Last Updated on January 20, 2021 by Robert L. Perkins
Attaching pieces of wood together is only possible when you have the right tool. But doing it in tight places where you nearly fit is not an easy job. That’s where the best cordless finish nailer enters into play.
It lets you enjoy the power of a finish nailer to attach pieces of wood together. And it offers the chance to work in challenging areas where no other machines fit.
But not all finish nailers will be truly helpful. That’s why you need to know what to go for, which models are worth considering, and how you can get the most out of each.
In this article, we’re going to teach you all that and more. If you want to learn precisely what makes a cordless finish nail gun an excellent product and possibly get the best one for your needs – then read up!
Best Cordless Finish Nailer – Comparison
5 Best Cordless Finish Nailer Reviews
As we said before, we want you to learn more about the best nailers out there. For that, we picked 5 of the highest-quality models, analyzed them, and wrote a small review about each. These reviews will help you learn more about what they offer and how they differ. So read all about them:
1. PORTER-CABLE 16GA Cordless Finish Nailer
- Length: 1″ to 2-1/2″with 100 nails
- Dimensions: 14 x 4.6 x 13 inches
- Weight: 5.7 lbs
- Warranty: 3 years
This is a 16-gauge model that will make your nailing jobs super easy. With the straight design, the highly powered battery, and ideal-sized nail capacity – you won’t have any single complaint about it. It boasts a 20-volt MAX lithium battery. This offers the chance to work for a long time, so you can nail down an entire magazine and some more with a single charge.
An exciting part of the nailer is the magazine that can hold up to 100 nails in total. This pairs up well with the ability to work with 1-inch and 2.5-inches nails if needed.
The motor allows excellent firing power still. You can get nails down in baseboards, cabinets, softwoods, cardboard, and a wide array of hardwoods. No matter the size of the nails, you can get them down without problems. As for adjustments, you get a practical depth system with a tool-free design. That not only adds up to the safety of the tool but also to its convenience.
Apart from that, you get LED lights so you can work with proper illumination even in the darkest of areas. And with 6.5 pounds of total weight – you won’t have any problem handling it. If you want an easy-to-use nailer and still enjoy excellent results, this Porter-Cable model is the way to go.
2. Makita XNB02Z Cordless Straight Finish Nailer
- Length: 1″ to 2-1/2″with 110 nails
- Dimensions: 4.3 x 15.7 x 12.7 inches
- Weight: 8.34 lbs
- Warranty: 3 years
This gets even truer when you consider the 110 nails magazine capacity. Along with a rear lock-and-load design, you can prepare this machine again and again without problems. It works with 16-gauge nails of 1-inch up to 2.5-inches of total length. That’s ideal for thick wood and those projects that demand stronger and more reliable fasteners.
There’s still a lot more to enjoy. One feature you will love is the Anti-Dry fire mechanism. It prevents the machine from firing when there’s no nail inside. Overall, it ensures no damage to your wood pieces as well as a safer way of operation.
Furthermore, to make it even better, it boasts a tool-less depth adjustment system for flush and countersunk. And with the 2-mode selection, you can decide between using bump firing or sequential firing depending on your needs.
On top of all that, you will get a compact center height. It lets you watch precisely where you’re nailing, which comes like a massive advantage in tricky spots. To set the safety even higher – you get a trigger lock button. This is a nailer that gives you no space for below-average results. If you want effectiveness over anything else – this is your best bet.
3. Paslode 902400 Angled Cordless Finish Nailer
- Power: up to 12,000 nails
- Dimensions: 18 x 17 x 6 inches
- Weight: 4.8 lbs
- Warranty: 1 year
It is not the most powerful out there, but it surely helps to nail things down in places where you need more versatility. Whether it is ladders, on small rooms, and even on roofs and ceilings – this model will get it all done.
Sure enough, you get an angled design to work on the tightest of spots. Corners and edges will be the ideal nailing areas to use this nailer. And with the chance to work with fasteners going from 1.25-inches up to 2.5-inches – you won’t have any problem working in even the hardest of projects. Add up the 100 nail capacity magazine, and you’ll have no problem working for hours.
Apart from that, it comes with a no-marring system. It prevents dry firing and makes sure your surfaces stay all neat without a single unwanted mark or damage. Overall, it is a pretty handy option for those who love versatility and convenience. With the unique angled design and the decently powerful battery – it leaves no space for mediocre results.
4. Senco 5N0001N Fusion Cordless Finish Nailer
- Length: 2-1/2″, 34 degree angle
- Dimensions: 21 x 8 x 15 inches
- Weight: 6 lbs
- Warranty: 2 years
As a finish nailer, it works with 15-gauge nails for reliable and effective nailing. Yet, it can also hold pins of up to 2.5-inches in length, enough for the hardest of jobs. Another interesting part of this model is the 34-degree angled tip. That makes it ideal for jobs that demand more versatility. You will also get an 18V Li-ion battery. That’s enough to power up the machine for up to 1,000 total nails fired. But the real advantage comes from its rapid-charge feature, so you can charge it in less than 20 minutes.
