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Review of the Best Framing Nail Guns Preferred by the Pros

For those of you that like to tinker or build stuff the tools used are just as important as the skills required to get the job done right. The right framing nail gun will enhance your productivity in more ways than one. Time is money and wasted energy can drain you, which is why it is futile to do that building project using a nail hammer.

Can you imagine what our forefathers went through putting up buildings without some of the mechanized tools now in existence? A framing nailer might be one of the greatest modern inventions that changed the way buildings are built and how fast.

This evaluation post will define the true definition of the nail gun, the different types, features you want in a reliable nail gun, and evaluation of some of the brands with the highest performance metrics.

How Can We Define a Framing Nailer?

In simple terms, a nail gun can be defined as a mechanized tool that can hammer nails at a rapid rate to hold different pieces of materials in place or together. The difference between a nail gun and a regular hammer is like the difference between a hand gun and a machine gun.

The number of nails a framing nailer can output towards its intended target will blow your mind. The original nail gun is credited to Mr. Morris Pynoos, a civil engineer that liked to tinker with tools.

His original nail gun used air pressure to deliver the nails at a rate of up to 60-nails per minute. It was a game changer within the building industry as the building trades union were up in arms due to the fact that this tool caused layoffs.

The initial nail guns sold to the public was bulky and did not have all the technological features of the modern ones. The best nail gun for framing can be found at all building sites not only in America but all over the world. With every invention is a darker side, for a nail gun in the wrong hands can cause serious injury or kill.

Top 5 Framing Nailer Reviews

The best cordless or pneumatic framing nail gun is the one that will satisfy your needs, period. It must come with a suitable design, be comfortable and easy to handle, and also last through many building projects.

The products listed in this evaluation have been thoroughly researched and can be used by any beginner or pro. The nail gun for framing brands with the highest performance metrics are:

Elite Pneumatic Framing Nailers

Pneumatic framing nailers are the workhorse of the building trade industry due to their ability to deliver dozens of nails in less than a minutes. It is also true pneumatic nailers are popular due to their consistency and reliable power source. The top four pneumatic framing nailers with value for the money are:

1 – Freeman PFR2190 Full-Head Framing Nailer Review

Freeman PFR2190 Full-Head Framing Nailer Review

The first product is the Freeman PFR2190 21-Degree Full-Head Framing Nailer, and it weighs only 8.5 lbs. Freeman is a well-known player in this niche industry with dozens of other products that can be used in the construction and home building field. This nail framing gun is able to deliver up to 115 PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch) of operating pressure. It is suitable for use on wood fencing, subfloors, roof decking, wall sheathing, and wall framing. The triggers are interchangeable, which means you can use the Freeman PFR2190 as a contact or single firing nail gun. The handle of any nail gun is quite important and this one happens to come with an ergonomic grip that ensures you will not feel any vibration as your fire the nails into the walls. This framing gun from Freeman is lightweight due to the fact that it is made out of magnesium and other materials. Another notable feature is the depth adjustability feature, which puts the depth capability of the outputted nails within your control. I also like the fact that an air filter that acts like a dust cap is included to ensure the internal pars stays clean and dust free. The Freeman PFR2190 21-Degree framing gun is designed to stop firing when the nails in the magazine chamber get too low, which helps to prolong the lifespan of the triggering mechanism. As of the time of this blog post, the Freeman PFR2190 comes with a durable carrying case that is made out of plastic, and you also get a 7-year warranty that covers any factory defect.

2 – NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer

NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer

The next best nail framing gun has an uncanny resemblance to the one from Freeman Tools in so many ways, but there are also significant differences. The NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer weighs a mere 8.6 pounds and can be used on construction sites for framing walls, wood fencing, securing materials to the roof, to create sub-floors, and so forth. The triggering mechanism comes with a dual mode, which means it is up to the user to choose between sequential or single firing. NuMax SFR2190 nailer allows for depth adjustment of the outputted nails, this is a must have feature for building contractors, as you do not want the nails to go through the wood wall or floor. Another laudable feature is the mechanism that stops the NuMax SFR2190 framing nailer from firing when the nails in the chamber get too low. The warranty is not as generous as that offered by Freeman Tools for it will only for a period of one-year.

