7 Best Finish Nailer Reviews 2018 | A Complete Buying Guide To Choose Top Finish Nailer
Finishing is perhaps the most delicate part of any project you will be doing, more specifically for woodworks. Finishing requires precise workmanship used to make woodwork smooth and close to perfect as possible.
With that said, the tool that has changed the finishing game to a great extent is the finish nailer. Often descried as the professional’s tool in finishing, this piece of machine is also now being used by hobbyist or even other people who are making projects of their own. The finish nailer is a versatile finishing tool that is able to punch nails seamlessly into your woodwork for a clean but functional finish.
The uses and benefits of a finish nailer are no secret at all which is why people now opt to get one for them. In cases like that, however, the main problem you have isn’t about the function of the finish nailer but about the tons of choices you have.
Finding the best finish nailer is not an easy task due to the numerous things you would to consider – things we will be discussing in this buying guide to help you make your decision. From the features to the budget, we’ll have you covered!
Table of Contents
- 1 The Best Finish Nailers in the Market
- 1.1 DEWALT DC618K XRP 18-Volt Cordless 1-1/4 Inch – 2-1/2 Inch 16 Gauge 20 Degree Angled Finish Nailer Kit
- 1.2 BOSTITCH N62FNK-2 15-Gauge 1 1/4-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch Angled Finish Nailer
- 1.3 Senco 4G0001N Finish Pro 42XP 15-Gauge 1-1/4-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch Finish Nailer Including Case
- 1.4 Freeman P4FRFNCB Framing/Finishing Combo Kit with Canvas Bag, 4-Piece
- 1.5 Hitachi NT65MA4 1-1/4 Inch to 2-1/2 Inch 15-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer with Air Duster
- 1.6 DEWALT D51257K 1-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch 16 Gauge Finish Nailer
- 1.7 PowRyte 16 Gauge Straight Air Finish Nailer – 3/4-Inch to 2-Inch
- 2 Buying Guide
- 3 FAQs
- 4 Finishing Touches
The Best Finish Nailers in the Market
DEWALT DC618K XRP 18-Volt Cordless 1-1/4 Inch – 2-1/2 Inch 16 Gauge 20 Degree Angled Finish Nailer Kit
The DEWALT DeWalt DC618K Cordless Angled Finish Nailer is a fast and very user-friendly unit which is a strong candidate for the best cordless finish nailer. It can drive nails ranging from 1-1/4 up to 2- ½ at a speed of 5 nails per second. It is a cordless unit which means that you wouldn’t need to buy or bring with you any air hoses or compressors.
It has an 18-volt battery and all in all, packs power and performance with comfort and convenience of use. The great thing about the DeWalt DC618K Cordless Angled Finish Nailer is its consistent penetration for both soft and hard joints. It also has integrated LED lights that can give you a better grasp of your tool’s condition.
The rear-load is a 20-degree magazine that can 120 DeWalt or Paslode 20-degree nails. No need for any cartridge while using the DeWalt DC618K Cordless Angled Finish Nailer which makes it easy and clean to use.
- Relatively lightweight maneuverable at 8.5 pounds.
- Rear-load magazine and a nosepiece that can remove jammed nails.
- Cordless and has a useful LED light.
- Requires either a DeWalt or Paslode nails to be used
- Has durability issues
The DeWalt DC618K Cordless Angled Finish Nailer is something that is definitely worth it for its rather high price. It works great and is extremely handy due to it being cordless. Batteries are nothing to be ashamed of but also nothing to boast about and an extra pair of them should prove to be useful in some occasions. Generally, according to best cordless finish nailer reviews, it is a quality product with its only issue being the nails used which will require you to have either a DeWalt or Paslode instead of getting a cheaper alternative.
BOSTITCH N62FNK-2 15-Gauge 1 1/4-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch Angled Finish Nailer
The Bostitch N62FNK-2 Angled Finish Nailer is an oil-free nailer that is extremely low-maintenance and has zero risks of acquiring any form of oil stains and damages. ¬It has a massive 400 in./lbs. of driving power with an adjustable nail depth – two things making this one a great investment.
