Best Cordless Finish Nailers – Head to Head

Best In Class Cordless Finish Nailer

This category is always tough to decide but our crew had three nailers that really stood out and rose to the surface quickly during deliberations.  These winners are decided by the entire testing group based on all the testing and individual evaluations.

#1 Best In Class – DEWALT DCN660D1 – 20V 16 Ga Angled Finish Nailer

The DEWALT DCN660D1 was quickly singled out by the entire group as the top pick. This nailer is very well balanced and offers a great grip. It’s a powerful finish nailer able to drive fasteners far quicker than any of us would typically install trim.

DEWALT Cordless Finish Nailer Best in Class

One huge factor for our crew was having a cordless finish nailer that runs on a battery platform that operates many of our tools while not needing gas cartridges. The ability to grab a battery out of the tool chest or trailer and know it’s compatible with a huge selection of tools is extremely valuable to all of us. So while the cost of the kit is certainly expensive, when you consider the value of the two batteries that are compatible with other tools, the cost seems less of an issue. At the end of the day, this is a cordless finish nailer that we would all be happy to use on a daily basis.

The only downside to this nailer which we hope DEWALT will address in future models is the LED work light. It’s practically useless and really needs to be relocated so that it illuminates the work surface more effectively.

#2 Best in Class – Hitachi NT65GS Gas Powered 16 Ga Straight Finish Nailer

The first impression of this tool was how light and slim it was. After using this nailer the crew quickly realized how well it performed and how it’s light weight and great line of sight made it another top pick.

Hitachi Cordless Finish Nailer Best in Class Runner Up

This nailer has a very smooth depth of drive adjustment and the small circular no-mar tip provides the best line of sight of all the nailers we tested. Best of all, it’s almost 2 pounds lighter than the DEWALT weighing only 4.2 lbs and it was the most affordable nailer in the group.

The only down side to this nailer is the gas cartridge. All of us think the gas cartridge can be a hassle at times and prefer options without them.

#3 Best in Class – Ryobi P330 15 Ga Angled Finish Nailer

This tool was a total surprise to our crew because of it’s awesome power. None of the other nailers came close to the power of this beast! In addition, it had the best LED light of all the nailers and is also one of the most affordable in the group. Combine this with Ryobi’s vast line of tools that run off their 18V Li-Ion battery platform and it’s hard not to add this to our list of top 3 cordless finish nailers.

Ryobi Cordless Finish Nailer Best in Class 2nd Runner Up

The big downside to this nailer is it’s weight. Weighing in at 8.7 lbs this tool is more than double the Hitachi and over 2 lbs more than the DEWALT. However, if you’re looking for a cordless nailer than won’t let you down on hard applications like Oak trim then this tool needs to be on your short list!

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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  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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