12 Best Finish Nailers of 2021 Compared & Reviewed

Best Finish Nailers
Photo: DeWalt

Finish nailers can come in handy for everything from installing doors and windows, installing baseboards, cabinetry and paneling to making chairs and other wooden furniture.

And while professional finish carpenters will have all kinds of finish nailers, for regular DIYers and hobbyists, it is all about getting just one, and so finding the best finish nailer becomes vital.

Finish nailers come in two styles which are angled and straight and in four different gauges which are 15, 16, 18 and 23. But, besides the style and gauge, there are still many other things you need to know when choosing the best one.

In this piece, we explain the essential factors to look for in a finish nailer and also give you some top-notch recommendations with our top 12 finish nailer reviews.

What To Check Before Buying Best Finish Nailers?

How to Buy the Best Finish Nailers
Photo: DeWalt

You can be certain that there will be plenty of options to choose from in the market given the popularity of the finish nailer. To make sure you make the right pick, you should keep the following important things in mind when shopping.

1. Straight vs. Angled Finish Nailer

One of the first decisions you will need to make as you shop for a finish nailer is whether to go for a straight or angled one.

This easily noticeable design difference makes a huge difference when it comes to the nailer’s performance, and to make the right choice you need to understand the difference between the two nailers and both their pros and cons.

Straight Finish Nailer

With the straight finish nailers, the cartridge that houses the nails will be perpendicular to the nailer’s tip. These nailers will also shoot relatively thinner nails than the angled types which leave less visible nail holes.

Also, they are generally more affordable and economical to use given that their thinner nails are more affordable. But, these are bulkier and more cumbersome nailers and the straight cartridge design means they will not fit into tight spaces which limits their use.


  • Less visible nail holes
  • Relatively more affordable
  • More economical to use


  • Will not fit tight spaces
  • Bulkier

Angled Finish Nailer

Many professional finish carpenters and woodworkers seem to prefer the angled finish nailers over the straight types as they can do everything that the latter can do and much more.

Angled finish nailers are the types where the nail cartridge angles towards the grip. This design and the fact that most have a small front end will allow them to easily fit into tight spaces. Also, these nailers are generally more precise and agile, and their design makes nail placement easier.

However, angled finish nailers will shoot relatively larger nails that will leave more visible marks and are also more expensive to buy and operate.


  • Great for use in tight spaces
  • Easy nail placement
  • Highly precise and agile


  • Pricier
  • More visible nail holes

Buying Advice: For the professional woodworkers that use finish nailers a lot, having both angled and straight nailers is always a great choice.

However, for those looking for something more versatile the angled finish nailers like BOSTITCH N62FNK-2 are the best choice. Straight finish nailers such as the Makita AF601 will be ideal for those shopping on a budget and want something that leaves smaller nail holes.

More Detailed: Straight vs. Angled Finish Nailer

2. Types of Gauge

Besides choosing between angled and straight finish nailers, woodworkers and carpenters also need to decide the nailer gauge to buy. The 4 common options are 15, 16, 18 and 23-gauge, and what you choose will depend on how you intend to use the nailer.

15-Gauge – These nailers shoot the largest nails among all finish nailers which means they have more holding power, but they also leave larger nail holes. Most include an angled cartridge, and they will be ideal for projects like furniture and cabinet construction and both molding and trim installation.

16-Gauge – Like the 15-gauge, the 16-gauge finish nailer also shoots relatively larger nails that are up to 2-1/2-inch long. They are suitable for thicker trim but are smaller and lighter than the 15-gauge. And they will be ideal for most of the projects that a 15-gauge would do like paneling, crown molding, and door/window trim installation.

18-Gauge – For those buying a finish nailer for DIY projects of for occasional use, the 18-gauge is arguably the most popular option. These nailers shoot thinner brad nails that can be up to 2 inches long and are ideal when dealing with thinner trim or molding as they will not split it.

23-gauge – 23-gauge finish nailers shoot tiny pins that might not have a lot if holding power but also do not leave very visible nails holes and will sometimes not even need filling. The pins can be up to 1-inch long and are ideal for nailing smaller and more delicate parts.

