The Best Cordless Framing Nailers for your Framing Projects

Cordless framing nailers make the difficult job of framing infinitely faster and easier. What would usually take minutes of struggle and hammering, cordless framing nailers can do the job quickly and with a firm hand.

Using them is as simple as pressing the tip flush to the wood and releasing the nail. The best cordless framing nailers provide the correct pressure to connect pieces of wood in a moment.

Instead of putting strain on your shoulders and hands, all you need now is a good grip.

Top Pick: DEWALT 20V MAX Framing Nailer Kit, 30-Degree, Paper Collated (DCN692M1)

Best for the Pros: Paslode Cordless XP Framing Nailer

LeadingDIY Top 4 Best Cordless Framing Nailers in 2021

Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1 DEWALT 20V MAX Framing Nailer

DEWALT 20V MAX Framing Nailer Kit, 30-Degree, Paper Collated (DCN692M1)
  • DEWALT cordless framing nailer has dual-speed motor optimized to drive a wide range of fasteners for versatility
  • Framing nailer gun has tool-free selector switch for sequential or bump-fire modes
  • Tool-free depth adjustment for precise nail placement

Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The DEWALT Max XR Framing Nailer uses a magazine angled at 30° and uses paper collated nails. It can accommodate nails varying from 2 to 3.5 inches. That magazine angle is excellent for accomplishing corners, especially built with its strong engine to drive in those long nails.

Its 20-volt battery makes it a heavier power tool than usual. It weighs in at about 7.8 lbs but can perform almost as well as portable pneumatic nailers. Although this nailer is well-balanced in its design, we still advise you to exercise caution when handling it.

The Max XR Framing nailer is easy to operate as long as you use it at the proper speeds. Its product name mentioned that it is dual speed: speed setting 1 and 2. Use speed 1 for short nails and speed 2 for long nails. Using these speeds properly is essential because the acceleration corresponds to the length and mass of each nail. The wrong speed will cause plenty of nasty nail jams.

They load into the magazine like other framing nailers. Slide back a little handle, slip a strip of nails in, and let the spring-loaded handle pop back into place. It pushes the nails to the top of the magazine, ready for action.

Pros

  • Prevents dry fire with its lockout feature
  • Has two speeds to match the length of the nail
  • Has a depth adjustment function
  • Has a reset mechanism and removal mechanism in case of nail jams

Cons

  • Dual speed feature can be confusing

2 Metabo HPT 18V Cordless Framing Nailer

Metabo HPT Cordless Framing Nailer Kit, 18V, Brushless Motor, 2" Up To 3-1/2" Framing Nails, Compact...
  • INCLUDED: NR1890DRS, Compact 3. 0Ah Lithium Ion Battery, Fast Charger, Contractor Bag, Safety Glasses
  • CORDLESS FREEDOM: Pneumatic power with 18 volt cordless freedom
  • FASTENERS: Accepts round head 21 degree plastic strip collated nails from 2 Inch up to 3-1/2 inch in length and (0.113 to 0.131)

Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Metabo is a well-known brand famous among craftsman for their high quality tools. Their 18V cordless framing nailer uses a 21° magazine, great for tight insertions and hassle-free operation. Their spring drive technology allows for a quick and robust drive to insert nails even into tough lumber. That mechanism acts as its internal air compressor without the actual hose. But of course, this means a heavier nailer weighing in at 10.8 lbs.

It boasts a drive speed of 0.5 seconds per nail. One charge of its battery can drive 400 nails. This feature is excellent for high firing speeds and job efficiency. Just take extra care when firing fast, as plastic is bound to ricochet from the firing strips.

Metabo also takes extra care to include safety features, such as an anti-dry fire lock and a side lock for the trigger. Their framing nailer also offers some ergonomic aspects, such as a rafter hook and rubber handle for improved grip.

Pros

  • A powerful cordless framing nailer competitive with pneumatic nailers in terms of driving power and feel
  • One charge of its lithium-ion battery can last for 400 nails
  • Has depth adjustment mechanism
  • Has dry-fire lockout mechanism
  • Comes with accessories such as a battery, a contractor bag, a charger, and safety goggles
  • Covered by a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Unreliable customer service
  • Reported battery and charger issues

3 Paslode Cordless XP Framing Nailer 906300

Paslode - Cordless XP Framing Nailer, 906300, Battery and Fuel Cell Powered, No Compressor Needed
  • Increased Productivity - Drives nails flush in LVL and other hardwoods that remodelers encounter.
  • All Season Formula - Works in temperatures down to 14°F.
  • Lightweight - 7.2lbs. for better comfort and control while working overhead or in tight spaces.

Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Paslode cordless XP framing nailer is the first on our list that uses a hybrid battery involving both a fuel cell alongside a 7V lithium-ion battery. Still, it manages to weigh only 7.2 lbs. This framing nailer is powerful, with more driving force than battery-only cordless nailers. It also uses a 30⁰ magazine angle which is good for corners, and with its weight, it is suitable for overhead jobs.

Paslode’s all season formula allows this nailer to operate in temperatures as low as 14⁰F . However, due to it running on fuel, it does have some limitations for its operation. There have been complaints about using the framing nailer in high altitudes with the drive being affected.

Regardless, the battery life of this power tool is impressive, going up to 9,000 nails per charge on a full fuel cell and fully charged battery. Most pure battery power tools we have seen can hardly compete with that.

Pros

  • Longer durability and running time with its fuel cell battery hybrid
  • Can operate at lower temperatures than pneumatic nailers.
  • Light and compact at 7.2 lbs and 16” design
  • Can drive 9,000 nails per charge

Cons

  • Cannot operate at high altitudes
  • Does not come with a tip guard
  • Fuel cell will need refills, recommended to come from Paslode specifically.

4 BOSTITCH 20V MAX Cordless Framing Nailer, 28 Degree Wire Weld, Tool Only (BCF28WWB)

BOSTITCH 20V MAX Cordless Framing Nailer, 28 Degree Wire Weld, Tool Only (BCF28WWB)
  • Cordless framing nailer features tool-free selector switch for sequential and contact-actuation modes
  • Brushless motor and engine design of the framing nailer gun includes two speeds for optimized performance and enough power to drive 3-1/2-inch...
  • Stall release lever to reset driver blade in case of jam

Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The BOSTITCH 20V MAX framing nailer uses a 28⁰ magazine powered by a 20v battery. Like DEWALT, it uses two different speeds on its motor, adjusting to the length of the nail. It can accommodate nails going up to 3.5 inches and operates best with weld head nails.

Despite using two different speeds, switching modes is very quick and efficient. All it requires is a flick of its selector switch. This framing nailer comes with its mechanisms in case of a jam, such as a driver blade reset.

Thanks to the lack of a fuel cell, you won’t have to worry about spending extra on refills and lubricants. The 20V MAX is easy to clean and operate and is covered by a 3-year warranty.

Pros

  • Uses two speed modes depending on the nail length
  • Uses a 28⁰ magazine for strong and steady drives
  • Accommodates nails up to 3.5 inches in length
  • Covered by a 3-year warranty
  • Battery lasts for around 8 hours on constant work

Cons

  • Jams on full round nails
  • Drives can be a bit slow

Buyer’s Guide to Framing Nailers

Photograph of a cordless framing nailer in use.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Nail Gun for Framing

What is a Cordless Framing Nailer?

If you’re new to carpentry or woodworking as a whole, then you should make sure to understand what a framing nailer is before purchasing one. There are many types of different nail guns, and each is purpose designed for a specific task.
Framing nailers are heavy duty nailers designed for large projects like building decks, fences, and of course wood frames. They aren’t a suitable choice for light-weight and delicate jobs akin to those that you would use a finish nailer for.

Cordless vs Pneumatic Framing Nailers

Framing nailers have two possible power sources: air compressors and batteries. Nailers that use air compressors are called pneumatic, while those that use batteries are called cordless.

When you already own an air compressor, a pneumatic nailer can make more sense to purchase. They are usually more powerful than cordless options while also being more lightweight. The tradeoffs are the cost of the compressor if you don’t already own one, and that they can be more cumbersome. If you need some measure of portability, then we recommend you choose a cordless nailer instead.

Cordless framing nailers offer more freedom of movement than their pneumatic counterparts. They may be heavier with the added weight of the battery, but not needing a hose makes up for that when using ladders. While less powerful on average, the best cordless framing nailers should still offer enough driving power to handle any job. Less often, a cordless framing nailer will instead use a fuel cell, which will require refills but offers higher driving power.

What To Look For When Choosing Cordless Framing Nailer

Battery and Power Source

Expected battery life is something you should always check when comparing cordless tools. Having a battery die in the middle of a job is always a real buzz kill if you don’t have a spare on hand.

Most companies also use the same battery across a full line of tools so check how widely used a nailers battery is. These batteries aren’t cheap, and if you can save a surprising amount of money using it for multiple tools.

