Choosing the best cordless nail gun

Monday, March 11, 2019
Have you ever seen the Netflix show 'Nailed It'?

It's a cooking show where 'young gun' contestants try their hand at making their best versions of professionally made cakes and candies.

They usually completely suck it's usually a case of 'failed it' than nailed it.

And when you're putting up power frames, making fences and nailing wood into place, a quality nail gun will ensure you don't end up looking like a wannabe chef with egg on their face on some Netflix show.

It doesn't matter if you are a seasoned builder making a fence or a weekend 'DIY' warrior doing woodworking or a pallet project, a good nail gun will serve you well.

But what kind of nail gun to use?


There's plenty of brands out there and they all have ranges of quality but the when choosing a cordless nail gun, it comes done to the job you need it to do and how you are going to go about it.

But if you are in a hurry, here are our three recommendations:

Dewalt DCN692B 20V Max XR Brushless Dual Speed Nailer


The Dewalt Brushless 2 Speed Nailer uses the power of a brushless motor to drive in nails anywhere from 2 inches to 3-1/2 inches long. 

With two operating modes, you can use your tool in sequential mode, for precision in placement, or bump mode, which provides speed for finishing quickly, which can be pretty handy when you have a day's work to get through. 

The dual speed option on this cordless nailer also allows for the use of different nail lengths which is handy when different projects have different needs. 

For user safety, there is a trigger lock to disable the trigger when the tool is not in use. 

The top cap of this Dewalt nailer is impact resistant, for your peace of mind, and removable, for easy machine troubleshooting. The nose cap is similarly easy to access to remove jammed nails safely and simply. 

This unit weighs 7.7 pounds so is a heavy duty tool that will be fine to use on tough job sites. 
  • Brushless Motor and engine design provides the power to drive 3-1/2" nails
  • Sequential or bump operating modes
  • Dual Speed optimizes the motor for different nail lengths
  • Accepts 30-34 degree paper tape nails, clipped and offset round head
  • Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 20 volts. Nominal voltage is 18.

Here are some honest reviews from actual users of the Dewalt nail gun, where they have used it out in the wild.

"All in all, this is a very solid unit, and more than capable of DIY use, and I suspect it would be good for construction also. I’ve got the 6 AH battery loaded and haven’t recharged it yet, and am about 2 weeks into using it. It is MUCH more convenient than having to lug the compressor upstairs and deal with the hose, and waiting for the compressor to recharge. It is a tad heavy when working over your head though.

All in all, I find this to be a very solid unit, that is more than capable of delivering on its promises. At the risk of sounding like a DeWalt fanboy...I HIGHLY recommend this nail gun."

"This nail gun is extremely picky about what nails you use. Paslode, and Bostitch work the best, I sink every nail perfectly with thosenail, grip right nails, on the other hand, don't shot worth a darn.

This nail gun has a learning curve like most tools, take some time to learn what your gun likes and dislikes. However you have to remember this is a cordless framing nailer not pneumatic, it shoots quick for what it is.

It has served me very well when I don't feel like dragging out the airlines and fire up the ole air compressor. For the most part, come to think of it I haven't used my pneumatic nail gun since I got this nail gun."


Paslode 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer

The  Paslode cordless framing nailer system is designed to deliver 15% more power to increase productivity.

Less standing nails and better drive performance into harder woods means you can put your hammer away and let this cordless nailer do it all.  Designed with an 'all season formula' that lets you keep working in temperatures down to 14⁰ Fahrenheit when compressor hoses are probably freezing.
paslode nail driver
Paslode Framing Nailer specifications:

  • Drives nails flush, even in Laminated veneer lumber and hard woods.
  • Ready to work when you are. Works in All-Seasons down to 14° fareinheit.
  • It's a lightweight unit at 7.2lbs which allows for comfort and control while working overhead or in tight spaces.
  • Shoots 2-3 nails per second at a consistent rate
  • Limited downtime. Paslode provides non-stop nailing with fuel that will last a full day.
Here are reviews from users who have brought this unit from Amazon and put it through its paces.