The power is not a thing to dismiss, either. You get a Fusion technology that provides super-strong firing every time. All your nails will be wholly countersunk without fault. And with the Reflex Shot feature, you can nail things down super quick, as the machine fires as soon as you pull the trigger.
You will also get a nose-mounted LED for visibility in low-light areas. It comes with an adjustable belt hook. And you also get a thumbwheel depth-of-drive system, so you can adjust depth in a breeze. Finally, it boasts an EZ Clear Feature that prevents jamming, and a selectable drive switch so you can use it in different firing modes as needed. Add the sturdy case it comes with, and this cordless nailer becomes a unique option in its entirety.
5. DEWALT DCN680D1 Cordless Nailer
- Speeds: 5/8″ to 2-1/8″
- Dimensions: 18.7 x 11.1 x 6.4 inches
- Weight: 8 lbs
- Warranty: 2 years on battery
The DCN680D1 is a cordless nailer that will get your fasteners deep down into almost any type of wood. Using 18-gauge nails will help you piece things together effortlessly. And it gets even better when you consider the 0.625-inches and 2.125-inches nail length capacity – so you have enough to choose from.
Moreover, the real advantage comes from its brushless motor. It works alongside a 20V MAX lithium-ion battery that offers enough power to get almost any job done. Something this model stands out for is the DeWalt battery system, so you can use nearly any DeWalt battery and still get decent results.
That’s not everything you get, though. You will also enjoy a multi-functional LED light system. It helps you see even in the darkest of areas, so you can nail things down with efficiency. Then you get a tool-free selectable trigger system so you can use either sequential or contact firing modes.
Finally, you get a low-nail lockout feature. It prevents the machine from firing when there aren’t nails inside. That will avoid damage to wood pieces when working. With everything it offers, from its decent power and nail compatibility to even the super practical set of features – it will make your nailing operations a piece of cake.
What to Look for Before Buying
Before you make a huge mistake and buy something you don’t even know is worth your money – take a look at this buying guide. Here, you’ll find all the different factors that have a considerable effect on how good or bad the cordless nailer will be.
The battery is a super important factor on every cordless nailer. Depending on the power and overall battery capacity, the tool will tell you how potent and how long-lasting it will be per project.
We usually recommend 18V or 20V batteries for the ideal power and capacity. If the battery offers between 4.0Ah and 6.0Ah, then that’s even better – because it will ensure extended operations.
Choose the right battery, and you will have the chance to enjoy an excellent product for long.
Angled or Straight
You will find that nailers either come with a straight system that shoots nails in a straight line (demands straight fasteners) or an angled mechanism that drives nails at an angle (demands angled nails).
This is mostly a difference in woodworking styles and won’t affect the final result much. But sure enough, it can have a significant impact on your plans. If you’re thinking of making something by driving nails in a straight line, then getting an angled model won’t be your best idea.
Similarly, if you are thinking of getting an angled model that drives things in corners with ease, then getting a straight-nosed nailer won’t be too wise.
Size and Weight
The size of the finish nailer and its weight will be super important as well. This will tell you whether it will be easy to handle and how comfortable it will feel on your hand.
We can say that a heavy nailer is any model that weighs more than 5 pounds. And sure enough, several cordless models are that heavy. So you must choose something that stays below the 5 pounds if you want a more comfy product on your hands.
But weight works alongside size. Some models are hefty but also bulky, so handling them becomes even harder. Luckily, others can be a little heavy but come with an ergonomic and handy design. That makes them a better choice overall.
Size and weight also affect exhaustion and practicality. You may not be able to hold a heavy model for long. And with a giant nailer, getting into awkward places can be too hard. So, choose according to your needs.
Nail Size (Gauge and Length)
Then we’ll find the nail size. Here, you’ll find both the gauge or thickness and the length.
The gauge of a finishing nail needs to stay between 15 and 18 gauge. Anything lower than that makes it too thick and not a finish nailer. And anything higher than that makes it too thin, and a brad nailer instead.
When it comes to length, you will have to consider how well the tool will handle small or long nails. Some models can handle short nails of 0.5-inches or even less, while others can handle 2.5-inches long fasteners without issues.
All nailers have a range to respect, so be sure to pick the right one accordingly.
Along with the size of the nails, you’ll have to consider how many the finish nailer can handle.
Usually, a standard magazine can fit about 100 nails in a single load. But others may be able to host up to 200 pins or even more.
But of course, straight and angled magazines work differently. Angled models tend to hold fewer nails than straight ones, but the difference is not that much.
Still, it all comes down to your needs. If you want something that holds enough nails at once, then get a magazine with at least 100-nail capacity. Otherwise, you can stick to 50 nails or so, and you won’t be bothered.
Beginners won’t have an idea of what firing modes are. Luckily, we’re here to explain them.
