Cordless framing nailers make a framer’s job a lot easier. Simply press the nail gun’s tip against the surface, pull the trigger to discharge the nail, and you’ve automatically linked two pieces of wood together.
Without these power tools, workers would still be stuck with hammers and forced to rely on good old elbow grease to finish a project. No more aching wrists, arms, and shoulders at the end of a long and tiring day thanks to framing nailers.
But choosing the right cordless framing nailer can be a little complicated. You probably have a lot of questions on your mind right now. You want to know the aspects of the tool that you need to consider before buying one, as well as whether it’s better to choose a nail gun with a full sequential or contact firing mode. Plus, cordless framing nailers can be hard to find because the market is saturated with air-powered ones.
Luckily, we’ve made it easy to find the right cordless framing nailer for you. In this review, you’ll read about some of the best cordless framing nailers available online. You can also check out our cordless framing nailer buying guide so you can start shopping right away.
It is powered by a long-lasting 20V battery that can discharge hundreds of nails in one single charge.
This nailer can drive a variety of fasteners thanks to its dual-speed motor.
It allows you to switch between the efficient bump firing and the safer sequential firing.
You’ll know when it’s time to reload thanks to its dry fire lockout feature.
The magazine can hold up to 55 nails for fewer reloads.
It is not compatible with some of the fasteners sold by other manufacturers.
Extensive home building projects need a powerful and reliable framing nailer, and this DEWALT DCN692M1 20V MAX Framing Nailer Kit meets the criteria. This is a cordless framing nailer powered by DeWalt’s long-lasting 20V battery that allows you to discharge hundreds of fasteners in one single charge. Unlike other cordless framing nailers, this tool is equipped with a dual-speed motor that allows you to use a wide variety of fasteners for different applications.
DeWalt has ensured that this framing nail gun is going to be easy to use. You can adjust its depth using the yellow tool-free depth adjustment knob located near the nailer’s nose. It is also equipped with a dry-fire lockout mechanism and a tool-free stall release. The tool comes with an adjustable rafter hook, so you can work on something else while keeping the tool within reach.
Some framing nailers only have a single actuation mode. The good news with this tool is that you can easily switch from convenient bump firing mode to the safer sequential firing mode with just a simple press of a button located at the base.
It’s easy to access tighter spaces thanks to its 33° magazine. Its high-capacity magazine can also hold as much as 55 2 to 3 1/2″ nails. When you purchase this DeWalt framing nailer, you’ll get a 20V lithium-ion battery, a charger, and a kit bag to keep it dust-free.
The safety tip can get into corners and tight spaces easily.
It has a quick and convenient tool-less depth adjustment.
It can discharge thousands of nails in one single charge and one fuel cell.
It can discharge nails smoothly, and you don’t have to exert too much effort when using it.
A new Paslode fuel cell is quite expensive.
This is a rather heavy and bulky tool.
Power and ergonomics are at the core of this impressive tool. Unlike other cordless framing nailers, the Paslode 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer is powered not just by a battery, but also by a long-lasting fuel cell. This combination of fuel cell and lithium-ion battery lends this nailer more power, so driving nails flush into tougher hardwoods is easier and stress-free.
It has a slim nose and a 30° magazine which allows you to access even the tightest spaces and corners for toenailing. The rest of its body is quite bulky, and its bulk matches its weight. It can get heavy and tiring especially if you’re carrying it while climbing a ladder or scaffold.
The magazine holds as much as 48 nails. The nail capacity is a bit smaller than that of the DeWalt, but it’s not a big deal. The package includes a battery charger, safety glasses, and a hex wrench. With an adjustable rafter hook that allows you to carry the tool safely while climbing a ladder or work on something while keeping it within reach.
It is equipped with a heavy-duty and cost-effective brushless motor.
The nailer automatically shuts off after 30 minutes of inactivity.
It has two actuation modes.
Its dry-fire lockout system is activated when the magazine is running low on nails.
It has a side lock trigger switch to prevent the nailer from discharging when it is not in use.
