12 Best Nail Guns for Furniture Building

A traditional hammer does a decent job when you want to drive in a couple of nails on small jobs, but it fails when it’s time for big projects like furniture building. A nail gun delivers better results when there are many nails to drive in.

The best nail guns for furniture building are typically 15- or 16-gauge finish nailers. Both of them are reliable when shooting long nails into all kinds of hardwood and softwoods. Some carpenters also have 23-gauge pin nailers to complement the finish nailers.

The rest of the article will look at the best nail gun models you can buy today, and all you need to know on how to choose the best ones.

Craft Gecko is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no additional cost to you. 

What Are Nail Guns?

Nail guns are highly convenient power tools designed to save you time when you have to work with nails. They allow you to work faster and can also help you avoid hammer-related finger or hand injuries while building furniture. Nail guns are also used in other forms of woodworking, from wood floor installation to roofing.

There are different nail gun types, but the two major furniture building options are finish nailers and pin nailers.

Finish Nailers

Finish nailers have high-gauge fasteners and have the capacity to shoot big-sized nails. Most of them shoot 16-gauge nails, but some models are also capable of shooting 15-gauge options. Finish nailers can shoot nails that can hold large pieces of wood without leaving any big holes behind.

Pin Nailers

Pin nailers are a good addition to the toolbox of any woodworker, including furniture makers. They are used in furniture building when finish nailers are too big for the specific task. They shoot small pin-like nails useful when you’re attaching some delicate trims in a furniture build.

It can also be used to shoot nails small enough to hold wood pieces together, long enough for applied glue to set. When they are removed afterward, the nail holes they leave are often negligible.

Below is a look at some of the best nail guns—either finish or pin nailers—you can find in the market today:

Hitachi NT65MA4

This angled finish nailer shoots 15 gauge nails of 1-1/4 inch to 2-1/2 inch (3.18cm to 6.35cm) at 34 inches (86.36cm). The angled magazine it comes with makes it easy for the operator to work in tight spaces and confined corners with a bit more ease. The nailer is super easy to load and can take up to 100 nails at once.

Hitachi NT65MA4 1-1/4 Inch to 2-1/2 Inch 15-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer with Air Duster
  • Hitachi Power Tools has renamed to Metabo HPT. Same great tools, with only a new name.
  • Integrated air duster can be used to clear away dust and debris from the work surface in preparation for nailing or gluing
  • Tool less, easy to clear nose for quick nail extraction should a nail jam during use

Last update on 2022-09-17 at 08:18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It comes with a drive adjustment dial that is tool-free, which can be found under the trigger. The trigger is designed to provide a non-slip grip, and it’s also elastomeric. You can easily adjust the trigger to match the air pressure required, as well as the density of the wood you’re working on. The NT65MA4 also comes with a selective actuation switch, which allows tool-less contact or sequential fastening.

The air duster located above the grip of the nailer is another impressive feature of it. It makes it easy for air to be expelled from a hole in front of the tool. You can clear dust and debris away from any surface you’re working on using this feature.

The exhaust on the nailer is also fully adjustable (360°). This means you can keep it directed away from you at all times to avoid any debris and oil. Lubricating the nailer occasionally will keep it working seamlessly.

DEWALT DC618K Kit

The Dewalt DC618K is another cordless angled finish nailer you can count on when building furniture. It comes with an engine design that ensures shooting consistency, whether you’re working with hardwoods or softwoods.

DEWALT DC618K XRP 18-Volt Cordless 1-1/4 Inch - 2-1/2 Inch 16 Gauge 20 Degree Angled Finish Nailer Kit
  • Engine design allows the tool to work as fast as the end user with consistent nail penetration into both soft and hard joints
  • Sequential operating mode allows for precision placement and the bump operating mode provides the user with production speed.
  • Easy access to the nosepiece for the removal of jammed nails without the use of screwdrivers or tool wrenches

Last update on 2022-09-16 at 21:04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This nail gun comes with an easily accessible nose piece, which means you don’t have to spend a lot of time with a wrench or screwdriver trying to remove jammed nails. It comes with a 20° rear-loading magazine which can hold around 120 Paslode or Dewalt nails.

There is a contact trip lock-off safety feature, which ensures you can avoid accidental nailing when the gun is not used. The Dewalt DC618K comes with two modes. The first is the bump operating mode, which delivers maximum speed, while the second is the sequential placement mode. You also get a six-position dial, which makes it easy for you to choose the best depth setting for all kinds of applications.

This means you can easily find depth settings without the need to repeat the dial-acquiring process.