3. Power Source

How the finish nailer will be powered also matters a lot as it will determine how powerful and convenient it will be for the user.

The typical finish nailer power sources are the pneumatic, gas, battery and corded electric. Each of these power sources will have both merits and demerits that make it ideal for different situations and users.

Pneumatic finish nailers are the most powerful ones, and they are what many professional woodworkers prefer to use, but they are expensive.

Corded-electric models, on the other hand, offer a constant power supply but have an annoying cord to deal with while cordless or battery-powered finish nailers are more portable and with no cord to deal with but also have a limited runtime.

4. Nails

Besides the nail gauge, there are still many other nail-related things you need to consider when choosing the best finish nailers.

They include the magazine type the nails come in and here you need to choose between the coil and nail stick magazines. Coil magazine nailers are more expensive but also more maneuverable since they do not stick out while nail stick ones are more affordable but harder to maneuver in tight areas.

Also, you need to consider the nail depth as it will determine the holding power you get and the nailers with a simple nail depth adjustment will be the best.

5. Size and Weight

Given that finish nailers are handheld tools that you will in many instances need to hold in your hand for extended periods, their size and weight matter a lot.

A good finish nailer should be lightweight as this will make it easy to hold for extended periods and with minimal user fatigue. And something under 5 pounds is more preferable.

When it comes to the size, something that is compact will not only be easy and comfortable to control but is also easily maneuverable to fit into tight areas.

6. Extra Features

There are some extra features that will not always be present in a finish nailer, and this is more so when buying the budget model but are still nice to have as they will make the nailer even more useful.

Some extra features to watch out for include tool-less jam clearing for quick and easy nail jam clearing, anti-dry fire to ensure no firing when the magazine is empty and a no-mar tip that will ensure the tool does not leave marks on the workpiece.

Other features like adjustable exhaust will be ideal for those using pneumatic nailers as it ensures the air coming from the nailer gets blown away from your face.

12 Best Finish Nailers of 2021 Reviewed




Hitachi NT65MA4

1. Hitachi NT65MA4 (Best Overall)

  • Handy integrated air duster
  • Quick and tool-less jam clearing
  • Comfortable and secure grip
  • Selective nail actuation
  • Tool-less drive depth adjustment
Bostitch N62FNK-2

2. Bostitch N62FNK-2 (Best Bostitch)

  • Larger capacity nail magazine
  • Handy built-in LED work light
  • Conveniently adjustable trigger
  • Integrated air blower
Makita AF635

3. Makita AF635 (Compact but Still Powerful)

  • Powerful and efficient motor
  • Easy, tool-less nail extraction
  • Multidirectional exhaust port
  • Compact and lightweight
Makita AF601

4. Makita AF601 (One of the Best 16-gauge Nailers)

  • High-performing 16-gauge nailer
  • Effective dry fire protection mechanism
  • Precise tool-less depth adjustment
  • Convenient built-in air duster
NuMax SFN64

5. NuMax SFN64 (Unbeatable for the Price)

  • Great value for money
  • Perfect for both interior and exterior finishing
  • Durable aluminum body
  • Tool-less depth adjustment
DeWalt D51257K

6. DeWalt D51257K (Small Design with Plenty of Power)

  • Small and powerful nailer
  • Tool-free depth adjustment and jam clear
  • Comfortable overmold grip
  • 360-degree exhaust
Valu-Air T64C

7. Valu-Air T64C (Another Top-notch Quality Budget Nailer)

  • More budget-friendly
  • Heavy-duty aluminum housing
  • 360-degree adjustable exhaust
  • Free custom carry case
Freeman PFN1564

8. Freeman PFN1564 (Right for Professionals)

  • Versatile and powerful enough for pro woodworkers
  • Quick jam release
  • Dual mode trigger
  • Tool-less drive depth adjustment
Senco 4G0001N

9. Senco 4G0001N (Best Senco)

  • Feature-rich top brand nailer
  • Ergonomic design for minimal fatigue
  • Lightweight and easy to handle construction
  • Comfortable custom grip
Bostitch BTFP71917

10. Bostitch BTFP71917 (Simple, Well-built, Lightweight & Easy to Use)

  • Simple but highly durable design
  • Easier nail placement
  • Tool-free jam clearing
  • Highly precise depth control
DeWalt DC618K