"I wanted a nail gun for years but waited because of the price. I'm glad I did. This was not only the best price ANYWHERE I could find on the entire internet but this gun does what it is supposed to do, drive nails without problems and that is what it does.

Fits ergonomically in my hands with no cramping during usage. The balance on this gun/drive is awesome. Its new design with the depth setter without tools is great. Battery keeps a long charge but is a little difficult to pull out of the gun. I can live with that.

There are so many pluses with this nail gun. I did months of research and tens of hours on the internet before I purchased this gun and before I purchased it here. Do your self a favor and just buy it here!"

"Love this thing! Wow, if you, like me, are concerned about this thing having enough power to drive 16's, don't be! This thing drives the living sh_t out of nails. You need to back it off a bit actually! Ex-contractor here so I get it. This thing is nice. Been through about 5,000 nails into mostly douglas fir and some hardwood (with a mix of 8's and 16,s) and NO jams but plenty of misfires.

Not sure what that's about but it does misfire once in a while. Runs on fuel and battery. Battery for spark and cooling fan I guess. Claims are 1,000 nails per fuel cell. I'm not getting anywhere near that (maybe 500-600) but I'm OK with it because this thing is so dang convenient! I charge the battery every day or two since most of the power comes from the fuel. I saw somewhere that you can get 9,000 nails per battery charge which, if true, would require around 15 fuel canisters."

Makita TP03Z 12V Max CXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Pin Nailer


The Makita 12V max CXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Pin Nailer is a hose-free solution for finish and trim work.

The TP03Z is compact and powerful and drives up to 1,250 pins on a single charge of a 12V CXT 2.0Ah battery (which is sold separately).

It will drive six different lengths of 23 gauge pins (5/8", 11/16”, ¾”, 1", 1-3/16", 1-3/8") with a magazine capacity of up to 120 pins.

The nailer sports an anti-dry fire mechanism engineered to prevent driving blanks, tool-less depth adjustment for precise flush and countersink finish and a contact trigger for improved accuracy and precision.

With Makita 12V max CXT Lithium-Ion slide-style batteries users get improved balance and ergonomics over pod-style batteries. 

For added convenience, the batteries include an on-board L.E.D. charge level indicator.


best makita cordless nail gun


  • Refined firing mechanism reduces recoil; reduces force required on the work surface when driving pins
  • Drives 6 different lengths of 23 gauge pins (5/8", 11/16", 3/4", 1", 1-3/16" and 1-3/8"); Magazine capacity up to 120 pins
  • Anti-dry Fire mechanism engineered to prevent driving blanks and damage to work surface
  • "Tool-less" depth adjustment for precise flush and Countersink finish
  • Cordless for increased convenience; eliminates the need for a compressor and air hose

Nail Gun user Safety tips:


Always remember, that like a chainsaw, nail guns and be pretty lethal objects if misused, even with the best of intentions.

Here are some user tips that will help you prevent getting a nail through a metacarpal or worse:


  1. The full sequential trigger model is the safest trigger mechanism for all jobs because it will only fire a nail when the controls are activated in a certain order.
  2.  Never ever, ever, attempt to bypass or disable your nail gun's safety features. They are there for a damn reason eh?
  3. Get some training before first using the tool. At the least properly read the manufacturer's user instructions. If you don't like to read, watch a  safety lesson video on Youtube.
  4. Check your target lumber for knots, nails, straps, hangers and the like that could cause recoil or ricochet before nailing
  5. Wear safety gear such as eye googles and gloves.
  6. If using a pneumatic, always disconnect the gun before performing maintenance and move to a safe work area.
  7. Do not carry the nail gun hugged close to your body in case of misfire. To that end, we feel we need to state the obvious, don't point your tool at anybody!
  8. Watch out for co-workers or other parties in your workspace.

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