It has four profile tips for different applications and a magazine that is very convenient to reload. This nailer has to be sued with any standard air compressor which makes it less maneuverable but its adjustable settings should compensate well for that. Included with the Bostitch N62FNK-2 Angled Finish Nailer is a tool-free magazine which can hold 130 nails and gives the users the ability to clear jams quickly.
It has a useful integrated air blower that enables users to easily clear out the debris in the work surface for more cleaner and more precise work. The Bostitch N62FNK-2 Angled Finish Nailer is the first 15-Gauge tool in the world to offer a quiet rear exhaust that puts the air away from the user.
- Extremely lightweight at 3.8 pounds.
- Oil-free maintenance and easy to clean nail magazines.
- Includes several nail-depth settings with four profile tips.
- Plastic magazine may offer some durability issues.
- Build quality is often in the hot seat.
Although the Bostitch N62FNK-2 Angled Finish Nailer may lack that weight for power, it excels in different aspects such as its maintenance capabilities. Every part of it is easy to clean and the four profile tips for flute, bead, tongue, and offset, are great to have.
Going back to its weight, 3.8 pounds is extremely maneuverable but the use of a standard air compressor may limit that aspect a bit, although the swivel air fitting may have an answer for that. Other great features include the 7-year warranty as well as the protective case – two things that we would accept freely anytime.
If you are looking for a lightweight finish nailer that you can use for long period of time, this one is for you.
Senco 4G0001N Finish Pro 42XP 15-Gauge 1-1/4-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch Finish Nailer Including Case
At 4.5 pounds, the Senco 4G0001N FinishPro 42XP is on the lighter half of the finish nailers in this list. Like the BOSTITCH N62FNK-2, the Senco 4G0001N FinishPro 42XP is a candidate for the best 15-gauge finish nailer with a fastener range of 1-1/2 to 2-1/2. It is air-powered with magnesium housing which balances both its weight and the power in this thing, which I must say, is really great.
The Senco 4G0001N FinishPro 42XP features a sequential action trigger perfect for that swift finishing touch in any of your projects. Furthermore, it also makes use of the Neverlube technology – a feature that allows the finish nailer to function without the use of any form of lubrication. Due to this, it can be saved from any stains, oil spills, or wearing damages caused by such agents.
This one was made for professionals, such as professional carpenters, who are used to lifting 5 pounds or so of equipment for long period of time. The cushioned grip and trigger adds to its qualities of being built for long professional use as well.
The Senco 4G0001N FinishPro 42XP was also designed to easily remove jams with its ez-latch technology while its nail magazine can house 104 nails. Nail depth adjustments can be easily done through the integrated thumbwheel – a very slick and functional feature.
- Lightweight and maneuverable at 4.5 pounds.
- Thumbwheel adjustment is an amazing feature.
- Ez- latch proves to be a reliable feature when in need.
- Neverlube technology
- No belt hook.
- Price and value may be an issue for some
Senco has always offered their products with good build quality at a fairly lower price which is very reasonable. According to users, the performance of the Senco 4G0001N FinishPro 42XP still leaves much room for improvement although durability wise it is up there with the best ones. It fires 34 degree nails only which may prove to be quite a requirement for others but its ease of use and professional design can compensate for that.
Overall, if you are looking for a simply yet effective piece of finish nailer, this could be your bet.
Freeman P4FRFNCB Framing/Finishing Combo Kit with Canvas Bag, 4-Piece
The Freeman P4FRFNCB Framing/Finishing Combo Kit is a 4-piece contractor’s dream that has everything you need for framing and finishing. It contains an angle finish nailer and a brad nailer for getting that good finish on your works.
On the other hand, the framing nailer is a great add to your tools with it being a great tool for framing anything from sub-floors to fences. The fourth piece in the kit is a narrow crown stapler great for precise decorative trims.
Freeman has always been known to provide tools that can be easily used by both professionals and amateurs in their projects. The tools in this kit are no exception and they continue to prove their quality as a brand.