11. DeWalt DC618K (Cordless Convenience)

  • Convenient and portable cordless nailer
  • Highly consistent nail penetration in different materials
  • Handy integrated LED work light
  • Easy nosepiece access for jam clearing
PowRyte 1001910

12. PowRyte 1001910 (Fantastic for DIYers & hobbyists)

  • Reliable for light duty DIY and hobbyists tasks
  • Zero dry firing
  • Easy nail jam removal
  • Handy reload indicator
  • No-mar tip for work surface protection

1. Hitachi NT65MA4 – Best Overall

Hitachi 15-Gauge Finish Nailer with Duster
Photo: Hitachi

  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Nail Size: 1-1/4” – 2-1/2”
  • Magazine Capacity: 100 nails
  • Weight: 4.2 pounds

Any carpenter or woodworker that is on the market for a finish nailer that offers durability, reliability and effective nailing in one package will love the NT65MA4 angled 15-gauge nailer by Hitachi.

It is a feature-rich finish nailer that has a lot to offer which includes an integrated air duster to clear the workpiece before nailing and a quick and tool-less jam clearing.

Other things that make this one of the best 15-gauge finish nailers out there include the selective actuation switch that allows you to choose either contact or sequential nailing and 360-degree adjustable exhauster portal.

Also, its 34-degree magazine angle makes nailing tight areas easier, and the no-mar tip helps to protect the workpiece while the rubber grip provides a comfortable and secure grip.

And for the woodworkers that prefer the smaller and lighter 16-gauge nails for their projects, Hitachi also offers an equally good and relatively more affordable NT65M2S16-gauge finish nailer with a straight magazine.

While the adjustable knob on the 15-gauge finish nailer seems and feels a little cheap, it is still very useful in adjusting the depth and unless you plan to adjust the shooting depth a lot, it should still last long enough.

More Detailed: Click here


  • Handy integrated dust sander
  • Quick and tool-less jam clearing
  • Convenient selective actuation switch
  • Secure and comfortable rubber grip
  • Fully adjustable air exhaust portal


  • Adjustable knob feels cheap
  • Quite a loud nailer

2. Bostitch N62FNK-2 – Powerful & Large Capacity

Bostitch N62FNK-2 Angled Finish Nailer
Photo: Bostitch

  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Nail Size: 1-1/4” – 2-1/2”
  • Magazine Capacity: 130 nails
  • Weight: 3.8 pounds

With a driving power of up to 400 in/lbs, the Bostitch N62FNK-2 is one of the most powerful nailers in its class, and its 130-nail capacity is also the largest on our list.

The more powerful driving power and higher nail capacity mean that you can get a lot done in every single load. And this nailer is also designed to last thanks to its lightweight and durable magnesium body.

Bostitch makes the finish nailer with versatility in mind as it comes with 4 angled profile tips that will be ideal for different situation and deliver the perfect driver every time.

You can dial in your preferred depth with the adjustable nail-depth setting, and with the oil-free operation, this finish nailer is even easier to use and convenient as it will require little maintenance.

The most notable shortcoming with this finish nailer is the location of the depth setting dial as it is not very intuitive, but the good news is that as you use the nailer more and more you should be able to master it.

More Detailed: Click here


  • Larger capacity and easy load magazine
  • Durable and lightweight magnesium housing
  • High driving power
  • Comes with several profile tips
  • Oil-free operation for easy maintenance


  • Poor depth setting dial placement
  • Lots of plastic parts

3. Makita AF635 – Compact but Powerful

Makita AF635 Angled Finish Nailer
Photo: Makita

  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Nail Size: 1-1/4” – 2-1/2”
  • Magazine Capacity: 100 nails
  • Weight: 4 pounds

Despite being quite lightweight and compact, Makita’s 15-gauge AF635 angled nailer is still powerful enough to handle any typical finish nailer task.

This pneumatic finish nailer features a magnesium body and aluminum magazine which are designed to ensure a long service life, and it allows for tool-less depth adjustment to ensure precise and flush nail sinking.

