Pneumatic Finish Nailer Buyer’s Guide

Finishing is one of the most important parts of any project, and this is especially true when it comes to woodworking. It’s like the icing on the cake. Without great finishing, your woodworking projects will rarely get appreciated. To get the right finishing in your woodworking projects, you will need to invest in several tools.

Best Finish NailerOne of the tools that have changed the finishing game is a finish nailer. Every woodworker, DIY, or professionals, should invest in this piece of equipment. A finish nailer is a versatile tool that will enable you to punch nails seamlessly into your woodwork to guarantee a clean, functional finish.

However, finding the best finish nailer is never an easy job due to the numerous things you have to consider as well as the influx of brands that make these machines. But we are here to make it easier for you to choose the right finish nailer for your needs.

Quick Comparison of 6 Best Pneumatic Finish Nailer

ProductKey SpecificationsMore Info
NuMax 16 Gauge straight Finish Nailer SFN64
NuMax SFN64 Finish Nailer
Gauge: 16 GA
Power Type:  Air
Capacity: 100 nails
Weight:  4.5 lbs.
Material:  Aluminum
PriceDetail review
Bostitch 16 Gauge Finish Nailer BTFP71917
Bostitch BTFP71917 Finish Nailer
Gauge: 16 GA
Power Type:  Air
Capacity: 100 nails
Weight:  7.34 lbs.
Material:  ABS
PriceDetail review
Hitachi Cordless Finish Nailer NT65MA4
Hitachi NT65MA4 Finish Nailer
Gauge: 15 GA
Power Type:  Air
Capacity: 100 nails
Weight:  4.2 lbs.
Material:  Other
PriceDetail review
Senco FinishPro 42XP
Senco FinishPro 42XP
Gauge: 15 GA
Power Type:  Air
Capacity: 104 nails
Weight:  9 lbs.
Material: Metal
PriceDetail review
Makita Finish Nailer AF635 15 Gauge
Makita AF635 Finish Nailer
Gauge: 15 GA
Power Type:  Air
Capacity: 100 nails
Weight:  4 lbs.
Material:  Plastic
PriceDetail review
Dewalt D51257K Finish Nailer
Dewalt D51257K Finish Nailer
Gauge: 16 GA
Power Type:  Air
Capacity: 100 nails
Weight:  7.6 lbs.
Material:  Magnesium
PriceDetail review

Top 6 Pneumatic Finish Nailer Reviews

Read our finish nailer review guides below to see the top-rated models. If, after reading our reviews, you will not have made a purchase decision, we have a buyer’s guide to help make it easier for you to choose the right model.

Let’s get started:

1NuMax SFN64 Straight Pneumatic Nailer 2-1/2″ Lightweight

NuMax SFN64 Straight Pneumatic Nailer 2-1/2″ Lightweight

  • Capacity: 100 nails
  • Gauge: 16 GA
  • Weight: 4.5 lbs.

Buy on Amazon

Highlight Features:

  • Uninterrupted high-capacity magazine.
  • Quick jam release
  • Well-balanced and lightweight.
  • Durable and lightweight aluminum body.
  • Uses 16-gauge straight finish nails.
  • Anti-dust cap.
  • Ergonomic grip.
  • No-mar safety contact.

The NuMax SFN64 is designed to drive 16ga finish nails from 1 to 2.5 inches. This pneumatic tool is great for finishing off exterior and interior projects, and can also be used on crown moldings as well as chair rail moldings. What makes it one of the best pneumatic straight finish nail guns is that it has a small nail gauge, which disappears into the wood. This means you will spend lesser time sanding and filling in holes.

Even though the nails driven by this gun are small in size, they are quite strong. What’s more, it has a tool-free adjustable exhaust that conveniently directs debris and dust away from you and your working area. It also has a no-mar tip that protects your sensitive work surfaces.

This straight nail gun features a lightweight cylinder with rubber O-rings and a one-piece drive blade for extra durability. The sequential firing mode is meant to drive one fastener at a time, thereby allowing you to accurately place fasteners now and then.

