Best Nail Gun for DIY Projects and Pallet Projects

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A nail gun, also called a nailer, can be a convenient solution when you need to take care of all types of projects around the house. This tool will drive nails into wood or even other kinds of material, making all sorts of constructing jobs easier and quicker.

You can use it for home improvement projects, crafts, building your furniture, or even at work if you have the type of job that requires you to use such tools.

They are great for upcycling pallet projects, too, and will make it easier and faster.  There are several types of nail guns with 3 types of power sources available on the market: pneumatic, electric, and combustion, and of course, a lot of models to choose from.

But let’s get straight to the point. Below you’ll find a choice of the best nail gun for DIY projects. If you’re not sure about what type of nail gun you need, then this quick guide may help you decide.

Best nail guns For DIY projects

Hitachi/Metabo NT50AE2 - Best Brad Nailer
  • Hitachi Power Tools has renamed to Metabo HPT. Same great tools, with only a new name.
  • Selective Actuation allows the user to select bump fire or contact fire modes with the simple flip of a switch
  • At only 2.2 pounds, this finish nailer is lightweight & well balanced making it easy to use all day long
  • Elastomer grip adds comfort and prevents slippage
  • Tool less, easy to clear nose for quick and simple nail extraction should a nail jam during use

Hitachi/Metabo NT50AE2 is one of the best brad nailer models that you can find on the market. This is an excellent nail gun for any woodworking and crafting as well, and you can use it even if you are a beginner in the matter.

It has an ergonomic grip that will allow you to use it with comfort, and it feels good in your hand. Plus, this model’s 2.2 lb makes it a very lightweight tool that you will have no problem using even for prolonged periods of time.

This nail gun has a dual firing option, and it can hold up to 100 5/8 2 inch brad nails. And the 360-degree flexible exhaust vent means you’ll always be able to direct the exhaust away from you, no matter what angles you’re working at.

Users seem satisfied with this product, and most of them have nothing wrong to say about it. You can check out the reviews on Amazon here.

It’s excellent value for money and a great starter or a backup tool for pros or DIY-ers that want pro performance. Let’s look at some benefits and disadvantages that might come along with purchasing this Hitachi brad nailer!

  • Lightweight great for working overhead and for a longer period of time
  • Increased portability
  • The exhaust vent can be adjusted thanks to its 360-degree flexibility
  • Safe to use even by beginners
  • Value for money
  • Fixed air inlet
  • Requires often oil maintenance
  • Lacks a dry fire lockout
Hitachi/Metabo NT65MA4 - Best Finish Nail Gun
  • Hitachi Power Tools has renamed to Metabo HPT. Same great tools, with only a new name.
  • Integrated air duster can be used to clear away dust and debris from the work surface in preparation for nailing or gluing
  • Tool less, easy to clear nose for quick nail extraction should a nail jam during use
  • Selective actuation switch allows for either sequential or contact nailing with a simple flip of the switch no tools or parts required
  • Tool less depth of drive dial adjusts for flush fastening into varying materials for improved control and a professional finish

If you are looking for a high-quality finish nail gun, this Hitachi/Metabo NT65MA4 model might be just what you need. It uses 15 gauge 1.25-2.5-inch nails, making it suitable for many tasks and home projects.

This nail gun also comes with special options, including adjusting the type of firing between contact firing and sequential one. Like Hitachi NT50AE2, this finish nailer model has a 360-degree fully adjustable exhaust portal that directs air exhaust away from the user or the workpiece.

Users like that you can use this nail gun without loading it very often, saving time and increasing efficiency. Tool-free depth of drive dial adjusts for flush fastening into varying materials for improved control, and a professional finish is another very much liked feature.

This finish nailer works on airpower, so you can trust that it will last a long time, and the weight of 4.2 pounds reduces user fatigue and increases its maneuverability. The 34-degree magazine angle allows the user to reach into corners or tight spaces with ease.

Also, this product comes with a 5-year warranty, which increases the product’s reliability. This can only make Hitachi NT65MA4 an even better option to consider if you’re looking for the best tool!

  • The 34-degree magazine angle allows for reaching into corners and tight spaces
  • It comes with a 5 years warranty
  • Lightweight for increased portability
  • The firing type can be adjusted between contact firing and sequential firing
  • Tends to misfire and jam
  • It is not a budget-friendly product
Sale
Paslode 905600 - Best Framing Nailer
  • 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.
  • Guaranteed Durability 50% Longer Run-time with 7V Li-ion Battery for up to 9,000 nails per charge.
  • Compact Design: Fits between 16" o.c. studs, joists and roof trusses.

This framing nailer is an upgrade from the 902600 model, and it’s just what you were looking for if you want an efficient nail gun that can help you get all that work done.

It is very portable, and it uses a lithium-ion battery that can hold 5h of a full charge. One of the best features of this nail gun is the drive rate that is as high as 9000 nails on one charge.