With the convenient built-in air duster, you can easily clear the work area before you start nailing, and you will never have to worry about dry fires as this Makita finish nailer has a reliable nail lock-out mechanism.

Users will also love the tool-less jam clearing, multi-directional exhaust ports that direct the air away from the user and dual mode selector switch.

The fact that you need to add a few drops of oil before and after use means that this is not a completely oil-less finish nailer. However, it does not use any significant amount of oil, and so you will never have to worry about an oil mess.

More Detailed: Click here


  • Convenient built-in air duster
  • Dry fire protected
  • Durable and lightweight body and components
  • Simple tool-less depth adjustment
  • Fast and easy jam clearing


  • Not a completely oil-less nailer

4. Makita AF601 – One of the Best 16-gauge Finish Nailers out there

Makita AF601 Straight Finish Nailer
Photo: Makita

  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Nail Size: 1” – 2-1/2”
  • Magazine Capacity: 100 nails
  • Weight: 3.8 pounds

With a top-rated finish nailer in your hand like the Makita AF601, all your finish carpentry projects will be quicker and much easier as it is a powerful, efficient and easy-to-use power tool.

The 16-gauge straight finish nailer comes with a tool-less depth adjustment for more precise nail sinking, built-in duster to clear the workspace before nailing and a dual mode selector switch that will give users more control over the nailing process.

Also, with this amazing 16-gauge finish nailer, you get a nail lock-out mechanism to prevent dry fires, multidirectional exhaust ports to direct air away from you, housing bumpers for tool and workpiece protection, and it has a lightweight and durable magnesium body.

The rubber foot that is designed to prevent marring does not stay in place securely as it keeps falling off, but this should not be the dealbreaker as it does not affect in any way the performance and convenience of this amazing finish nailer.


  • Dual mode selector switch
  • Powerful and efficient motor
  • Lightweight and durable magnesium body
  • Multi-directional exhaust ports
  • Convenient reversible belt hook included


  • Non-marring rubber foot false off a little too easily

5. NuMax SFN64 – Unbeatable for the Price

NuMax SFN64 Straight Finish Nailer
Photo: NuMax

  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Nail Size: 1” – 2-1/2”
  • Magazine Capacity: 100 nails
  • Weight: 4.5 pounds

NuMax SFN64 is the cheapest item on our finish nailer review and for such a high-quality nailer, it is unbeatable for the price as you would have to spend way much more to get anything better.

The 16-gauge straight finish nailer features a lightweight and durable aluminum body, rubber o-rings and one-piece drive blade for long tool life.

With its secure and ergonomic grip, it is also comfortable to operate, and it includes a quick jam release latch for quick and easy jam clearing.

Users will include easily adjustable depth, and no-mar tip to prevent dents and dings on the workpiece. And this will be an ideal finish nailer for both interior and exterior finish carpentry tasks.

Like many other budget finish nailers, this NuMax model is still quite prone to jamming, but the good news is that jam clearing is a super quick and easy task and should hence not be a dealbreaker.


  • Highly affordable
  • Quick and easy jam release
  • Lightweight and durable construction
  • Non-marring tip
  • Fully adjustable exhaust


  • Quite prone to jamming
  • Not an oil-free nailer

6. DeWalt D51257K – Small with Plenty of Power

DeWalt D51257K Finish Nailer
Photo: DeWalt

  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Nail Size: 1” – 2-1/2”
  • Magazine Capacity: 100 nails
  • Weight: 3.9 pounds

DeWalt’s D51257K is a small but powerful finish nailer that will be perfect for a variety of applications and will be ideal for both woodworkers and DIYers.

The 16-gauge finish nailer uses a more convenient sealed dual technology motor that can work as both oil-free and oil lubricated unit.

And it includes tool-free features such as nail depth adjustment and jam clearing and a 360-degree adjustable exhaust port to help direct air away from the user.

Users will also love the low profile non-mar pad as it will protect the workpiece from dents and scratches and the trigger lock-off that will prevent accidental firing when not in use. This DeWalt finish nailer includes an adjustable belt hook and comes with carrying case, safety glasses and sample fasteners.

A nail lock-out feature would have been great to alert users when they run out of nails to prevent dry fires, but keeping an eye on the nail quantity should be an easy solution for this small shortcoming.