The firing depth is highly customizable for every project, thereby ensuring a consistent firing depth all the time. The integrated quick-release latch allows you to remove jammed nails without having to disassemble.

Its magazine can accommodate up to 100 straight finish nails, which means longer prolonged working periods between the reloads. This is a must-have tool for every workshop that deals with crown molding and trim applications.

2Hitachi NT65MA4 Air Finish Nailer 1-1/4 to 2-1/2 Inch

Hitachi NT65MA4 Air Finish Nailer 1-1/4 to 2-1/2 Inch

  • Capacity: 100 nails
  • Gauge: 15 GA
  • Weight: 4.2 lbs.

Buy on Amazon

Highlight Features:

  • Features a durable aluminum build hold 15 nails.
  • Can fasten nails of 1-1/4 to 2-1/2-inch length
  • Offers a non-slip elastomer grip to adjust for flush nails.
  • Compact and lightweight fit tight space.
  • Integrated duster makes cleaning easier.
  • Offers precise nailing.
  • Angles magazine allows for easy reach in tight spaces.
  • Comes with a 360-degree air outlet

Any carpenter in the market for a pneumatic 15-gauge nailer that can last and offer reliable performances can never go wrong with the NT65MA4. Compared to similar models, the price is a good value considering the features, making it suitable for both professionals and hobbyists.

Hitachi invests adequate time in designing their products, so there’s no need to worry about the durability of this nailer. The NT65MA4 is constructed using an aluminum alloy to make it lightweight weighing just 4.2 pounds. It also features an elastomer grip that ensures you hold it securely while also providing comfort.

This finish nailer can handle demanding woodworking tasks such as nailing cabinets and even exterior trimming thanks to the large capacity. The 15-gauge finish nailer can hold up to 15-gauge nails (34-degree) from 1 ¼ to 2 ½ inches depending on the wood. It nails 1 ¼ -inch at 70 psi pressure for softwood like pine and 120 psi for hardwood like Oak. Plus you will be impressed with how it can reach tight corners with ease.

The Hitachi finish nailer offers a 360-degree adjustable magazine angle that makes it easier to access tight corners. It also comes with a unique air duster that helps with cleaning the working surface for a neat working environment. In case of tool jams, it is easy to open the latch for quick nail extraction and you don’t need any tools to unjam the nail gun.

3Makita AF635 Angled Finish Nailer, 2-1/2″

Makita AF635 Angled Finish Nailer, 2-1/2″

  • Capacity: 100 nails
  • Gauge: 15 GA
  • Weight: 4 lbs.

Buy on Amazon

Highlight Features:

  • Magnesium body that’s lightweight and durable
  • Offers a tool-less depth adjustment
  • Comes with an in-built air duster for a clean working surface
  • 360-degree adjustable exhaust port
  • Features a nail lockout mechanism to know when to reload.
  • Strong and highly durable.
  • Affordable price tag.
  • The rubberized handle offers a comfortable grip.

The AF636 from Makita is suitable for the carpenter or woodworker who doesn’t want to spend a lot in buying a quality finish nailer. Like the others we have reviewed, it comes with a tool-free exhaust that lets you rotate it for your convenience. Despite its low price, it has a rubberized grip that should feel comfortable even on larger projects.

One thing we liked with this model is the clear nose latch that helps you unjam the unit without tools. However, it may require a bit more maintenance like you should add 3-4 drops of a lubricant before use. The unit accepts 4-degrees 15 gauge nails that range between 1.25” to 2.5”. There is a nail lock-out feature that lets you know the time to reload.

The Makita AF65 is one of the best pneumatic finish nailers featuring a magnesium body and powerful motor. It’s one of the most durable nailers and weighs only four pounds. The professional gun has an inbuilt air duster to blow debris and dust for a clean surface.

