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5 Of The Best Nail Guns For Wood Framing

The invention of the nail gun brought a new level of speed and ease to house building, specifically the wood framing portion. Owning one can save hours upon hours during builds. But how do you know which nail gun to buy out of the dozens available on the market? We have researched all of the top brands and have the answer for you here in a list of the top models. 

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

If you are shopping for a nail gun, you want to look for both functional and affordable. Other things to look for in a good nailer are safety and comfort features. According to reviews on Amazon, here are the top 5 nail guns for wood framing:

  1. NuMax SFR2190 Framing Nailer
  2. Bostitch F21PL Framing Nailer
  3. Metabo HPT Framing Nailer
  4. Freeman PFR2190 Framing Nailer
  5. 3PLUS H2190SP Framing Nailer

That list is an excellent place to start your nail gun shopping journey, but there are essential pieces of information about each of the tools on that list that you should know before purchasing. Please continue reading to find out more about these nail guns, why you might want to buy a nail gun, and a few other specific things on nail guns. 

carpenter working in the workshop and using a nail gun. 5 Of The Best Nail Guns For Wood Framing

The Five Best Nail Guns for Wood Framing

There are so many nail guns on the market, and some only for specific purposes, which can be overwhelming if you're in the market for one. Because of this, we decided to narrow down the list to the top five wood framing nail guns based on reviews on Amazon.

Tilt view of a carpenter on a roof, against blue sky, carpenter building a tile batten construction for roof tiles, using a pneumatic nail gun. 5 Of The Best Nail Guns For Wood Framing

1. NuMax SFR2190 Framing Nailer

The most highly reviewed framing nail gun on Amazon is the NuMax SFR2190, a highly versatile and ergonomic pneumatic nailer. This NuMax is called a Framing Nailer, but it is helpful for other projects like fencing, decking, and more. The SFR is a 21-degree nailer that requires a compressor to use. The magazine can accommodate nails between 2 and 3.5 inches long. 

Some notable features on the SFR2190 are no-slip teeth for hitting your target, an anti-dry fire so that you know when you're nearly out of nails, and a depth adjuster that helps you optimize for different types and sizes of wood. The nailer also has an interchangeable trigger for switching between rapid-fire or single-fire and an adjustable exhaust port to keep constant puffs of air away from you while you focus on the job at hand. 

Click here to see the NuMax SFR2190 at Amazon.

2. Bostitch F21PL Framing Nailer

The second highest reviewed nail gun on Amazon is the Bostitch F21PL nailer. It is a 21-degree round-head framing nailer that is lightweight and accurate. One cool feature about this Bostitch nailer is that it comes with an adjustable hook, making it easier to hang in various places between use, which isn't standard on all nail guns. 

The Bostitch F21PL can put out framing nails that measure between 2 and 3.50-inches. Additionally, the magazine can handle connector nails that measure between 1.5 and 2.5-inches. There is a 16-inch layout indicator on the magazine that helps the user keep track of the distance between studs. 

Click here to see the Bostitch F21PL at Amazon.

3. Metabo HPT Framing Nailer

The Metabo HPT is the third highest-reviewed nail gun for wood framing on Amazon. The HPT is also a 21-degree pneumatic nailer, meaning that it will also require a compressor for use. This Metabo boasts a new head guard that makes assembly easier than ever before. This nailer is lightweight and accepts nails between 2 and 3.5-inches in length. 

The Metabo HPT also comes with a mode selector for switching between nailing types and a tool-less depth adjustment system. The Nailer has won awards in the past for its quality and longevity. 

Click here to see the Metabo HPT Nailer at Amazon. 

4. Freeman PFR2190 Framing Nailer

This Freeman nailer is the fourth highest-reviewed framing nailer on Amazon, mainly due to its durable magnesium body, which reduces weight and makes it more comfortable to use. The PFR2190 is also air-powered with a 21-degree round head and the ability to toggle between a sequential firing mode or a bump firing mode. It even comes with a carrying case, safety goggles, and all associated adjustment tools. 

Click here to see the Freeman PFR2190 at Amazon. 

5. 3PLUS H2190SP Framing Nailer

The 3PLUS H2190SP framing nailer is the fifth on top five nailers on Amazon based on reviews. Like the rest of the nailers on this list, it is a 21-degree pneumatic nailer. This 3PLUS nail gun features a tool-free depth adjustment system, making it perfect if it is your only nailer that you will use for multiple projects and surfaces. 

Like the NuMax, this 3PLUS also comes with a rotating air exhaust port that keeps the air away from your hands and face. The tip consists of a hardened claw that prevents slipping during nailing. 

Click here to see the 3PLUS H2190SP at Amazon. 

Should I buy a framing nailer?

Framing nailers have several common uses around residential construction sites or home improvement projects. The most common use is building the framing for a new house or an additional room add-on. Framing nailers will save tons of time for projects like those and exterior projects like fence and deck construction. 

So you may be wondering if it is worth it to invest in your own nail gun since they aren't exactly cheap. If a nailer like the Metabo HPT is out of your price range, you can always rent a nailer at a hardware store like Lowe's. Lowe's will rent you a pneumatic framing nailer for around $36 per day or $144 for an entire week. 

If you have recurring projects or will soon start a job where you could be using a nailer daily or regularly, then buying your own nail gun is the way to go. The same case applies if you have a list of projects waiting for completion that a nail gun will make easier. In both these cases, the nail gun will pay for itself after a few weeks. But, if you will only need the nailer for a single project over a weekend, rental is the path for you. 

What degree nail gun is best for me?

As we've hinted at a few times in this post, nail guns come in different degrees of nail insertion. If you're using your nail gun for a variety of projects on a rare basis, then you want to use the most versatile type of degree. The most common and highest reviewed degree for framing nail guns is 21 degrees. Nailers of this degree are sure to be versatile enough for various indoor and outdoor projects. 

Can I use 30-degree nails in a 34-degree nailer?

Sometimes, nailers are compatible with degrees different from those ascribed to them. Some nailers will shoot nails between 30 and 34 degrees, and each nailer has a variance to what angle nails they will work with. The best thing to do is visit the manufacturer's website to check your specific model and its capabilities. 

How long should nails be for framing?

If you are working on assembling the framing for a house or other type of building, the nail length is significant for the quality of the build. It would be best if you used 3 or 3.5-inch nails with your framing nailer for any standard framing. If you use any shorter nails than that, the connection may not be strong enough. Any nails longer than 3.5-inches will be difficult or impossible to drive into the wood effectively. Proper nails are available at your local hardware store or Amazon. 

Click here to see the BC Eagle round head framing nails at Amazon. 

What is a finishing nailer?

What is a finishing nailer, and how is it any different than a framing nailer? A finishing nailer is a type of nailgun used for interior projects, such as baseboards and crown molding, that require more finesse and control. A framing nailer is used for wood framing and other rough projects specifically. Finishing nailers typically have a smaller gauge of the nail that it distributes. A great finish nailer is the Hitachi 15GA. 

Click here to see the Hitachi 15GA Finish Nailer at Amazon.

In Closing

If you have many wood framing projects, purchasing a nail gun made explicitly for wood framing is a good idea. The best degree type to purchase is a 21-degree nail gun, as all of our top five reviewed nailers fit into this category. As always, please exercise caution when using a nail gun. They are a significant increase in productivity, but they don't come without safety risks. 

If you found the information in this post useful, please see a few of our other posts:

How Much Does Wood Siding Cost Per Square Foot? (By Type Of Wood) 

Staining Vs. Painting for Outdoor Wooden Surfaces