The nailer weighs around 8.5 pounds (3.86kg), so it’s slightly heavier than others on this list. However, maneuvering is easy. You can also use it without any problems while working in low light or under shade due to the integrated set of LED lights. It’s powered by an 18V XRP battery, which can be fully charged in an hour.

Grex P635 23-Gauge Pin Nailer

The Grex P365 is one of the best pin nailers in the market. It’s slightly more expensive than other pin nailers, but it’s trendy in the furniture building niche. The model can deliver 23 GA headless pins up to 1-3/8 inches (3.49cm) in length.

Grex P635 23 Gauge 1-3/8-Inch Length Headless Pinner
  • Powerful motor penetrates fasteners through the hardest materials
  • Shoots fasteners up to 1-3/8-inch length easily, even-inch hardwoods
  • Patented design eliminates need to adjust for different fastener lengths

Last update on 2022-09-16 at 21:04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The P653 looks great, but it’s also no slouch in terms of ergonomics. It feels great to hold while working, thanks to the soft rubber handles. You can work with this for hours without any feeling of fatigue.

There are automatic fasteners that you can use when you need to shoot pins smaller than the default. With the no-mar tip and the narrow nose on the device, you’ll be able to work with greater maneuverability and accuracy without worrying about scratching the wood you’re working on. Working with it in tight spots is super-easy, and with a weight of just 2.1 lbs (0.9kg), it’s easy to carry around.

However, the Grex P365 doesn’t have an adjustable depth control. This means you’ll always have to tweak the air compressor with each project to get the right nailing force to do the job at hand.

NuMax SFN64

The NuMax SFN64 is one of the most affordable straight finish nailers in the market today. It can deliver 16 gauge straight finish nails of 1 to 2.5 inches (6.35cm) in length, making it an excellent nail gun for furniture making. Just like others on this list, it comes with a tool-free adjustable exhaust that rotates 360° to keep dust and debris away from you while working. It’s also another option that has a no-mar tip to avoid surface dents.

NuMax SFN64 Pneumatic 16-Gauge 2-1/2" Straight Finish Nailer Ergonomic and Lightweight Nail Gun with Tool-Free Depth Adjust and No Mar Tip
  • Nailed It: This pneumatic 16-gauge straight finish nailer features a lightweight and durable aluminum body, and an ergonomic comfort grip handle. A no mar tip prevents dents and dings, and the quick jam release lets you easily clear jams without taking the nailer apart.
  • Many Uses: This finish nail gun is great for interior and exterior finish and trim, furniture, cabinet work, staircases, base boards, shoe and crown moulding, window casing, and chair rail moulding. Sequential firing and tool-free depth adjust allow you to customize for any project.
  • The Right Tool for the Job: We're committed to providing outstanding value, top tier customer service and long lasting, high quality products. We make nailers and staplers for every purpose, from roofing to siding to flooring and everything in between.

Last update on 2022-09-17 at 08:18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The finish nailer comes with a lightweight aluminum design cylinder. It also has rubber O-rings and a one-piece drive blade to ensure durability. It also has a sequential firing mode that is made to fire a single nail per time. This means you can place the nails accurately with each shot.

This NuMax model also has a customizable firing depth, which helps ensure you have a consistent driving depth to work with on every project. There’s an integrated quick-release latch designed to help you easily deal with jams when they happen, without the need to dismantle the nailer.

The nail gun’s magazine can hold around 1000 straight finish nails, so you don’t have to reload too quickly while working on projects. Its anti-dust cap also ensures you can store the tool when you’re not working.

Fasco 11297F F23C 23-Gauge Pin Nailer

The Fasco pin nailer is similar to the Grex P635, but the main difference is that it can take pins of up to 2 inches (5.08cm) in length. This is a relatively new model that comes with a dry firing prevention mechanism. It also has automated fastener-length adjustment.

Fasco 11297F F23C A64-50PB 23-Gauge Headless Pinner, 1/2-inch to 2-inch
  • Pinner accepts all 23 gauge micro pins
  • 1/2-inch to 2-inch capacity
  • Automatically adjusts for different fastener lengths

Last update on 2022-09-16 at 21:04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

One of the very few pin nail gun models in the market can hold 2 inches pin size. You can count on it when you need to work on wood that is too thick for the 1-3/8 inches (3.49cm) pin nailers like the Grex P635.

If you’re always finding it hard to deal with misfires when working with nail guns, you’ll love the double trigger mechanism on this one, which ensures you’ll only fire off a pin exactly when you want it. There’s a muffler built-in to ensure you can work in silence. The exhaust on the gun is rear-mounted to evacuate debris away from you. However, it can’t be rotated, so you may still get some blowback while working.