3 – Hitachi NR90AES1 Framing Nailer Review

Hitachi NR90AES1 Framing Nailer Review

The Japanese have come a long way from the days of making tiny cars that Americans used to laugh at, but who’s laughing now. Hitachi is among the elite Japanese companies with a hand in almost every product needed by humans to survive. You name the industry and chances are, this huge conglomerate has several products dominating, which is why the Hitachi NR90AES1 Plastic Collated Full-Head Framing Nailer is so special. It was recently introduced to replace model NR90AE(S). One of the improvements in the newer model is the head plate, which was redesigned to allow for faster and much easier maintenance. It can be used in a single or sequential mode. You get depth adjustment unlike no other nail gun in the marketplace today. Hitachi NR90AES1 Framing Nailer offers easier nail loading features that can substantially increase productivity on most construction job sites. This framing gun from Hitachi weighs only 7.5 pounds. The handle is made out of industrial strength rubber materials that not only ensures a secure grip but a comfortable one as well. To ensure peace of mind during ownership you get a five-year limited warranty.

4 – Bostitch F21PL Framing Nailer Review

Bostitch F21PL Framing Nailer Review

Another elite pneumatic tool brand that has been around for over one hundred years is Bostitch. Unlike Hitachi that is into almost every product that affects human living, Bostitch is more focused on making the tools needed to get things done, and one of them happens to be the Bostitch F21PL Framing Nailer. It is a trusted name among the pros that build things for a living. My next door neighbor that runs a home remodeling company swears by the durability of the F21PL Framing Nailer. It weighs less than nine pounds and can hold up to 60-nails in its magazine chamber. It is lightweight, and when coupled with the rubberized grip, it feels quite comfortable to hold and use. There are many other features inside the Bostitch F21PL Framing Nailer, not to talk about the incredible feedbacks from users that can be accessed here. The product itself is covered by a 7-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.

Buying Guide for the Best Framing Nailer

I can understand your need to ensure the nail framing gun you get is well-made and capable of increasing your productivity plus that of your employees. Below are some of the questions that need to be answered, and features you should be on the lookout for.

What Type of Framing Nailer Do You Want?

Most nail guns will fall under two categories, cordless and pneumatic. Both come with advantages and disadvantages, but what you’ll be using it for will help you make a better decision as to the type of framing nail gun you want to be delivered to your home.

Cordless Framing Nailer

A cordless nail gun is designed to run on fuel or rechargeable batteries to power its functions. I have also seen a few models that require both fuel and battery to function. While it has portable features that probably cannot be matched by any other type, it is more suitable for the person that likes to build things at home.

The included rechargeable batteries in this type of nail guns can only last but so long, which means you’ll be stopping what you’re doing to constantly juice up the power source. But it is a suitable nail gun to use when you operate in a construction area with limited space.

Buying Guide for the Best Framing Nailer

Pneumatic Framing Nailer

A pneumatic nail gun, on the other hand, is the workhorse of the construction industry. Most are made to use an air compressor as their power source. The best pneumatic framing nailer can be counted upon to always deliver the needed force to get the job done on time.

Since they require a compressor to function, which is an added expense unless you have one laying around, the portability features will be limited. Since there is no need for recharging the reliable power source, a pneumatic gun for framing is one of the most important tools to have on a busy construction site.

Select Your Magazine Style

You will have to decide what type of magazine style you want your nail gun to come with. The two most common type of magazine styles is coil and stick.

A nail gun with a coil magazine can hold more nails while one using a stick magazine set up will give you the ability to use long strip nails. In my opinion, it is not a big issue as long as the framing gun is solid and able to output the nails at a rapid pace.

What about the Nail type?

Again, this is one of those issues that should not be, simply because the best nail gun will come with some versatility as to what types of nails you can use.

What about the way it Handles?

The weight and comfort of the framing gun should not be overlooked, especially when doing building or road construction. The framing gun should at least be comfortable to hold and use.

I am not so worried about the weight because working on a building project is not for the faint at heart, which means you’re going to come across heavy and bulky tools, some even heavier than a nail gun.

The Reputation of the Manufacturer and Warranty Terms

The framing nail gun industry is a niche one, but there are dozens of manufacturers competing for your dollars. The reputation of the manufacturer of the nail gun does matter in this technological age.

A good one will have a website with ample resources like online user’s manual, how to use videos, and usage tips. Also, a well-made framing gun will come with at least a one-year warranty to cover any potential factory defect that might arise during that period.