The kit specifically contains a 21-Degree Full Head Framing Nailer, a 34-Degree 15-Gauge Angle Finish Nailer, an 18-Gauge Brad Nailer and a Narrow Crown Stapler, both sporting the quick Release feature. Furthermore, several wrenches and oils are also inside the kit.
- One stop shop for your needs
- Contains the common nailers that you will, more often than not, be able to use
- Convenient to carry and store around
- Has a really great value for money since it is a package
- Build quality is the main concern
- May pose some durability issues
The Freeman P4FRFNCB Framing/Finishing Combo Kit is one bargain that can really turn heads. However, some issues experienced by its users may end up having your eyebrows raised and the consistency of the build really isn’t there. Fortunately, however, it is an extremely useful one stop shop bargain after all and to some people, the build issues can be made up by its cheap price.
If you are someone who is okay with experiencing some build issues as well as frequent jams for the sake of being able to buy a great bargain, this one is for you.
Hitachi NT65MA4 1-1/4 Inch to 2-1/2 Inch 15-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer with Air Duster
The Hitachi NT65MA4 is the perfect tool for people who just love to do it on their own. At around 4 pounds, this lightweight finish nailer offers great control and maneuverability while supporting both 15 and 16-gauge nails. Its weight is perfect for those who want to feel the power of their tool more and those who want to get used to lifting the average weight of a finish nailer.
Hitachi targets first timers for this one where the low weight and simple design should serve as a good training tool. It offers the essentials of any finish nailer and keeps things simple to avoid any confusion. The unique color is also a definite plus.
The Hitachi NT65MA4 has an integrated air duster that should prove to be useful in preparing dusty surfaces for precision nailing. The tool-less nose has a lot of catching up to if you compare it to those of the other products, but it should do a fairly quick extraction of jammed nails.
This finish nailer needs a standard compressor which may limit its maneuverability but the air fitting is angled upwards – a design change that should hopefully compensate for that. Other than that, the little things like the rubber grip and the 34-degree magazine are great adds to its simplistic persona.
- Easy-to-access integrated air duster saves time for cleaning.
- Relatively affordable.
- Great depth on the drive dial makes it stable and easy to use.
- Change modes between sequential and contact nailing with a switch.
- The shooting mechanism does not stop even though your magazine is empty already.
All in all, in this list, I can say without a doubt that this product is the easiest one to use. It is lightweight, it’s fast, and packs some power as well. The magazine is easy to load as well but it can shoot blanks rather often which leave a dent on the surface – something you wouldn’t want in your woodwork.
However, if what you’re looking for is a finish nailer to start your hobby or just to have one at home, the Hitachi NT65MA4 can be a great choice.
DEWALT D51257K 1-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch 16 Gauge Finish Nailer
The DEWALT D51257K is the trusted brand’s bet for the best 16 gauge finish nailer in the market and can drive 16-gauge nails in the region of 1 to 2-1/2 inch. It has several features that combine to create an extremely reliable finish nailer. It packs several of DeWalt’s latest techs for a modern edge in the workplace.
The first thing you will notice about the DEWALT D51257K is its ability to be oil free or not. The Sealed Lube Dual Tech was developed by DeWalt to allow users to use the product with or without oil. For longer work, using the oil lube unit is recommended while quick projects can be completed without any lubrication. This is a great piece of tech since you will now have the option to risk stains or not.
A 360-degree exhaust can be rather annoying at times but the other small features and designs are great. From the adjustable belt hook, to the nail adjustment dial and the nail jam clearer, the DEWALT D51257K is a generally well-thought out product.
It has a pretty standard operating 70-120 PSI operating pressure and the rest of its features are pretty much what you would see inside other DeWalts products as well but built-in better.
- Sealed Lube Dual Tech allows you to choose from lubed or oil-free use.
- Offers great value for its price.
- No-mar tip and other parts are extremely well-made and durable
- Does not offer any bump actuation mode.
- Straight angle can be harder to use in tight spaces
All in all, the main problem of users in this one is its trigger design and straight angle. The other features look to have been design carefully and cleverly but the trigger seemed to have been forgotten. Comfort is also a bit of a problem with DeWalt not focusing on that department while driving a 2 ½ nails can be improved as well.
