Best Cordless Finish Nailers – Head to Head

Cordless Nailer Comparison Testing

To sort through this selection of cordless finish nailers we developed several simulations typical of tasks a carpenter might use a finish nailer on. The simulations included:

  • Soft Wood Trim Installation – In this simulation we used the nailers to install Pine trim over a piece of engineered lumber and 1/2″ drywall. Today’s framing continues to evolve with the expanded use of engineered lumber so this test provided that extra effort required to nail into the denser framing material. This test allowed us to evaluate penetration of fasteners and depth of drive adjustments.
  • Hard Wood Trim Installation – In this simulation we used the nailers to install Oak trim over a piece of engineered lumber and 1/2″ drywall. This was the same test as noted above with the only difference being the hard wood. This test allowed us to evaluate penetration of fasteners and depth of drive adjustments.
  • Toe-Nail Application – The final simulation we performed was installing Cedar bead board onto engineered lumber by toe-nailing the tongue of the trim. This test allowed us to evaluate penetration of fasteners, line of sight, and depth of drive adjustments.

Cordless Finish Nailer Testing Setups

In addition to the simulations each of the crew members spent time shooting fasteners into varying materials to evaluate each nailer independently. The simulations and individual evaluations were used to determine the best nailer in several categories including:

  • Ergonomics
  • Performance
  • Power
  • Value
  • Best in Class

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About the author

Todd Fratzel

Todd Fratzel is the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and the President of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web based media company focused on the Home Improvement and Construction Industry.He is also the Principal Engineer for United Construction Corp., located in Newport, NH. In his capacity at United he oversees the Residential and Commercial Building Division along with all Design-Build projects.He is also the editor of several other sites including: Home Construction & Improvement and Today's Green Construction

@tfratzelTodd Fratzel

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5 Comments

  1. CC

    Did you guys test the Ridgid? I see it mentioned and listed with specs but no comparison in usage to the others. I own a couple of their pneumatic guns and like them quite a bit. Lightweight too.

  2. Anthony

    This was a great comparison, but, in my opinion, and in my experience from owning a contracting company for more than 25 years is that you really cannot include the gas guns in a true scenario for the everyday use of these guns. With gas cartridges costing $12-$18 each you can easily spend the cost of the tool in 2-3 weeks just buying gas cartridges. For me the older Dewalt DC628K (18V 15 gauge 34° finish nailer) is still my clear winner. I’m sure the newer DCN660D1 is a great tool, but until Dewalt releases the DCN650D1 which will be the 20V 15 gauge 34° finish nailer with the new pinpoint accuracy tip I’ll keep the 2 older Dewalt versions. They have given a release date yet and the only place you can even get a look at the new model mentioned is on Home Depots website. I have no idea how they got the pictures of the tool, but I did email Dewalt about trying to buy one and they told me ” there is no release date set for the DCN650D1 yet”. If you guys can find any info on this tool please let me know as I cannot find anything on the internet about bit other than Home Depot.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Anthony – Thanks for the input. It’s certainly interesting watching how things are developing in this category. We’ll try to look into the new model, likely when we visit DEWALT later this year at the Media Event.

      1. Anthony

        Hi Todd, I actually heard back from DEWALT. After asking them about the DCN650D1,they told me that it is going to be released but they haven’t set a release date. I responded to the rep from DEWALT telling him that it was on home depots website, but no way to order it, only photos and specs. I tried the next day to find it on home depots website and it has now been removed. I did download the images of the new model if you would like to get a look at the new model. I plan on buying 1 as soon as its released. It’s got some great features built in, such as the pinpoint tip, dual led lights on the sides, the lights are back by the battery, and the newest style quick release nose to clear any jammed nails. Looks to be a very well designed tool. Can’t wait to get one on the job. Wish they would make a cordless pin gun. Maybe in the 12v range.

        1. Todd Fratzel

          I bet we’ll see it later this year at the Media Event.

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