This is a relatively lightweight tool of only 7.2 pounds, making it one of the more portable nailers of this type. It has 15% more driving power and the ability to work in lower temperatures.

It has an option for a 2 min quick charge to drive 200 nails, and this comes in very handy when you are in a hurry to finish a project but don’t want to wait till the battery is fully charged.

Although you don’t need an air compressor for this model, it won’t operate without fuel cartridges. The battery creates a spark that ignites the fuel cell to drive the nail. This nail gun can drive 1200 fasteners per fuel cell, so you’ll need to change cells during use. Another thing is that you have to use Paslode nails to use this tool.

The manufacturer sells the nails and cells together, which can save you some money. There is a good choice of nail sizes and lengths sold by the company, and loading them is quick and easy through the quick-load feature.

Included quality case with one battery and a charger is also a bonus. One of the best nail guns on the market.

  • Easy to carry around thanks to its light weight
  • It has a speed charging option
  • 15% more driving power and low temp usability
  • Drives 9000 nails per charge
  • It is more expensive than other nailers
  • It might not be easy to use by beginners
  • Use of fuel cells is necessary
Sale
BOSTITCH Mini Impact Nailer PN50 - Best Palm Nailer
  • Rubber grip designed to insulate and reduce vibration
  • Weighs only 1 lb.
  • 360° swivel air fitting for maximum accessibility
  • Front exhaust directs air away from users palm
  • Drives most common bulk finish, framing & timber nails

The Bostitch pneumatic palm nailer is a great choice for the DIY-ers and builders among us, weighing in at just one pound. Its small size makes it easy to use in tight spaces inaccessible with larger tools like hammers or mallets. You’ll be able to drive nails into even those hard-to-reach corners as well, thanks to its affordability that won’t break the bank!

Perfect for small places where a hammer or nail gun won’t fit, like when you’re working with deck joist hangers at narrow angles and on tight spaces. Driving speed appears to be similar to normal nailing. Still, This little nail gun is a game-changer for anyone who has ever been frustrated by hammering nails into tighter spaces.

Well built, sturdy, fits well in hand. The nail driving process is probably noisier than hammering, so ear protection is recommended. However, you get noise from your compressor anyway, so it doesn’t make much difference. 

To get the full advantage from this little guy, Make sure your compressor has sufficient power and receiver capacity. The reason for this is that This little beast can drop the pressure in a 3-gallon receiver from 100 to 80 PSI after just five 3″ nails.

It comes with a high-quality swivel quick disconnect, which is a great convenience, especially for this price. It holds the hose in any direction and makes it super easy to maneuver this nailer in any direction.

The part of this tool that is surprising the most was how easy it is to drive a nail without any force required! As long as you could reach the spot you want to drive a nail, you could easily drive the nail.

A couple of small drawbacks. First, you can experience numbing of your hand after prolonged usage, even with some sort of gloves on. More padding on the back of the tool would be nice and make this nailer more comfortable to use. To solve this issue, you could try some anti-vibration gloves to reduce the vibrations.

Second, The tool does not come with any air tool oil. It would have been a lot more convenient if it had information about how often you should use air tool oil on its packaging. Unfortunately, this info was missing, but an online manual has it all clearly explained to make up for this oversight. 

This little nailer is perfect if you don’t do large-scale projects and can’t justify spending a lot of money on a full-size one. It drives even large nails extremely quickly, and I’m sure you’ll be happy with this tool. It’s a great tool that speeds up finishing your projects, and you don’t need a framing nailer for the occasional DIY project.

  • Easy to carry around thanks to its lightweight
  • The small size -fits in the pouch
  • 360° swivel air fitting
  • Drives nails fast-finish, framing & timber nails
  • Well build
  • A bit noisy/loud
  • No oil included or info about oiling
  • Vibration can numb your hands if used for longer periods of time

Types of nail guns

best nail gun for diy

As there are many types of nail guns, you will discover that certain models go great for DIY projects and pallet projects. Here are the best nail guns types to use for such tasks.

Finish Nailers

Finish nailers are very popular thanks to their efficiency and friendly price. They use nails with a high gauge.  The most common type of nails is the 16 gauge one. However, you can use 15 gauge nails as well, depending on the job. These are the best types of nailers to use when you work on furniture or home projects.

They are made to handle large pieces of wood, and they can break into almost any type of wood material. At the same time, these nail guns are not too big to be uncomfortable to use or store, so you can definitely rely on them in those aspects as well.

Brad nailers

Brad nailers are similar to finish nailers, but they are not comparable in all their aspects. They also use nails that are higher gauge and pins and are the best choice for fine woodwork tasks. The gauge size is usually 18 or 23 and will leave a tiny, barely visible hole.

This type of nail gun is best for small projects like toys or dollhouses requiring small nails, harder to drive with a hammer. If you like crafting and small construction projects, you will find a brad nailer gun very handy.