It is extremely durable, however, so if you are looking for something that can last for years and will be using it seldom, the DEWALT D51257K is one you should consider.
PowRyte 16 Gauge Straight Air Finish Nailer – 3/4-Inch to 2-Inch
Apart from being the lone PowRyte entry in this list, the PowRyte 16 Gauge Straight Air Finish Nailer is actually the lightest one also here. With a weight of 3.1 pounds, this straight finish nailer packs in a couple of great features with its strongest point being its compact nature.
It is not oil free and an air compressor must be used with an operation pressure of 60-100 PSI. The PowRyte 16 Gauge Straight Air Finish Nailer is a 16-gauge straight finish nailer which can fire ¾ to 2-inch nails. The size of this product basically determines what you can find and how much you can get from this thing.
The PowRyte 16 Gauge Straight Air Finish Nailer has standard features with several things standing out such as its reload indicator – a feature that many finish nailers seems to leave out. It has a no-mar tip as well as a split nose design for keeping your woodwork dent-free and conveniently clean, respectively.
As mentioned, what you see is what you get and the short magazine on this rather small unit, can only hold 90 nails. Other than that, the small design of the PowRyte 16 Gauge Straight Air Finish Nailer is welcome to those who want it.
- Lightweight and great for long hours of work.
- Reload indicator allows you to work continuously without firing any blanks.
- Has numerous woodworking applications.
- Short magazine needs frequent reloading.
- Hardwoods like white oak are not very ideal.
As you may have noticed, the main concern really lies on its magazine. Although the reload indicator can save you from dry firing, the short magazine still cancels that out by asking you to reload frequently. It is a great basic gun and we’ll give them credit for that, but when it comes to hardwood like oaks, it would be better for you to get a more robust one.
However, if you wish to have a product that can offer all the basics to you while conveniently weighing at 3.1 pounds and being hailed as a choice for the best finish nailer for trim, then by all means, go for the PowRyte 16 Gauge Straight Air Finish Nailer.
The next part of the article will focus on creating an actual buying guide for you. In this section, what we will be tackling are the things to look for in a finish nailer as well as the things you should consider as a precursor to making your decision.
What to Look for in a Finish Nailer
Now that you have a couple of choices already, you can freely determine which ones to consider based on your preferences. The reviews above should help you find the specific units that can cater to your needs but in order to make a better decision on what to buy, you need to consider a few more things such as the basics.
The basics are the general traits of your finish nailer that you can use as a guide or checklist to compare different products. These said traits are the one you should be looking for in any finish nailer and this buying guide will enumerate the actual traits.
So, without further ado, here are the things you should look for in a finish nailer:
When it comes to any project you will be doing, safety must always come first. With that said, one of the things you should look for in a finish nailer is the amount of safety features it has to offer.
Safety in the workplace is really the responsibility of the user but it wouldn’t really hurt to have several safety features to aid workers. From having a strong built that can prevent ricochets to having integrated guides for better positioning, the little things always count when safety is the topic.
Nail Size and Depth Adjustment
Going down to its technical features, a finish nailer obviously works with nails which is why it is just of common sense to look for a finish nailer that has a convenient way of integrating nail adjustments.
There are several ways of nail adjustments in a finish nailer such as the size input and the depth adjustment. A great finish nailer will be able to conveniently place a dial or an adjustable piece in a well-thought part of the finish nailer.
Material and Durability
Another thing that should be present in your finish nailer is a great piece of material that ensures its durability. Remember that you will be working with wood when using a finish nailer and anything short of a strong material can be dangerous and plainly a waste of money.
Always look for good material when picking a finish nailer and be sure that the product is durable.
Weight and Power
Finally, the perfect weight and power are two things you should look for in your finish nailer. The weight and power go hand in hand when it comes to the performance of your finish nailer.
More than that, the perfect weight is very subjective and its really up you whether you want a heavy one for more power or a lighter one with a discrete nature.
When it comes to finish nailing, the stronger the better and a high-powered product is definitely something that should be worth your money. However, this one can be left for your preferences as well since some people may not be able to handle stronger mechanisms.
