10 Best Flooring Nailers of 2021 Compared & Reviewed

Best Flooring Nailer
Photo: Freeman

As a homeowner that has always wanted to replace an old or worn our floor with hardwood flooring or a professional flooring contractor that installs wooden flooring a lot, a flooring nailer is a must-have.

With the best flooring nailer, you will not only get the job done faster but also more accurately and it will always leave a more aesthetically appealing finish.

As their name suggests, the flooring nailers have been specifically built for installing wooden flooring. They can install both hard and softwood floor panels and they are available in both pneumatic and manual types. 

Here we make shopping for a good one easier by reviewing 10 top-rated flooring nailer models, and by showing you how to choose the best ones. 

What To Check Before Buying Best Flooring Nailers?

How to Buy the Best Flooring Nailers
Photo: themenwithtools.com

To make sure that you make a more informed choice when buying a flooring nailer, you should watch out for the following important things. 

1. Home or Professional Use

The first decision you will need to make when picking flooring nailers is whether to go for a home or professional use model. But this should be an easy choice as the chances are you already know what you will be using the flooring nailer for.

Professional grade flooring nailers are typically more powerful and are designed to handle a lot of nailing and for installing different kinds of floor materials. However, they are generally more expensive and can be harder to handle for armatures.

With flooring nailers made for home use by homeowners and DIY enthusiasts, you get a more simple to use flooring nailer at a more affordable price tag.

But, whether you get a home or professional use flooring nailer the most important thing is to make sure what you buy is powerful, versatile and durable.

2. Manual vs. Pneumatic Flooring Nailers

The power source is another vital factor to consider when shopping for a flooring nailer as it will affect the ease of use and efficiency of the nailer. And here you will typically need to decide whether to for the manual or pneumatic flooring nailers.

Manual Flooring Nailers

Manual flooring nailers are the kinds that will require you to use a mallet or hammer to actuate the tool to drive the nail where it needs to go.

These flooring nailers will not require an air compressor as they rely on muscle power to drive the nail. The manual flooring nailers are low maintenance since they do not have internal components like filters, and they are also more portable which makes them ideal for use in remote places.

However, manual flooring nailers take quite some effort to use, and this causes fatigue which can slow down your flooring project.

Pneumatic Flooring Nailers

With the pneumatic flooring nailers, it is compressed air that drives the nails into the wood, and so the user does not have a lot to do when flooring. But this means that you need an air compressor which is often an added cost.

Majority of pneumatic flooring nailers will have an operating pressure of between 50 and 120 PSI which means they will be compatible with most air compressors. 

But, when compared to the manual flooring nailers, the pneumatic models are harder and more expensive to maintain.

Buying Advice: If you are looking for a more portable flooring nailer for use in remote areas that also does not need an air compressor, go for a manual flooring nailer. But, if you want a nailer that does most of the work for you and hence speeding up the project, go for the pneumatic flooring nailers.

3. 18-Gauge vs. 16-Gauge Flooring Nailer

When picking a flooring nailer you will also need to decide on the gauge to buy, and here the choice is often between the two most common options which are 18-gauge and 16-gauge nailers.

What makes the gauge important is the fact that it determines whether you will get sufficient hold power or not and also the likelihood of splitting the flooring panels. Each of the two nailer gauges will be ideal for different situations.

18-Gauge Flooring Nailer

The 18-gauge flooring nailers like Freeman PFBC940 are built to shoot the relatively thinner 18-gauge cleats. This makes them the perfect choice when dealing with more delicate and thinner flooring materials.

These nailers are ideal for nailing thinner softwood floors as they might not provide adequate holding power for thicker hardwood flooring.

16-Gauge Flooring Nailer

16-gauge flooring nailers shoot thicker 16-gauge cleats that provide more holding power and can easily go through the hardest wood panels, and this explains why they are the preferred option by professional contractors.

With the 16-gauge flooring nailer like BOSTITCH BTFP12569, there is almost no flooring job that you cannot handle, but you need to take extra precaution when handling thinner and more brittle material as the larger nails can easily split it.

Buying Advice: If you are a professional contractor looking for a reliable flooring nailer for use on thicker hardwood materials, the 16-gauge nailer is your best bet but if you want something for use on more delicate, thinners and softer flooring material go for an 18-gauge nailer.