With the narrow nose on the device, you can easily reach tight spots. The gun also comes with a carry case for easy transportation.

BOSTITCH N62FNK-2

If you’re looking for a professional finish nailer that will get the job done when you’re building furniture, there are very few better than the BOSTITCH 62FNK-2. It’s a finish nailer that gives you a selection of four angled profile tips to choose from. You’re sure of an excellent drive and a clean finish every time, regardless of the project.

BOSTITCH Finish Nailer, Angled, 15GA, 1-1/4-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch (N62FNK2)
  • This pneumatic nailer is the world's first 15GA tool with ultra-quiet rear exhaust to direct air away from the user
  • Integrated air blower of 15 gauge finish nailer allows user to clear away debris from work surface (patent-pending)
  • LED work-light for working in closets and dark spaces

Last update on 2022-09-16 at 21:04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The compressor on this nailer is oil-free, which means it’s easier to maintain and won’t leave any mess while you’re working. The nail gun comes with an adjustable nail-depth setting, and the operating range is around 70 to 120 PSI.

When you’re working on tough hardwood, all you need to do is to dial-in the correct depth, and you can get to work. The magazine on this device is tool-free and can hold up to 130 nails that are 1.25 to 2.25 inches (3.18 to 5.72cm) in length. The size of the magazine makes it easy to achieve speed and consistency when working. The magazine can also be removed easily, which means you can clean up jams very fast.

At 3.8 lbs (1.7kg), the nail gun is lightweight even when full. You can carry it for extended periods while working without feeling the stain. When it’s not in use, you can store the nailer in the provided carry case, which also offers protection when you’re on the move.

Bostitch HP118K 23-Gauge Pin Nailer

This versatile pin nailer can shoot pins of up to 1-3/16 inches (3.02cm) and comes with adjustable depth control. It is made of aluminum, which makes it both durable and lightweight. You can trust it to remain functional for years.

BOSTITCH Pin Nailer 23 Gauge, 1/2-Inch to 1-3/16-Inch (HP118K)
  • 1/2 Inch to 1 3/16 Inch 23 Gauge Pin Nailer, Low Profile Nose Piece Tapers for Clear Site
  • Adjustable High/Lower Power Switch for Depth Control and Longer Life
  • Lightweight and Durable Aluminum Housing

Last update on 2022-09-16 at 21:04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It comes with a low-profile form factor, which can easily be used in tight or small areas. Loading or unloading pins with this nailer are super easy—you only have to push the spring-loaded lever to be able to pull out the magazine. With its tapered nose, you can keep an eye on your nailing and improve your overall accuracy. It can take up to 200 pins, which is excellent for a pin nailer.

The nail gun’s handle is rubber-coated, which means it’s very comfortable to hold. You should be able to work with it for hours effortlessly, especially when you consider the machine’s overall weight.

Paslode 902400

The Paslode 902400 is a cordless finish nailer featuring their special In-Can system, making the nail gun easy to install and use. It weighs around 4.5 lbs (1.8kg) when loaded, and with the battery included, so it’s easy to carry around.

Sale
Paslode, Cordless Finish Nailer, 902400, 16 Gauge Angled, Battery and Fuel Cell Powered, No Compressor Needed
  • Precise Nail Placement - Angled magazine reaches tight spots and allows precise nail placement, crown molding or baseboard in the corners
  • No Downtime - 7V Li-ion battery and up to 12,000 nails per charge lessens downtime and provides fuel that will last a full day
  • Lightweight - Only 4.5 lbs. for added comfort and control.

Last update on 2022-09-17 at 08:18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This Paslode model comes with a depth of drive adjustment that is pro-grade. It can drive 1-¼ (3.18cm) to 2-1/2 inch (6.35cm) and 16-gauge angled finish nails. Since you don’t need a compressor or a hose to operate this model, you have total freedom when working with it. There’s a 5-year manufacturer warranty on the nailer and a durable plastic carrying case for moving it around or storing it when not in use.

The battery is made from Lithium-ion technology, which ensures faster charging. The on/off battery function also allows you to conserve battery power and work long before the device requires charging. You can shoot up to 1200 nails before the tool requires charging again, and it takes only an hour to charge fully.

There’s a no-mar tip that helps protect against surface scratching and dinging. The angled magazine ensures you can easily work in tight spaces.

Metabo HPT Pin Nailer Kit

The Metabo HPT pin nailer is an excellent option if you’re looking for a complete pin nailer that gets the job done. It’s a complete kit that has everything you’ll need to do the job, including extras like safety glasses and an oil bottle. You’ll also get a carrying case. These extras look great when you consider the price of the nail gun.