These two things can arguably be included in the next part of this section which discusses the things to consider or determine before buying a finish nailer.
Things to Consider When Buying a Finish Nailer
As mentioned, your preferences and needs greatly affect the decision that you have to make when buying a finish nailer. With that said, choosing between couples of things is a necessary step in determining what you really need.
15 Gauge or 16 Gauge
15 and 16 are the gauges of nails – basically the size of it. 16-gauge nails are thinner as compared to their 15-gauge counterparts which means that it can penetrate thinner pieces of wood that 15-gauge nails may damage.
On the other hand, the 15-gauge is the choice for professionals or hobbyists who are used to dealing with larger pieces of wood and, consequently, larger nails.
Straight or Angled
Another thing to determine when you are choosing your finish nailer is the angle of the nailer. Straight nailers are much more stable and offer a little bit more power due to its stability in terms of shape.
On the other hand, angled nailer is your choice should you be dealing with tighter areas as an angled nailer will allow you to somehow reach for a spot – something that a straight nailer might not be able to do.
Additional functional and design features
Finish nailer designs have come a long way already and a lot of new techs. Decide on which additional features you would want to have.
There are a lot of choices when it comes to additional features such as an integrated blwoer that can help you clean up easily or perhaps an LED light that helps you see your work better. Design features, on the other hand, include things like adjustable belt holders, rubber grips, and placing of the switches.
Finally, a couple more things to include in your considerations when buying a finish nailer are the perks that come with it. To be more specific, these perks are the non-material things as well as the bonuses that should still be of service to you.
Perks like the length of the warranty period can affect your decision with longer warranty period obviously getting the better look. Bonuses like oils or cases are also great additions to the whole package.
Other things to consider, are the prices and, as mentioned, the weight of the product.
There are numerous nailer brands out there producing finish nailers but only a few are really worth the look. If you wish to go your own way and look for another finish nailer not included in our recommendations above, then here are some brands you can start from:
Not all of the brands mentioned in our product recommendation are mentioned in our brand recommendation. That is because we used a different criteria for determining the recommended brands where we focused on the number of quality products they have produced in the past – in other words these are the trusted ones.
What is a compressor and do all finish nailers need them?
The compressor is a mechanism that enables a finish nailer to work and drive nails through pressure. Not all finish nailers need a compressor as only pneumatic finish nailers require them while electric or gas finishers have different mechanisms for power.
Is it better to use a cordless or corded nailer?
Cordless and corded nailers have their own pros and cons and choosing between them is really a question of preference.
A corded nailer such as the ones needing a compressor is much cheaper and lighter. However, the chord placement heavily determines the maneuverability of the tool. On the other hand, the cordless trailer often requires a battery to run and are much more heavier since all of the mechanisms are present inside the tool. Cordless trailer are much more maneuverable since it is not limited by a chord but may pose problems for those who are not really used to carrying more than 5 pounds for long periods of time.
What is a Brad Nailer?
The brad nailer is another type of nailer that comes up when in the topic of finish nailers. Brads and Finish nailers differ in terms of modes where the former one uses the sequential mode or nailing one by one. Not all finish nailers offer this mode while at the same time; they are more compatible with larger nails such as the 15 to 16-gauge ones.
A finishing nail is a tool that allows the users to seamlessly nail woodworks. It was made for finishing touches on projects and for the use of professionals, hobbyists, and other individuals who prefer to do it themselves.
We reviewed 7 specific product recommendations above while also mentioning the trusted brands when it comes to buying a finish nailer. However, choosing and buying a finish nailer isn’t all that easy.
We mentioned that in choosing a finish nailer, you need to look for the right security features, determine the perfect weight and power according to your preferences, and more. Apart from that, numerous more things to determine before buying a finish nailer are the nails you will be using, the angle of the nailer, the perks that come with it, and others more.
In the end, the choice is ultimately yours and we’ll leave with a reminder of being cautious regarding your buy. Be patient and choose meticulously – these things should keep you afloat and give you the right finish nailer you are looking for.