It is heavier than other framing nailers.
The magazine can only hold 37 fasteners at one time.
The battery has a shorter run time.
Convenience, durability, and excellent performance are combined in this Hitachi NR1890DR Framing Nailer. This is one of Hitachi’s cordless models, so your work is not tethered to a hose that can limit your movement. It has an Air Spring Drive System that mimics a pneumatic nailer. This battery-powered nailer uses compressed air to discharge a fastener flush into the wood minus the longer ramp up time.
The tool-less depth adjustment makes working on different materials easier. It has two actuation modes, so you can use whichever is convenient or safer for you. Use bump firing if you want a faster workflow, or use sequential firing mode if you want to keep your workplace safer.
It has an adjustable rafter hook that makes carrying it around (or up and down) the workplace easier and more convenient. The magazine is angled at 21°, so it might be a little challenging to use it in corners and tight spaces. It can only accommodate up to 37 plastic-collated nails, so the magazine capacity is significantly lower than that of DeWalt and Paslode.
This framing nailer is powered by a fuel cell and a NiCad battery.
It can drive up to a thousand nails per hour.
It features low battery indicator lights.
It is lighter than other cordless framing nailers.
The package includes a NiCad battery, a charger, a pair of safety glasses, a carrying case, and a hex bar wrench.
The quality and reliability of this model are not particularly consistent.
If you frequently work in remote areas or if you’re tired of lugging an air compressor around and constantly adjusting and untangling its hose, then a cordless framing nailer will make a world of difference in your jobsite. If you’re considering the Hitachi NR90GR2 Gas Powered Framing Nailer to replace your old and cumbersome air-powered one, then you might find this review helpful.
This Hitachi framing nailer looks and works a lot like the other nailers on the list, such as Paslode and the Durafied units. They are all gas-driven, but while other products come with a lithium-ion battery, this Hitachi unit is different as it comes with a nickel-cadmium battery. Although NiCad batteries are less expensive than their lithium-ion counterparts, they do have shorter battery life, have a higher self-discharge rate, and take longer to charge.
This framing gun features a tool-less depth of drive nose adjustment, as well as a dry-fire lockout. You’ll be warned by the indicator light once you need to charge your battery or you need to swap it with a fully charged one.
Its performance, however, is inconsistent. One minute it’s driving nails smoothly and consistently, then it suddenly misfires and jams. It’s a little less inexpensive than other framing nail guns we have reviewed. So if you’re on a tight budget and you’re planning to use it occasionally, then you might want to try this nail gun.
It is powered solely by a long-lasting lithium-ion battery.
It features bump firing and sequential firing modes.
It has a durable brushless motor that doesn’t require frequent maintenance.
It comes with a no-mar tip to protect the surface of the lumber.
It is not compatible with other 30° nails manufactured by other brands and tends to misfire/jam a lot.
Lugging an air compressor around and having a hose hamper your movement while you’re working is no fun. So switching to a cordless framing nailer is the most sensible solution to make your work a bit easier. One of the ideal nail guns available on the market right now is the BOSTITCH BCF30P1 Framing Nailer Kit.
This nailer features a powerful motor that can drive nails smoothly into tough lumber. It has a 30° magazine and uses paper-collated nails so you can squeeze it into corners for toenailing.
Switching from bump firing mode to sequential firing mode is easy thanks to its tool-less selector switch. The tool tends to jam when you use the wrong type of fasteners, but you can easily clear it with the stall release lever.
It is pretty heavy, so you have to have a lot of upper body strength if you’re planning to use it all day, every day.
Its zero ramp-up time feature allows you to drive nails at a faster pace and save time at work.
It has two actuation modes.
It is powered by a long-lasting lithium-ion battery.
The nailer is equipped with an LED light to illuminate your work surface.
It comes with a belt hook and a rafter hook.
It is quite heavy.
The battery and charger are sold separately.