Metabo HPT Pin Nailer Kit | 23 Gauge | Accepts Pin Nails from 5/8-Inch to 1-3/8-Inch | 5-Year Warranty | NP35A
  • INCLUDES: NP35A Pin Nailer, Safety Glasses,1/4" NPT Male Plug, No Mar Tip (x2), Hex Bar Wrench, Carrying Case (887572)
  • AWARD: Rated the Pro Preferred Nailer for 7 years running (2014 - 2020) by Builder and Developer Magazine
  • FASTENERS: 23-gauge headless pins with automatic adjustment for 5/8 In., 3/4 In., 1 In., 1-3/16 In. and 1-3/8 In. fastener lengths

Last update on 2022-09-16 at 21:04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This pin nailer can fire 23-gauge nails with lengths varying between 5/8 (1.59cm) and 1-3/8 inch (3.49cm). Like the rest on this list, it comes with a no-mar tip to keep your surfaces clean while working. The magazine adjusts automatically to match the pin size, and there’s also a depth adjustment function. The load indicator is a good feature that ensures you won’t have to worry about the dry firing.

The 5-year warranty offered is perhaps Metabo’s best way of highlighting trust in its quality to customers.

Arrow Fastener PT23G Pin Nailer

The Arrow Fastener is one of the most affordable pin nailers you’ll find in the market today. It fires 23 gauge pins that are 1/2 (1.27cm) to 1 inch (2.54cm) in length. It’s another option where the manufacturer demonstrates the belief in their product’s quality with a 3-year warranty.

Arrow PT23G 23 Gauge Compact Pneumatic Pin Nail Gun, Oil-Free, Fits 3/8”, 1/2”, 5/8”, 13/16” and 1” Nails
  • READY FOR ACTION: This power nailer is great for trim jobs, molding work, crafts, and hobby tasks that require headless pin nails
  • CONVENIENCE AND FLEXIBILITY: Easy side-load magazine makes loading nails and clearing any jams a breeze, reducing project frustration and down time; This pinner works best with Arrow 23G pin nails that measure 3/8”, 1/2”, 5/8”, 13/16” and 1”
  • HIGH-QUALITY CONSTRUCTION: The lightweight die-cast aluminum construction increases durability and reduces strain during use; Unlike other pneumatic tools, the PT23G does not require oil for maintenance

Last update on 2022-09-17 at 08:18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The affordability of the product doesn’t make it any less useful. It comes with a quick load magazine that reduces the length of time you’ll spend trying to reload. There’s also an adjustable exhaust cover, just like the higher-priced models on this list. The “overmold” grip on the handle ensures excellent comfort while you’re working on projects.

DEWALT D51257K

With the DEWALT D51257K, you get a 16-gauge pneumatic finish nailer that delivers excellent results. It’s powered by compressed air and can run at an operating pressure of up to 120 PSI. The magazine on the nail gun can take around 100 16 gauge finish nails 1 inch (2.54cm) to 2-1/2 inches (6.35cm) long.

DEWALT Finish Nailer, 16GA, 1-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch (D51257K)
  • Sealed lube dual tech: motor works as an oil free and oil lube unit.
  • Tool-free features: adjustable belt hook, nail depth adjustment, jam clearing, 360 degree exhaust
  • Uses 1-inch to 2-1/2-inch (25.4 milimeter-65 milimeter) 16 gauge straight collated nails,

Last update on 2022-09-16 at 21:04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This Dewalt model is also a good option if you don’t want a nailer that uses oil to reduce the chances of stain on your finished projects. As you’d expect from a nail gun of this caliber, it comes with a rotating exhaust to keep wood, debris, and dust pointing away from you while working.

There’s a nail depth adjustment function, which is nicely placed at the top of the device. You won’t have to take multiple trips to the compressor with every different depth needed. Dealing with a jam on the nail gun is also straightforward. You only need to open the front side of the nail gun. With the nail gun-running on air, you don’t have to worry about lengthy charging times or buying costly batteries.

The D51257K also comes with a trigger lock to prevent accidents while making your furniture.

Senco 4G0001N

This is a lightweight 15 gauge finish nailer featuring a highly durable magnesium housing cover. One of the main selling points of this nail gun is that it has the NeverLube technology, which means you don’t have to worry about lubricating the nail gun or dealing with oil spills when building your furniture.