These modes refer to the way that the machine will fire. Some modes are faster but also less safe, so it is essential to know what to go for. Be aware that most machines come with at least two different modes to choose from. Here’s what you’ll find:
- Contact or Bump
A contact or bump mode will fire up nails when the user depresses the trigger and bumps the nose of the tool on the piece.
It requires the user to pull and release the trigger for the machine to drive nails. In this mode, it is not necessary to depress the nose back and forth from surfaces.
Like the contact mode, you need to push the tool on a surface for the first nail to shoot. But then, you will need to lift the tool and release the trigger to shoot again.
This one requires a more “sequential” process. You will need to push the tip of the tool on a surface, then press the trigger to fire the first nail. Then, you will have to repeat the process by releasing the trigger, placing the tip on the surface, and pulling the trigger again.
Not all woods and other materials you nail in will have the same thickness. That’s why you need to pick the right depth depending on the piece you’re working with, as well as the length of the nail.
For that, go for a nailer that comes with a handy depth-adjustment system. We recommend tool-free models that allow adjustments in a breeze.
But also be sure of getting something that offers precise adjustments. If it provides countersunk and flush depths, then that’s enough.
Not many people consider having a light on their finish nailer, but it helps a lot. That’s why we recommend models that boast a LED light or two.
This will help you work in dark areas that you would otherwise have tons of difficulty working at. If the machine has the LED lights on the nose, then that’s even better, so you can always see where you’re nailing over.
The best nailers out there will come with a jam-clearing or anti-jamming feature. This function helps to get back to work faster when the machine jams.
We can’t recommend this feature enough. It will save you tons of time and effort. And in some cases prevents jams altogether, which comes like a superb thing to have.
Last but not least, you will need to consider an excellent set of safety features for your cordless finish nailer. These functions help you prevent accidents while keeping it easier for you to work on challenging projects.
Some features to consider include safety tips that only let the tool fire when there’s pressure on the tip. Trigger locks help to keep the machine safe from misfires. And the Anti-Dry fire, which prevents the tool from activating when there aren’t any nails inside.
Anything that promotes a more secure experience with the finish nailer is an excellent feature to have.
Benefits of Cordless Finish Nailer
If you get the best cordless nailer, there will be a few advantages to enjoy that other types of finish nailers don’t offer. Here are some of them:
- It lets you work in tricky places where compressors and hoses can’t reach. You can use one of these whiles on a ladder, on top of a tree, underground, or just anywhere where other machines don’t reach.
- A cordless finish nailer works ultra-fast. No need to prepare a compressor or any other part. Just insert the nails on the magazine, turn on the tool, and start nailing.
- Fewer worries. No preparation needed, but also there’s no need to worry about hoses getting stuck, the compressor losing potency, leaks, or any other related issue. Just grab the machine, aim, and fire to nail things down.
- Lighter and easier to handle. The no-hose design of cordless nailers makes them easier to operate. You won’t end up with pain in your hands or wrists, and you’ll be able to work for hours until the batteries drain.
Overall, a cordless nailer leaves no space for impractical experiences. If you want to enjoy nailing things with effectiveness, this is the best product to pick.
Frequently Asked Questions
Learning about the different models out there plus how to pick the right one is helpful. But nothing indeed compares to relieving all your doubts before buying. Here are some common doubts with their corresponding answers that may help you:
Q: What’s the difference between a finish nailer and a brad nailer?
A: The difference is in the size of the fasteners they use. While a finish nailer works with 15-gauge up to 18-gauge nails, brad nailers can work with 18-gauge up to 21-gauge pins.
Q: Are cordless finish nailers less powerful than pneumatic ones?
A: Not necessarily. Most cordless models are actually decently powerful to get the same jobs done. The only drawback comes in battery life, which tends to deplete over time.
Q: How many years does a finish nailer’s battery last?
A: They can last anywhere from a few months to five years and much more. It all comes down to the number of times you use it. The more you work with it, charge it, and use it again – the more life you will take out of it.
Q: Is it necessary to do any maintenance to a cordless finish nailer?
A: Some models may demand some oiling. But overall, we just recommend cleaning them after every use to prevent any debris or sawdust from clogging their mechanisms.
Q: Can I build furniture with a cordless finish nailer?
A: Yes, you can build furniture with one of these. But we recommend using lower-gauge nails for that, so heavy-duty nailers may be better for this kind of work.
So, What Should You Buy
Even after reading this entire guide, you may not be entirely ready to make a final choice. But don’t worry – we’ll help you out with that.
If you aren’t sure what to go for, then choose the PORTER-CABLE PCC792LA Straight Finish Nailer. It comes with all the best features as well as a pretty affordable cost. As a beginner, this model will match all your needs without problems.
Otherwise, you can go for the DEWALT DCN680D1 Cordless Nailer Kit. It is a slightly more expensive model, but it comes with all features and safety measurements for an excellent experience overall.
Still, remember that the best cordless finish nailer is the one that matches your needs over anything else. So, there are still four other options to consider – do not dismiss them.
Make sure to pick something following our advice, and you’ll be happy with your choice!
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