Framing nailers

If you are more into heavy-duty types of projects, you need a good framing nailer. You can use these nail guns with 2.8 mm nails, and they work on all types of wood. You can rely on these nailers for projects that more robust such as decks or house framing.

They are perfect for wooden siding and room additions and even fences and projects that include plaster. Keep in mind that hammers will damage the plaster, so you might want to invest in a framing nailer for both your convenience and efficiency.

Nail Gun Power Sources


Pneumatic Nailers

Pneumatic nailers are the most popular and used nail guns on the market nowadays. They are easy to use and extremely efficient for a variety of projects. These nail guns work based on air pressure, which is the main source of their force when driving nails.

According to the model, these nailers use the air to create the pressure they need to work through a certain number of piston cylinders. This pressure is known as PSI (pounds per square inch). If you want to use this type of nail gun, you must invest in the air compressor and the nail gun itself.

Pros:

  • Easy to use and budget-friendly nail guns
  • Pneumatic nail gun functions on a constant force, which increases their efficiency
  • They have a longer lifespan than other nail guns
  • Pneumatic nail gun is suitable for most types of projects

Cons:

  • Pneumatic nail gun requires to be oiled constantly
  • They tend to be louder than a battery or electric nail guns
  • Pneumatic nail guns need an air compressor which is an additional investment that you need to consider

Electric Nail Guns corded and cordless

The electric nail gun relies on an electric current passing through the solenoid and a magnetic field to drive the firing pin. While both of these electric nail guns work great for various projects, it comes down to personal preference when you choose between a cord-powered or cordless/battery-powered nail gun, as well as the accessibility of a power supply nearby.

Pros:

  • Electric nail gun models with a power cord are very budget-friendly
  • No need to use an air compressor or buy gas canisters
  • Electric nail guns are suitable for a variety of projects
  • They are easy to use
  • These nail guns have a long lifespan

Cons:

  • The cordless electric/battery powered nail guns can be more expensive than others
  • Cordless electric/battery powered nail guns need to be recharged often
  • They are mostly used for brads and staples with very few framing nailer models on the market

Combustion powered nailers

Combustion-powered nail guns are also a good option, but they might not be what everyone is looking for. This is because they have some disadvantages that you need to be aware of before spending your money.

These nail guns are the latest type found on the market nowadays, so buyers are still adjusting to these tools.  They use combustion to drive the nails and depend on a battery, which provides a spark, igniting the gas and driving the piston.

You can use these for a variety of projects, especially whenever you need a cordless tool. They are a good alternative to pneumatic nail guns as they can drive larger nails into hard surfaces with no problem.

Pros:

  • This type of nail gun is quieter than other types
  • Able to drive larger nails into harder surfaces with ease
  • They are new on the market and have the best technology
  • Easy to use even by beginners

Cons:

  • These nail guns are more expensive than other models and you have to consider the cost of gas canisters as well
  • They might not have such a long lifespan as pneumatic nail guns
  • They require extra safety measures while they are used

FAQs

There are a vast number and many different types of nail guns on the market that serve different purposes. You have to answer one question before buying one. What do I need a nail gun for? Is it an all-around nail gun for different small jobs? In this case, I’d say that a cordless electric nailer like Dewalt DCN660D1 would be an answer.

If you need one for construction jobs/fencing etc. in the house, then a framing nailer like Paslode 905600 is the one to go for. Or is a one you need for crafts? Then a brad nailer like Hitachi/Metabo NT50AE2 should be sufficient for the job.

A finish nailer is very popular thanks to its efficiency and friendly price. This is the best type of nail gun to use when working on simple shelves and furniture projects.

Again finish nail gun is the most popular and versatile when it comes to building furniture. The most common type of nails used with these nail guns is the 16 gauge ones. However, you can use 15 gauge nails as well, depending on the job. A finish nailer is made to handle large pieces of wood and break into almost any wood material type.

Electric nail guns have their advantages over other types like pneumatic and combustion models. The corded ones are usually more budget-friendly and are very easy to use. They don’t require extra equipment like an air compressor or fuel canisters. But if you after a framing nailer, the choice is minimal among the electric-powered models.

Although their cordless/battery-powered cousins can be quite expensive and require regular battery charging, investing in one of the cordless tool brands can significantly reduce the running costs.

Conclusion

By using this guide, you can’t fail when you are choosing the best nail gun for DIY or pallet/upcycling projects. Get to know your options before pulling your credit card out and choose the one that suits your needs best.

Remember that what might work for others might not be the best for you, so always have your future projects in mind when shopping for the best nail gun for your needs.

This nail gun roundup should be a good place to start if you are looking for one. I hope that it has helped answer some of your questions and given you plenty of information about what makes a great nail gun for DIY projects. If there is anything else you want to know, leave a comment in the box below! And as always, happy reading (and hopefully buying)!

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