4Bostitch BTFP71917 Finish Nailer 1/4 inch Air Fitting

Bostitch BTFP71917 Finish Nailer 1/4 inch Air Fitting

  • Capacity: 100 nails
  • Gauge: 16 GA
  • Weight: 7.34 lbs.

Buy on Amazon

Highlight Features:

  • Two-mode operation: contact & sequential operation
  • 100 pieces magazine capacity.
  • 80% smaller head size.
  • Smart Point Technology
  • Oil-free operation.
  • Uses Smart Point Tech.
  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Ideal for use on confined surfaces.
  • Excellent for tasks in confined areas.

Bostitch makes great nail finishers. The Bostitch 16-gauge finish nailer BTFP71917 is one of their most innovative finish nailers yet. It facilitates more natural nail placement by having a smaller nose thanks to its Smart Point Technology. Smart Point Tech also allows one to actuate the unit without hard pressing the surfaces, which reduces dents and damages on the finished surfaces.

One of the unique features of this unit is its small head size, which is reduced by 80%. This allows users to reach confined places while still having clear visibility of the work surfaces. At only 7.34 pounds and 14.4″ x 14″ x 5.4″, this 16ga nail finisher is compact and very lightweight, which makes it the best choice for overhead tasks.

This product uses a tool-free mechanism for jam release, which allows more comfortable and safe fasteners in case of a jam. The no oil operation eliminates the chances of oil spilling on the finished surfaces in the course of work.

Another great feature of Bostitch finish nailer BTFP71917 is that its exhaust is 360-degree adjustable. Therefore, any debris, moisture, and dust are expelled facing away from the user. Its belt hook comes with an inbuilt pencil for seamless marking and measuring.

5Senco 4G0001N FinishPro 42XP Finish Nailer

Senco 4G0001N FinishPro 42XP Finish Nailer

  • Capacity: 104 nails
  • Gauge: 15 GA
  • Weight: 9 lbs.

Buy on Amazon

Highlight Features:

  • Lightweight magnesium body.
  • Can take varying lengths of fasteners
  • Offers an attached belt hoot for a neat working surface
  • Adjustable rear exhaust
  • Ergonomic handle for comfort.
  • Easy to remove jammed nails.
  • Great for use in tight spaces.
  • Affordable price.
  • Offers easy nail replacement.

Although Senco is an upcoming brand in the field of finish nailers, the Senco FinishPro is sleek and lightweight. It is feature-rich with an innovative design that includes the nose as part of the magazine door for the simple clearing of jams. Plus the generous 5-year warranty is an excellent addition.

The pneumatic finish nailer can emit a pressure between 70 – 120 psi meaning you get a powerful punch for all kinds of wood. Additionally, it can drive up to 15 gauge nails ranging anywhere between 1.25 inches to 2.5 inches for the hardest wood.

It is made of magnesium which is durable and lightweight for easy handling. With its latest EZ Clear Latch technology, it rarely jams. It also has a belt hoot to eliminate dust and oil from the working surface. The tool is easy to maintain with the Neverlube feature that reduces the need for a lubricant.

Regarding Senco 42XP finish safety, it does more compared to competing models. First, it uses precision-made nails that are held together by an adhesive. This makes it safe, while also creating the needed friction to drive the fasteners into the wood.

6Dewalt D51257K 16 Gauge Finish Nailer 1-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch

Dewalt D51257K 16 Gauge Finish Nailer 1-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch

  • Capacity: 100 nails
  • Gauge: 16 GA
  • Weight: 7.6 lbs.

Buy on Amazon

Highlight Features:

  • Uses 16 gauge straight collated nails
  • Low-profile non-mar safety pad
  • 100 nails maximum magazine capacity.
  • Comfortable to use for long hours.
  • The no-mar pad protects working surfaces.
  • Internal piston catch that facilitates maximum power.
  • Lightweight.

Whether it is for professional or DIY projects, having a versatile, accurate nail finisher is crucial. The Dewalt D51257K is an excellent pneumatic finish nailer equipped with unique features to deliver this, making it one of the best 16 gauge finish nailer models in the market.