4. Cleats vs. Staples

As you shop for a flooring nailer, you will also need to decide whether to go for one that uses cleats or models that shoot staples. However, there are also some models that can use both cleats and staples.


Cleats are typically made from steel and will feature a ribbed edge that has been designed to attach to both subflooring and flooring firmly. The ribs also mean that they will provide a better hold than staples.

You can get cleats in both T and L-shaped options and they are often the preferred option in areas where the temperature fluctuates drastically because the shapes are more accommodative of the wood expansion and contraction.

The only significant downside with cleats is that they are generally more expensive as they can cost as much as twice as what you would pay for staples.


Staples will feature a couple of long and smooth prongs designed to go through the flooring material and into the subflooring. They are just slightly larger than cleats and when initially installed, they provide a relatively better hold.

But, the greatest shortcoming with staples is that they are not very accommodative of temperature fluctuations, and so they start to loosen a bit over time as wood expand and contracts.

And while staples are more affordable than cleats, it is always important to weigh between how much money you are saving by using them with their downsides.

Buying Advice: A flooring nailer that can accommodate both cleats and staples like NuMax SFL618 is always the best option. But if you have to pick something that shoots either of the two, go for cleats if you leave in a place where the temperature fluctuates a lot and want something with excellent hold power in the long run. And go for staples if you are looking for a more affordable flooring option.

5. Weight

Whether you are installing a wooden floor in one room or an entire house, the weight of the flooring nailer still matters a lot as it will determine how easy it will be to handle.

A good flooring nailer is one that is lightweight as it will be easier to move around when nailing which will make the job easier and faster. Something that weighs under 15 pounds is often good enough for most users.

The material used to make the flooring nailer is one of the key determinants of its weight and aluminum is one of the best options because besides being lightweight it is still highly durable.

6. Comfort

Flooring is a time-consuming job that can take many hours or even several days, and so as you choose your flooring nailer, you need to make sure that it is comfortable to operate for extended periods.

Something with an ergonomic rubber handle is a great choice as the soft grip will help minimize fatigue and make the tool easier to handle.

Also, flooring nailers that have a longer handle will be more comfortable to use as you will not need to bend too far when nailing, and this is very helpful in preventing back pains.

7. Price

Price also matters when choosing a flooring nailer because you will want to end up with something that gives you a great deal.

Flooring nailers will come at varying prices depending on things like the type, features, materials, and brand. But most good models cost between $100 and $500.

To help ensure you get the best deal, you not only need to consider the price but also what the flooring nailer has to offer.

The best idea is always to decide how much money you are willing to spend and then look for a flooring nailer that is well-built and high-performing within that budget.

10 Best Flooring Nailers of 2021 Reviewed




Bostitch MIIIFN

1. Bostitch MIIIFN (Best Overall)

  • Extra wide base
  • Higher magazine capacity
  • More driving power
  • Durable aircraft grade aluminum construction
NuMax SFL618

2. NuMax SFL618 (Best for DIYers & Homeowners)

  • More DIY friendly
  • Ergonomic and lightweight
  • Versatile 3-in-1 design
  • Extended handle for comfortable use
Freeman PFL618BR

3. Freeman PFL618BR (Best 3-in-1)

  • Drives various fasteners for increased versatility
  • Lightweight and sturdy aluminum body
  • Long reach handle with comfortable padded grip
  • No-mar rubber flooring mallet included
Freeman PF18GLCN

4. Freeman PF18GLCN (Best for Hardwood)

  • Great for hardwood installation
  • Ergonomic and comfortable handle
  • Protective no-mar foot
  • Interchangeable base plates
DeWalt DWFP12569

5. DeWalt DWFP12569 (Best DeWalt)

  • Reliable top brand flooring nailer
  • Lighter for better balance and control
  • Interchangeable and no-mar base plates
  • Longer handle and comfortable grip
Freeman PF1618GLCN

6. Freeman PF1618GLCN (Best for Shooting Cleats)

  • Shoots cleats effortlessly
  • Lightweight aluminum construction
  • Comes with 3 interchangeable base plates
  • Secure and comfortable grip
Bostitch BTFP12569

7. Bostitch BTFP12569 (Best Brand)

  • Perfect for hardwoods and engineered flooring
  • Long and ergonomic handle with comfortable grip
  • Interchangeable base plates included
  • High speed pneumatic operation
Freeman PFBC940