If you’re willing to splurge on a tool manufactured by a big name brand, then the MILWAUKEE ELECTRIC TOOL 2745-20 Framing Nailer just might be your next tool. This cordless framing nailer is powered by a heavy-duty lithium-ion battery. The battery is powerful and long-lasting that you can discharge hundreds of fasteners in a single charge. You don’t need a separate gas cartridge as the battery alone can do the job.
It can drive a wide variety of nails into the toughest lumber with zero ramp-up time. This allows you to do the job faster, while its two actuation modes allow you to do the job safer. It has a convenient tool-less depth adjustment and a dry fire lockout feature.
Its on/off button is an additional safety feature of this tool. It has a separate belt hook, so you can carry it on your belt and free up your hands to do something else, or hold on to the rungs when climbing a ladder. Plus, it has a 30° magazine that lets you easily maneuver this tool between two pieces of lumber while toenailing.
This framing nailer is powered by a standard gas cartridge.
Its magazine has a 34º angle. This ensures that you can press the nailer’s nose in corners and tighter spaces.
It has a high-capacity magazine that can accommodate as much as 50 nails at one time.
The nailer includes a durable plastic hard case to protect it from dust and moisture.
It’s quite heavy.
The Durafied GFN Cordless Gas Framing Nailer might not be the most popular cordless framing nailer on the market, but don’t underestimate it. Just like the Paslode nailer, this tool is also powered by a fuel cell and a battery. It drives 2″ to 3 1/2″ smoothly even into the toughest boards.
Its magazine can hold up to 50 nails, and it can discharge up to 3 nails per second so it can thrive in even the toughest jobsites. Nail depth adjustment is conveniently tool-less, allowing you to adjust it even in the middle of a task without reaching for an Allen wrench.
It is quite heavy at 8.3 lbs., and its lack of a rafter hook can make transport and storage on the job a bit inconvenient. It does have a plastic hard case to protect it, and the package includes a fuel cell, a battery, a charger, and a pair of safety glasses for good measure.
Cordless Framing Nailer Basics
A framing nailer, also known as a nail gun or simply, a nailer, is a powerful tool used to link two pieces of wood together. It is used in framing, deck building, sheathing, and fencing. Your gold old hammer and nails still have a place in the jobsite, but a framing nailer definitely makes the job easier and more efficient.
Framing nailers are often powered by an air compressor. But if lugging around an air compressor is too cumbersome for you or if you’re framing a roof and the hose just gets in the way, then a cordless framing nailer is the right tool for you.
Cordless framing nailers are powered by a lithium-ion or sometimes, a NiCad battery. Some tools are powered by a combination of a battery and a fuel cell. The fuel cell used to power such tools contains either butane or propane.
There are many benefits to using a cordless framing nailer. The absence of a hose and a cord means that your movement around the jobsite is not limited. You can climb a ladder to frame a roof and not have to worry about tangling or tripping over the air compressor’s hose.
Air compressors are essential in any jobsite. But when you have a cordless framing nailer, you can leave it in your workshop or use it to power other tools instead. Moreover, cordless nailers are not as tiring to handle as they are often lighter than corded ones. There are also no cords you have to frequently adjust and untangle as you work.
As mentioned, cordless framing nailers can be powered by a battery or a combination of a fuel cell and a battery. Battery-driven cordless nail guns have decent runtime and can drive hundreds of nails in one single charge. Plus, you don’t have to wait long for the battery to charge. But it’s always sensible to have an extra battery at hand just in case you run out of juice in the middle of a project.
Cordless framing nailers can also be powered by a fuel cell that contains butane or propane. The fuel cell is used in conjunction with a battery, so the body of the nailer that uses this system can get very bulky. Fuel-driven nailers are more powerful than battery-powered nailers, but they are on par with battery-driven nailers when it comes to price. But keep in mind that you will need to buy new fuel cells in the future, so that can add up to the expense.
Framing nailers have magazines that are positioned at different angles. These angles are 21°, 28°, and 30°. When buying fasteners in the future, keep in mind that you can only load nails that match the angle of your magazine.