One of the critical features of this unit is its Sealed Lube Dual Technology. This means that this unit’s motor can work both in the presence and absence of lubricating oil. This feature makes this unit versatile while reducing maintenance costs.

This power tool is designed for driving finish nails of between whose length is 1″ and 2 – 1/2″ in a sequential mode. The sequential mode facilitates safety as well as accuracy. Furthermore, it has an appealing magazine capacity of 100 nails.

Dewalt 16-gauge nailer D51257K is equipped with a rear loading magazine that makes nail loading quick and easy. It is also lightweight and has a compact design at 3.9 pounds and 13.5″ x 4.5″ x 15″ measurements. Its 360 degrees’ exhaust directs debris, moisture, and air away from the user.

Besides, this unit has over-molded hand grips to enables you to use this nail finisher for extended periods without getting blisters. It also comes with a waist belt hook; thus, you can hook it on your waist to keep within reach whenever you need it.

Another great feature is its internal piston catch that provides maximum power for every shot and makes the nail finisher accurate.

Things to Consider – Before Buying a Finish Nailer Worth of Money

Now that you have several choices in mind that you feel can cater to your needs based on the reviews above, we are here to help you narrow down your choices.

In this section, we will cover the things you need to consider when buying a finish nailer and frequently asked questions about the best finish nailer.

Features To Look For In a Finish Nailer

Safety features

Safety comes first when doing woodworking projects. That’s why you should consider safety features in a finish nailer. Safety in your workshop is your responsibility, and it would be great to work with a piece of equipment that takes care of this. From being solidly built to having a dry-firing prevention feature to help prevent the tool from getting damaged, a good finish nailer should have safety features. Also, the handle should be comfortable to prevent slip-ups. Such little things always count when it comes to safety.

Depth adjustment and nail size

Obviously, a finish nailer drives nails into the woodwork, which is why it makes sense to look for a tool that offers several ways of integrating nail adjustment. This includes size input as well as depth adjustment. A great finish nailer should allow you to input nails at different depths. Ideally, you will find nailers that can accommodate different depths. The more versatile you have with nail depth, the better the tool will be.

Power source

There are three choices when it comes to sources of power of your finish nailer- pneumatic, electric, and gas.

Pneumatic finish nailer. This is the most trusted and common source of the power of a nail gun. They have a compressor that generates air pressure to help the finish nailer drive nails. This means that you will need an air compressor to run a pneumatic finish nailer. Therefore, if you get this type of nailer, you will need to invest in a compressor, if you don’t have one.

The pneumatic finish nailer is preferred by many as it drives nails in any wood in a consistent formula. On the downside, you have to drag air hoses with you.

Electric finish nailer. These are available in two types—corded and battery-powered units. Corded electric units offer a continuous runtime as long as they are connected to a power outlet. They are more powerful than battery-powered units, but you have to drag cords with you wherever you want to drive nails.

On the other hand, battery-powered units come in handy for people who value portability over power. With these units, you can work wherever you want, including on high walls, roofs, or top corners. On the downside, they require you to charge the batteries and tend to be a little bit heavier.

Gas finish nailer. These are not as common as the above two. They use batteries and gas cartridges as their source of power, and thus do not feature a cord making them portable. These tend to be expensive and very noisy but are very powerful.

The choice of power depends on your preference, the task at hand, and your budget.

Magazine type

There are two main types of magazines that you are likely to find in a finish nailer- the coil and the stick.

Coil magazines can hold hundreds of nails simultaneously and protrude from the nailer using a ropey thread. They are great for big projects, which is why professionals prefer units with coil magazines. On the downside, they tend to be pricey.

Stick magazines, on the other hand, tend to accommodate several dozen nails and protrude out of the nailer. Some can accommodate a wide range of different nail sizes, making them versatile. Most amateur woodworkers prefer nailers with this type of magazine because of their ease of use and affordability.