8. Freeman PFBC940 (Best Budget)

  • More budget-friendly nailer
  • Versatile 4-in-1 functionality
  • Quick and tool-free jam release
  • Tool-less depth of drive adjustment
Wen 61953

9. Wen 61953 (Best All-Round)

  • Great-all round and versatile flooring nailer
  • Durable and lightweight die cast aluminum construction
  • Fatigue-reducing padded grip
  • Shoots various fastener types
Freeman PDC50C

10. Freeman PDC50C (Best under $200)

  • Pro design at a more budget-friendly price tag
  • Convenient self-leveling front foot
  • Interchangeable base plates for different floorings
  • Anodized aluminum magazine

1. Bostitch MIIIFN – Best Overall

Bostitch MIIIFN
Photo: Bostitch

  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Operating Pressure: 70 – 120 PSI
  • Weight: 11.2 pounds

For professional flooring contractors on the hunt for a powerful and reliable flooring nailer for regular use, the Bostitch MIIIFN will be a perfect buy.

This powerful pneumatic flooring nailer delivers up to 420 inch-pounds of driving power to ensure you can drive in even the longest nails on the hardest wood fast and with little effort. And it is a mallet actuated nailer that will come with a high-quality rubber-tipped mallet.

Its highly-durable aircraft-grade aluminum construction helps to make this one of the best pneumatic flooring nailers for professionals as it will ensure the nailer can withstand regular use.

Also, this nailer will come with an extra wide base for more stability and easy control, high-capacity magazine, and it is ergonomically designed and with a long handle.

When compared to other flooring nailers on our list, this Bostitch model is the priciest but for professional use, it will be worth paying a few extra bucks as it is powerful and comfortable enough for regular use.

More Detailed: Bostitch MIIIFN Review


  • Durable aircraft-grade aluminum construction
  • Longer and more ergonomic handle
  • Extra wide base for increased stability
  • High-speed operation
  • High capacity magazine


  • Relatively pricier
  • Handle could still be a little longer

2. NuMax SFL618 – Best for DIYers & Homeowners

NuMax SFL618
Photo: NuMax

  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Operating Pressure: 70 – 110 PSI
  • Weight: 16.09 pounds

As a DIYer or homeowner that prefers to install your wooden flooring without any professional help you need a nailer that makes the job easier for you like the NuMax SFL618.

It is a well-built and durable flooring nailer with an aluminum housing and with some heat-treated steel parts for maximum durability.

The nailer will shoot both L and T cleats and staples, and this makes it more versatile and ideal for various flooring projects. And to make it even more versatile, the nailer will also come with two interchangeable baseplates to allow you to install both 1/2 and 3/4-inch flooring.

With the long and ergonomic handle, flooring will be easier for you as you will not need to bend a lot when working. And both jam clearing and reloads are made quick and easy by the easy blade drive access and magazine cover respectively.

While this flooring nailer might be a little on the heavier side when compared to others on our list, its weight is still manageable enough even for inexperienced DIYers and homeowners.

More Detailed: Numax SFL618 Review


  • DIYer and hobbyists-friendly design
  • Shoots both cleats and staples
  • Interchangeable no-mar base plates
  • Durable housing and parts
  • Quick jam clearing and reloading


  • Relatively heavier
  • No reliable reload indicator

3. Freeman PFL618BR – Best 3-in-1

Freeman PFL618BR
Photo: Freeman

  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Operating Pressure: 70 – 110 PSI
  • Weight: 11.46 pounds

With the 3-in-1 Freeman PFL618BR, you can easily nail your floors with your preferred fasteners as it is designed to shoot the T and L-cleats and staples which also make it more versatile.

The Freeman flooring nailer is built to last with a die-cast aluminum body and rubber o-rings, and it has a long reach handle with a padded grip for comfortable operation.

Also, it comes with two interchangeable baseplates that are non-marring to allow you to install both 1/2 and 3/4-inch thick floors.

And when you buy this top-notch quality flooring nailer, you get a solid and spacious carry case, goggles, rubber mallet with non-marring surfaces and wrenches to ensure you have everything you need.

Depth control would have been a great feature to have on this flooring nailer as it enhances the precision, but you can still control the drive depth easily by adjusting the pressure on the air compressor.


