Using a pneumatic or cordless nail gun to attach wood trim is the quickest and neatest method. In a single motion, the tool drives the nail and lowers the fastener’s head below the surface. Cordless nail guns have the benefit of being the best mobile trim tool. In contrast to pneumatic tools, there is no compressor nearby, and there is no hose trailing after or hanging from the tool. You can understand why DIY woodworkers and finish carpenters have embraced these products. They handle random fastening on repairs and furniture projects as well as the quick and simple installation of baseboard, chair rail, and window and door trim.
Most Effective Cordless Nail Guns:
- All-around best: Metabo-HPT NT1850DF.
- Most potent: Milwaukee 2746-21CT.
- Most Dependable: DeWalt DCN680D1.
- Most Improved: Craftsman CMCN616C.
- Cheapest: Ryobi P320
- Best in small spaces: Makita XNB02RJ.
The Variations of Nail Guns:
For our test, we concentrated on brad nailers, power tools that fire 18-gauge brads, which are very small fasteners with the benefit of having a respectably strong holding force but that also shoot nails that are simple to conceal. These fasteners are sold in strips that fit into the nailer’s magazine and come in a variety of lengths. The length of the strip is equal to the number of fasteners, and the width of the strip is equal to the length of each brad (let’s say 2 inches). These fasteners can range in quantity from a few hundred to a few thousand in a box.
Electric finish nailer are pneumatic and cordless nailers that use thicker (15 and 16-gauge) fasteners. For fastening heavy pieces of softwood trim and hardwoods, especially crown moldings, these heavier nail guns are preferred. All nailers belong within the power tool category of nail guns, which also includes brad, finish, coil, framing, headless pin, and concrete nailers. Coil nails are used to attach roofing and siding, framing nails to join pieces of wood, and brad nails to join brads (to attach wood to concrete).
Our team of test editors has thoroughly investigated, reviewed, and tested each nail gun on this list. We also look at user feedback and interview product managers and designers.
When we finally had a pool of nail guns to test, we wanted to make sure our methodology was more rigorous than what these guns would ordinarily face during a regular day at the office. For instance, we shot carefully and slowly into red oak that was either 1.5 inches thick or 34 of an inch thick when we tested the ability to sink nails.
By doubling the oak, we expanded the length of the nail such that it could be fired into either 1.5 inches or 3 inches of oak (to ensure that guns rated for longer nails could indeed countersink the fastener when the fastener was longer than 2 inches).
We cut strips from a variety of materials, including MDF, birch and fir plywood, white pine, radiata pine, and radiata pine, for the rapid-fire simulations (medium-density fiberboard). In these situations, we were more interested in the tool’s quickness and accuracy than its raw power. On the other hand, whenever we mimicked a test in the building of trim or built-in cabinets, just to be safe. We placed our test materials on Douglas fir, a typical and durable framing material, either as a single layer or as a sandwich of different materials. We could then be certain that the nailer was strong enough to penetrate both the wall’s framing and the test materials on the wall’s front.
The best overall. Metabo-HPT NT1850D:
Due to its lightweight, ease of handling, and capacity to drive a bolt through even the toughest wood, the Metabo-HPT breezed to an easy placing in our 2022 Tool Awards. In our tests on maple and red oak, it sunk every one of its nails. A brushless motor improves its (already outstanding) firing speed while extending its lifespan. You can acquire a brad nailer with this powerful tool that is just as lightweight as a pneumatic tool without the air hose.
The Most Powerful. Milwaukee 2746-21CT:
We have tested Milwaukee Electric Tool goods for decades, so we are aware of the company’s aversion to exaggeration. However, we regarded its assertion that this 18-gauge nailer can reliably fire into 2-inch oak with suspicion. Furthermore, 2746 sets each nail with a flawless and precise hollow above the head, which is ideal for taking filler. And so our brief tenure as Milwaukee skeptics comes to an end. The mechanism of this tool, which opens the entire top of the nailer’s snout for complete and simple access to remove stuck nails (which we didn’t encounter, by the way), is one of its other noteworthy features. Its simple handling is further enhanced by its thin profile and well-shaped grip.
Most Dependable. DeWalt DCN680D1:
Nails that are 18 gauge are picky. Longer nails make it more difficult for nail guns to consistently drive slender objects into hardwoods without jamming in the nose or firing the nail into the material but not driving it down. This DeWalt is unique in that it reliably and trouble-free fires one nail after another into red oak. Our productivity has increased because of the tool’s excellent balance, weight distribution, and slender handle. The sturdy drive mechanism and absence of recoil have also helped. Fire the gun into the target, then go on to the following nail. That’s how easy it is with the DCN680D1.
The most improved model. Craftsman CMCN616C1:
When compared to its predecessor, the C3 Speed Shot, Craftsman’s CMCN616C1 merits the designation of “most improved”. Do not misunderstand us; that wasn’t a bad small thing. The new Craftsman, however, boasts a more ergonomic handle, more nail-driving force, and a better sight line to its tip. We successfully drove nails into oak up to 1.5 inches thick and softwood up to 2.5 inches thick. Just be aware that most fasteners had their heads flush or nearly flush to the surface rather than situated just below the surface as is optimal when we shot 2.5-inch nails into a tougher redwood. We used an antique nail set and a hammer to complete driving these nails, which had heads that were “proud” of the surface.
Best Value. Ryobi P320:
The Ryobi is a nailer for do-it-yourselfers. It lacks the long-nail pushing force of the top performers in our test. The majority of the tasks you will need it for when joining two pieces of softwood around the hose, such as during craft projects, when adding shoe molding, and when nailing on softwood door and window molding, baseboard, and little crown molding, are inexpensive and simple to complete. Hobbyist crafters and DIYers will value the tool’s thin design and lack of bulk; it is a little bit shorter and slimmer than nail guns used by professionals. Additionally, it is quick and simple to modify output air pressure to control nail depth using the dial on the tool’s back. simple and obvious.
The tiger spaces. Makita XNB02RJ:
The XNB02RJ’s thin design makes it ideal for working in cramped areas and at odd angles, such as when nailing trim at floor level. Additionally, a sizable portion of its surface, particularly it is base and sides, are wrapped in rubber, protecting both the tool and the surface you set it against. When we tested the tool with a larger battery, we found a rear-weighted bias, therefore it’s nice that the kit version of the tool comes with two small, 2-Ah batteries. If you get the kit, this shouldn’t be an issue because the two batteries provide more than enough juice for a full day’s work. People who purchase the tool unassembled and then install a larger battery will have more of an issue.