For heavy use it’s also worth considering a fuel powered or hybrid framing nailer. These nailers aren’t just more powerful than battery-powered framing nailers; they can also go much longer without a recharge. Most can perform thousands of nail insertions on one charge. The drawback is that the fuel for these nailers is often expensive, and that in most cases a cordless nailer is just as capable of getting the same job done.

In most cases we’d recommend a battery-powered framing nailer for home use. Contractors will be the ones who benefit the most from using fuel-powered nailers instead.

Round and Clipped Nails

There is two sub-types of nails used by framing nailers, round and clipped. While there isn’t any evidence of one being better than another there are important differences between the two.

A magazine can hold a greater number of clipped nails at once than round. But not all building codes allow clipped nails to be used in construction. Before buying a nailer you should research the building code in your area. Or if you want to play it safe then stick to round-headed nailers if you’re uncertain.

Magazine Angle

Another of the specifications to check on framing nailers is the magazine angle. The angle of the magazine provides different purposes and specializations for nail insertion. There are three common different angles: 30°, 28°, and 21°. The fastener nails that you can use with the nailer have to match with the magazine angle.

And if you thought that was confusing, there’s also coiled fasteners, which need a 15° magazine to use. Watch out for framing nailers with 15° magazines though, because they can store hundreds of fasteners and likely end up very heavy.

Coiled fasteners aside, 30-34° nailers are suitable for corners. They are hassle-free and relatively clean with paper-collated fasteners. 30° magazines will hold plenty of fasteners at once, making reloading less frequent.

Magazines that sit at 28° will accommodate clipped heads and smaller sizes. A wire binds these kinds of nails. The magazines are also not as spacious as the 30° ones, so they need reloading more often.
21° magazines will help you get into the smaller spaces. Their magazines are pretty small and hold up to about 70 nails at once only. However, they can experience debris more often; the plastic of the nail strips breaks every time you release a nail, and that can bounce and shoot. It’s essential to wear protective gloves and goggles or glasses when using these nailers.

Firing Methods

There are two different types of firing methods that framing nailers use to insert nails. These methods are sequential and contact firing sometimes called bump firing.

Ideally, you want to choose a nailer with selective actuation, which means it allows you to switch between the two. Using the right method at the right time will save you time and ensure accurate nail insertion.

Contact firing

Contact or bump firing is a method of nail insertion that fires the nailer by bumping it against the work surface. This method of nailing is perfect for getting through a job fast. As long as the trigger is held down the nailer will continue to fire each time it’s bumped. Inserting nails this way can be less accurate and the operator should be ready to compensate for repeated recoil.

Sequential Firing

Sequential firing is the more traditional method of nail insertion. It requires the user to line up the tip before pulling the trigger to fire a nail. While it can take longer this method is more accurate and safer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What power source is best for cordless framing nailers?

You can choose between a pure battery source or a battery and fuel cell hybrid. If you need a more powerful tool, you can opt for the fuel cell hybrid. However, it will be more costly in the long run due to fuel refills.

Are cordless framing nails better than corded framing nailers?

Pneumatic compression framing nailers are more powerful than most cordless framing nailers. However, pneumatic nailers are challenging to bring around and, due to the hose, bind you to a particular work area.

Are cordless framing nailers beginner-friendly?

Flooring nailers usually come with a shoe or base plate that lies flat on the flooring it is meant to install. Because of this, flooring nailers are safer than other power nailers which can fire nails at any angle without a baseplate.

Is it better to use nails or screws for framing?

Nails are the preferred fastener for performing structural joining. This is because they are more flexible than screws which can snap under pressure.

Can I use a framing nailer as a finish nailer?

While it can be tempting to try, no you cannot use a framing nailer for finishing. Finish nailers fire smaller nails suited for more delicate jobs, and using framing nailer in the same instance could cause wood to split from the larger nails and higher nailing force.

Is a cordless framing nailer worth it?

Cordless framing nailers provide serious performance without the hassle of an air-hose. The best cordless framing nailers can make your next framing job simple and pain free.

Can a framing nailer be used for baseboards?

Framing nailers are heavy-duty nail guns that fire large, heavy-duty fasteners suited perfect for framing but not for smaller projects. A finishing nailer or brad nailer is better suited for nailing a baseboard

Conclusion

Cordless framing nailers are a necessity asset for any construction site. Whether you’re framing up high or on the ground, cordless nailers provide freedom of movement on the job.

Although choosing a cordless framing nailer is difficult, we hope our buying guide has helped you consider some great options. Hopefully, your choice will get your next project done fast!

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