  • Shoots various fasteners for versatility
  • Interchangeable and non-marring base plates
  • Long reach and padded handle
  • Easy jam release
  • Comes with a sturdy carry case


  • No depth control

4. Freeman PF18GLCN – Best Hardwood

Freeman PF18GLCN
Photo: Freeman

  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Operating Pressure: 70 – 115 PSI
  • Weight: 14 pounds

Given that many flooring projects will involve dense hardwood materials, the Freeman PF18GLCN will be a perfect nailer to have around as it excels when dealing with dense flooring materials like cherry and bamboo.

Another thing that makes this one of the best flooring nailers is the durable construction that includes a sturdy aluminum body and housing, but there is still more to it.

This flooring nailer features an extended handle with an ergonomic grip for comfortable operation, no-mar foot to protect flooring and interchangeable baseplates for versatility.

The nailer will come with a handy fiberglass no-mar mallet, and it also has a 120-fastener capacity magazine to minimize to reload frequency.

While this flooring nailer might not shoot staples or the T-cleats, Freeman makes it specifically for installing hardwood floors, and this should explain why it will only shoot 18-gauge L-cleats.


  • Great for installing dense flooring
  • Interchangeable base plates
  • Durable aluminum body and cylinder
  • Decent magazine capacity
  • Ergonomic and comfortable handle


  • Limited fastener compatibility
  • A little on the heavier side

5. DeWalt DWFP12569 – Best DeWalt Flooring Nailer

DeWalt DWFP12569
Photo: DeWalt

  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Operating Pressure: 70 – 100 PSI
  • Weight: 10.6 pounds

A top-notch flooring nailer from a highly reputable brand like DeWalt’s DWFP12569 will hardly ever disappoint as the company is famous for making high-performing power tools.

The top-rated flooring nailer features interchangeable, non-marring baseplates that are designed to accommodate different flooring thicknesses, and it will shoot both 15.5-gauge staples and 16-gauge cleats for increased versatility.

The longer and more ergonomic handle and rubber grip make this a more comfortable flooring nailer to operate, and this is a lower CFM nailer that will reduce the air compressor runtimes.

There is no dry fire lock-out mechanism on this DeWalt nailer which might be a significant shortcoming for some users, but with flooring nailers, dry fires are hardly ever a problem as you can easily tell when you run out of fasteners.

More Detailed: DeWalt DWFP12569 Review


  • Interchangeable and non-mar base plates
  • Lower CFM requirements
  • Shoots both cleats and staples
  • Longer and ergonomic handle
  • Comfortable rubber grip


  • No dry fire lock-out
  • Does not come with a case

6. Freeman PF1618GLCN – Best for Shooting Cleats

Freeman PF1618GLCN
Photo: Freeman

  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Operating Pressure: 70 – 115 PSI
  • Weight: 9.6 pounds

A versatile nailer that can shoot both 16 and 18-gauge cleats is always very beneficial to have around as it will come in handy for various flooring projects. Freeman PF1618GLCN is one such flooring nailer and besides accommodating different cleat gauges, it still has a lot more to offer.

This nailer is also well-built with a durable die-cast aluminum housing and cylinder, and it includes rubber O-rings that make it highly durable.

With the extended reach handle and an ergonomic grip, this is a comfortable nailer to operate, and it will also be easy to control.

The design includes no-mar feet to help protect the wood surfaces, interchangeable baseplates to accommodate different flooring thicknesses, and it will also come with a fiberglass no-mar mallet.

This Freeman flooring nailer is almost flawless, but some users might find the mallets a little on the heavier side, but this is a good thing as the weight will be very useful for moving wood panels into place.


  • Fast and efficient cleat fastening
  • Extended reach handle with a comfortable grip
  • Handy fiberglass mallet
  • Non-marring feet
  • Durable aluminum body and cylinder


  • Mallet is a little heavier

7. Bostitch BTFP12569 – Best Brand

Bostitch BTFP12569
Photo: Bostitch

  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Operating Pressure: 70 – 100 PSI
  • Weight: 10.2 pounds

Bostitch is another power tool manufacturer that you will hardly ever go wrong with when it comes to flooring nailers, and their 2-in-1 BTFP12569 is one of their best models currently on the market.

It is a solid flooring nailer with a 3.7 SCFM which is relatively lower when compared to others out there, and this will save you more cash as you will not need to run your air compressor for long.

Like many other top-notch flooring nailers, it comes with interchangeable baseplates for versatility. But, its key highlight is that it will shoot both 15.5-gauge flooring staples and 16-gauge L-cleats to make it ideal for almost any flooring project.