Other framing nailers have round magazines that can accommodate coiled fasteners. The magazine of these nailers is angled at 15° and it can accommodate hundreds of nails at once. But they can be very heavy because of the sheer number of nails they can accommodate, and pricier than your regular framing gun with stick magazine. So we’re going to 15° coil nailers aside for now and focus on the other magazine angles.
21° Framing Nailers
Some framing nailers are equipped with a stick magazine that is angled between 20° to 22°. Just like 15° framing nail guns, these nailers use round head nails. But unlike 15° nail guns that use wire-coil nails, 21° framing nails use plastic-collated nails.
21° nail guns are great if you want to drive nails in tight spaces. The magazine can hold around 60 to 70 nails, so you will need to reload frequently if you’re working on a large project.
Always wear safety glasses when using this type of nail gun as the plastic strip that keeps the fasteners in place breaks apart as the nail is discharged. These small plastic strips can get in your eyes and cause injuries if you are not wearing protective glasses.
28° Framing Nailers
28° nailers typically use smaller fasteners with clipped heads. Nevertheless, there are a few nailers that use round and offset heads, too. These nails are held together by a piece of wire, and they are held more closely together in a steeper magazine.
These framing nailers sometimes lack enough power to discharge nails at a steeper angle. Plus, you’ll have to check your building code as some forbid the use of offset head and clipped head nails.
30° Framing Nailers
If you want to get into corners and tight spaces, then check out framing nailers with 30° to 34° magazines. These nailers use paper-collated fasteners which results in a less messy work area. Plus, you don’t have to reload as often as some 30° magazines can hold as much as two strips. One distinct disadvantage of using this type of fastener is that the paper that holds the nails together eventually weakens when exposed to humidity and rain, so be careful in storing it in your workshop or garage.
Contact or bump firing is frequently used in larger projects where efficiency is prioritized over precision. With bump firing, all you need to do is press the framing nailer’s safety tip against a surface to discharge the nail. You can squeeze the trigger before or after pressing the safety tip against the surface to drive the nail. If you have a horizontal or flat surface, then bump firing is a good way to make your job more efficient. But keep in mind that bump firing is not as safe as sequential firing, so be very careful when using a framing nailer with this type of actuation mode.
What if you’re uncomfortable with using contact trigger because it is not as safe? Well, you can always switch to the full sequential firing. When you use this type of actuation mode, you have to press the nail gun’s safety tip to the surface, then pull its trigger to drive a nail. You have to release the trigger and lift the safety tip first before you can discharge another nail. The process is slower, but full sequential firing is safer and more precise than contact or bump firing.
This cordless framing nailer review is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re interested in buying other such tools for your next home remodeling project, then check out our blog. We have reviewed the best brad nailers, the best micro pin nailers, and other such tools that are available online and in your favorite stores.
Our choice for the best cordless framing nailer is the DEWALT DCN692M1 Framing Nailer Kit. The Paslode 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer’s performance is impressive, but it is bulkier and more cumbersome because of the extra space needed for the fuel cell. You also need to buy new fuel cells in the future which could add up to the cost.
Back to the DeWalt Framing Nailer. This tool is powered by DeWalt’s long-lasting 20V lithium-ion battery. You don’t have to buy a separate fuel cell to drive nails as its battery does all the heavy lifting for you. This kit includes the DeWalt 20V MAX battery and compatible charger, so that’s one less thing to worry about.
This cordless framing gun can drive nails easily and quickly without the frequent misfires and jams experienced when using other nailers. The inevitable jam happens now and then, but you can always rely on the tool-free stall release to clear the jam and reset the driver blade.
Adjusting the depth is easy with its tool-less depth adjustment knob, so you can drive nails flush against the surface for a cleaner finish. Plus, switching from efficient bump firing to safer sequential firing is easy thanks to the button located at its base.
Keep in mind that it has a 30° magazine, so you’ll need to purchase paper-collated nails for this tool. It has a brushless motor that is long-lasting and doesn’t need frequent maintenance. It is a bit more expensive than its rival, the Paslode framing nailer, but you’ll save money in the long run because you don’t have to purchase expensive fuel cells in the future.