  • Compact but powerful
  • Quick and tool-less jam clearing
  • Low profile and non-marring pad
  • 360-degree adjustable exhaust port
  • Trigger lock-off provides extra safety


  • Does not have nail lock-out
  • Trigger design is not the most comfortable

7. Valu-Air T64C – Another Top-notch Quality Budget

Valu-Air T64C Finish Nailer
Photo: Valu-Air

  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Nail Size: 7/8” – 2-1/2”
  • Magazine Capacity: 100 nails
  • Weight: 4.14 pounds

Expensive finish nailers are not always the best as you can still get something well-built, feature-rich and powerful at a more affordable price like the Valu-Air T64C.

Besides being the second most affordable nailer on our list, it is also one of the most versatile as it is designed to shoot a wide variety of fasteners.

Its versatile fastener shooting capability makes it one of the best finish nailers for trim and other typical finish carpentry tasks like molding cabinetry and paneling.

This amazing finish nailer also features a heat treated aluminum housing for durability, 360-degree adjustable exhaust port, tool-free depth adjustment, and jam clearing and no-mar tip to protect the work surfaces.

For those that have not used a finish nailer before, the instructions manual does not seem very useful, but the good news is that the nailer is quite straightforward and easy to figure out even without the manual.


  • Relatively more budget-friendly
  • Simple tool-free jam clearing and depth adjustment
  • No-mar tip
  • Ergonomic and comfortable handle
  • Highly durable aluminum housing


  • Instructions are not very beginner-friendly
  • Misfires occasionally

8. Freeman PFN1564 – The Right for Professionals

Freeman PFN1564 Angled Finish Nailer
Photo: Freeman

  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Nail Size: 1-1/4” – 2-1/2”
  • Magazine Capacity: 100 nails
  • Weight: 6 pounds

Many professional finish carpenters often prefer to go for fancy looking and more expensive finish nailer, but something more affordable like Freeman PFN1564 can still offer equally great service.

The top-rated and well-built finish nailer offers dual fastening modes by allowing users to choose between sequential and contact firing depending on the task at hand. Also, this 15-gauge nailer comes with a 34-degree angled magazine to make it easy to reach tight areas and corners.

Other features like the tool-less jam clearing, 360-degree adjustable exhaust port, easy finger depth adjustment, and no-mar pad also help to cement this nailer’s position as one of the best 15-gauge finish nailers.

Many users will love the reversible belt hook as it makes it easy to keep the tool close and the molded carrying case that makes carrying the tool simple.

While 6 pounds seems a little on the heavier side when compared to other finish nailers on our list, it is still quite manageable, and many users will not even notice the few extra pounds.


  • Versatile and powerful pro design
  • Soft and comfortable grip
  • Dual fastening modes
  • Easy and tool-less jam clearing
  • Non-marring pad


  • A little on the heavier side
  • Depth gauge is not well-labeled

9. Senco 4G0001N – Feature-packed

Senco 4G0001N FinishPro 42XP Finish Nailer
Photo: Senco

  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Nail Size: 1-1/4” – 2-1/2”
  • Magazine Capacity: 104 nails
  • Weight: 4.5 pounds

Senco has always been famous for making some highly durable power tools, but their model 4G0001N nailer offers more than durability as it is also a feature-rich and high-performing finish nailer.

This sequential action firing nailer includes a thumb wheel depth of drive adjustment for easy drive depth adjustment, and a lightweight and durable magnesium body.

Jam clearing is made quick and simple by the EZ-Clear while the 360-degree adjustable exhaust delivers a safer operation by making it easy to direct the air away from you. And users will like the lubrication-free operation as it helps to minimize the risk of staining the workpiece with oil.

The included tool case seems a little too large which can make it a little harder to carry around, but it provides lots of storage space for other accessories.


  • More feature-rich and versatile
  • Easily adjustable depth of drive
  • Fast and simple jam clearing
  • Fully adjustable exhaust
  • Durable magnesium housing


  • Tool case is too large
  • Rubber nose piece keeps falling off

10. Bostitch BTFP71917 – Simple, Well-built, Lightweight & Easy to Use

Bostitch BTFP71917 Smart Point Finish Nailer
Photo: Bostitch

  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Nail Size: 1-1/4” – 2-1/2”
  • Magazine Capacity: 100 nails
  • Weight: 3.9 pounds

Despite the Bostitch BTFP71917 having a more simple design, it is still a well-built finish nailer that is also designed to be more lightweight and super easy to use.