Consumer Feedbacks

High powered tools are only as good as the way they’re constructed, which means the opinions of the current users of the nail gun you have in mind should not be overlooked.

Yes, 100% satisfaction rating is virtually impossible for any building power tool, but 75% or above, of the current users must like how it performs. The products listed in this framing nailer reviews met that criteria before inclusion.

Cordless Framing Nailer Review

It is safe to assume that cordless framing nailers are not as popular as pneumatic nailers, but they do serve a niche need within the construction industry. Cordless nail guns will come in handy when you lack the resources to buy a well-made air compressor or you just don’t have space in your work area.

While it has its limitations with adequate power supply, it is just as effective as the pneumatic counterpart. You can find the best cordless framing nailer reviewed below.

5 – Paslode 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer

Paslode 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer

Contrary to what some of you might think a good cordless framing gun can be quite pricey like the Paslode 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer, which in my opinion is overpriced but has some impressive features. The brand itself is a division of Illinois Tool Works a publicly traded company. It is designed to use both a fuel cell and a rechargeable 7V Li-ion Battery. The manufacturer claims a full charge will allow you to output up to 9,000 before it will run out of power. The included fuel cell will last up to 24-months based on usage, which is another expense for those of you running away from pneumatic nailers due to the need for an air compressor. It only weighs about 7.2 pounds and can output 2 to 3 nails every second. Despite all the fine features and excellent feedbacks from current users, I find the warranty to be too short and lacking in clarity. The entire Paslode 905600 Framing Nailer is only covered by a 90-day warranty on all parts, plus only a six-months warranty on all magazine parts, and finally, one-year warranty on the housing and assembly castings. Good luck trying the find out what caused the issue in the first place. It is a fine nailer, but fine in the construction industry does not equal productivity. For the price charged you can get any of the pneumatic nail guns reviewed above plus a good air compressor and a heavy duty extension cord to extend the power to cover your building site. If you lack the space than the Paslode 905600 will do just fine, despite my reservations about the pricing and warranty.

Framing Nail Gun Safety Tips

Despite its appearance, a framing nail gun can be just as deadly as a real gun. There are thousands of preventable injuries caused by careless usage as you can read from this mirror.co.uk/article. Here is another story about a Minnesota home builder that escaped serious injury from a pneumatic framing nail gun. Here are some useful tips to ensure you handle your farming nail gun the right way.

Framing Nail Gun Safety Tips

1 – Read the entire instructions manual before operating one, even if you think you’re familiar with nail guns. It is not uncommon for newer models to come with added features or change around some of the safety features. This is one of the premier causes of nail gun accidents both at home and in the work place.

2 – Please keep your kids away from this tool when in use. If you must leave it unattended, remove the nails and disable the power source. My suggestion is to put it in a place where your little one cannot reach. Treat it the same way you do your gun.

3 – A framing nail gun is not the type of tool you want to handle when tired or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Most people that drive under the influence always think they’re okay until the accident happens. Your life is worth more than a few extra nails in the wall.

4 – While it is not required, I would suggest you wear an eye protection goggle and a construction head helmet if you can, just in case a loose nail goes flying your way. This is even more so when working in a building construction project where multiple nail guns are firing away. You might be careful, but the next person might be careless with the nail gun.

5 – Finally, every framing nail gun will come with maintenance steps that need to be followed religiously. Some will require regular cleaning or oiling to keep the firing mechanism working properly. You can read about the guide created by the CDC for the construction industry on the need for nail gun safety.

Conclusion: The Best Framing Nailer

A framing nail gun is the workhorse of the construction industry for it changed in multiple ways the way modern buildings are put up today as compared to seventy years ago. The use of nail guns is one of the reasons why buildings can be built so fast, and yet be safe enough to withstand the rigors of nature.

The ideal type of framing nail gun to have is the pneumatic type, but if you lack the space a cordless nailer will do just fine. A framing nailer should only be operated when you’re well rested and sober. It is not a play thing for kids and must be treated the same way you care for your guns.

Despite the recent rush of prefabricated buildings, framing nail guns will always be around simply because the construction industry has no other choice, and will never go back to the days of using a hammer to make nails stick into the wall. When handled the right way, a framing nailer will allow you to get the job done right and on time!

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