Many users will appreciate the long and ergonomic handle that is capped off with a comfortable rubber grip as it makes this nailer easier to control and with minimal fatigue.

The absence of a reload indicator means you will not know when you are running out of nails, but as you use this flooring nailer more and more, this should be easy to figure out.


  • Relatively lower air requirements
  • Non-marring base plates
  • Longer and more ergonomic handle
  • Comfortable rubber grip


  • No nail reload indicator
  • Bumper needs a harder strike for actuation

8. Freeman PFBC940 – Best Budget

Freeman PFBC940
Photo: Freeman

  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Operating Pressure: 70 – 110 PSI
  • Weight: 4 pounds

The highly affordable PFBC940 is a perfect flooring nailer choice for DIYers and homeowners shopping for a budget-friendly but well-built and a high-performing nailer.

But besides being the cheapest option among our flooring nailer review, this is also a 4-in-1 nailer designed for versatility as it will shoot both staples and brads.

This budget flooring nailer offers convenient depth adjustment for more precise nail sinking and quick, tool-free jam clearing to minimize downtimes.

There is a 360-degree adjustable exhaust that will help keep air away from your face and a die-cast aluminum body, aluminum cylinder and rubber o-rings for long service life.

While this inexpensive Freeman nailer might be a little tricky to adjust and use at first, this only takes some getting used. It should also not be a big concern given its small price tag.


  • Relatively more affordable
  • Convenient depth adjustment
  • Quick and tool-free jam clearing
  • 360-degree adjustable exhaust
  • Lightweight and more compact


  • A little tricky to adjust and use
  • Not very ideal for a professional contractor

9. Wen 61953 – Best All-round

Wen 61953
Photo: Wen

  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Operating Pressure: 70 – 100 PSI
  • Weight: 10.4 pounds

With the ability to shoot both staples and cleats (both L and T cleats), the Wen 61953 is a great all-round flooring nailer that will be handy for almost any flooring project.

This finish nailer is built to last with die-cast aluminum housing, and it also comes with an interchangeable baseplate that further enhances its versatility.

Operating it is made comfortable by the long reach handle that also includes a padded grip for comfortable use with minimal hand fatigue.

And when you buy the flooring nailer you get a mallet, wrenches, lubricating oil and a carry case to ensure you have everything you need to use it.

This Wen flooring nailer might seem a little prone to jamming, but in many instances, this is often because of not keeping it oiled. If you keep the nailer well oiled, you will hardly ever need to worry about nail jams.


  • Reliable all-round performance
  • Comfortable padded grip
  • Shoots both staples and cleats
  • Interchangeable base plates
  • Durable die-cast aluminum body


  • A little prone to jamming

10. Freeman PDC50C – Best under $200

Freeman PDC50C
Photo: Freeman

  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Operating Pressure: 70 – 115 PSI
  • Weight: 9.5 pounds

The PDC50C 3-in-1 is another top quality flooring nailer by Freeman that comes at a more affordable price tag but is still well-built, high-performing and versatile.

Its versatility stems from the fact that it can drive the 15.5-gauge staples, and both 16-gauge L and T-cleats and the interchangeable baseplates that will accommodate different flooring thicknesses.

There is a self-leveling front foot on this flooring nailer that is designed to make it more stable, an anti-dust cap that helps to keep dust away from the internal components, and it will come with a sturdy mallet built with a fiberglass handle.

And this is one of the cheapest and lightest models on our flooring nailer review. Given its highly durable overall construction, you can be confident of getting great value for your cash as it will serve you for a long time.

Clearing a jam might not be very easy when using this flooring nailer, but the good news is that it will hardly ever jam if you keep it oiled and as you get used to it jams will also be much easier to clear.


  • Highly durable overall construction
  • Self-leveling front foot
  • Interchangeable base plates
  • Handy anti dust cap included
  • Comes with a sturdy and durable mallet


  • Jam clearing is not the easiest
  • Does not come with a case


Your choice of flooring nailer makes a huge difference, and it is often the key determinant of whether you finish the job fast and efficiently or not.

If you are still not sure where to start your search, we take care of this by providing some top-notch recommendations with our in-depth top 10 flooring nailer reviews. And from these reviews, the highly reliable and powerful Bostitch MIIIFN is our top overall recommendation.