Senco 4G0001N FinishPro 42XP 15 Gauge 1-1/4" To 2-1/2" Finish Nailer
  • Anti-lube design eliminates the hassle of maintenance
  • Magnesium-coated design resists scratches
  • Smooth finish makes it easy to paint

Last update on 2022-09-17 at 08:18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It also comes with the EZ-Clear latch tech, which allows you to easily and safely deal with any jams. There are also two no-mar pads to keep the woods you’re working on safe from scratches. It also has all the other features you’ll expect from a modern nail gun, including an adjustable exhaust and an ergonomically solid grip design that guarantees comfort while you’re working.

Some interesting extras include a belt hook to simplify storage and an integrated construction ruler which handles quick measurements. There’s a straight angle magazine which can accommodate 100 15 gauge finish nails. There’s also a depth adjustment function. However, it only works in a sequential firing mode.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Nail Gun

You’ve seen a dozen nail guns you can use in furniture building, but how will you know the best option to go for? Below are factors you should take into consideration during your selection.

Your Preferred Power Source

Nail guns are either battery-powered or compressed-air powered (pneumatic). 

Battery Option

Battery-powered nail guns like the Dewalt finish nailers we’ve seen above typically come with either XRP NiCad batteries or 18-20-volt Lithium-ion batteries. These nail guns are quieter to use when compared to pneumatic nailers. You only need to recharge the batteries, and you can get to work. They’ll also work well in small spaces where pneumatic options won’t fit properly. 

However, they are usually not quite as powerful as pneumatic devices.

Pneumatic Option

Pneumatic nail guns get their power from the air compressor unit connected to the device. These nailers can generate a lot of power, so they should be high on your list if you typically work with tough hardwoods in your furniture making. These nail guns are generally less expensive, but you have to consider that you’ll need to buy the air compressor as a separate unit, which jacks up the cost again to the levels of battery-powered models.

However, these nail guns are typically very noisy and will require regular oiling. You’ll also need to worry about fitting the compressor unit into your working space.

Trigger Options

Nail guns can have contact or sequential triggers, but the best ones allow you to switch between contact actuation and sequential modes. If you work on different wood types, it may be beneficial to choose a model that gives you all the options. The Dewalt finish nailers typically provide both options.

The Magazine Size

You don’t want to take frequent breaks from your construction to reload your nail gun. The best finish nailer options can take a minimum of around 100-120 nails in their magazine (some can take a lot more). In contrast, pin nailers have a higher capacity. In large-sized furniture builds, you’d love the ability to shoot up to 120 nails without any delays.

The Availability of Depth-Control Adjustment

If you are always working with different types of wood, you’ll definitely want to choose a nail gun that offers adjustment control. Watch for options with features such as “tool-less depth of drive” or multiple depth settings for more accurate flush nail action when working.

You should be able to choose your desired nail depth with ease. Nail guns without this feature are still useful, but they are a bit harder to use when working on different wood pieces. You’ll spend a lot of time on manual adjustment.

Ease of Jam Release

While using the nail gun in furniture building, it will jam at some point. A nailer with a “tool-less” jam release will make it super easy to clear out the nail(s), causing the jam. Without such a function, you may spend a lot of time trying to correct such a jam.

Nail Supply Indicator and Empty-Fire Lockout

With an indicator that helps you see how many nails you’ve got left, you will better plan your nailing and also avoid firing the nail gun when it’s empty. Constantly firing when the nail gun is empty can damage it. Of course, if the nail gun has a dry-fire lockout feature, you won’t have to worry about this type of damage.

Using a nail gun that has both an indicator and the lockout feature is best, therefore. Still, at the very least, your chosen option should have one or the other.

General Ergonomics

As we’ve seen above, nail guns come in different sizes. Some are a bit weightier, while others offer a higher flexibility level when you need to work in small spaces. Your choice should come down to the type of furniture projects you engage in and the frequency. Ergonomics matter more when you have to use the nail gun for long hours every week.

When looking at the ergonomics for your chosen nail gun, you should pay attention to elements like the handle grip material, the presence of an anti-vibration handle, and more. Other details, like the presence of a belt hook, may also be useful for some users.

Conclusion

The best nail guns for furniture building are finish nailers and pin nailers. Depending on the type of jobs you’ll engage in, a finish nailer may be all you need. We’ve covered some of the best brands you can consider above, with a look at their features.

If you’re in doubt about what choice of a nail gun to use, stick to the basics. Find a nail gun that gets the job done. Any other nice-to-have features should be a bonus. Additionally, you can also eliminate less popular brands and models and look at those with more years of history. 

Dewalt is, without a doubt, one of the most recognizable nail gun brands in the market today, so you should start with their products.

Sources

Recent Posts