Type of gauge

The type of gauge a finish nailer support tells you about the thickness of nails it can accommodate. You can find finish nail guns with gauge options ranging from 12 gauge to 17 gauge nail and also 23 gauge. The lower gauge number has thicker nails while the higher number has thin nails. Different projects will call for different gauges, and thus it is important that you go for one with a gauge option that suits the thickness of nails you majorly use.

Type of finish nailer

There are two major types of finish nail guns in the market, both of which are suited for different applications:

  1. Straight finish nailer, and
  2. Angled finish nailers.

As their name suggests, a straight finish nailer works perpendicular to the surface you are working on. This means you will get extra support driving nails, which means you will rarely drive any nail in the wrong direction. They are typically built for small 16-gauge nails, which means that the nail head will be less visible on the surface. On the downside, you will find it hard to use them in tight corners.

Conversely, an angled finish nailer makes a certain degree between the wood surface and the magazine when you position its tip at 90 degrees perpendicular. This helps to save space, and thus allows you to work in corners. These finish nail guns often drive bigger 15-gauge nails and tend to be more powerful. Nonetheless, they are a bit pricey.

Weight and size

The weight and size of a finishing nail gun are other important features you should consider before making a purchase decision. It is important that you go for a finish nailer that has a compact, lightweight design so that you don’t get fatigued easily when using it.

Nail jam mitigation

You will find your tool jamming once in a while, especially when you have used it for a long time, and there is nothing worse than cutting short your woodworking project to work on your machine. That’s why you should go for a tool that has a simple jam release mechanism. If you find one with a tool-free jam release system, the better.

No-mar tip

The finishing job is very delicate and needs special care. That’s why you need to go for a tool with a no-mar tip to avoid cracking your woodwork when you put the tip of the nail gun against it.

Additional Information/FAQs

Which is better- a 15-gauge or 16-gauge finish nailer?

Well, it is hard to tell which of these tools is better as both suit different purposes. The best 16 gauge finish nailer models tend to be lighter while the best 15 gauge finish nailer models have bigger pistons.

What is a compressor, and do all finishing nail guns need them?

A compressor facilitates a finish nailer to drive nails through pressure. Not all finish nail guns require a compressor only pneumatic finish nailers need compressors.

What size of a compressor will I need for my pneumatic finish nailer?

To determine the right size of air compressor your pneumatic finish nailer needs, you will need to consider CFM, Gallon, and PSI. CFM refers to cubic feet per minute.

It indicates how fast the air compressor drives air to your device. To operate most finish nailers, you will need between 70-120psi and 0.3-0.5CFM. You can check your preferred unit description to know the right size of the air compressor you need for your finish nailer.

What is the difference between a finish nailer and a brad nailer?

Well, finish nailers are bulkier than brad nailers and drive nails with higher gauges or diameters. You can, therefore, use a finish nailer to fasten baseboards and thicker wood.

Brad nailers are suited for delicate or thin trim work. Finish nailers tend to be more versatile than brad nailers. You can read more about brad nailer here.

Also, getting buying decisions we reviewed the top-rated 18-gauge pneumatic brad nailers.

Which is better- a cordless or corded nailer?

Well, both cordless or corded nailers have their pros and cons, and choosing between them is down to your preferences. A corded nailer is often powerful and will provide consistent power as long as it is plugged into a power outlet, but on the downside, you will have to drag the cords wherever you want to drive nails.

On the other hand, cordless models are more maneuverable since they are not limited by the length of the chord, but they tend to be heavier because of the inbuilt battery.

Final Words

A finishing nail gun is a tool that allows you to flawlessly nail woodwork. It was made to enable woodworkers to carry out finishing touches on their projects, and thus a must-have tool for professional and hobbyist woodworkers.

We have reviewed the top 10 best finish nailer models in the market at the moment, all from renowned, trusted brands.

We do hope that at this time, you have identified the right finish nailer to match your needs. If not, make sure you use our buyer’s guide to help you narrow down your choice.