A powerful nailer saves you time and energy on woodworking projects

Nailers - Buying Guide

Nailers drive fasteners below the surface of wood without denting or bashing to ensure a smooth, high-quality finish.

Tip: Look for models with anti-jamming features and that direct air blasts away from your face for safe, comfortable use.


Consult the chart below to determine which types of nailers are best for which jobs.

Type Ideal Usage Points to Consider

Brad Nailers

  • Trim work
  • Function as down-sized finishing nailers

Coil Nailers

  • All-day jobs
  • Shingling
  • Framing
  • Hold the most fasteners per load
  • Ideal for the serious professional

Finishing Nailers

  • Door casing
  • Baseboards
  • Trim work
  • Crown molding
  • Utilize thin strips of finishing nails
  • Angled tools are easy to use in corners and tight spaces

Headless Pinners

  • Crafts
  • Delicate trim work
  • Use small-gauge fasteners
  • Create very small entry holes

Palm Nailers

  • Between wall studs
  • Between ceiling joists
  • Fit in the palm of your hand
  • Ideal for narrow spaces


  • ¼"or thinner material and
  • Use a narrow-crown staple

Stick Nailers

  • Framing
  • Various construction tasks
  • Easy to handle
  • Weigh less than coil nailers
  • Require more frequent reloading


There are two types of firing modes:

  • Bounce-fire triggers allow you to squeeze and hold them so you can fire a nail every time you touch, or bounce, the nose of the nailer to your work surface. This trigger may need to be installed separately.
  • Sequential firing requires you to pull the trigger each time you fire a nail. This allows you time to set up the proper angle for the shot.

Most nailers are powered by compressors. Look for one with a 2 hp or greater motor and a 4- or 6-gallon tank. Some nailers are powered by a fuel cell and battery.


  • Always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes in case a nail ricochets off the work surface and bounces back towards you.
  • Immediately disconnect air hose and turn off compressor as soon a you finish using nailer.
  • If you have small children, get a nailer with a lockout lever to prevent them from accidentally discharging it.
  • Check to make sure the nose guard is in place and working properly.
  • Only place your fingers on the trigger when preparing to drive in a nail.


Adjustable Belt Hook. Allows you to clip nailer to your belt.

Swivel Hose Attachment. Allows you to shift compressor hoses to the most convenient position.

Onboard Storage Space. Convenient, easily-accessible storage for extra fasteners.

Depth Adjustment. Lets you set accurate depths with simple to use wheels and slide adjustments.

Easy Loading. Magnetic strips that hold pins in place when reloading new cartridge to prevent spills and speed up reloading time.