In this guide we’ll take a look at the best nail guns for DIY.
I've compared performance, features, build quality and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
In this guide we’ll take a look at the best nail guns for DIY.
What Is The Best Nail Gun?
More Detailed Nail Gun Reviews
This 18-gauge nail gun is compact and light but delivers an impressive amount of power. The cordless battery design means there are no wires to worry about and there is also no need for compressors, air hoses or gas cartridges. This makes the whole gun easy to manoeuvre, super portable and convenient for working on any job from garden fencing to cabinet making. It also features an LED light that illuminates when you grip the handle, and this is very helpful in dark and dingy corners or when daylight is beginning to fade.
The nail gun is easy to set up and loading the nails is simple and fuss-free. It features a low nail indicator to let you know in good time when it is time to reload. The kit includes a nail gun that can be used with an 18V battery (not included) it also comes with a reversible belt hook, two no mark shoes as well as 500 x 32mm nails. The gun is capable of firing 18-gauge nails from 15 to 50mm in length.
This nail gun easily copes with hardwood, burying nails with no trouble at all. It is ideal for a range of DIY tasks including erecting fencing, installing trim, second fixing and cabinet making.
This well designed, sturdy yet lightweight tool has plenty of power, making it ideal for a range of DIY projects.
The Hitachi cordless 16-gauge gas finish nailer is really light and ergonomic making it easy to use for long periods. However, it is also a powerful tool that keeps working for hours due to the 2x 1.5Ah Li-ion batteries included in the kit. The kit also includes a fast charger that will have your batteries charged in an hour. The gun can fire up to 1200 nails per fuel cell.
This nail gun is capable of driving nails from 25-65mm and has a magazine capacity of 100 nails meaning you can keep going for a long time without having to stop to reload nails. The nailer is easy to adjust and load.
This nail gun is a heavy duty tool capable of a range of nailing tasks including fixing boards and panelling, second fix, installing trim and fencing.
This is a professional quality machine that is lighter and cheaper than many on the market making it the ideal tool for the serious DIY enthusiast and professional alike.
If you have a more lightweight task in mind, this VonHaus 2 in 1 nail and staple gun could be just the ticket. It is ideal for a range of lightweight materials from fabric and carpet to hardboard, fencing panels and mouldings.
The nail gun has two firing modes and a depth control adjustment. The gun itself is well built and reassuringly sturdy, but quite heavy. The gun is powered by an 18 V 2 Ah battery which is included and the battery charges in 45 minutes to get you up and running again in no time. The nail gun works with a reassuring strike, however, occasionally nails didn’t quite go home and needed a little tap with a claw hammer to finish the job. This nail and staple gun is an ideal upgrade from a manual staple gun that will save you time and effort.
The magazine holds up to 100 nails or staples. It can be used with up to 50mm 18-gauge brad nails or 40mm 18-gauge light duty staples. The kit included 200 X 40mm nails and 200 X 32mm staples.
This is a very handy and versatile tool that can be used from anything from fitting insulation or hardboard sheeting to small craft projects. It offers great value for money for such a powerful and versatile tool.
The Tacwise corded nail gun is fast and lightweight making it ideal for a variety of projects. The gun accepts nails of 15-35 mm which are enough for jobs such as fixing fencing and panelling, second fix and other medium weight tasks. The magazine takes 100 nails and loading nails is simple. The nail gun comes in a blow moulded plastic case.
To ensure the nails are full driven home you need to apply some pressure when firing. Any nails that remain proud can easily be finished off with a tap of a claw hammer.
This is a good value nail gun suitable for light to medium woodworking projects and crafts.
This Stanley corded gun is another multipurpose tool that can be used with nails or staples. It is light and comfortable to use, and the magazine is easy to load. It can be used on high or low settings depending on the task.
The gun is suitable for use with nails up to 15mm and 14mm heavy duty staples making it ideal for lightweight tasks.
This nail gun is the ideal replacement for a manual staple gun and is suitable for light DIY projects, smaller woodworking projects and craft applications.
Nail Gun Buying Guide
A good old hammer and nails are versatile tools that come in handy for a range of jobs. However, if you have a large project, you could be hammering away until you get a headache if you use a claw hammer. Every nail takes multiple taps to drive home, and over time this can be a long and exhausting task if the project is anything more than putting up a picture.
Investing in a nail gun can seriously speed up the process of larger DIY jobs, from fencing, flooring, fitting trim or building furniture. With a nail gun one press of the trigger and pow – the nail is in!
Nail guns come in a range of sizes and with a variety of power sources. The type you need will depend on whether you are a professional carpenter, or simply want to work on an occasional small woodworking project.
When choosing a nail gun, you want to be sure that it is suitable for the task in hand. The nail guns in these reviews vary from heavy to light duty. However, for really tough applications such as fixing building timbers, you will need a framing gun which is beyond the scope of this guide.
For most serious DIY tasks, including installing trim, second fixing, and securing fence panels and medium weight boards them look for a gun that can deliver 16-gauge nails of around 50mm in length. These will give you enough scope for most DIY and professional uses.
For lighter weight tasks, such as insulation, fabric and lightweight boards then a smaller gun or electric stapler will do the job.
Nail guns are available both as corded and cordless tools. Some cordless nailers require a gas fuel cell and these have to be replaced after a certain amount of uses so you should factor this into the cost.
Which type of nails are thicker 16 or 18 gauge?
16-gauge nails are thicker than 18-gauge ones. The measurement is based on the fraction of a 1″ thickness of steel i.e. as 1/14″ thick, 1/16″ thick, 1/20″ thick, and so on. The bottom number of the fraction was eventually adopted as the gauge number. So, 1/16″ became 16 gauge and 1/18″ became 18 gauge.
A 16-gauge nail gun will give you the power for most DIY tasks and allow you to use nails of up to 65 mm (2 ½ inches) as well as being compatible with smaller nails for more delicate tasks.
How do you reload a nail gun, my strips keep breaking up?
The type of nails that are glued together in a strip, like staples, do require gently handling if they are not to break apart. All nail guns are different so do refer to the manufacturer’s instructions, but in general here is how to reload your nail gun.
First, make sure the gun is unplugged and switched off. Open the magazine and then carefully place the nails in the magazine with the points facing down between the grooved channels. Make sure they are in the right place before closing the magazine. The magazine should click back into place easily when correctly loaded.
What safety precaution should I take when using a nail gun?
Nail guns are powerful tools and can be dangerous. However, most nail guns have a host of safety features making them safer than they used to be. Most home us nail guns use a sequential trigger that will only fire when the trigger is pulled, and the nose of the gun is in contact with an object.
Even so, it is advisable to wear safety glasses and ear defenders when using these tools. In addition, ensure the site is clear, with no trailing wires or obstacles and that no one else is around, especially children or pets, while you use your nailer.
If you come to an awkward part of the job where you have to use your non-dominant hand, then consider switching to a hammer for this part of the work.