cell Powered (Also called gas-powered)
- Combination Gas/Battery
But which type makes the best cordless framing nailer? Each has it’s pros & cons, so let’s discuss in more detail…
Electric-Driven Cordless Nailer
Battery-powered nail guns are most common. They’re similar to what we’re all used to in a cordless drill or power tool. They’re convenient and relatively inexpensive to operate, but they may lack the power for some hardwoods or engineered lumber, and also may “run out of gas” before the job’s done if you’re a professional using it all day. If you go this route, consider buying an extra lithium ion battery pack for a backup.
PROs: No gas cartridge to carry around, less noisy, low cost of operation
CONs: Battery life can be short, batteries can be big and heavy
Fuel-Driven Cordless Nail Guns
Conversely, those powered by fuel-cells require cell replacement from time to time which is an added task and requires their purchase as a consumable item. But the benefit is more power and the ability to drive nails into a wider variety of woods.
PROs: Faster opertation, longer run time, lighter-weight, more powerful
CONs: Smells a bit odd, gas cells can get expensive
Electric/Gas Combo Cordless Nailer
A 3rd source is a combination of the two, battery and gas. These combo units have the greatest longevity and most power. They are really the best fit for a professional contractor that will be using it a lot when compared to most weekend warriors. Those DIYers are probably a better fit for the battery-powered units that don’t require you to buy fuel cells.
PROs: Fast, long run time, most powerful, best for contractors
CONs: Not the cheapest option for DIYers
Size and Weight
What many contractors forget to consider is how heavy their framing nailer will feel after carrying it around and using it all day. Please consider the weight of the unit when purchasing. You’ll thank me later!
Another item of discussion should be the framing nailer’s size. Most are huge! But, when doing framing, you’re often trying to squeeze between studs, so a smaller nail gun is better in this situation.
Our top pick above really embodies both a lightweight unit and a smaller platform that allows for squeezing in places to get the job done. These are less critical if you don’t plan on using the cordless framing nailer day in and day out.
Features & Kits
There are tons of features that are built into framing nailers including different operation modes (sequential or bump firing mode), how big of fasteners they can drive, depth adjustment, magazine capacity, and a brushless motor for longer life. You’ll have to decide which of these are important to you, but not knowing what you’ll run into down the road, they can be nice to have.
Kits are great for non-contractors that don’t have all sorts of other tools. A combination framing nailer, charger, carry bag, and battery or batteries would be considered a “kit”. Many contractors have other tools that will utilize the same batteries, chargers, and already have a way to haul their tools around, but DIYers really like the kit concept. Just another thing to think about.
Adjustable Nail Depth
It can be a real pain in the butt when you can’t get the nails deep enough, and the heads are sticking out. Since not all wood type has the same hardness, your nail gun will need varying amounts of power to drive the nails home. Good news… some cordless nailers include some depth adjustment. Some require a small hex wrench, while others are just a tool-free adjustment knob. This is a very handy feature to make sure you have!
It probably comes as no surprise that not all framing nailers have the same magazine capacity. What might get your head shaking is the relatively small capacity that most do have. This really boils down to the fact that the nails add a ton of weight to the tool that you’ll be carrying around for hours at a time. Don’t worry, once you’re used to it, reloading your magazine becomes very quick. If this is a big concern for you, consider a pneumatic framing nailer as they tend to have a higher capacity for nails.
Like most tools, you’ll want to consider the warranty of a framing nailer gun before buying one. It’s nice to have all the bells and whistles, the latest and greatest lithium ion battery pack, and the coolest looking tool, but more importantly, how’s it going to hold up to the abuse?
It’d be nice if everything had a lifetime warranty, but in this market, that’s not really something you’ll see often. Even the best cordless framing nailer is likely to only have a warranty that’s 2-5 years.
Cordless Framing Nailer Safety Tips
1. Read and Follow the Manual
The first thing you should do before using any power tool that’s new to you, is to read the instructions and make sure you fully understand how it works before using it.
2. Wear Your PPE
Depending on the job and job site, you might have different amounts of personal protective equipment required, but according to the OSHA rules mentioned above, they recommend safety shoes, a hard hat, safety glasses, and hearing protection at a minimum.
3. Focus On the Work and Don’t Get Distracted
It can be easy to get distracted when we’re doing something repetitive in nature. When using framing nailers, it’s important to focus on what you’re doing so you don’t get hurt. Make sure to always leave the nail gun in a safe state and keep your hands out of the line of fire.
4. Always Treat Cordless Framing Nailers As Loaded
Just like a real gun, we should always consider our framing nailers as if they were loaded and ready to fire. Always keep this tool in a safe, dry place, and keep out of reach from children and pets. It’s best to keep it in a case of some sort if possible.
We hope that our framing nailers buying guide was helpful to you in your search. As we said at the outset, buy a “good one” and you won’t need to buy “another one”. This is a good lesson, and one that most of us learn at some point throughout our lives.
While pneumatic nailers are often cheaper and more common, a cordless gun gives you the freedom of moving around the jobsite freely, unencumbered by the dredded air hose. And what about those times when all the compressors are already being used? It also makes it easier to work in corners and other tight spaces.
For our weekend do-it-yourselfers, we recommend the highly rated Dewalt DCN692B Cordless Framing Nailer. It gets the job done and is easy and convenient to use. The 3-year warranty is also nice to have.
Whether this tool will be part of your day job building new houses, or you just need another tool for your toolbox at home to finish the basement, a cordless framing nailer is something that’s nice to have around if you do any amount of framing.
Cordless Framing Nailer FAQs
Is a cordless framing nailer worth buying?
While it’s true that pneumatic framing nailers are less expensive, they really do hinder your mobility on the jobsite. Yes, we think it’s worth it. The difference in price between the two is roughly $100, but it’s something you pay just once. After that, no need for an air compressor and being attached to an air hose all day.
Which gauge nailer do I need for framing?
16d nails in 3-1/2″ length are most common for typical 2×4 framing projects. Also called 16-penny nails, 16-d nails come in two different designations, “16d common” or “16d sinker”. Most framing projects should use the sinkers. They’re better because they come with a a coating (usually epoxy, vinyl, or cement) that helps them slide into the wood better.
Do battery powered nail guns need oil?
No, cordless nail guns do NOT need oil. It may actually cause damage. When someone tells you to make sure and oil your nail gun, it’s because they assume you’re using a pneumatic nail gun. Oiling these products helps to extend the life of the o-rings and seals in them. This is not needed for a battery-powered device.
Which cordless framing nailer is best?
The Paslode XP is the best cordless framing nailer due to its power, ergonomics, light weight, and durability. We believe it offers consumers a great value.
What's the difference between a framing nailer & a finish nailer?
The difference is in the size of the nail being used and what you’re using it for. Framing nailers are for framing out a house or new basement. They are most often use to nail two 2x4s together. On the other hand, finish nailers are used on finsih work such as trim and baseboard. They can also be used for other small detail work around windows and doors as well as cabinetry.
Do cordless nail guns require a compressor?
Cordless nail guns that are battery-powered or use fuel cells do not require compressed air. Check out our top 5 picks for the best cordless framing nailer.
What is the best battery framing nail gun?
The DeWalt DCN692B is our favorite battery-powered framing nailer. It’s the best option because of it’s dual-speed, long life motor, sequential/bump modes, and tool-free depth adjustment.
Can I use a framing nailer for roofing?
You should not use a framing nailer for roofing projects. Roofing nails used to tack down asphalt shingles will not fit correctly into a framing nailer. It’s not the correct tool for the job. You also should not use framing nails for roofing as the heads are too small and will counter sink too far.