The finish nailer uses smart point technology to provide easy nail placement and offers a tool-free jam release for easy nail removal to ensure minimal downtimes.

The dial-a-depth control makes the depth of drive adjustment easier so that you always get precise nail countersinking while the no-mar tips help to protect your workpiece from dents and scratches.

You will not need to worry about oil messes as this is an oil-free tool, and you can be confident that it is built to last as Bostitch backs it with their 7-year limited warranty.

Rear nail loading mechanism can make it harder to change the nail size fast, and many woodworkers still prefer side loading. However, once you get the hang of it, you should not have any difficulties.


  • Well-built and lightweight
  • Easier nail placement
  • Simple tool-free jam release
  • Precise drive depth adjustment
  • Oil-free operation


  • Nail loading mechanism is not very good
  • Flimsier carry case

11. DeWalt DC618K – Cordless Convenience

DeWalt DC618K XRP Finish Nailer Kit
Photo: DeWalt

  • Power Source: Battery-powered
  • Nail Size: 1-1/4” – 2-1/2”
  • Magazine Capacity: 120 nails
  • Weight: 8.5 pounds

Sometimes woodworkers will need to use their finish nailers in places where they cannot carry an air compressor or have access to electricity. When this is the case, you will be happy to have the cordless DeWalt DC618K around.

It is one of the best cordless finish nailers you can get anywhere thanks to its feature-rich design and reliable performance.

Some of its most impressive features include the easy access nosepiece that makes jam clearing easy and dual operation mode that allows you to use both sequential and bump firing.

Also, with this cordless finish nailer, you get a 20-degree angled magazine with 120-nail capacity and rear-loading design for versatility. Users will love the integrated LED light that illuminates the workpiece and contact trip lock-off to allow you to disable the trigger when not in use for safety.

While this DeWalt finish nailer might be the priciest and heaviest on our list, for a battery-powered finish nailer, it still comes at a great price and manageable weight.


  • Convenient cordless operation
  • Relatively larger capacity magazine
  • Easy jammed nails removal
  • Dual operating modes
  • Handy integrated LED lights


  • Relatively pricier
  • Quite heavy

12. PowRyte 1001910 – A Fantastic for DIYers & hobbyists

PowRyte 16 Gauge Straight Air Finish Nailer
Photo: PowRyte

  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Nail Size: 3/4″ – 2”
  • Magazine Capacity: 90 nails
  • Weight: 3.1 pounds

DIYers and hobbyists will typically use their finish nailer for light duties that often involve softwoods, and so this 16-gauge PowRyte finish nailer will be an ideal choice as it is perfect for light use.

The pneumatic finish nailer has a zero nail lock-out feature that not only eliminates dry fires but also helps users know when to reload the magazine. And there is a reload indicator that will give you visual recognition of the nail quantity.

Jam removal is also quick and easy thanks to the split nose design and the no-mar tip will eliminate the risk of scarring or denting your workpiece.

And with the 360-degree adjustable exhaust port, you can easily direct the air away from you, and the finish nailer also includes a hook to help keep it close.

While the 90-nail capacity is the smallest on our list, for typical DIY and home use projects that do not entail firing a lot of nails, it should still be good enough.


  • DIYer and hobbyist friendly design and features
  • Easy jam removal
  • 360-degree adjustable exhaust port
  • Zero nail lock-out
  • Handy reload indicator


  • Relatively smaller magazine capacity
  • Not powerful enough for some hardwoods


A finish nailer is a must-have for all budding DIYers, finish carpenters and serious woodworkers as it is one of those tools that will come in handy for almost every woodworking project.

In addition to highlighting the important things to consider when shopping, this piece also provides reviews of 12 top-rated finish nailers. And from these reviews, the powerful, versatile and feature-rich Hitachi NT65MA4, is our top overall recommendation as it will work well for anyone.